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Old 01-01-2012, 12:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Preparing an 11 yr old for first time out?

If we ever get enough snow here on the east coast, I'd like to take my 11 yr old nephew snowboarding. I'll get him into a lesson, of course, but I was wondering...is there anything I can do to prep him beforehand? Any dryland things I can run through with him? I searched but didn't find much.

I've already told him to expect to fall, and that falling is a part of snowboarding, especially when first learning. I said it in a fun way, and because he's an introverted type. I've noticed his expectations can be rather high..when he expects something different from how it goes, he sort of shuts down and is done with it without trying further (well, that's how his one and only horseback riding lesson went when he realized he just couldn't hop on the pony and hi-ho-silver).

He's fairly athletic, but doesn't do regular sports. He can skate a little but prefers taking his scooter, not his skateboard, to the skate park.

Because he's already had a few fractures (arm and leg, unrelated to sports), mostly I want to prepare him on how to fall properly. Are there any age appropriate key phrases to use? I was thinking of telling him to pretend he's holding something in each hand, and that when he falls toeside he has to hold onto them and not let them go. I was thinking lemons but they might be too big?

I'm sure an instructor will cover this in a lesson but in the event he either doesn't pay full attention or gets overwhelmed, I want him to have some key things to fall back on, so to speak. He's a great kid but unfortunately his confidence is not the best. I want to give him the best possible intro to snowboarding.

Thanks for any suggestions and if there's something else that would help, please let me know!
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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have him skateboard more, that will work up his balance. the scooter doesn't do much for ya.

My parents put me in karate classes when i was his age, i didn't want to go at first but i ended up really liking it and it changed my life.

they teach you how to fall without getting hurt and really boost confidence if the teacher is good. it also builds muscle and flexibility, which are all good things for snowboarding.

get him some wrist guards, elbow/knee pads and a helmet if he doesn't already have them from skating.
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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perhaps he is into understanding how things work...an introverted type

explain how a board turns and mechanics of heavier end goes down hill first and etc.; also have him watch some of snowolf's vids...so it won't be all so new. also go and have him fitted for boots and have him wear them around the house.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses everyone!

Riley212: You're right; the scooter doesn't do much for him. I would love to see him skate more. He prefers the scooter because he's more comfortable on it, and it's what he rides most at home.

Thanks for the advice on karate..we tried to get him into a Jui Jitsu kid's program but that was one of those things he went into with different expectations and gave up on it after only a couple classes. I would like him to get into a sport or physical activity that will change his life in a positive way and cultivate some confidence in him as well. Hoping that happens with snowboarding.

And yup, he has guards, pads, and a helmet from skating. I have to see if his Protec skate helmet will work for riding though.

wrathfuldeity: Excellent idea. I was planning on showing him Snowolf's vids but didn't think of explaining the concept of mechanics to him. I really like that because my brain works that way; I like to know the "why" and "how" of things.

If I can get boots fitted for him, I'll try that as well. At this stage I was planning on renting for him at each resort, but maybe I can grab a rental pair from a local shop.

Snowolf: As always, super advice. Good point about not talking about falling too much. At least he knows he will fall, so that won't be a surprise. I like the idea of disguising it as "good athletic stances." He'll respond well to that.

You're so right...he's all about being cool at this age! He stayed with me a few days this winter break and while he was playing the SW game on PS3, I was pointing out and explaining toeside and heelside, carving, flatbasing, ice, etc. I'll see if I can do more of the basics with that game, since that might be a visual he can draw upon. And yes, the competition angle is perfect to use...especially because I'm pretty competitive myself

Maybe I can have him start the flexing motions soon. It's something he might like because he has a good imagination. I can always have him use an old deck of mine to stand on (w/o bindings) to give it a more realistic feel and so he has somewhat of a guideline. He's a men's size 6.5 and I'm a men's size 6 (but a chick) so the waist width won't be too huge.

Oh, I really wanted to get him a balance board for Christmas for that very reason! Instead I hooked him up with some sweet outerwear..Ride jacket and 686 pant. Good thing his birthday is coming up!

Again, thank you guys for the help!!
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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god snowolf you could probably be a developmental psychologist if your snowboarding job ever falls through...
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Buy him a Ripstik to practice on at home. Better than a skateboard for learning torsional twist. If he can become proficient on a Ripstik the transition to snowboarding should be very quick.

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Old 01-02-2012, 05:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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explaining the concept of mechanics to him. I really like that because my brain works that way; I like to know the "why" and "how" of things.


Just a thought...make a 6-8 inch plastic snowboard out of a milk carton or something to show him torsional steering; fore/aft weighting during phases of the turn, de-cambering the snowboard and engaging the sidecuts for turns; and using the idea of keeping your body parts inside the cereal box (the board being the bottom of the cereal box) to show how that effects balance and efficency.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizz View Post
Buy him a Ripstik to practice on at home. Better than a skateboard for learning torsional twist. If he can become proficient on a Ripstik the transition to snowboarding should be very quick.
Excellent, thanks, Grizz. That looks like it really hones the skill for torsional twist!

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Originally Posted by wrathfuldeity View Post
Just a thought...make a 6-8 inch plastic snowboard out of a milk carton or something to show him torsional steering; fore/aft weighting during phases of the turn, de-cambering the snowboard and engaging the sidecuts for turns; and using the idea of keeping your body parts inside the cereal box (the board being the bottom of the cereal box) to show how that effects balance and efficency.
Awesome idea, wrath. I think he's a visual learner, so that will be perfect. It will also satisfy my inner geek
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