So You Want To Learn How To Snowboard
May I be the first to congratulate and welcome you to the crew. Snow is one of my all time favourite environments to be in and snowboarding, well let’s just say you ain’t gonna have more fun whilst being that cold. Now you’re here because you’re wondering where you start, ‘How do I become a snowboarder?’ I hear you cry, don’t panic, you’re in the hands of an all time amateur snowboarder. Take a look at what you need to get out on the slopes and you’ll be on your way in no time.
Can You Learn To Snowboard Without Snow?
It’s a basic one but without snow, you’re just standing on a board somewhere. You can go down the classic route and book yourself a ski holiday otherwise start your journey on the slopes of Great Britain. That’s right. I learnt how to ski on the dry slopes at Southampton but you can now ski on actual UK made snow. These places are legit and perfect for a test run before you book a holiday as they normally have deals on entrance prices. Check out these two:
What You Need To Learn How To Snowboard
Choosing Your Snowboard
You 100% gonna need a snowboard but don’t buy one yet! I know you’ve been looking. You might not even enjoy snowboarding, who am I kidding you’re going to love it, and snowboards can be expensive. Renting is the way to go and you shouldn’t deprive yourself of your first experience of the sweet sweaty smell of the rental shop. Chat with employees whilst you’re there to figure out which board is right for you. Here are a couple of factors they’ll be looking at that will bring you and your first board together:
- Your height and weight.
- Whether you’ll be on park or piste terrain. Not psychic but I’m guessing if you’re a newbie you’ll be on piste for now. Patience young padawan. Your time will come.
- If you’re riding goofy or regular. Regular, you’re going left foot down the mountain and goofy, your going right foot. (I am GoOfY!) You can easily find this out by having a good friend push you
when you least expect itand whichever foot you put out to stop your fall that’s the one you’re going to want to lead with.
As much as rules are fun, you’ve got to feel comfortable on your board, so if you are destined to ride regular but hate it try the goof! Ain’t no one gonna stop you.
Bonus: Most shops will switch your board if you’re not happy, all you got to do is ask.
Snowboarding Specific Gear
Don’t worry, you haven’t picked a hobby that requires a ton of specialised gear. It’s worth noting though that there is gear out there that will likely make your life on the mountains more enjoyable.
I’m a pretty cold person. If you gave me a cup of tea and lit a fire on a summers day chances are I’ll still be wearing a jumper and grab a blanket. My advice when snowboarding would be to wear layers. You can put more on and then you can take them off. It works a charm.
Vital/Essential/Crucial snowboarding gear:
- Helmet – no brainer…as in you don’t want to be a ‘no brainer’. Get a helmet. Wear it.
- Goggles – Protecting your eyes from the elements each and every day.
- Ski Jacket & Trousers – duh.
- Gloves – I’ve been known to take a three tier approach to keeping my hands warm on the mountain. The inner glove, the regular glove and the ultimate glove that goes half way up your arm and could be mistaken for a puppet. You probably don’t need the outer gloves but the inner gloves are such a treat.
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Should You Take Snowboarding Classes?
Now that you’re kitted out it’s time to Rock & Snow. Yes, you can 100% go up the mountain and try things out for yourself. Love the guts! But ski resorts are a special place where human meets mountain and you have to respect that relationship. No one likes an out of control newbie. Don’t be that person. Take a class, learn your groove, love the mountain and the people on it. Don’t forget we’ve got snow in the UK (see point 1) so you can get lessons before your trip otherwise, book them whilst your out there. They come in all shapes and sizes.
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It’s not expensive and if disaster strikes, totally worth it.
When light reflects from the snow chances are you’ll be hit in the face with a big dose of ray. In case you didn’t know, suncream is very effective at protecting your skin against damage caused by the sun.
How Long Does It Take To Learn How To Snowboard?
A lesson in not giving up at the first hurdle
My first venture into snowboarding landed me in the hospital and I quit. I was totally fine, I hurt (not even broke) my wrists, they still click today when I draw air circles. I spent the rest of the week on blades! Fun times. It took me a year to get back on that board but it was THE best decision as I came back with a vengeance and finally found my groove.
The point is, learning can be a tough process. You’re going to fall over, your legs are going to hurt and your butt is going to get wet but you’ll get over it on your first board slide without falling over. You’ll get over it the first time you turn. You’ll certainly get over it when you overtake your first skier (nothing against skiers, just keeping it real). It will be worth it. And if it isn’t, you’ve always got blades.
Get out there, have fun and respect the mountain.
Happy boarding! You got this!