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Learning to Snowboard – Top 5 Tips

The 2020/2021 Ski season is upon us here in Europe and after the year we have had surely many of you are itching to get out there and some fun in the world. Learning to ski or snowboard is one of those adventures you will never forget.

Learning to snowboard is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have, surfing across powder snow is one of the most beautiful feelings. Once mastered it becomes an art form and very much a way of expressing yourself. It can however be quite painful on your derrière for the first few days. Our tips on learning to snowboard will make the whole process much easier and more enjoyable.

  1. Invest in a Good Helmet

No matter if you are a veteran skier or a beginner, everyone on the slopes should wear a helmet. It is so easy to fall and knock your head and change the rest of your life and those around you. Yes, it’s not just you that you protect when wearing a helmet, harsh as this sounds you protect the ones you love from having to deal with things if you hurt yourself.

Anyway helmets are cool and technology has made them so light weight and comfortably fitting that you barely notice your wearing one. Personally I don’t like not wearing my helmet, it makes me feel weird and vulnerable which takes the joy out of the ride.

  1. Good Ski Clothing

Invest in good Ski pants and a good Ski jacket. Having a well fitting and comfortable pair of snowboard pants makes a big difference. I personally wear snowboarding dungarees (also know as bibs or salopettes) as I found ski pants kept falling down on me as a slim person. It also makes it more comfortable to wear my spine protector with my salopette.

A good ski jacket with a snowskirt is important when you are learning. You can spend a lot of time in the snow when learning and staying dry is important. When you get better and don’t fall so much then you can change it up. I wear a hoodie if it isn’t too wet.

Apart from functionality remember to go wild and get the crazy design or colours you like. Remember snowboarding is an art form and a way to express yourself. How you dress on the slopes is important.

Gloves are often over looked but are vitally important when snowboarding, especially learning to snowboard. Get a big thick pair of comfy, and importantly waterproof, gloves. If your gloves get wet and start freezing and you fall the pain just gets worst and worst. Keep your hands warm and very importantly dry.

  1. Comfortable, well fitting Boots.

You wear them all day every day, your boots are very important. If you are just starting out then you will likely rent your snowboard boots when you rent your snowboard. It is really important that you take your time and make sure you get this right. Try on the boots and walk around in them. If they slightly uncomfortable in anyway try a different pair or a different size.

The key to it is that the boot fits snuggly on your foot and ankle, your toes do not touch the front of the boot and your heal has movement but doesn’t lift too much off the back of the boot.

Most people rent a pair of boots but if you do consider buying any snowboarding equipment then your own boots are a solid investment. Again, we recommend you take your time with this and don’t simply buy the cheap ones off the internet. You need to go and try them on and walk around in them.

Here is great article on Snowboarding Boots (

  1. Protection is Your Friend

As we said in point one, helmets are an absolutely essential piece of kit if you are going to be snowboarding. As well as your head you might want to protect a few other parts of your anatomy.

When we learn to snowboard we tend to spend a lot of time falling over and landing on our knees or our bums. If we fall hard enough we can hurt our backs and our wrists. Wearing kneepads and wrist guards is a really good idea at the starting stages of your learning. Your body gets a hammering when you learn to snowboard. If the snow is soft and forgiving its not too bad but if its dressed piste then it can be quite painful when you fall hard.

Having protection helps you take the bang out of those falls and your body is able to see the week out. It also give you a sense of security that helps you get through the tough part of learning to snowboard. We need to relaxed a lose when snowboarding, not scared stiff. You will progress much faster and find your style much easier when not worries about the fall so much.

Personally I also wear a spine protector as I had a fall a few years ago that could have hurt my back quite seriously. Fortunately one learns from these mistakes. Wearing it gives me a sense of safety that allows me to enjoy the sport rather than worrying about wiping out and that drift and hitting a rock buried under the surface.

You can even purchase hip and bum protection shorts that take the bump out of the fall when you land hard. Not having tried these myself I have however heard great things about them. Having said that, getting a bruise or two on your bum is a right of passage when learning to snowboard.

  1. Fitness

Going off and learning to ski snowboard on a holiday is quite tiring and demanding on the body. If you know you are heading off in a few weeks or even months from now then you could start preparing for your week in advance. Being fit in general will help and will make recovering from those hard days on the slopes easier.

As well as your general fitness there are some specific workouts you could be doing. As snowboarders we want to have a lot of core strength and leg strength. Doing exercises aimed at increasing ones core and leg exercises like lunges and squats will help a lot.

Here is a pieces from Burton on Full Body Fitness for Snowboarding

As a little bonus, check out some more learning tips for snowboarders:


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