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Long time skiers learning to snowboard

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was reminded of this subject by this thread <A href="http://forums.epicski.com/showpost.php?p=554554&postcount=249">

I have a theory that if you have skateboard experience, you will pick it up quickly. If not, you are in for a world of hurt.

Anyone have any war stories, amusing anecdotes, humiliations?

I'll start.

I'd been on the board a couple of times. I could sort of turn heel-side, but I couldn't make anything happen toe-side. I felt like I got on edge, but the board just went straight.

After an hour or so of this, I was getting frustrated and angry at this board that just wouldn't work right. So I figure I'm done fooling around, and I'm going to force it to turn. I do a little traverse and jam my toe side edge in. It catches, throws me back, my heel side edge catches, and throws me onto the ice. (Hey, what did you think I was trying to learn on? Snow?) I broke my tailbone.

It took about a year to quit acheing if I sat too long. It was another year before I got back on the board. Come to think of it, that's when I bought my helmet, too.

I've made sure I do at least one day on the board every year since then, but I stuff three inches of heavy foam in my pants when I practice. I've worked my way up to easy blues. (Yes, I can turn both directions now.)

I remember one particularly difficult day on a green trail with a slight sidehill. I kept running off the side of the trail. At the bottom, I said to heck with this, I'm going to do something safe and easy -- so I got my skis out of the car and went off to ski ice moguls in the trees.
post #2 of 20
mdf: I'm somewhat in the same boat. I am trying to learn, probably have a total of 10 hours at it over 2 years. Biggest problem I have is getting off old fixed grip lifts with a steep down ramp, that is where I am getting beat up the most. Boarders I know have said to just go with the flow getting off but its hard when you are oriented 90 degress from what you have been used to. Best thing I found for myself was to get to Pico and use the high speed detachable quad at the base, easy to get on, easy to get off, chair slowly lets you off and the off ramp has very little pitch. The trails it accesses are easy greens and blues that are fairly long so I'm not always getting in and out of the binding to ride lifts. Other piece of advice I can think off is forcing and jamming on any sliding equipment is not good for long term success, you won't beat the mountain, try easier terrain and carress the board to do what you want, might save that tail bone. I like the idea of some padding, I'm going to look into that, because learning snowboarding sure feels like a full contact sport.
post #3 of 20
mdf, Snowbowler good for you both sticking with it.

I started 20 years ago and still get a little nervous coming off lifts sometimes. One tip that helped was to keep my back hand on the edge of the chair until I was moving faster than the chair. This will keep you steady while you get your back foot in place, and your weight balanced on the front foot for the slide down the ramp. Don't lean on or push off of the chair with your hand.
post #4 of 20
This thread should be moved.
post #5 of 20
It's about skiers trying something different. I think it might be good to keep it in the skiing forum. I'll start a "Ever tried skiing?" thread in the SB forum.
post #6 of 20
i did this. i did a 3 day board class at heavenly and concluded that it would take me twice as long to get to where i had skiing.
in skiing, i was headed down the mountain the first day. boarding, i'm still struggling down the bunny slope on day 3. now, i'm 20 years older than the 15 year old boarder; but still; it wasnt worth the effort.
skiing is so easy, i'm always in control and i never have to walk and drag a board across a cattrack.
maybe boarders are cooler, but skiing has got em beat; and i've tried both so i know.
post #7 of 20

Ski to board, bored & back again!

I was a lifelong skier when snowboarding came on the scene. Not too many areas around Tahoe, where I lived at the time allowed snowboarding. My first experience was in the backcountry. I was on leather tele-boots and strapped into my buddies board. I made a few heel side stops, but couldn't get the toe side to come around. This was about 1986 or 87'.
A few years later a friend who worked at Homewood, one of the few places that allowed snowboarding, set me up with a lesson. I borrowed a board from a friend, and stuck some old Dynafit liners im my Sorels. It was a sunny Spring day, perfect for learning. After 2 hours I was having a great time and could link skidded turns both directions.
The following season I borowed an old Kemper board, and went to Kirkwood with a friend. It was icy, and the equipment set-up sucked. My heels hung off the edge of board, so everytime I made a heel side turn, my heels would catch and I would go down hard on my ass! Not a fun day...
The next year Heavenly opened the Nevada side to Boarding. It was a huge Winter storm in December, after shoveling out I got a board from a rental shop friend and we headed up. While my friend was off in the trees, I was experimenting with powder over groomed, and ocassionaly getting in the trees on the edges of the run. I was having fun and thinking this snowboarding was pretty fun.
Finally toward the end of the season, my home area opened for boarding on an exerimental basis. I started riding more consistantly, and one day tried a board with plate bindings and my ski boots. I learned to carve and arc turns, and I was hooked. Got my own set-up, Rossi alpine board, Emery bindings, and some soft rondo boots. I started boarding more than skiing for a few years. Carving on the groomers, and surfing the pow, even won my first GS race...
Then shaped and fat skis came on the scene! My boarding days became less and less. My old board has been in a friends basement for a few years.
Any boarder who has never been skiing doesn't know what their missing. I've taught quite a few boarders to ski, and they usually catch on pretty quickly. They do tend to rotate their hips to their natural toe side, but catch onto carved turns very quickly.
I still ride maybe once a season but skiing, although it requires more skill, is way, way more fun!
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
This thread should be moved.

