Introduction to Freestyle Snowboarding
Snowboarding has been around since the 1970s. It is one of the most popular winter sports and has been part of the Winter Olympic Games since 1998.
One of the first snowboards was created by Jake Burton. He went on to found Burton Snowboards which is the biggest snowboard company in the world today.
Snowboarding is an incredibly fun and exciting way to spend your time. It is good for:
- Improving your balance and dexterity
- Reducing your stress levels
- Increasing your flexibility, self confidence and radness
- Feeling like a G
- Getting the ladies/men
Before You Ride
If you already have your own gear that’s great! Every snowboard feels different so riding the same set up on your first couple days riding is a big advantage as you won’t have to get used to something that feels different as you’re learning. If this isn’t possible most resorts offer high quality rentals that do the trick.
If you have your own gear it’s a great idea to strap in at home the night before your first time snowboarding and get used to moving around with your feet attached to your bindings. Doing some basic up and down and side to side movements while strapped in will get you used to how it feels to be attached to your board and will help you when you strap in on snow for the first time.
Use a table or wall for balance and practice balancing on an edge, this is easier with a bit of forward momentum but trying it out before you’re on the hill will give you a sense of where your edges are and how much pressure to use. Let yourself rock back and forth and feel the flex of the board along your nose and tail. The more time you spend doing this before you actually go riding the more comfortable you will feel on your board.
Find a flat area and strap in your front foot. Give yourself a push with your back foot and try to glide forward as far as you can. You will find it is easier to push yourself forward with your back foot behind your board instead of in front as your body will stay aligned over the top of your board. Spend a bit of time doing this until you feel comfortable with how quickly your board moves on the surface of the snow.
Deciding on a Lesson
If you decide to take a snowboard lesson we recommend doing it through an accredited member of the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI), Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors (CASI), Australian Professional Snowboard Instructors (APSI), or the British Association of Snowboard Instructors (BASI). All associations are more than qualified to make sure you get started riding as quickly and pain free as possible.
Make your first turns!