My dad first taught me to ski when I was 8 years old, but by the time I was in high school most my friends were snowboarding. Not wanting to be the only one in the group skiing, I decided to give it a try. Here are some things about the transition I wish I would have known beforehand.
Go with someone who is around your skill level
Don’t make the mistake of going with a group where you’re the only inexperienced snowboarder. Nobody wants to babysit you while you learn the basics. Plus, it’s no fun getting left behind or having to constantly try to keep up. Find someone else who’s around your skill level to go with so that you can grow as riders together.
Get the basics down before going farther up the mountain
Don’t be afraid to spend some time on the bunny hill. Having a solid foundation of the basics is crucial before trying to tackle a more difficult run. Remember, safety first. It’s less embarrassing to do an easier trail a couple more times, than to injury yourself while attempting a run you weren’t ready for. Don’t be over ambitious.
Make sure your board is the right size
The first time I went snowboarding I borrowed a friend’s board. This would have been fine if we were around the same height, but that wasn’t the case. The board was way too long. Board length is usually based off of your height, but if you’re just starting out you may want to get something a little smaller. The bigger the board in comparison to you, generally, the faster it will go and the harder it will be to control. When you’re first starting out, easier to control can equal more fun.
Prepare to spend some time on your butt
The first time I went snowboarding, I definitely underestimated the amount of time I would be spending on my backside. That being said, you want to make sure you have the right gear. Water resistant everything is important. Unlike skiing, when you slow down your board is horizontal to the slope of the mountain and you lean back, often times (at least in the beginning) this can cause you to land on your bottom. A good pair of water resistant gloves is essential, since you’ll be using your hands to get up fairly often.
Find a good spot to strap in
As a skier, you know how annoying it can be to get off the lift only to have to weave your way through a group of snowboarders, plopped down on their butts, in order to get to the trail. You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget to be mindful of others when you’re caught up in the excitement, but don’t be one of those people. Be respectful of others and have fun.