Today’s reader question:
How do you get the confidence to hit your first snowboard jumps?
So basically it goes back to safe progression, just like learning any snowboard skill:
1) Learn the individual skills on easier features
The biggest mistake you can make is trying to jump straight to the jump instead of making sure you have the skills to hit the jump first. It’s actually not a good idea to learn to hit jumps by hitting jumps right away.
You want to work on the individual skills that are used in jumping and make sure you have them on lock-down first. So that means practice your popping, carving, general edge control and balance.
You can also work on basic airs and take-off/landings by practicing mini airs off cat tracks and mini cliff drops at resorts. Those are great ways to get used to spotting your landing and landing evenly on both feet.
Make sure you have solid control over your snowboard’s edges BEFORE you try to hit jumps. Edge control and control over your snowboard is crucial. Don’t be hitting jumps before you even know how to turn properly.
2) When you can do the individual skills easily, then you’re ready
So once you’re able to do basic mini airs and you have solid turning skills and you know how to pop properly while landing evenly on both feet from small airs, then you’re ready to start hitting jumps.
Find the smallest jump you can (preferably 5 foot or less) and put the skills together that you’ve been practicing individually. That’s how you build up confidence and make sure you have the skillset you need to hit your first jumps.
Remember, this doesn’t just apply to hitting jumps. You can do the same with any snowboard trick/technique you’re trying to learn. Always break down tricks and learn technique step-by-step before trying to do them all at once.
Hope that answers your question.