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jcraft 03-07-2012 10:03 AM

Question about lessons
I have never been snowboarding. Last time I was on snow was about 15 years ago and that was the first time I had been on ski's.

My family and I are headed to Winter Park in a few weeks and my younger brother (who has been a few times these last few years) has convinced me to try snowboarding this time. Obviously lessons will need to be taken.

I plan on taking the beginners lesson the first day on the slopes. My question regards taking a second lesson. Should I take a second lesson on my second day of being on the mountain, or would it be more prudent to take the first lesson, use the second day to continue practicing and then take another lesson the third day? or should I forgo the second lesson all together?

As a first time boarder, what reasonable expectations should I have the first time out? We will be on the mountain for 5 days. I have watched quite a few how-to videos online to try to get a feel for the basics and hope that it will help me pick up the sport quicker.

Last thing: I recently (within last 1.5 months) started back at the gym. In preparation of the trip, is there any specific exercises that I should be doing so I'm not sore and in pain after my first day on a board?

Thank you all in advance!

Donutz 03-07-2012 10:24 AM

Depends if you're talking private lessons or group lessons. Private lessons are never a waste of time. The instructor will determine your level and work from there. Group lessons, meh. They have beginner, intermediate, advanced, and you won't necessarily fit into any of them.

If you have the bucks, get a group lesson on the first day to get the basics (you benefit a lot from watching what the other students are doing wrong) and a private lesson on the second day.

jcraft 03-07-2012 10:35 AM

Unfortunately, private lessons will not be an option this time around. So if we are talking just group lessons, just stick with the beginner's lesson and learn from everyone's mistakes and then use the rest of the week to get a good handle on techniques? Maybe even wait and do an intermediate group lesson on the third or even fourth day depending on progression? has a good deal for the lesson/lift ticket that I want to get before they are unavailable, so I am trying to decide what days to buy the lessons for.

IdahoFreshies 03-07-2012 10:53 AM

If you time it right you might be able to get a lesson with very few people in it. I have had friends do that many times and they end up getting a private lesson for the group lesson price. But if its a group lesson I would say just take the lesson the first day and then just have fun, play around and work on what you learned the second day

onefutui2e 03-07-2012 10:53 AM

get a group lesson, chum it up with the instructor, and see if he can give you a private lesson on the side for cheap during their off-hours (i believe they get a 2 hour break between morning and afternoon lessons). they'll most likely hook you up since they make crap and they'll do it for cheaper since 100% of the money is going to them. though it'll look mighty suspicious if management sees an instructor teaching someone how to heel/toe side during their downtime, assuming he's still wearing his jacket haha.

anyway, it's painful for the first few days. i'd say if you can confidently carve down a green run and/or just survive a run down a blue with decent time and minimal falls by the time your stay is over you should be in very good shape.

handscreate 03-22-2012 05:12 AM

Take a lesson & see how far you progress after the 1st one. If you feel comfortable side slipping or linking turns & getting down greens, I'd say work on what you learned the next day or 2. If you don't feel comfortable side slipping on both heel & toe edges after the 1st lesson, consider taking another the next day. I've taken 1 group lesson (that ended up being with only 1 other person) & found I progressed significantly after. Often times group lessons, especially during the week, tend to be limited to 4 people and end up with less in the lesson - at least from what I've seen on the mountain & what an instructor friend told me

2hipp4u 03-22-2012 06:04 AM

Looking at the winter park website and they are pretty expensive, in my opinion a 1.5 or two hour private lesson is better and you will get more out of it then a full day group lesson. Looks like they have something called a Max/4 lesson where the group will have no more than 4 people maximum.

Look thru all of snowolfs videos and checkout also before you go.

jcraft 03-22-2012 07:50 AM

I appreciate all the advice. I have a little over one more week of waiting... I just hope theres some snow left on the ground when we get there!

For the last month or so, I have been watching videos (including yours, Snowolf) in order to get a better understanding of the mechanics. Of course, I can watch videos all day, but there is no substitute for actually being out there on the snow. I have the first lesson booked (cheaper through Liftopia) for the first day I will be there. I will see how it goes the next day or so, and if need be will take a second lesson a day or so before we leave. I looked at the MAX-4 lessons but they are $50 more than the group and are only for a few hours vs. all day.

Cycle4Fun 03-22-2012 08:58 AM

As someone who also just started snowboarding this year, get a group beginner lesson first thing in the morning. Make sure you take a break after 2 hrs on the hill to let your mind process what you're trying to learn and to give your legs a break. That first day you are really fighting the board down the mountain and it's exhausting.

Also, wear wrist guards. You probably won't need them, but you'll hate yourself if you break a wrist and weren't wearing them.

If you can do the below after day 1, don't take another lesson.
1. Heal side and Toe side falling leaf on the bunny hill
2. Heal side and Toe side skidded J turns on the bunny hill
3. Linked skidded turns down a green run in control

For me, I was comfortable on my heal side after my first 1hr lesson on night one (2.5 hrs on hill), but was still really struggling with my toe side. Because of that I took another lesson to iron that out. Once I could add the toe side J-turn, linking turns together is no problem. As background I've skied for 10 years. Toe-side with your back to the fall line was incredibly unnatural.

Once you're ready for the intermediate level, take a private lesson! Well worth your money to fix technique, learn to carve, learn down unweight turns, and start dynamic turns. Sabrina at Killington did all of that for me in 1 hour of a private lesson.

poutanen 03-22-2012 09:23 AM

Just hucking my $0.02 into the bucket here.

When I started I was 11, took a lesson every day for 3 days and I don't think I've had one since. It was a deal I got with school, bus, lift ticket, rental and lesson for $40 a day or something!?! :D

Anyway, fast forward 17 years and I got my GF into it a few seasons ago. Some hills have a combo where you get a beginner lift ticket, rental, and lesson for a really good price ($30-$90 depending on the resort). If they have this combo take advantage of it, because the full mountain lift ticket will be useless to you for the first day or two anyway.

So the GF did that combo for her first two days out. The lessons are very basic but you get all the practice time you need to start to feel the board under you. Since then she's taken a lesson every approx. 10 days on the slopes. She's been lucky enough to sign up for a 3 hr group lesson in her category (they're rated 1-5 our here) and get a fully private lesson for the same price! Think it was $75 or so with tax for those lessons...

But yeah, good luck and have fun! It's a great sport but day one will involve sore knees, ass and wrists... That's just the price of admission cause it quickly gets better from there. The learning curve is quite steep for the first few days and then generally speaking you'll be comfortable enough to explore all over the hill, heel sliding out of situations you're not comfortable with.

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