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Old 03.01.2015, 18:56
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Snowboarding for dummies

Hello all and happy new year

So, im going snowboarding for the first time in a few days. I can tell what a snowboard looks like but basically thats my whole knowledge on the subject. Any tips? I plan to take lessons eventually, just not before that day.

If it is relevant, I can ski green and some blue slopes but thats it. I didnt start very well (long story) and it caused me to hate the thing. Planning to start properly with lessons this year.
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Old 03.01.2015, 19:00
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

Should be snowboarding for goofies.


Be prepared to fall over a lot.




...... and what's 'green' skiing?
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Old 03.01.2015, 19:01
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

Make sure you don't try it alone, start with an instructor.

Padded shorts, wrist guards and helmet….
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Old 03.01.2015, 19:04
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

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Should be snowboarding for goofies.


Be prepared to fall over a lot.




...... and what's 'green' skiing?
Slopes that are easier than blues. Basically, a slope were babies can ski, but i need to work out a lot of courage to get down there :P

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Make sure you don't try it alone, start with an instructor.

Padded shorts, wrist guards and helmet….
I will be with a friend who is an expert so i should be ok. Thanks for the tip, when i rent the snowboard i will ask for every kind of protection possible
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Old 03.01.2015, 19:19
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

Make sure you wear wrist guards, but also knee pads- not only to fall on, but to be able to kneel when tired and getting up. They not only protect, but keep you dry and warm. IF YOU NEED A REST, ALWAYS GO TO SIDE OF SLOPE AND NEVER BELOW A BUMP, SO PEOPLE CAN SEE YOU.

I learnt when I was 50- so there is hope for you. But I was a very experienced skiier, so understood about edges and weight distribution, etc.

Honestly- TAKE LESSONS and don't try on your own. I learnt on an artificial slope in the UK (Snowdome) and the snow was VERY hard there! With all the snowboarders I've taken to the slopes over the years- the main problem was often with the lift and not actually snowboarding- so where you are going may well make a big difference. If you have to use Poma's (assiettes) or even worse, T-bars, or old fashioned chairs- it will be harder. If you have access to a bubble or the new very slow pick up/let down clutch chairs, it will be much easier.

A few tips- always look where you are going, and never ever down at your feet. Never have extended legs, always soft knees, or any little bump will throw you back- and if you feel you are losing balance 'Goal keeper' position, bend the knees and put hands forwards and a bit wider than body- and you will 'save yourself'. If like me you have no stomach muscles, always flip over and get up facing the slope, from your knees.

If you have to use a Poma- only hold the pole with one hand and let the other arm balance your body by extending at the back, in line with the board and the way you are going- if you hold pole with both hands, shoulders will turn and so will your board, and you will fall- look ahead, NOT down, and keep knees soft.

And first, get somebody who knows what s/he is doing to test if you are regular or goofy (eg if you naturally favour your left or right leg)- and tell them you are a beginner so feet angles on the board are set to help you- too sharp angles will make it very hard.

Most people will either give up on the first day or two, or like me, become absolutely determined to crack it and improve. Bonne chance and tell us how you get on. If you share where you are going, some of us might be able to give more specific advice about lifts and pistes, etc.

Your friend may well be an expert- but experts are not always the best teachers, or the most patient. People who are very good at something at often not very good at explaining, or at understanding why others don't get it immediately. In many ways, snowboarding is more of a mind game than a physical thing at first. If it does not happen in your head, in won't happen in your legs. At first, you learn to do the 'falling leaf', facing the mountain, then facing the valley. With the falling leaf, you don't actually turn, but zig-zag by putting your weight forwards, stabilise, and then backwards, etc. But when you learn to turn properly, you have to let go for a second, eg with your board facing straight down- much easier turning towards the slope than towards the valley- but that mini-second before you regain control, is the most hair-raising- especially if you were not born on snow (as I was).

There is nothing like it when you finally get going and start weaving on the snow smoothly and later when you begin to properly carve turns. WOW.

Last edited by Odile; 03.01.2015 at 20:06.
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Old 04.01.2015, 19:31
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

Snowboarding as a beginner 12yrs ago the most important lesson i learnt was how to transition from the starting position (sitting on your bum looking down the slope) to the standing position without loosing your balance before actually trying to move down the slope. I recall falling over more times in the first few days because of loosing my balance while just trying to get into the standing position.

