This Guy Is Improving His Snowboarding & Facing His Fears (Real Life Example)

I’ve always said that anyone can become an awesome snowboarder.

However, even as I type that last sentence, I know people will look at my current skill level and the big tricks I’m pulling and say “Oh, that’s easy for you because you’re naturally good at sports. You happened to pick it up faster” or “I’m not like you, I can’t do it that easily” or “Jed, you’re so amazing good looking like Brad Pitt!”

(last quote may not have happened)

Well, I’m not any more talented than any of you, it just takes time and energy to get good at snowboarding and you can do it too… however I know people will still use excuses and say my situation was different from theirs.

That’s why today I have something awesome that I want to share with you. It’s one of our readers who was able to see results in his snowboarding by taking the tips and advice we give and taking action and effort to improve his snowboarding.

2 things to note:

  1. He’s a beginner at park riding
  2. He isn’t even at a ski resort and has had to build his own mini park features in his backyard to practice his park riding (that kind of kills the excuses for most of us)

The email:

Hello Jed,

I’m mailing you to let you know that the frontboards are starting to click.

As I told you in one of the blogs it snowed in Belgium and I finally got around to making a backyard freestyle setup with a 2m long plastic pipe mounted slightly down. Yesterday is the first day I tried it and I did nothing but frontboards.

On small boxes I already managed it in the parks, but once it becomes a rail or pipe I always lost stability and couldn’t keep it flat.

With the help of SnowboardAddictions tutorial on frontboards I already knew the technique, but I missed the commitment and mental aid to really try it on rail-style features.

Thanks to several blogs you wrote I can concentrate much better on the trick and I try to always do a self-analyses after the trick (good or bad). It’s still a bit sketchy and I’m not always right how I have to be, but I’m getting there.

The reason why this has always been mentally so hard is because I once had a bad experience and it took me several years away from rail-riding and the fear never went away (it was in fact one of the first serious encounters with rail-features).

It’s only now that I’m starting to use that fear and turn it into something positive.

I’m going to try and capture my attempts on video and I wonder if you could take a quick look at it and see where I can improve so I can concentrate on that.

For now I already came to this conclusion after only riding frontboards last night:

  • Never forget to look at the end of the feature
  • I need to counter-rotate more to be better balanced (this I also train on my balance board)
  • I need to be more relaxed in the knees when landing on the pipe and sliding it and not be stiff-legged
  • Keep base dead flat at all times

I’ve also never tried backboards onto rail-style features so I’m going to tackle that too. But that will be easier I believe because it’s already in my muscle memory from riding boxes. The only downside is the stability.

If you could check out that video sometime it would be awesome. I’ll try to shoot it this week and upload it accordingly because I’ve never worked with HD images and uploading them to youtube.

Thanks ;)

So…

Excuses will always be there, but there are always ways to get around them if you’re willing to put in the work and effort. Nice work man and I’m looking forward to checking out your videos.

By the way, I’m always happy to look at footage or help any of our readers critique their technique, it’s what our contact form is there for and I always answer every single email we receive from our readers.

If you have a shorter question, a twitter or facebook msg works just as well, so never be afraid to send in a question or ask for help.

- Jed

ps – don’t worry if you’re scared I might publish your question/email on the blog, I never include last names when I publish any reader emails unless I have their permission.

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Comments

  1. I want to correct just 1 thing, I’m far from being a beginner. You should put it in perspective: I’ve been snowboarding for 14years so I can tackle pretty everything on the slopes. But I only started riding park a few years ago. Due to a lack of riding-time (yearly frequency of 2-3 weeks and I couldn’t even ride park for a whole week because of the people I went with) and no guidance it evolved very slowly and I made some bad mistakes resulting in what I explained.

    Only the last 2 years I learned about all those great online help. But the practice still remained weak.

    And now that this snow fell and stayed (which is rare in Belgium), I took all that frustration building up for several years and I shoveled for an hour or more for 4 evenings after work to make the perfect setup and now I can enjoy it. I’m super stoked, and every run down I try to repeat every step sequentially in my head like you said.

    Thanks and nice to see you sharing my experience ;)

    • Thanks for clarifying Kevin. Yeah definitely not a beginner overall, only in the park side of things, but hopefully not for long with the progress you’re making :)

      • Indeed, for certain park features I’m still at the beginning of the learning curve. The funny thing is I already hit big kickers with a 5-10m table, but I couldn’t even do a simple frontside boardslide during all that time. :p
        I’m going to try and train more intensively (on indoor slopes, even if it’s expensive) so I keep the rhythm going on. It are those long breaks in between that hinder efficient progress.

        • Pacheco says:

          @kevin d

          I’am from Holland (Amsterdam) and I practice all my freestyle at the indoorslopes. They are expensive but if you look at a year card it is realy not more than an average fitness year card.
          I am training with a special freestyle club every tuesday (snowworld) maby you have to try it. You learn a lot.
          Maby your nearby indoorslope have a similair club.
          And is it maby possible if you can show us a picture how you set up your rail in your backyard?
          Good luck

    • Pacheco says:

      @kevin d

      I’am from Holland (Amsterdam) and I practice all my freestyle at the indoorslopes. They are expensive but if you look at a year card it is realy not more than an average fitness year card.
      I am training with a special freestyle club every tuesday (snowworld) maby you have to try it. You learn a lot.
      Maby your nearby indoorslope have a similair club.
      And is it maby possible if you can show us a picture how you set up your rail in your backyard?
      Good luck

      • @Pacheco:
        Thanks for the info. You’re absolutely right about the year card not being more expensive than a fitness year card (which I never do btw, that’s money well kept). The problem is that the 2 nearest indoor slope are at a 90km drive (Snowbase and Skidome), the rest is 110km, 140km, 160km. So even with a year card the petrol makes it super expensive. And it’s not like I can just pop in, it’s quite a trip each time. Right now I can drive with the car from work, but if that bonus would ever go away, costs will be through the roof with gas prices this time.
        Year card: 600-700€,
        Fuel money for weekly trip of 100km back&forth: 750-1000€ (depending on fuel consumption),
        Courses: ?
        Grand total: A lot of money

        Maybe I’ll see you somewhere over there some day ;)

        For the backyard setup I just fixed 2 HDPE pipes of 1,2m after one another on a wooden support and placed it at the bottom of a small incline, not very special but tons of fun! I’m working on a new model that will be better and 4m long (and still mobile enough to put in a car).

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