I was doing my usual rounds on snowboard forums/sites answering questions and I saw someone asking for advice on finding coaches to take his freestyle riding to a higher level.
Nothing new there, however, upon looking closer I saw a sentence inside his post which scared me:
I always managed to build kickers and rails and snowboard to the extreme until I broke my rib.
Follow up by this advice underneath from another rider:
You dont need a coach. You need balls.
No, no, no. The key to progression isn’t having balls or snowboarding to the extreme.
This is basically the worst way you can improve your snowboarding. Let me explain.
Having just balls alone will WRECK your body
You know what happens if you just have massive balls and go huck yourself off big jumps and throw your body at big tricks over and over without proper learning method and progression? You learn fast… then you get injured.
The original poster already got a rib injury and honestly he got off lightly. If he keeps at it he’ll continue to progress quickly, but I give him a couple seasons before he ends up with more severe issues such as torn ACLs and dislocated shoulders requiring surgery.
Once you have these sorts of injuries your body is never the same, especially if you repeat those injuries. Ask pro snowboarder Tara Dakides how her knees feel after all the ACL surgeries she’s been through.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want fast snowboard progression in exchange for not being able to snowboard past 35 years old without pain.
You don’t need to ride to the extreme to progress
Sometimes I just want to smack people who think that to progress fast they need to go huck themselves over and over and sacrifice their body.
No. That’s the stupid way to do things.
You need to push yourself to improve, but there are smart, safe ways to do it. Hucking your body isn’t one of those ways.
Every trick can be learnt in a safe way with low risk. It just requires you to use your head and break down the trick to find the safest ways to practice it.
For example, if you want to learn 360s, you can break them down and learn each section piece by piece on a green run. Learn and understand technique before trying it on a park feature.
Pros don’t learn it that way – only stupid people do
Look at any top pro snowboarder and see how they approach learning a new trick. How many of them just huck their body into a new trick and hope for the best? Not many, if any.
You don’t last long in the snowboard world if that’s your plan to progress and learn.
Every pro breaks down tricks, understands how they work and does what they can to master the technique long before they even try it on snow. There’s no random hucking involved. When you see them on the hill, they have a plan.
I’ve found that nearly every single pro learning a new trick has this one rule: They don’t try a new trick unless they have an idea of how it works and think they can land on their feet.
Random hucking and just riding ‘to the extreme’ is a stupid way to progress.
Don’t do it. Progress smart without sacrificing your body because you’ll need that body if you want to keep snowboarding.