For many outdoor enthusiasts, spring, summer, and fall are full of fun and adventure. But during the winter months, when all the toys are stored away, much time is spent counting down the days to the return of warm temperatures.
Learning to snowboard is a great way to take advantage of the short, cold days and breathe new life into periods of time that were once reserved for hibernation. With a little bit of patience and courage, a forecast of snow will take on a whole new meaning. Imagine if shoveling out the car or driveway was no longer a chore but a gleeful part of getting ready to head for the hills to celebrate a fresh snowfall.
Snowboarding has just the kind of laid-back culture that makes it very approachable for those new to recreation in the snow. The similarity to surfing goes beyond the mechanics of the stance. The vibe and steeze of the two board sports are a match for anyone looking to flow from the ocean, up the mountain and back down again.
Helpful Tips for Learning to Snowboard
Get in Better Shape
Before you decide to take a group lesson, a private lesson, or your bro-who-shreds advice that, “Brah, it’s easy”, you should be physically prepared for what lies ahead. Increasing your fitness or strength will benefit your snowboarding as a beginner and elevate your performance as you progress.
Let’s face it, you are going to fall. And the snow that you learn on is not the thigh-deep powder in the commercials. So falling can be painful and getting back up a few dozen times will be fatiguing. A simple daily regimen of push-ups, planking and squats will increase your upper body strength for recovering from spills and develop leg strength. Snowboarding is a great form of exercise but not without risks of injury. Prevention is key.
Check the Conditions
Snow comes in many forms and at different rates. Give the forecast a look before planning a day on the slopes. Heavy snow may be great for carving turns but difficult to navigate for a beginner. Extreme cold is also not the best environment for learning. Once you get it wired, body heat will be easily created. But at first, the name of the game is slow and easy.
Go With the Pros
The best way to learn to snowboard is to get a professional lesson. Mountain resorts have small armies of instructional staff at the ready to provide lessons for all ability levels. It’s a fast and safe way to begin. Although adults are vastly outnumbered by children on the magic carpet and the bunny hill, take pride in knowing that even seasoned skiers started somewhere similar when learning to snowboard.
Group lessons will be the most affordable option at the resorts and provide plenty of attention, and instruction to send you off on your own in a couple of hours. Not feeling that social when tackling a new skill? Half-day and full-day private lessons offer a 1-on-1 experience to lessen the intimidation and increase the attention.
Want the next level? Book a day or two at the only Burton Snowboard Academy in the world at North Lake Tahoe’s Northstar resort. Sample the latest Burton gear during your lesson and receive cutting-edge methodology and teaching techniques. Experience the signature GoPro™ Movement Analysis program after your lesson in the luxurious comfort of the Burton Academy Lounge.
There is something for everyone in snowboarding. The groomed slopes of resorts are where many prefer to spend their time on the mountain. Chair lifts provide access to difficulty rated runs and mid-mountain villages complete the alpine scene. Terrain parks and half-pipes are an exciting element of the sport for the skateboarders at heart. And of course, there is the wild world of the backcountry for the skilled, adventurous riders.
It’s going to snow. So when you learn how to have fun with it, the winter season will become one of your favorites.