Ever been asked/been asked how long it took you to learn to snowboard? How about how long it took you to hit a jump? Or 360? Or hit a box?
These are common question among snowboarders learning to progress because they want to see how they compare vs. other riders. They want to see if they’re learning slow or fast and that’s understandable.
However, besides the problem with so many factors affecting learning speed (ie. frequency of riding, lessons, quality of terrain etc), the bigger problem with the question is this:
There’s a huge difference between doing a snowboard trick vs. mastering that same trick vs. going on to improve that trick even more
If you ask me “How long did it take you to learn 360s?” I have several possible answers:
- I learnt 360s in 1-2 weeks
- I learnt 360s in 3 months
- I learnt 360s in 1 full season (4-6 months)
All 3 answers are true.
I did land a 360 in my couple weeks of snowboarding… however I couldn’t do it consistency or even do it often. Style wasn’t even a factor in the trick. It was far closer to a fluke than it was being able to 360.
It took me 3 months of riding almost every day to get to the point where I could 360 whenever I wanted. Even then my style wasn’t quite there. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t horribly ugly, but it wasn’t pretty or stylish either.
It took an entire season of on and off 360 attempts before the final piece of the puzzle clicked and I could actually do 360s every try with decent style.
However… it’s still a work in progress.
You never stop learning a trick.
The truth is I could add even more answers to the question. Right now I’m still working on my 360s. Sure I can land them every time and I have decent style while doing 360s, but there’s still more I need to improve.
I don’t think you ever really stop getting better with most tricks – there’s always something you can improve.
For me, I’m currently working on super tweaked out japan air grabs with my 360s. Not quite there yet, but it’s coming along. There’s almost always something you can improve about a trick you’ve already landed/learnt/mastered.
So basically I guess what I’m saying is this – never stop working on improving a trick just because you’ve landed it or mastered it. You can always aim to improve it and make it better, especially when it comes to style.