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  1. #1

    Snowboarding for the first time

    haiyo bros!

    I'm gonna go snowboarding for the first time of my life this year, for 5 days.

    I'm going on feb. 8., and i just wanna know if you guys could give me some advice as to what i should be doing before i go, in order to make it more manageable? i've been skiing 3 times and i'm not extremely good at it, but i do know a little, i guess.

    I heard it's really tough when you've never tried it before and you'll keep falling and falling and falling, and i should work out my legs/core and triceps (for getting up), i already work out regularly (mainly upper body though) so i just made a new workout schedule for the next month, but i basically wanna know what else i should do.

    Is there a way to kind of simulate the snowboarding balance at home? I've got plenty of space in my living room so if it's something i'm gonna fall from, it won't be a problem since i won't hit anything but the floor. I heard you could stand on 2 tennis balls, but if thats just fake/a myth i wont go buy 2 :P

    Anyway, you guys got some tips/tricks? I'd like to get the most of it and hopefully be able to ride it decently next year!

    thanks ;>

  2. #2
    This is how I learned, in this order and was able to 'ride' (lolol I still tumbled down the hill a fair amount) after about 2 frustrating days.

    Strap into your snowboard (preferably at home on some carpet. NOT ON WOOD OR CEMENT) and work the edges of your board. Basically you try and lift the different portions of your board while balancing yourself in the middle so you don't fall over. Being able to pick up these edges will be your first task!

    Next you will need to be out on the slopes. Time to learn how to stop, both toe side and heel side. Remember how you stood in your room for 3 hours practicing how to pick up your edges? Well now you have to do that and hold it until you bring the tip (or tail) of your board around and come to a complete stop. Once you've done that 1000 times down the hill (alternating back and forth)then try carving.

    The best thing about this method is carving is basically equivalent to 'little stops'. You will have already learned how to balance your body in the full rotation for stops, you just need to only go part of the way.

    If you are noticing your toes hanging off the edges too much and it is causing your toes to clip the snow you can adjust the binding out a bit. They have built in plates which allow you to turn it by degree. For myself, I use 12' on my front foot and 15' on the back foot (that is just a personal preference). If you would like an easier time carving (and you have an 'all mountain board') you can try moving your mount back toward the tail a bit more. This will give you a bit more of a 'rutter' feel and make carving a bit easier.

    And for the love of god, where a helmet. Only fools don't wear helmets.
    Last edited by hopezero; 2013-01-14 at 08:59 PM. Reason: Mounting and Editing

  3. #3
    Thanks for the advice, but i don't have a snowboard as i'm still new and i was planning to rent one (and yes, a helmet as well)

    I was thinking if there's something i could do at home if i don't have a skateboard/snowboard/wakeboard/anything like that to get used to the balance of it?

    thanks :>

  4. #4
    Mechagnome draganid's Avatar
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    have you tried skiing before? i found it much easier to learn and i always seem to go way faster than my friends on snowboards when i ski.

  5. #5
    you will definitely want to get a couple of lessons from an instructor, will make your time on the mountain a lot more enjoyable.
    aside from that i dont have a lot of advice, more of a skier myself
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by draganid View Post
    have you tried skiing before? i found it much easier to learn and i always seem to go way faster than my friends on snowboards when i ski.
    Tried it 3 times, for a total of 8 days. I got decent, but my friends are starting from new with skiing and i'd like to be failing with them in the beginning

  7. #7
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    You should learn how to get down the mountain in about 1 day, at least thats how I remember it, I did not have any instructors btw and if your mates are learning how to ski at the same time then you are all on the same page anyways.
    You will fall a lot. It's harder then skiing imo.

    For me it was easier to learn how to turn from toe side and to break heel side. Not sure how others feel when they start out though. The hardest part for me was when I was taking "long" turns and had to turn from toe side(back facing "downwards" the slope) to heel side(front facing downwards) if you know what I mean?

    Not sure if I'm making any sense at all ;P
    The nerve is called the "nerve of awareness". You cant dissect it. Its a current that runs up the center of your spine. I dont know if any of you have sat down, crossed your legs, smoked DMT, and watch what happens... but what happens to me is this big thing goes RRRRRRRRRAAAAAWWW! up my spine and flashes in my brain... well apparently thats whats going to happen if I do this stuff...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jackmoves View Post
    You should learn how to get down the mountain in about 1 day, at least thats how I remember it, I did not have any instructors btw and if your mates are learning how to ski at the same time then you are all on the same page anyways.
    You will fall a lot. It's harder then skiing imo.

    For me it was easier to learn how to turn from toe side and to break heel side. Not sure how others feel when they start out though. The hardest part for me was when I was taking "long" turns and had to turn from toe side(back facing "downwards" the slope) to heel side(front facing downwards) if you know what I mean?

