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Old 26.09.2011, 12:38
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Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

Hi all - my GF and I are looking forward to learning to snowboard. Never done it before!

We're thinking of going to Feldberg for 2-3 days and taking lessons there. Probably a mix of public lessons + maybe some private as we get into it.

2 Questions:
1) Has anyone any experiences doing something like this? recommendations? suggestions?
2) When is the earliest we could try this - mid Dec or is Jan time enough?

Thanks
G
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Old 26.09.2011, 12:42
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

I would also like to learn it.
Have the Feldberg at aim too, living in Lörrach.
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Old 26.09.2011, 12:53
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

Step 1:

Go to a sports shop


Step 2:

Buy padded pants




Seriously.......... your bum will hurt like it was 'loved' by a gay Rugby team the first few times.


Alternatively, just wait until you experience the pain, and then go and buy the pants.



oh,
and a helmet is a good idea as well.
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Old 26.09.2011, 12:57
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

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Hi all - my GF and I are looking forward to learning to snowboard. Never done it before!

We're thinking of going to Feldberg for 2-3 days and taking lessons there. Probably a mix of public lessons + maybe some private as we get into it.

2 Questions:
1) Has anyone any experiences doing something like this? recommendations? suggestions?
2) When is the earliest we could try this - mid Dec or is Jan time enough?

Thanks
G
Answers:
1) This is only my third season coming up.
I managed to learn without lessons, but not without mates who helped show me a few things, so the lessons are a good idea.
Practice makes perfect, so once you've been shown a few things, just get out there.
2) Check 'snow reports' on the web to see what is open.
Typically, the higher the mountain, the earlier the season...... but for learning, I'd wait for the lower easier slopes to start (maybe early-mid December)

I'm not joking about your arse either
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Old 26.09.2011, 13:15
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

PP is absolutely right about padding – get some kneepads too – when you fall down it tends to be a “slam” rather than a gentle slide. And slams on your knees and backside can hurt a lot.

Feldberg wouldn’t be my personal first choice of somewhere to learn, but I suppose on the first days you don’t really need much. For me the big disadvantage would be that the easy slopes are all served by drag lifts which are not easy on your first few days of snowboarding (actually even after 15 years riding I still hate them and avoid them!)

I’d pick somewhere with spectacular scenery and good bars so that if you get fed up and frustrated you can retire for a little refreshment in a nice atmosphere. I love the Zweisimmen / Gstaad area. Also a big fan of Davos/Laax. Laax has some really good snowboard teachers – and a massive half pipe so you can watch some mad geezers do tricks and wish you were that good.

I can’t exactly remember now but I don’t recall Feldberg being particularly reliable for snow – that’s always the problem when you’re a learner because usually the learner slopes are low down where the snow is shit. And don’t try and go if the snow conditions are not good – as a learner the last thing you want is hardpacked icey stuff. You want a nice bit of powder to break your (many) falls.

Good luck with it (it is really fun!)
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Old 26.09.2011, 13:49
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

Thanks guys. Ok when you saw pads, break it down for me..

arse - are we talking cycling shorts here or something more?

knee pads - ok, anything elsE?
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Old 26.09.2011, 14:00
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

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2 Questions:
1) Has anyone any experiences doing something like this? recommendations? suggestions?

2) When is the earliest we could try this - mid Dec or is Jan time enough?

Thanks
G
1) Go during the week if you can as at the weekends it gets very busy.

2) As soon as there is enough snow...
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Old 26.09.2011, 14:17
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

we learnt to ski in feldberg and have been able to get on the slopes from roughly mid december. it is a quieter resort although it can get busy at weekends..........aim to arrive around 8am and you will prob have no probs with crowds until around 11am ish, weekdays are much quieter too. we have found it much cheaper than CH too and there are equipment rental shops and cafes.
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Old 26.09.2011, 14:28
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

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Thanks guys. Ok when you saw pads, break it down for me..

arse - are we talking cycling shorts here or something more?

knee pads - ok, anything elsE?
OK, so breaking down "Arse pain", it is more accurate to say that it is the "Coccyx" or tail bone where you experience the pain.

Fortunately, the sports stores will be aware of this and will already have the suitable products available.


Personally, the pair I have has a padded plastic cover around the coccyx, which is pretty uncomfortable to sit in, but suits the purpose.

There are cheaper pants that have just a foam pad..... but after not being able to sit down properly for over a week I wasn't taking any 'cheaper' chances.


Oh, and re: Helmets,
The first time I bought one, I hated it..... but the same day I smashed my head on a rock, and the next time I flew onto a bitumen road.

Those two times alone have paid for the use of the helmet..... I love it now.
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Old 26.09.2011, 14:33
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

Understood! did some reading up on it just now and for beginners on a snowboard, the big things seem to be
- wrists
- helmet
- butt

people also saying knee and elbow are good too.But the biggies seem to be wrists, head and bum

for the butt, came across this. Only about £20, anyone ever use this?
http://www.tailsaver.com/
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Old 26.09.2011, 14:38
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

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Understood! did some reading up on it just now and for beginners on a snowboard, the big things seem to be
- wrists
- helmet
- butt

people also saying knee and elbow are good too.But the biggies seem to be wrists, head and bum

for the butt, came across this. Only about £20, anyone ever use this?
http://www.tailsaver.com/
No idea about the link above sorry.


As for the wrists, I heard the same thing. However, when you think about it, it's kinda common sense.

