Burton's Learn to Ride Program
Because Face Plants …..
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.,
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-one
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,
- Okemo Mountain Resort,
- 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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