A Beginner’s Guide to Snowboarding

Morzine, France – March 18, 2015: Snowboarders sitting on the snow whilst having a lesson with the chairlift and other skiers passing by in the center of Morzine in the Portes du Soleil ski area in the French Alps.

Nothing is more inviting than the first drop of snow in the winter. It signals a start of the best holidays which, despite of the cold could warm the spirit of anyone who enjoys the winter activities. One of the most famous winter activities is snowboarding. Every year, winter resorts all over the world, attract hundreds of thousands of snowboarding enthusiast of all ages, eager to get their adrenaline pumping and their snowboards jetting down that slope.

However, as fun and exciting as it is, snowboarding can be challenging and at times dangerous for beginners. So before you put on that snowboard and jump of that snow slope, here are basic things to know about snowboarding.

First, one has to have the right gear for snowboarding. Some nice warm clothes are a prerequisite unless you would like to have the cold beat you from enjoying. Avoid cotton clothes. Choose synthetic, moisture resistant clothing. Gloves or mittens as well as a sturdy headgear and goggles or shades are also important for protection.

Next is choosing your snowboard. In buying your own snowboard, think of how you would like to ride it. A freestyle snowboard would be different from the downhill snowboard. Read the catalogues and ask questions from experts and those who have been snowboarding for some time. If there are demos you can watch then it will be better since you can see the boards in action. One may also try it themselves to get a personal feel of the board. Investing in a good snowboard can be costly so one wants to do it right the first time.

Another important piece of equipment is a good pair of snowboard boots. When buying your snowboard boots make sure that they fit well with the snowboard socks on. They should be very comfortable. Feet should be well secured inside the boots otherwise it will affect the snowboarder’s performance.

It is also important to get good snowboard bindings since it is that piece of equipment that connects the snowboarder to his board. Nowadays, there are various styles and types of snowboard bindings. However, like the boots, it has to be comfortable and must secure the rider’s feet in place so it is important to try the bindings on before buying them.

Once the equipment has been taken care of, it is imperative for someone new to snowboarding to take lessons from a professional instructor. As mentioned earlier, snowboarding can be fun but it has its share of danger so it is better to learn the basics of the sports first. In almost every ski resort, there are snowboarding classes facilitated by instructors who are into the sport for quite some time now. This will be beneficial can help avoid accidents. Always go in pairs. Slopes are divided based on the skill levels of skiers so it will be best to try out your skills on the easier slopes first.

So there you have it, some guidelines and things to do to make sure that you will enjoy your first day of snowboarding. Just always remember to put safety first at all times. That way you will get to snowboard the next day and improve your skills some more.

Beginner’s Guide To Snowboarding Tricks In Summer Snowboarding Camps

Snowboarder sitting with mountain chain in the background

Snowboarding tricks are always fun to watch, isn’t it? But they are not so easy to pull off as they seem like. You may feel the urge to hit the snow and experience the adrenaline rush all by yourself. But if you have decided to try some tricks yourself, remember to pick the tricks that are fit for beginners. Join a snowboard camp and learn the tricks, practice those till you have mastered them and then only, you are ready to move to the more complicated ones.

It is very important that you must learn the basic tricks first and then you must move to complicated ones. Most of the beginners’ courses offered by a snowboard camp may involve the following basic tricks and techniques.

The aerial tricks

Among the aerial tricks, here are some of the common ones that you must learn:

Air to Fakie: This trick needs you to turn 180 degrees in the air and again riding back after the turn. This kind of snowboarding trick is actually helpful in preparing you to move in the air. Air to Fakie also gives you the basic knowledge about how it feels in air tricks.

Ollies: One of the most common jumps, an ollie is the one in which a jump is done with the help of the tail of the snowboard which acts as a spring. This is one of the basic steps to many of the aerial tricks. Moreover, this trick also helps you when you need to jump over little barriers.

The surface tricks

Butters: This is a very important and exciting ground trick that involves making a set of 360-degree turns. You can do it on slopes where you can build up the moves and speed. Plus, you can also include many other snowboarding skills in this trick.

Wheelies: When you do a wheelie, you ride your snowboard with one tip of the snowboard in the air. In this trick, you need to maintain your balance when you ride with just one end of your board. When you learn to develop the technique and power to lift the tail or nose of your snowboard, you will be preparing yourself for more complicated tricks.

Halfpipe Tricks: Halfpipe is nothing but a U-shaped bowl that allow riders to move from one wall to the other by making snowboarding tricks and jumps on each of the switch. Originally, halfpipe was first developed in skateboarding, but has now shifted completely to snowboarding.

Backside 720: Backside 720 is one of the most developed tricks that you can do on a halfpipe. You can spin two times in the air when you perform this trick. But before you do this trick, you must make sure that you have brushed up your aerial movements properly and then try this trick.

