Snowboarding Tips For Beginners
“Patience is a virtue”
For many of us, this well known saying is not something that is applied to our everyday life, let alone when it comes to learning something new. In the beginning stages of practising the techniques required for an adventure sport we’ve chosen, can leave us feeling frustrated if we haven’t mastered everything in the matter of days. As a result of our impatience, we can end up making more mistakes than needed and even end up getting hurt.
A great way to learning all adventure sports is to remember to have fun while you progress to different stages. The key is not to take yourself too seriously and/or beat yourself up over not getting a certain skill straightaway. Instead, just go with the flow and create great memories along the way that can last a lifetime.
Below is 10 snowboarding tips for beginners to help you feel more comfortable and secure on the mountains:
- Always bend your knees – It’s very common to see beginners stiffen their legs in a straight position due to it being easier on your muscles. However, this only enhances your chances of falling over more due to not absorbing the snow bumps and it also makes it difficult to turn corners. So make sure you start building up stamina and strength in your quadriceps!
- Stay on the sides of the slopes to prevent experienced snowboarders putting you off or making you feel uncomfortable with their techniques and fast pace.
- Protective gear – wearing the right gear can help you learn faster, in comparison to not having the right gear and being put off by the rawness of falling repeatedly. Make sure you have a water-resistant ski or snowboarding jacket, water-resistant ski or snowboarding pants, helmet, snug-fitting snowboard boots, a snowboard with bindings, goggles and snowboarding gloves or mittens.
- The right clothing – wearing the right clothing is not only important for you to stay warm, but it will help you when it comes to those frosty falls and you could also strip off a few layers if you start to feel uncomfortable. You’ll need thin cotton or polypro socks to wick moisture away from your feet, thicker smart-wool or other non-cotton socks (worn over the thin socks), long underwear (preferably moisture-wicking), a pair of loose trousers (like jogging pants) over them if you’re sensitive to the cold, Tight-fitting long-sleeved or a long-underwear top (preferably moisture-wicking), a medium-thickness fleece or wool sweater (if you don’t have either of those, cotton will work) and the warmest hat you can find.
5. Prevent swelling on your bottom – you will fall several times in the beginning stages, so it’s a good idea to pad your bottom with socks to lessen the blow and bruising.
6. Avoid learning in ‘Icy conditions’ – snow melts in the afternoon and refreezes at night (and into the morning). It’s recommended to wait to begin your lessons/practice until the afternoon when it softens. However, if it’s the middle of winter and there’s been no new snow for three weeks, plan to visit the hill the next time there’s fresh snow.
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7. When you do your first turns on the hill, overemphasise the push on your heels, toes and body rotation.
8.Practice at home – Even if you’re not on the mountain, you can practice heels, toes, body rotation and begin to get those weight shifts into your muscle memory simply by practicing out in the garden or in your front room. You can do full transitions / weight shifts from heel-side to toe-side, and once you get that down, begin practicing how to manual your board, balancing on the nose or tail. The key is to learn the balance points and flex of your board.
9.Look for banks and walls – One of the biggest ways to boost your progression is to always be looking for banks and walls for your turns. These can be found not only on terrain park features (half or quarter pipes) but anywhere two slopes intersect. A great place to find them is along roads, which typically form sloped walls on their uphill side.
10. HAVE FUN!