Our snowboarding for beginners guide is here to help you feel confident before you hit the slopes. While some people prefer to stay indoors during the winter, many love adventure and sports that give them a massive adrenaline rush.
Snowboarding is most definitely one of those extreme winter sports we love so much. The sport has been around for more than 100 years, offering the adventure and excitement that thrill-seekers look out for. It officially became part of the Winter Olympics in 1998 in Japan.
Learning snowboarding 101 is crucial for beginners who someday want to be part of this high-paced and thrilling sport. Which is exactly why we’ve compiled this guide.
- How to Snowboard for Beginners
- Snowboarding Tips for Beginners
- Basic Snowboard Tricks for Beginners
- Tips For Snowboarding For a Better Experience
- Snowboarding Basics for Beginners
How to Snowboard for Beginners
We tried to make the best guide to snowboarding for dummies. Knowing where to start can be tricky if you’re new to snowboarding. Let’s talk snowboarding 101 before we dive into the fundamental movements and the basic tricks of the sport.
Mastering the basics of snowboarding requires you to have a firm understanding of the fundamentals of the sport. You will be carving your way down blue routes in no time.
The first step to becoming a pro at snowboarding is to learn the basic stance. A correct stance will ensure you can properly control, steer, and ride your snowboard anywhere you want.
Below is how to set up the snowboard basic stance:
- Identify your natural stance (your dominant foot should be at the back).
- Place even weight on both feet.
- Stand with your knees slightly bent.
- Ensure your hips and shoulders are aligned with your feet.
- Maintain a straight back.
- Keep your arms relaxed.
- Head looking forward to where you want to go.
By learning how to maintain this stance, balancing on your snowboard will be a breeze.
Balancing on a snowboard is easier said than done. One of the best snowboarding exercises for beginners is to strengthen leg muscles. One can practice by standing on one leg and swinging the other leg out in various directions. Practice this regularly until you feel confident.
You must balance your body weight over the center part of your foot’s arch, with the head and hips to be centered too. Both your hands are to be held out a little bit on both sides but should still be focused at the center of your board.
Apart from your arms moving on your sides, the next thing to move is your head in the same direction you’re riding.
Riding and Turning a Snowboard
This part is crucial to practice as it will set you in the correct motion if carefully followed. Start practicing and visualizing how to turn on a snowboard:
- Your head should be held up high.
- Focus on the direction you want to go.
- Your head, as well as your shoulders, need to be turned in the direction you are riding.
- Core muscles should be solely used to turn your snowboard.
- When you turn, the speed should be the same as the speed at which you turn your shoulders.
- Keep the hips balanced in the center of the board.
- Feet should be properly strapped into the bindings of the board.
- When you ride heel-side, you should motion your feet towards the front of the snowboard.
- When you ride toe-side, your feet should face towards the tail end of your board.
- Feet movement has a lot of impact. For a toe-side turn, first pressure should be totally on the toes of your front foot, and when the turn ends, on the back foot toes. Similarly, for a heel-side turn, begin with putting pressure on the heels of your front foot and later, end it on the heels of your back foot. It’s quite easy once you practice and get the hang of it.
These steps help you understand your body and how it syncs with the snowboard. Practice the above steps, and once learned, combine them all and turn like a professional on your snowboard.
Once you have mastered these, you are set to experiment on different snow surfaces on mountains and make progress on this fun activity.
Remember, there is no easy way to learn snowboarding, though the above tips are a great help. However, the key to success lies in practicing the movements and improving your balance.
We analyzed our careers on the slopes to bring you this step-by-step guide outlining how you can go from a snowboarding beginner to a pro:
- Basic stance, strapping in, and standing up.
- Balancing on a snowboard.
- Skating, gliding, and moving uphill.
- How to slow down on a snowboard.
- How to stop the snowboard.
- Turning the snowboard.
- Basic movements (tilt, twist, pivot, pressure).
- Master the basics.
- Advanced riding (carving, freestyle, backcountry powder).
By skipping any of the steps above, you may slow down your snowboarding progression. Take your time mastering each step, and you will be a pro in no time.
Snowboard 101 – What You Need to Know About Snowboards
Whether you choose to buy your board from a top snowboard brand or start using a rental, it is an important part of your equipment to consider. We cover the fundamentals of a beginner snowboard below.
- Choose an all-mountain board to ride a variety of beginner terrain comfortably.
- Ride a twin tip board to master your switch stance.
- Boards with rocker on the tip and tail reduce your chance of catching an edge.
- A board with a wide, flat middle is the most stable.
- Avoid a board with a camber toward the tip and tail as these can easily catch an edge.
To dive into more details than the above snowboard 101, read our beginner snowboard buying guide to find the best snowboard suited to you.
