Snowboarding Tips and Techniques|
Essential Tips for First Time Riders
Here are some useful tips for
beginning riders. Spend a little time learning the how-to's before you get out
on the snow - you'll decrease the amount of time it takes you to learn the
sport while increasing your level of enjoyment. Have fun, and remember: be
careful with all of that adrenaline!
Putting on Your
Bindings are what attach your
feet to your snowboard. Keep in mind that, unlike ski bindings, snowboard
bindings are not designed to release your feet in the event of a crash.
To get into
- Lay the board down flat,
perpendicular to the hill. Make sure youre out of the way of fellow
- Put your front foot in
- If you have step-in
bindings, make sure the bottom of your boot is cleared of snow, then step in
toe-first and click your heel in.
- If you have strap
bindings, place your foot on the baseplate and bend over to insert the straps
into their respective buckles. Ratchet as necessary to fit your boot
- If you ride Belligerent
bindings or use the Belligerent Sinch Strap retrofit kit, insert your foot,
then bend over to lock the lever down into the buckle.
- Put on your safety leash on
your front foot. In case you fall over before youre strapped in,
itll keep the board from running away from you or hitting an innocent
- As a beginner, its a
good idea to always sit down before you put in your back foot so you dont
slide away or tip over. Check your boot for excess snow, and then insert your
back foot like you did your front one.
- Before you stand up, (if you
needed to sit to put in your back foot) make sure your board is perpendicular
to the hill so you wont go zooming down before youre ready. This
technique goes for any time you might happen to be off your feet!
There are three basic ways to
stand up. For each one, always make sure you put the same amount of weight on
The Thrust or Push-Off
- With your knees bent and your
feet close to your bottom, lean back then thrust your weight forward and over
your feet, pushing off from behind with your hand(s).
- With your knees bent and
your feet close to your bottom, pull yourself up by the toe edge of your board.
(If you have trouble, using one hand to push from behind at the same time helps
get you on your feet.)
- From your sitting position,
roll yourself over onto your knees, then stand up by pushing your weight
backward and over your feet.
As any beginner knows,
stopping is one of the most important things to learn. The following guidelines
should help keep you from crashing into stationary objects or your fellow
Bring both feet perpendicular to
the hill and scrape to a stop.
- Stopping on a snowboard is
similar to stopping on hockey skates or doing an (aptly named) hockey
stop on skis.
If you fall down when you try to
stop, follow the guidelines for standing up and keep practicing.
When youre a beginner,
falling is an unfortunate part of the learning process. The following
guidelines will help to minimize injuries, even when you become a more
Make a fist
- The most common injuries,
especially for beginners, occur in the fingers and wrists because they take the
brunt of the falls impact. Making a fist keeps your fingers from splaying
out and your wrists from hyperextending. No matter which way you fall, ALWAYS
make a fist.
Fall forward onto your knees
- Absorbing impact with your
knees helps to lessen the force with which you fall. By landing on your bent
knees, you avoid the Tim-berrrrr! effect of falling straight over
- Along with making fists,
using your forearms (instead of just your hands) helps to keep your wrists from
hyperextending. Putting your forearms down also helps protect your face from
slamming into the snow.
Fall backward onto your fists
- Using your fists will help
keep you from injuring your wrists and fingers.
- Your backside is made for
hard landings; just be careful of your tailbone. Landing on your fists first
should help dampen the impact.
Negotiating the chairlift can
be nerve-wracking for any beginner, whether its while skiing or
snowboarding. These tips and some practice should help smooth out the
- At the bottom of the hill,
take your back foot out of its binding. Skate over to the lift line by pushing
off your free back foot like you would a skateboard. Your free foot should rest
on the stomp pad as you glide.
- When you reach the front of
the line, watch for the chair passing by to scoop up the riders ahead of you.
Follow behind it to catch the next one.
- Stand with the tip of your
board pointing towards the lift ramp. Look over your shoulder to watch the
chair come around so you know when to sit down.
- When the chair comes around,
take hold of it and sit down.
- To make sure your free
leg doesnt get squished between the chair and the ground when you sit,
stick your free foot out in front of you.
- Make sure your board
is gliding straight up the lift ramp so you dont clobber your neighbor.
youre on your way, you can enjoy the scenery and let your board hang
- When you see
the Prepare to Unload sign, start skooching yourself over so
youre sitting sideways in your directional stance.
- As you
approach the lift ramp, point your board forward, put your free foot on your
stomp pad, and hang your cheek off the edge of the chair.
- When you
reach the ramp, let your board slide along the snow, then stand up with your
weight forward as the chair pushes you off.
- Make sure
youve moved clear of the unloading area before you stop to strap in your
A big part of snowboarding is
getting air. Once you get more comfortable with your board and basic riding,
practicing an Ollie is a great way for a beginner to get the feel for catching
air. When youve mastered the Ollie on flat land, you can incorporate it
into the takeoff of your jumps to get bigger air.
- On a flatter
part of the ground, shift all your weight to your back foot. The tip of your
board should lift off the snow.
- Jump off from
your back foot, pulling your knees up slightly to get a little air.
- Land with
your board flat and your weight placed equally on both feet. If your board
doesnt land flat, you could catch an edge and fall over.