Tuesday, 5 March 2013

A year ago today

On the 5th March 2012 I took my newly purchased first snowboard up our nearest mountain for its first run out on snow. Why do I remember this? Well, partly, it was one of those moments I never imagined that would happen; such moments have a habit of sticking in the memory. Yes, I was excited, and that could be part of it, but the more prosaic explanation is that as I sat on the snow, strapping my boots into the bindings, I noticed the board length: 153cm. To English eyes that was clearly code for 1st used on the 5th of the 3rd. I knew then I wouldn't forget the date.

Whatever I did that day it's certain it was not epic snowboarding. I had hunted around Youtube trying to find tutorial videos that made sense. Good ones seemed few and far between. I tried to remember what I'd watched and practise things in some kind of logical order. Fast forward ten months and I was on a slope in Sarajevo getting logical, structured instruction. I'd like to say that in a few days I was snowboarding like a pro. I'd be lying. The more I practised the more I ached. I knew what I should be doing, I got to the point I could no longer convince my tired legs to cooperate.

Since then I've averaged a couple of snowboarding sessions a week. I'm still not a pro but I'm a lot closer to being able to claim to be competent. Given my age – late 30s – the few extra pounds I'm carrying and my general level of fitness I'm pretty happy with my progress. I've watched younger, trimer, fitter people take the same instruction I had and get it all working for them in far less time. Having no fear helps! If you're reading all this thinking you'd love to get into snowboarding then I'd recommend the series of videos I shot with my instructor. There are 10 videos that together will teach you all the basics you need to know.

I don't want to over-sell so I should add these are not the most exciting snowboard videos online. I love the ones full of mad tricks and flying down impossibly steep mountains. They are great to watch but they won't teach you to ride. These videos will. I'm tempted to say they are one of the best presentations of snowboard basics you'll find online. Trust me. I followed these steps and it worked for me. And if it worked for me I'm sure it can work for you...you could be snowboarding in two days!

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