I purposely put it here to try to get interesting stories rather than instruction.

I have worked my way past needing full-on beginner instruction, but it took a long time. (And I did take a lesson or two along the way.) Hills still look 100 times as steep on a board as on skis.
post #9 of 20
I've learned to snowboard (kinda sorta). gonna take some lessons this year tho. Broke my tailbone twice learning how to board. It's definatly harder on the body that's for sure.
post #10 of 20
i spent the first 5 years on the mtn on skiis, then decided to give snowboarding a try, i did it and did alright but didn't really enjoy it so i went back to skiing. i then tried it again a few years later and did really well (aparently i got more coordinated in those years) but still didn't enjoy it enough to quit skiing. i did it twice last year one day at keystone and one day with some friends at sipapu (its in new mexico for those who haven't heard of it). i did pretty well actually tried a few small jibs, and even a grind, all of which were very funny to watch i'm sure. i've decided that i'll do it if i'm with my family (who aren't good skiiers) that way i have something to slow me down.
post #11 of 20
It's sort of a better-than/worse-than situation for me. I got on a board for the first time after 18 years of skiing. Now, when compared to a complete novice to snow sports, I think I had the advantage that I was already very accustomed to the 'stability while sliding'. On the other hand, like others said above I was used to experiencing it facing forward, not sideways... so a 1st timer might have an easier time getting 'set' with their posture on a snowboard than I did.

Unlike what I've been reading from the others who posted, I actually found it easier to carve toeside. I've gone out probably four times on a board since then; I can link turns and get myself down relatively steep runs, but I am still very much a novice when it comes to riding. Once I have the bidget, I want to get a board of my own to bum around with, but it will always be a secondary snow sport to me. Nothing's going to get skiing out of my system.
post #12 of 20
Snowboarding looks like a hassle to learn to me. Last year, we had a 12 year old boy with us who has been snowboarding every year and he fell all the time. It was such a pain for him to flip his body and get back up. I think it is a look of abuse on your body.

I have come so far in skiing, there is no reason to try snowboarding until I get bored with skiing- which I don't forsee any time soon.
post #13 of 20
I started to learn how to board and became okay at it, getting down greens easily and going on blues too. I was linking turns and everything. Then I stopped for a years and it all went downhill. I haven't tried it in some time now.
post #14 of 20
Originally Posted by Devils Fiddle View Post
and it all went downhill.

That's what's SUPPOSED to happen!
post #15 of 20
I started boarding after 16 years on skis. It took me about an hour to start linking turns on easy greens. My ego took over from there, and I spent the rest of the day mousetrapping all over the intermediate trails.

FWIW, I now teach both skiing and snowboarding. I've found with lifelong skiers, it helps to use agressive foward angles on the bindings at first. It's a more familiar stance.
post #16 of 20
Originally Posted by iskitoofast4u View Post
it helps to use agressive foward angles on the bindings at first. It's a more familiar stance.
Definitely made a difference the time I tried it.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 

me too!

Originally Posted by iskitoofast4u
it helps to use agressive foward angles on the bindings at first. It's a more familiar stance.
Originally Posted by ritmusic2k View Post
Definitely made a difference the time I tried it.
I don't remember what made me try it, but it made a huge difference. I used them that way awhile, then gradually moved them back to a more 'normal' orientation (pun intended) to get better edge pressure.
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by wasatchskier View Post
I have come so far in skiing, there is no reason to try snowboarding until I get bored with skiing- which I don't forsee any time soon.
I didn't get bored with skiing -- I got bored with the skiing that was readily available to me.

Actually, the plan was to learn to board as my son learned to ski, and make the green trails interesting again. It didn't work, since he learned skiing a lot faster than I learned boarding.

Right now, the situation is
what I ski by myself ... gap ... what we ski together ... big gap ... what I can board.

The good news is I think the first gap is going to be closing rapidly now.
post #19 of 20

I am a long-time skier who learned to board over a period of several years. I tried it once about 20-years ago when I happend to be at stratton and they had a free lesson and rental for beginners in the afternoon. fell a lot, made it down half a bunny slop by the end of the day.

fast forward a few years when a friend gave me his old board. Over the period of 2-3 seasons I got out on the board maybe 4 times. Finally was able to make it down easier runs and turn both ways. At the time, my son was 4 or 5 and once he got past needing much help from me, I started boarding a lot more. It made those greens and easy blues he was cruising on a whole lot more challenging and fun for me.

Now, while I'm not an expert boarder, I can turn my way down any black and most doubles, but, I cannot keep up with my son, now 13, unless I am on skis. So now I'm back to boarding just every so often. If we are at an easy area I will bring both sets of gear and switch at lunchtime. If we get a dump here in CT, I take the board out on some local hills in the woods. The extra float allows nice powder turns where my skis, even my fat ones, would be scraping granite.
post #20 of 20
I've mentioned it before, will do so again.

I have been on a board (sorta) 1 time, back in '89, at JH (probably not the best place to take a beginner lesson in anything). In those days, almost everyone wore their sorels on a board, had the hardest time getting up. Plan on trying it again this year (too many of my friends are skiing/teleing/boarding), I can do two of them (if alpimark turns count); I'd like to make it 3 out of 3.
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