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tigre 03-06-2012 12:00 PM

Just another newbie in paradise
Hey guys! Just wanted to say hi, and see if anyone had any comments or advice. I'm a 32yo female living in Valdez, Alaska. What a great place to snowboard, right? Well, I'm sure it will be as soon as I figure out what I'm doing. I grew up in Texas, so I wasn't exactly born with a snowboard or skis on my feet like a lot of kids here seem to be.

I spent my first winter here (last year) learning to ride my snowmachine, and now I'm trying to get this snowboarding thing under control. There's no maybe about it, I have to learn to either ski or snowboard or I'll lose my mind living in a place like this. Problem is, this isn't the best place for beginners. I've been snowboarding five times in my life: twice in Utah a dozen years ago, once last week in a mild valley up at Thompson Pass, and twice last weekend on the little tow-rope hill in town. Never had a lesson.

I'm very comfortable riding my heelside edge, and can sideslip and falling leaf and garland all day long. It feels pretty weird to be on my toeside edge, but I can sideslip and falling leaf okay. I tried to push myself into linking turns, but I was really just kicking the back of the board around and skidding a lot, not using proper form. I get kinda scared when I pick up speed too, and don't lean down the fall line enough, but I guess that just comes with practice.

At the moment all I have to ride is this big plank (K2 Wisdom Wide 159 - I'm 5'4", 135), which was fine in knee deep powder up at the Pass, but turns like a boat on the bunny hill. Does anyone think I'm going to do more harm than good trying to ride this thing, as far as learning good technique?

Anyways, that's about it for now. I'll keep reading and practicing and falling down and eating snow. Hope everyone has a great day!

SnowMotion 03-06-2012 12:05 PM

Ya the bigger board will be harder to maneuver and cause some bad habits. If you know you are committed then invest in a good set up sized right. If you wait a season your just holding yourself back. Right now there are good deals starting check out the Never Summer Pandora.

JamesX 03-06-2012 12:18 PM

I am a beginner as well and just gotten used to linked turns. What slowed me significantly on learning the linked turn is that I was lazy on the toe edge. Most of my practices are done with heel edge, and when I try to control my speed I automatically resort to heel. I spent 2 days trying to master linked turns to no avail. But I did realize that my lack of toe edge practice was holding me back.

So I devoted an entire day to just toe edge, till I am as comfortable with that edge as my heel edge. By the end of the day I was linking consistently.

Speed was scary at first because I panic and no matter what position in the turn I am I resort to heel edge by instinct, but once I got toe edge down it was no longer an issue - since I no longer have to do a forced turn to heel edge to slow down (gaining more speed in the mean time since it took longer).

As for your board, it is HUGE for your size. I am 5'10" and 160 and I only use a 156.

cdrakep 03-06-2012 10:13 PM


Originally Posted by JamesX (Post 492512)
As for your board, it is HUGE for your size. I am 5'10" and 160 and I only use a 156.

I'm 6'3", 250 and ride a 157 lol

HoboMaster 03-06-2012 10:26 PM

That is a massive board for your size, not to mention that its a wide model! I Would definitely suggest getting something more like a 151.

Rider161 03-06-2012 10:55 PM

Some recommendations here have been Roxie Ollie Pop, GNU B-nice, and Never Summer Pandora(all three of these boards on are on the softer side) and yea I would look into something in the 148-151 area :)

JamesX 03-07-2012 12:12 PM

Here is the Burton's Board Finder Tool. You can plug in your numbers and see the size range it suggests.

Board Finder | Burton Snowboards

tigre 03-07-2012 10:11 PM

Hey guys, thanks for all the responses. I spent a couple hours up at Thompson Pass today in some really fun, deep powder. That big board really does feel great in that stuff. I was linking turns today and feeling a lot more confident. It's amazing how effortless it feels in deep snow, compared to that groomed stuff. I didn't fall near as much, and they were much more controlled falls than before, not unexpected wipeouts. Mostly I was falling because I was sort of lagging behind the board at higher speeds and it wound up washing out from under me. I had moved my bindings forward a little for riding the hard snow at the bunny hill, and I think I need to move them back next time I go to the Pass so I'm not leaning back so much to begin with. Hopefully I'll get in another couple of days up there this week.

I know I need a smaller board for other conditions like hardpack and early/late season when it's not so deep. I'll be able to afford one in about a month, and will probably get a used one for now that I can use as a rock board and not worry about beating it up while I'm learning. As much snow as we've gotten this year there should still be decent hardpack I can hike to fairly easily well into June or even July, so it's not like the season's nearly over here or anything. When I know enough about riding to spend some real money on a board I'll be looking at splitboards so I can go out with my skier friends.

tigre 03-26-2012 01:57 AM

Thanks again guys, I just picked up a Charlie Slasher 154 and some Burton Restricted Cartel bindings. Can't wait until they're here!

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