The steps before you step on the mountain

The steps before you step on the mountain

Marcus Hanneman

Have you ever sat at home thinking that there is a lack of adrenaline in your life, well I have a sport for you and it’s snowboarding. Snowboarding is a sport in which you are traveling down a mountain at speeds up to 60 miles per hour. The sport that we know as Snowboarding was invented in 1965 which means that it is less than 100 years old. This amazing sport was also added to the olympics, it was made an Olympic sport in 1998.These are some simple and easy to understand tips to help you get started with your new favorite hobby.

The steps before you step on the mountain 

These are some important things to know before you get started on the mountain. Making sure your boots fit properly is one of the most important things to master as a beginner snowboarder. Rodgers, a professional snowboarding instructor says, “When trying on boots, only wear one pair of socks and make sure there is nothing else in the boot.” Having well fitting boots can be one of the most important aspects to a new snowboarder. This is because well  fitting boots help you control your board better. It gives you more reaction with your movement which can help speed up the process of learning. This will get you onto the slopes quicker and have more fun with the time that you spend at the mountain.

Your snowboard stance is important because it’s the way that your nose will be pointing and it’s more important if you don’t have a true twin board. Rodgers, a professional snowboarding instructor says, “There are two snowboard stances, regular and goofy. A regular stance means that your left foot is forward, while a goofy stance means that your right foot is forward.” It is very important to find your natural stance first. This will help alot with skating, getting off the chairlift and just normal snowboarding too. The way you can easily find out which foot you like forward is to run and slide on your boots and see which foot you put out first.

There are a few small tips that will help you when you get started snowboarding. When Spash student Ben W, Snowboarder of five years was asked, “What’s your best tip for beginners,”he said, “Make sure to keep weight over the middle of the board and don’t be afraid to fall. Learning can be different for every beginner, so I’ll use my friend I just taught as an example.He would go down the slope and instead of using the edges of his board to stop, he tried to lean his weight over the back of his board, this caused him to pull the front edge off the ground and he was not able to turn correctly.” Learning to turn correctly will be something that is heavily used any time that you are on the slopes. Turning will help you get amazing carves and help you impress your friends.

There are always going to be small tips and tricks that someone tells you that are supposed to help you get started but here is one that will help you get better and progress farther very quickly. When SPASH student Ben W, Snowboarder of five years was asked, “What helped you the most when you started snowboarding?” he answered,

¨Focusing hard on stopping and carving and getting off of the bunny hill quickly are both big helps to learn quickly. I got onto the lift my first time out snowboarding and in my opinion, the bunny hill is only there to learn the basics of stopping and falling safely, once those are understood, the challenges of a slightly steeper hill and longer run are necessary for anyone to make good progress. When I took my friend out this week, he learned to stop and fall on the bunny hill and we took him right up to the blue squares. He got down a black diamond without falling on his second trip out.” This kind of teaching is one of  the best ways to do it. This makes it so your fight or flight kicks in, because it will be one of your first times you will be scared but in the end the fear of the mountain will go away and you will not be scared to take that jump. 

You’re on the mountain now what ?

These will be your second step in learning how to snowboard and the things practiced in this exercise will be used throughout all of the time you are on the mountain. Rodgers, a professional snowboarding instructor says, “[He] recommends starting with “garlands.” A garland is a half-turn that utilizes the same skills you mastered when learning how to stop.” Garlands or as I call them half turns are an important part of learning to snowboard. They help teach you how to stop and how to control your speed better. These will help you learn quicker and also help you get better quicker. This is a key part in learning to snowboard.

Turning will be one of the most important aspects of anything you do on the mountain from controlling your speed to carving. Rodgers, a professional snowboarding instructor says, “you can move into full C turns. For a full C turn, you will learn how to shift your weight from your toes to your heels (and vice versa). Once you can link together some full C turns, you’ll create a full S turn.” C turns are also a huge part in learning to snowboard. These will help you carve later on and they will also help you control your speed. Speed control is extremely important if you ever want to park ride. Then you move onto S turns that will help you alot with edge control.

When Tristan SPASH student and snowboarder of two years was asked, “What is your favorite tip for beginners?” he answered,  . . .  I would say don’t be afraid to fall and also to keep your weight over the middle of the board. When you don’t have your weight over the middle of the board you do a nose press or a tail press. They are doing this unknowingly and most beginners are not trying to do these tricks. One other thing that I would say is to not reach down. This is how you break your wrist. It may be hard but you just have to fall on your back or on your face.”

 They always say that speed kills but it’s suddenly becoming stationary that’s what gets you. When Tristan SPASH student and snowboarder of two years was asked, “What is the biggest fear that you need to overcome when snowboarding?” he answered,  “The biggest fear that I had to overcome when snowboarding was speed. When I would get up to high speeds it would scare me and I would instantly bail out and basically completely stop myself. But as time went on I got more comfortable with speed and I think that this is something that you just have to overcome the fear yourself.” Speed, while it can be very scary, is an amazing feeling. Flying down the mountain at speeds of up to 60 MPH can be so much fun but most people are going to be scared of speed at first. One little tip on this that I have is, when you are going down the hill each time try to go a little farther and get a little more speed this way you will slowly yet surely progress. 

Helpful tips from your peers

These are a few tips, tricks and interesting information from some of your fellow classmates. When SPASH student Ben W. Snowboarder of five years was asked, “What is the best training that someone new can do at home?” he answered, “For summertime activities, I would say pick up something like skateboarding or longboarding. They share many similar qualities to snowboarding and can help build muscle memory.” These are some very good recommendations because doing other board sports can help you with your snowboarding and maybe if you are scared of being strapped in try skateboarding and get comfortable with that and then try snowboarding.

Snowboarding in my opinion is one of the most fun sports here is what Ben has to say about it. When SPASH student Ben W, Snowboarder of five years was asked “What is your favorite part of snowboarding?”He responded with “My favorite part of snowboarding is that there is always something new to learn, you can work on riding switch, gaining speed on steep hills, some backcountry riding or terrain park tricks. There is such a wide variety of skills and any rider can always find things to improve.”

Snowboarding can be very hard but what got all of us to the point where we are today? When Tristan SPASH student and snowboarder of two years was asked, “What helped you when you first started?” He said, “What really helped me when I first started was having someone who was good at teaching me the basics. He also told me to not be afraid to fall. So I think that although it’s not the most comfortable thing to but don’t be afraid to fall. When you do fall, look back and think about how it happened. That is the best way to perfect your riding.” Trying to force yourself to not be afraid to fall can be a very hard thing to do but you have to put yourself out of your comfort zone. I mean that’s probably one of the reasons that you are learning to snowboard isn’t it.

Snowboarding is a fun sport that will give you hours of fun. Hopefully this article helped you get some knowledge about the sport. Many people want to get started with this sport but don’t know how to. So hopefully you now have some insight on the sport and if you want to pursue something like this also the knowledge needed to start your next favorite hobby.