Introduction Lesson Progression

 

Welcome and Introduction

  • Learn names, build rapport, assess skills, share goals, and outline lesson plan.

 

Ground School

  • Check equipment: boot fit, clothing, gloves, eye protection, board size, direction appropriate (regular/goofy), and proper leash
  • Stance: introduce correct stance with the board set aside.  The stance should be athletic, tallish (straight back), some flex in joints (bent knees), and feet apart.  Compare with standing straight and rigid with both feet together.

 

Static Exercises (start on flat terrain):

  • Put both feet in bindings (explain how to use the binding if necessary).
  • Apply pressure to the toe edge.  After balance is achieved, tilt way up on edge.
  • Return to neutral stance.  It is important to return to the neutral stance after each exercise to reinforce its importance.
  • Apply pressure to the heel edge.  After balance is achieved, tilt way up on edge.
  • Return to neutral stance.
  • Shift weight to the nose of the board.
  • Return to neutral stance.
  • Shift weight to the tail of the board.
  • Return to neutral stance.
  • Torsionally twist the board in each direction (put pressure on front toe and pressure on back heel and vice versa).
  • Pivot the board by shuffling the feet.
  • Pivot the board using the upper body.
  • Bunny hop.
  • Jump.

 

Walking/Skating:

  • Remove back foot from the binding.
  • Step the free foot to the toe side of the board and lift it.
  • Step the free foot to the heel side of the board and lift it.
  • Take a very small step on the toe side of the board.  Continue stepping and increasing the step size.
  • Take a very small step on the heel side of the board.  Continue stepping and increasing the step size.
  • Step around in circles in both directions.
  • Push off with the back foot and slide board from toe-side.
  • Push off with the back foot and slide board from heel-side.
  • Practice putting the back foot on the stomp pad or against the rear binding without looking.

 

Climbing Step:

  • Used for going up the hill.
  • Step free foot on the toe side of the board facing uphill.
  • Bring board up to the free foot by digging in the toe edge.
  • Repeat until up far enough on the hill.

 

Straight Glide:

Designate a very specific place to STOP so the students don’t move too high on the slope!  The slope MUST have a flat run out so the students will stop naturally.  Remember, they don’t know how to stop using their snowboard yet.

  • Push off with the back foot and place on the stomp pad.  Monitor and adjust for stance.  Repeat as often as necessary until the student seems in control.
  • It doesn’t matter if the rider pushes off from the toeside or the heelside of the board, whatever is most comfortable for them.  Have them try both to see which side is easiest.

 

Straight Glide with a Turn:

  • Repeat the static exercise of applying pressure to both the toe and heel edges.
  • Push off with the back foot and place on the stomp pad.  Apply pressure to the toe edge to turn toeside.
  • Push off with the back foot and place on the stomp pad.  Apply pressure to the heel edge to turn heelside.
  • Once control is achieved, try putting both into a sequence so the rider would be doing both a toeside turn and a heelside turn, only if the terrain is appropriate and the rider wants to.

Do these exercises numerous times.  The instructor can often slowly start moving higher on the hill as the students gain confidence.  The back foot shouldn’t be in the binding for these exercises.

 

Rope Tow:

Make sure the students have sturdy gloves or mittens.  Scarves, long hair, belts, etc. should be tucked in or removed.  Watch others riding the rope tow and point out do’s and don’ts.  Designate a specific place that the class will unload and explain how to unload from the rope tow.  As an instructor make sure to demonstrate, assist, and then ride up last.

Loading:

·        The front foot should be pointed uphill and the board should be parallel with the rope, almost underneath it.

·        The back foot should be out of the binding and placed on the stomp pad.

·        Let the person ahead of the student clear the loading area.  The loading area should be a flatter spot where the rider can prepare to load the rope tow without sliding forward or backward.

·        Have them let the rope run through their hands.  Have them GENTLY increase their grip pressure until they start moving slowly.

**TRICK: tell them grabbing the rope is like squeezing a tube of toothpaste: if they squeeze too hard it will squirt all over, but if they squeeze gently then it’ll go right where they want it to.**

 

Unloading:

·        Have them let go of the rope when they get to the designated spot.

·        Step to the side quickly and move away for oncoming riders.

Sideslip:

You will need steeper terrain.  Watch for and avoid intimidation by terrain that is too steep.  It is extremely important to master both directions.

Toeside:

·        Sit down and strap in the back binding.

·        Show how to roll over and get up.

·        Good stance, eyes looking uphill, digging in the toe edge, even pressure on both feet (on toes).

·        When doing this sideslip, the rider will be facing uphill with their board perpendicular to the hill.

·        The instructor should provide assistance by walking in front of the rider facing them with their hands out for balance.

·        Gradually decrease the edge angle until the board starts to slide.

·        Watch for weight and/or pressure shifts.

·        Show how twisting and pressuring the board impacts the performance and direction of travel.

Heelside:

·        Sit down and strap in the back binding.

·        Show how to get up.

·        Good stance, eyes looking forward, digging in the heel edge, even pressure on both feet (on heels).

·        When doing this sideslip, the rider will be facing downhill with their board perpendicular to the hill.

·        The instructor should provide assistance by walking behind the rider facing them with their hands out for balance.

·        Gradually decrease the edge angle until the board starts to slide.

·        Watch for weight and/or pressure shifts.

·        Show how twisting and pressuring the board impacts the performance and direction of travel.

 

Falling Leaf/Garlands:

Once comfortable with both heelside and toeside sideslips try linking some directional sideslips showing both good speed and direction control.

  • To do a directional sideslip, the rider applies more pressure to the foot leading in the direction they want to travel.  For example, if they are doing a toeside sideslip and want to travel to their right, they should apply more pressure to their right toe.

 

First Turns:

Find terrain that has both a gentle slope and lots of room.

  • Begin with the board perpendicular to the fall line.  The fall line is the natural slope of the hill.
  • Twist the board to release the edge at the nose of the board.

Toeside turn:

·        When facing downhill, the heelside edge should be engaged.

·        Put pressure on the front foot toe and twist the board to release the front of the board.  The board will seek the fall line.

·        Once pointing down the fall line (the nose going downhill), shift pressure GRADUALLY to the back foot toe to eliminate the twist.

·        Complete the turn and stop with a toeside sideslip.

Heelside turn:

·        When facing uphill, the toeside edge should be engaged.

·        Put pressure on the front foot heel and twist the board to release the front of the board.  The board will seek the fall line.

·        Once pointing down the fall line (the nose going downhill), shift the pressure GRADUALLY to the back foot heel to eliminate the twist.

·        Complete the turn and stop with a heelside sideslip.

 

Conclusion:

  • Review the lesson.  It is important to review the different parts of the lesson a few times throughout the lesson, where and when the rider will use these skills.
  • Relate exercises to the original goals.
  • Make suggestions for things the rider should work on.

 

Other Lesson Ideas:

Always evaluate the riders’ abilities on gentle terrain first.

  • Basic turns
  • Basic switch turns/Switch riding
  • 180 flat turns (circles)
  • Dynamic skidded turns
  • Ollies, nollies, and introduction to jumping
  • Jumps
  • Grabs
  • Rails
  • Carving
  • Jump 180s and 360s
  • Steeps
  • Bumps
  • Powder riding
  • Half pipe
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