Let's be honest, trying a new sport for the first time can be daunting, let alone throwing snow, ice and freezing temps into the mix. But, despite the wild weather, learning to snowboard is a whole lot of addictive fun. In fact, once you start you’ll wish you had tried it sooner.
With that in mind, we’ll cover everything newbie snowboarders need to know to get started. From how to snowboard, what to wear, and even answer the age old question - is snowboarding or skiing easier? So grab your board and let’s get sliding.
How to snowboard
Ready to hit the slopes but don’t know where to start? We’ll show you the ropes (or should we say bindings) beginner snowboarders need to get started.
Take a lesson
If you want to go from zero to hero faster than Scotty James dropping into a halfpipe, then you need to book yourself into a snowboard lesson. You’ll learn the ins and outs of balance, stance and turning techniques (better than what we could write in this article). Plus, pro guidance will help you dodge bad habits picked up from your snowboarding mates.
Find the green runs
Once you’ve got the basics down pat, it’s time to hit some green runs. These little beauties are classified as gentle slopes and are perfect for building up your snowboarding confidence. When you’re out on the mountain, try to avoid blue and black runs. They are designed for intermediate to advanced riders and not something you want to be trying in your early days.
Practice makes perfect
Whether your perfecting toe and heel side turns or figuring out how to stop or gain speed, you’ll need to practise, practise and practise some more. And when you’re not on snow, work on strengthening those muscles with snow-ready specific exercises. That way, no matter how many times you stack it you’ll be able to laugh it off and be back up and at it in no time.
What to wear snowboarding
When you’re deciding what to wear snowboarding, the goal is to stay warm and dry so you can ride the first to last chair in comfort. Here’s our list of top items you need in your snowboarding wardrobe.
1. Base Layers
Start with a moisture-wicking base layer.
We opt for Woolmark Certified, Aussie Merino thermals. They’re a natural choice for us since they don’t add plastics and emissions to the world. Plus, Merino wool is thermogenic. This means it will keep you warm when you're cold but also cool you down as you get hot. This is important since learning to snowboard can be surprisingly sweaty work.
You want to invest in a good outerwear jacket and pants. Something that is waterproof and breathable (we suggest a minimum of 10K). If you feel the cold, opt for gear with more insulation. If you run hot, then a shell (no insulation) may be the right choice for you.
3. Snowboarding Socks
Not the most glamorous part of your snowboarding getup but in reality, one of the most important. The right pair of snowboarding socks will feel like little pillows for your feet, providing insulation and cushioning in all the right places. Plus, if you opt for Merino wool, they will wick away moisture to keep your tootsies dry.
The truth is, snowboarding can be a dangerous sport. Accidents happen even to the best of us. That’s why a helmet is non-negotiable. Think of it as a guardian angel for your noggin. Plus these days, helmets are (dare we say it) fashionable, so you can rock a sweet lid while keeping your brain safe. It’s a win-win.
Is skiing or snowboarding easier
Ah, the age-old question: is skiing or snowboarding easier? Skiing is often touted to have a smoother learning course since the movements are often more intuitive. On the other hand, it’s often said that snowboarding takes longer to learn but is faster to master.
Our advice, try ‘em both and see which one suits you best. Or, be a real rebel and commit to skiing and snowboarding. After all, rules are made to be broken.
Beginner guide to snowboarding
As die-hard winter fans, we’re here to tell you that snowboarding is an amazing sport to learn. And, what’s even better is joining the supportive ski and snowboarding community surrounding it (that means us too).
With the right equipment and approach, anyone can learn to snowboard and experience the unique and gravity-defying rush of carving down a mountain. So grab your gear and head to the slopes. We’ll see you out there!
P.S. First time heading to the snow? Our blog, 'what to wear on your first snow trip' covers your ultimate packing list.