When you learn to ski you start in the standing position facing the correct direction with 2 poles for support / to stop you moving, but noooo not with a snowboard....

Basically you need to learn how to use the boards toe and heel edges to stop the board from moving downhill while you are transitioning from sitting to standing positions, i.e. if you board left foot forward just after you start the stand up movement tilt the board slightly onto its right (toe) side or downhill edge so it digs into the snow enough to stop it wanting to slide downhill and then just as you stand up and are ready to move then heels down slightly so the board is flat on the snow... good luck and sorry for the lengthy lecture....


Once you can do this then its easier to get up into the standing position and you can think about actually trying to snowboard
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Old 04.01.2015, 19:43
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Note on wrist guards, make sure you learn to fall properly too! When i first learnt to snowboard, I used wrist guards, I fell forward, and landed palms down with my hands close to my chest and cracked a rib on the guard!

Take lessons, it will take a more than a few days to learn how to turn and have the nerve to do it. With basic skills it's possible to get down practically any slope but you won't be boarding unless you know how to turn, it's especially scary on steeper slopes as there is always a point where you point the board nose down and speed up a lot very quickly.

Even with lessons, you will fall down, a lot, and your arse will hurt, padding is a good idea.

Even after learning, be prepared to get out of your bindings a lot, unless you're a daredevil you probably won't have the nerve to get the required speed for some slopes and their flat parts, treat that as a learning experience and push yourself to get through them without unbinding.

Oh, and to find out if you're goofy or regular, have a friend suprise you and push you from behind, you will put your best foot forward.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 04.01.2015 at 20:00. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 04.01.2015, 19:49
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

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... and what's 'green' skiing?
It's the climate change, dude. It's the new trend.
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Old 04.01.2015, 19:54
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

I have to say, if you have issues with skiing, I am not sure snowboarding is the best idea!
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Old 04.01.2015, 19:57
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

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Make sure you wear wrist guards, but also knee pads- not only to fall on, but to be able to kneel when tired and getting up. They not only protect, but keep you dry and warm. IF YOU NEED A REST, ALWAYS GO TO SIDE OF SLOPE AND NEVER BELOW A BUMP, SO PEOPLE CAN SEE YOU.
So important, there seem to be many people now who just seem to like to stop right in the middle of the slope and point at things, if you want to observe the scenery or wait for your friends, move to the side.

As a boarder, I also like to wear back protection, not so much of fear of falling on my back, but in case someone hits me from behind while sat down.
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Old 04.01.2015, 20:12
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

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I plan to take lessons eventually, just not before that day.
Cool. So you are going to travel to your destination, sign up for lessons, ask which snowboard to rent, and then join your instructor on the slopes that he advises. Right?

Please, pretty please, make sure that you get competent instructions. Your riding equipment will be picked to match your needs (i.e. NOT a mega-stiff cambered directional with ultra-stiff shoes and bindings).

Do make sure to wear a helmet at all times. As a beginner, you will fall, and for lack of control there is a reasonably high probability for you to fall (backwards) onto your head (after having broken in your hindquarters).

As part of your instructions you ought to learn very early how to properly fall when on a snowboard. Once you know how to fall (and you *will* fall and you need to fall forward), there is no need for (wrist) protectors.

Try to start with "duck stance". This enables you to much better determine which direction of riding you prefer (yes, you will prefer one direction). Once you have discovered "your" preferred positional stance you can always adjust the bindings. If you so desire. (I switched to duck in my second season).

Apart from that, well, be prepared to balance on your heels and toes. Relax. Always look into the direction into which you want to go (shoulders and body will follow the head). And slide, then ride.

Oh, and standing up from a sitting position: Don't even bother trying in the flats. It's much easier on a hill.

Now, go and have fun with your instructor!
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Old 04.01.2015, 20:17
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

Did mention angles in my post- and I agree with 'duck' - that mean your bac foot faces slightly back and the front foot, of course, faces forwards, but not too sharply. The person who sets your board should know that if you tell him you are a beginner.

