How to Get Started Snowboarding

by Bill Costas

Snowboarding is a recent addition to the world of sports and its popularity can be attributed in part to the 1998 Nagano Olympics. It had to overcome some of its bad boy anti-establishment culture reputation by having the snowboard team conform to uniform standards as well as suspend some — less that savory endorsement contracts. Some athletes like Terje Haakonsen just snubbed the Olympics saying, and I paraphrase, the conformity as well as the judging is SUSPECT. We have heard that before. Nevertheless snowboarding is around and is continuing to grow so read this if you want to learn how to snowboard.

Firstly, read. Get all the information your can about safety. Snowboarding especially snowboard tricks leads in outdoor sporting injuries. This statistic is heavily debated but no matter, everyone agrees that the sport is hard on the body. You should also consider your own fitness level and whether or not you feel your body can take the abuse. Approach the sport with an eye for safety and you can minimize injuries. Look into a certified snowboarding instructor. It is well worth the money to capitalize on a certified instructor’s knowledge of the sport and his or her experience.

Make a budget for equipment that is heavy on the protective gear. A sexy new snowboard usually gets all the attention for first timers but don’t fall for that. Put your money in quality knee and hip pads, wrist guards, a leash, padding and a substantial helmet. Boards can cost in excess of $400. Use your money protecting yourself from the hazards of the slopes. Also a gnormous supply of ibuprofen. I can’t tell you how much this is helpful. If you can’t figure it out then you are wack and you shouldn’t attempt snowboarding.

Where you live is a consideration for this sport. If you live in the Mohave then it is going to be more difficult for you to get slope time since you will have to travel for snowy parts to take advantage of snowboarding. You could think about sand boarding instead. Any extra travel time will only reduce the amount of time and money you get to spend on doing what you really want to do so seriously evaluate your local weather. This sport, like all others, requires practice and your weather should not be an impediment to getting as much practice as you can.

Freeride, freestyle and freecarve are three methods that are offered in snowboarding. Make a decision on which you want to start out with and stay with it until you are good then go onto the others.

Your buddies can video tape your snowboarding antics. They are sure to be very funny while you are learning and taking snowboard lessons. You could up load them to myspace or youtube for fun. Your family will get a kick out of them as well. Your parents can see the blackhole their money is going into.

Read about snowboard lessons and camps in “Future Snowboarding”. They may hold many in your area and give plenty of snowboarding tips. These magazines can be very helpful. Getting instruction from a variety of trainers is useful as well as learning from other like minded students.

Well bon voyage! Get started now and have some fun. Snowboarding is just going wild and as a sport is only getting bigger and more extreme!

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