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Discussion Starter #1
I admit I have fear of speed. This is what has always stopped my progress with snowboard. I am so annoyed with myself and I want to get serious in overcoming it. At least partially.

I did some reading and I found two things that can help. First one is visualizing positive outcome of what I am going to do. Sound pretty stupid, doesn't it? Well it wasn't so obvious to me, as I am constantly thinking to "I will crash onto someone, I will fell hardly, I will kill that little boy, etc". This cursed year I was not able to do much on the slopes, but I tried this technique and it seems to give me some improvements.
Other big, big point is that I always look down instead than where I am going. And looking at the ground, speed becomes much more real than looking where I have to go. And honestly, looking at wonderful mountains around me is much more enjoyable than looking the snow close to my feet.

So I know I must think positive :ROFLMAO: and look around me. Seems pretty reasonable.

Any good advice on top of that?

I also did some though on myself. I realized that I don't have fear of speed in itself, well at least until it remains reasonable (mind that I am a blue piste girl for now). What I fear more is losing control and hurting myself or -worse- others in that. Not sure if this way of thinking will make things better or worse, but up to now I am here.

Any thoughts or consideration will be really welcome.
 

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when I was starting out snowboarding I was afraid of going too fast, but as my skills progressed i became more comfortable with my board. Gradually I stopped being scared of going too fast, because I was confident in my ability to stop. The only real advice I can give is to watch some YouTube videos and practice riding on the hill. It’s a great sport and I Hope you don’t let your fears get to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks @JeffDahMoose776 for your suggestion. However, I am stuck the other way around: I cannot progress due to fear. It's annoying and frustrating. And I am stubborn.
For sure I am already plan for next season to go snowboarding as much as I can and I am planning to take lessons as well since I have to get my (little) skills back after 7/8 years of stop.
 

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The Swiss Miss
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I realized that I don't have fear of speed in itself, well at least until it remains reasonable (mind that I am a blue piste girl for now). What I fear more is losing control and hurting myself or -worse- others in that.
You have actually already answered your question ;). It's not the speed itself, it's the lack of confidence which prevents you from going faster.

And that could have two sources: a) you lack confidence because your skills aren't there yet, and then it's a very good thing you're not bombing. There are too many out of control ppl on slopes anyway. So just take your time and continue to progress. Or b) you would have the skills but are just timid. In that case, just take your time... it's not a race ;).

Gaining confidence is mostly about having edge control and balance in any situation to me. You can exercise this on blues perfectly by playing around with your boards edge, do small carves, fast carves, fast edge to edge transitions, then do sloooow wiiide carves, change all the time. To a wide heelside carve and grab the edge between your toes and try to balance on that heel edge as long as possible, learn to feel the sidecut and keep the balance. If carves are not your thing yet, start with doing turns exactly where you imagine to do them. Look down the slope and focus on a bump or patch where you want to turn, and turn there. Imagine that there's a narrow corridor on your slope and you have to stay within that imaginary boundary. Once succeeded, make it more narrow. Rinse repeat. That's a great exercise to gain confidence in one's ability to ride narrow at tracks with lots of other people, as you've exercised it in the freedom of a wide empty groomer and know you can do such tight turns in control.

For independent upper body it's a good exercise to to straight on a mild pitch slope, then go down very low in your knees, squat, jump up, squat again, rins repeat. Standstraight, turn you upper body looking backwards but keep the board going straight... swing your arms, turn your head all while your feet should still keep your board going straight. Be a clown, mock around ;). Do this a lot of times... it will loosen your body AND give your muscles independency. Your upper body and lower body should be two independent parts. One day your feet will "feel" the board and steer it without you even think about it. This will ramp up your confidence.
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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First, recognize that there are some conditions in which it is okay to be concerned. Icy hardpack is not the environment in which to practice your flat-based straight-lining. So if conditions are crap, give yourself a break and practice low-speed techniques on gentler slopes without guilt.

I have a natural fear of too much speed as well, possibly because my imagination is too vivid. But what I've found works for me is this: pick a run that freaks you out, but not too much. It has to be an attainable goal. Pick a spot toward the bottom of the steep part where you feel comfortable speeding up. Go slow up to that point, then cut loose. Over the course of several runs, gradually move that point up the slope. Gradual desensitization combined with getting used to the run just from repetition will allow you to push your speed up. But again, only in good conditions. And make sure your form is good. Going fast out of control is not something to be proud of.
 

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The Swiss Miss
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Oh... and by the way... here's the mantra: "ride lower, and get out of the backseat"

Both are essential for progress. Everyone starts riding with too straight legs. Even if you THINK your knees are bent, they probably aren't enough... And leaning ones weight on the back foot is the devil per se. It's a natural reaction if one has fear of falls, but it's contra productive. Weight on hind leg WILL lead to falls, as you rob yourself any chance to steer quickly. So... exercise riding real low with equal distributed weight, or even exaggerate it and lean on your front foot.
 

