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:
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.
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.
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.
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.