While most people prefer to stay indoors during the winter period, there are many people who love adventure, and sports that give them a massive adrenaline rush.
Snowboarding is most definitely one of those extreme winter sports. The sport has been around for more than 100 years, offering the adventure and excitement that thrill-seekers look out for. It officially became the part of the Winter Olympics in 1998 in Japan.
Snowboarding is not just done by professionals, but also by beginners who someday want to be part of this high paced and thrilling sport. Most snowboarding beginners look for information online to find helpful beginner tips and tricks. This alone is not sufficient because there is so much more to consider when starting to snowboard.
Snowboarding for Dummies
If you’re new to snowboarding, knowing where to start can be tricky too. To follow is a guide on the snowboarding basics.
Here is a step-by-step guide outlining how you can go from a snowboarding beginner to a pro:
- Basic stance, strapping in and standing up
- Balancing on snowboard
- Skating, gliding, and moving uphill
- How to stop the snowboard
- Turning the snowboard
- Basic movements (tilt, twist, pivot, pressure)
- Master the basics
- Advanced riding (carving, freestyle, backcountry powder)
By skipping any of the steps above, you may slow down your snowboarding progression. Take your time mastering each step and you will be a pro in now time.
Snowboarding Basic Stance
The first step to becoming a pro at snowboarding is to learn the basic stance. This will ensure you are able to properly control, steer, and ride your snowboard anywhere you want.
Below is how to set up the snowboard basic stance:
- Identify your natural stance (your dominant foot should be at the back)
- Place even weight on both feet
- Stand with your knees slightly bent
- Ensure your hips and shoulders are aligned with your feet
- Maintain a straight back
- Keep your arms relaxed
- Head looking forward to where you want to go
By learning how to maintain this stance, snowboarding will be a breeze.
Balancing on a snowboard is easier said done. Snowboarding beginners should start with leg building exercises to strengthen leg muscles. One can practice by standing on one leg and swinging the other leg out in various directions. This should be practiced regularly till you are confident.
You must balance your body weight over the center part of your foot’s arch, with the head and hips to be centered too. Both your hands are to be held out a little bit on both sides, but should still be focused at the center of your board.
Apart from your arms which are moving on your sides, the next thing to move is your head in the same direction you’re riding.
Riding and turning a snowboard
This part is most crucial to practice as it will set you in the right motion if carefully followed, as it constitutes the basic part and focuses on important body movements.
- Head should be held up and high.
- Focus on the direction you want to go.
- Your head as well as your shoulders need to be turned in the direction you are riding.
- Core muscles should be solely used to turn your snowboard.
- When you turn, the speed should be should be same as the speed in which you turn your shoulders
- Keep the hips balanced properly in the center of the board.
- Feet should be properly strapped into bindings of the board
- When you ride heel-side, you should motion your feet towards the front of the snowboard
- When you ride toe-side, your feet should face the tail end of your board.
- Feet movement has a lot of impact. For a toe-side turn, first pressure should be totally on the toes of your front foot and when the turn ends, on the back foot toes. Similarly, for a heel-side turn , begin with putting pressure on the heels of your front foot and later, end it on the heels of your back foot. It’s quite easy once you practice and get the hang of it.
These steps help you understand your body and how it syncs with the snowboard. Practice the above steps, and once learned, combine them all and turn like a professional on your snowboard.
Once you have mastered these, you are set to experiment on different snow surfaces on mountains and make progression on this fun activity.
Remember, there is no easy way to learn snowboarding, though the above tips are a great help. However, the key to success lies in practicing and balancing the movements.
How To Snowboard – A Few Useful Tips
Before you go for snowboarding, there are lots of things which need to be taken care of. The following tips might help
- Dress up for Snowboarding
If you are planning for snowboarding, you must ensure that you have sufficient and proper clothing to keep you warm. Besides, you would also require a pair of boots which are meant for snowboarding, and other kinds of safety gear.
The list is quite big; however, here are some of the basic items which you would require
- A snow bib or snow pants
- Balaclava/ski mask
- A snow coat with a comfortable fitting
- Boots for snowboarding. These are the special types of boots, which can be easily strapped into the snowboard.
- You need a crash helmet
- Snowboarding Gloves
- Ski Goggles which are designed for snowboarding or skiing.
