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grafta 11-22-2011 05:39 PM

Real Instructor vs Video
What are people's opinions when it come to value for money, taking lessons on the hill vs buying instructional videos?

I know that a lesson is gonna be good in the respect that someone is watching you and critiquing your riding... but it's a one off, whereas you can watch Vids over and over.

How have people here progressed the most (obviously besides just riding lots)?


Donutz 11-22-2011 05:54 PM

Hey grafta, I have the SA vids plus I took a private lesson near the beginning of my season 2. First off, the SA vids are more for park stuff, whereas the lesson was for downhilling. The lesson was more expensive (duh!). But the instructor pointed out to me certain things that I specifically was doing wrong, and helped a bunch. If the costs were equivalent I'd def say you get more bang from a private lesson (those with dirty minds should just holster them right now :laugh: ). I'm quite happy to have paid for both, and I'm planning on taking another lesson this January or thereabouts.

Edit: Having said all that, I progress the most when I step outside my comfort zone, and especially when I have a specific goal.

Extremo 11-22-2011 06:20 PM

I think real life lessons are much better. I was fortunate to ride at waterville for several years and rode the park while the academy kids were being coached. There are just to many real life variables that you couldn't ever get from a video, like spots to drop from, speed, angles, and all the small things that can make or break a trick. Now not everyone has access to coaches. So costs have to be considered as well. I have the SA vids and although they teach similar techniques and explain things in almost the exact same language as the academy coaches, the real life aspect of it just isn't there.

Bones 11-22-2011 07:46 PM

While you can always watch a video, a video can't watch you.

When I was learning, I was amazed at the difference between what I thought was good stance and balance and what my instructor wanted. I thought I was imitating him exactly until he stopped me, put his hands on my shoulders and pushed me a good 6 inches lower in my stance.

As a learning rider, I just didn't have any muscle memory. I didn't know how something was supposed to feel and thus I couldn't replicate certain skills consistently. And learning from friends? Well, I realize now that the friend who initially tried to teach me wasn't a very good rider.

I played and coached another sport at the elite level for a long time and I always remember my old coach saying "Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent" Meaning that doing the wrong thing over and over just ingrains a bad habit.

Videos have their place, but if you really want to progress quickly: get an instructor

grafta 11-22-2011 08:18 PM

Thanks guys. Yeah, I guess i'm suspicious that i've picked up a bad habit or two having only one 'official' lesson under my belt.

The fact that someone is watching you ride is huge... and they're not one of your buds that may not be quite so honest about you sucking :laugh:

Jr@BlueKnob 11-23-2011 02:35 PM

No comparison. We are. We (instructors) are trained to process movements and break down the issues. A video may be alright for ideas but really only after you have your turns dialed and let me tell you, most don't. Your dvd player usually isnt very critical of you while sitting on your couch.

Bones 11-23-2011 04:15 PM

I always find that I use the golf swing as an example of what an instructor does for you.

I know that if I'm always slicing the ball, then there's a variety of things that could be messed up. One of them being that I'm not taking the club straight away from the ball. But I'm only good enough to tell when swinging a club that I'm 15 degrees inside or 15 degrees outside. Once it gets down to a 10 degree or less difference, all the swings feel the same to me, but my ball still slices. A good instructor will stand behind you and repeatedly tell you until you learn what it feels like. And give you some drills to fix things on your own.

One drill I picked up in snowboarding lessons was to hop a little in a traverse. If the board leaves the snow evenly, then you're pretty centered. If it rises tip first then tail, you're in the back seat. So now, whenever my turns feel a little sloppy or I find I'm a little sketchy on the ice, I'll take a couple of turns, hop a couple of times and just check that I'm not creeping a little into the backseat. Then I can adjust right then and there. That little self-test was something that I never would have learned from a video.

AAA 11-24-2011 08:44 AM

Take a lesson. A good instructor or coach can point out where or what you need to improve, and have you work on it right away. ["Here's what you need to do. But here's what you're doing. Instead, do this."] After watching just a video, we might "think" we understand how to do something, but getting out bodies to actually do it is another matter. Slow progression, frustration, and bad habits may result. The only risk to taking a lesson, IMO, is that can be a bit of a crap shoot as to the quality of the instructor you'll get. Videos are great learning tools, but nothing beats personal feedback and instruction.

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