While hugely popular, snowboarding is a sport that is still on the increase. You can find many ski resorts are full of snowboarders, and they offer private lessons for one-on-one training, or you can take the more fun-filled group lessons where all new boarders take part.
However, if you can’t get to a ski resort yet, you have access to snow, you want to find those beginner snowboarding tips that can help you get started.
Before you start, it helps to have the right snowboarding gear, yet not to go overboard. Besides this, many snowboarding tips don’t relate to the boarding aspect and get the most from your boarding experience.
You can learn the important snowboarding tips in our guide, such as using the bunny hills to learn, even if you don’t think they are necessary. Injuries happen, and it’s better to fall on flat surfaces around a bunny slope than screaming down the mountain. (Find the Best Snowboarding Helmet with Speakers)
By the end, you’ll know the proper gear for snowboarding and the basic movements that can help you learn faster, even if you don’t use a professional instructor is.
Can I Teach Myself to Snowboard?
Winter is a fantastic time to take part in winter sports such as snowboarding. It has become a recognized sport in the Olympics, yet it doesn’t mean you can’t easily learn how to snowboarding.
Snowboarding basic instruction can be enough when followed by practice. So here we have the key snowboarding basics that are essential for any snowboarding for beginners.
Find Your Stance
You may not think it means much, yet your snowboard stance means much more than if you are regular or goofy by name.
If you find you lead with your left leg, then you are “regular” stance, and leading with your right leg, you are “goofy.”
If you’re not sure if you skateboard, what leg do you push the skateboard with? Most often, this is the front leg. Pulling your pants on or kicking a soccer ball all naturally shows which your lead leg will be. (Read Goofy vs Regular Snowboard)
Wear the Right Gear
Wearing protective gear keeps you safe during snowboarding sessions and will help avoid injuries from falls, collisions, and cold weather.
- Helmets are always to be worn.
- Select a snowboard that matches your stance.
- Pick snowboarding boots to protect your feet and ankles.
- Use the correct bindings to keep your feet strapped to the board.
- Wear tinted goggles or sunglasses to keep the sun and snow glare from your eyes.
- Wrist guards can protect wrists when learning how to snowboard.
Wear Proper Clothing
As snowboarding takes part in extreme cold, you need the right clothing to make things comfortable without excess sweating in cold temperatures. Here’s some of the appropriate gear to wear.
- Warm hat or hood to covers your head and ears.
- Thermal socks and moisture-wicking underwear.
- A warm jacket that isn’t restrictive.
- A scarf or gaiter to stop the wind from going down your neck.
- Snowboard pants keep you warm and dry as they are water-resistant.
- Wearing layers helps keep the whole body warm and wicks moisture away from the body.
If you want lessons with a snowboard instructor, avoid the weekends and go during the week when learning how to snowboard. The crowds of people skiing will be fewer and can make your snowboarding experience more relaxed on the bunny slopes.
Remember to always pay attention to course signs or areas that you are skilled enough to board on. (Read Can You Wear Rain Boots in the Snow)
Is snowboarding hard for beginners?
As a newbie snowboarder, the first thing to figure out is your dominant foot; this determines whether you are Goofy footed or Regular.
Get a friend to push you from behind and step forward. Whichever foot you put in front of you is your lead foot and naturally does so to stop you from falling.
When checking any snowboarding howto, you’ll see in the beginning; it’s nearly impossible to avoid falling.
If you feel you’re about to fall, drop to your knees slightly to keep the falling height as low as possible. You’ll fall around one foot rather than higher up, where you would potentially hurt your wrist.
The type of snow also makes a difference. The softer it is, the easier it is for you to control your board. Also, as a beginner, ski across the slope, looking up so you can see anyone skiing downward.
Can You Learn to Snowboard in a Day?
If you want to learn how to snowboard as quickly as possible, there is a learning curve, yet here are a few things that will come in handy.
There is as much as being prepared by having your snowboard boots and lift tickets ready, so you don’t waste time. If you are using rental equipment, make sure your snow pants let you crouch with bents knees and are still comfortable.
Beginner snowboarders often forget how much they will move and have clothes that end up tight-fitting. This is because the legs do much of the work while the upper body is calm and controls balance.
Buy Your Lift Ticket online ahead of time. Ski resorts offering these online ticket sales with discounts.
By now, you will know your stance. A regular stance has your left foot forward, where a goofy snowboard stance has the right foot forward.
Chairlifts can be challenging for a beginner snowboarder, yet all you need to do is pay attention to the lift loading line.
You’ll spot how boarders get on and get off the lift. Just remember to unstrap your back foot, as this helps you skate around before you reach the slope. Keep your board straight, and you can exit like everyone else is doing.
How to Stop on a Snowboard?
Getting too much speed is easy, yet it is stopping, which is a challenge. Before you leave a bunny hill, ensure you know how to stop. Learning how to stop on both your toe and heelside edge is vital.
Stopping is an aggressive turn rather than slowing yourself and brings you to a complete stop with your board facing across the slope. To stop, pivot the board and body aggressively across the slope, then push all your weight on the uphill edge.
Once you’ve strapped in your front binding, you’ll learn how to skate around on a flat surface with your front foot strapped in and back foot pushing you along.
With your front foot strapped, place your back foot on the heel edge of your snowboard, behind your other foot, and use the back foot to push yourself. (Learn How to Wax Your Snow Board)
As you get comfortable skating around, bring your free foot to the middle of your board, and rest it on the back binding for stability.
J-Turn: On a snowboard, a J-turn is one of the first skills to learn. When learning, you need to glide straight in one direction and turn uphill like a letter J. Practice with your front foot strapped in the binding and the rear foot resting on the board.
Toe-Side J-Turn: Point the snowboard straight down and glide forward. Shift your weight to your front foot, then move your hips above the toeside edge as you flex your ankles and knees. With weight over the toe edge, turn the board across the hill.
Heel-side J-turn: Point your snowboard straight down a gentle slope. Shift your weight on the front foot and over your heels. Move your hips over your heel-side as you flex your ankles and knees. With weight over the heel-side edge, you will turn your board uphill. Keep bent knees as if you were in a seated position and your free foot resting.
Toe-side traverse: Keep your board on the uphill edge when you stand. Keep equal weight on the heel and toeside edge of the balance point. Shift weight to your front foot and let it flatten. Keep the weight centered and lean over the edge you are standing on while increasing the edge angle, and you will slow to a stop.
Heel-side traverse: Keep your hips on the heel side as you find the balance point. Shift weight to the front of the foot and let the foot soften. You’ll start moving toward the nose of your board. Lean more over the edge you are standing on while keeping your weight between both feet and knees bent. Slowing down will ultimately lead to a stop from the heel side turn.