    Not sure if I'm making any sense at all ;P

    Haha, i'm gonna try to figure out what you are saying ;>

    By the way, could somebody tell me how i know if i'm Regular or Goofy? I heard i could just slide on my kitchen floor, and i'm always putting my right foot front. i tried to force my left leg to go first but it felt very wrong.

    I do shoot footballs and write (hands, obviously) with the right sides of my body, which is regular..?

  9. #9
    First of all - excellent choice!

    Here's what I can share from my experience as an instructor.

    If you want to practice at home, you should do different leg balance moves (a balance board would be very useful to improve your balance), as well, and especially, wide squats (wide as in roughly a third of your height in distance), and squats in general. While you'll use most of your body's muscles while snowboarding, the ones that'll work the most are your quads (always, and especially on backside), inner thighs, and calves (especially on frontside).
    Practice standing on your toes (frontside) and heels (backside) as well (it'll be much harder since you won't have momentum to keep you from tipping over, but it should still be doable to a degree).
    Also, I'd recommend learning how to fall properly, both forwards and backwards.

    As to the vacation itself, I recommend spending that extra bit of cash and getting a qualified instructor. It'll make a world of difference.

    Lastly, you should definitely wear a helmet (a simple fall on ice can be enough), and I'd also recommend a padded underpant (this for example) to avoid painful tailbone blows.

    ---------- Post added 2013-01-16 at 03:07 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by zykaz View Post

    By the way, could somebody tell me how i know if i'm Regular or Goofy? I heard i could just slide on my kitchen floor, and i'm always putting my right foot front. i tried to force my left leg to go first but it felt very wrong.

    I do shoot footballs and write (hands, obviously) with the right sides of my body, which is regular..?
    Technically, if you're right handed, you're regular, and if you're left handed you're goofy. But that's a statistic, and those mean nothing to the individual. I'm right handed, and goofy.

    There's no real way to know unless you try both.
    However, you can get a basic idea by standing still, and having a friend shove you from behind (you shouldn't know when it's coming as much as possible) - whichever leg you stick out to stop yourself from falling should be your back foot.
    However, I stop myself with my right foot, and as I said, ride goofy (so it's not right for everyone).

    A different method is to simply stand in riding stance (wide feet, slight angle, head (just the head, not the body) facing right/left), and imagining yourself riding. Then you just need to think which way feels more comfortable.
    Last edited by Liara; 2013-01-16 at 02:39 PM. Reason: Woops

  10. #10
    When I would size people up for boards I had a favorite move that I would do to check if they were regular or goofy. This might not work on you because I'm telling you and the surprise is the reason this works.

    If I were to walk up behind you and push you forward, what foot would you step forward to catch yourself with? The foot you step forward with is your dominate foot, and is generally used as the 'plant' foot at the back of the board.Like other people have said, chances are if you are right handed you would step forward with your right foot. If you haven't noticed any left sided tendencies, chances are that you wouldn't start with a board ^_^

  11. #11
    Thanks for the answers!

    I looked around on the internet and there's alot of people saying that the "step forward" thing is false, but i'll try it in a day to two when i'm at my friends place.

    I'll get to doing squats and stuff, how do i practice falling? Should i have somebody push me, or could i just fall myself? :P
    And what exactly is a balance board? I'm pretty sure we've got some round treething thats made for practicing balance, i was gonna start using it but its somewhere in our basement :P

  12. #12
    No need to have someone push you.

    To fall backwards, you need to drop down to your butt and then keep the momentum going by rolling (but not over). Keep your chin tucked into your chest to avoid smacking the backside of your head, and keep your arms away from the floor.

    To fall forwards, you need to crouch down, lean forward, and try to spread the impact on as much area as possible. Make sure you don't throw yourself onto the floor, but rather try to slide on it.

    Most important thing about falling is to never block the fall with your arms. That can lead to fracturing, breaking or dislocating your writs, arm, elbow or shoulder.


    A balance board is a simple wooden board that's mounted on something round, thus allowing you to shift weight and balance yourself. You could also just practice standing on one leg and shifting your weight in different directions. Anything that will improve overall balance will help you with snowboarding, really.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Liara View Post
    No need to have someone push you.

    To fall backwards, you need to drop down to your butt and then keep the momentum going by rolling (but not over). Keep your chin tucked into your chest to avoid smacking the backside of your head, and keep your arms away from the floor.

    To fall forwards, you need to crouch down, lean forward, and try to spread the impact on as much area as possible. Make sure you don't throw yourself onto the floor, but rather try to slide on it.

    Most important thing about falling is to never block the fall with your arms. That can lead to fracturing, breaking or dislocating your writs, arm, elbow or shoulder.


