First learn if you are "goofy" or regular "footed"
It is kind of like finding out if you are left handed or right handed...there
are several ways to do this. The easiest is to jump on a
skateboard and see which foot you like to have up front and which foot
you kick or "pump" with. Another good way is to put a tennis ball (or smaller size) ball
in front of you, aim for a target, and see which foot you kick it with. Write it down!
There are other ways but most require a lack of concentration. IE Have a friend note
which foot you climb steps first.. Or pretend you are boxing or surfing, because
you almost always put your stronger foot forward to catch your balance. Btw this term
came from surfing cos most riders are regular footed(right foot forward). Remember
to write it down first.
NEXT do sit-ups and some push ups. Like 20 and 10 respectively per
day...work up to it slowly if you must. Most people get up from bed once or twice a day.
Beginner snowboarders get up 50 to 100 times the first day...most beginner
snowboarders will have sore necks and shoulders from the multiple raises.
Get good equipment and padding, wear appropriate clothes
Cotton is NOT good. it stays wet and wicks heat from you. NO Cotton at altitude.
Get BOOTS that fit. Walk around in them for 20 min. If they hurt
return them. Too loose and you will get blisters or lack of turning
control. (Boots and Bindings may not be compatible)
Get Good BINDINGS...I recommend "Flow" bindings for beginners...
(google Flow bindings or ask me)
RENT a board, but usually this requires bindings. So buy a board that
fits...a board when stood up, comes up somewhere between chin and top
of forehead. You will probably out grow this board in two seasons.
Sometimes I recommend a boots/bindings/board package but a small
mistake in buying this could lead to big headaches later. Not a lot of
technology in these...so buying new but last years model will save a
buck or two. Watch for wear and tear if your buying used...if it shows
on the outside it's probably bad off in the inside.
PAD up. You'll want a helmet for day two and three. not going that fast
on day one. You'll want to pad up knees elbows. BUTT/HIP pads are
highly recommended and available at most stores as padded shorts for
inliners and snowboarders.
If you are self conscious about looking like a beginner, wear muted
colors your first three days. All black or all blue are excellent
choices. Padded, they'll never recognise you. When you get better you
start wearing the purples and greens to go with your eyes!
Padding is insulation so layer the rest. thin under garments or rash
guard. The middle layer should be thicker. And a thick outer layer that is wind
and water resistant but BREATHABLE outer shell is highly recommended.
PICK the right weather...
Not too late in the season...too icy and hard. Too "fluffy" after a
really big storm is great for the buttocks but(t) you'll never get
enough speed to learn for day two or three. And it makes it tough to get
up in because you are always sinking. Too cold and you spend all your energy
trying to get or stay warm. Too hot and it's raining or icing up for
tomorrow, or worse, you are all wet and melting icicles keep dripping on
you making your mascara run.
I am assuming you are not independently wealthy or you would get
yourself a personal trainer and personal instructor instead of reading
this: So find a deal...WWW.SLIDINGONTHECHEAP.COM Yes, sliding on the
cheap all in one spell.
I patrol at Sierra at Tahoe on a snowboard. I recommend the three day
pass. (For one person three days consecutive or not consecutive) 149
or 50 dollars per day. www.sierraattahoe.com
Paying more is ridiculous on your first days as 4/5 of the mountain will
be out of your reach of your ability.
Devote three days in a given month to get good. Consecutive days may
require IB800 but too far apart and you lose what you learned.
Remember, its mostly muscle memory. Take rest stops and enjoy the
mountains often. It will allow your muscles to rest for the next lesson.
Practice FALLING or wear wrist splints. Martial artists do this for
many years: Falling forward: bend at the knees and pelvis land on
knees first roll forward onto elbows and forearms! Falling backwards:
bend at the knees and pelvis and roll over a curved back using elbows
to soften the blow to the lower back.
My classes always start with about 1.5 hours of this in the am of day
one AND if you fall wrong, I make you fall right and get up again. If
you are a friend of mine you probably use your hands for a living and
prefer not to dangle them at the wrists helplessly, so this is really
important for me!
