As winter begins to set in and the snow starts to fall, many recreational athletes turn to alpine events, especially skiing. But for a handful of weekend warriors looking to shred the fresh powder, the chilly season means only one thing:snowboarding.
An exhilarating hobby that is nothing short of good fun, snowboarding combines the fluid grace of surfing with the jump and spin techniques of skateboarding. And the best part? Anyone can do it — yup, even you!
This winter, take a break from your belovedFUNBOY winter gear and tell Frosty he can come to life another day; it’s time to try something new this season.
Are you ready?
Read on for our beginner’s guide to snowboarding.
But First, What’s So Special About Snowboarding?
Ah, winter, what a delightful time of year! When the snow starts to blanket the ground, and a simple stroll down the sidewalk becomes an extreme sport, it’s probably safe to say that outdoor basketball, tennis, volleyball, or any other kind of outdoor exercise is pretty much out of the question (except for snowboarding, of course).
A popular activity that involves sliding downhill on snow with a board strapped to your feet,snowboarding was invented in the beautiful USA and is considered one of the most popular winter sports of all time. Combining both balance and speed above the white pow, you will certainly feel the adrenaline in your veins when you hop on a board to conquer a snowy hill.
Is Snowboarding Better Than Skiing?
Comparing snowboarding to skiing is like comparing sledding tosnow tubing: they both offer different advantages. That being said, there’s an age-old debate between winter sports enthusiasts everywhere that has been raging on for years; what is the best way to go down a mountain?
While we’re pretty big fans of zipping down a snowy hillside on one of ourluxe inflatable snow sleds, it’s probably not wise to try and sled down an enormous mountain on one. So, that leaves us with snowboarding and skiing... which sport comes out on top?
Well, the truth is that they are both pretty awesome.
However, here are a few reasons why snowboarding is better:
No Ski Poles
Aside from plunging randomly into the fresh powder and making life a little more complicated, what’s the point of them? When you go snowboarding, you’re not stuck holding onto ski poles. Plus, you’ll always have a free hand to eat a snack —and who doesn’t love snacks?
The Equipment Is Super Easy To Carry
You can carry a snowboard in one hand. Simple, right? As for skiing, you will need multiple hands to carry the set (that means two) of skis along with their heavy bindings. Not to mention the ski poles…
Need a Moment To Chill? Sit-Down.
If a snowboarder needs to take a quick break, they can simply sit down in the snow with no effort at all. Skiers, on the other hand, have to sink deeply into an awkward position with their legs spread in order to sit. Don’t even get us started on how hard it is for skiers to get back up again!
Lots of Transferable Skills
When you master the art of skiing, you can only use that skill for one other sport,water skiing.When you master the art of snowboarding, on the other hand, there are endless board sports to enjoy, such as snowboarding, surfing, windsurfing, mountain boarding, and free boarding, just to name a few.
Falling Is No Big Deal
Skis are designed to come off of your feet when you fall, and if you don’t have your ski poles strapped to your mitten-clad hands, they’re going to come off, too. This is bad news if you happen to take a tumble because your ski gear can end up scattering all over the mountain.
On the flip side, when you fall while snowboarding, your beloved board will stay attached to your feet, and you don’t have any poles to worry about. In other words, you’ll never lose your precious gear!
A Beginner’s Guide To Snowboarding: The Basics
Now that you’re totally convinced to join Team Snowboarding, let’s go over the basics so you can strap up and hit the slopes.
First Things First, How To Dress For Success
When you go snowboarding, it’s important todress appropriately. If you’re not comfortable when you hit the slopes, it won’t be a very enjoyable experience.
You will need:
- Gloves or mittens
- A fleece or wool top
- A waterproof coat
- Waterproof pants
- Thermal undies
- Long thick socks
- A cozy hat
In addition to warm clothes, you will also need the following gear:
- Helmet (Not wearing a helmet doesn’t make you look cooler…Wear a Helmet!)
- Snowboard boots
On your first couple of runs, you might forget an item or two, but don’t worry! Many resort rental shops stock just about anything you might need. So if you do happen to forget something, you can usually snag a loaner at the mountain.
- Pro Tip:When you’re trying on snowboarding boots for the first time, your toes should not be squished. You should just barely touch the end of your snowboot with your big toe when you’re standing up with your knees bent.
Before You Hit the Slopes, You Need To Know the Rules
Like many other winter sports, snowboarding is done mainly at a ski resort or winter sports center where many folks are doing different kinds of activities. For instance, while you’re trying to snowboard, there could be a group of skiers passing by. With this in mind, for the safety of others as well as your safety, there are some ground rules you should obey.
While snowboarding, keep in mind these cool tips:
- Always respect others and be mindful of your actions.
- Have a solid understanding of your ability so you can properly control your movements and speed.
- If you have to stop on the slope, don’t just pump the brakes in the middle of traffic. Choose a safe place that won’t cause any accidents.
- Never climb up or down the slope on foot unless you are on the side of the run.
- Keep a safe distance between you and the other people on your left and right side so that you always have enough space for movements.
- Lastly, respect all the signs on and around the slope. They are there for a reason, and disobeying them can lead to serious consequences, such as aninjury.
Time To Strap In
Now that you have your gear and understand the laws of the slopes, head out to an area of snow that is relatively flat and position your board perpendicular to the slope. It can help to bump the heel edge into the snow a few times to keep the board from sliding.
Then, sit down on your bum with the snowboard in front of you before placing your lead foot in the binding, pushing your heel back. Feed the toe strap into the ratchet and tighten it until it feels nice and snug. Do the same thing for the ankle strap.
Repeat the process for your second foot. Once you’re totally strapped in, take a deep breath and push up off the ground — you’re ready to go!
Practice Makes Perfect
Learning how to snowboard can be tough. It takes time, dedication, and hard work. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do more than just the bunny hill the first couple of times you go snowboarding. That being said, once you have all of your gear and are strapped into the board, it’s time to practice.
Here are a few tips:
- Start on a very small slope.
- Keep your point of balance low by crouching ever so slightly.
- Try to lean onto your front leg rather than your back leg.
- Avoid leaning too far to one side or the other.
- Use your arms to keep yourself steady until you have the hang of it.
- Keep your chin up and your eyes forward.
- If you fall, dust yourself off and try again. Remember, practice makes perfect.
Learning how to snowboard can be quite the challenge, but once you master the skill, you’ll see that it was well worth it.
Whether you decide to take up a new hobby like snowboarding or prefer to kick it at home with your favoriteFUNBOY sled, don’t forget to bundle up, stay safe, and, most importantly, have fun!