My Progression in Snowboarding

We all know the feeling… you go out snowboarding for the first time for the season and the next day, you feel so sore that you can barely walk. You remember the awesome day you had riding yesterday but now you are paying the price for it with ice packs, hot tubs, and maybe Flex All.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Matt D. and I have been a part of the ski industry for more than two decades. I switched from skiing to snowboarding back in the early nineties when snowboarding really exploded. I loved to ski but snowboarding attracted me from my background in surfing and skateboarding in Southern California.

I rode all through my teen years with anyone who could give me a ride to the mountain. When I turned 16 and was old enough to drive, I bought my first season pass. I would drive 3 hours each way to get to the mountains on the weekends, often times travelling back and forth Saturday and Sunday. I loved snowboarding and it was all I could think about.

Getting ready to go to college, I of course had to get out of Southern California and go to school where I could snowboard. Colorado was obvious at first but then I learned you had to travel quite some time to get to the resorts from school. I stumbled upon Utah and visited while still in High School on one of the nightmare bus tours. I fell in love and I knew that Utah would be where I would move.

Upon moving to Salt Lake City, one of my first orders of business besides school was to get a season pass. I had ridden at Brighton, Solitude, Snowbird, Wolf Mountain (R.I.P. now Canyons), and Park City Mountain Resort. I had to get the most bang for my buck and pick something close to the dorms. Brighton became my choice, partly because of it’s proximity and also because it was in all of the magazines at the time. Also, not all resorts allowed snowboarding or restricted the days they I could go ride. (My how things have changed) I had a lot of fun at Brighton. Then, with friends help I found Snowbird, Utah.

Snowbird is a tough, rough, steep mountain. It will kick your butt as a snowboarder. Some people don’t like it for this reason but I assure you that they just don’t know what they are missing. There is no other mountain in North America that has the quality and quantity of snow, variety of terrain, and exposure. I thought I was pretty good at the time until I started riding at the “Bird.” Snowboarding there definitely improved my ability but the problem was that I simply wasn’t strong enough no matter how much I was snowboarding. I wanted to ride longer, harder, and faster. I wanted to keep up with the expert local skiers there. I didn’t want to ever get stuck, I wanted to absorb bumps, and I wanted to send myself off of cliffs. I needed to train.

Sure, I wouldn’t get as sore and stiff after a few days on the mountain, but that wasn’t good enough. I wanted my money’s worth and I wanted to take advantage of nature’s, “best snow on earth.” When I went on vacation to other resorts, I wanted to ride from first chair to last chair, everyday. I didn’t want to be tired two days into a ski vacation and not reap the rewards that the resort had to offer. The problem was that I simply wasn’t strong enough but my brain would not allow me to stop even though my body did. This was the cause for injuries. Simply, you are more susceptible to get hurt snowboarding when you are weak and tired.

About two years into living in Utah, I realized I had hit a wall in my progression in Snowboarding. I wanted to go even bigger, faster, and just be more powerful. It wasn’t until I started working out in the off-season and cross training that I was able to progress again. I finally realized the importance of having a strong core, legs, arms, everything. I had heard it all before and seen the articles in the ski mags. I just didn’t believe it. I thought that once I got over the initial soreness in the beginning of the season that I was fine. Boy was I wrong.

There are a lot more muscles being worked than I realized and strengthen even the ones I didn’t think I used helped me tremendously. I could now go on vacation and get the most out of time and dollar. I was opening a whole new door of possibilities in snowboarding that I didn’t even think was possible. I wish I had started this earlier in my life because that would have helped me turn pro.

As any workout routine goes, it is hard to stay focused. For me, it was hard to remember the ski season in the summer. It was even harder to go and workout in the winter. Fact is, I was working for a ski resort, getting to ride for free and I was becoming lazy. I knew a fitness regimen would help but it was just hard to stay focused and I needed help. This is where I found the secret The people who developed this secret hit it right on. Anyone serious about getting better at snowboarding or skiing needs to at least check this out.

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