After watching the pros execute stunning stunts on TV, many might think that snowboarding is a daunting sport. However, snowboarding is growing increasingly popular among adrenalin junkies and casual sports people alike.
More and more people are getting into the sport every year. But many beginners give up after a few attempts at snowboarding, perhaps put off by the learning curve.
This action packed sport has certain pre-requisites; passion, good reflexes, endurance, and supple joints. If you have the passion, the rest can be improved upon easily.
You also need to start on the right footing and understand how to go from novice snowboarder to confident rider. Our snowboarding tips for beginners will help you do exactly that.
1. Learn to skate your board
Learning to ride your board with one only foot will get you started on the right note. This will let come in handy when you enter and exit the lifts with one foot out of the snowboard. Not only will you save a lot of time, but you’ll also avoid any embarrassment due to any stumble when you get on or off the lift.
Tip: Your pushing foot should be on your backside, not your front side. This can seem awkward and unintuitive at first, but it makes for a much smoother push.
2. It pays to take lessons
Spending extra $$ on lessons has numerous benefits. You’ll learn proper techniques at the start, get instant feedback and do things in the most logical order. Your instructor will teach you to fall properly- vital to minimize injuries.
All popular snowboarding destinations will have instructors to help brush up on your skills. If you’re a beginner snowboarder, or you’re improving, taking lessons can be super useful. If you plan a 10-day snowboarding trip, it is wise to spend the first-day taking lessons from a local instructor and getting familiar with the conditions.
3. Keep your knees bent
Many people learning snowboarding have tumbles because they keep their knees too stiff. Your knees act like a shock absorber. Keeping your knees bent will minimize the effect of bumps when you are snowboarding on a rough slope. Keep your knees bent (does not mean squatting) and see the difference it makes.
4. Look where you are going
You will go where you look. While going down a slope, your body will naturally twist to allow you to maintain balance. The muscles in your body brace to align your body to the direction of your gaze. Not looking where you want to go will put you in an awkward position and may result in a fall.
5. Do not try too much too early
In any action sport, it is necessary to push yourself to improve and really get the benefits of the experience. But for a novice snowboarder, it not advisable to do so too early. Take it easy in the beginning. Ride the easy slopes until you have a fair degree of confidence and control over your board.
At the same time, do not overdo the take-it-easy bit. Switch to tougher slopes as soon as you are confident. Constantly challenge yourself in a controlled manner to take your snowboarding to the next level.
6. Gear up appropriately
The wrong gear is a dampener to any hobby. If your buddy lets you have his old snowboard cheap, don’t fall for it. A beginner snowboard is different from the ones used by more experienced snowboarders.
Learning to snowboard on an advanced snowboard is a recipe for disaster. It is difficult for a newbie to ride and will discourage from the start. Learn the specs and take the pro buddy’s advice to buy a beginner’s snowboard. Some may rent boards in the beginning. But it’s best to buy your own in the long run.
Similarly, outfit yourself with other gear like boots and bindings that are best suitable for beginners. Your snowboarding boots and bindings must be a proper fit. Else it would make your initial foray into snowboarding hell. Buy the best snowboarding helmet you can afford. Never compromise on safety.
7. Have a plan to chart your progress
The fastest way to progress as a snowboarder is to have a plan. It will prevent stagnation by helping you to improve and try new things. Your plan maybe something like the below-
- Learn to skate comfortably
- Master snowflaking
- Learn to use both legs for turning
- Learn C and S turns
- Learn to ollie
- Learn to take small jumps comfortably
- Improve your riding switch
- Do carving comfortably
- Master rails and boxes
Your snowboard instructor can help chart a plan for you. They’ll also teach you various techniques and let you know when you are ready to take your snowboarding to the next level.
Nothing can beat the thrill of zipping down the slopes on a snowboard. Sadly, many people give up too early during their initial foray into snowboarding. The above tips will let you start on the right note. But passion, persistence, and practice are the key to take you further.
Don’t be deterred by any falls. Remember, even the most accomplished snowboarder was a newbie once. All it takes is a little bit of patience and effort on your part to become an confident snowboarder.
Once you learn all the basics, you can switch to advanced gear and tackle tougher slopes to take your snowboarding to the next level.