06 December 2011

Snowboarding 101, the intro...

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!

Snowboarding 102

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