Learning to snowboard can be a bit intimidating…people blasting down the mountain at warp speed, jumping up on rails and boxes, flying off of jumps and stopping within an inch of your life, leaving you with a face full of snow. But it doesn’t have to be daunting. Every snowboarder out there today had to start at the beginning. Luckily, there are some excellent ‘learn to ride’ packages at many New England ski areas. Below you can find information about some of our favorites.
As someone who took up snowboarding a little later in life, I required several lessons and took them at three of the ski areas mentioned below…Gunstock, Okemo, and Mount Sunapee. It was my experience that if you can swing it, a private lesson will give you the biggest bang for your buck. But if not, join a group…you will still get basic instruction and you will have the chance to ask questions. And you will get to practice in an environment where you don’t need to worry about anyone judging you.
January is learn to ski & ride month so there could be even better deals on the horizon. But the sooner you learn to snowboard, the more time you have to get out there this season. We suggest you call or check the resort’s website for specific details about their offerings. And if you are heading to an area not listed here…never fear…they almost definitely have some type of package that will work for you just give them a call or visit their website to learn your options.
The closest mountain with flexible lesson options is Wachusett. They offer one, two and three day packages for group lessons. The 1-day package includes rental equipment and a lower mountain lift ticket for $89. The 2-day also adds access to the Minuteman lift for $139 and the 3-day is $199. If you complete the 3-day program you get other perks like free rentals and discounted tickets for the rest of the season.
Pat’s Peak is a great, beginner friendly mountain. It is located outside of Concord, NH. They feature Burton’s Learn to Ride (LTR) program. And they are the first NH resort to host Burton’s Women’s LTR. Their starter package consists of a group lesson, rental equipment, and lower mountain lift ticket. It costs $80 and it enters you into their passport program. After three days of purchasing that package and a subsequent day of purchasing a full lift ticket and rental, you will earn a season pass and free rental equipment for the remainder of the season!
Mount Sunapee is in that general area also and offers a mind-blowing $29 package. The regular price is $89, but until December 20th, you can get a 2-hour group lesson, rental equipment and a lower mountain lift ticket for $29!!! Go there-NOW! You won’t beat that deal-EVER!
Okemo has a couple of group options available. First Tracks and Double Tracks. First Tracks is a one-day program for $99 for adults or $89 for juniors. It includes a two-hour lesson, rental equipment and a lower lift ticket. Double Tracks is a two-day version of First Tracks for $179 for adults and $159 for juniors. Okemo highly recommends reservations for group lessons.
Wildcat offers a great package in partnership with Attitash. Their Learn2 Program offers a One-day clinic with three hours of instruction in a small group, rental equipment and a novice lift ticket. If you sign up for a Three Clinic Package the cost is $130 and you will get 90 minutes of instruction on days 2 and 3 along with rentals and novice lift ticket. Day 2 or 3 may be used at Attitash (and Attitash offers the same option with their Learn2). Following the completion of the three clinic package you will earn a free Vertical Value Card which entitles you to discounts for the rest of the season.
Gunstock has a program called Mountain Magic that is a fantastic deal. They have a one-day package for $95 or a three-day for $200. They include rental packages and lower mountain lift tickets along with 2-hours/day of instruction. The third day you actually get a lift ticket for the entire mountain. After completing their three-day program they have extra discounts for season’s passes, rentals and equipment in the shop.
Some programs will allow you to upgrade to private lessons. It’s worth asking. The most important thing is to get comfortable out there so you can be safe and have fun. It can be hard to learn from a friend or relative. A trained instructor can be the way to go. If it takes you one lesson and you have it down good for you! But don’t be discouraged if it takes a few. We all go at our own pace. Happy Shredding!
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