If you want to get better at snowboarding it’s really important to have a plan.
You’ll improve much faster, and you’ll even improve in a way that means you’ll actually learn better, if you make a plan.
How Will a plan make me Learn Better?
Like most things in life, there is an order to the way you progress in snowboarding that is the most effective way to progress.
The end of this post will show a suggested order of progression to help with your plan.
For example if you learn how to do 180s before you’ve learned to ride switch properly then your landings and approaches (when approaching in switch) will be more difficult than they should be. This means that the technique that you develop will likely be poor.
It’s easier to get it right from the beginning than have to go back and fix bad technique.
How Will a plan make me Get Better Faster?
If you just learn random things here and there it will take longer to learn everything. Again, if you learn in the right order then you’ll have everything you need for the next thing that you are learning. There’s a natural progression taking place.
For example, if you have all the prerequisite’s for doing a 180 in place (i.e. comfortable riding switch, comfortable over jumps and landing jumps) then you will learn 180s much faster.
Also, if you have a list of things that you want to achieve then you will be more focused and motivated. If you don’t know where you want to be specifically, then you’ll likely just stick to the things that you know and not progress.
How to Design a Plan that Works
To create a plan that works you need to know three things:
- Where you currently are. What Can you do well, what needs work, what haven’t you tried at all
- Where you want to be. You want to be specific with your goals.
- How you are going to get there
Where You Currently Are
I find it’s a good idea to write out the things that you can do and assess roughly the level you are at.
If you think about a map. You need to know where you are on the map in order to make a plan to get to where you want to be. If you don’t know where you are then you could travel in the completely wrong direction to where you want to go.
For some this will be very easy. E.g. “Currently I am a very beginner. I can get down the mountain without falling down too much but only on one edge and I am not yet linking turns”.
For others it might take a bit more thought. It’s important to be as honest as you can when assessing your own skills and it can be helpful to ask others for their honest observations.
Check out the link below to see the different snowboarding skill levels.
Where You Want to Be
When you are making your goals for where you want to be it’s important to be very specific.
A goal like “I want to get better at snowboarding” is too vague.
Something like “I want to be linking C turns on green runs within the next 2 days that I’m on the mountain”
“I want to successfully land a small jump in the park with an indy grab by the end of the week”
is much better.
A Plan to Get There
Once you know where you are and where you want to be then you can make a plan to get there.
If you are “not yet able to link turns” and your goal is “I want to be linking C turns on green runs in the next 2 days” then you can take action to achieve that.
Your plan might be “I will take lessons so that a qualified Instructor can teach me this” (a very good plan by the way!).
Or it might be something like “I will master getting down on my heel edge, then I will master getting down on my toe edge so that I am comfortable on both edges. That way when I am transitioning I will be comfortable on either edge”.
Example Snowboarding Progression Plan
O.k. now that that’s out of the way! All very important parts of making a plan but now let’s see what a good progression plan might be.
This won’t show all of the details of how to do each of the things but it will show an order and this will help you with the where you want to be part of your plan. It’s important to get this part of your plan in a logical order.
This isn’t the only order you could learn in but there are certain things that you want to learn before learning other things.
- Master Snowflaking on both edges
- Get comfortable with skating (this isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for anything else but it will make your day more enjoyable if you aren’t good at this yet)
- Start linking turns in a C turn shape
- Starting linking turns in an S turn shape
- Do the above on a blue run
- Learn how to do Ollies
- Land a small jump smoothly by clearing the knuckle (without popping or spinning at all)
- Learn how to ride switch (the opposite direction from your most comfortable direction – you may need to go through the same process you did when you learnt to ride in your natural direction – i.e. snowflake, then c turns, then s turns, then ollies, then small jump)
- Learn carving
- Progress onto a black run (the reason I have this so far down the list is that it’s a good idea to get to a certain level before attempting more difficult terrain. If you hit that difficult terrain and your technique is poor or you are at a level that’s not good enough for it then you can develop poor technique [you will just invent ways of getting you down safely not smoothly] and also it can hurt your confidence)
- Land a medium jump smoothly (just straight air to start with) – this could be done before or after learning 180s if you wanted.
- Learn manuals, presses etc and other flatland tricks (these could be learned earlier too)
- Learn how to ride boxes and rails
- Learn some grabs when going over jumps
- Learn how to ride more smoothly on uneven terrain
- Venture into the backcountry
- Learn frontside 180s both from switch and your normal stance (you will want to be comfortable going over jumps, riding switch, landing switch. You can practice spinning on a flat and riding across the slope too before attempting these off a jump)
- Learn backside 180s both from switch and your normal stance
- Learn 360s
- Land a large jump (straight air)
- Try out the pipe
These are just an example of how you might progress. Your plan might very well look different. There are some things you could do in a different order and there might be some things that you’re just not interested in doing.
For example you might decide that you never want to learn jibbing, for whatever reason. Then you wouldn’t put that as part of your particular plan.
And this list isn’t exhaustive of course, there are a lot more things you can learn to do no a snowboard.
Thanks for reading
I hope this post has helped you to develop your own plan. Of course, the main thing is that you have fun. But in my opinion if you keep progressing every time you are on the mountain it makes it way more fun.
If you have any questions or anything to add to this or if there’s anything you disagree with just let me know in the comments section below.