Did you know that a few years ago snowboarding was the second fastest growing sport in United states behind synchronized swimming? Huh…not really. It was the fastest growing sport in US period and it is still getting bigger. That means lots of beginners. Lots of beginners coming to this site looking for advice on snowboarding equipment, advice on how to snowboard, how to do snowboard tricks etc. So we decided to write a short how to snowboard guide to get you guys started.
At the beginning we wanted to do a comprehensive snowboard guide but it quickly became clear to us that this is not a really good idea, since this is the time we would rather spend riding, raising a family, travel the world, finish college and well…you got the picture :)
A few how to snowboard tips for beginners that will get you through your first days on a snowboard
These are tips that we can give to anyone who is just starting or thinking about starting… this will save you a few problems and put you in the right direction:
1. Choose the right snowboard
A softer and shorter snowboard will be much easier to handle when you are starting out. What is a shorter snowboard? Generally a snowboard should reach up to your chin if you stand it against you. Take away an inch or two if you are a beginner (and add an inch or two if you are a powder monkey :) ). What is a softer snowboard? Freestyle snowboards are generally softer that freeride. You just have to try a soft one and a hard one to see the difference. Or you can try to bend it with your hands.
Should you buy or rent? We would say rent just to make sure you really try how to snowboard and see if you like it (duh, sure you will). Otherwise a better, newer snowboard is easier to ride. Its lighter, handles better etc… a crappy old snowboard from your friend that is “still good for a beginner” can be a pain in the ass :)!
You’ll also want to make sure you have a well-fitting jacket to keep the snow out and fitting snowboard boots. If you are lucky enough to own a snow mobile that will take you to the top of your beginner slope then good snow mobile boots also come in handy.
2. Choose the right time
When you are learning how to snowboard the conditions should be something like this: enough snow, no crowds, no ice, sun…reads like a perfect day. Hell, conditions should be like that every day you ride! :) At least stay away from the icy crowded slopes. Ice hurts when you fall and the edges of your snowboard will give you problems on ice – you need more balance to stay up.
3. Choose the right slope
When you are learning how to snowboard all you need is a gentle slope without crowds. You don’t even have to buy the ticket the first time, just find a really easy slope and walk up. Some resorts even have beginner slopes that are free and you don’t have to buy a ticket.
4. How To Snowboard – beginner technique
1. Take some lessons. First few hours or days are the worst and a certified snowboard instructor will make things much easier.
2. How to snowboard? LEAN FORWARD! No matter how many times we say it, people always lean back. They get scared when the board starts picking up speed and instead of leaning forward and taking control they lean back and…fall. So it helps to choose a really easy slope where you pick up speed really slowly.
3. Also – you’ll get hurt. This is not an advice, it’s a fact :) The first time I went snowboarding I could not climb out of the bath in the evening. Every muscle you know and don’t know you have will remind you that you abused it.
4. And remember It’s FUN!!!! It’s tons of FUN!! Its gazillions of fun :) Try it, you will not be sorry. Snowboarding is actually pretty easy to pick up if you have someone to tell you how to do it right. It is not so much of a technical sport as it is a feeling. Like riding a bike. Sure to learn it correctly you do have to use the right technique, but it’s much less anal about it like for instance skiing. Freedom. In a few days you will be able to ride with no problems. If you are a natural you can do it on your first day. And what is really cool about snowboarding – you progress all the time. Every time you go snowboarding you are a better snowboarder at the end of the day.
BTW, if you are wondering where to – Breckenridge is great for snowboarders and you might use Breckenridge Lodging next time you hit the slopes.
These were some tips to push you in the right direction when you are learning how to snowboard. We are not certified to give you real snowboard lessons so we wouldn’t want to teach you something that can leave you negative consequences along the way. This can happen – you know how to snowboard, ride without problems, but still your technique can suck and it can stop you from going to the next level. It’s all because you learned how to snowboard from a friend.
So we searched the Internet for a good online How To Snowboard guide and we really like this one here. Its written by two snowboard instructors from Whistler Mountain. Their lessons were good enough for Travis Rice, Simon Chamberlain, Mason Aguirre… So if you want to learn how to snowboard or if you want to improve your snowboard ability and push yourself to the next level – check them out. They even offer a few free lessons to see if this is what you want and need.