Originally Posted by freetheanimals
I tend to agree, Mel M. I really don't feel I learned anything side slipping down that black run today. I just wanted to get off the damn thing. It was a pretty miserable experience. Unfortunately, it was a looong run and super steep. I should never have listened to the skier who said the Dave Murray black run was easier than the Upper Fraser blue run. Both are hard but the black one was waaaay steeper - at times it felt nearly vertical! I did a few turns on it but knew that if I fell I could have hurt myself. In addition, I feel so worked physically and mentally. I think pushing the envelope is fine but that run was out of my league. I had no business being on it.
I'll likely contact the teacher I took lessons from in December for some more instruction. In addition, I'll stick to the greens and try some easier blue runs. But I'm staying far away from the black runs at Whistler. They are dangerous for a beginner like me.
I'm definitely not against pushing the envelope, but to me the only real difference between blues and blacks is acceleration. If the blue run is long enough, you can reach breakneck speeds of 60+ mph, particularly in well groomed tracks. So when people mention that speed makes things easier when you snowboard, that's true, but you can achieve those speeds on longer blue runs. Since you go to Whistler, that's gotta have some of the longest runs in the continent. The steepness of blacks definitely make very short radius dynamic turns a lot more fun, since you shoot out of a turn on very steep terrain, but for practicing, it's completely unnecessary and I believe can hinder your improvement just by shaking your confidence.
As mentioned from instructors I had and probably from a few people on this forum, it's beneficial for a beginner to dial in slower, large radius, static turns. The more advanced you get, your movements get more dynamic, your turn radius gets shorter, and your turn initiation/completion becomes much faster.
Honestly, I'm still practicing getting down smoothly down very steep terrain, but I still dial in the techniques down blue runs.