In my last blog post, I wrote about a recent study out of Japan that highlighted the benefits of proper snowboard instruction - namely, a drastically lower rate of injury when compared to snowboarders who learn to ride without taking a lesson. The comments on that post split neatly down the middle, with 50% agreeing that taking a lesson was the way to go, and 50% disagreeing, stating that lessons weren't really necessary. Let's get one thing out of the way immediately - I know there were only two comments. It's nearly July...snowboard lessons aren't a very popular topic at the moment!
All kidding aside, I'm interested in seeing how the rest of you out there feel. My opinion isn't likely to change, because I'm a snowboard instructor. In any given year, I see several hundred kids who benefit from snowboard instruction. Over a period of several years or more, I see many of those same kids grow up to be amazing snowboarders, way better, in fact, than I will ever be, and I know it all stemmed from the solid foundation they were provided way back when. But I do see the flip side, too. There are probably just as many snowboarders out there who never took a lesson, yet turned out to be decent riders. They may not even have been injured in the process. In the end, it is certainly possible to learn to snowboard without taking a lesson. Does that mean it's wise? Probably not.
What do you think? Are snowboard lessons worth the time, money, and effort?