Tag Archives: snowboarding

Snowboarding: Slush

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It’s important to remember that you won’t be riding with perfect snow conditions every time you head up to the mountain. There will be times of fresh powder, hard ice, and slush. You need to prepare yourself for riding in any kind of weather, because each snow condition feels different and requires different techniques.

When you happen to hit a slushy part of the run, it’s easy to catch an edge. You’ll be carving down the mountain like normal, and then suddenly your board will slide out in a weird direction. If this has happened to you before, then you probably hit some slush. This happens because the soft snow makes your edge dig in deeper, so when you sink deeper into the snow your snow boot has  a higher chance of coming in contact with the snow. In order to prevent this, you want to keep your eyes peeled for parts of the run that might be slushy. You can spot slushy spots by looking for loose snow that has a clear smokey look. If you happen to go across a slushy spot, you want to keep your edge angle low and dig in less. I recommend trying to straight glide across it and look for the nearest groomed terrain.

On warm days the whole mountain can be filled with soft, slushy snow. If this happens you can use skidded turns to ride your way down the mountain. I’ve seen experienced riders wipe out at the end of runs because they weren’t aware of the slush in front of them. Use this as a reminder to take it slow at the bottom of  runs near the lift entrance, because this is wear it tends to get slushy. At the bottom of runs, riders tend to put on the brakes to enter the slow zone for the lift, so the snow loosens up rather quickly and turns to slush.

The snow tends to soften up and turn to slush during the afternoon as well, because this is when the sun is at full strength. The hot sun will loosen up the snow and it will turn to slush. The snow may be nice and compact during the morning, but during the afternoon it may get soft and slushy. With the right techniques and awareness you’ll stay on your feet and won’t look silly falling from the slush in front of everybody at the lift.

Final Note: Check back here for more snowboarding!

Snowboard Park: Board Slide

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After you master doing 50-50’s on a box, you can then begin doing board slides. Board slides are the best, because their super easy and you get bonus points for style. If your looking to impress a friend, I recommend that you learn to board slide a box.

It’s a simple trick, all you do is pop off the jump, do a sideways turns, land on the box, and then simply slide off. Make sure you dig your edge in a little, and that’s basically all there is to it. You can even practice this in your backyard. Lay your snowboard on the grass and practice popping up with your feet strapped in. Find something like a broom stick with a thin handle and practice popping onto it with a sideways turn. Practice the motions, then go up on the mountain and give it a shot. You may fall a couple times, but eventually you will land it. It’s a great feeling when you finally land a perfect board slide for your first time. BackyardJuly2820120731-064641cfb_5741

I would recommend that you start practicing hitting the box as straight as possible. When you move on to rails, it becomes crucial to have your approach with the rail spot on. There’s little room for error when you start hitting thinner rails. Make sure you can pop straight on the box every time before you move onto harder rails.

Final Note: Check back here, where I’ll teach you more about hitting park terrain!

Snowboard Park: 50-50 A Box Rail

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Before you begin hitting any park terrain…you need to read about Smart Style. One of the first features you should master in the park are fun boxes. Fun boxes are like extra large rails that make it easier for you to learn on. Start out with fun boxes and then gradually work your way to skinnier rails.

The most important thing to remember about rails or boxes, is to always keep your feet flat when your riding on the rail. If you land on the box and apply pressure to one of your edges, your board will slide out from under you. Find a long stick in the woods and practice popping onto this stick as if it were a rail or box. Set yourself up so your board rides straight over it, pop onto the stick, keep your base flat, and maintain good posture. After you feel comfortable doing this, find a basic wide box with a gradual ramp. The best way to learn how to do a 50-50 on a box is to grab a friend and have them pull you onto the box and stop. This allows you to know how the box will feel before you ride over it with momentum. Have your friend push you along the box just so you can get the feeling of moving along the box.

