Tow rope and learning to ride...

While lifts simplify our snowboarding lives by taking us up the mountain, using them can be a challenge. Talk about chair lifts, t-bars, and other lifts in this forum.

Tow rope and learning to ride...

Postby dcalc » Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:04 pm

hey, any tips I could give a beginner on using the tow rope?
I do just fine on them, but I couldn't offer any good advice to my young cousin and it turned out to be a bad experience. we were doing fine on the carpet ride, but it was slow and only went 1/2 way up the beginner hill. so, i suggested we try the tow rope - bad idea as it turned out to be a negative experience and I very much want to avoid these when introducing someone to any sport. We recovered and later started using the a chair lift on another beginner hill (no problems with this as I think I can give pretty good tips with lifts and it's easier).

poor kid - probably ruined him forever on tow ropes!
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Postby John » Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:22 pm

I don't like tow ropes, but I live with them. They're what we use for the beginner area where I teach.

One thing we tell students is to point the thumbs uphill. I'm not sure why, but it probably promotes good technique, and good technique will generally make things easier.

Another tip is to let the rope slide through your fingers before you get a firm grip. Slowly tighten your grip. Making a sudden grip will give you a jolt.

If you feel like you're about to fall, fall, and get out of the way. Once the path is clear, get back to where you fell and grasp the rope again.

Using the rope is one time when having some extra weight on the tail of the board is fine. But steering still gets done with your front foot--the only one that is in the binding.

What happens if your board is riding in a rut (a common occurence underneath a rope) and then slides out? Don't try to quickly force the board back into the rut. That may only make things worse. Ride outside the rut; eventually you may find a way to slip it in.

The best way for a beginner to use the rope to is to avoid it altogether, if possible. There are enough other concerns to deal with, and if you don't have a lot of arm strength, it's only going to add exhaustation to the aggravation. Good for you for taking your cousin to a chair lift. (Though of course THAT has its challenges for the newbie!)
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Re: tow rope and learning to ride...

Postby Grizzled » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:52 pm

dcalc wrote:hey, any tips I could give a beginner on using the tow rope?

Yeah, stay off em. Beginners & rope-tows don't mix.

Falling a few stimes as you learn getting off the chairs is easier than struggling with a rope. Plus rope served "bunny runs" aren't long enough to learn anything. By the time you start sliding, try turning, catch yer edge, fall & get back up, your at the bottom of the run. Now you have to struggle with the rope again.

All the S.E. Mi. areas have lift served beginer runs that are the same grade as the bunny runs, just longer. Makes for a better more productive learning experience.

If you do stay on the ropes. Get some glove guards & keep the back foot strapped in, way easier.
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