Ollies are one of the most fun tricks that you can do on your snowboard. The key to the trick is in using the flex that is incorporated into your snowboard. The goal is to get as high as possible, which comes with a higher amount of flex on the board you have.

To start, you will push your snowboard ahead of you, while it slides under your legs. You need to balance yourself when the tail end is aligned with the placements of your hips. This is the beginning of a tail press, from which you will jump off the ground.

After you jump, you should be able to land on both of your feet. A tip to really get going, however, to get your board in the right location for the ollie, is to put your weight on whichever foot you have in front. This will increase the flex as well.

If you want to increase the speed at which you are able to ollie, all you have to do is start practicing! Have someone throw a baseball towards you and try to jump with your board and land in a way that misses the ball. Timing is one of the most important parts of maintaining your safety.

Ollies can be done on any snowboard and on a trail of any kind. You can jump over any obstacles that stand in your way with an ollie. Consider practicing the trick in parks, but you can then develop it while freeriding or while going over cat tracks.

Ollies are fun tricks to learn as they help you get into the air when snowboarding. They can also help keep you safe by avoiding any obstacles in your way. Learn more about how to ollie by checking out this video which goes more into detail.

 

If we know anything, it’s that going on vacation is 100% better when you can bring your pet. This is especially true of snowboarding trips. Our pups love playing in the snow, running around the mountain, and even keeping up with backcountry shenanigans. Many ski areas in the United States allow dogs around the base area, making this a great option for fellow shredders with dogs.

 

Unfortunately, getting your pup to the mountain can be difficult. Most Americans don’t live near ski resorts, and even those who do may prefer to travel around the country to check out new areas. In many cases, this will involve getting in an airplane. This is where bringing Fido becomes complicated.

 

If you’re set on bringing your dog on your next snowboarding vacation, it’s definitely possible – you’ll just need to do some extra planning.

 

How to Travel with a Pet

 

Traveling with a dog is easier now than it was just a few years ago. That said, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind before packing your pup into a crate and shipping off to your next snowboarding spot. There are a few pet-friendly trips for traveling to your next snowboard vacation destination. Just be prepared – you’ll have to spend some extra money and some extra time planning the trip.

 

  • Figure out if your dog can actually travel. Many airlines place restrictions on the types of dogs they allow on flights. For example, brachycephalic animals are banned from most commercial airlines. This includes all snub-nosed dogs, like pugs and boxers. Bringing your dog to the vet is the easiest way to figure out if they’re fit to fly.
  • Figure out how they need to travel. Airlines place strict size limits on animals that are allowed to travel inside the cabin. If your dog is bigger than the average chihuahua, they’ll need to travel as checked baggage. Keep in mind that, if you’re hopping on a plane for a snowboarding vacation, you’ll probably also be checking your equipment at the gate. If you’re checking multiple items, budgetary concerns may arise. Additionally, most airlines have thorough guidelines for the kennels dogs need to use. In other words, prepare yourself to buy a new carrier for the trip.
  • Help them get used to the travel crate. Even the most well-adjusted dogs have a hard time traveling. If you’re worried about your dog’s ability to fare well in the cabin or cargo hold of an airplane, do what you can to prepare them for the trip. Help them associate their crate with comfort by keeping their favorite toy or blanket inside. If you have the time, take them on a long car ride while in their crate. Pet travel is all about acclimatizing. A happy dog is a healthy dog, and if you can keep your pup satisfied during the trip, everyone will have a better vacation.

Learning how to snowboard as a beginner while being away from the mountains is quite discouraging. However, it doesn’t have to be too frustrating. You can become a fairly good snowboarder without requiring snow. The following are some of the ways you can practice at home and still be relatively good at it.

Invest in a balance board

A balance board is a piece of great equipment to enhance your balancing on the snowboard. There are different varieties to choose from in the market, but you should consider some things before choosing one that fits you. It’s better to choose those that are designed for fitness and sports training instead of those that are solely made for fitness. It would be best if you were patient while using a balance board since it takes some time. Ensure the surface you’re practicing on is also soft to prevent injuries if you fall.

