If you have been wanting to learn to snowboard, and you’re wondering what you’re in for, you’re in luck. We are going to tell you what to expect as you get started. In no way do I want to discourage you, just the opposite. I want to assure you that even though it can be a bit rough at first, that phase passes quickly and you will soon be well on your way to having tons of fun!
- Most people do not learn how to snowboard in a day. Snowboarding is not intuitive. If you already do board sports like skateboarding, surfing, longboarding, etc it may help. But it’s still an odd sensation having both of your feet strapped to a board and having to use your hips, legs, and ankles together to make things happen. Once you get the feel for using your edges, it will be like second nature, but there is a road to get to that place.
- You will fall, a lot. While you are figuring this all out, you will be falling. Padded shorts, a helmet, and kneepads can do a lot to minimize the “day after” effects. As you progress, you will fall less often, and even though it seems strange, when you fall on a steeper hill it often hurts less than when you fall on a flat area.
- You will spend a fair amount of time sitting in the snow. So dress appropriately. Make sure you wear layers…something wicking close to your skin, and waterproof outerwear. Even if you get past the falling part super quickly (and yay for you if you do!) then you will be sitting down to strap in at first. So wear something waterproof…no cotton, NO jeans!
- It is lots of fun…even though it’s rough going at the beginning, you should be able to get a taste for the fun you will be able to have. Once you get through the learning curve, you never have to go through it again. Make the commitment to learn, and follow through with it. It will be well worth it in the end. If you are able to laugh at yourself, that will help too. Don’t take things too seriously.
- A good instructor will make all the difference. They can make learning fun, teach you how to fall properly, and teach you how to fall less. I was once told “Friends don’t let friends teach them how to snowboard.” I cannot agree with this more. If you are learning with a friend….yay for more fun. But if you are heading out with people who already know how to ride, let them go enjoy themselves while you take a lesson. It will be a lot less pressure for all of you. And once you’re getting a handle on things you can join up again.
- You will be sore the next day. And things that you don’t even understand will hurt, your abs, chest muscles, arms, and whatever you fall on (knees or butt). You use a lot of muscles to push yourself up when you are strapped in. And you’ll find out exactly which ones you use the next day when you can’t pick up your cup of cocoa without wincing. If you go the gym, or work out on a regular basis then learning to snowboard will probably be easier and you’ll probably be less sore.
Remember that everyone started off on the magic carpet at some point. Once you learn to ride, the options of where to go are practically limitless. So many adventures open themselves up to you. Be patient with yourself and take your time and you’ll find yourself counting the days until winter in the off-season.
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