Remember your day when you first stood in front of a snowboarding slope and had chills down your spine? Yes, that may have been due to the cold and raw excitement, but every beginner feels fear, even if for a second. And the reason is not far to see! Mountains are quite hostile as an environment given their cold weather patterns. Add to the fact that thousands of people are whizzing past you on their snowboards, it is easy to feel scared for the first time.
Like most other things in life, it’s all about taking the plunge actually. That’s the only way you’ll know if you are cut off for the job. If you are not, well then, you can always improve. And if you are a pro from the first step, well and good!
Below you will find some amazing tips to help you gain the most of your first day.
Wear for the event
Snowboarding and skiing obviously take place in colder environments, which means that you will need to dress accordingly. Wear plenty of warm clothing, but not so much that you cannot see where you are going. Here are some items which you need and cannot do without. In fact, these are the only items of clothing you’ll ideally require:
– non-cotton thermal
– waterproof lightweight jacket
– an optional hoody
Again, these are all you shall be needing. After all, you do not need to be so overburdened that you cannot move around for 10 minutes straight, right? To test out whether what you are wearing is ideal for the sport, try doing some light exercise and stretching. If you can do this comfortably, then your garments are fine. If not, well, you need to drop some or people may start mistaking you for the Yeti.
We say not to cotton garments because it soaks up your sweat and therefore gets heavier. That’s the last thing you want while snowboarding. Instead, choose anything to make of merino or polyester. A hoody is important for keeping you warm if the temperature drops suddenly.
There is one more thing you should not forget: gloves! If you are a beginner, you’ll fall down a fair few times. Since you’ll be picking yourself up, you do not want your hands to get scratched needlessly, and certainly not to get frostbite. Don’t buy the thin cheaper ones, since they get soaked easily.
For trousers, choose thermals.
Since you are buying everything else, you’ll be buying all the gear as well next, right? Nice try, but no! Unless you are a professional or someone who knows the ropes of snowboarding well, there is no need to buy gear. As a beginner, you are testing the waters first. You also want to economize as much as you want. Snowboarding gear like the board and the harness can be quite expensive. Instead of buying them and making a dent in your pocket (or your dad’s pocket for that matter), you can easily rent the gear. At every snowboarding and skiing station, there shall be shops from you can hire equipment. Go for quality more than looks. It’s no use having the coolest looking gear on the block if you keep landing on your face at every step!
Getting your first ever snowboard
Snowboards are something you can both purchase and get on a rent basis. However, there are a few slangs you should know before you’ll be hearing them at the shops before long anyways. While buying a board, you’ll be asked if you want ‘regular’ or ‘goofy’. Yes, it does sound weird, but the shopkeeper is not out of his mind!
Regular means having your left foot as the dominant one while goofy means the converse. Now, here is a big problem. If you have never snowboarded before, how do you know which is your dominant foot? Easy! You can see which your dominant foot is in everyday work. Which foot do you kick the football with normally? That is your dominant foot!
Don’t get Piste-d
Piste-d is an unwritten rule of snowboarding. It means that while going downhill, the person in front of you has the right of way. This translates to the fact that if you steamroll into the guy or gal in front of you, the fault is yours.
Conversely, if you are ahead of someone, then you have the right of way. However, people cannot normally read your mind. This means that you need to look back from time to time, and especially while taking turns. Some people also hand-signal the person behind them as to which direction they are going.
It is tricky and exciting, but you’ll get used to it. Don’t get Piste-d!
Cable car etiquette
You know those cable cars which convey snowboarders and skiers to the ice fields? Well, there is etiquette to be maintained when you are sitting on one. The rule of the thump is that Regular snowboarders sit on the right, Goofy ones on the left and Skiers in the middle. This rule allows everyone to get up and down on their dominant side without getting in the way of others.
The basics of snowboarding
Keep your dominant foot forward on the board, after you have strapped yourself in properly. Push off with your free leg, use your hands for balance and you’ll be snowboarding in no time!
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Ryan grew up with snow, so he has an endless passion for skiing and snowboarding and everything around these.