Once you feel comfortable moving along the box slowly with a friend. Head back up the mountain and prepare to hit the box by yourself. As your linking turns, getting closer to the box, set yourself up so hit you hit box perfectly straight. As you go off the ramp, make sure you land flat footed on the box because if you land and go up on your edge you will slide off. Allow your board to just glide over the box and then slightly pop off as you reach the end. As you start to feel comfortable hitting the box, start to pick up more speed. The box should become easier to slide  across. I personally find it best to find one box in the park and practice hitting it for the whole day. Master that one box and then it will become easier to hit harder park terrain.

The crucial part about hitting boxes is to approach the box perfectly straight, land flat footed, and keep your weight centered over the board. The stick is honestly the best way to prepare yourself for a hitting box, so please don’t skip over this part and go straight to hitting the box. Your speed, approach, and landing will always affect any box, rail, or jump you may hit. It’s absolutely crucial to have a firm foundation of the 8 steps for snowboarding, before you start hitting any park terrain.

The video below brought to you by the SnowProfessor will demonstrate how to do a 50-50 on a fun box.

Final Note: Check back here, where I’ll teach how to board slide a fun box!

Snowboard Park: Smart Style

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After you’ve mastered hitting jumps and doing 180’s. I’m sure you’ll want to start hitting rails and bigger jumps in the park. Before you rush into the park, start hitting rails, cutting people off, and looking like a fool. It’s important to learn smart style.

Smart style starts with:

  1. Make a Plan of Action – this means that you should know how you are going to hit all the features of the park before you begin. Your speed, approach  and take off will directly affect your overall landing. 
  2. Look before you leap – this means that you should look at the jump before you hit it. Make sure you size up the jump  for speed, distance, and snow condition. Only stop where you can be seen by other riders and if you fall get out of the way in a hurry.
  3. Easy Style It – this means that you should start small and work your way up. Stick to small features and slowly develop your skills. If you try to hit a big jump and fall, you could put an end to your whole season. Wait to you feel absolutely comfortable hitting the small features before you move up to the bigger features.
  4. Respect Deserves Respect – This means that you should have courtesy to your other riders. Wait your turn and alternate when hitting any park terrain. Call your drop out to other riders and always make sure jumps are clear of other riders before you hit it. Also you should use a park feature for it’s intended purpose, so if you can’t hit the rail or the jump then simply avoid it.

It’s important to always have courtesy and common sense when riding in the park. If you act like a fool, then you will likely cause a dangerous collision. Always use smart style in the park and other riders will do the same. If you notice someone in the park not using smart style, take the time to explain the simple 4 rules to them. It will help that rider to stay safe and avoid dangerous collisions.

Check out the best way to handle a collision video below…

Final Note: Check back here, where I’ll teach how to hit your first 50-50 box rail.

Snowboard Tricks: Front-side 180

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Doing 180’s is probably one of the best parts about snowboarding. It not only adds to your repertoire for snowboarding, but it also introduces you to a whole new field of snowboarding. After you master hitting jumps, you’ll probably want to add some 180’s, 360’s or even a grab to your jump.

Snowboarding tricks are extremely hard to learn, because you can’t just go up and practice them all day. When you fall trying to land a new trick, it can put an end to your whole day. The most dangerous part about snowboarding is trying to land big tricks. It may say seem easy to land these tricks when your watching the winter X-games on TV, but it’s a whole new ball park when you try to do it in person.

The 180 will add some style to your snowboarding and it’s extremely basic. It will also prepare you for bigger spins and learning harder tricks. The 180 is a continuation of my previous post of learning how to hit your first jump. A 180 is basically popping with your board off a jump, and doing a half rotation. The hard part about 180’s is that you’ll land switch. This means that you’ll be riding regular when you go off the jump, but land goofy. This is what makes doing tricks difficult. If you can’t ride switch, I recommend that you hold off on doing tricks for right now.

The best way to practice doing 180’s is to basically do step 6: garlands, but this time do a complete turn when you turn up the mountain. Ride down the mountain regular footed, turn up the mountain, and then do a complete turn. When you complete the turn you should be riding goofy. This will help you to know what’s is like to spin and then ride off in the opposite stance to what you’re comfortable with. After you feel comfortable doing this, ride down the mountain, and when you go to turn up mountain add a pop. This will help you to know what it feels like to pop and then ride away switch.

