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Snowboarding

Snowboarding has joined skiing as winters most popular sports. Although the first day you start out can be a little tough, it is much easier than many people think. It is especially easy to learn if you have done any of the other board sports: surfing, skateboarding, or wakeboarding.

Below is a terrific introductory article where you can learn the basics and how to get started. You can help grow our learning community by contributing your knowledge to the article. Just click on the edit tab in the wiki article below.

Use the white subtabs above to navigate the other Snowboarding resources. We have a Snowboarding forum where you can get your questions & doubts answered, a page with Snowboarding how-to videos, a page with the best handpicked links to other sites, and a page with the best Snowboarding books and products.

Good Luck and Have Fun!
Duncan Davis

 

Intro


Snowboarding is an exciting winter sport and the best part is, you can be quite proficient in snowboarding in under a week! Most people who take up snowboarding as a sport and hobby cant help getting hooked to it and the best part of it is – you can choose how to enjoy it. You can either speed down the slopes for that high adrenalin rush, or just enjoy a leisurely ride to relax you!




You probably heard about snowboarding through a friend or read about it – and the fact is that it can be a lot of fun. It is rare to find someone who has tried snowboarding and didn’t like it. Snowboarding has its origins in the US around the 1960’s. It has come a long way since then, in terms of equipment and styles. You will hear of two basic styles of snowboarding – and these are freestyle or free ride and alpine or carving and you’ll need different kinds of equipment for each. There are plenty of snowboarding competitions held each year and as many as eight million people enjoy snowboarding in the US. Since 1998, it is also an Olympics event.




Equipment you need to get started


Snowboarding is a hobby like no other, and you must actually experience it to enjoy it fully. So let us take a look at the gear you will need to get started.




Obviously, you will need a board. You get three different kinds of boards and you can choose the one that suits your style of snowboarding. These are:




• Free ride board, which is the most popular and ideal for all mountain, park and half pipe snowboarding. With this, you can have a great time carving, catching air and a variety of other riding aspects. These free ride boards are directional, so you can ride them in one direction. You can identify this by the difference in the tip from the tail, where the tail is narrow, short and flat compared to the board’s tip. You can also ride fakie on it.




• Freestyle boards are wider and more stable compared to free ride boards. These are also shorter and lighter, making them easier to handle for the beginner. These are fine for performing tricks on the terrain parks and half pipes.




• Race boards or alpine boards are carving snowboards that are narrower than other snowboards. They are meant for higher speeds and fast carved turns so that you can move really fast on hard snow while being stable. These are available as symmetrical and asymmetrical versions. These boards are also unidirectional.




You will also come across split boards that are a combination of skiing and snowboarding. It looks just like a snowboard, but it is designed to split when you are moving, like skis. There is a connection between the two skis when you ride.




Snowboard boots and bindings come next. You will use your boots and bindings to control your snowboard so you need to choose a good pair that will protect your feet and ankles as you whoosh around at high speed, carving turns, in addition to keeping your feet warm in the cold weather. Bindings help to fix your feet to the snowboard securely. Buy your bindings after you get your boots so that you get the perfect fit. You will also need to learn how to adjust your bindings.




Helmets are an essential snowboarding equipment to keep your head safe if you happen to fall. When you snowboard off-piste on uneven rocky terrain helmets can save your life. So ensure that you get a helmet that fits well.




You will need suitable snowboarding clothing. It is better to dress in layers when you go snowboarding. There are padded waterproof snowboard jackets and pants specially designed for this sport. These are made of breathable material since you will sweat. There are a number of stores where you can get the necessary gear to protect yourself particularly if you choose freestyle snowboarding. You will also need wrist guards and kneepads to prevent wrist injuries. Goggles can help protect you from snow blindness. Padded clothing guards your body parts like hips, knees, back, shoulders, etc. that are likely to take the impact when you go snowboarding. You will need good ski socks and warm waterproof gloves or mittens.




One good option is to hire your snowboarding kit at snowboarding centers, so you might probably like to try that the first week before you invest in your own. Later it is not mandatory that you buy a brand new one. There are many rental shops that will sell stuff at amazing discounts, so if you keep track of this, you can get a great bargain. You might like to go along with a friend who knows about these things so that you don’t end up being taken for the wrong kind of ride.




You can also consider packing food or snacks and a flask of hot coffee, as these can be pretty expensive if you go to a ski resort.




Once you are equipped, you will be raring to set off on that exhilarating ride. The first thing you must decide on is your stance. The common stances are ‘goofy’ and ‘regular’. If you have your left foot forward, then this is the regular stance. The right foot forward is ‘goofy’ so you might want to find out which one is your style.




Basic snowboarding styles


You are likely to hit the slopes on your first day out. How do you plan to learn? You have the option of going in for professional instruction, and this is the best way to go since you will learn the basics properly. Some people prefer to learn from their friends who are experts at snowboarding.




Your snowboarding will start with safety policies. Make sure that you always follow all the safety guidelines related to snowboarding meticulously as it can save your life.




Initially you will learn stretching, how to fall and then move on to snowboarding with one foot. This is very useful as you progress to turning skills and getting off the board. You will also learn the specific lingo associated with snowboarding like side stepping, lift, linking turns, edge control, carving, off piste riding, racing, etc.




Popular snowboarding styles include




• Free riding or all mountain snowboarding which is good for beginners




• Freestyle includes the tricks, jumps, rail slides, half pipes and switch riding




• Free carving is about speed and the extreme carving turns and for advanced snowboarders




• Split boarding that is just like skiing and snowboarding combined.




When you begin learning snowboarding tricks, you can improve with the help of snowboarding rails so that you can prevent accidents.




This information is only aimed at getting you started. For more information and tips to help you develop your snowboarding skills, do visit the following website and watch the following instructional videos and excellent books on the sport that cover it in depth. . Videos are great at teaching since you can see professional boarders perform those tricks you so much want to master. You will also find valuable links that can tell you all that you want to know about snowboarding. Go forth and enjoy!