Top Tips for learning to snowboard as an adult.
Have you always wanted to learn to snowboard but never quite made it to the mountains? Well now is the time to go to the snow for Australia and New Zealand. Eventually, with a little practice, you’ll get to ride down some of the most breathtaking mountains in the world and feel the thrill of carving up some fresh powder. Learning a new sport as an adult can be daunting, and snowboarding is no exception. With snowboarding the rewards outweigh the risks, you just need to take it slow take some lessons and enjoy the ride. So here are some top tips for adults learning to snowboard.
Be safe and kit up.
It’s not rocket science if you fall over, and you will as a new boarder wearing protect will save you from so potentially nasty injuries. Investing in all the gear can be pretty expensive so hiring it all is a sensible choice when starting out. A good pair of goggles with UV protection start from about $70. A helmet is a must, make sure this fits well and is comfortable and fits your goggles to maximise your enjoyment.
Avoid learning in boilerplate conditions.
Boilerplate conditions on the slopes refer to when the ground is hard dense and icy. These conditions are not optimal for learning to get to grips with the basics. Instead, choose to start with fresh powder snow or softer spring conditions if you have. The powder is snow which has not yet been compacted, soft sun effected snow is also a dream to learn on. Softer falls and easier turns will increase your fun on the slopes and help build your skill level up faster.
Look where you want to go.
Look where you want to go, sounds obvious right? When you get out on the mountain, you will get a constant urge to keep looking down. It will feel like your feet have a magnetic attraction drawing your eyes gaze, resist it. This fatal attraction will keep you on your bum rather than cruising down on your snowboard. Looking where you want to will help you to keep your balance and look like a pro. It is also key for when you start to turn on the board. So turn your head to face the way you want to go, and the muscles in your body will naturally help you end up where way you want to be. Bend your knees to help absorb the bumps.
Stay warm and look for the part.
Looking the part feels good but staying warm and comfortable is the most important. Get a good pair of snowboard pants made from polyester or nylon with a waterproof rating of 5,000mm or 10000mm. Again you can hire these if needed but make sure whether your rent or buy you try them on and they fit comfortably and allow you to bend your knees. On your top half depending on the weather you will want to have the option of a coat and a hoodie. I tend always to have a hoodie, and if it’s raining, I wear it underneath my jacket. You need to make sure both have a zip up pockets to keep your ski lift pass, keys and wallet safe when you’re out in the snow. As a personal preference, I prefer a tall hoodie when I’m riding as it helps keep the snow out.
Practice makes perfect.
It’s a long road and you will have plenty of falls. Just remember everyone was a beginner snowboarder at some stage. Luckily it is a fast learning curve and before you know it you will be linking your turns and cruising the slopes.
Fit and healthy.
You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to learn to snowboard but having a reasonable level of flexibility and fitness will make the snowboard learning a better experience.
Watch some instructional youtube videos.
It does help to understand the core concepts of snowboarding before you embark on the adventure yourself. Don’t be shy if you are learning the concept of a frontside or backside turn get into position in your bedroom or living room and pretend to do what you will need to do when you are out on the mountain.
Get some lessons on your first attempt.
Getting tuition from a skilled snowboarding instructor when you first try snowboarding will go along way. They will help you get comfortable with your gear and help with good technique from the start. This understanding of how to put the basics into practice will be invaluable into building your foundations of the sport up. Which ever mountain you end up choosing will have a range of instructors available, and you can look into the school which most suits you by looking at their reviews on TripAdvisor.
Snowboarding is all about having fun and experiencing the natural beauty of the mountains. So be prepared with safety gear, warm clothes like a tall hoodie, and a basic understanding of your new sport, and you will get the most out of it.