Getting serious about progression

Hi guys, a few weeks ago marked my 1st year of snowboarding and while I have come a long way I feel like I am not progressing as much as I can.

I did a week or so on the snow and decided to do a season so I went and worked in Japan. I am quite confident in powder, trees and back country riding now but I feel like my trick progression is not quite up to it.

I can land 360’s and do some basic presses/butters/jibbing but it all feels sloppy and I don’t really feel like I earn it, a bit problem with my aerials is that I sort of black out and have no idea what’s going on, I just do the trick and manage to land it but have no awareness mid air. Even my 180’s on flat feel bad.

How do I start going about progressing seriously and getting the maximum out of my riding? Do I need to start taking lessons regularly or go on a snowboard camp? It’s difficult finding people the right level to ride who are interested in progression.

Any tips welcome, even a checklist of sorts of things to get down.

Cheers.

 
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Hey @Yenoh,

Thanks for starting this thread. I really enjoy these types of discussions. 👍

First questions before we go any further: How is your switch riding? How much time and effort do you invest in progressing your switch riding?

I consider this a fundamental skill to freestyle progression. It is literally the key that opens the door to nearly everything in the freestyle realm. It is critical and will block progression if you don’t have it dialled.

 

Yeah that is definitely the first step, funny how something so obvious can go under the radar.

I usually try ride as much switch as possible when I am using a twin board but I was riding a super directional board at +18/-3 most of the season because I was doing pow/trees/backcountry. So I didn’t really improve my switch much, I can ride in it but not confidently.

I’ll definitely just focus on switch this coming Australian season, should I be trying to do spins out of switch whilst learning it?

 
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I would absolutely focus on riding switch as much as possible. I see a lot of riders shy away from working on their switch skills, and it’s such an important fundamental skill. You have to be able to do 180s every which way before worrying about 360s, and if you can’t take off or ride switch solidly, you’ll never be able to progress to a 540.

I always think in the way that we have 4 riding edges: heelside, toeside, switch heelside and switch toeside. You want to be able to take off and land on all of these edges. I try to teach this way, and when I look at the fundamental edging, I can usually spot the problem pretty quickly. On the flipside, if the edging skills are there, it is usually quite simple to teach the student how to 180. It pretty much clicks right away because all the pieces are there. It just becomes a matter of introducing rotation.

Even my 180’s on flat feel bad.

Why do you think that is? What’s happening exactly? I’m guessing you’re not landing solidly because your switch riding isn’t where it should be. You need to be able to STOMP switch landings or take off switch with correct technique and confidence. I am also assuming that your 360s aren’t solid because your 180s were never dialled properly. Snowboarding is a slow but logical progression; take the right steps to get to where you want to be!

None of this is all too complicated, but I’m trying to highlight how important it is to work on switch riding. It unlocks everything, and it makes riding so much more fun, not to mention you won’t get nearly as fatigued if you can switch up your riding as the terrain calls for it.

Does that make sense? Please let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to discuss this in more detail.

 
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its about learning to walk before you run, which running before walking is what you see typically in resorts.
lots of peeps thinking because they can link turns down a run they can now do anything. you need
to practice your general free riding. spend time learning to carve. make sure you can Ollie properly.
try pressing and buttering on the runs and like jez says, get your switch down! do a switch lesson if you cant commit yourself, plus they will show you ways to dumb it down. don’t rush off trying to spin slide etc, work your way up, get your riding style solid. watch any good unknown riders in the resorts, they all have solid relaxed styles.
id suggest if you feel uncomfortable doing 180s, try doing nose rolls first. anyone with little switch skills thats doing 180s will whip straight back around after landing especially on back 1s. mostly as they land flat base and when they turn head/shoulders the board will wash round. always land on an edge.at least with the nose roll you are will put your board down and continue switch, over time that will become comfortable.

 
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brenno - 28 March 2017 11:31 AM

id suggest if you feel uncomfortable doing 180s, try doing nose rolls first. anyone with little switch skills thats doing 180s will whip straight back around after landing especially on back 1s. mostly as they land flat base and when they turn head/shoulders the board will wash round. always land on an edge.at least with the nose roll you are will put your board down and continue switch, over time that will become comfortable.

Definitely agree with that brenno!

Nose rolls are a huge help in getting down the basics, plus there probably one of the funnest flatland tricks to have down. Practice them until you can nail them from any direction, this will boost your confidence and awareness, then you can step up to 180’ing out of them and so on. I always found to learn them initially it helped to be facing uphill and riding across a nice easy slope, hope that helps!

 

The switch advice has definitely been a huge help, much easier popping small 180’s around the mountain though they still feel a bit jank, hopefully I’ll be getting those high lofty 180’s I see people pull.

I recently swapped out my evil twin for a springbreak twin which I feel has been a way nicer board to progress on, I am not sure if it the asym shape or the fact its a tad longer and stiffer but I struggling to do noserolls and tripods on it. Carving, switch, presses, rails and jumps all feel much nicer on it though.

Feel like most of my problems are just a mental block though, do you guys think the asym is going to hamper stuff like noserolls and butters though or is it just getting used to a new board?

Cheers.

 
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Yenoh - 17 July 2017 02:28 PM

Feel like most of my problems are just a mental block though, do you guys think the asym is going to hamper stuff like noserolls and butters though or is it just getting used to a new board?

Cheers.

From riding the asym yes greats i can say that tripods will be harder as it will naturally pull away to one side once you are in position, but i found nose rolls to be fine, just my experience though.

 
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Yenoh - 17 July 2017 02:28 PM

The switch advice has definitely been a huge help, much easier popping small 180’s around the mountain though they still feel a bit jank, hopefully I’ll be getting those high lofty 180’s I see people pull.

I recently swapped out my evil twin for a springbreak twin which I feel has been a way nicer board to progress on, I am not sure if it the asym shape or the fact its a tad longer and stiffer but I struggling to do noserolls and tripods on it. Carving, switch, presses, rails and jumps all feel much nicer on it though.

Feel like most of my problems are just a mental block though, do you guys think the asym is going to hamper stuff like noserolls and butters though or is it just getting used to a new board?

Cheers.

a nice stiff board will always be an excellent carver assuming its full camber. my last ride tms
yrs ago, when I got thing up on its edges I could really feel it, it felt really sensitive on the contact points
and no matter how fast I would go that thing would hold. def don’t get that feeling on anything ive
ridden since but that board is about a 9 for stiffness. also awesome for jumps. load it up and let it fly!

 
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Hey Yenoh,

It sounds like there’s a few things going on here. Building up your switch riding as Rider said will fix one of those things for sure, so keep going with that. You can never practice too much switch because it will never catch up to your regular stance.

The other 2 things I think are the “sloppy” feeling probably related to not getting clean take offs.
and
The “blackout” feeling probably related to what your head and upper body are doing. Everyone loves telling people to get more air awareness but unfortunately that’s a bit more complex than they make it out to be. You can’t just practice air awareness like you practice riding switch. It’s an art in itself.

So because those 2 things are pretty big topics and would take forever to type, I recommend you either take a park/freestyle lesson or if you can’t do that, watch some snowboard addiction videos. They’re the only tutorials I know that don’t make me cringe. Nev is both a good rider and a good coach.

Paying attention to “where to look” for all 4 different 180s, will get rid of that blackout feeling and will stop you from under/over-rotating as a bonus.

Paying attention to “the setup turn” for all 4 180s will get rid of the sloppy feeling and mean that u lose less speed and get a better pop as a result.

So yeah, get a lesson or watch some SA vids and then come back and tell us how you are going with it!