10 Best Snowboarding Tips From A Pro
Snowboarding is a great winter sport for all ages. And even although we think of it as being a sport for teenagers it is also a fantastic way for adults to enjoy the snow. So you can forget all the ideas you might have about being too old to learn.
All you need to succeed is enthusiasm, determination and some sound advice to help to keep you on track. Here we have put together some expect advice on how to stay safe and get the most out of your new hobby.
Snowboarding Tips For Beginners
- Safey First (that's what she said)
- Comfort over style
- Build up slowly
- Plan For Progress
- Start On The Bunny Slope - but don't get suck there!
- It’s all about Speed…and Control
- Turning Tricks
- Get Lessons from a Pro
Safety must always be top of the list of advice for any sport (if you know what I mean). And no one is going to pretend that a sport like snowboarding doesn’t carry some risk of injury.
But there are plenty of sensible steps you can take to minimize the risk. And remember you might need to take extra care when you are starting out.
This is a sport that will involve a lot of falling down, especially at the beginning so invest in some quality safety equipment.
A good helmet is of course a basic essential no matter what stage you are at, Wearing wrist guards will give protection if you fall on your hands and for extra protection around the hips and crotch area a pair of lacrosse shorts are a good idea. Check out our post on snowboarding and skiing helmets with speakers and bluetooth audio.
Also don’t forget to protect you skin and lips with suitable sunscreens and lip balm. Choose the right product for the conditions.
Ideally you should have something you can carry in your pockets so that it is always there to reapply if you need to. It might seem like a lot of extra effort but remember there is nothing worse than an injury to slow down you progress and dampen your enthusiasm
Comfort over Style
We all know you want to impress the ladies (or men), but the most important piece of clothing you will buy is your boots so take your time and make sure you get it right. You need to keep in mind that you will be wearing these boots for long period of time in pretty extreme conditions.
On top of that…
you will be using and moving your body in a totally different way compared to walking around. You know what it’s like to buy a pair of shoes that were not quite the right fit and then wear them for a couple of hours and find your feet are in agony.
Well it’s the same with your snow boots only ten times worse. Make you get to spend a good bit of time walking around and getting a feel for them. If you are lucky you might find a store that lets you try them at home.
Build up slowly
Some types of snow are a lot more challenging to work on than others so take your time and build up you skills gradually. The best thing is to start on powdered snow. This kind of snow is easier to work than hard icy snow. Once you build up your confidence you can gradually work your way up towards bigger challenges.
Another great tip for beginners is to follow the tracks in the snow that show where other boards have been. It’s a lot easier especially at first to follow a path that has already been carved out in the snow. It will then just be a matter of practice and confidence before you are carving your own path and leaving your trail behind for those less experience beginners to follow
And of course always be aware of the conditions and weather where ever you decide to go. Check the weather beforehand and take note of any hazard or safety warnings.
Plan For Progress
You have probably realized by now that learning to snowboard takes time and patience. Sometimes when you are at the start of a learning journey you want to get ahead really fast and get frustrated by how much stands between you and your goal.
One way to tackle this is to break you goal into smaller steps and achievements. You can think about the skills you need to master and the order you need to learn them and that way you will get a real sense of achievement as you gradually progress
Pushing yourself too hard at the beginning can also lead to injuries as well as frustration. You can make set long term and shorter term goals but the most important thing is to make sure what you are aiming for is realistic and achievable.
You might want to start with mastering balance and learning how to skate, and then build on that to develop your turning skills. Once you are confident with these you could add some small jumps to your skills.
Start On The Bunny Slope - but don't get suck there!
It makes a lot of sense to start out on the easier slopes. These are often referred to as the Bunny Slope. But don’t let that put you off as they are the perfect place for adult to start too. But they are not really the most fun places to be so only stay there as long as you need to.
The problem with beginners’ slopes is – you’ve guessed it – they are full of beginners. Which means while you are at your least confident you will find yourself sounded by the more erratic and unpredictable snowboarders. But they are a necessity at the beginning so try to get there during quieted times.
With regular practice you will soon outgrow the Bunny slope. Once you develop good balance and are confident in your turning and braking skills it is probably time to think about setting your sights on to slightly more challenging slopes
It’s all about Speed… and Control
There are some skills we can learn by doing them real slow and gradually building up speed – but snowboarding isn’t one of them. You need to build up speed to get moving and in fact it is much easier to maintain control of your snowboard as you build up speed and greater traction.
This even applies when you are on a flat base. So it’s all about keeping control of your snowboard and getting those optimum speeds for the best ride.
Turning is one of the key skills you need to master to be a good rider. Unfortunately what many beginners don’t realize is that turning involves some foot action in particular pushing hard with your toes or your heel to help you steer, depending on which direction you are going.
If you don’t use your toes and heels then when you try to turn it won’t work. Although you are moving your body in the right direction the board isn’t going to follow.
Get Lessons from a Pro
There is a lot you can learn from friends and watching videos but there is nothing like getting some input forms a pro instructor early on. There are so many bad habits that beginners can get into or simple tips that would make things so much easier if only you had known.
Thing like getting your posture right from the start as well as learning the right way to enter the lift will make a big difference to your technique. Also a good instructor can see what you are doing wrong and give you individual advice on how to improve.
You don’t even need to sign up for a course. A few sessions with a qualified instructor will get you off to a great start.
There are so many things to think about when you start a new sport but don’t forget the reason you got into it in the first place – to enjoy yourself and have fun. That’s why it’s so important to not worry about how fast or slow your progress is or how your skills compare with others. Whatever level you at just make sure you are having a great time and enjoy that adrenaline rush you experience as you bullet down the slope. Read our review on the best family ski resorts in the US.
Be prepared for a tumble and to have bad days now and then – they are all part of the process. Keep yourself safe and with a clear eye on your own personal goals and you are guaranteed to have a great time.