    A balance board is a simple wooden board that's mounted on something round, thus allowing you to shift weight and balance yourself. You could also just practice standing on one leg and shifting your weight in different directions. Anything that will improve overall balance will help you with snowboarding, really.

    I never knew i shouldn't use my arms to block falls - I'm sure that would be my natural instinct as i'd obviously do that if i fell outside on some hard ground like the roads (made of "asfalt" - dont know the english word for it)

    Do you have any video explanations of the falls? I think i understand it, but i'd prefer being 100% sure what it should look like ;>

    edit: I've got a balance board that looks a little like this

    Are snowboarders able to stand on these forever? tried like 10 times and i think my record is something like 20 seconds before it touches the ground :O

    - The rest of my family still didn't break 10 seconds lol
    Last edited by zykaz; 2013-01-17 at 04:22 PM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by zykaz View Post
    I never knew i shouldn't use my arms to block falls - I'm sure that would be my natural instinct as i'd obviously do that if i fell outside on some hard ground like the roads (made of "asfalt" - dont know the english word for it)

    Do you have any video explanations of the falls? I think i understand it, but i'd prefer being 100% sure what it should look like ;>

    edit: I've got a balance board that looks a little like this

    Are snowboarders able to stand on these forever? tried like 10 times and i think my record is something like 20 seconds before it touches the ground :O

    - The rest of my family still didn't break 10 seconds lol
    I tried searching for videos of proper falling techniques, but the ones I found weren't too good. You can use this video's falling backwards part to learn how to do it (as the technique is basically the same, except we don't slap the ground - although I suppose you could if you want ). The side fall is irrelevant as your board won't allow you to do that, and forwards is different (it starts similar to the forward roll demonstrated in the video, by crouching, however instead of then rolling, you turn your head sideways and slide out onto the floor).
    And yes, everyone's instinct is to throw out their arms, so you're not alone there

    That's a useful board, yup. You're not expected to last for minutes on it, don't worry. Just try as long as possible, since in order to not fall you're shifting your weight, which is exactly what you need to improve. Obviously, snowboarding will also improve your balance and weigh shifting capabilities, but that's good for at-home practice.

  15. #15
    wear a helmt and don't be drunken or in hang over. Have fun!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by silverequinox View Post
    wear a helmt and don't be drunken or in hang over. Have fun!
    I had 2 different trips i could chose to go on, and i chose the one without the parties at night, because i really go to snowboard, not to party. i could party every weekend of the year (since i'm 17, there's plenty of parties and alcohol), so i really don't see why people would do it in the few days you have for skiing/boarding.

    different opinions though, and it's required to wear a helmet, and either way i'd do it anyway

    thanks to everyone, especially Liara, for the responses. I guess that's all though, I can't wait now, and i wish time would go faster :>

  17. #17
    Skateboarding and snowboarding are very close to each other. I skated for 6 years and on the first day of snowboarding I could already ride comfortably and do some basic jumps without anyone teaching me So you might consider do skateboarding as well together with snowboarding. Skate at summer, snowboard at winter etc.

    As for the falls you can check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPQMRLl14cM. It's quite difficult to fall properly at higher speeds and bigger jumps, so you don't have to really worry about it. All comes with experience and becomes rather an instinct than memory. As an example, when I fall just by walking and slipping I can't say I think about how I'm going to fall as it's a matter of a second to hit the ground, but I never hit my head if I fall on my back even if I'm drunk, my body just reacts atomaticly and never stretch out completely. As for skateboarding falls, roll is the best one as you keep momentum when falling to reduce some bad scratches and impacts.

    And one more thing, always have your knees bend. It's not only helping you to keep balance, but also prepares you for a fall.

    If you really want to start doing this seriously, you should consider to consume some more milk products to harden your bones
    Last edited by naq; 2013-01-25 at 06:41 AM.

  18. #18
    Snowboarding is quite fun but you have to remember not to crashinto a tree or fall off to the left.

  19. #19
    The Insane peggleftw's Avatar
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    for a total beginer, whats easiest/most fun, skiing, or snowboarding? i use to go sandboarding a lot on the dunes which i think is quite a bit like snowboarding, expect with sand. and would love to go snowboarding, but a relative of mine told me he found skiing to be better when he was a beginer.
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by peggleftw View Post
    for a total beginer, whats easiest/most fun, skiing, or snowboarding? i use to go sandboarding a lot on the dunes which i think is quite a bit like snowboarding, expect with sand. and would love to go snowboarding, but a relative of mine told me he found skiing to be better when he was a beginer.
    After skiing for about 15 years a friend of mine got me into snowboarding. I fell in love instantly.

    It's harder to stand on the snowboard at first, but once you get the hang of it, you can pretty much go down whatever you want, skiing is easier to start with but might prove harder to get a decent level.

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