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Hello! I have been snowboarding for a season, and have taken around 4 lessons. I'd say I have nearly 20 hours of on-board experience and can barely make it down a green (the first time I went down one was my 6th (and most recent) time). I fell all the way down my first time (but still made it down) and the second time I caught an edge when I was going fast and stayed down for a good 4 minutes. Needless to say, I was done at the point (in my defense, it was extremely icey). It is getting very frustrating putting in all this time and money to stay on the bunny hill, and I don't understand why I am not doing better. Is this normal?
 

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Oh yes...sad to admit but I stayed glued to the bunny hill for my first 2 seasons about 20 days total (but never took a lesson) before a friend said " stop hump'n the frick'n bunny" and get off the bunny chair/slope. He then took me directly to a double black area and let me sideslip, fall and roll down...but my eyes saw the light...I SURVIVED!

So in part find the creepy basement vid...it's basically the stuff that I wished I'd been told as a beginner...but as I progressed and figured out or was told by some merciful soul.
 

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Oh yes...sad to admit but I stayed glued to the bunny hill for my first 2 seasons about 20 days total (but never took a lesson) before a friend said " stop hump'n the frick'n bunny" and get off the bunny chair/slope. He then took me directly to a double black area and let me sideslip, fall and roll down...but my eyes saw the light...I SURVIVED!

So in part find the creepy basement vid...it's basically the stuff that I wished I'd been told as a beginner...but as I progressed and figured out or was told by some merciful soul.
Lol, good to hear someone else had a similar experience! Any tips on how to get back out there after a bad fall? After I fell hard, every time I picked up speed again I'd throw myself to the ground, probably causing more pain than I would've felt otherwise.
 

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Spring is coming. Choose a nice soft day. I think March is the ideal time to learn. Temps in the Spring can be pretty variable, but from here on out most places will soften up if the Sun is out so what you really want to do is more avoid a day that is going to be below norm.

As for your progression I guess you're a little behind but not super. For someone with no experience or skills that may apply I think 3-5 days before it clicks is fairly normal. Without seeing its kind of hard to do a real critique, but I'm guessing you really need to concentrate on turning one after the other and traversing across the hill more than down it.

And get someone to throw wrenches at you.
 

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Spring is coming. Choose a nice soft day. I think March is the ideal time to learn. Temps in the Spring can be pretty variable, but from here on out most places will soften up if the Sun is out so what you really want to do is more avoid a day that is going to be below norm.

As for your progression I guess you're a little behind but not super. For someone with no experience or skills that may apply I think 3-5 days before it clicks is fairly normal. Without seeing its kind of hard to do a real critique, but I'm guessing you really need to concentrate on turning one after the other and traversing across the hill more than down it.

And get someone to throw wrenches at you.
Sounds good! I am definitely going to keep trying, it is just getting frustrating. Couple that with some bad Eastern mountains and I guess it will take me a while to learn. Oh well.
 

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Icy is probably the worst time to be a learner. Bails hurt twice as much, boards are more squirrelly so you're more likely to catch an edge, turns are harder to do (for everyone) so you feel more out of control...

On icy days, don't expect as much from yourself. Find an easy slope, or find the busy one that's been chewed up to the point where there's loose ice crystals, and just practice slow and steady turns.
 

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Definitely try to get out there on a 40°+ day, preferably a day with a high temp of 50-60. The more slushy the snow gets the less it’ll hurt when you fall learning. Cold days will work too but as it sounds like you’ve already found out, the slams hurt more when it’s icy.
 

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The Swiss Miss
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Maybe your bunny hill is too flat.

It's a bit like with bicycles... if you're very slow, they get hard to balance. Same with snowboards. Overly slow leads to hard to balance leads to leaning stiff legged on back leg fearfully awaiting a fall which then does lead to a fall.

What type of lessons did you have? Group or private? It sounds as if you should get a private one and head to a green run on a softer day
 

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I started learning last year so it's all very fresh still. Here's what helped me.

1. Wear protection. Impact shorts, body armour (back/elbows/shoulder), wrist guards, knee guards & of course a helmet. A lot of snowboarding is down to confidence, & it's a lot easier to be confident when you realise that falling down hard doesn't actually have to hurt, even on ice. Ignore the people who say "just learn to fall"; that simply doesn't apply when you're a beginner going slow & catching an edge.

2. Check your stance width. Beginners should go wide, so measure from the centre of your kneecap down to the ground (barefoot) & add 3-4 inches. Make that the distance between the centre of your bindings. You can make it narrower as you progress.

