Beginner Snowboard Tips – part 3

How to stand up on a snowboard
Now you’re all strapped in, here are a few different ways to stand up. Whichever technique you choose, ensure you put the same amount of weight on each foot as you follow the procedure.

The Push-Off

The Push-Off: While you’re sat on the floor with your knees bent and your feet close to your bum, lean back and push the toe edge of your board in to the snow a little, then with your hands behind you, push your weight forward and over your feet.

The Flip-Over: By far the easiest way, so one to remember when you’re tired! If you’re sitting on the floor, flip yourself over so you’re face down on the snow, then push yourself on to your knees and then stand up by pushing your weight backward, over your feet.

How to stop while on a snowboard
Stopping is probably the most important technique to learn! On a snowboard you simply bring both feet – and the board – perpendicular to the slope and perform a scrape on either the back edge or front edge (depending which way you are facing) to stop.

How to save yourself when falling on a snowboard
While learning to snowboard, chances are you’ll fall, and often. It’s all part of the learning process and if you can survive those first two or three days of pain, you’ll be glad you stuck it out. There are things you can do to minimise the chance of pain and injury, such as wearing protection and employing the following techniques:

  • Try to fall forward on to your knees and forearms. Most beginners tend to fall backwards on to their butt. This is because it is natural to lean away from danger, but if you can force yourself to be more aggressive on the board you’re more likely to fall forward.
  •  Always keep your hands in a fist when learning to snowboard instead of splaying out your fingers. It’s easy to pull a finger if you catch something as you fall.
  • If you fall backwards, punch the snow and sit on your butt.

Protection is highly advisable when snowboarding at any level, but for beginners it is a necessity. A helmet is a must as a crack on the head can be a serious injury. After a helmet, a pair of impact shorts is an inexpensive piece of kit and can be the difference between giving up on day two and having years of fun as a snowboarder. If there’s one item you’ll be glad you bought its impact shorts, trust me! Knee guards and wrist guards can also be a good buy. A broken wrist is the most common beginner injury. The chance of this happening can be reduced by up to 4 times by wearing wrist guards, or up to 7 times by wearing gloves with biomex protection. Upper body armour is advisable if you’re going to be venturing in to the park or backcountry, but being a beginner you’re unlikely to progress to that in a week, so I’ll just say if you think you need to protect your elbows, ribs, spine or shoulders, there is protection available.

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