Maine Snowboarding: Learning to Snowboard
Tips & Tricks for Snowboarding Success
So you want to learn how to snowboard? The first thing I’m going to tell you is that it’s not easy. Not by a long shot. Your first day strapped to a snowboard is guaranteed to be challenging. Be prepared to spend a fair amount of slopetime on your bum and don’t be surprised to find yourself looking for a hot tub at the end of the day to soothe those aching muscles. Ask us about Snowboarding in Maine or share your comments.
Snowboarding Tips & Techniques
Snowboarding is similar to skiing in that both sports use the techniques of weighting while on edge and following the fall line when descending the mountain. Learning to snowboard is different from learning to ski in one distinct regard – although learning to snowboard is twice as hard as learning to ski, your level of ability will increase exponentially faster on a snowboard than on skis. Before you know it, you’ll be flying down the slopes leaving the skiers with a face full of powder.
A word to the wise: Make sure the first thing you learn how to do is fall – because you’re going fall and you’re going to fall a lot. So tuck in those arms and legs, and just roll with it! Because learning to snowboard is a challenge, it’s important to set realistic goals for yourself those first few times on the mountain. Realistic goals will keep your frustration levels to a minimum. An example of a realistic goal would be “Get myself down the bunny slope once without falling.” not “Grinding rails in the terrain park.”
The fastest way to gain success on a snowboard is to invest in private lessons with a snowboard instructor. These lessons are worth more than their weight in gold. When scheduling lessons at the mountain, be sure you’re getting a real snowboard instructor not a skier strapped to a snowboard. A good snowboard instructor knows the sport well and will be able to teach you quickly and effectively, guaranteeing more time riding and less time sliding backwards and out-of-control down the bunny slope. I strongly recommend spending 2-3 days in a row strapped to a snowboard when starting out. It’s the fastest way for your body to learn the muscle memory necessary to ride a board. Yes, you will discover new muscles you never knew existed before. If too much time passes between your first and second snowboarding lesson, your second lesson will have you starting at ground zero again. Not fun.
More Tips for First-Time Snowboarders
- Wear waterproof pants & gloves and a helmet
- Stretch your legs, back and arms before riding
- Always strap your front foot in first
- Remove loose snow from bindings regularly
- Keep a wide stance, flexed knees, loose ankles & straight back
- Keep your hands in loose fists to avoid broken bones
- Always try to fall uphill, relax and roll with the fall
- Use a heel-toe rocking motion to control your edges
- Never ride with your board flat on the hill
- Lean slightly forward down the mountain for more control
Although learning to snowboard can be difficult, there is no mistaking the thrill of success once you “get it” and you will love that unique floating sensation you get as you carve down the mountain. With no poles to worry about, you are free to surf the slopes and enjoy the ride. So schedule that lesson, strap into that board, say a prayer and HAVE FUN!
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