Advice needed Please help me create my Perisher itinerary to learn snowboarding

Anuj

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Feb 10, 2019
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Hello guys and girls,

So, I've got a week long snow holiday booked at Perisher in late June. I've snowboarded a total of 3 days in my entire life. Last time I boarded was at Perisher last year where I simply stayed at the beginner's area with the carpet and took 1 lesson. I fell a lot (and hard) but I was learning to turn and gain more confidence on the board in general however the beating I took on the first day was enough to tire me out of my 2 days I had there. I went in October last year so i'm not sure if the snow is harder around that time and could have made it worse for me.

I could do with some help from someone more experienced to guide me on which areas to go first and progress to which areas just so i can a) learn snowboarding better and faster and b) make it a more enjoyable experience.

Further questions, Is it worth buying a snowboard as a beginner or is it better to hire one to begin with? If hiring is a better option, I've seen the "performance snowboards" which are offered from the rental companies - are they worth it for a learner? The difference in hire price is not that big to deter me from doing it IF it might be worth it for me to learn on.

Thank you all :)
 

Jasper Schwarz

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Hey Man,
Can’t help much with purchasing snow boarding questions as I’m a skier myself,
But if you are learning I would always recommend smiggins to anyone.

It longish green runs through the trees plus it has some blue runs to progress to after the tree runs. I thought all my friends to ski there.
Other great places I’d recommend is happy valley, and pleasant and pretty valleys. They need a little more snow but Pleasant valley down onto copperhead road is a personal favourite of mine.
From there blue cow and centre valley.

Hope this helps out!!
 

nezumi

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OK, there's a fair bit to unpack here.

I'd strongly recommend taking advantage of Perisher's "Learn Free" offer. Depending on when in June you are at Perisher, this means you get a Lift Pass, Lessons and Rental at the same bundle price as Lift Pass and Rental: https://www.perisher.com.au/tickets-passes/prices/learn-to-ski-or-board-for-free

Taking lessons will ensure that you don't learn bad technique on your own, and an instructor is the best person to teach you how to safely ride the lifts, especially Perisher's t-bars.

I am able to comfortably snowboard on blue runs / attempting black runs, but for the difference in price between a 5 day lift pass ($522) and 5 day lift and lesson pass ($559) in August, I am going to go for the lessons.

In October the snow is generally softer (slushier, more likely to melt as the day goes on) but also slower.

Buying a board as a beginner is a bit of a toss-up - if you learn quickly, you will want to upgrade pretty soon, but if you only plan on going every couple of years... maybe? If you are going to buy *anything* equipment related, make it your boots. Until you are able to comfortably link turns on blue runs, you don't want to hire a "performance" board - these are aimed at more experienced riders who cannot justify having their own equipment, whereas a proper learner board will be more forgiving, allowing you to develop faster.
 
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nezumi

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Hey Man,
Can’t help much with purchasing snow boarding questions as I’m a skier myself,
But if you are learning I would always recommend smiggins to anyone.

My take, for a snowboarder Blue Cow is preferable due to the number of chairs vs t-bars. As a snowboarder, if you haven't got the skill of one-footed riding down pat both can be hard, but with chairs you fall over once, at the end. With T-bars, you can fall over part of the way up and the panic and flail.
 
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base615

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Apart from lessons obviously being a good idea, IMO the absolute worst thing for learning snowboarding is to stay in a beginners area, sticking to flat greens and being too scared to try t-bars.

You can't get up any speed to link turns and you're off balance so you fall. It's also harder to get up onto your feet so you spend half the time flapping around like a seal. Using t-bars force you to stay balanced on the board, flex your knees and ankles and stay lightly on an edge.

Echoing some advice above, Smiggins is great as there's less crowding and you've got some easy blues like Blanchy's. At first, that run might feel a little bit steep at the top but it quickly shallows out and it's wide and uncrowded. Also, you have to get on a t-bar to get back up to the top which forces you to learn.
 
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base615

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My take, for a snowboarder Blue Cow is preferable due to the number of chairs vs t-bars. As a snowboarder, if you haven't got the skill of one-footed riding down pat both can be hard, but with chairs you fall over once, at the end. With T-bars, you can fall over part of the way up and the panic and flail.

LOL, we gave completely opposite advice on the t-bars. Horses for courses I guess.
 
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nezumi

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It does come down to timing, as Perisher aren't offering lessons at Smiggins until 29 June anyway.
 