Practice your stance

Your stance is your posture on the snowboard while you ride. Safely riding down the mountain is very important, and thus you should practice your stance. Your back should be straight and knees bent for a good posture. This enables you to shift your weight and balance on the board.

Learn to balance on your edges of the board

It would be best if you started moving your weight towards your edges after you feel like you’ve mastered your stance. Start practicing shifting and balancing by bending onto your toes or heels. This will train you to shift and balance like you would while on a snowboard. Start by your heel edge, and your toe edges will lift off the ground since it works much better for most people. When balancing on your heels, you can squat much faster. Be sure you do not get too low since it might be a bad habit to stop when you go snowboarding in the mountains.

Exercise

While working out to prevent soreness, focus on your core and legs. The good news is you can work on those areas with your bodyweight. Exercises you can do include planks, Russian twists, and squats.

One of the most enjoyable ways to spend the winter months is at a local snowboarding mountain. While many consider snowboarding to be a challenging activity that takes a long time to master, there are many tricks that you can choose from that are not too hard to learn. These tricks are fun and are great options for those that are new to the sport.

Ollie

The Ollie is a basic snowboarding move and trick that most people can learn early on. This trick will require you to move at only a moderate speed and will require that you place more weight on your back leg while moving downhill. At a certain point you should prepare to extend your legs back and then try and jump up. While in the air, you can then extend your legs until you land safely on the ground.

Learn the Jumps

Many hills and mountains today have terrain parks that are fun to try and do jumps on. If you are new to the sport, you can quickly learn to do some basic jumps using on the Ollie technique. When at a terrain park, you should try to do the Ollie move when moving down hill and going over the jump. This should give you some additional air with each jump. As you get more comfortable, you can also try and twist your body to do a spin while you are in the air. It is important to start with smaller jumps and work your way up.

A “eurocarve” is really a trick performed on a carving board, a turn in which the rider slides the upper body across the snow on toeside and at least the hips on heelside. Such turns usually require good conditions to execute because they depart from what is generally considered “good technique.”

Normally, in order to hold an edge and not skid or fall, the body’s mass must be directed over the inside edge. This is achieved by forming angles with your body. The hips and knees are directed inward, toward the snow and in the direction of the turn in order to put the board on edge. At the same time, the shoulders are directed outward, downhill and away from the snow and parallel to the slope, toward to outside of the turn. The hips and shoulders are twisted forward and aligned perpendicular to the board on toeside, and with the stance angles on heelside. Finally,  the knees and ankles flex deeply as the turn progresses. All of these movements help to create a steep edge angle and to maintain pressure on the edge at the same time, so it won’t skid or pop out of the snow.

“Euro-carves” are what we call banked turns, where the legs remain straight and extended, with the body’s center of mass positioned away from the board edge. Clearly, the steeper the slope and the harder the snow, the more difficult it will be to hold an edge with such an extreme position. But in the right conditions (smooth, soft, groomed corduroy on a fairly steep pitch), a skilled rider can execute a perfect carve with the side or chest, and one or both arms and hands, sliding across the snow, on both toe and heelside.

When performing such maneuvers, it is important to approximate sound technique as much as possible. Moves such as reaching down to touch the snow with the inside hand don’t cut it. By doing that, edge angle is reduced and/or pressure is released and the board tends to skid or pop out. I visualize the “euro” turn as exaggerating good technique to the maximum extreme. With both hands, elbows and arms on the snow, the shoulders remain parallel to the slope; indeed, they are ON the slope. So even in such an extreme position, enough edge pressure can be maintained in to execute a perfect carve,  so long as the snow is forgiving. A good (but not extreme) pitch helps, too; you don’t have to lean over so far before you touch the ground.

 

“Grownup snowboarder.” A contradiction in terms? Isn’t snowboarding a sport for rebellious adolescents with died hair and pierced body parts, wearing tee shirts and elephant sized pants, doing impossibly contorted tricks in a half-pipe? It may surprise some hard core skiers and skeptics that the answer to both of these questions emphatically is “No.”

