Snowboard & Skiing

SNOWBOARDING

Once these two (mainly psychological) obstacles are overcome, beginner snowboarders should be able to progress relatively quickly in the sport. The attachment of the feet to the snowboard, awkward at first, becomes an advantage - as skiers find that crossing their skis can become an issue; keeping the skis apart is a skill in itself.

Beginner snowboarders, blessed with a monoski, don’t have to worry about this. So once they’ve grasped the basics of making a turn – turn shoulders, which turns hips, which turns ankles and feet, which turns snowboard - then they can start to hit the proper slopes. The next step is to work on improved balance and increased speed. And increasing speed actually makes turning even easier due to there being less contact between the base of the board and the snow, which decreases resistance when turning.

For most beginner snowboarders, the basics of riding down and making simple turns should be achievable within a week or two. So Increasing speed, finessing turns and taking your riding to the next level on the slopes, in the park (and in the backcountry), is what you will spend the rest of your time doing!

SKIING

For skiers, however, the tough work starts after the one or two-day honeymoon period and it is likely to take a lot longer than it would for snowboarders to build up that basic level of skill. Having two separate skis on two separate legs, at first a benefit, starts to become a problem because moving both legs simultaneously, in symmetry and in harmony, takes some time to achieve.

Beginner skiers will start off with snowplough (a.k.a pizza) – which gets the tips of the skis together, tails of the skis apart - and straight skis (a.k.a. french fries) on a nursery slope to get the beginner used to travelling straight down the slopes at speed. The next step is the snowplough turn, which reintroduces the snowplough technique to get skiers to move one ski outwards so a turn can be completed in the opposite direction.

Unlike the fast progression of snowboarders, in most cases beginner skiers are doing well to progress past snowplough turns by the end of week one. However even though progression is more difficult and technical, when skiers do begin to take on blue and red runs they will find a sport that continues to challenge technique and skill. And mastery, even though difficult, is very rewarding because of the difficulty getting there.

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