Originally posted on SnowboarderGuide.com
Burton invited me out to Keystone for a couple of days to learn a bit more about their Learn To Ride (LTR) program. The two-day “Super Clinic” was a chance to dig deeper into the LTR program, and get a behind-the-scenes look at where Burton is going with it. During the two-day event a bunch of on-snow and indoor clinics, with topics including new technology, tuning, learning progressions, Go Snowboarding, Get Lifted, and the Burton Academy at Northstar At Tahoe.
Burton often gets a bad rap for being the big kid on the playground, but their leadership in the field of snowboard education is unparalleled; they really get it. The Keystone Super Clinics were well designed to create two-way communication, Burton was getting feedback from us, and at the same time, feeding us information about their LTR program. For me, this was a great opportunity to get inside the LTR world, ride the equipment, and see what’s on the plate for the big B; thanks to Shaun and Hillary for setting it all up.
Hearing about the Burton Academy at Northstar at Tahoe was one of the highlights for me. Burton has worked closely with Northstar to create a snowboard-centric learning center based on bringing new students into the culture, and making them snowboarders, rather than just teaching them to snowboard. The program starts with the snowboard culture education, and then works through teaching progressions with terrain designed to complement learning to snowboard. The Burton Academy at Northstar is the first of its kind, but I expect we’ll see more popping up over the next few years, just like the Stash (speaking of which, there’s even a mini-stash at the Academy). I’d really like to get out to Northstar and check this out myself at some point this winter.
Having taught a couple of young kids on LTR boards with base bevels last year, getting on snow with a base-beveled adult LTR board was a pretty satisfying experience. It’s a soft board, and as tempting as it was to get jibtastic, I took it slow for the first few turns, and made some basic switch skidded turns to get a feel for how it performs. Noticeable right away is the smooth roll from edge to edge: where a flat-based board goes from edge to flat to edge, the LTR board rolls across the base to the new edge, making for a much easier learning process. The bevel does lead to a bit of instability at high speeds, but obviously that’s not what this board is designed for.
I was also really interested to learn more about the Go Snowboarding and Get Lifted programs. At a time when consumers are spending less, and many companies are cutting costs, Burton has worked with a slew of resorts to offer these two programs designed to get people out and riding. Go Snowboarding is a program that includes a free snowboard LTR lesson and lift ticket at a participating resort, with the purchase of a price-point Burton snowboard. Get Lifted is a program that includes a free lift ticket at one of more than 80 participation resorts, with the purchase of any Burton snowboard with a MSRP over $350.
All-in-all it was a great couple of days on snow. Big thanks to Burton for the invite and the opportunity to learn more about their LTR program.
“30 Days on the Road” is a blog series tracking my travel for thirty days in October and November; from leaving Alaska on October 27th until Steamboat opens on November 25th. Due to a series of cool opportunities I don’t have to be back at a “real job” until 11/26th, and after a summer that seemed way too long, I’ll be making the most of my free month with as much snow and snow industry fun as I can cram in. The goal is two-fold, first to get you pumped about the upcoming season, and two to help keep track of time as I wander aimlessly for a month.