Nose and Tail Rolls: You can do a tail and nose roll by spinning either of the nose or tail of the board some 180 degrees, thereby changing your posture. This is somewhat similar to wheelie but here, you need to include a 180 degree turn to it. So, it is very important that you must know a wheelie first before you do this trick.

Alley Oops: You have to turn some 180 degrees going uphill when you do this trick.

When you do snowboarding tricks, make sure you are keeping the safety factor in mind. You can get all the tips and required guidance from an experienced instructor in a summer snowboarding camp. So, make the most of your winter fun and have an exciting experience.

Finding Your Snowboarding Stance

How to properly find your stance

Opening day, cold temps, and a parking lot. You’re setting up your new board in the parking lot and realize that if you keep doing this you won’t feel your hands after awhile…

Don’t be that guy. Be ready when opening day comes. Set up your in a heated shelter. All you need is a screwdriver and a little bit of knowledge. A tape measure can also help too.

TIP 1: Angles

This is the direction your toes will point when strapped into the board. First, lay your board on an even surface, then stand on top of it. See what feels comfortable, having your angles the opposite or the same. The basic stance angles are between -18 to 18 degrees. If you’re planning on riding switch, make sure you have a little “Duck” to your stance. This means that your back foot is the opposite angle of your front foot. So say your front foot is a 15, your back foot would then be a negative 15. If your goal is to do some harsh carves, put both bindings at a positive angle. Try a variety of stances to see what you’re most comfortable with.

TIP 2: Width

The width of the stance is the distance between the center of each binding. To measure what your stance width would be, measure from heel to knee cap. This is what the normal distance is for most people. Make sure of one thing, that it is not uncomfortably wide or narrow. The typical stance width is a tad wider than your shoulders. The most important thing is to not feel awkward while strapped into your board.

TIP 3: Throwing it all together

For this step you are going to need a #3 Phillips head screwdriver. First, place the bindings on the board where you found what was most comfortable. Now you are going to want to place the center plates or as we like to call them cookies in the bindings. Make sure that the holes in the cookies match up with the screw holes on the board. Place the bolts in the correct spot, use the #3 Philips head screwdriver to tighten the bolts. An easy way to test the stance is to make the bolts loose and stand in the bindings. This way it will be easier to re-adjust them if it doesn’t feel right.

Once you have the bindings on and tightened, it’s time to strap in. When you strap in, make sure the binding strap is centered around the boot. If it is not centered you might have uneven pressure points, which suck by the way. If the straps aren’t centered, there should be something on the strap that lets you tighten and or loosen it.

TIP 4: Finishing touches

Before hitting the slopes you are going to want to dull or sharpen your edges. If you hit rails you are going to want to dull the edges just enough so it reduces the chances of you catching an edge. To dull or sharpen them you are going to need a file. Watch this short video on how to dull your edges. After you finished the technical part, it’s time to make your board look good. As everyone calls it, a “sticker job”, is an inexpensive way to make your board look slick. Die cut stickers or regular stickers can turn any board into a masterpiece. You just have to find stickers that you like!

5 European Top Locations for Snowboarding

The end of summer may not be a welcoming season for the lovers of outdoor travels and water sports but the approaching winter welcomes the people who love skiing and snowboarding especially in Europe. Brief information about 5 European top locations for snowboarding in 2015 provided in this write up can help you in choosing a suitable one for you in this season. It will also help you in booking the best snowboarding equipment for 2015 season in advance so that you can enjoy snowboarding this season at your desired location without any problem.

Mayrhofen, Austria: Mayrhofen in Austria is the home of snowboarding festival for the skiers and snowboarders for the British people. It is one of the largest places in Europe for freestyle snowboarders and skiers. The height of this resort is 630 meters which has 133 well connected slopes spread over 671 km area for skiing and snowboarding including lively ski scene of Apres and snowsure glacier of Hinterux.

Tignes, France: Tignes in France is famous among the top European locations for snowboarding not only for its snow sure slopes but also for the breathtaking views in the hills of Alps. It is one of the most challenging and exciting snowboarding location in the world due to the 2100 meters height of the resort with nearly 155 slopes spread over about 300 km area in Espace Killy for the snowboarders and skiers.

Madonna Di Campiglio, Italy: One of the best snowboarding locations in Italy for the beginners and intermediate snowboarders is Madonna in the north of Dolomites. Most of the fashionable Italian skiers and snowboarders frequently visit this resort not only for enjoying snowboarding but also to enjoy the scenic beauty of this part of the country. Most of its slopes are spread over 56 miles long skiing area where the beginners and intermediate skiers and snowboarders can improve the techniques.

Avoriaz, France: Avoriaz is known as the heaven for snowboarders and skiers in France as it enjoys the reputation one of the best European locations for them with great record of snowfall. It is also famous for wall rides, huge tree rides, wooden rainbow rails, wooden rails and log jibs along with The Stash, a concept of freestyle and free ride area made up of cliff drops spread over 1800 meter high resort with more than 280 slopes.

