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Matthew Gibson

Overcoming Fear: Why I Write This Guide

By October 4, 2012

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snowboarderLearning to snowboard can seem overwhelming at first. I felt that way when I first started. Snowboarding was so new at that time that it was banned on most ski hills, and we were never sure if it wasn't going to be banned on our own local hill.

The sport was so new and so few people knew how to do it that there weren't any instructors. About.com most definitely didn't have instructions for beginners. It didn't even exist yet.

So, we (my brother and I) had to learn alone. We flopped around like fish out of water while trying to skate into the lift line. We learned mostly during night skiing, when there was only one lift open: the t-bar. Riding that lift with only one foot strapped in was one of the best learning experiences we could have had.

Only one run was open, and parts were very steep. So, on the flat parts we sussed out how to turn and on the hard parts we sideslipped down the hill.

It wasn't easy, but we figured it out.  Over time, we got pretty good.

We both took our instructor's training. My brother went on to teach at huge resorts like Lake Louise, and even competed in a few snowboard cross races.

I remember very clearly taking our CASI Level 1 instructor's course. I was amazed at how simply they had broken down the movements involved in slipping, turning, and stopping. Those things had been so hard for us to learn, but our teacher showed us how to walk a person through the steps in a way that made it almost impossible not to be successful.

My brother and I learned the hard way. There is no need for you to.

Learning snowboarding doesn't have to be hard, and it shouldn't be intimidating.

That's why I write this guide -- so that nobody has to go through the frustration that we experienced when we first strapped our boards on. I promise you, if you follow the instructions in this guide carefully, you will learn -- quickly.

To make sure that my instructions are bang on, I run most of my articles past my brother, who has now been a snowboard instructor for more than a decade.

And, if you're wondering who the guy in the green jacket in several of my pictures is, that's him.


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