Let’s be honest, snowboarding is super cool, and you should try it at least once… and once you’ve tried it, you’ll love it, and then you’re hooked forever! So, before you turn into the next Torstein Horgmo, you need to get the foundations sorted. Follow these six top tips that every beginner will benefit from, and once you’ve got them under your belt, you can start to progress and rip up the slopes.
When you head for the mountains, maybe after checking out some indoor sessions back here in the UK, you want to be jetting out to the right resort for you to progress, but also have a wicked time too! So, what makes a good beginners’ resort?
It’s not only a fun day out, but it’s also a really cool idea to make your cheap snow holidays more worthwhile if you take some lessons before you fly out. Getting a few lessons in will help massively; it’ll give you the basics, if nothing else, so you can get a feel for things and then when you are out on the pistes you’ll have more confidence in your ability (as you’ll have some).
The best lifts for the newbies are always the gondolas and high-speed chairs because they practically stop, which gives you chance to get off. The regular chairs don't slow down at the top, so if you’re as fresh as the snow to boarding then hopping off could see you face-planting in no time at all. This goes for drag lifts too – they all have you needing to set yourself free at the top rather awkwardly. That’s not to say that you can't use these lifts, but the other options are more user-friendly.
Don't skimp and get budget gear. It’s so easy to get discounted clothes and accessories from established brands, such as old seasons colourways etc. wearing the proper snowboarding kit means you’ll benefit from reinforced areas in vital points, such as the bottom and knees – places you’ll spend plenty of time during your snowboarding career. Also, snowboarding gloves can withstand much more than most ski gloves – again, because you spend more time using your hands to plant yourself in the snow when you're learning to board.
Think about picking yourself up some wrist-protectors as an essential part of your kit. Broken wrists top the list of bad injuries for snowboarders because you do that reflex thing of putting your hands down to break your fall. Look at getting some added padding for your butt and your knees, to make things easier on the body. It’s just bumps and bruises, but the fewer you have, the better, right?
When it comes to one of our favourite parts – buying boots, bindings and boards, get the right kit is really important. If you’re not renting from the local ski hire shop while you’re on your holiday, then go to a decent specialist snowboard shop near you and let them guide you through the process of buying what’s right. They’ll likely have a sweet choice of kit for you to choose from, so you can still look cool without looking like a total newb, or someone who has all the gear but no idea! Their knowledge is invaluable, so use it, it’s free!