Ever wished you could improve your snowboarding at home? Well I have been home snowboard training for the last few months, to conduct a review of Snowboard Addiction Tramp Board. Read on to find out how I got along.
Based in Whistler (lucky gits!!), Snowboard Addiction are a small team of dedicated snowboarders with the goal of providing the world’s best snowboard tutorial videos and training products. They launched back in 2007 and in just over a decade have become the industry leader in equipment and vids that help snowboarders improve their skills.
They have three different ways to help you become a better snowboarder. Firstly, there over 180 online tutorials with new ones added each month. They range from beginner to expert tutorials with vids for buttering, jumping, jibbing, carving and much, much more. For £45 per year you can access it all.
Videos are all well and good, but if you want to do some home snowboard training you should check out their other products. The first of these is their jib training set up. It is a short snowboard that is made to be used at home with their balance bar to practice rail skills, buttering and jib tricks.
The third product, which I used during this review of Snowboard Addiction Tramp Board, is a trampoline friendly snowboard. You can use it to improve your aerial skills on a trampoline, practising grabs, spins and other tricks.
And it is not just newbies and normal snowboarders like myself that use Snowboard Addiction products. Five time X Games gold medalist and Olympic Slopestyle silver medalist Max Parrot uses it to train when he’s not on the slopes. Check out the above video of Max using the Snowboard Addiction Tramp Board to its full potential.
Before I could test the tramp board I needed a trampoline. I convinced my wife that the kids should get one for a joint birthday present, and that it should be a rather large one. I then just needed to get the boys off it long enough for me to have a go…
Having watched a couple of the free Snowboard Addiction videos I started out by learning some trampoline skills without the board. Unfortunately, I hurt my back getting a front drop slightly wrong. It wasn’t a bad injury, but it became uncomfortable to trampoline and ached a lot afterwards.
It took a week or so for the ache to get better and after a brief warm up without the board I had my first proper go during this review of Snowboard Addiction Tramp Board. Unfortunately, my lower back started to give my grief fairly quickly so I cut the session short. But I’d enjoyed by brief time snowboarding in my back garden.
After a few weeks without trampolining to give my back a rest – doctors orders – I tried again. Yet again my back ached afterwards – although not during which was an improvement.
This was my first proper session, and I managed unstylish 180s and a few messy shifties. I also started trying some grabs, managing nose and tail grabs, plus mute and indy grabs between my toes. On the slopes my regular grab is the Lien, which is one of those that’s in the ‘no grab zone’ and is frowned upon in snowboarding circles.
Back aching I did some online research and apparently many people get lower back pain when they first start using a trampoline. It uses different muscles so you need to build them up. A trampolining site recommended slowly building up how long you trampoline for, saying that the back ache will slowly go as your body gets used to it and your muscles build.
As it was a lovely summer I got out on the trampoline three of four times a week. In all I have managed more than 20 sessions, building up from five mins to over twenty mins to help get my back used to it. It still aches a little after a full on work out, but then I ache after snowboarding, running or cycling and it is not enough to stop me do it again.
Twenty minutes of trampolining is a surprisingly tough work out leaving me covered in sweat. I tend to bounce for around three to four minutes, have a 20-30 second break then do it again until I am knackered. To put trampolining in context I regularly run 10 km and mountain bike 25 km so I am in pretty good shape, but can’t bounce for more than about 25 mins!
With increasing the duration came improvement in my ability. My jumps are higher, my shifties have become tidy and my grabs more consistent – although I pull some special faces while doing so! I am managing fairly good Chicken Salad and Roast Beef grabs which are grabbing the heelside through the legs with either hand.
My only setback in my home snowboard training was that I got a massive blister on my instep when I first bounced for over 12 minutes. I had been using the board barefoot and I didn’t even notice it until it popped. Since then I have worn socks during this review of Snowboard Addiction Tramp Board and had no problems.
From here I started to bone out my grabs, which is essentially straightening one leg while keeping the other tucked in during a grab. You can style it out more by giving the board a little tweak as you grab it.