Dress for Success on the Slopes
If you are planning to go snowboarding, you must ensure that you have sufficient and proper clothing to keep you warm. In addition, you require a pair of boots which are meant for snowboarding and other kinds of safety gear.
A snowboard gear list can be extensive; however, here are some of the basic items you would require.
- A snow bib or snow pants.
- Balaclava/ski mask.
- A snow coat with a comfortable fitting.
- Boots for snowboarding. These are special types of boots easily strapped into the snowboard.
- You need a crash helmet.
- Ski goggles designed for snowboarding or skiing.
Having boots that fit comfortably is essential as they impact your movement and protect your feet and ankles.
If the snowboard boots are too tight, they will be incredibly uncomfortable and prevent you from using your feet properly when it comes to making turns and stopping. If they are too loose, you risk having your feet come out of them, which in turn may cause you to fall and hurt yourself.
Before you get out onto the slopes, you have to make sure that you’re wearing the correct clothing to ensure you don’t get cold and wet while taking beginner snowboard lessons or while practicing. We have recommended some snowboarding gloves to ensure that your fingers are protected and warm for your skiing trip.
Always wear breathable thermals underneath your clothes to stay warm. Wearing multiple layers of clothing is most definitely recommended. Avoid wearing cotton clothing as it will soak up your sweat and make you cold. Choose synthetic material like polyester or merino wool. These materials are perfect for trapping heat while letting your skin breathe.
Now that you have your snowboard, it’s time to get some protective gear that will help you avoid any snowboarding injuries. Wearing a helmet, wrist guards, and protective lacrosse shorts will ensure that you’re not injured during your first few weeks on a snowboard.
Most beginner snowboarders will fall on their butt and hands repeatedly, which can cause uncomfortable bumps and bruises. With the protective gear on, you can be sure that you can take these minor falls and slips without getting seriously injured, thus making you far more confident to try new things and not be scared to take a fall. Never forget, falling is part of the learning process.
Snowboarding Tips for Beginners
There are many articles, videos, and blogs online about how to snowboard for beginners, which many first-timers try out and often end up being frustrated or get themselves hurt. We recommend focusing on having fun while developing your snowboarding basic skills.
Be Patient with Your Progress
The most important tips for snowboarding are to be patient and not rush your progress. Take your time learning the basics, master them, everything after that becomes much easier, and you will most definitely speed up your progression.
Right Time in the Right Place
As a beginner, when you choose to hit the slopes is also very important. It is recommended that you practice in the morning when the snow is fresh and the runs are well-groomed.
Learning to snowboard in tough, icy conditions can be hard as you will move a lot quicker and you won’t have much control. Springtime is usually the best time for beginners as it is warm outside. The thick winter snowpack begins to melt a bit, allowing you to have complete control.
Snowboarding on powder makes it easier to stop. Find a gradual slope with powder to learn to s-curve with less risk of injury.
Learn the Lingo
Snowboarding also involves learning new words. Many first-time snowboarders often feel confused when they hear some of these terms while out on the slopes or practicing with other snowboarders.
Two essential terms that you should add to your vocabulary are ‘goofy’ and ‘regular’. While you might have heard these words, the meaning here is completely different.
Whichever leg you lead with will determine if you are either regular or goofy. If you lead with your left leg, that is considered a ‘regular’ stance. If you lead with your right leg forward, that is considered a ‘goofy’ stance.
It’s not unusual to be nervous, but you also need to try and relax, be loose, and most importantly, be comfortable. Start with your knees slightly bent and an erect back. This is the best position to be in for maximum control.
Keep your shoulders, hips, and knees in line with your board, and your body weight should be spread evenly across both feet. While you are riding, you want to keep your front head facing in the direction you want to go. Maintain this position while gliding down the slopes.
Improve Your Balance
You also need to focus on a weight-shift that will help you turn as and when required. For a snowboarding beginner, this can be a challenge initially, so practice it repeatedly until the entire weight transfer process from heel to toe becomes second nature.
You also need to be aware of the balance points and flex of your snowboard. This will help stop you from falling off. You may want to do snowboard practice at home to adjust your stance while strapped to your board on a carpeted surface.
Take Small Steps to Success
When you hit the ice for the first time, you may start at the bottom of the run to keep things slow and steady. Find a place to drop in smoothly, strap into your snowboard, and push yourself down the slope. Try to balance until you reach the bottom and stop yourself.
This might seem a bit boring at first, but as a snowboarding beginner, you need to master the basics of using the heel edge to come to a halt before you reach the flat area. Later, you can try to stop it on your toes.
As a beginner, you need to be more concerned about your stance and leg position and how to make the right turn at the right time. There are multiple things you need to be doing simultaneously because the movements and body positions do not come naturally during the first few days or weeks of practice.