Useful Tips on Snowboarding for Beginners
There are many articles, videos and blogs online about how to snowboard for beginners, which many first-timers try out and often end up being frustrated or get themselves hurt, instead of learning and having some fun.
The most important tips for snowboarding are to be patient and to not rush your progress. Take your time learning the basics, master them, everything after that becomes much easier and you will most definitely speed up your progression.
Perhaps the most important part of ensuring you have a great ski experience is picking the correct board, make sure you use a beginner snowboard as they allow you to progress quicker.
As well as having the correct board, not having the right boots can ruin your experience very quickly. Having the right boots is essential as they impact on your movement, as well as protect your feet and ankles.
If the snowboard boots are too tight, they will be incredibly uncomfortable and prevent you from using your feet properly when it comes to making turns and stopping. If they are too loose, you risk having your feet come out of them, which in turn may cause you to fall and hurt yourself.
Before you get out onto the slopes, you have to make sure that you’re wearing the correct clothing to ensure you don’t get cold and wet while taking snowboarding lessons or while practicing. We have recommended some ski gloves to ensure that your fingers are protected and warm for your skiing trip.
Always wear breathable thermals underneath your clothes to stay warm. Wearing multiple layers of clothing is most definitely recommended. Avoid wearing cotton clothing as it will soak up your sweat and make you cold. Choose synthetic material like polyester, or merino wool, these materials are perfect for trapping heat, while letting your skin breath.
Now that you have your snowboard, it’s time to get that some protective gear that will help you avoid any snowboarding injuries. Wearing a helmet, wrist guards and protective lacrosse shorts, will ensure that you’re not injured during your first few weeks on a snowboard.
Most beginner snowboarders will fall on their butt and hands repeatedly, which can cause uncomfortable bumps and bruises. With the protective gear on, you can be sure that you can take these minor falls and slips without getting seriously injured, thus making you far more confident to try new things and not be scared to take a fall. Never forget, falling is part of the learning process.
As a beginner, when you choose to hit the slopes is also very important. It is recommended that you practice when the snow is fresh, or during the afternoon time when the snow melts and softens.
Learning to snowboard in tough, icy conditions can be hard as you will move a lot quicker and you won’t have much control. Spring time is usually the best time for beginners as it is warm outside, the snow would have melted a bit, allowing you to have complete control.
Snowboarding on powder allows you to learn more quickly, learn at your own pace, as well as there being a lower risk of injury.
Snowboarding also involves learning new words. Many first time snowboarders often feel confused when they hear some of these terms while out on the slopes, or practicing with other snowboarders.
Two essential terms that you should add to your vocabulary are ‘goofy’ and ‘regular’. While you might have heard these words, the meaning here is completely different.
Whichever leg you lead with will determine if you are either regular or goofy. If you lead with your left leg, that is considered a ‘regular’ stance, if you lead with your right leg forward, that is considered a ‘goofy’ stance.
As a beginner. It’s not unusual to be nervous, but you also need to try and relax, be loose, and most importantly, be comfortable. Start with your knees slightly bent, and an erect back, this is the best position to be in for maximum control.
Keep your shoulders, hips and knees in line with your board, and your body weight should be spread evenly across both feet. While you are riding, you want to keep your front head facing in the direction where you want to go to. Maintain this position while gliding down the slopes.
You also need to focus on a weight-shift that will help you turn as and when required. For a snowboarding beginner this can be a challenge initially, so practice it over and over, until the entire weight transfer process from heel to toe becomes second nature.
You also need to be aware of the balance points and flex of your snowboard. this will help stop you from falling off. You may want to practice keeping your stance in the right position at home as well.
When you hit the ice for the first time, you may start at the bottom of the run to keep things slow and steady. Find a place to drop in smoothly, strap into your snowboard and push yourself down the slope. Try and balance yourself until you reach the bottom and stop yourself.
This might seem a bit boring at first, but as a snowboarding beginner, you need to master the basics of using the heel edge to come to a halt before you reach the flat area. Later, you can try to stop it on your toes.
As a beginner, you need to be more concerned about your stance and leg position and how to make the right turn at the right time. There are multiple things you need to be doing at the same time, because the movements and body positions do not come naturally during the first few days or weeks of practice.
