The first experience when it comes to snowboarding or snowboarden can be daunting. This is especially true for those who have not been on the mountain before. Here, you will not only face the cold weather, but also other snowboarders who are coming down the mountain with you. For the beginner this can be a little scary, but the truth is that snowboarding for beginners can be a fun, safe experience if you know how to prepare.
The more you prepare, the better off you will be for your first snowboarden experience. However, there is a difference between being prepared and over-preparing which may lead to even bigger issues than if you didn’t prepare at all. So, relax and get the basics out of the way so that you can enjoy your first trip down the mountain on your snowboard.
The first tip is that you should dress according to the temperature and your activity level. Most people tend to wear too much in the way of jackets and coats and start looking like a little kid who has been dressed by their mom before going out into a blizzard.
Because you will be actively snowboarding, that will require energy for your muscles that in turn heats up the body. So, you’ll want to dress in layers and avoid big coats if at all possible. The recommended way to dress for snowboarding should be as follows;
- Long Johns or Long Underwear
- Two Pairs of Socks for Comfort
- Long Sleeve Light Cotton Shirt
- Jacket & Ski Pants
- Ski Mask or Hood
That may seem somewhat light, but you’ll be generating more than enough body heat working your way down the slopes to need much more. You can add an undershirt if you like, but for most people this is more than enough protection from the cold.
Rent the Snowboard
Snowboarding is not for everyone and as most often the case you will not really know until after a few trips down the mountain. What may seem fun and exciting from a distance will change dramatically once you are participating. So, the best advice in snowboarding for beginners is to rent the snowboard and see if this sport is for you. If it is, then you should look to purchasing a good snowboard. If not, then you are only out a rental fee.
Do Not Lose your Snowboard
If at all possible, do not lose your snowboard. The problem is that it can be pretty easy to watch your investment or rental fee go bye-bye because a loose snowboard combined with a slick slope and gravity will quickly send it away from you at high speed. So, while you cannot prevent all slips and falls, you can put yourself in the best position to keep your snowboard from getting away. If your snowboard has a strap that attaches to you, be sure that it is attached. Otherwise, it would not take much to lose your snowboard.
Remember the Rules of the Mountain
You have the right of way over anyone behind you while those in front of you have the right of way when going down the slope. This is because you can see those in front of you, but it’s tougher to keep track of those behind you. So, if you crash into someone in front of you, then it is your fault. Be sure to keep track of those in front of you and give them a wide berth if at all possible. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to check behind you before making a sweeping turn or cut across the slope.
Left or Right Foot Forward
When you snowboarden, do you stand with your right or left foot forward? It seems simple enough, but you might get thrown a bit when asked if you are “regular” (left foot) or “goofy” (right foot). Basically, you should lead with the foot that you first put into your pants when getting dressed. If you can remember that, then you can prepare yourself for snowboarding down the mountain.
Also remember that on the ski lift a “regular” or left footer should be on the right of the seat while a “goofy” or right footer on the left side. This way when you exit the ski lift both of you will go in opposite directions as opposed to bashing together in front of the chair.
Push with Back Foot Behind You
For those who are experienced on a skateboard, pushing with the back foot in front of you makes perfect sense. However, because your front foot is locked down onto the board it will put a lot of strain on the knee joint. Instead, push with the back foot behind you so that you can protect your knee. It may seem a bit weird at first, but you’ll get used to it fairly quickly.
Speed is your Best Friend
While this may seem counter-intuitive, the truth is that the faster you go, the easier it is to control the board. This is because when you catch the edge to make a turn the speed that you are travelling actually helps root you to the board itself. It may be a little scary at first travelling down the slope going so fast, but you will have more control over the snowboard when doing so.
Of course, you are going to fall a lot, but that is a part of snowboarding for beginners. In order to become a good snowboarder, your mind and body have to work as one on the slope. So, this will mean a lot of trial and error as you slip, fall, and make a host of mistakes. The good news is that injuries are relatively few and far between if you can avoid other snowboarders and the trees.
So, if you have always wanted to experience snowboarding or snowboarden, then go to the nearest ski resort that rents snowboards so that you start enjoying this remarkable sport.