Going down the mountain for the very first time is nothing like in the movies. You won’t gracefully glide by that cute guy from your social psychology class. It’ll be more like barrel rolling – down the entire slope. Hitting the ground running has a whole new meaning when it comes to giving snowboard lessons a shot. There are, however, a few ways to save face and learn the ropes in no time. Here are six tips all newbies should know.
1. The bunny hills are your friends
Seriously. Before you even think about hitting the larger mountains, make your way over to the bunny hills, which are typically swarming with people falling down. Although it may seem embarrassing to start so small, you’ll thank yourself for it later. The smaller runs are a great place to get a feel for how the snowboard moves over the terrain. You don’t want to hit a patch of ice for the very first time while you’re on the big hill, do you?
2. Find out if you’re goofy
When you hear someone ask you if you’re “goofy”, they’re referring to which way your board faces while you’re riding down the mountain. There’s a little trick to figure out your style. Stand with your feet together and have a buddy give you a gentle push. Look down, and see what foot is in front. If it’s the left foot, that means you’re goofy. People whose right feet are dominant ride regular.
3. Stretch before and after
You’ll be happy you did, as many people explain that they feel muscles they didn’t know existed prior to their first time on the mountain. You can even keep your board strapped on for most stretches. As FitDay explained, sit on the ground and stretch your arms towards the board. Now, stand up and reach for your board. This will work the lower half of your body.
4. Don’t take on too much
Be patient with the process. Learning to snowboard can be frustrating, and you’ll be eager to join your friends on the more challenging routes. However, it’s important to take your time and dedicate as many hours as you need to get comfortable with the equipment, snow and lift. Once you have it down pat, you can cruise around all you want.
5. Bring the right gear
Unless you do other winter sports, you probably don’t spend six or seven hours at a time out in the snow. Remember, it’s the frigid winter, and what you normally wear to keep warm won’t do. Be sure you get a face mask, snow pants, long johns, a hat, gloves and extra layers. Time can fly by when you’re out there having fun. Wear your BABY-G black or white series watch, which is sexy and sporty. It’s available in foam green, camouflage, hot pink, gold and other colors so you can match it to your snowboard. It’ll help you keep an eye on the time so you don’t miss the last lift ride of the day.
6. Ask for help
When it all boils down to it, snowboarding should be fun. If you end up looking silly, who really cares? Never be ashamed to ask for help. Most people who are into the sport will get excited to give a lesson. The snowboarding experience is about more than just hitting the slopes. Many people deeply enjoy the rituals that go along with it, like hanging with your buddies or relaxing in the lodge. Explore what you like best.
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