Jasper Schwarz

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My take, for a snowboarder Blue Cow is preferable due to the number of chairs vs t-bars. As a snowboarder, if you haven't got the skill of one-footed riding down pat both can be hard, but with chairs you fall over once, at the end. With T-bars, you can fall over part of the way up and the panic and flail.
This actually makes good sense:
My only thinking with blue cow is that the easier terrain is rather limited and crowded which isn’t idea. But as I said snowboarding knowledge is very limited
 
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nezumi

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LOL, we gave completely opposite advice on the t-bars. Horses for courses I guess.

I agree that being scared of them isn't great, but I favour building confidence in one area at a time, rather than throwing in the deep end :D :p

I can see the merits of your approach, I just remember my novice snowboarder attempts at t-bars, and seeing friends learn and struggle on them.
 
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base615

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I agree that being scared of them isn't great, but I favour building confidence in one area at a time, rather than throwing in the deep end :D :p

I can see the merits of your approach, I just remember my novice snowboarder attempts at t-bars, and seeing friends learn and struggle on them.

Yeah, some are certainly easier than others, I certainly wouldn't recommend a trip up the Piper first time. The ones at Smiggins tend to be fairly quiet and easy though and I think it helps to get the feeling of being side on too, rather than counter-rotating your body forward.
 
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nezumi

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For a good guide on riding t-bars as a snowboarder:
If you have the time, a lot of the beginner videos from SnowboardProCamp and SnowboardAddiction on youtube are pretty good (although I would value an on-snow lesson well ahead of any youtube video, at least until you are at the point where you are looking for tips on tricks etc).
 
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Seafm

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Lessons that I have learnt along the way, choose your board wisely. I hired one from Perisher Hire in 2014 and not knowing any better at the time it had no metal edge and I spent more time on my arse than upright. I couldn't do any turns properly and the board would just slide out from under me all the time. Get boa boots if you are able to, much easier than pulling up laces all the time. And check your stance before you leave the hire shop, if you can't place your trailing foot in the binding comfortably your feet are too far apart. After the disaster with the dodgy board I always go to the Base in Jindabyne for my gear and they're cheaper.
Definitely stay away from Front Valley and go to Blue Cow, less crowded. Early Starter is a great beginners run and Side Saddle is good fun as well.
 
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nezumi

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Lessons that I have learnt along the way, choose your board wisely. I hired one from Perisher Hire in 2014 and not knowing any better at the time it had no metal edge and I spent more time on my arse than upright.

All I can say to that is :O

Get boa boots if you are able to, much easier than pulling up laces all the time. And check your stance before you leave the hire shop, if you can't place your trailing foot in the binding comfortably your feet are too far apart. After the disaster with the dodgy board I always go to the Base in Jindabyne for my gear and they're cheaper.

For me, there's a trade off between hiring off mountain and on mountain, especially with Perisher's bundle deals. Assuming "late June" means starting Monday 24th, then the cost for 5 days for lift only / lift & lesson / lift, lesson & hire is $415/$474/$518 respectively. You're unlikely to find board and boots to hire for 5 days for $44.

For hire, try and go when the shop is quiet - gives you more time to ask questions and get the right fit, rather than getting pushed out so the next punter can be served.
 

Anuj

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Feb 10, 2019
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Thanks everyone for the replies. Just to clarify, i've actually got an Epic Pass and it's gonna be very near the end of June to first week of July. I'm also coming with my girlfriend who has no idea if she will prefer skiing or snowboarding. She has tried snowboarding but was a very slow learner in her first lesson whereas everyone in her lesson group picked up things quicker so she got put off. She said she wants to try both skiing and boarding this time so is Blue Cow going to be okay for both boarders and skiiers to learn on?

Also @Seafm and others, any shop recommendations for gear hire in Jindabyne who take their time and help you properly? Our experience last time up at the mountain was not great as someone described, really just pushing along the line - they asked height weight etc on form but didn't check for stance or anything and I think i've seen much cheaper prices from my online research in Jindy.
 
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Seafm

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Thanks everyone for the replies. Just to clarify, i've actually got an Epic Pass and it's gonna be very near the end of June to first week of July. I'm also coming with my girlfriend who has no idea if she will prefer skiing or snowboarding. She has tried snowboarding but was a very slow learner in her first lesson whereas everyone in her lesson group picked up things quicker so she got put off. She said she wants to try both skiing and boarding this time so is Blue Cow going to be okay for both boarders and skiiers to learn on?