After you mastered the beginning steps, you can now practice doing front-side 180’s on your snowboard. Get on a flat surface of snow, strap in, and then popping  while spinning. You should be able to get a general idea of the motion you need to do when your moving with more momentum. Find a small jump and do some straight airs to get comfortable going off this particular jump. Once you feel comfortable going off the jump, you can then try doing a 180 off the jump. Start by getting low, turning your board onto it’s toe side edge, and popping with a 180. When you land keep your head downhill and focus on getting your board straight. Make sure you DO NOT land sideways on your edge or you will be seriously hurting. When you go do to any trick it’s important that you always fully commit, because if you bail out on a simple 180 you will do a 90 degree turn and end up hurting yourself.

The video below brought you by the SnowProfessor will demonstrate how to do a proper 180 and give you helpful tips so you don’t hurt yourself.

Final Note: Check back here, where I’ll teach you how to do more snowboarding tricks!

First Run at Northstar With My Bro

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Here’s a short video of me and my brother doing our first snowboarding run at Northstar. We are both using GoPro cameras, so that’s why I go from first person to third person view in the video. I tried to show you what it’s like to snowboard from my point of view, and then from my brothers point of view as well.

I tried to show you the instructional steps in the video, but the sound came out muffled because I didn’t know where the microphone was located. I start off the video by showing you how to ride the chairlift up the mountain, and then get off. I then go on to show you how to plant your foot, do a straight glide, and then a simple J-turn to complete the process. After I get off the chairlift, I skate and step to the bench to sit down and strap in. I was considering showing you the ways of learning how to turn down the mountain, but we didn’t have enough time. You will always have to do the fundamentals of snowboarding, but after you master going down the mountain you tend to go straight into linking turns. If you are not at this step, don’t try to rush yourself. Get a solid foundation on doing the  fundamentals of snowboarding first, then turning and linking turns will come along more quickly. If you rush, then you will have a harder time learning how to snowboard because you will be falling a lot more. Take it slow and snowboarding will simply come to you. There will be an, “Ah-Ha” moment where everything will begin to click.

My older brother and I have been snowboarding pretty much all our lives. He’s 10 years older than me and helped me learn the proper way to snowboard. It’s great to have somebody around who can instruct you on what you’re doing wrong, but sometimes people don’t have the money to do this. It takes longer to learn how to snowboard from watching videos and reading up on the sport online, but it can be done. I’m in the process of teaching myself how to do park, because i don’t want to pay an instructor to teach me. I’ve been hitting the progression park quite a bit at Northstar this season to add to my repertoire for snowboarding. I still can’t do tricks or big rails, but I’ve watching YouTube videos to learn and I’ve been practicing what I learn every time I go up to the mountain.

I hope my blog will encourage you to read through the steps, and then eventually go up and give snowboarding a shot at least once. Enjoy!

Final Note: Check back here, where I’ll tell you more about my snowboarding adventures! The song is Mac Miller – Loud

Northstar Wipe-out Video 2013

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I made this wipe-out video from my GoPro Hero3 camera after I wiped out snowboarding at Northstar. I used SonyVegas to put the video together and I plan on using this video to complete a bigger project. This is basically a sample of more to come in the future.

It took me several hours to skim through videos to find a wipe-out video worthy of enough to show you. It’s hard to know what you’re filming with your GoPro camera because you can’t see the images until you hook it up to your computer. I recommend getting the GoPro BackPack, which shows you what you’re filming through a led screen. They cost around $80 bucks, but it’s worth it to get decent film.

After I found a wipe-out video worthy enough, I went into Sony Vegas and trimmed parts together to make one whole video. I only went through around 20 videos, so I still have about 50 more videos to skim through. I will be making this video much longer in the future. If you’re wondering how to add music in SonyVegas just download the song you want and drag the file into SonyVegas. It should show up right below your video stream. After you do that then you can trim your song to play certain punchlines or any part of the chorus that you like. When you hit play it should play the video with the music along with it.

I hope you enjoyed this video. If you need some help with SonyVegas, then just leave a comment below.

Final Note: Check back here, where I’ll tell you more about my snowboarding adventures.