If you know how to fall, your wrists will be OK.

If you panic, you will extend your arms, grit your teeth, shut your eyes.... and experience a broken wrist.


I'd think about it - try to imagine what sort of 'falling' experiences you've had in the past, eg. falling off a bike, or perhaps some Rugby playing experience or whatever involves a spectacular stack.

If you have been through this before, then you should naturally be OK.

If not, wrist guards would be the way forward.


N.B. Snow is HARDER than you think, and falls hurt, and you WILL get winded.

Welcome to the vertical learning curve of snowboarding.
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Old 26.09.2011, 15:01
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

PS - if we want to get started on this in Dec, would places in Austria be worth a look too?

Just looking for spend 2-3 days somewhere thats a bit cheaper than learning in Switzerland for group / private lessons etc
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Old 26.09.2011, 15:07
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

Take a private lesson for a half day first and learn the basic right away, then is just practice and practice ... have fun
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Old 26.09.2011, 15:13
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

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If you panic, you will extend your arms, grit your teeth, shut your eyes.... and experience a broken wrist.


.
As data shows that fractures and sprains of the wrist seem to be the most common serious snowboard injury, it would suggest that panicking is very common amongst snowboarders. Even good ones.

However, also bare in mind that sometimes it can be quite difficult to fall correctly with a 1.5m board strapped to your feet.
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Old 26.09.2011, 15:16
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

Having a private lesson from time to time after that is also really useful - to make sure no bad habits taken, and to get you over that plateau most reach after some time.

As said, knee pads, wrist guards and a helmet are essential. Bum padding is optional at this stage and more difficult and expensive to acquire. But I can attest to the incredible and long-lasting coccyx pain! Learning to snowboard you fall in a very different way to when you learn to ski, as you get catapulted on to knees or coccyx when you learn to turn, as you have to change edge as soon as turn completed - if you don't, you get thrown forwards or backwards very hard, depending if toe or heel turn. OUCH. (great fun though - and yes you can do it- as I learnt aged 50!).
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Old 26.09.2011, 15:32
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

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However, also bare in mind that sometimes it can be quite difficult to fall correctly with a 1.5m board strapped to your feet.
That is definitely the problem. It's impossible to fall gracefully when you have your feet tied together and strapped onto a plank.

I personally spent more time slamming on my knees and face than on my backside when learning - because I had more problems catching the front edge than the back - but both are not nice. It was only when I had two knee-cap-size bruises on my knees that I thought "hmmm, perhaps kneepads would have been good". I had a magazine shoved down my pants since they didn't really make arse-padded pants for snowboarding back then. Most snowboarding gloves come with wrist protection these days - there are lots of different systems though and some are more comfortable than others - I guess it's personal preference.

Oh, and goes without saying maybe, but it's worth getting snowboard pants that are truly completely waterproof - because you will spend a lot of time sitting in the snow when you are learning. Half of it because you fell down and the other half because you can't get up again.
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Old 26.09.2011, 15:49
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

Ok, thanks all. Keep them coming!

1) Padding - I have helmet, wrist, knees and butt.

2) Venue - where would people suggest? Looking for somewhere we could go maybe early - mid Dec to start. Spend 2-3 days in and get some private, some group lessons and hopefully spend less than we would in Switzerland

G
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Old 26.09.2011, 15:54
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

Getting up is much much easier and safer if you 'elegantly' () flip over onto your knees, then up (that is especially true for those without stomach muscles, lol). + you get much less wet on your knees, as knee pads serve as barrier- it's very comfy too. Most importantly you can see any danger coming behind you.
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Old 26.09.2011, 16:06
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

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As data shows that fractures and sprains of the wrist seem to be the most common serious snowboard injury, it would suggest that panicking is very common amongst snowboarders. Even good ones.

However, also bare in mind that sometimes it can be quite difficult to fall correctly with a 1.5m board strapped to your feet.
That's not true at all.

We are talking about a 'learner' here, not Shaun White.

Granted that there is no 'safe' way to fall once you are moving at pace, but falling correctly while you are learning will prevent the possibility of serious injury..... and good practice for the future.

If you go out dressed like an American footballer because you are afraid of getting hurt, this will also hinder your ability to progress........ and if you are seriously that afraid, then perhaps snowboarding isn't for you.


Locking your arms out when you fall will increase the pressure on the wrist joint- hence the 'snap'.

Falling and allowing your arms to absorb the impact will only slow the rate your body smashes to the ground, and will prevent serious injury....... but not bruises etc.


I'm not saying "don't" wear wrist guards....... I'm saying analyse how you react in a falling situation.
If you haven't done many activities where falling and impact is involve, OR you are afraid of pain...... then you are more likely to hurt yourself.


As I have been told before:
"Pain is weakness leaving the body"
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Old 26.09.2011, 16:21
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Re: Learn to Snowboard - thinking of Feldberg, any tips?

just go and take a day or 2 lesson. after that you will be good to go.
Im picking up skiing again after 15 years on the board. skiing def is more fun on piste, board off piste. whilst you learn you will only be on the baby piste so you really have to put in an effort to hurt yourself.

you can get good gloves with a sort of wrist guard in them, or just a big velcro, that should do. Ive done some nasty falls at some serious speeds and never broke a thing (did knock the wind out of myself several times .

Protection is only gonna hinder your movement. Just wear the helmet if you want ( i dont) , dont wear jeans, and dont use the pink lipbalm.
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