Above the Slope: A Snowboarding Guide for Beginners

Visiting a ski resort is a great time. There’s an activity for every family member to partake in with amazing scenery to see. Not only that, it’s a chance for everyone to wear their winter outfits. Your wife is sure to be excited to wear one of her Obermeyer women’s sweaters. Of course, these are not just fashionable; they also protect everyone from the cold temperatures.

Maybe you’ve been here a few times and want to try something new. You have decided to try snowboarding and may be wondering about the first things you need to know before learning how to ride. You’re in luck because here are some tips to get you started:

The Board

While snowboards at first glance look symmetrical, you need to know which is the nose and the tail. To find out which is which, check the distance from the edge of the board to one of its bindings. Whichever end is farther is the nose.

Bindings are what clamps your feet to the board. These are attached to the holes on your top sheet, which is the top of the board. Before putting your feet in, it allows you to adjust the distances between your toes and heels.

The bottom of your board is called the base. It has a smooth surface that enables you to slide around the snow. Take care of it by polishing it regularly.

You also have to consider the shape of the curve of the board, which is called the camber. It is in the shape of an arch. A reverse camber resembles a U, and a flat camber has no shape at all. This is a matter of preference, so you should get a feel of each first.

It is recommended to get a board that has a good amount of flex. You want to let your legs have a little room to move as you’re still building muscle memory.

Learning the Basics

Girl clothing snowboard

Like other sports that need balancing, snowboarding requires you to shift your body weight for you to move and turn. On your first try, you only need to put one foot in the binding. Try to get an idea of how you will move first. Use your free foot to push yourself. As you get the hang of it, you can try putting the free foot in the binding, but do not strap it yet. Move around some more until you get a sense of balance.

Once you are ready to strap both feet in, find a small slope and practice sliding there. Start by facing the downward slope and having the board move parallel to the horizon. Build some momentum by doing small hops. Once you start sliding, use your toes to move forward and press on your heels to stop. Then try with your back facing the downward slope. As you are now sliding backward, the heels speed you up, and your toes are your brakes.

You can then proceed with learning to turn. This is just a manner of shifting your weight to one side. Aside from pressing your toes and heels, use your arms and upper body to guide your movements. Since you are able to turn, try to make your board perpendicular to the horizon. You now have one side of you facing the downslope. Whichever foot is at the front will make you move faster, and the one at the back will slow you down.

Aside from the snowboard, safety gear is, of course, needed. The basics are a helmet, gloves, a mask, and goggles. Your clothes should be thick enough, but if you want extra protection, wear knee and elbow pads. You will fall a lot, and snow will get splashed onto your face, so these are a must.

It’s also best not to splurge yet on the equipment, as you need to know if this is for you. But for now, feel free to try it out. If it’s something you like, go and explore it further. You can now start with your snowboarding journey.

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