Ever heard the phrase “Live to fight another day”? Well, that applies to snowboarding as well because one of your main snowboard goals should be to live to snowboard another day.
What does that mean?
It’s simple – snowboarding is a rough sport. You’re going to get hurt and your body is going to be bruised and battered. You need to be thinking long term when you snowboard, not looking at just the immediate progress you can make.
My goal with Snomie is to produce smart snowboarders that will be able to snowboard and KILL IT on the slopes until they’re old and wrinkly.
So this means part of your goal as a smart snowboarder is to survive to your next day without excessive injuries and bruises that make it harder for you to snowboard and improve.
Your aim should always be to focus on how the riding choices you make each day affect your ability to ride tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that.
You won’t be able to avoid some bruises (everything in snowboarding increases your risk), but you should be calculating in your head whether the risks you take are good risks or bad risks.
What’s the difference?
Good risks are risks you take to improve your snowboarding WITHOUT needlessly putting yourself into more danger. You need to be thinking about each situation and analysing the danger level.
These are just a few things I think about when I try a new trick or ride difficult terrain:
- Have I practiced/prepared properly?
- Is there a smarter way to do this with less chance to fall or get injured?
- Are the weather/run conditions reasonable for what I’m planning?
You need to be thinking about these things before you take the risk and if the risk is too high it’s fine to turn down your riding.
Good riders do this all the time because they know that living to snowboard the next day is better than taking that stupid risk and getting too injured or hurt to go riding the next day.
For example: Match your riding to the weather
One of the big factors in snowboarding is weather. Some day’s it’s perfect sunshine and soft snow, but other days it’s bad light, foggy or incredibly icy. You should be matching your riding to the conditions.
If it rained last night and the runs have frozen solid overnight, it’s okay to just do a half day and take it easy on mellow runs. There will be times for you to go crazy and take bigger risks when the conditions are good.
Even the pro level snowboarders in Whistler dial down their riding when the conditions are bad, so don’t feel like it’s something only beginners should do.
For example, if you take a few laps through the medium sized park in Whistler on a flat light/cloudy day, you’ll notice the huge amount of pro snowboarders taking it easy on smaller features. However, give them a bit of sunshine and watch everyone scramble to hit the big jumps.
They’re adapting their riding to reduce the risk when the conditions are dangerous and you don’t have to be a pro to do the same thing.
The bottom line
Sometimes the best thing you can do to progress your snowboarding is ride under your limits when the risk is too high. Progressing your snowboarding is great, but not at the cost of ending up too injured to progress more the next day and the day after.
Be smart and take smart risks so you can keep progressing your riding every day.