Snowboarding can be fun, but it isn’t that easy to master in the very beginning. You can find yourself scrambling to stand on more than a few occasions halfway down the slope.
The sport is all about improvement, however, a lot of kids see the like of Shaun White and think they can be like him from day one.
In reality, it is more like aches and bruises and getting highly frustrated.
Here are five tips to help you on your way and not make the same mistakes. You can then easily go outdoors camping close to, or in the snow and get cracking with improving your snowboarding skills while having some outrageous fun.
Beginner Snowboarding Tips
1. Safety gear Makes You Learn Quicker
When kids fall, they have a superhuman ability to bounce and get back up immediately and carry on.
When you’re older than this, you need gear which will protect you all over, and the main two items are Lacrosse shorts and wrist guards. (Helmet not included, that one’s obvious)
Lacrosse shorts are very similar to cycling shorts, but they contain padded areas (the pads can be removed) around the crotch, thighs, and hips.
The most important place they have protection is over the tailbone where they have a thin plastic shield.
Wrist guards need to fit under your snowboarding mittens so take them to the store. Ideally, these mittens should reach further up your arm and fasten using a cord or strap rather than elastic.
With both of these, you can fall as much as you want and safely know you are protected so you can spend all day getting back up and trying again.
2. Boilerplate Conditions and Staying Clear
In some areas, they are used to boarding on hard icy conditions, but for beginners, this is a complete no-no.
To avoid these, any practice sessions should be carried out in the afternoon. When the snow melts a little and then gets frozen at night it will be rock hard, and any chance of learning will be hindered, or at least make a lot harder for beginners.
If there’s been no fresh snow in your area, just postpone your trip until you have that downfall of white crisp powder.
3. Loving the Powder
You might be cautious to avoid the ice, but when there’s fresh powder around you need to be quick off the mark. This soft white stuff is a Godsend when you want to make a turn, and it feels much more natural in doing so.
Curves and turns can come super easy, and the small dried up creek beds are now converted into half-pipes which stretch on and on.
Most beginners follow the same tracks and stay on the same groomed runs. By doing this, they miss the chance to get creative with their runs.
Check for that untracked snow, and you can find those creative lines which will help you learn on rough terrain easier.
4. Looking Where You’re Going
This doesn’t mean watch out for the tree. It means wherever you’re looking your body will follow because the eyes lead.
If you’re unsure, take a snowboard stance and look forward. Relax and let your arms dangle by your sides nice and loose. Now turn your head at 90 degrees and look to the left.
Doing this you should feel the weight shift in your feet, and your right shoulder should be turned halfway between your stances.
If you continue to rotate your head to look backward, you should see weight being loaded onto your heels. If you turn the same distance in the other direction, the weight will be shifted to your toes.
This is how edge control starts, and it all begins with your eyes. You can actually do this in your living room, and it will help you learn faster once you hit the slopes.
5. The First Turns
Once you’ve hit the slopes and are practicing, you should overemphasize the push with your toes, heels and your body rotation.
Many beginners take the lean gently and wait because they expect something to happen. This makes them unbalanced their snowboard isn’t turning, yet they are.
When you approach the time to turn. Over emphasize your movements and push deliberately with your toes or heels depending on the direction you wish to turn.
You might appear a little goofy overemphasizing your foot movements, but it’ll stop you taking the weight off your heels and pushing too far forward and turning a toeside.