3. Get on the blue slopes. It's a lot easier to traverse a steeper slope than it is to go straighter down a gentle slope as it forces you more on the edge of the board, which is the safest place to be.

4. Try riding switch. This was the big leap for me. All the tests in the world said I was goofy, but a long run switch down a cambered slope made it clear I'm actually regular.

5. Put a lot more weight on your front leg when initiating turns than you think you need. Try leaning over the nose of your board as far as possible whilst standing on the flat & you'll see just how hard it is to go out the front door.
 

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I'll add my bit to the convo... just started learning 3 years ago... at 40 years old.

1. Impact shorts are a must. You're gonna fall on your butt... and esp on the Ice Coast, it's going to reduce pain and help prevent tailbone injury.

2. I may get some heat for this next one, but watching a bunch of the Snowboard Procamp videos helped me on some things for the first couple days. About 3 years ago he really focused on learning with videos about stuff like toe-side turns, riding cat tracks, etc. He even had one about getting on and off a lift, which silly as it sounds put my mind at ease when I actually did it the first time and helped build confidence. For me, they were a good starting point to visualize what I should do before going to the hill.

3. Speed was the hardest thing for me to cope with early TBH... especially around lots of people on busy days. In your case, your natural instinct should be NOT to bail, but to simply come to a controlled stop on your heel side edge by side slipping. The last thing you ever want to do is "throw yourself to the ground".

4. Agreed that some bunny hills are too mild... especially beginning. Having some steepness makes it easier to initiate your turns and lean into the slope... which also helps you work on constantly working down the hill switching from heel-side turn to toe-side... etc.

5. Try not to stand too upright. It's crazy how weird it feels to get as low as you probably should while riding. The more upright and stiff you ride, the harder (and more abrupt) the fall will be. This is something that just takes time to feel out. It took me a couple seasons.

6. If you're really into learning... invest in your own setup (assuming you haven't). A different board, with different boots and binding each time doesn't make learning any easier. If you can, buy a good set of boots (most important part) and get a nice used board/binding setup. This way the equipment itself is a constant.

7. Lastly, don't give up. Like most any sport, the more you do it, the easier it becomes to do. IMHO, it's definitely harder to pick up quickly compared to skiing. Go your own pace... build your confidence and keep at it!
 

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Maybe your bunny hill is too flat.

It's a bit like with bicycles... if you're very slow, they get hard to balance. Same with snowboards. Overly slow leads to hard to balance leads to leaning stiff legged on back leg fearfully awaiting a fall which then does lead to a fall.
I could not agree more. It was not until I got OFF the bunny hill to something with some pitch that i could really feel what was supposed to be going on.

When people ask, I tell them that learning to ride a board is a lot like learning to ride a bike. You will have a bunch of falls, maybe get hurt a little along the way, ask yourself if you are ever going to get it and then it's like a light goes on, someone throws the switch and it comes together and off you go.

When it does happen, you ask yourself what the hell took so long to figure it out.

At which point you are hooked and you never look back.

Hang in there, you will see the light real soon.

Cheers!
 

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Hello! I have been snowboarding for a season, and have taken around 4 lessons. I'd say I have nearly 20 hours of on-board experience and can barely make it down a green (the first time I went down one was my 6th (and most recent) time). I fell all the way down my first time (but still made it down) and the second time I caught an edge when I was going fast and stayed down for a good 4 minutes. Needless to say, I was done at the point (in my defense, it was extremely icey). It is getting very frustrating putting in all this time and money to stay on the bunny hill, and I don't understand why I am not doing better. Is this normal?

All the advice so far has been good.

Other things to consider,...

If you're riding all in rental equipment? Boots, board, bindings, etc. You may be trying to get the "feel" of riding & controlling your bpard & edges with poorly fitted gear.

If your boots & bindings are too big and your trying to get that board on an edge with your super thick, winter wool socks? Your screwed! :shrug:

You'll have sooo much slop in your boots you're going to have a hard time getting the board to do anything you want it to. :blink:

What size street shoes do you wear and what size are your boots or the boots you usually rent? From this we'll have some idea if maybe improper gear & setup could be hindering you. (...double checking to see if you're truly regular or goofy is a VERY good idea too!)

I've seen new riders on the hill struggling to stay up, only to see upon close examination that the rental person Totally fucked them when they set up their gear.