Verbier, Switzerland: It is one of the best snow packed skiing trails of Switzerland and one of the best European locations for snowboarders with interlinked classy lift system where you can enjoy snowboarding according to your budget. The massive ride areas of 1500 meter high Verbier resort is spread over 56 slopes including Veysonnaz, La Tzoumazand Val de Bagnas and Nendaz. They create snow packed skiing trail of more than 400 km with 94 lifts and four Vallees serviced through one lift pass.

7 Tips for Learning to Snowboard

Snowboarding appeals to a different kind of person than skiing. But learning to snowboard is not any harder than learning to ski (or vice versa) it’s just different! The learning process for snowboarding is different – in the beginning it is a steeper learning curve, but later progression is often quicker.

Here is a selection of tips designed for newbies to the ski slopes, designed for those who don’t already know how to ski.

  1. Get some lessons – it is usually better to get lessons from a professional instructor. Learning from friends is not always easy when they can’t remember quite what it was like in the beginning. Lessons can be quite expensive, but if you are on holiday with friends who already ski or board, you can’t spend all day hanging out with them as you will hold them up as there will be a difference in abilities.
  2. Snowboarding kit – having the right clothing is important. Waterproof trousers and a jacket are important, as you’ll spend a disproportionate amount of time in the first few days sitting on the ground – either listening/watching during lessons or because you have fallen over. Because of this close contact with the snow, you’ll also want thermals to keep your nether regions warm and cosy. Take a selection of layers on holiday with you so you can match them to the conditions – ask friends what they expect to need on a particular day. Snowboarders are more likely to end up with their hands in the snow, so gloves with long cuffs and a drawstring are helpful for not getting snow up the arms of your coat. A hat and goggles completes your ensemble.
  3. Safety equipment – unlike skiers, who often don’t use much safety equipment, when snowboarding, it is a good idea to have some. A helmet and wrist guards are the usual essentials – the helmet for when you fall over backwards and the wrist guards for forward facing falls. You can get gloves with wrist guards built in to them.
  4. Fitness levels – a good basic fitness level is helpful when you are learning – there can be a lot of walking uphill with your snowboard under your arm, particularly on nursery slopes. Good fitness will ease the early stages of learning to snowboard.
  5. At the hire shop – the shop staff will fit you with boots and a snowboard that is suitable for your skill level. If you are a complete beginner do let them know, and they will set you up appropriately. In particular they will work out if you are left or right footed (known as ‘goofy’ or ‘regular’ – terms that are the same in surfing and skateboarding) and set the snowboard up the right way for you.
  6. Take a snack – eating it will give you some energy when you are tired and give you something to do during the sitting down bits
  7. Be determined – the first few days of learning to snowboard are acknowledged to be hard – there’s a lot of wipeouts and frustration. Learning to use a button lift (which is simple for skiers) is a nightmare for boarders. Perseverance here will win the day – there is often a “eureka” moment and once that happens you are on the road to progression from beginner to intermediate.

A Simple Approach To Snowboarding

Snowboarding has become one of the most popular winter sports created. The main reasons for its quick ascent to popular acceptance and endorsement is that it is more than a sport.

Its multi-faceted appeal moves it into the realm of an alternative lifestyle that many people are drawn to. Not only is it fun but it also combines elements of skill, danger and excitement while looking fashionably cool on the most popular slopes of the world. Its wow appeal is witnessed by onlookers so the Olympic athlete no longer has a monopoly on being a star on the slopes.

Initially considered to be an annoying pastime on the ski slopes, snowboards were banned. This did not deter snowboarding enthusiasts. Instead, it served to fuel their fire. By 1989 the ski resorts changed their policy and welcomed snowboarders since the sport had grown massively popular. This legitimized snowboarding and its popularity and skill involved prompted the International Olympic Committee to add it as a competitive sport in 1994.

The first snow boarding events took place in 1998 in Japan for the Olympics. Today, it is a modern dynamic sport that is well entrenched in the mainstream of winter sport experiences. It continues to offer plenty of room for self expression and the growing number of instructional methods attest to its ongoing popularity.

Snowboarding can be taught to the entire family and every age group. An individual can learn to snowboard within their first day if they follow a basic simple approach. A straightforward three step program has been designed where simple drills have the newbie snowboarder sliding downhill their first day. They are taught how to avoid any breakages by learning how to have balance and confidence on the board.

The equipment must fit and work. It is important to take the time out to research what is recommended and experiment with the demo models.

There is also an online snowboarding coaching program available. Initial free lessons are provided to learn the basics. One that has been achieved the learner can download videos to move into the next level of snowboarding.

One program is terrain based where the beginner learns techniques to accelerate their learning. The internet provides necessary preparation prior to going on the snowboarding slopes.

The newbie snowboarder discovers their capability for increased physicality on the slopes. The sport allows them artistic license to express themselves in a way no other winter sport on the slopes can offer.