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By Evan Sanders
From Westminster, CO
Dec 14, 2011
Flaming Pumpkin
Well I'll be learning how to snowboard starting December 27th in Crested Butte, CO. I tried skiing in Beaver Creek a year earlier but that experience was absolutely awful. Any tips for a first time boarder that will make life easier on me?

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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Dec 14, 2011
Me scaring years off my mom's life
Don't plan on doing anything the next day. Your body will be hating you.

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By braden herbst
From wyoming
Dec 14, 2011
Check out some wrist guards, dakine makes some for snowboarding that are like 20 bucks you want some for snowboarding or skateboarding specificly because they are flexible,not rigid. Learning to snowboard you will be falling, a lot. Mentally prepare yourself. Try to find a green run that is kind of steep, or maybe even a mellow blue. Its hard to learn on flat ground Skiing is definatly easier for begginers to pick up and have more fun on the first day, so if you really want to snowboard know that you aren't going to be crusing all over the mountain your first day, you will have to stick with it and dedicate a little time and patience, good luck......

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By Wade Frank
From Littleton, CO
Dec 14, 2011
Rhys at Lake McConaughy.
Evan Sanders wrote:
Well I'll be learning how to snowboard starting December 27th in Crested Butte, CO. I tried skiing in Beaver Creek a year earlier but that experience was absolutely awful. Any tips for a first time boarder that will make life easier on me?


Do not start on anything that is close to flat or has any spots that are flat. The main reason people take hard falls on a snowboard is due to catching the front or rear edge on the fall line. It is far easier to hold an edge on slightly steeper terrain. When I tried snowboarding for the first time I went right to the blue runs, but I had already been skiing for many years at that point, I had a great day and didn't take any hard falls.

Just take it really slow and don't be in too much of a hurry to be good and you will do fine!

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By Colin Parker
Administrator
From Idyllwild, CA
Dec 14, 2011
Bouldering in Joshua Tree
I second the idea that you should find a steepish run for practicing on. Flat terrain is a nightmare for newbie snowboarders. I learned really fast because I was willing to pick up some speed and take a few falls. I highly recommend this strategy. Just be careful with your wrists.

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By JesseT
From Portland, OR
Dec 14, 2011
25' drop...wheeeeee!
Most importantly: stretch/warm up properly (whole body: core and legs especially, don't neglect the arms/wrists though).

Your second day out will be way more fun than your first day. Plan on falling...a lot.

Maybe do some training to get ready. Squat thrusts, leg raises, sit-ups, oblique sit-ups, side bridges, etc. will all help make your first day out a little less exhausting.

Pay more attention to your center of mass than you think you should. I know it seems a little counter-intuitive, but that's where your steering comes from (kinda like a bicycle, you steer with your weight and balance with the handlebars).

Don't give up too early. Snowboarding is way more awesome than that first day might lead you to believe!

Oh yeah, and the slope is never as steep as it looks from the top!

Edit: 1) It's way harder to learn to turn if you're going too slow. 2) Stay out of the back seat (keep your weight on the front foot or the turn won't come around properly).

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By Cory
From Boise, ID
Dec 14, 2011
Relaxing in the Tuttle Creek Campground after a fun day in the Hills
What everyone else said is absolutely correct. Fight your intuition and get off the bunny runs as quick as you can. It's much easier (although a little scarier at first) to learn on slopes that are a bit steeper. Catching an edge sucks, and it's a lot more likely to happen on lower angled terrain.

I spent 10 years snowboarding (the "lost" years), I skied before that, and eventually went back to skis. It's fun, but Braden is correct in that it seems to be harder to pick up the basics on a snowboard than on skis (or it did for me at least). That said, once you do have the basics, it seemed a bit easier to pick up the advanced stuff.

Plan on a bruised rump and bruised knees, and hopefully no broken wrists ;P

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By erik kapec
From prescott, az
Dec 14, 2011
enjoying the static, grappel and a smoke on Dana...
Turning on your toe edge is pretty weird at first, but if you understand shifting your weight and have a good sense of your own balance and coordination its not too difficult. Also if you have ever been into riding a board like a wakeboard or skateboard...etc that will all help you as well. Enjoy not learning on the east coast ice!


-I suffered by learning with stiff ski boots and I dont wish it on anyone. Make sure your boots are comfortable.

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By Kai Huang
From Thornton, CO
Dec 14, 2011
1. wrist guards

2. ass pads azzpadz or other padded shorts examples

3. learn the basics on bunny hills but move on to blue to practice asap.

4. if you are okay with sport, it takes roughly one day to be able to go down the mountain. and if you stick with it, it takes roughly 2 or 3 consecutive days to be able to carve down the mountain on blue. just stick with it.

5. get a lesson

my experience...
half day on bunny hill
1 day to be on my feet and falling leaf down the mountain on blue
3 days to link turns to carve down the mountain on blue
1st season, roughly 30 days, to do black and scramble down steep double black
2nd season, roughly 30 days, to love moguls, trees, powder, and all over the mountain

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By Derek W
Dec 14, 2011
First summit of First Flatiron
Evan,
I am a snowboard instructor and I highly recommending paying the money for lessons. I was a self-taught boarder and really wish I could have taken my own advice. I regularly get people making turns on blues by their second or third day (without many falls). It took me probably a full season before I could confidently make turns on blues with teaching myself. Your body will thank you and the your future enjoyment will be increased with proper fundamentals.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me.

