Learning Tricks Faster – Random Snowboarding Vs. Focused Riding

Focused snowboarding

When I’m snowboarding there are usually 2 types of riding modes I’ll be in:

  1. Screwing around and taking it easy
  2. Focused on learning a new tricks

I think everyone has that first riding mode covered, after all, it’s what we do when we’re riding with our friends and taking it easy, but when it comes to learning new tricks quickly, it’s all about getting into that 2nd riding mode.

So what makes this focused riding mode different and better for learning new snowboard tricks? Well, a lot of things, but let’s start off with one:

A planned run of specific tricks/techniques

When I’m riding with friends or just listening to music and taking mellow laps, I’m not thinking about what tricks I’m working on or what features I’m going to hit. It’s all random and I’m just riding around and doing whatever I feel like doing.

However, when I’m working on a new trick, I know my entire run before I even drop into the start of the run.

For example, I’ll know I’m doing a backside 360 on the first jump, a 270 onto the box right after, a frontside 360 off the second jump etc. etc. It’s all planned ahead of time and I know exactly which tricks I want to be working on and when.

Heck, if you only know a few tricks or are working on just one specific trick, the run may just go Backside 360 off jump, backside 360 off side-hit, backside 360 off second jump.

Random Vs. Focused Riding

Random riding is great when I’m just chilling and doing easy laps, but when I want to learn a new trick or improve my technique on specific tricks, I’ll have a planned list of what I’m doing for the entire lap on the mountain.

You need to know what you’re working on if you’re going to be focused on improving it and analysing how to learn it. For me, the ride up the chairlift is when I do most of that thinking, then when I step off the chairlift I already know my run for that lap.

What you want to avoid is to be still thinking about which tricks you’ll be working on as you’re dropping into each feature. Know your tricks and your park lap before you drop in!

If you have to, stop before a feature and think it through before you drop in (personally I prefer knowing the whole run ahead of time, that way I don’t ruin my flow in the park).

Focused learning always beats random riding when it comes to learning new tricks quickly.

- Jed

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