DVD Review: Rider’s Ed

Rider’s Ed: Snowboarding Instructional Video

I’ve been intending to do this review for a while, so here goes. Rider’s Ed is an instructional DVD for snowboarding. The version that I have seen actually includes two videos: “Learn to Snowboard” and “Style, Park & Pipe”. Furthermore, there is a bonus one hour snowboard tuning clinic. Not bad!

However, I have only viewed the “Style, Park & Pipe” video so that is all that I can comment on right now…

“Style, Park & Pipe” begins with showing you how to ollie. The ollie is the foundation for just about all of your tricks to come – so it’s pretty important. This was the first thing that impressed me about this video. The tips on what an ollie is, and how to do it are, in my opinion, very good. The ollie is one of those things, like learning to drive, that once you can do it, it’s difficult to remember what it was like not being able to do it. It’s really simple, yet difficult for those who can’t. There isn’t much that you can say about how to do it – it’s pretty much a matter of practicing it, then something clicks and you’re away.

That said – I think “Style, Park & Pipe” covers the ollie well.

“Style, Park & Pipe” then moves on to look at your first airs in the park: straight airs, to airs with grabs; 180s to 360s. Again, this section of the DVD really impressed me. To begin with the instructor (Luke Wynen) is using a kicker that you could probably imagine yourself hitting (without killing yourself) – which to me is motivating. He targets the basic elements of performing a jump, explains them clearly and then demonstrates them clearly. Perhaps the thing that impressed me most was that the tricks come across as achievable, which gives you confidence to go and try them, which I think makes the instruction a success.

The section on rail riding is also good – yet I know less about rails so find it harder to comment on how good I think the instruction is. I did pick up at least one suggestion that I tried an put to good use while in Tignes, so that made me happy.

The final section is on pipe riding. This part of the video really interested me as I’d quite like to progress my ability in the halfpipe. However, in my opinion this was the weakest area of the DVD; not because the instruction and presentation was poor, rather that it seemed like “a bit of a step”. This part of the video didn’t appear achievable. Luke went straight to showing pretty big airs in a pretty big pipe. There wasn’t, for example, any coverage of beginner pipes, or learning to build rythm below and around the coping.

Overall I think “Style, Park & Pipe” is a good instructional video that I would recommend to others. I watched the kicker section 3 or so times while on holiday, which is a good indication.

The only other instructional DVD of this kind (freestyle) that I have seen is “1st Step – Snowboarding Basic Tricks”. I didn’t rate that highly at all, in fact, I promptly sold it for a cheap price on eBay!

If you found this review useful, which I will judge by readers’ comments, I will watch the other items on the DVD and review them too 🙂 If you’ve seen the DVD yourself, please feel free to post your own opinions…

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