First Timer Tips You Should Know Before Hitting the Slopes with a Snowboard

Snowboarding is a fantastic way to shake off stress once you get the hang of it. If you have never been snowboarding the first thing you will need to know is how to fall. Shift your weight so that you fall backwards. Sit into a fall so that you do not hurt yourself. You always want to fall backwards rather than forward because the most common, which I am sure you are aware of, is broken and fractured wrists. So let your bum take the brunt of the beating. The first day will be difficult no matter what. I recommend fooling around for a couple of hours and then taking a lesson. If you get a good instructor all it should take is one.

Before you even hit the chairlift practice pushing yourself along with one foot, with your lead foot buckled in. Make sure your bindings are set up properly for you. Have a pro help you with this at the equipment shop when you are renting or the sports store when you are buying. If your bindings are set up improperly you will be a hopeless case.

Do not let your fear of falling control you. Speed gives you the momentum to make smooth turns. If you go too slow you will fall often because you will not have the forward momentum required.

Your board follows your body. When you turn your upper body the rest of your body follows. When you want to make a turn, turn your upper body in the direction you want to go.

Always stay on edge. Your edge is what gives you stability by digging into the snow. When you ride your board flat you will find it difficult to get back onto an edge.

Riding technique depends on how you are strapped in. If you ride regular (which is how I ride) then you want to travel to the right with your body facing the hill, you should be on your toes using your front edge. When you want to turn, turn your upper body and as you make the turn transfer onto your back edge and dig into the hill using your heels, your body will now be facing away from the hill.

Instead of going slow to try and maintain speed just make lots of turns.

Keep your eyes on the snow. It is extremely important that you plot your path. Look for patches of ice or piles of snow. Hitting piles of built up snow can throw you off your edge causing you to fall. Sometimes, regardless of how sharp your edges are, it can be impossible to dig into ice and you will just slide. Plotting your path is an important key to maintaining control.

Beginners should always start early in the day when the hill is freshly groomed. The hills are usually in a poor condition from mid to late afternoon. Piled snow and patches of ice can make it nearly impossible to learn while increasing the probability of an injury.

Good Luck!

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Jerrod Nazarian
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Posted on Feb 4, 2009