My First Intermediate Lesson

Posted in Uncategorized on 2009/02/11 by cfoster7

I’m trained to teach introduction lessons for snowboarding and I got asked to teach two boys who were already carving pretty well. Their mom told me they wanted to learn tricks, but didn’t want me to go too crazy. She also said that she had to basically force them to take lessons and she did this because she didn’t want them to get hurt. I told her not to worry and I took her kids to the bunny hill. I evaluated what level they were at. They were both about equal with room for improvement on carving, so that’s where we began.

About 15 minutes into the lesson they were both carving pretty well, so we moved to switch riding. Switch riding is where you ride with your opposite foot in front, so the nose of the snowboard becomes the tail and vice versa with the tail. This trick took a little more time to learn because it feels super awkward to be riding opposite.

After the boys started to feel comfortable with switch riding, I taught them ground 360◦s or as I like to call them “circles”. For this trick, the rider has to switch from toe side to heel side quickly and they begin to go in circles while going down the hill. The boys had so much fun learning this because it was challenging to switch from edge to edge so quickly.

The circles took up basically the rest of the lesson time so we headed down to the bottom of the hill. There I taught them how to “tic-tac” which is switching your weight from the nose of the snowboard to the tail while walking forward. It’s a pretty challenging trick because if you go too far one way with your weight the snowboard slips out from under you and you fall.

Overall, this lesson went great. The boys had such a great time and told me they were really happy that they took a lesson. I saw them later on the slopes and they were pulling off circles and great carving. It was rad!


Slippin’ too far on the Toe Side Sideslip

Posted in Uncategorized on 2009/02/11 by cfoster7

Many of my lessons have had trouble with the toe edge sideslip.  This is important to learn how to do because it is a better way of stopping while on your toe side versus falling to your knees.  A toe side sideslip is where the snowboard is perpendicular to the hill and all pressure is on the toes.  Beginners seem to have trouble with this side in particular because they are facing uphill and can’t see what is going on behind them.

The common way that beginners ride the toe side sideslip is applying inconsistent pressure which makes the snowboard hop backward and causes their balance to shift forward and backward.  Also the stance gets warped because their balance is off.  The correct stance is bent knees, a straight back, and looking up the hill, but the posture changes to straight, locked knees, a bent back, and looking down at the snowboard.

I first tried to just ride next to my students demonstrating the sideslip and offering feedback as they were doing it.  That didn’t work out too well because it was hard for them to listen and think about what they were doing at the same time.  The method I use now is taking my snowboard completely off and walking in front of them with my hands out.  This allows them support in case they fall and I’m also closer to them so they can look at me and hear my feedback.  It seems to be working because after a couple of runs my students usually can do it without using my hands for support and their stance is correct.

First Snowboarding Lesson- Trouble on the Towrope

Posted in Uncategorized on 2009/01/07 by cfoster7

The girl I taught in my first lesson was about 8 years old and had been skiing for a couple years.  During the lesson the problem I encountered was on the towrope.  This girl was smaller and didn’t have much upper body strength which is not good for the towrope.  She was having a hard time grabbing the rope and kept getting either jerked over the nose of the board or falling over her heel edge.  She started to get upset and frustrated saying that she wanted to end the lesson.

The way I dealt with this problem was I rode right behind her telling her to keep her knees bent and my board basically pushed her’s up the hill.  When she started to get upset I decided to stray away from the manual and try to get her to have some fun.  I had her strap in both her feet and cruise down the hill while I went running after her without my board in case she got out of control.  She started smiling once she got going and told me that was all she wanted to do, just be able to go down the hill at least once before the lesson was over.