Bindings should be reasonably centered on the board. Not too much heel or toe overhang. Decent fitting boots. Little to no heel slip. Bindings that aren't mush.

You cant "edge" a board if your foot/boot/binding interface is real sloppy.

A moderate (+12 -12/+15 -15 or so) ducked stance is a good starting point until you develop your own preferences. Also a Wide to Mid wide spread to your stance width. These are all good things to check next time you go out.

If any or all of those are off for you? It could make things tougher than necessary to learn. Getting them right, for you & your preferences, can certainly increase you odds of having a good time on the hill.

Lastly,... You didn't mention if your lessons were group or private but if possible, get at least one good private lesson. It helps to have tge focused individual attention to your specific needs

And if the instructor is not getting it done for you? If they're not communicating the concepts & techniques in a manner you can understand? Get a different instructor!! (...it's your $$$! You should get what you're paying for.)

Bottom line is,.. don't quit before it "clicks!" Once it does you'll be hooked.

:hairy:
 

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Everyone learns at a different rate. Don't let what you think is "normal" stop you from learning at your pace.

It took my wife multiple seasons for it to finally click. Until then she was content just going slow down easy blues and greens, unless there was powder and she'd go for it. On icy days she'd maybe do a run then go drink vodka and make a mean face at the ice.

I will say that doing more challenging runs on more challenging gear definitely speeds up the learning process, but you have to be OK with falling. If it's more fun for you to take it easy and improve more gradually, do that.
 

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Hello! I have been snowboarding for a season, and have taken around 4 lessons. I'd say I have nearly 20 hours of on-board experience and can barely make it down a green (the first time I went down one was my 6th (and most recent) time). I fell all the way down my first time (but still made it down) and the second time I caught an edge when I was going fast and stayed down for a good 4 minutes. Needless to say, I was done at the point (in my defense, it was extremely icey). It is getting very frustrating putting in all this time and money to stay on the bunny hill, and I don't understand why I am not doing better. Is this normal?
There's no time-frame that someone's 'supposed' to be able to learn within so don't set yourself up for failure by pre-determining when you're supposed to have 'learned'.

I get that it is an expensive/time consuming activity, but ask yourself only two questions at the end of each day:

1. Did you have fun?
2. Do you want to go again?

These questions/answers will tell you what to do next.
 

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Here's my side as a former instructor and who has worked in nothing but the snowboard industry for 10+ years.

1: You absolutely are behind. I'm not gonna sugar coat it and I'm not being mean. But if you have had 4 lessons, and multiple days and can't make it down a green on the east coast that's not normal. HOWEVER don't let that discourage you!

2: How many days have you ridden actually? If you've riddden a whole season and hd at least 4 lessons 20 hours of on board time is actually extremely low. It sounds like you maybe go and ide for like 2 hours here and 2 hours there? You're going to struggle to progress if you dont put in sustained time. If you only ride for 2 hours or so when just starting, by the time you're getting warmed up, starting to pick up something and getting to where you could be learning you're gonna be doe for the day and then starting all over next trip.

3: What lessons where you taking? You absolutely need to be using a certified teacher, if you're hiring one from the resort you should be good. Do not let a friend or the like teach you, it does more harm than good. If you can pony up the money get a private lesson, even if just for an hour. 70-80% of the time when given a student privately in a single hour I could have them at least riding down a green run, maybe not linking turns but definitely making it down with minimal falling.

4: Padding is good but bad too. You know what makes you learn to not make the same mistake again, pain! Snowboarding hurts to learn, it ABSOLUTELY hurts. But usually it will far from break you. Catch an edge two or three times and you'll start focusing on where your toe edge or heel edge is positioned. Pain is an excellent teacher and keeps you from getting lazy. You just have to be willing to not quit when a fall hurts a little.

5: Dont let conditions, slopes, etc be your excuse. Can they make riding or learning harder, sure. BUT the second you fall and go "well it's icy" or well it was this or that, you stop focusing on what you did wrong. If you fell you were doing something wrong. Don't focus on the ice or the person or whatever, each fall is a learning lesson.

Thats about it. Not meant to be discouraging definitely ride. ride longer each trip, take the right lessons, learn from your pain. In all the years I spent teaching I never had a student who wasn't able to eventually pick it up well enough to be having fun.
 