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You don't say how slow is slow and fast is fast, but honestly I don't understand a lot of peoples obsession with speed. Going fast doesn't mean you are super good. At 50 my 16 year old blows past me now and I don't really care. When I go fast all I can think of is medical bills so I'm perfectly happy maxing out at 35-40mph(60kph).

What makes you feel you need to go faster? Just to keep up with your friends? Or are we talking like really really slow? If you consider yourself an intermediate rider I say just ride more, the speed will gradually come. Don't get peer pressured by people waiting at the bottom.
 

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I agree with gaining confidence at speed through skills. Learning how to stop on a dime gave me a lot more confidence at speed. The move is called the hockey stop, or slasher bombs.

The hockey stop is a counter-rotated stopping motion that stops you very quickly. It's important to be able to put on the brakes when you're bombing. The hockey stop is like slamming on your brakes on the highway. It's important to know how to do it, but it can be dangerous if people rear end you. Always check the rearview. Once you know how to do it, you can apply braking force less drastically.

If you can hockey stop, doing it a little bit here and there really lets you shed speed. The move is called speed checking. You see it a lot in the park as riders approach features and rudder their back foot around to slow down a bit. They usually keep the move pretty casual, but they get more aggressive with the speed checks when they're coming in too hot. Tree riding can involve a lot of speed checking as well.

Definitely look where you're trying to go instead of down at your feet. You need to look at the line you want to take. Looking anywhere else is disaster. That's really an all the time thing, not just for going fast. Don't let fear control your eyes. You'll naturally go where you're looking- use that to your advantage. If you're staring at a tree fearing you're going to hit it, chances are you're going to hit it. Don't look at the children! Look at your line choice.
 

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A lot of snowboarding revolves around how good your balance, form, and ability to read and react to the board is. It doesn't matter if you're jumping, jibbing, euro-carving, charging, or just flat basing. Everything is a test of your ability to control your body and your board.

There was a time for all of us that simply going 5mph felt fast for us. Eventually we worked up to 10, 15, 20, even comfortable at almost 40mph for me now. Going fast is a matter of improving, if you don't feel comfortable at whatever speed you're going, it's because you have issues to work out with your form, balance, and board control.

The faster you go, the less time you have to react to bad terrain, ice, or your form being bad. Going fast is simply a test of your skills. Yes, you can bomb it with horrible form, but when you have problems, you will crash. You are smart, you are realizing there are places you need to improve, so you aren't just blindly going faster.

Whatever speed you are somewhat comfortable at, just keep riding at that speed and focusing on your form and really concentrating on your riding. Eventually that speed you are enjoying and feeling comfortable with will feel boring and slow and you'll want to go faster. Eventually you will reach your limit where your body and reaction time can't handle any more and it will always been fun to go that speed.

There is no magic solution. But you are skilled enough to realize that something doesn't feel right when you are going that fast. People with no skill just go very fast because it feels fun but they don't realize something is wrong with what they are doing. You can overcome it by improving your speed. It's a good thing you are nervous about it, because you are noticing something isn't right with your riding and you're realizing you shouldn't be going faster. But you aren't realizing what you need to improve before you step up.
 

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Sounds like you have a healthy respect for speed which is significantly better than the average beginner snowboarder who wants to just bomb down everything without knowing how to stop.

Speed is relative. Comfort increased as you improve. As your technique starts to get better, you'll likely get faster without even really noticing.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Wow so many comments, thanks. I will think about them.

For the moment, I like to know that I am not the only one that has fear. I have a lot of friends that ski very well since they are 3 yo and they seem never afraid of anything. Riding with them around a resort, as I always did in the past, makes me feel I am the only one with such big fears.
None of my friend has ever pushed me to do stupid things, but I always see them very relaxed in their skis and this has contributed to a general feeling of 'snowboarding is not for me'.
But as I said, I am stubborn, so I want to win this battle, if not the while war.

Unfortunately, I don't drink any alcoholic, so this easy path Is not for me :ROFLMAO:
I know, I am boring.
 

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I admit I have fear of speed. This is what has always stopped my progress with snowboard. I am so annoyed with myself and I want to get serious in overcoming it. At least partially.

I did some reading and I found two things that can help. First one is visualizing positive outcome of what I am going to do. Sound pretty stupid, doesn't it? Well it wasn't so obvious to me, as I am constantly thinking to "I will crash onto someone, I will fell hardly, I will kill that little boy, etc". This cursed year I was not able to do much on the slopes, but I tried this technique and it seems to give me some improvements.
Other big, big point is that I always look down instead than where I am going. And looking at the ground, speed becomes much more real than looking where I have to go. And honestly, looking at wonderful mountains around me is much more enjoyable than looking the snow close to my feet.

So I know I must think positive :ROFLMAO: and look around me. Seems pretty reasonable.

Any good advice on top of that?

I also did some though on myself. I realized that I don't have fear of speed in itself, well at least until it remains reasonable (mind that I am a blue piste girl for now). What I fear more is losing control and hurting myself or -worse- others in that. Not sure if this way of thinking will make things better or worse, but up to now I am here.

