When Continuing To Snowboard Is Actually A Bad Idea

Today’s reader question:

How do you deal with days where nothing is working with your snowboarding? I don’t really feel frustrated… just ‘off’ my game sometimes.

You know what? On those days I either go home early, take my riding down a level or I’ll find some friends who just want to ride easy groomers and chill out for the day.

It all comes down to knowing when to push your riding and when to just call it a day and relax or go home.

Let’s dive into this deeper.

How to know when to call it a day

I’ve said in the past that I never used to be a ‘mental’ rider.

I’d just go out every day with the mentality that no matter how I felt, I had to always work on learning new techniques or improving my current skills if I wanted to be a better snowboarder.

If I was feeling off my game it didn’t matter. It just meant I had to keep pushing until I was back on my game.

The interesting thing is it did work… for awhile. I saw big improvements in my riding, but I was also getting a ton of injuries from all the slams and falls. Eventually it caught up to me in that one big crash that tore my ACL and resulted in 3 knee surgeries.

ACL Knee Post Surgery

The important lesson I learnt

From this I learnt an important lesson: Becoming a good snowboarder is a marathon, not a sprint.

Yeah, you can rush your progression and ride hard when you’re body or mind aren’t really up to it, but it catches up to you eventually. Improving your snowboarding is a longterm exercise in balancing the goods days vs. the bad.

You’ll have a lot of bad days and you’ll have a lot of good days. It’s knowing how to ride on these different days and knowing when to stop that makes you into a good snowboarder.

How to balance good days vs bad days on slope

It’s pretty simple. If I’m having a good day and my body and head are in game, I’m going for it. You’ll find me riding nonstop and I won’t be leaving until the lifts shut because I want to take advantage of being ‘in the game’.

If I’m having a bad day where for whatever reason my body or mind are feeling ‘off’, I’ll go relax and either chill with friends or work on simple stuff like carving or switch.

If it’s a really, really bad day and absolutely everything is feeling ‘off’, you’ll probably find me riding down to the village to cheer myself up with a chicken samosa and strawberry and banana smoothie from Moguls Coffee house.

Now I’m not saying that just because you can’t land a trick a few times it automatically means you should quit and go do something else. I’m talking about stopping on those days when you know that your body or head just won’t execute simple movements that you could usually do in your sleep.

Every good rider does this

This skill of balancing your riding against how your body/mind is feeling is something every single advanced snowboarder does.

Watch the really good riders at your resort and notice their patterns. They listen to how they’re feeling and adjust the difficulty of their riding. Even the guys who can spin 1080s off 75 foot jumps will adjust what they do on any given day.

If they’re feeling it, you’re probably in for a show of massive tricks off huge jumps and rails. If they aren’t feeling it, you’ll find them doing simple tricks and spins that they know they can land.

So remember, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Any idiot can go crazy and push their snowboarding 24/7. That doesn’t take any skill, it just requires you to be brave and stupid.

It takes a smart snowboarder to listen to how his body feels and adjust his/her riding to match.

- Jed

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