A couple weeks ago I had another Snowboarding lesson at Xscape in Castleford
After lesson one and lesson two, we decided to take a combined lesson.
This was a three hour lesson and combined lessons 3 and 4.
We started on the learners slope and went down on our heel and toe edge a few times. Then instructor explained to us how S turns work.
To complete an S turn, you basically link the turns together so you’re creating an S shape in the snow.
So if you were to start on your toe edge, you would then turn onto your heel edge, then turn again to your toe edge.
So from your toe edge, you’re facing upwards the slop, then you’ll turn so you’re facing down the slope, then back towards the slope.
I struggled at first. I was scared of making the turn because you have to turn the board so it faces down the slope. Logic told me that this meant I would go straight down at full speed if I messed up. So I got into a lot of mind talk about it and couldn’t force myself to do it. I was getting really frustrated. The instructor had to help me through it loads to get the feel for it.
What I was struggling with was what I needed to do with my board to complete the move. I slowly started to get it, then I was able to do one of the turns but then felt like I couldn’t process what I needed to do fast enough to do the second turn. It all feels a bit jumbled as it’s easy to forget which was you’re supposed to be turning!
After a while, I finally got it. It was the happiest moment of my life. I thought I was going to be left on the baby slope while everyone got to go on the main slope because the fear just got the best of me. No matter how much I told myself to do it, I kept wimping out.
It’s the first time I really understood what they meant when they told us that looking in the direction is what turns the bored. Which is true.
It makes no sense. It’s like magic. You turn your head and your board turns. You don’t really do much with your feet apart from pushing into your toe and heel edge to slow down and speed up.
The Button Lift.
After about an hour and a bit, we had a quick break and then headed to the main slope.
The instructor told us how to use the dreaded button lift.
It’s much easier on skis. I fell off it twice. It’s quite uncomfortable to use, but hopefully I’ll get used to it.
I was too busy looking at the floor as I was making sure my board wasn’t going into the edge when I should have been looking straight ahead.
The Main Slope.
We went half way up the main slope and practiced going down using S turns.
It was a bit scary because of the other snowboarders and skiers. As I was just learning, I was hesitant to turn if there was someone in my path as I wasn’t confident in my ability to turn out of their way.
The first time, I almost boarded into the people going up the button lift. Oops. And one time I fell at the bottom and hit my head pretty hard. But the rest of that run was great!
I started to feel really comfortable with it. We spend about an hour or so just going up and down. The awkward thing was getting to the bottom and having to skate with one foot in the board. It just didn’t feel comfortable at all.
The last half an hour seemed to go slow. It’s hard work snowboarding and I was getting tired after almost 3 hours of it.
I wore my heart rate monitor and burnt over 1500 calories during the 3 hours. Mental! It was probably most from the first half of the lesson though when we had to take off our board completely and run up the hill each time.
I felt great after it. I thought I wasn’t going to pass at the start. But when I got it, it started to seem natural and although I’m not 100% confident, I feel okay going down the main slope.
Here’s what I got ticked off:
- I’ve had an introduction to foot steering.
- I can make turns from my toe edge.
- I can make turns from my heel edge.
- I can link turns on the lesson slope.
- I can link turns from the midpoint of the main slope.
- I can use the Poma lift.
One lesson to go! I’m so excited to go again 🙂