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Old 10-08-2012, 12:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Well if my tag fits then I'm just hoping you "can" teach an old dog new tricks.

I'll turn 37 in the middle of the season this year and I've never been skiing or snowboarding. I grew up in Utah, so this is probably a punishable offense.

I moved to Northern BC this year and Shames Mountain is less than 90 minutes away. As there isn't much to do here during the winter, I figured I'd take up snowboarding. I work with a few people who board, including a former amateur sponsored rider who used to teach at a resort.

I used to skateboard when I was a kid and I hear that helps. I wasn't a pro or anything but I rode OK street.

In any event, in my typical go big or go home fashion I've never been yet I already purchased a full setup. Here's my gear and my stats, let me know what you think;

5' 10"ish (Ok, 5' 9.5")
195 (pretty solid, I strength train)
US 10 Boot

I'm pretty athletic. In addition to lifting I dragon boat, mountain bike, and I used to train Muay Thai and Brazilian Jujitsu (when I had somewhere to do it).

Based on the my boot size, weight, experience level, resort conditions (lots of pow), and the type of riding I want to do (all-mountain w/free ride focus) I purchased the following 2012 gear in the last couple of months while everything from last year was 30 - 40% off:

K2 Raygun 159cm Deck

K2 Formula Bindings

Salomon Dialouge Wide Boots
(don't really seem wide, and fit like a glove so I got 'em)

Burton Gortex Gloves

Sessions Rework Shell Jacket 20k/15k

Sessions Barricade Pants 20k/15k

Pro-Tec Vigilante Helmet

Von Zipper Feenom Goggles

So how'd I do? The goal is to get decent stuff that will last me a couple seasons and allow me room to grow. With my weight I could have gone a little longer on the board, but I hear it's easier to learn on a shorter board and I may want to try a little free style. That said, I could've gone shorter but I want to be able to ride the pow at Shames so I went with the rocker tipped Raygun in a 159. Thoughts?

Also, I've been obsessed since I decided to go for it this year and I've devoured hours of reading, videos, and talking to people about snowboarding. Maybe I'm clueless, but it looks pretty easy to get the fundamentals down. As I'm a pretty athletic guy and I take to new things pretty quickly, I expect to be linking turns down a blue/green on my first day. I plan to ride a lot this year and hope to be fairly competent and trying some basic jumps and tricks by the end of the season.

Are my expectations way out of line? It looks pretty easy to pick it up as long as you aren't afraid of leaning downhill and being confident in your turns. The whole riding an edge and carving or skidding to bleed speed looks pretty straight forward. Obviously it will take some practice and a few falls, but I really don't expect to struggle too much. Am I crazy?

Thanks,

OldDog

PS: I can't believe you read this whole novel. You deserve a cookie...
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think your expectations are a little lofty for day one but maybe you can nail it, you wouldn't be the first guy to progress that far so soon. Just don't beat yourself up if you don't meet your expectations.

It took me the third trip before riding decently.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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yeah that sounds a bit ambitious...

i started out last year as well, and just like you I had skateboarded before I played baseball through college and am pretty athletic, and it took me 2 or 3 days to get turns down. I rode about 12-15 days last year and can link turns on blue/green runs easily now, but still eat shit every now and then.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback, but what about the gear? Any thoughts? I know it's not Arc'teryx and the jacket and pants fit like fucking burlap sacks, but if I had dropped another $500 just on jacket and pants I think my wife would have killed me...
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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For myself, whose favorite sports are the tri (surf skate snow), I learned all 3 as a teenager (sk8 a little earlier), snowboarding had the shortest and steepest learning curve. Learning to surf takes learning to paddle, which can take a really long time, not to mention just building the muscles required to paddle for 4 hours. Riding a skateboard basically is pretty easy, but the motor skills required for techinical skateboarding are unmatched in the other 2 sports. On the other hand, the outdoor prowess of watermen like Laird Hamilton and mountainmen like Jeremy Jones - nothing like this is found in skateboarding.

Being comfortable in the stance is definitely going to put you a step ahead. Snowboarding is truly easy to learn, but it's also very foreign at first, and it won't seem like its as easy as you thought it was going to be. Be prepared to fall HARD, as catching edges tend to whip you face and ass first like a wet towel.

At your age, take a lesson or 2 and it will be ALOT less painful (I'm also turning 37 during the season. Year of the Dragon wup wup!).
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I think you picked a good board and binding to start learning with, don't expect it all to come too fast.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Started at 44; take some lessons, have your friends show you how to roll over, get up/stand up, and fall. As soon as the snow falls at your house, go out and just try skating around on the flats, find a little slope, tie a rope to the bumper of the truck and get towed...just to get familiar with the little parts before you even get to the big hill. If you figure out how to skate 1 footy and can turn 1 footy you will be way ahead in just having your body aligned and the mechanics of how to turn.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Go for it OldDog! Just start later in the day when the snow is softer, and buy an ass pad. Pain is not cool.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Forget waiting for snow bro, I'm already carpet boarding.

I'll have a sick carpet ollie and nose block down by the time the flakes fly. Maybe even butters!...

But yeah, I pretty much plan to have skating to J-turns down before opening day. Maybe even side slipping if I can find a decent spot. Then it's straight to the rope lift and garlands down the bunny hill. Once I have heel and toe side garlands down (I figure 2 - 3 runs each) I'll try linking turns on the same bunny slope. Probably not til after lunch.

Then in the afternoon it's a more serious slope and away we go.

I think buying my own gear to start gives me a huge advantage in being able to be familiar with the board, skating, etc. before I ever get to the resort. That, and the board I chose is rockered in the tips and is easy to initiate turns on according to the Transworld Good Wood review notes. Can you tell I'm pumped!

In the words of Barney Stinson "Challenge Accepted!". "It's going to be LEGEN-wait for it-DARY!

I'll be sure to come back and post on how I do. Opening day (snow permitting) is Dec. 8th.

But seriously any more comments on the setup? Thanks again for the replies!

-OD

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrathfuldeity View Post
Started at 44; take some lessons, have your friends show you how to roll over, get up/stand up, and fall. As soon as the snow falls at your house, go out and just try skating around on the flats, find a little slope, tie a rope to the bumper of the truck and get towed...just to get familiar with the little parts before you even get to the big hill. If you figure out how to skate 1 footy and can turn 1 footy you will be way ahead in just having your body aligned and the mechanics of how to turn.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Started 3 years ago at age 37 (turning 40 on the 28th) and I've always been atheletic. Raced BMX in the 80's, played football, ran track, skate boarded etc...

I picked up boarding quickly but the first day was pain incarnate. Every inch of my body hurt except for my toes. Wear your helmet cause catching an edge sucks and it will happen.

Your gear looks great. I started with a 159 and I'm 5'8 190.
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