Keep Your Eyes Up
Many beginners make the mistake of looking down at their boards while moving. This makes balancing and control much more difficult. Keeping your head straight up is really important. You must always be looking in the direction of where you want to go because that will ensure your shoulders, hips, and feet are all pointing in the same direction.
If you keep looking down at your feet, there’s more chance of you falling.
Control is Key to Safety
Often, snowboard beginners are excited about getting out onto the slopes, and they push themselves to go faster than they can handle. This can certainly help in building confidence if everything goes to plan, but it can lead to serious injuries if you can’t control your board or slow down.
As your skill level improves and you get more comfortable, you can go faster and faster and down steeper slopes. Learn how to control and stop your snowboard before you start trying to go faster.
It is also important to give your body the right amount of rest, as muscle soreness and stiffness set in very quickly when you are first starting. Just remember, snowboarding is an extreme sport that cannot be mastered overnight.
Basic Snowboard Tricks for Beginners
Snowboard tricks are maneuvers or aerials which are performed on a snowboard in competitions or just for fun. Usually, these aerials are performed on different obstacles like half-pipes, jumps, handrails, hips, and on the snow’s surface.
Here are some of the most important snowboarding techniques.
Backside and Frontside
When it comes to aerial maneuvers, both backside and frontside helps in identifying the direction towards which a spin is being rotated. For instance, a rider who is performing frontside, his body would be rotated in an anti-clockwise direction. His shoulders would be opened so that while he is going forward, the front portion of his body goes forward during the first phase of his jump.
A rider performing backside spin would rotate the body in a clockwise direction and close his shoulders so that it is his backside facing forward during the jump.
Fakie and Switch-stance
Fakie and switch-stance, these two terms are interchangeably used in snowboarding; however, there are differences between these two. When it comes to switching, it refers to the tricks performed by a snowboarder while he is traveling backward.
A snowboarder can also be riding in switch when he is not performing any stance. The tip of the board, which is in a leading position during this time, is called the nose.
Few Useful Snowboard Tips For You
If you are a beginner, then you might find these snowboard tips quite handy.
- The First Run: It is recommended that you start at the bottom of the run. At the bottom, there is no need for you to worry about generating excess speed, much higher than what you would be able to handle. It becomes quite easy when it comes to controlling. Be in a seated position while facing down the hill.
Next, stand up and make sure that your front hand is pointed down the line. This will help to turn the board down, and you will start to move. When you ride in the flats, stop the movement. Repeat this over and over again until you get used to it.
There is one more thing which you need to practice, which is,
- The First Turn: After you have mastered the skills of controlling the speed and learning to stop, you are ready for the first turns. You need to strap in the same manner as you did earlier and then allow yourself to move across the run while you are on the edge of your heel. Stop the movement, point the board downhill, and try using your toes to stop.
The first snowboarding experience is something that everybody remembers. It can be one of the most frustrating or rewarding days you have ever had. Indeed, you won’t achieve perfection at once; however, if you keep practicing, you will most definitely achieve your ambition.
Tips For Snowboarding For a Better Experience
Talking about tips for snowboarding, it might include tips on how to buy the best snowboards, how to maintain them, and of course, how to use them.
When it comes to buying a snowboard, there are quite a few aspects that need to be taken care of. Here are some of them.
Choose the Right Type of Terrain
The type of terrain on which you are planning to use the snowboard plays a very important role. Different types of boards are available for different terrains. You can find snowboards for
First time snowboarding lessons typically use all-mountain boards and take place on a flat or slight incline to help with stability. You’ll want to tackle the green routes with the basics under your belt first. These are well-groomed slopes and are perfect for you to build confidence.
Piste! Stick to Your Riding Level
While slope ratings may vary slightly across the world, the basic levels of beginner, intermediate, and advanced can be summed up in the following three routes. Should you push onto more difficult terrain, double black diamonds and all-terrain parks with half-pipes await.
- Green Circle: Learn how to ride a snowboard on these wide and groomed routes designed for beginners. An all-mountain board is stable and perfect when it comes to mastering the skills of turning, riding, baby jumping, and stopping.
- Blue Square: These pistes are appropriate for you if you have crossed the beginner level and are already doing tricks and other complicated movements at speed. You can expect a gradient of 25% – 40% along the way.
- Black Diamond: A route perfect for those who have gained expertise in snowboarding and have mastered control and a variety of tricks. You can expect the piste to be steep in sections (in many cases higher than 40%) and not as groomed as other routes.
No matter the route you decide to take, keep an eye out for boundary lines and warning signs.
Snowboarding Basics for Beginners
With the fundamentals of stance and balance and the essential gear ready, you can confidently snowboard. Remember to stay comfortable and be patient with your progress. Building up control is key to having a safe experience while snowboarding.
If you want to make your first time shredding the slopes even more fun, consider getting one of the best headphones for snowboarding so you can jam your favorite tunes while working your way towards being an expert.