Many beginners make the mistake of looking down at their boards while moving. This makes balancing and control much more difficult. Keeping your head straight up is really important, you must always be looking in the direction of where you want to go because that will ensure your shoulders, hips, and feet are all pointing in the same direction. If you keep looking down at your feet, there’s more chance of you falling.
Often, snowboarding beginners are excited about getting out onto the slopes and they push themselves to go faster than they can maybe handle. This can certainly help in building confidence if everything goes to plan, but it can lead to serious injuries if you can’t control your board or slowing down.
As your skill level improves, and you get more comfortable, you can go faster and faster and down steeper slopes. Learn how to control and stop your snowboard before you start trying to go faster.
It is also important to give your body the right amount of rest, as muscle soreness and stiffness sets in very quickly when you are first starting. Just remember, snowboarding is an extreme sport that cannot be mastered overnight.
Basic Snowboard Tricks for Beginners
Snowboard tricks are maneuvers or aerials which are performed on a snowboard in competitions or just for fun. Usually these aerials are performed on different types of obstacles like half pipes, jumps, handrails, hips and on the snow’s surface. Here are some of the tricks
Backside and Frontside
When it comes to aerial maneuvers both backside and frontside helps in identifying the direction towards which a spin is being rotated. For instance, a rider who is performing frontside, his body would be rotated in an anti-clockwise direction. His shoulders would be opened so that while he is going forward, the front portion of his body goes forward during the first phase of his jump.
A rider who is performing backside spin would rotate the body in a clockwise direction and would close his shoulders so that it is his backside which goes forward during the jump.
- Fakie and switch-stance
Fakie and switch-stance, these two terms are interchangeably used in snowboarding; however, there are differences between these two. When it comes to switching, it refers to the tricks performed by a snowboarder while he is travelling backwards. A snowboarder can also be riding switch when he is not performing any stance. The tip of the board which is in a leading position during this point of time is called the nose.
Few Useful Snowboard Tips For You
If you are a beginner, then you might find these snowboard tips quite handy
- The First Run: It is recommended that you start at the bottom of the run. At the bottom, there is no need for you to worry about generating excess speed, much higher than what you would be able to handle. It becomes quite easy when it comes to controlling. Be in a seated position while facing down the hill. Next, stand up and make sure that your front hand is pointed down the line. This will help to turn the board down and you will start to move. When you ride in the flats, stop the movement. Repeat this over and over again until you get used to it
There is one more thing which you need to practice, which is,
- The First Turn: After you have mastered the skills of controlling the speed and to stop, you are ready for the first turns. You need to strap in the same manner as you did earlier and then allow yourself to move across the run while you are on the edge of your heel. Stop the movement and point the board downhill and try using your toes to stop.
The first snowboarding experience is something which everybody remembers. It can be one of the most frustrating or rewarding days you have ever had. It is true that you won’t achieve perfection at one go; however, if you keep on practicing, you will most definitely achieve your ambition.
Tips For Snowboarding For a Better Experience
Talking about tips for snowboarding, it might include tips on how to buy the best snowboards, on how to maintain them and of course, how to use them.
When it comes to buying snowboard, there are quite a few aspects which need to be taken care of. Here are some of them
- The Type of Terrain
The type of terrain on which you are planning to use the snowboard plays a very important role. Different types of boards are available for different terrains. You can find snowboards for
- All Mountain
- Riding Level
The level of the rider also plays a very important role when it comes to selecting a snowboard. You can find different snowboards which are designed for riders of different levels.
- For the Beginners Level: If you are new to snowboarding, then you will find boards which are precisely designed for the beginners. These boards are perfect when it comes to mastering the skills of turning, riding, baby jumping, stopping and etc
- For Intermediate Level: These snowboards would be appropriate for you, if you have crossed the beginner level and ready to learn the tricks and other complicated movements
- For Advanced Level: These boards are meant for those who have gained expertise in snowboarding and have mastered all the tricks
Apart from these factors, like the length of the board, its width should also be taken into consideration.
If you want to make your first time shredding the slopes even more fun, consider getting one of the best headphones for snowboarding so you can jam your favorite tunes while working your way towards being an expert in snowboarding.
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