The Benefits Of Riding With Your Friends

by Fraser

The last few times I’ve to Castleford, I’ve been snowboarding with my friend, Ian. There have been others in the group, but we’ve been the core two, there each time…

…In the past, way back in 2006, I spent a good handful of Friday nights driving down to the snowdome, on my todd, shredding, and then driving back. It was great fun, and, these semi-regular visits to an indoor slope improved my riding no end.

Now, I’d say that I’m a fairly motivated person and as such, I don’t mind snowboarding by myself. Even so, I always took opportunities to ask people stuff, say hi, go for a drink afterwards, because at the end of the day, snowboarding alone is fun, but with friends it’s better.

And they encourage you. And you encourage them. And that can make a big difference.

…OK, back to the recent sessions. I’ve been snowboarding for much longer than Ian, so, where possible I’ve been helping him with some freestyle pointers. Not just advice though, I’ve been challenging him to try new stuff. Why don’t you try that backside as well? or Try a mute grab. Just stuff like that. I think it helps, and it’s fun too.

But on Friday night the help was coming the other way. I was seriously sucking on the kicker, which by the way, was pretty decent. It wasn’t just that I was riding bad, I was losing my confidence. The doubt was creeping in. I had a cheeky slam, decided I was lame, and was planning on riding rails and boxes for the rest of the night.

But Ian suggested that I keep hitting the kicker. Just keep hitting straight airs. Go for a basic grab, whatever, just keep riding it and get your confidence back.

So I decided to take the advice. I wasn’t going to at first, but I did. I ended up riding the kicker all night long. And I still sucked about 90% of the time. But I felt good about it. Someone was pushing me to keep doing it. And that’s exactly what I needed.

My timing was still off, even at the end of the night, but I’d stopped worrying about it and was feeling more confident. And this spread to the rest of my riding. I was more confident trying the frontside boards that I’m working on. I tried some change-ups. Total failures, but I tried them anyway.

Half-way in I was annoyed at how lame I was being. A bit of encouragement, a bit of pushing, and I was back on track. We had a class time.

Riding with your friends can make a big difference.

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