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today is 24th Feb 2018
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    Tue 4th January 2011
    Snowboarding Beginner Progression

    Our next snowboarding guest has arrived today, his name is John Goez and he is from Miami, Florida. He has skipped across the pond to come travelling around Europe for awhile. He is a very confident and capable snowboarder who doesn't really need any normal lessons, he just requires some pointers for freestyle. Sean and Ell have both taken him under their wings and they have showed him some tricks at Nosal such as pop 180°s, ollie's, nose rolls and tail rolls.

    For me it was my first day of snowboarding and I have to say snowboarding is so much fun, I think it is time to break down the skier - snowboarder divide and start a new civilisation of supreme snow sports experts. The lads showed me the beginner board progression which is as follows;

    • Stance Test; one method to test this is the push test. This is where you simply stand behind the student and push them forwards, which ever leg they put out to stop themselves from falling over is their front foot because that leg takes all the weight. Another way to perform a stance test is to simply ask the student which foot they would kick a ball with, the leg that they lean on whilst kicking is their front foot. This may be considered to be a better method of determining what a student's stance is purely because that way no one feels violated by being pushed and if other students in the group see the push test it could potentially affect the results of the test.
    • Introduction to Equipment; this is exactly as it sounds, an introduction to the board, bindings and boots. They demonstrated the best way to lay the board on the snow while it is not in use is to dig the toe edge in and place it bindings facing down. They also showed us to strap in by laying the board on the snow with the heel edge dug in so that the board remains still and then you place your feet into the bindings making sure that your heel is pushed right to the back and then you do up the heel binding first to push your heel right into the bindings and then the toe strap second to push your toes down and to help push your heel further into the bindings if need be. The first you foot you strap in and keep strapped in whilst moving around is always your front foot as it is the leg the you are best at staying balanced on.
    • Basic Mobility; this is where you get the student to move around with just their front foot strapped in. You make the student walk around, skate and hop about so that they can get used to having a board strapped to their feet. Once the student has a basic feel for the board on their feet you make them skate along and place their back foot on the board next to the corresponding binding and make them glide along until the terrain stops them, this is so that they can get a feel for prolonged riding and maintaining balanced.
    • Straight Running; this is where you choose an area of the slope that is relatively flat and get the student to point themselves downhill so that they can slide along until the terrain stops them, at this point you also introduce them to using their back foot to stop them self, either by digging their heel or toes into the ground. Once they have become accustomed to using their back foot as a brake you move them to more inclined part of the slope so that they have to use their back foot as a brake.
    • J Turns; a progression on from straight running except now they start to actually perform turns by adjusting their upper body positioning. Start off with heel side turns by getting the student to straight run down the slope and then look over their left shoulder for regular and their right shoulder for goofy, they initiate the turn by turning their upper body in the corresponding aforementioned directions. Once they have achieved a few heel edge J turns you then get the student to perform a few toe edge turns by just reversing the process.
    • Side Slipping; now you get the student to strap both of their feet into the board whilst on a flat and you get the student used to two footed orientation by getting them to rotate their body around, up and down and backwards and forwards so that they can get a feel for the different planes of movement involved with snowboarding. Once the student has a feel for having both feet strapped in, you move them further up the hill so that they can start to side slip back down, at this point you explain the concept of the 'gas pedal' whereby whilst moving along on their heel edge the student dips their toes down to speed up and then lifts their toes back up to slow themselves down, just like using an accelerator pedal in a car. Once they have done it on their heel edge for awhile you then spin them round so that they can practice it on their toe edge.
    • Falling Leaf; this is where you get the student to side slip down the hill and place more weight onto one leg so that they begin to traverse across the hill, then get them to even their weight out again so that they return to side slipping. Now get them to place more weight onto the other leg so that they traverse back across the hill in the opposite direction and then get them to return back side slipping. Perform this all the way down the hill a few times so that they get a feel for weight distribution and how it affects their movements.
    • Isolated Beginner Turns; now starting with the heel edge first, get the student to side slip down the hill and then get them to place more weight onto their front foot so that they start straight running and then get them to even out their weight and twist their body so that start side slipping again, always returning to their heel edge and the same direction they were originally heading in. Once they have performed a few turns on their heel edge get them to perform the same exercise on their toe edge. Once they are comfortable at performing isolated turns, get the student to perform C turns, which are complete turns on one edge. Start with the heel edge then move onto the toe edge.
    • Linked Beginner Turns; this is simply where you link the C turns from their heel edge onto their toe edge so they turn from one edge onto the other. This results in S shapes stacked on top of each other as they move down the slope. Now that they are performing these linked turns you just repeat and inform them of different radius turns, such as short radius, medium radius and large radius turns. Now you just repeat with different sized radius turns start some basic exercises, such as the cat and mouse exercise or the back seat driver exercise.

    Novice Turns; now you begin to add flexion extension into their turns to increase pressure control and reinforce their understanding of how the board reacts to their movements and varying weight distribution.

    Wed 19th January 2011
    Bye bye miss american pie....and the rugby boys

    So today was the last day on the slopes with all the Gents it was a good day, Matty and I took them up to Bialka, to enjoy the last day of skiing. It was an absolutely lovely day with great weather the boys were all happy to just free ski, as they had all ready taken the full week of instruction and just wanted to be able to put it into practice. It was excellent to see my usual group (the intermediates) be able to keep up and do every slope the advanced group was able to do and the fun didnt stop there after a long day on the slopes we all made it home for dinner with plans of meeting again… and so we did later that night it was time for an award ceremony, and sing along with Robsy on the guitar , it was a great fun filled evening with plenty of jokes and laughter. We sang everything from the Eagles, Hotel California right to some of the rugby boys own songs about their past hostelling experiences, great sense of humour on them and definitely made our week sparkle with character. Can't wait till next season to see them all again.

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