Great review from our homies at The Snerds.com, a blog written by four snowboard instructors who report on the latest gear, resorts and industry events. Our boy Carlos did pretty well for his first time on a Freebord – check out his tips below as well as a short video he made of his first shred sesh. Thanks guys!
A first day recap on a Freebord
My passion for the shred has no end in sight and when I had the opportunity to buy a skateboard that claims to emulate snowboarding on pavement my first reaction was: DONE! I ended up getting the All Around Bamboo series 83.
After watching the instructional DVD and hitting up YouTube to check out pro-team riders I was ready to get out there and put down some runs.
My first day on the Freebord felt exactly like my first day on snow—awkward and slow. But I couldn’t stop smiling while catching myself flailing, hands in the air, starting turns way too early, and forgetting to bend my knees in preparation for my next turn. Despite the difficulty I couldn’t rush up the hill quickly enough to do it again.
There’s no doubt the movements I teach beginner snowboarders to improve their riding apply to this board. So I turned up my instructor mindset and went through a beginner lesson from standing on the board to making j-turns and side slipping. Learning where my body had to be in relation to the board in order to affect change became my first goal. When you are in the right position the board responds. When you are not there the board tends to slide away from you. Thankfully, I had time to pop my feet out of the bindings and land safely, uh, mostly.
As my day went on I started connecting turns and getting more comfortable sliding at higher speeds so I introduced some twisting movements. Technically, you don’t twist the board as much as a snowboard but twisting motions help with your timing and turn shape and I was able to come up clean. In only 3 hours I felt more relaxed and comfortable on the board.
If you’ve got a Freebord, here are a few pointers to make your first day as fun as mine:
Think Snowboarding: Take a minute to think about how you ride and how you move on your snowboard. Is it front to back, side to side, or all of the above? Progressively incorporate these techniques into your Freebord experience.
Bindings Are Your Friends: As intimidating as it might seem to be locked into a board on pavement, the binding system helps with control. Pressing or pulling on your binding as you start your turns helps with turn shapes. The bindings are also surprisingly easy to pop out of when you need to bail. Make sure to adjust your stance to emulate your snow setup—it’s a great way to keep that muscle memory leading up to next winter.
The Wobbly Wheel: A unique feature of the board is a mid-truck pivot wheel that allows your board to turn across the fall line and control speed. I recommend starting out with the factory setup and try different settings once you get some experience.
Wear a Helmet: I don’t mean to be your mom but if you are a skater or snowboarder you probably already own one anyways. Freebording can be a bit unpredictable at times and no matter how proficient you are in similar sports making a small mistake can quickly turn into trouble. I like Bern helmets because they feel super light and you can change the inserts easily to go from winter to summer. Honestly, any helmet will do so sport the brain bucket!
Have a Blast: It is SO FUN to experience something where every move is new and every successful turn gives you a sense of accomplishment. It compares to your first wave, or green trail, or Ollie. So whether you’re a beginner or expert snowboarder, if you’re looking to keep the shred train going through the dry months this can be a tool to keep you busy.