The U.S has around 12 million active snowboarders and skiers.
There’s no greater feeling than strapping into your board and carving powder in the afternoon. But, like with every new venture, it takes patience and practice until you feel confident. Perhaps you’re interested in trying out snowboarding but it feels overwhelming.
If that sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn how to snowboard.
Wear the Right Clothes
One of the top snowboarding for beginners tips is to get the right snowboarding binding setup.
For clothes, choose base layers made from wicking material so the sweat moves away from your skin so you’re comfortable. Throw on a pair of waterproof snow pants and wear a mid-layer if it’s extra cold, you can always take it off once you warm up. You should also don a waterproof, insulated jacket with a neck gaiter if you’re chilly.
For safety reasons, you must wear a well-fitted helmet specifically for snowboarding, goggles, and gloves as they offer better dexterity than mittens. Don’t forget a pair of snowboarding boots that properly support your ankles along with bindings so you’re attached to the board.
To ensure you have a thorough introduction, learn from a certified instructor. You can either head to indoor slopes which are climate-controlled so you can focus purely on technique instead of worrying about the weather.
Outdoor snowboard areas are only open during the winter and rely on machine-made or the right type of snow. Once you’ve decided, sign up for your first lesson and you’ll learn useful safe methods.
Find Your Stance
Before learning snowboarding tricks, you must perfect your stance on a snowboard. There are two styles depending on which leg you prefer to naturally lead with.
If you lead with your left leg then you’re considered a “regular” stance and those who prefer their left are “goofy”. To check, put your dominant foot in the forward binding so you can figure out which board you need.
It’s important to have a relaxed body stance, keeping your feet wider than your shoulders with flex in your knees. You must keep your shoulders, hips, and ankles soft so it’s easier to move. The instructor will ask you to stand parallel to the snow and without turning your hips or shoulders, face in the direction you’re going.
Wait for the Perfect Snow
No snowboarding guide is complete without emphasizing how crucial it is to wait for the right snow. Avoid icy now as it’s dangerous for beginners because it’s compacted. Instead, practice on fresh powdery snow as it’s loose and will move freely beneath you.
Learn How to Strap In
Your snowboard instructor will teach you how to strap into your board. There are two areas you’ll strap your feet into called the bindings which have a backplate to support your ankle. You must fully tighten these to your boots so you’re properly attached to your board. And once you can comfortably stand on the board, it’s time to hit the beginner slopes.
One of the most important snowboarding tips is to learn how to fall. In the beginning, if you feel overwhelmed or feel like you’re about to fall, squat down and roll onto your knees to stop moving.
The most common injury while falling is hurting your wrists or hands so make a fist to protect them. You should also try and spread the impact throughout your whole body instead of in one area.
Learn the Different Movements
One basic movement is where you “skate” with your snowboard which you should practice on a flat area until you’re comfortable. First, strap in your dominant foot, leave your backward one unbuckled, and push similar to a skateboard so you move. Other basic ones include tilt, twist, pivot, and pressure.
You must also learn how to manage your weight on the board. Practice shifting it around while going downhill and try various directions until it becomes second nature.
Try Basic Tricks
Practice getting a few tricks under your belt. A great one is an ollie where you squat and shift your weight onto your back leg. Next, hoist up your front leg to bring the board into the air and move your back leg to meet it. To finish it off, land so the board’s nose is facing forward and your knees absorb the impact.
Learn to Ride Lifts
Aside from learning how to snowboard, you must learn how to navigate the lifts which take you up the slope. Go towards the loading line and follow the chair until you can get on. Once you’re on, the snowboard will turn sideways because of the binding so turn it straight.
When you’re at the top, place your free foot between the bindings and stand so you slide away from the chair.
Embrace Après Ski
There’s no better way to end the day than heading to après ski.
These are well-deserved social activities so you can wind down after an exhilarating day whether it’s enjoying a beer or a steaming hot tea. It’s also a great opportunity to loosen up by stretching out with yoga and soaking in a hot tub.
That’s How to Snowboard
Now you know how to snowboard.
It’s important to wear the right equipment, learn from a certified instructor, and choose the best trails for your level. Always check the weather so you shred in powdery snow and practice learning the basics so you can show off to your class. Happy carving!
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