Learning to freestyle snowboard, blog 3

Feature Amanda Khouv Nov 2, 2012

Weather reports are promising a white winter, but WF’s Amanda Khouv is getting her snow hit early as she learns some more freestyle tricks

It’s been a freezing few days here in London, and while everyone’s been complaining about the drastic drop in temperature, it’s really put me in the mood for snow season – I can just picture myself on the slopes as we speak! Normally I’d be muttering with contempt if I had to put on my thermals just to go to work, but there was something about it that got me a little excited.

Needless to say, I was itching for my next visit to The Snow Centre for a Freestyle Friday fix. I’ve found learning to freestyle snowboard quite addictive – mainly because of the adrenaline rush, plus completing a new trick feels so rewarding. But having to wait so long until I can get back on the slopes is frustrating – I can’t imagine what it would be like without indoor slopes around!

I can tell that my attitude towards freestyle snowboarding has changed dramatically – I’d usually wait around for ages after I arrived just psyching myself up. Now, I couldn’t wait to get up there.

I had a few runs down the training slope first but decided that I felt ready to attempt some tricks almost right away. Onto the boxes and kickers. My first few attempts weren't so successful, but I did expect a bit of slope rust. So I kept trying. I landed a few decent 50/50s, which I learnt on my first visit, but for some reason I landed on my bum a hell of a lot more than my board this time round! My balance felt a little off and I just couldn’t seem to get it right. I must’ve been having a bad day!

Rather than getting disheartened, I decided to try something different. The boxes and kickers didn’t seem to bode well with me this time, so I wanted to try buttering – a trick that doesn’t require anything but me, my board and the snow.

Imagine just going along the snow, then putting all your weight onto the tail of the board and lifting the other end up off the snow. At first it felt completely counter-instinctive to seemingly set yourself off balance, but I soon realised that it was a case of trusting that you actually wouldn’t fall backwards. The trick really is not to pick up too much speed; this just caused me to feel out of control and bail out of the trick every time.

Once I felt comfortable lifting the nose of the board off the snow, I tried to pivot on the tail to make a rotation, but couldn’t distribute my weight well enough just yet. That was one for next time!

Although I didn’t hit any boxes, kickers or rails this time round, I found out that even if you’re having an off-day, hitting the slopes can still be productive in learning new tricks. Just try something different and don't be too hard on yourself!

If you fancy having a go on the indoor slopes at The Snow Centre, or trying Freestyle Fridays, ski or snowboard lessons and more, check out www.thesnowcentre.com