Any thoughts or consideration will be really welcome.
I actually had this discussion with my son this weekend and one thing that can help is pointing it, picking up speed until you start being a bit afraid and then counting to 3 or 5 or whatever you're comfortable with and then hitting the brakes. Try increasing the number as you go. Everyone hits plateaus like this as they progress (it never stops, I'm currently working my way into down rails) so if you can get your brain to concentrate on something else instead of the fear, it can help break through. But if you don't confront the fear in some way, it'll always be there.
 

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Not to be an asshole here, but..
Have you ever fallen at high speed? It's not that bad, doesn't even hurt. You just slide. Unless you catch an edge and go down head first or crash into something that doesn't move. Shit happens no matter what you are doing so do something fun.

Here is my point to this, don't think too much! Snowboard is all about having fun, the only contest in all of this is having the most fun. People worry way too much about style, doing it the "right" way and what others think. The winner is the one who looks like a idiot. Singing, laughing and screaming all the way down just because that person is happy and stoked. If you don't feel like going fast, don't go fast. If you want to go faster, then go faster! You could die from walking down the stairs in your home or crossing the street, take a chance and accept the outcome.
 

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Here is my point to this, don't think too much! Snowboard is all about having fun, the only contest in all of this is having the most fun. People worry way too much about style, doing it the "right" way and what others think.
If you don't feel like going fast, don't go fast. If you want to go faster, then go faster!
^This!
It’s natural to have some fear of speed (and it can feel frustrating when other people seem to be unaffected by it!).
As your skill and balance improve you will naturally get faster so in the meantime don’t worry about speed. Try not to overthink the skill and balance part either! As @Eivind så klart says go out and have fun.
Sure, get lessons*, watch YouTube tutorials**, read every thread on here etc. but then go out and play around with the things you learn. Instead of beating yourself up about executing the techniques perfectly, focus on how they feel: what happens if you add more pressure, less pressure, exaggerate the movement, make less movement? Etc etc. Getting things wrong is learning too. Make enjoying the feeling of making turns in the snow your objective.

I highly recommend the book “Inner Skiing” by Timothy Gallwey and Robert Kriegel. Don’t be put off by the fact it is about skiing. It is mainly about the mental aspects such as the different ways in which we learn and about identifying healthy fears vs unnecessary fears etc. I think there is enough overlap to apply it to snowboarding.


*I’ve been snowboarding about 9 years and still get a few hours with an instructor every season and highly recommend it. Always get something out of it, even if sometimes it is much later when it ‘clicks’

**i really rate Malcolm Moore on YouTube
 

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Repetition is what conquers fear. There is no way around that.

The people skiing since they were 3 have learned not to be afraid because they've been successful at not getting hurt so many times.

I do think you should have fun first, and if going fast isn't fun, then meh. That said, being able to go fast and choosing not to is different than not being able to ride fast if you have to, and I'd encourage anyone to at least develop that skill.

My top recorded speed on a snowboard is 65mph. I know I've gone faster than that. When I went faster (by mistake), I was scared out of my mind - not from the speed - but from the idea that if there were someone on the other side of the next roller I'd have trouble avoiding them. I could easily control myself at that speed, but I couldn't quickly slow down or stop (nobody can at that speed.) I regularly ride between 40 and 50mph when the groomers aren't crowded with no fear problem at all. Even 65 mph is not scary and a ton of fun if you have good visibility and know you have enough runout to slow down.

I used to be afraid to go fast like that, especially on tracked out or bumpy terrain. What I did to overcome that was find a steep tracked-out blue run, ride cautiously until nearly the bottom of it, then point my board and go. So like, ten feet up from the bottom, just tuck, keep your knees loose and bent, flat base and go for it. Worst case you fall a bit going slightly fast. Do that over and over again until it's not a big deal. Then gradually start to increase the height where you start. 12, 15, 20 feet. Get comfortable at each one of those points by doing it over and over. Pretty soon 40mph will feel like nothing to you. That's a great place to be, because at most resorts there aren't many runs you can top 45mph at all even if you're trying.

Finally, I have a buddy that loves to bomb down runs as fast as he can. He's pretty good at it, but he bails regularly because he is relying on the terrain to be smooth enough where he doesn't get bucked around rather than slowing down and carving around it. So don't get so hung up on speed that you neglect to develop other skills too. They're complementary - being comfortable at speed will help you be able to control yourself at speed, having good control will help you feel comfortable going faster.
 

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Oh, and yes to the irrational fear of speed and getting hurt. I've had three or four really bad falls while snowboarding that hurt a lot, and they were all going slow on flat runs. I've fallen a lot going fast and off of jumps, no big deal, no injuries there.

Based on experience, I should be afraid of going at slow to moderate speeds on green runs, but large jumps still scare me the most even though I know I'm more than capable of landing them.

But again, this season I've been lapping the jump line over and over again and it's much less scary now.
 
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