I want to talk about something that I think many riders ignore. The basics.
What are the basics?
They’re the key elements that you build your entire trick and riding techniques around. They include (but are not limited to) carving, steering, 180s, 360s, edge control, balance and stability.
Too often people rush forward without properly mastering the basics. They want to show off to their friends or speed up their progression, so they get to the point where they say ‘that’s good enough’.
Smart learning for faster progression later
I’ve lost count of the number of people that I see trying to learn advance spins when they haven’t even mastered their carving and board control. I’ve said it many, many times… baby steps.
If you want to progress, learning the basics will help you progress faster. It may seem like everyone else is going faster than you or you may feel like you’re being left behind, but by mastering the basics first, you’ll progress 100 times faster later.
Not to mention, your technique will be far better than others who stopped at ‘good enough’.
When I was coming back from my ACL injury, I had to take it easy on my knee. This meant no big jumps, which also meant I wasn’t able to learn any new rotations. Instead, I ended up spending 99% of my time doing 360s off tiny jumps and just working on my carving and board control.
What was the outcome? When my knee was back to full strength, my riding exploded. It helped me become insanely comfortable with the basic spin techniques and simple things like carving and popping and I found that this made me far more comfortable with applying spin techniques to larger, more advanced tricks.
Don’t let others bring you down
It’s not uncommon, especially when you’re first starting freestyle, for your friends or other beginners to think you’re strange or not understand why you would want to spend all day practicing something you already learnt. They’ll want you to stop at ‘good enough’.
Remember, good enough isn’t enough. If you want to really master the basics you want to get to the point where you can execute a technique first time, every time. You want to be insanely comfortable with it. These are basic techniques that you’ll be implementing in many other areas and techniques, so it pays to really master them.
There’s a reason that becoming a snowboard instructor is one of the best ways to really advance your riding. It’s because it forces you to spend a lot of time teaching and learning more about basic techniques.
The basics are like the foundations of a house. By building up a strong foundation, you’ll be able to build a better, stronger house.