When you’re newer to snowboarding, confidence is one of the biggest problems. You’re never sure if what you’re doing is right, which makes you less confident and sometimes you just need someone to say “Yes – this is how it’s meant to be, keep going.”
I know this because I get these questions over and over and to me that means even more people are at home thinking about it, but not asking it, so I wanted to take some time today and go over the most common confidence related snowboard questions:
1) Yes – it’s meant to be awkward
Many of the techniques you’re going to be taught in snowboard lessons will be awkward and feel un-natural. This is normal.
It’s going to feel awkward to bend your knees properly. It’s going to feel awkward trying to avoid sticking your hands out when you fall. It’s going to feel awkward when you try to turn your snowboard and it won’t move how you want it to move.
Everything feels awkward at first, but the key is to focus on the basics you’re being taught and push through until it’s not awkward anymore.
Get your head looking where you turn (and not downhill). Get your hands to stop going all over the place. Force those knees to bend. That awkwardness will disappear with time.
2) Yes – you’re meant to fall a lot
Everyone falls. EVERYONE. I had world class coaches teaching me from day 1 during my first season in Whistler and I still went through that fun period of constantly falling.
No one is looking at you and thinking “That guy is such a noob, he should get out of the way!” Typically, everyone else is watching you and remembering how they are/were in the exact same position as you not long ago.
It’s all about having fun and enjoying yourself, don’t worry if you fall, it’s natural. I fall every single day and so does every snowboarder I know. Falling is part of the learning process, even for advanced riders.
3) Yes – your style is meant to be ugly and jerky
Despite what some kids may say on the internet, you do not go from beginner to stomping perfect stylish 360s in 2 weeks. It takes a lot of time to get smooth style and I’ve never seen anyone ever get perfectly smooth style in a matter of weeks.
It takes time. The guys with buttery smooth style and turns have many, many seasons of 100+ days on snow under their belt. You don’t get good style overnight. It takes entire seasons to perfect a lot of basic techniques.
For me, it took an entire season of snowboarding every day just to get reasonably smooth turns and even then it was far from perfect style, so don’t worry, style will come with more time on snow as you progress.
The bottom line
Snowboard progression doesn’t come overnight and unlike what it may seem, most people on the mountain aren’t smooth pros or 12 year old kids who make you want to quit riding.
It seems like those pros are everywhere because a lot of us focus on those particular people, but in reality, 90% of people on the mountain are beginner to intermediate riders who are having the same issues as everyone else.
They’re worried they look stupid. They’re worried they aren’t getting things to click. They’re worried they’re somehow worse at learning to snowboard than everyone else even though they’re actually progressing reasonably well.
Heck, if you read this blog, you’re already ahead of most casual snowboarders because you’re actively looking to improve your snowboarding. So don’t worry, you’re well on your way to becoming the smooth/stylish snowboarder you want to be, just keep working on it.
ps: Speaking of local pros who do cool stuff, my friends in Whistler released a new video edit, check it out: