Is it time for your first trip to the mountains? Or maybe you’ve been a skier all your life and feel like joining the dark side. Either way, you can definitely expect an awesome time learning to snowboard! To get you prepared, here are some tips and tricks and a small idea of what you can expect during your first days riding.
Lessons is definitely a huge plus
Starting off with some beginner lessons is undeniably the best way to start off your snowboarding career. And as boring as this may sound, learning the right technique from the beginning will make things a whole lot easier for you while you progress. This is also a way to prevent learning bad habits that can later be hard to change once you’ve gotten used to them.
But let’s face it, a trip to the mountains is not cheap! If you don’t feel like you got the cash for a lesson on top of the flights, a new snowboard jacket, snowboard pants, gear, and let’s not even get started about the lift pass… no problem, learning to snowboard is definitely doable on your own. If you’ve got any patient snowboarding friends ask them to help you out on your first days on the beginner slopes. A good thing to do whether you’ve decided to go for lessons or not, is to check out some beginner snowboarding videos on youtube to get an idea about the important techniques.
To give you some inspiration, check out these youtube videos:
Rent a board for your first days
Don’t get too excited now and spend loads on buying expensive snowboards, bindings and boots before you’ve even tested the beginner slopes! Even though you will most likely love the sport, it’s always good to try it out first to make sure that you will be hooked.
Let the rental shop know that you’re a beginner and make sure to be honest when answering their questions so that they can find the right gear for you. Be picky when trying boots. If they don’t feel good ask to try a different pair since boots are the most essential part of your gear. Nobody likes to snowboard with pain in their feet!
Goofy or Regular?
Now it’s time to determine your stance, as in, which foot will you have in front of the other on the board. This will be your dominant foot and there’s a few ways of deciding this if you’re unsure. One way is to simply ask someone to gently push you from behind. The foot that naturally goes forward to save you from falling will be the foot that is on the frontside of your board. Another way of determining this is to run as fast as you can in a straight line and then quickly stop. The foot that you use to stop yourself is usually your dominant foot.
If your left foot goes forward you are regular and if your right foot goes forward then you get the fun name goofy.
Definitely have a go at determining this before renting a board as the rental shop will need to know this before adjusting the bindings on the snowboard for you. You can always check with the rental people if you’re unsure.
Expect to fall…. A LOT
Probably one of the first things that is good to learn, is to not be afraid of falling! This is unnatural for the most of us as falling can sometimes hurt, but you have to see it from the positive side, the more you fall the more you will learn from your mistakes! It’s also good to learn the right way to fall. A good thing to keep in mind is to go against the instinct of reaching out with your hands when falling as this can lead to you hurting your wrists. Don’t forget that you will be wearing a good layer of clothes, helmet and goggles to absorb the fall and protect you. So try to keep your arms close to your body to keep them safe.
Be patient in the beginning
There’s no point in lying.. the first days can be a little tough! But make sure to not give up too soon as it will only get easier and easier the more time you spend on the slopes. Start off easy by learning to stand up and to skate on flats. Don’t get over ambitious and try to master making turns on your first run on the beginner slope. Start off slow and simply slide from side to side with your upper body facing downhill, to get the feel of going down a slope. When you feel comfortable sliding down side to side then it’s time to attempt your first turn and take them one by one.
Bending your knees is a big must and remember to over exaggerate the techniques you learn. If you don’t feel like you’re over exaggerating the moves, you’re probably not doing it enough. Another thing that is good to remember is to dare to lean forward as this will give you more control in the beginning when making your first turns.
Lastly, don’t be embarrassed of being a beginner on the slopes! We have all been there, even the biggest pro’s.
There is no better way to learn than to have a lesson. If you are in the 3 Valleys this winter you absolutely have to have a lesson with Snow Limits Ski School- why not check out their article here on “Five Tips For Beginner Snowboarders”.
Finally, make sure to not overthink your progress and compare it to others, focus instead on having fun with your friends in the scenic and beautiful environment. Don’t forget to go for a beer or hot chocolate to reward you for your hard work on the slopes! If you need help getting your friends excited about snowboarding check out this article Top 3 tips to get your friends geared up to try snowboarding Or need any tips for the best after skis, then check out the 50 best Aprés ski in Europe
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With a love for snow and winter, I can’t seem to stay away from the mountains! Any chance I get, I book a trip to go skiing or snowboarding. I’m born and raised in several countries, which has moulded my interest for traveling. Currently I’m based in Sweden 😀