Beginner’s Guide: Tips for learning to snowboard

The annoying bit is having to learn how to shred. There’s no avoiding it.  No amount of watching vidz on You Tube, chatting to the staff in Snow and Rock or reading Whitelines will make you able to pull 360’s and ride a rail on day one.  But here are a few tips that will make the learning experience much quicker and way less painful:

  1. Pay for proper lessons – I’ve seen people try and learn from their mates and tried to teach friends myself but no amount of good intentions can substitute for a proper instructor teaching you the basics.  I’ve seen people give up after two daysStump up for a lessons  – you’ll only need two or three half day lessons in a week to get cruising on blue and red runs.
  2. Get to a snow dome – Why not get a few lessons at one of the UK’s awesome snowdomes?  This way you’ll hit the slopes in much better shape and get loads more real mountain riding done! See our list of UK snowdomes.
  3. Exercise before you go – learning to ride is very tiring so get down the gym to work those thighs and calves!  The better shape you’re in the quicker you’ll learn.  Also work your triceps as you’ll be using them to push yourself back on your feet.
  4. Take it easy on the first couple of days – When you’re learning your legs will BURN. The learning effort is tough when you’re tense and overworking your muscles. Don’t burn yourself out for the rest of the week or even worse have a horrible crash because you can’t control your legs properly. Patience young Padowan…
  5. Get protection – When you’re learning you will be falling down  – a lot.  You must hire or buy a snowboard helmet. I can’t believe I learnt without one. Six years later I’m still bouncing my head of icy piste at least once a holiday!  I would definitely invest in impact shorts to pad your bum and knee pads for your… knees.  Both of these body parts will spend a lot of time hitting the surprisingly hard, pisted snow  – and the impact shorts keep your bum warm and dry too! Wrist injuries are common so you may want to get some wrist guards although a lot of people advise against them as they can transfer the damage to your elbows if you fall badly.

Let me know your thoughts and questions by adding a comment below.  I’m sure there are question unanswered or some of you have better tips to share!

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