11 essential snowboarding tips for beginners

When trying out any new activity for the first time, there are usually some simple tips that can really speed up the learning process.

Since in 2017 we’re challenging as many Canadians as possible to try as many new activities as possible, we thought it might be a good idea to put together a few lists of the most helpful tips around. 

On January 13th we’re encouraging everyone to try snowboarding in particular, so we decided to ask the experts at Canada Snowboard for their best advice. Here’s what they came up with:

Tip #1: If you lay your snowboard flat (on the base) it can slide away and turn into a missile! Be aware of this. You always want to lay your snowboard upside down (bindings to the snow) to stop your equipment from running away.

Tip #2: Try to practice strapping up and unstrapping your snowboard bindings before you get on the hill. Find a flat area at the base of the resort or a carpeted living room works well! It’s easier to strap/unstrap your feet when you’re learning sitting down with your knees bent. This will get you familiar with your bindings and make it easier on your first day.

Tip #3: Dress appropriately – weather conditions change fast:

  • Neck warmer
  • Goggles and/or sunglasses depending on the weather
  • Waterproof and insulated mittens, gloves, jacket and pants
  • Long underwear and long sleeve shirt (avoid cotton!)
  • Warm dry socks

Tip #4: Protect your melon with a properly fitted helmet!

Tip #5: Pick a day when it’s not too icy. You might hear snowboarders refer to icy conditions as “boilerplate.”

Tip # 6: Take Lessons – this will ensure you are learning the fundamentals correctly the first time.

Tip #7: Make sure you have appropriate gear that fits properly. Go to a reputable rental shop to ensure you get set up with equipment that works for your height, weight, foot size, and skill level – it makes a big difference.

Tip # 8: Bend at your knees, not at your waist. You want to keep your center of mass (torso) over the snowboard to help keep your balance.

Tip # 9: Ride across the slope to help manage speed and look where you want to go. Try to avoid looking at your feet.

Tip # 10: Learn to skate well and stop with one foot strapped in. This will make a huge difference moving around the base of the resort and getting on/off the lift. When you get on and off the chairlift on your snowboard, you'll be riding with one foot. Practicing stopping with one foot ahead of time will prepare you for the chairlift.

Tip # 11: Take lessons! If it makes the list twice, it must be important! An instructor can help make a plan for your progression and will have you riding the mountain with confidence in no time.

They also put together some helpful links for anyone wondering where to get started:

You can also learn more about snowboarding in general by following Canada Snowboard on social media:

  • Facebook: facebook.com/canadasnowboard
  • Twitter: @canadasnowboard
  • Instagram: @canadasnowboardteam