Also @Seafm and others, any shop recommendations for gear hire in Jindabyne who take their time and help you properly? Our experience last time up at the mountain was not great as someone described, really just pushing along the line - they asked height weight etc on form but didn't check for stance or anything and I think i've seen much cheaper prices from my online research in Jindy.
Blue Cow is great for everyone. When I mentioned stance I was mainly referring to the spacing between your feet. Last year my feet were placed too far apart and I struggled for most of the first day. That resulted in a rather sore back. Actual stance is the way you stand on the board. An easy way to check it is to run across a tiled floor with no shoes on, socks only and put the brakes on. If you stop with your right foot leading you're standard, left foot is goofy.
 

Skichic2

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Blue Cow is great for everyone. When I mentioned stance I was mainly referring to the spacing between your feet. Last year my feet were placed too far apart and I struggled for most of the first day. That resulted in a rather sore back. Actual stance is the way you stand on the board. An easy way to check it is to run across a tiled floor with no shoes on, socks only and put the brakes on. If you stop with your right foot leading you're standard, left foot is goofy.
And if you’re wearing no pants, you’re Tom Cruise.
 

Anuj

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Feb 10, 2019
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Blue Cow is great for everyone. When I mentioned stance I was mainly referring to the spacing between your feet. Last year my feet were placed too far apart and I struggled for most of the first day. That resulted in a rather sore back. Actual stance is the way you stand on the board. An easy way to check it is to run across a tiled floor with no shoes on, socks only and put the brakes on. If you stop with your right foot leading you're standard, left foot is goofy.


Isn't right foot front goofy and left foot standard?

Funny that I actually tried the method today and figured out i'm right foot leading.
 
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LMB

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Right foot forward (goofy) is the correct way.
Not that there’s anything wrong with a natural ;)

My 2c

Get lessons.
For you and the girlfriend (separately).
You’ll have so much more fun learning and achieving and setting a great foundation for decades of snowfun.

Don’t be scared of learning t-bars.
I listened to the “snowboarders and t-bars” rhetoric and freaked TF out every time I had to do one. For years. Learning at Thredbo I was able to avoid them. Get instructors to take you on them in your early lessons and you’ll nail them early at the same time as you’re learning the basics and you’ll never look back.

As @base615 says pitch is your friend on a snowboard. Obviously you need to get the basics down on a flatter area, but once you are controlling the board then get away from the flat. I taught a number of skiers/friends this past season and to a man they all got the “you were right/told you so” moment when we went back to the Gumby slope on the way home after a successful day on the hill only to epically eat it. It’s always on the blasted flat. For a snowboarder that is where your skill or lack of it shows up.

Acquisitions:
Boots first.

If you find you are comfortable on a hire board then ask the tech to write down the board type, binding width and front and back binding angle. You can then replicate it on future hires without going through the “my bindings feel funny” period each time.

If you’re buying a board for use in Aus and you’re not a park rat then avoid a skate banana or full rocker IMHO. Too much ice not enough edge to keep you in control. Everything else will be fine.

Have fun!
It’s meant to be fun.
 

Mtn2Sea

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I was about to come and lend my opinion but @LMB has basically said everything I was going to say.

To be a little more Perisher specific I would suggest Smiggins for your lessons. You get to learn J bars straight away with an instructor to help. I think the slope you will learn on has just enough pitch to learn on without being too flat.

The runs off the chair lift can provide plenty of variation and challenges for a progressing beginner. If you know where to look there is the odd steeper bit to check how you are progressing and then you have some trees etc.

Master all that and then move to the big TBar, once you are comfortable on Blanchys you should be ready for the rest of the resort.

People seem to love Copperhead road but be careful there, you were will have advanced riders heading down their going much faster than you and can be unnerving to beginners.

And more lessons. Not too hard to become a competent harder, but you will more lessons to become a really good snowboarder, regardless of if you want to ride park or charge down black runs.

For mine watch the rider on the mountain who leaves a track behind them only about 2 inches wide. Looks fantastic, very hard to do.

Learn at your own pace and just have fun. I can still have fun just cruising green runs some days.

Cheers
 

base615

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One more thing about learning t-bars.

For the first few goes, get on with an experienced skier or boarder on the opposite side. It will stabilise it and give you a chance to recover any wobbles, as well as reducing the queue for everyone else.

Take whoever’s available and willing but, if you have a choice, try to pick someone of similar height until you’re comfortable.
 

nezumi

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I was about to come and lend my opinion but @LMB has basically said everything I was going to say.

To be a little more Perisher specific I would suggest Smiggins for your lessons. You get to learn J bars straight away with an instructor to help. I think the slope you will learn on has just enough pitch to learn on without being too flat.

You lot are almost convincing me to ask Perisher to switch our lessons from Blue Cow to Smiggins! LOL

Unfortunately, I doubt that we'd have much luck making it back from the Kid's centre to Smiggins in time for a lesson after dropping of Mr 3.5 - and Blue Cow has better progression terrain for me (totally not being selfish here, honest!)
 

nezumi

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One more thing about learning t-bars.

