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Old 04-22-2013, 10:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
phb
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Hi everyone. Just wanted to share my snowboarding "progression" with you and see what you think about the pace and if you agree what my next steps should be. Here is some history of my short season and what I gained each time I went riding:

Day 1:
First time ever snowboarding. Had a hard time standing up, but figured out how to stand up by rolling over and getting up on knees. I really couldn't figure out how to make it down the bunny slope without falling after getting going for a few seconds. I eventually made it down. I didn't read anything or watch videos on proper technique when I went out this day, so obviously I shouldn't have expected to pick up much. Plus, I faceplanted on the chair lift at the top because I had no clue how to get off.

Day 2:
I decided to try again even though day 1 didn't go so well. I went to another place that had a smaller bunny slope. Once again, I didn't really read up on much before I went here, although I did talk to my friend about it a lot and had some idea of what to do. I had no clue about edge catching so I didn't even know to keep the front edge up. When I got here, I kind of just went straight down the hill until I got so much speed I just lost control and fell. Or, I would bail out when I felt like I was going too fast. It was fun, although like day 1, I had no idea what I was doing or how to figure out why I was falling.

Day 3:
This time I really mentally prepared for the day. I read tons of websites, talked to my friend about basic technique, and watched videos (both instructional videos and just videos of people snowboarding to get an idea of what to do). I knew what catching an edge was now and how not to do that. I also learned about traversing. I decided to buy my own equipment so I could get some consistency as I learned. I went to a place with a larger bunny slope, which was intimidating in the beginning. I eventually was able to traverse down the hill and do falling leaf after my friend showed me how to control my speed by adjusting my angle to the fall line. By the end of the day, my goal was to make it down without falling (which I accomplished a couple of times). I went on my first green trail and did falling leaf down the whole thing (and some sideslipping when it got too steep). I was not able to do anything on my heel edge, but I was getting comfortable on my toe edge.

Day 4:
I kept reading more and more online, watching videos, and talking. My goal was to be able to turn the board. In my mind, I was able to picture all of the steps I needed to do to turn. I think this place had a smaller bunny slope than the last, but it was still reasonably steep at the top. I decided to get a lesson which really helped. I finally figured out how to traverse on my heel edge and I was able to turn the board consistently. I practiced some garlands and then soon after I was linking turns all the way down. I still fell many times, but I felt I had the technique down to a point where I could just practice it on my own and get better at it. I also went down a green trail. The first time it was ok - I think I was in control the whole time, but I still had to sideslip the steeper parts. I did get some speed in the less intimidating areas, but I went down the whole thing doing falling leaf. The second time, I kind of did the same thing but ended up falling pretty hard (for me, at least).

Is this the normal speed that someone progresses? I'm kind of feeling like I should be a little further along than this (I should be able to comfortably get down green trails), but I think I'm just being too hard on myself.

What I want to do next is really just spend a whole day practicing turns and gradually be able to do it faster and faster. I'm really interested in learning/practicing technique because I want to be comfortable before I go out on real trails. I would like to be able to let myself go a little more and get some speed up.

I'm just curious what everyone thinks about this - is it worth it to just really focus on training and practice technique? Or, is it better just to throw yourself on a reasonable trail and learn by doing? I guess it depends on your learning style though so I know there's no real answer.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Is this the normal speed that someone progresses? I'm kind of feeling like I should be a little further along than this (I should be able to comfortably get down green trails), but I think I'm just being too hard on myself.
Given that you don't appear to be an ex-skier, and you didn't prep yourself the first couple of times, I'd say you're lucky to be alive.

Learning speed varies all over the place, depending on whether you're an ex-skier, how athletic you are, how old/young/brave/foolish you are, whether or not you take lessons or have friends who ride, etc etc etc.

I was traversing on greens my first day (not well, but survivable) but I was an ex-skier, so I knew about edges and all. Plus since I'm older/wiser/more chicken, I spent time watching what real snowboarders were doing.

What's really important, is that you're making progress every time out, and you're having fun.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would say you should 100% take a lesson. I tried to snowboard 4 years ago without a lesson thinking I was hot shit and damn near killed myself. I tried again this year with 2 days of lessons and on the 2nd day I was linking heel/toe turns no problem. It helps so much to have someone with you to show you the correct fundamentals because if you don't get them down you'll end up hurting yourself down the road.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would say you should 100% take a lesson. I tried to snowboard 4 years ago without a lesson thinking I was hot shit and damn near killed myself. I tried again this year with 2 days of lessons and on the 2nd day I was linking heel/toe turns no problem. It helps so much to have someone with you to show you the correct fundamentals because if you don't get them down you'll end up hurting yourself down the road.
Yea I did take a lesson (day 4) and it really helped a lot. I think I could have figured it out on my own eventually, but I was interested in just doing it right away. It was well worth the money for me.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Donutz View Post
Given that you don't appear to be an ex-skier, and you didn't prep yourself the first couple of times, I'd say you're lucky to be alive.