Next I combined a backside shiftie with the Melon grab (front hand between the bindings on the heelside) and tweaking the board for the classic Method air. It took quite a lot of practicing to get it all to come together, but that is the beauty of trampoline training as you can try the same trick 50 times in just a few minutes.
From there I have progressed onto spins. I can already do front and backside 180s and backside 360s on the snow so I thought this would be easy. But strangely I found it slightly more difficult on the trampoline, probably because on snow I use my momentum and the snowboard trajectory to help initiate the spin.
But after a bit of practice – well 10 mins and probably 100 spins – I had 180s in either direction nailed, and backside and frontside 3s looking pretty good (most of the time). Then I started introducing grabs and found I can do 180s in either direction with indy or nose grab. Which is as far as I have got with my home snowboard training.
As we all know the fitter you are the easier snowboarding becomes. Being fit and doing a lot of cardio helps, as does yoga and/or plenty of stretching, but it is tough to develop snowboard specific fitness without actually hitting the slopes.
But during this review of Snowboard Addiction Tramp Board, I’ve found my snowboard specific fitness has improved dramatically. Twenty minutes on a trampoline with minimal breaks is a high intensity workout. Add a snowboard and you are doing the spins, grabs and tricks you would do on the slopes.
This all builds muscle memory and develops similar fitness to the real thing. I won’t know how much this home snowboard training has helped until I hit the slopes, but it feels like it is doing a lot of good.
To really get the cardio and muscle memory up you just keep repeating things. For example, twice in each session I do 100 consecutive small 180s – frontside regular and then next bounce frontside goofy to return to the original position. It’s about two minutes of twisting your lower body one way and then the other building core muscles and emulating snowboarding movements.
I’ve talked loads about my experience, but this review of Snowboard Addiction Tramp Board would not be complete without talking about the actual gear. The Tramp Board has a high density foam base which is soft and forgiving enough to use without damaging a trampoline, whilst still being firm and grippy enough to feel like a snowboard.
It has a popular wood core and a laminated top all to help it feel and behave like a real snowboard. It is obviously a lot shorter than a snowboard, but you can set your bindings up with the same stance as you usually ride. All in all it replicates the feel of a snowboard very well.
The bindings are designed to fit all feet and can be worn with or without trainers. There is a removable pad that adds comfort if you are without footwear, or to be used with shoes if you have small feet. I used it barefoot until I got a blister on my instep, since then I have worn hiking socks and had no problems.
One point to note is I am a UK size 9.5 to 10 and I found they only just fit me. My toes are just starting to poke over the end of the footbed so I’d say anyone with UK size 11 (US12/EU46) or more might struggle going barefoot with the pad in place. However, a friend of mine with size 11 feet removed the pad and wears a pair of slippers!
The bindings attach to your feet really securely with a velcro strap over the toes and a snowboard style ratchet across the ankle. You can easily adjust them to a comfortable fit and all the straps are soft, or covered to avoid injury or damaging a trampoline.
During this review of Snowboard Addiction Tramp Board and bindings I have found it all to be very well made, plus easy and comfortable to use. And most importantly it feels like a snowboard and it is great fun!
Since first strapping on the tramp board I have progressed massively in terms of how long I can use it, how high I jump and how good my tricks are. But more importantly I have also had a lot of fun and found a new form of exercise to help keep me in shape, with the added bonus that I am building snowboarding fitness and muscle memory.
I hope that applying what I have learnt into my snowboarding will be easy. I expect that wearing snowboard boots and all the gear, riding a bigger and heavier board will make it more difficult. Plus forward momentum and slope angle will be extra complications. But I feel like I will be in a much shape and in a good position to try the new tricks and moves I have learned.
To conclude this review of Snowboard Addiction Tramp Board and bindings, I’d say home snowboard training is possible and it’s a lot of fun. If you are looking to improve your riding then skateboarding, wakeboarding and surfing all help, but are not always accessible. In my opinion, to help you improve Snowboard Addiction is the next best thing to actually snowboarding.
I hope you enjoyed this review of Snowboard Addiction Tramp Board as much as I liked testing it. If you would like to try home snowboard training yourself find out more at: www.snowboardaddiction.com