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By lisa c
Dec 14, 2011
What Kai said: wrist guards and LESSONS. It took me 3 lessons and five times out total to really feel like I was riding.

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By germsauce
Dec 14, 2011
Hippos kill people
-stay off flats

-wristguards, wristguards wristguards. I tried to teach my sister a few years back, she rode for about 100 feet and ended up with 6 pins in her wrist. I don't teach anymore.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Dec 14, 2011
El Chorro
I would have said learn to ski first but it looks like you already tried that.

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By Tom Hanson
Dec 14, 2011
Climber Drawing
Evan wrote:
"Any tips for a first time boarder that will make life easier on me?"

My advice is start out in perfect powder conditions.
I spent my teen years skateboarding and my first time out snowboarding was up at Berthoud Pass with a couple feet of fresh powder. I was cutting turns completely in control and having the time of my life.
My next time out (after my Berthoud experience thinking I had the skills) I was at Keystone on hardpack and ice. I spent the day out of control and after having fallen down a hundred times I finally had sympathy and understood why, as a skier, I had made fun of all the snowboarders sitting on their ass midslope. They were so bruised and beat up that they needed to recover and summon their courage to drop back in to the fall line.
Key to ice and hardpack is staying on your edges.

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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Dec 14, 2011
Mathematical!
Plan on being cold and falling down a lot. Your butt will hurt. Fortunately, it does get better after a few days on the slopes.

Turn with your upper body, your feet will follow.

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Dec 14, 2011
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
wear a helmet...

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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Dec 14, 2011
Mathematical!
Nick Mardirosian wrote:
wear a helmet...

Yes yes yes! Definitely wear a helmet!

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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Dec 14, 2011
OTL
A rocker board will take a lot of pain out of learning I think. Go with regular camber if you want the full wrist-ass-pain experience, though.

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By Bryan Gall
From New Castle, CO
Dec 14, 2011
Helmet, wristguards, tailbone padding, knee pads, and instructor OR a lot of whiskey and good health insurance. Seriously, an instructor is trained for a reason and can make all the difference in the world in your enjoyment of learning a new skill.

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By thecornyman
From Oakland, CA
Dec 14, 2011
mike
Take a lesson. I f'ed around my first day and got no where. Took a lesson the next day and by the end of my third day I was cruising most of the mountain.

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By Evan Sanders
From Westminster, CO
Dec 14, 2011
Flaming Pumpkin
Thanks guys. I'm paying for a full day of lessons the first day from an instructor, then I'm learning from the people I'm going with.

Not sure if this helps at all..I'm a very good water skier, average wakeboarder (I can jump wake but that's about the extent of my skills). Try as i may I actually can't even stand up on a skateboard (or longboard), I think because i put too much weight on my back foot and the board goes out from under me. I sucked and hated skiing after two full days of lessons, I just could never figure out how to link turns even after doing greens and one easy blue, I'd end up falling trying to go into the second or third turn almost every time.

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By Larry S
Dec 14, 2011
The wife and I road-trippin on the Connie.
A trick i was taught is to point your leading hand where you want to go. Do this and you'll naturally put pressure on the correct edges. For example, if you're on your toe edge, and want to turn the other way, If you point to your heelside, you should naturally put your weight on your front heel edge while still being on your rear toe edge, initiating the turn. You're not so much turning with your upper body, you're just getting the feet to do the right thing without having to think so much about it. Some instructors (i'm not an instructor, FYI) don't like this, because you shouldn't open your chest and wind-up your upper body to make turns. I also agree with the people who said to get on something a little steep. I tried to learn on east coast ice, and the beginner slope just wasn't enough, after 10 frustrating minutes of falling on hardpack because i was moving too slow to figure it out, i hit the lifts and picked it up very quick.

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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Dec 14, 2011
Mathematical!
Willa wrote:
I must completely disagree. A proper turn is initiated with the down hill foot by applying pressure to the edge. Think of it like rocking onto your foot (toe) when slab climbing, a similar motion will initiate a toe-side turn. By doing the same thing and applying pressure to your down hill heel will initiate a heel side turn. You don't want to be the guy swinging his arms around trying to turn, only to flail into an innocent bystander.


Willa, I was referring to the technique described above by Larry S. I was just too lazy to write it all out :)

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By Steve Bond
Dec 14, 2011
Photo.
Always be turning. That is, be on an edge. If you ride flat when learning, you're sure to flat spin and catch an edge. Ow.

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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Dec 14, 2011
OTL
Steve Bond wrote:
Always be turning. That is, be on an edge. If you ride flat when learning, you're sure to flat spin and catch an edge. Ow.


Can still happen the first couple of years I found. Also a very quick way to a physics lesson on rotational acceleration.

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By doligo
Dec 15, 2011
Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style
From a dirtbag climber perspective who can't afford a splitty, don't do it, give skiing another chance - it will be way more useful for climbing. The key for having fun learning is to spend few bucks more on a high quality demo equipment, not P.O.S. rentals (same goes true for snowboards too).

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