Snowboarding is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. If you count the number of tourists who travel to the mountains for snowboarding alone, the numbers shall be staggering. The sport is akin to driving at high speeds. It is very exciting but dangerous as well if not done correctly.
There are rules to the game, which if not adhered to, can result in lasting injuries. The scope of this article is to inform you about the basics of snowboarding so that you can stay away from injuries. The tips are suitable for beginners as well as advanced players who wish to up the game.
Now without further ado, let us first learn the very basics of snowboarding. This one is essential because it may be the difference between a successful run and an injury. When moving down the slope, the way you control the board shall determine everything.
Get Familiar with Your Snowboard
Firstly, in order to ensure that the board is tightly strapped on, take it to a flat ground. A gently inclined ground is favorable as well. Make sure that this place is not a busy traffic area. Keep it at rest with the board and bindings facing down. Doing so ensures that it does not it does not slip away from you while wearing.
Secondly, gently turn the board in your direction. In case the ground is a gentle incline, use the board’s safety line to hold it in position.
Thirdly, start entering your feet into the bindings and strap them in tightly and comfortably. It is advised that you start with your dominant foot first. Therefore, if your dominant foot is the right one, start with it . This is done so that in case you need to balance yourself, the dominant foot can help.
Fourthly, it is not the time to fasten your feet to the bindings. Begin with the ankle strap first, Make sure that the fastening is tight enough without being too uncomfortable. If it is too uncomfortable, you will not be able to snowboard.
If it comes loose, then it can be risky. If you are a complete beginner, after your feet is buckled in tightly, start walking a bit to get a feel of your board. You have to walk a bit anyways to get to the slope! You may also want to fasten one foot first and gently swing the board backward and forward.
Carrying The Snowboard
There shall come many times when you shall need to carry your snowboard about. Improper ways of doing it may damage the board considerably. The same may hurt you as well on the hands. While you are carrying it, be careful of hitting other people with it.
Also, be careful of banging it against other hard objects, which may cause dents. One of the best ways to carry your snowboard is to do so like you carry a book. For this, hold and balance the snowboard at the bottom middle. This ensures proper balance and that you can avoid damages as well. The advantage of this method of carrying is that you can easily move backwards and forwards.
The second method of carrying is with your hands behind your back. Use both hands to hold it in the middle, around the bindings. The greatest advantage of this carrying method is that you shall be able to balance the weight with both hands, as compared to the previous process. The only time this method of carrying shall be difficult is when you are trudging up a hill.
If none of the two methods interest you, fret not! There is a third method as well which combines the benefits of both. Tie a leash at one end of the snowboard and gently drag it forward. It has two advantages. First of all, you can easily drag it backwards and forwards. Secondly, you can easily move up a hill while dragging it.
There shall be times when you shall be away from the snowboard on a crowded field! If such is the case, do not forget to lock it.
Now, let us come to the very basics of snowboarding-Skating. Skating is very easy and shall give a feel of the basic movements you need to conduct while snowboarding. It involves wearing the bindings on one leg, while you push forward with the other, giving yourself both speed and direction.
Skating is not just a basic movement, but as you shall find, it is something you need to do when moving from one lift to another and while crossing a flat field of snow. Here are the tips to learn Skating easily.
Firstly, fasten one leg on the snowboard bindings and keep the other one free.
Secondly, conduct your first skating motion on the ice. Keep the foot with bindings forward and keep the free one behind it. Use your hands to balance your body. Now start to push forward with your back foot.
Thirdly, ensure at all times that your feet are appropriately placed. This means that the free foot should always be behind you. If it is in front of you, it won’t work. Start by taking small steps and going small distances. Once you feel that you have got hold of the basics, you can now start going over larger distances.
However, at this level, do not try anything other than Skating. Basics are called so for a good reason! If you do this correctly, not only will you learn the proper posture, proper balance but also learn how to increase and decrease speed with changing directions.
Fourthly, try to keep the front foot bent a bit. This increases the weight on the front foot which helps in balancing your body.
Now that you have learnt how to skate, you can now learn how to Glide. After skating, this should be pretty easy. However, you still need to maintain balance and direction. Here’s how to do it!
Firstly, find a place where there is a gentle slope. Ensure that there are not many people around. Apart from not bumping into an angry person, having people around when you are learning is just having obstacles. However, if you are a complete beginner, you do not need to go to a completely deserted place either. As a beginner, having some people around is helpful. That way, you can get your calls for help answered.
Start by maintaining your balance as you stand. Add balance to your body by spreading your arms around horizontally. Once this is done, keep your back foot in front of the bindings to start.
Secondly, in order to start gliding, lean forward and push forward with the feet in the bindings. If you want to speed up, lean forward more. If you want to slow down, shift your weight towards the back.