Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, literally grab your left pant leg (regular) at the thigh or knee, but don't grab your actual leg - just the pants. This will help put you in a forward leaned position without over doing it. It will also help keep your shoulders parallel with the board, which is proper riding stance.
As far as advancing to blues, I am an advocate for pushing yourself to progress. If you can link a turn, or even just do J or C turns on a green or on the bunny slope, you can do it on a blue. It may seem scarier because of the pitch of the run, but you can always side slip down to a flatter area & begin your turns from there. Some steep runs scare the crap out of me & I side slip down until I reach a place where I'm comfortable turning down the mountain & linking my turns to get down. Work on linking your turns on greens & blues before you become too concerned with bombing straight down. The skills you'll develop changing from edge to edge, as well as the speed you can easily pick up while doing this, will help you to feel more comfortable on steeper terrain. Going too fast & freaking out will surely slow down your progress. Your fiance can wait at the lift for you if she's going that much faster than you are (especially since it sounds like you're giving this a shot for her, which is awesome btw!). My friends & I all have an unspoken deal that you wait at the bottom or the top for everyone to catch up.
I agree with Mixie. The more protected you are, the less you'll think about the fear of injury. You've got a helmet & wrist guards, which is great. Get some decent padded shorts, like the Pro-Tec IPS Hip shorts, so that when you do fall on your ass it'll hurt way less if at all, and the memory of getting a bruised ass doesn't prevent you from pushing yourself to progress in this sport. Something else to consider is that we all fall. I don't care how good you are or get, you will eat it every now & then. Look back at what caused you to eat it & modify your moves so you can help prevent it from occurring again. In the earlier stages it's often catching an edge that causes this. Make your turns slow & fluid until you feel confident enough to make quicker turns while picking up speed - similar to pumping a skateboard.
And the biggest piece of advice I can give you is to psych yourself out of being afraid. It's natural to get scared when we start out & we're picking up speed, but most often people bail or freak out & start leaning back, which will cause you to lose control. If it's getting too fast for you to feel comfortable, put on the brakes, but keep your form & forward lean going the whole time, until you've come to a stop. Sometimes a beer, a shot or a toke off a joint/bowl can help you to calm down enough to just go with the flow, and keep you from over thinking things. I have friends who take an Advil or a Vicodine 30mins before hitting the slopes to stay loose. In theory this could also help you to be less sore the next day in the event of a minor wipeout or just normal muscle soreness. Just remember there's a fine line between loosening up & being buzzed/intoxicated - and I don't suggest anyone ride/ski intoxicated or tipsy, as much like driving drunk/buzzed, you put yourself & others in danger.