If you have your own gear: put them on, go to grass(lawn) or old
carpet and jump around in them. First taking small tiny jumps and then
doing "x"'s and 180's and for overachievers; 360's. This is what it
feels like to have a board strapped to your feet, and your muscles
learn pretty quickly: "oh yeah!" so it's absolutely not strange when
you put a little snow under it. Plus it's a good quad exercise. Be
careful of your equipment and knees. Fall right, if you fall at all.
If you get really good at that try it on a balance disc. Then with one
binding only and then the other binding only.
When you are learning to carve or link turns remember to be cognisant
of your instructors stance. A good instructor will be able to show you
what he or she means by demonstration. That demo should be
in the goofy or regular stance that you are in.
Current studies show that most sporting injuries occur with poor
nutritional intake and/or poor hydration. Eat well AND pee twice
before getting to the mountain, once at lunch, once at stop, once at
the bar, and once before dreamland,,,at least.
There is a reason why Scandinavians have a mistrust of
pepper and equatorial countries eat hot, juicy and spicy...so
don't go all equatorial and then head up to the summit.
Eat early to avoid crowds at noon to two pm.
Tell someone that your going AND(best) go with another person.
"Winterize" your car. The more you can not worry about the better fun
you'll have:) Tune your gear. Doing so is cheap($5-10), but poor gear
will make poor performance in this gear-condition dependent sport.
If you fall toe side when getting off the lift crawl with knuckles and
knees laterally and out of the way. If you fall heelside when getting off
the lift crawl with knuckles and butt laterally and out of the way.
Remember that EVERYBODY Falls. EVERYBODY!
Now it's time to see if you like turning and spinning and jumping or
if you like just some damn good carving! "Freestyle" is all the
spinning and parks stuff...and in a nut shell "Slalom" is just getting
down as fast as possible. How this pertains to you is your "stance".
My free style stance is 30 degrees toe out on both feet in a "duck" stance
(yes I know I am bowlegged). My slalom stance is 20 degrees toe out on
my front foot and 15 degrees toe in on my rear foot (both feet facing
nose of board). I also have slalom (hard plastic, similar to ski,
-boots and a board that only goes forward). My freestyle board is
completely symmetrical and rounded on both ends and is long enough to
patrol in. My park board is super short and I've dulled the edges so
that it does not catch on rails, however I would sink in any condition
other than park groomies because it's so short and the dull edges will
not carve a turn well in ice. My slalom board bindings(both front and back)
are set a little back so that my body weight is centered more on the back portion.
Remember, this is the board that never goes "fakey". In skateboarding the
opposite is riding "nollie" or riding with your body weight to the nose of your board.
Since I am ambidextrous I like to go "fakey" a lot. My
goofy(right) foot is my stronger side and I "fake" my friends out by
doing a 180 and riding with my left foot forward. This is also
commonly but wrongly called switch or switch stance. It is probably now a
mute point: So I go ahead and call it "riding switch". And as of this
writing most people consider switch and fakey synonyms. The term came
from surfing (where the nose of the board stayed the same, but because you
were not bound in as in snowboarding, you were able to "switch" into fakey. The
big difference is that the surf board continued to go forward. In snowboarding, you
spin the board with your stance. Semantics fo sho!:)
Dude, if you are still reading this, then I am assuming I did you some
good, so I would appreciate you clicking on the link below as a return favor.
It is a link to a petition to make the London 2012 Olympics plastic bag free.
As of this writing, Roz and Five Gyres are helping spread the word to an international
crowd. Even if you are in the beginning of your evolution to minimize the
plastic in your life, this ban on the plastic bag on the international scene would
do wonders and make it easier for all of us to reduce consumption. 1/3 of the 500 million
tons of plastic produced every year is used for 20 seconds and then thrown in landfills or
oceans forever. Plastic does not biodegrade, it photodegrades which means we
leach the chemicals into the plants and animals eventually haunting us and our
Mahalo and much Aloha