For the first few goes, get on with an experienced skier or boarder on the opposite side. It will stabilise it and give you a chance to recover any wobbles, as well as reducing the queue for everyone else.

Take whoever’s available and willing but, if you have a choice, try to pick someone of similar height until you’re comfortable.

Easy for you to say, goofy foot! :p
 
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Snowfi

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Smiggins may not be open when you are there but is a great spot to learn new lifts if it is open. Lifties tend to be more friendly and helpful. Others in the lift queue more understand if you miss a few or fall.
 
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Shrike

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As above comments buy a good set of boots, I would be looking now so that you have time to wear them around the house to help break them in. Where are you located, I am sure people can recommend a store. In regards to the GF I would just rent her gear until she decides if she wants to Ski or Snowboard and then once she makes up her mind get her boots to start with

I Snowboard and am comfortable on any terrain. but borrowed gear for my first few trips and then brought a board/bindings etc which I did 6days one season and then maybe 10days the next, I outgrew the board I had and then brought another new setup.

Now I am looking at getting something longer/stiffer (I like to go fast) or a splitboard setup

You really need to work out what kind of snowboarding you want to do (Pow, All mountain, Park, Freestyle, Freeriding or a mixture) and where you want to do it (Australia, New Zealand, America, Canada, Europe, Japan or a mixture)

As that will help determine what gear will suit you best, yes you can ride anything in any condition (even a 2by4) but you will enjoy yourself so much more if you get something that's designed for the conditions you ride in

My advice would be rent until you can ride blue runs comfortably or outride the board you are on. Do a few runs on demo boards during the demo day when that comes up. Once you work out what boards suit you from that rent one and try it out for a day or two then commit to buying. A lot of stores will take the rental cost off the price of the board if you buy from them

This also allows you to see what bindings you like as well

My current gear is a 2019 156cm Jones Explorer with Now Drive bindings, I have found it good as an all round board that can manage power in Japan along with All mountain and freeriding runs. I personally like to charge down runs, ride in the trees and glide on powder. I don't go in the park at all and while I can do jumps its not really what I like to do. I've used this board in Australia (Hotham/Falls) and Japan (Hakuba)

My friend brought an advanced board as his first and spent a lot of time frustrated and not learning or having fun as he couldn't use it properly. Two weekends on my old board to learn on and he was loving life :)

Not sure what ill buy next but really impressed by the Jones gear

Hope this helps :)
 
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nezumi

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Now I am looking at getting something longer/stiffer (I like to go fast) or a splitboard setup

My current gear is a 2019 157cm Jones Explorer with Now Drive bindings, I have found it good as an all round board that can manage power in Japan along with All mountain and freeriding runs. I personally like to charge down runs, ride in the trees and glide on powder. I don't go in the park at all and while I can do jumps its not really what I like to do. I've used this board in Australia (Hotham/Falls) and Japan (Hakuba)

Not sure what ill buy next but really impressed by the Jones gear

I think I need to go riding with you! I was tempted to get the Explorer (or the Frontier, as it's now known), but there was no stock available in Aus. In the end, I found a Deep Thinker at a great price.

Next step will be convincing my better half that I need to buy a splitboard and the associated gear. :D
 

Shrike

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I think I need to go riding with you! I was tempted to get the Explorer (or the Frontier, as it's now known), but there was no stock available in Aus. In the end, I found a Deep Thinker at a great price.

Next step will be convincing my better half that I need to buy a splitboard and the associated gear. :D

Yeah I brought the 2019 when it got released (I pre ordered it from Board world before last season started :p)

Always happy to go for a run (let me know if you are heading upto Hotham or Falls), will be in Hakuba 2nd-8th Feb as well

I still stack it when I am being a muppet (Blacks/double blacks in white out or with stupid amounts of moguls/ice) or when ive had a few to many beers ha. Though tbh I have gotten to the point where I may need to actually get a lesson (have not had one yet, but have had tips from a few friends who are ex instructors) but will see how this season goes

Generally pretty confident and have hit some good speeds while I was in japan. I just changed my binding setup to sit as far back as possible (for pow) and went from a 15 degree duck stance to a 15 front and 0 rear. That was an interesting learning curve ;) planning on keeping it and refining it more this season to see if it allows me better control at higher speed. Low speed stuff isn't an issue

Yeah can't justify the splitboard gear yet, looking at 2k for a new setup (Jones splitboard with Karakoram bindings)
 
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