Learning speed varies all over the place, depending on whether you're an ex-skier, how athletic you are, how old/young/brave/foolish you are, whether or not you take lessons or have friends who ride, etc etc etc.

I was traversing on greens my first day (not well, but survivable) but I was an ex-skier, so I knew about edges and all. Plus since I'm older/wiser/more chicken, I spent time watching what real snowboarders were doing.

What's really important, is that you're making progress every time out, and you're having fun.
Thanks. I am not a skier and would not label myself brave or foolish, I think I'm overly cautious which probably doesn't help my ability to learn these types of things quickly. That could be something I have to work on as well.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You seem to be doing just fine. When I first started it took me 2 Seasons to really just be able to bomb a run fearless and I averaged about 12 visits a season.

Just keep doing what your doing.

Constantly talk about it, read, watch videos even throw in a lesson or two. Although that's not the route I took. (Wish I did my first Season)

The only way to learn is to build up your experience(Duh )

Really work on your toe to heel and study other snowboards you see.
Most of it will come naturally with a few bruises.


Once you get better then its time to buy a new board.

Spend the money on good gear, no plastic bindings or cheap boards/ boots.


Eventually you will be as confident as any shredder (Don't be cocky). Then once you feel comfortable on the groomers its time to take to to the glades. Once you get your first glades run you will be hooked forever. Deep pow and un-tracked. But that takes a lot of practice and skill.

Also wear a helmet
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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PHB, so you went to 2 different resorts 4 days in a row or this is 4 outings seperated by any number of days?

I know people just wing things but when trying a new sport or anything in life for that matter. Why wouldn't you research it at least with a minimum of a google search on basics

Any who, glad you tried snowboarding and I hope you enjoyed it enough to stick with it and have a blast riding as so many of us do.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by slyder View Post
PHB, so you went to 2 different resorts 4 days in a row or this is 4 outings seperated by any number of days?

I know people just wing things but when trying a new sport or anything in life for that matter. Why wouldn't you research it at least with a minimum of a google search on basics

Any who, glad you tried snowboarding and I hope you enjoyed it enough to stick with it and have a blast riding as so many of us do.
Slyder - I went to 4 different places in 4 different days (one per week).

The first time I went, I really had no interest in it so I didn't try to learn anything before I went.

The second time I went, I had been talking to my friend about it and researching a little online, but I also didn't put too much effort into it.

Before I went out the 3rd time, I really studied everything I could. I spent hours reading stuff online and watching videos. From that point on, and with the help of my friend who went with me, I made the most progress.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ken2234 View Post
You seem to be doing just fine. When I first started it took me 2 Seasons to really just be able to bomb a run fearless and I averaged about 12 visits a season.

Just keep doing what your doing.

Constantly talk about it, read, watch videos even throw in a lesson or two. Although that's not the route I took. (Wish I did my first Season)

The only way to learn is to build up your experience(Duh )

Really work on your toe to heel and study other snowboards you see.
Most of it will come naturally with a few bruises.


Once you get better then its time to buy a new board.

Spend the money on good gear, no plastic bindings or cheap boards/ boots.


Eventually you will be as confident as any shredder (Don't be cocky). Then once you feel comfortable on the groomers its time to take to to the glades. Once you get your first glades run you will be hooked forever. Deep pow and un-tracked. But that takes a lot of practice and skill.

Also wear a helmet
Thanks! Your post is actually very encouraging. I hope that next season I can transition from learning to having more fun. Riding through glades would be an ultimate goal. I'm not really into park stuff, more into freeriding - so that sounds great.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So this is my first season snowboarding as well and I had no other experience on the mountain so I know how you feel.

After this season, I'm comfortable on my heel side as well as my toe sided turns. They are still skidding turns now but eventually I will be carving. I even attempted my first jumps in the park.

What really helped me was watching all the videos on youtube like the ones from the snowprofessor (How to Snowboard: Step 1 - Introduction to Snowboarding - YouTube)

They have lot of videos which can help you progress. They start from basically standing up on the board all the way up to jumps etc. Also read as much as you can.

I learned on a rocker board, which helped me out a lot.

Edit - I learned the most while going four days, back to back, at Heavenly and Northstar. Plus it also helped that my GF was helping me progress.

Last edited by ekb18c; 04-24-2013 at 12:31 PM.
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