Snowboarding is definitely an extreme winter sport focused on the adventure and excitement that thrill-seekers look for. Since not everyone is born with the ability to board, we listed a few tips and tricks that may make your experience more enjoyable when you’re learning how to snowboard.
Before you start to snowboard
Before you can strap into your snowboard and glide effortlessly down the slopes, you’ll need to get some essentials sorted. We’ve listed them below, to help you get started.
Find your stance
While snowboarding, you’ll mostly move in a one direction where you’ll have to look over your shoulder. People with their left foot forward (regular) will look over their left shoulder, while a snowboarder with their right foot forward (goofy) will look over their right shoulder.
This is why the stance on your snowboard is the foundation of every trick you’ll try. So for new snowboarders, it’s essential to understand which is your front foot and which is your back foot.
The best way to find out which is your leading foot is by having someone push you from behind and see which leg falls forward first. The leg you step to balance with will be your forward leg. Remember to always put your best foot forward!
Make sure you have appropriate gear which fits properly
It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that mountain tops (or snow domes) are a cold and hostile environment, where you should be dressed appropriately to make sure your body doesn’t lose more heat than it’s generating, because this would mean you’re wasting energy.
Another reason having the appropriate gear is essential is because the first days on the mountain, you’ll fall frequently. Having the correct protective gear makes these falls no big deal, and more importantly, it will speed up your learning process and make you less timid when trying out a new trick.
Every snowboarder will agree: it’s a thrilling sport, yet it can be very risky at some occasions. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so getting a travel or a specific snowboarding insurance is worth considering… especially because a beginner will fall down more than average, and it only takes one bad crash before you pile up thousands in medical bills.
Once you have locked in your equipment and insurance, you’ll be able to head to your winter sport destination and start with the practical side of learning how to snowboard. The fundamentals of snowboarding are pretty easy to explain, since the most important part is your body stance.
Bend your knees
The first thing an experienced snowboard instructor will tell you, is to bend your knees and to keep them above your feet.
The reason for this is because your knees are your shock absorbers, which allows you to absorb bumps by bounding up and down. Additionally, bending your knees will bring your center of gravity down which makes it easier to regain your balance, and it also digs the edges of your board deeper in the snow, giving you more control over your board.
Look (and point) where you want to go
When you’re snowboarding you’ll naturally move to the direction where you look at, this because your body language will be aligned with the direction you’re looking at.
Looking down – which is a natural reflex for new snowboarders – will put your body in a bad and twisted position, which will ultimately shift your shoulders and thus the weight on your heels.
So remember: look where you want to go, because if you look down you fall down.
By looking where you want to go (you can even point in the right direction), you’ll get there much more smoothly. Your eyes lead the rest of your body, which you’ll notice when you’re learning to turn your board.
Learn how to fall
We’ve mentioned it before: snowboarding beginners will fall a lot. Don’t be scared of falling, just make sure you know how to fall properly.
When falling, a natural reflex is putting your hands in front of you to break your fall. However, you should learn to keep your hands close to your body, crossed over your chest.
How to improve at snowboarding
Snowboarding can be a frustrating game at times, when you feel like you’ve hit a plateau and you can’t progress beyond. That’s why we’ve received tips from a few professional snowboarders on how they have improved their skills, and listed the most important tips below!
Plan your tricks
You’ll progress much faster in learning how to snowboard if you have a list of tricks you’ll want to learn. This is because it pushes you to try out new things, and subconsciously improve your confidence.
Learn how to skate
Having basic skateboarding skills helps you to learn snowboarding, because you will already know the fundamentals of snowboarding: bending your knees, looking where you need to go, and you’ve probably had some gnarly falls already.
The tricks like pipes and rails should feel pretty familiar to skateboarders as well, which will make you progress much faster then people who have never stood on a skateboard before.
Off season workouts
Strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance are very important for your performance – and indirectly the enjoyment of snowboarding.
So whether you’re new to the sport or are an experienced pro, strengthening your body and staying fit is fundamental to reducing soreness and preventing injury.