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A lot of great comments here. I started riding 20 years ago when I was 38. My body was a bruise the first 4 times out, and these were spaced out. I would take a Sat lesson, fall all over the place and then ski Sunday. But
I kept at it. On the fifth day it clicked. I linked 4 turns together, fell and rested. Got up, linked 6-8 turns together before falling again. It was 9:45AM on a Sunday at Wyndham NY. I was so sore, but smiling as it finally had clicked. I then went into the lodge, bot a huge coffee and got the Sunday Times. Sat there reading all day when everyone else was skiing/riding. Not the most efficient spending as I had bot a full lift tkt for one bunny hill run, but I knew I had it.

Waited 3 weeks then went to Thunder Ridge near New Haven with it's massive 500' vertical. Took a lesson from a 16 year old with a tongue ring but we hit it off and had a great day - which was my first real day boarding.

It is easier to be a beginning skier than a beginning snowboarder, but once it clicks it is easier to go from beginner to intermediate snowboarder than from beginner to intermediate on ski's. Stick with it. Tighten up your equipment, head to a real green run from the bunny hill and it will come.

I have been trying to learn switch over the last year so I feel your pain.
 

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My first season I went 4 times and couldn't even get off the heel edge. 2nd season I went from falling leaf to the upper bunnies, then made it to Mammoth and my first intermediate at the end of the second. I am now working on carving the upper intermediates and the diamonds. Just learn to carve the bunny. Go straight down, turn to your heel side, then turn down then to the toe side. Once you can do that comfortably, the steepness of the hill makes less difference......Don't do a double diamond, sliding on your butt down the hill will get you nowhere and if you fall, you will slide to the bottom. (face or feet first)

A wide run with no one on it is ALWAYS the best. hard to find though

wrist guards really work
 

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Lol, good to hear someone else had a similar experience! Any tips on how to get back out there after a bad fall? After I fell hard, every time I picked up speed again I'd throw myself to the ground, probably causing more pain than I would've felt otherwise.
Learn how to fall instead of being afraid of falling. There are a few threads...but this is perhaps the most recent.

https://www.snowboardingforum.com/tips-tricks-snowboard-coaching/259977-learning-how-fall-correctly.html
 

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The Swiss Miss
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I have been trying to learn switch over the last year so I feel your pain.


2: How many days have you ridden actually? If you've riddden a whole season and hd at least 4 lessons 20 hours of on board time is actually extremely low. It sounds like you maybe go and ide for like 2 hours here and 2 hours there? You're going to struggle to progress if you dont put in sustained time. If you only ride for 2 hours or so when just starting, by the time you're getting warmed up, starting to pick up something and getting to where you could be learning you're gonna be doe for the day and then starting all over next trip.
^this is so true.

I was "trying" to learn switch, too, the last few seasons. "Trying" means, I did try few switch turns here and there, maybe 20 spread over an entire season, which equals to zero progression. Had all the excuses to not practice, too crowded, too steep, too shallow, too icy, too whatever.. honestly, it just sucks to go back being a falling, sideslipping, fearful stiff legged backseat not daring to do a toeside turn noob, if you're good fwd, lol.

But two days ago, I just made the decision to dedicate a full day to switch and won't find excuses to turn around. Period. First three runs sucked. The runs were incredibly exhausting on my mind, required so much conscious thinking of which part of the body to use at which time point... (I'm not used to that anymore, as fwd, it all comes natural) and frustrating as I slipped around, fell, a.s.o.. But it was worth it to continue. With keeping at it, concentration on knees (watch the creepy basement video @wrathfuldeity posted in other threads, so you know how to use knees) and initiating turns consciously with shoulders (you automatically turn to where your front shoulder points to if loose in your knees, weight on front foot), on run 4, it clicked; I finally overcame the fear pointing nose downhill in frontside turns, dared to use more speed and begun to feel the edge. More speed makes it so much easier to turn smoothly. Then with each further run I felt how the fifferent body parts begun to align, how, after knees and shoulders, hips begun to add work into it, how toes begun to fine tune balance etc. At the end of the day, I could even do an occasional carve on edge on toe and heel side, muscles had begun to understand what they should do, how to work together to keep balance following the radius of the edge.

Long story short: On this one - extremely exhsusting - day riding switch non stop 8:30-16:00 I made 100times the progression than in all the "tries" the seasons before.

So... get a good private instructor on your next trip on the first day. Let him correct your errors and explain how you should. And then keep at it that day, practice all day, no excuses, ride ride ride, and concentrate on what you do. It's exhausting, but worth it. At first, your mind needs to teach your muscles. Once they have it in the muscle memory, it begins to be fun. But they only learn by repetition.
 
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