Bad advice in snowboarding can often be worse than no advice because bad advice at all. Bad advice leads to bad habits and bad decisions that affect the rider’s learning ability and slows down their progress.
In particular, there are certain tips that are wrong, but somehow keep getting given out to new snowboarders. I hate those tips.
Here are 3 snowboards tips that need to die:
1) “Size your snowboard up to your chin”
It’s seriously scary how many instructors and snowboard shop salesmen still advice people to size snowboard by height. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to find that 1/3 of the snowboard instructors at most resorts are telling their students to size up to their chin.
No, no, no. Snowboard sizing is based primarily on weight and the sooner this becomes knowledge the better.
The scary thing about this is snowboard instructors are meant to be a credible source that beginners can trust, but so many get this wrong when it comes to sizing snowboards.
2) “You should try 540s now!”
Every snowboarder get excited when they start to land spins. Landing your first 180 and 360 is truly an amazing feeling, but unfortunately the first thing their friends usually say is “You should try 540s now!”
No. They should not try 540s right away. They should instead clean up mistakes in their spin technique so they can avoid forming bad habits and learn to stomp 360s first try, every try, WITH style.
Heck, I’d even advise a snowboarder who has a 180 or 360 mastered to learn to spin in the opposite direction (ie – frontside, backside, switch front, switch back) before moving to bigger spins.
Find me a snowboarder who has mastered all 4 180/360 spin directions before moving on to 540s and I’ll show you a snowboarder who’s going to be incredibly versatile and progress insanely fast.
3) “Just go for it!”
Ah yes, how many times have people recommended you stop being a wimp and go for it. Sometimes this is needed, but a lot of the times it’s not.
Friends are great for pushing you when you need that push, but they also need to know when to push and when to say “I don’t think you’re ready for that yet, you should try the smaller one first and work your way up.”
Heck, I remember the first super big jump I hit many years ago was thanks to my friends who gave me a much needed push to go for it, however, they also knew I was prepared and ready to hit big jumps (ps – thanks for the push Charlie).
Being pushed when you need it is great, but being blindly pushed to do a snowboard trick/feature you aren’t prepared and ready for is how a lot of people end up injured.
The bottom line
Know who your advice is coming from and don’t blindly listen to people. There are A LOT of people who will give you advice for your snowboarding, but always be careful to make sure the advice you’re getting is credible.
The problem with advice is we’re so connected in todays internet world that I can ask a snowboard question on Facebook or on an online snowboard forum and get 20 responses to that question, but not everyone will really know what they’re talking about.