Today’s reader question:
Why do those kids at the resort learn so much faster than me? Is there a reason besides me being an old man?
Don’t you love it when you’re learning a new snowboard technique and some 7 year old shows you up? Ah the good old days haha.
But in all seriousness, I think kids tend to learn faster for one big reason:
Kids are fearless. That just goes with the territory of being young and feeling invincible. We were all like that as teenagers.
“Cliff drops? No worries. Hit that new jump in the terrain park? Sure, what could go wrong! Long metal rail? Let’s do it!”
Why ‘no fear’ means faster progression
With a lack of fear comes the fact that they’ll try a lot more things than most of us are willing to try and they’ll take bigger risks. In short, they step outside their comfort zone a lot more than we do.
It’s only natural that you learn quicker when you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone. After all, if we stayed in our comfort zone all day, we’d be stuck on green ski runs forever.
Why ‘no fear’ can be both good and bad
Let me tell you a story.
One of my previous housemates in Whistler went from an intermediate level to hitting 40-50 foot jumps and doing 360s inside of one season. He did it by taking a lot of risks and having the balls to always ride outside of his comfort zone.
However, this same housemate of mine also had a lot of injuries. Outside of minor scrapes and bruises, his injuries during that season included a meniscus tear and having to take 4-6 weeks off because he ended up stretching some of his knee ligaments.
That’s the downside to constantly riding outside of your comfort zone. It’s high risk for high reward and you don’t want to play that game forever.
Risk is good, but not all the time. Let’s face it, we don’t bounce back or heal insanely fast like those kids you see on the ski slopes. Injuries add up and take my word for it when I say you don’t want to have wrecked knees.
I say let’s meet those kids halfway. Don’t ride with high risk all the time, but don’t live in the safe zone. I know I say this a lot, but once again balance is key.
ps – there are actually many ways to progress fast outside of high risk and trial and error, in fact, that whole topic is what an upcoming Snomie project is based on. You’ll have to stay tuned for that at a later date