Top Tips for Your First Ski or Snowboarding Holiday
While the thought of your first time on a snowboard or skiing might leave you worried about not getting hurt and especially not being embarrassed, you could get hooked for life. Here are 7 essential tips to help you get started!
1. Get Fit
Skiing and snowboarding are active sports, so having some physical strength and stamina will definitely help you out on the slopes. Strong legs are particularly advisable as snowboarding is done in a squat position, so try doing squats, lunges and calf-raises in order to strengthen your legs. What is more, if you get into an exercise routine before you venture out on the slopes, your muscles will loosen to improve recovery time after a day of falling.
2. Practice Stances at Home
Besides getting fit, you could also start practising your stances at home. Getting your stance right is vital to achieving balance and handling steering. Makes sure your ankles are flexed and your knees aren’t locked. Furthermore, figure out whether you are a goofy or a regular. A quick way to determine this is by walking up a flight of stairs and seeing which foot you use to take the first step. If you prefer to lead with your right leg, you’ll be a ‘goofy footer’, while regular footers lead with their left leg.
3. Learn How to Fall
Let’s be honest, when you are learning to ski or snowboard, you’re going to fall. A lot. You better make sure your learn how to fall without causing excessive damage. If possible, try to fall uphill rather than downhill, so gravity will not pull you down as far. However, if you do fall downhill, try to go limp and roll, and avoid putting your hands out to stop yourself to minimise the risk of broken bones or damaging your wrists. One more tip is to fall onto your entire body so that there is more surface area to absorb the shock of the fall.
4. Wear Impact Shorts
Impact shorts are probably the best tip that we can give you. Whether you are continually falling on the same area when learning how to snowboard or fall when learning new tricks as an experienced boarder, your body will thank you. And we promise, you won’t look like you’re wearing a nappy. You might also want to get yourself a helmet and snowboarding goggles!
5. Commit to Learn
As snowboarding has a quite big learning curve, it requires a certain commitment rather than just giving it a try. Don’t rely on figuring it out yourself. And although your friend might be a great snowboarder, it doesn’t mean he or she is a great teacher as well. Consider taking classes from a certified snowboard instructor instead, which are available at most snowboarding resorts. They will teach you the proper technique for sliding and stopping.
6. Choose the Right Ski Area
When booking one of the plentiful snowboard holidays, make sure to select the right ski resort. Look for resorts that are popular among snowboarders, as this usually means that they have areas that are specifically reserved and designed for them. Furthermore, you also might want to look for resorts that have good gondola access; this way you can easily avoid chairlifts and tows, which may be difficult to board and disembark as a beginning snowboarder. As a beginner, don’t bite off more than you can chew and choose a beginner friendly route.
Sadly skiing and snowboarding aren’t skills that you are going to pick up in just a day; it requires a large amount of discipline and tenacity. Get out on the slopes and practice, practice, practice! Don’t let all of your falls get you down because, although learning can be difficult, snowboarding is also one of the most rewarding sports out there.
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