As a spectator, freestyle skiing and snowboarding is an exciting sport to watch - but it’s even more exciting when you’re actually doing it.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s nerve racking when you first get involved. You might have nightmare visions of breaking yourself in half during your first session, but this is very often not the case. Especially if you approach it in the correct way.
So, how do you get involved? Many university snowsports clubs run freestyle tasters or bring their own coaches along to training sessions. The best way to find out more information is to speak to a committee member, and if you can speak to the freestyle captain, even better. If your club doesn’t offer freestyle training for beginners, then contact your nearest dry-slope or indoor facility, and ask about their freestyle coaching. There is always plenty going on for you to get a taste.
What is the number one fear for someone getting involved with freestyle for the first time?
That is usually the fear of falling, or making a fool of yourself in front of the regulars. There is a simple and progressive approach when getting into freestyle where you slowly build up your progression step by step, so that you’re not jumping in the deep end from the word go.
Also, if you’re worried about people taking the piste out of you, it’s not usually the etiquette amongst the snowsports crowd. You’ll find the freestyle skiing and snowboarding community will welcome you with open arms, with the majority of people more than happy to help you out. Whether you’re a quad corking wizard or a box sliding boss, everyone’s in the same game, sharing their love for snowsports.
As a first time freestyler, what can you expect? You most definitely won’t be forced to hit a 50ft jump in your first session, so there’s no need to worry about that. Generally, you’ll begin to build yourself up to different and more challenging terrain, way before you get airborne or slide along an intimidating piece of metal. Once you’re confident with the above, then you will slowly move towards more progressive features, which may include a small jump or sliding a small box.
Following that you would slowly build up speed and height as your confidence builds, step by step progression is the safest way to learn, even at higher levels. Allowing you to practice and build your fundamental skills, which will make you a better and more stylish shredder further down the line. Once you’ve got the basics dialled, then you can gradually begin self-progression throughout further sessions, with some help from friends and coaches when trying new stunts. Then the rest is history.
After all that, if you’re still not convinced that you should give freestyle a bash, maybe you’ll change your mind after this: freestyle is one of the most rewarding disciplines within snowsports. It gives you such a buzz when you finally achieve something new, and there is always something new to challenge yourself with. Not only does it make you feel good, it definitely bumps you up the cool points ladder. Freestyle skiing and snowboarding is a fantastic way of making you a stronger and more resilient individual, lining you up nicely to tackle all kinds of challenges that life throws at you, with ease and steez.
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