Here is a picture- I ride at minus 8 for back foot and + 28 on front foot. (because of my bad knee)- and I am goofy- eg right leg forwards.


Last edited by Odile; 04.01.2015 at 20:42.
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Old 04.01.2015, 20:21
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I have to say, if you have issues with skiing, I am not sure snowboarding is the best idea!
I had "issues" with skiing. There were a couple of really good days on ski, but in the end ... I had issues.

Snowboarding? Two days of small private group instructions on Gerschnialp in Engelberg. After 1.5 days, two of us succeeded on the T-Bars on first try. I then had a lot of fun (on a medium-stiff, cambered rental board) riding slowly but in every single direction, including turns, in wonderfully soft snow.

The next session a couple of weeks later in Ischgl, on ice-they-called-snow, with a brand new cambered board (with sharp edges) had a bit of a break-in effect on certain bottom parts. And I was extremely pleased with my choice of helmet. But ever since - fun, without issues.

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The person who sets your board should know that if you tell him you are a beginner.
Trying with -15/+15 (or 18) for starters should work. Symmetry is the idea (thus also a true twin-tip board for starters). Direction will develop.

Rental boards (all / sometimes?) come with tool-less stance adjustment. And if not, there is always a screwdriver at the base of every lift. Changing stance is not a problem, although most people seem to have somewhat of a mental block on that ...

Last edited by 3Wishes; 04.01.2015 at 20:52. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 04.01.2015, 20:35
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

If I can have one piece of advice, get some butt pads. I believe there's a brand called Ass Padz. They do what it says on the tin.

Your ass might take the beating like a seasoned veteran of the Blue Oyster bar, but a single fall on your tailbone will ruin your entire weekend if not the season.

A bruised/cracked tailbone is a highly annoying injury that poses no danger to your health but will hurt like a bitch and there's nothing you can do to make it heal faster.
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Old 04.01.2015, 20:52
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

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If I can have one piece of advice, get some butt pads. .
I second that!

Also the wrist protection. My gloves cost more than my board and are worth it.
They have wrist protection built in.
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Old 04.01.2015, 20:53
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

After reading this thread, I am eternally grateful I have never attempted snowboarding. To the emergency services and medical personnel who would undoubtedly have been treating me after an attempt - you're welcome.
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Old 04.01.2015, 21:16
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

No pain no gain. Get ready for a lot of painful impacts on knees, arse, and wrists. You are unlikely to progress to the point of enjoyment without 5 full days of pain.

Maybe get some protection to ameliorate the impacts, but do not use the protection as a crutch. Learn from the start not to fall on to an (instinctively) outstretched hand -- learn the other ways to fall.

Get at least an hour's professional instruction per day. But don't go home after your lesson. Use the rest of the time to practice, practice, practice what you have been taught.

It will feel totally unnatural and impossible until, gradually, it doesn't.

At first you won't even be able to walk along with your leading boot in its binding and the other on the floor, your leg will feel so twisted. Your body will adapt to it if trained, and eventually this and many other things will be second nature.

If you didn't take to skiing you are unlikely to take to snowboarding. There is correlation. But it's worth a try.

If you aren't getting a lot out of it by the end of the first week, consider giving up. It's not for everyone.

If you do make good progress, half a day's tuition per year will go surprisingly far, as long as you remember what they tell you and apply it.
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Old 04.01.2015, 21:17
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

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but a single fall on your tailbone will ruin your entire weekend if not the season.
I recommend gritted teeth, (optionally) followed by Paracetamol or Diclofenac (to be avoided).
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Old 06.01.2015, 19:22
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

And im back! In one piece! And im probably going to be really sore tomorrow!

Anw. It was good. Im glad for the knee pads i had on for sure. I found it easier to fall and get up than skiing. I was too much of a wimp to get on a lift the first day so i just stayed in flat/tiny slopes ground, but im glad with what i did. I only lasted two hours though. After that i could feel i had no strength left and decided to quit while i was ahead, ie with my head in one piece.
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Old 06.01.2015, 20:16
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Re: Snowboarding for dummies

Woohoo- so will you go again? Did you have a lesson?
So glad you made it in one piece- where did you go to get some snow- must have been pretty high up. Bravo !

Last edited by Odile; 06.01.2015 at 20:34.
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