Today’s reader question:
How long does it take to feel natural with learning snowboard freestyle? Everything feels so awkward and hard right now. How long does it take to become like those locals who seem so natural doing everything?
1) It’s hard (at first) to learn the basics
Everything will feel unnatural at first. This is normal.
When you first get into freestyle you’re learning a lot of basic skills that you’ve never used before (eg – popping, jumping, hitting rails, spinning etc. etc.) and you have to get used to doing those movements.
As your body gets used to these basic movements, that unnatural feeling will slowly fade away.
2) Once you have the basics it gets way easier
Snowboard freestyle is like lego. You have a whole bunch of different basic skills and tricks and learning each of those skills takes time, but once you have those skills you simply connect them together like lego blocks.
So instead of learning entirely new skills, you use skills you already have to put them together into different tricks. It’s really just a matter of learning all of those basic skills first, which is the part that feels awkward and unnatural.
3) How long does it take to get all the basic skills?
That really depends on you, how much riding you do per season and whether you have any coaching/instruction, but for me it took about 2-3 full seasons to get all the basics mastered and for that unnatural feeling to go away.
That’s how long it took to get most of the basics mastered, such as ollies, spinning, hitting rails/boxes, cliff drops etc. etc.
Now I’m not saying you’ll take that long to learn basic snowboarding, you can certainly learn the basics quicker than that, BUT it does take time for your body to understand and feel natural doing all the movements.
For example, I was doing 360s in my first season, but it wasn’t until my 2nd season doing 360s that I started to understand all the movements I was doing and really felt it all ‘click’ together when I did each 360.
That’s why whenever I always stress how important learning each basic movement is before moving on to more advanced skills, because those little movements may seem insignificant, but they are the foundation of every other trick you will perform in snowboard freestyle.
Hope that answers your question.