Snowboarding For The First Time

in Practice

Snowboarding has gained huge popularity over the last 15-20 years. Competitions such as the Olympics and ESPN's X-Games have brought this once underground sport to the mainstream. The popularity of snowboarding and skiing is easy to understand - they are incredibly fun activities that provide adrenaline, a chance to explore and interact with nature in raw, natural terrain, and, for some, a chance to show-off skills and tricks in the half-pipe and freestyle parks that are a staple at many resorts.

If you have ever watched professional boarders and skiers on television, the sport may seem intimidating to individuals without any prior experience. Don't let the professionals mislead you though - learning to snowboard is something that anybody can learn to do, and once you have learned the basics you're well on your way to great fun, exercise, and the chance to carve through some of the most beautiful mountain resorts and summits across the globe!

Technique - Where to begin:

Most resorts offer lessons for beginning snowboarders, as well as rentals for those who don't have their own equipment. For complete novices, it is best to have either a professional teacher or an experienced friend show you the ropes before you venture out on your own. Some people are quicker learners than others, and those with prior experience surfing and skateboarding will have the advantage of being familiar with the physics involved in the sport. Yet, even individuals without any previous boarding experience will likely get the hang of the basics in no more than a day or two of practice. Perhaps the most important thing to consider when starting out is to try and avoid situations that are too challenging, dangerous, or simply beyond your comfort level on the board. This can result in injuries or worse!

The most important thing that a new-comer to the sport must develop is a sense of board-control. Having good board control increases your confidence on the slopes and gives you more opportunities to explore various parts of the mountain. In order to gain good board control you must first practice on flatter slopes or practice areas. The main component in obtaining good board control is to master the use of the edges of the snowboard. This is crucial, because carving on your edges allows you to control your turns, control your speed, and generally navigate the board any direction you choose.

A good way to practice your edge control is with a friend or teacher. Using he/she for support, when necessary, practice a downhill run of about 10-20 meters, then lean back on the heel of the bindings to catch the back edge of the board as you simultaneously turn you body forward, then use the weight of your body on the edge to slowly slide to a stop. It is VERY important to catch the back edge of the board before turning your body, otherwise you may fall forward. Once you've mastered coming to a forward stop, you can also practice stopping using your front edge, enabling you to stop riding with your back facing the slope. Having become comfortable stopping forwards and backwards, you are no ready to practice carving. The word carving simply means alternating between your front and back edges to make the board turn according to where you want it to go. If you ride with your left shoulder forward, your back edges are used to catch the snow and make left turns, while the front edge to make right turns.

The opposite holds true if you are more comfortable riding with your right shoulder forward: back edges to make right turns, and front edges for left turns.

Practice your carving skills and small slopes at first, and move up to the steeper ones as your confidence increases. A great tip to keep in mind is this: carving usually involves quickly switiching back and forth from front edge to back edge to best navigate the mountain and maintain control of your speed and direction. With practice, you can develop a good sense of board control by continuously alternating your left and right turning, while controlling your speed at the same time. With a little practice and patience, you can soon be surfing the snow on the most breathtaking mountains in the world!

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Simon Barnett has 1 articles online

You can learn all about snowboard sale offers and winter sports, as discussed by Simon Barnett. This article may be used by any website publisher, though this resource box must always be included in full.

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Snowboarding For The First Time

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This article was published on 2011/07/07