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  • Burton's Learn to Ride Program
    Because Face Plants …..

    Photo courtesy Burton/BackhillIn the old days (like two years ago), people learned to ride in one of two ways. They got on a board, pointed it downhill and made it to the bottom by the grace of whatever higher being they believed in at that pont in time. Or, they'd take a lesson at their local resort using rented equipment based more on rider size rather than skill. In either case, falling on their butt was just another part of the learning experience.

    The times, however, are a-changing with the evolution of the sport. The first day of snowboarding no longer has to be filled with face plants and all forms of "mountain intimacy" (e.g., kissing snow).

    Burton Snowboards has revolutionized the experience with a combined methodology of teaching and equipment. Burton teamed up with the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) and major resorts around the country to create Learn to Ride (LTR), an innovative learning program designed to minimize falls and accelerate the learning curve so that students learn to link turns in the very first lesson.

    LTR is about the fun and experience of the sport. Traditional lessons and equipment are more frustrating than fun. Who wants that when learning something new? There is more to snowboarding than learning how to ride a heel side edge down the mountain and the "falling leaf" technique. It can be a rhythmic, almost Zen-like experience of turning and flowing from one edge to the other. It is with this in mind that Burton set out to deconstruct how novices were taught in the past and reconstruct the teaching process of snowboarding. The goal of LTR is to get students linking toeside and heelside turns on the very first day and significantly reduce the number of falls.

    The core of the program is a lot more than just a really good snowboarding instructor and a one-on-onePhoto courtesy Burton/Backhill lesson. Technology plays a huge part in the program and its success with students. Working with AASI instructors, Burton has developed LTR products specifically designed to teach students how to ride and achieve the goals of the program. At LTR's foundation are two learner-specific snowboards, with integrated, co-developed bindings and boots, all designed to work together for convenience, comfort, performance and most important, rider stokeability. In other words, get the rider to feel the pleasure, not the pain, of snowboarding.

    A two-snowboard program, LTR features two innovative boards dimensioned and flexed to let riders carve as soon as possible. They start with the LTR, an ultra soft, twin-tip board with advanced sidecut and extra long transition zones to get riders used to the feel of linking turns. The soft flex, easy maneuverability and 3-degree beveled base edge minimize edge catch, which means less head banging along the way to linking those first turns.

    Once a rider is linking turns, they transistion up to the Cruzer, offering directional flex and shape. Deeper side cuts pull riders into a natural carve and more torsional stiffness allows the rider to explore more of the mountain. Shorter transistion zones mean turns are set up and executed faster. Appropriate for the first full year of riding, Curzer is available for purchase in sports stores.

    The regular LTR program is for teens (over 12 through adult). A few LTR Method Centers now offer a kid's program for children under 12. The Kids' Method Centers are dedicated to teaching children how to snowboard, provididing a positive learning experience and lifelong memories. Trampoline exercises, balance board training and fingerboard parks and pipes are integrated into the snowboard lesson to enhance the learning experience. Resorts with a Kids' Method Center are able to create an atmosphere that will give kids and unbelievable introduction to snowboarding. Now children as young as four years old will have the chance to get stoked on snowboarding wiht gear designed especially for their needs.

    Burton has introduced the Kids' LTR board. With all of the same features as the bigger LTR boards, the 90 cm Kids' LTR will have kids turning in no time.

    The following Method Center Mountains now offer LTR programs for the 2002/03 season:

    • Sierra at Tahoe, CA
    • Beaver Creek Resort, CO
    • Breckenrider, CO
    • Vail Mountain, CO
    • Loon Mountain, NH
    • Mountain Creek, NJ
    • Hunter Mountain, NY
    • Brighton Resort, UT
    • Stratton, VT
    • Stowe Mountain Resort, VT
    • Okemo Mountain Resort, VT
    • Jay Peak Resort, VT
    • Jackson Hole, WY

    The following resorts offer Kids' Method Centers

    • Breckenridge Resort, CO
    • Hunter Mountain, NY
    • Stratton Mountain Resort, VT
    • Jay Peak Resort, VT
    • Mont Saint-Sauveur, QC

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