It is true that the punk stereotype is what most outsiders of the sport consider to be the image of a “snowboarder.” But while young people dominate in terms of numbers, they are not the whole picture and actually are relative newcomers to the sport. Before snowboarding became a popular fad, attracting this “new-school” from a skateboarding and street background, there were the “old-school” and “alpine” riders.

The old-school pioneers have been snowboarding since as far back as the days when few, if any, ski areas allowed boards – 10 or 15 or more years ago. Some, but not all, have a skiing background. Generally, they don’t confine themselves to the half-pipe as do most of the new-schoolers. They use the whole mountain, as do skiers, favoring powder, back country, steeps, chutes, and cliffs, while using free-riding boards with soft boots. And, as their name implies, they certainly aren’t kids anymore.

Alpine riders are the smallest minority, many of whom are current or former skiers. They rarely, if ever, venture into the half-pipe, and are fond of traveling at high speed on groomed trails, slicing deep ruts into the snow. You won’t find them skidding sideways or sitting in groups in the middle of the trail. With traditional ski-looking clothing, often a helmet, hard shelled boots and stiff, narrow, directional carving boards, they occupy a misunderstood middle ground: disdained as “skiers” by the new-school, yet shunned as “snowboarders” by two plank die-hards. It is this group which attracts most of the “grownups” from the over 35, baby boomer generation.

Consider this profile. You are a boomer who has been skiing since you were a kid. You have the experience and skill to ski most anywhere on the mountain. But face it, your knees can’t take the pounding of those moguls the way they used to; two or three runs in the bumps exhaust your energy for the rest of the day. And you are becoming cautious and maybe even a little tentative on those steep chutes you used to blow down with abandon. At your age, you quite prefer rapid cruising on Giant Slalom boards over groomed corduroy. Truth to tell, however, after 20 or 30 years on skis, much of the challenge and a healthy dose of the thrill is gone.

It is while on the groomed runs, or riding the lifts above them, that you have noticed the alpine snowboarders, linking graceful, surgically carved turns that, as a matter of physics, simply are not possible on skis. These riders don’t just drag their knuckles; they are able, in the right conditions, to slide their hips, knees or entire body across the snow as they cleave crisp, perfect arcs. Much as you resist, they have piqued your curiosity. You may even have tried those “parabolic,” “shaped” or “super-side cut” skis being marketed so heavily these days. But you find that while they may approximate a true carved turn better than your traditionally shaped skis, they are pale imitations of an alpine snowboard. The difference between them is analogous to water skiing: no matter how adept a skier is on two planks, he or she will be unable to change direction as quickly and precisely, or to achieve the edge and body angles, as with both feet mounted on a single surface, one behind the other.

So you are persuaded to try snowboarding, and you now understand that this doesn’t mean that you have to pierce your ears, buy outlandish new clothing, and go through a mid-life crisis. How should you proceed?

Before purchasing equipment, I advise the beginning snowboarder to rent or demo both boots and boards. The snowboarding learning curve starts out slowly, then skyrockets; needs and tastes will change drastically over a short span of time. Renting a variety of different boots and boards during the learning process is educational as well as economical.

The first board should a symmetrical all-mountain “free-riding” board of between 135 and 160 cm., depending upon the size of the rider. Borrowing your friend’s stiff, unforgiving racing board with the bindings mounted at a 60 degree angle, or your daughter’s soft, tiny twin-tip freestyle board with the bindings mounted “duck stance” (both feet angled outward), is not recommended. Rely on the expertise of a knowledgeable shop tech to fit the proper boots, board and bindings, and to adjust stance width and angles, to suit your personal needs according to age, height, weight, strength and ability.

At the time boots and boards are chosen, a crucial decision must be made: which foot forward? Some new riders have participated in such similar sports as water skiing, surfing or skate boarding, and already know. If you are unsure, the following exercise usually works to ascertain the dominant leg: with a running start, slide across a linoleum floor in your stocking feet. Instinctively, one leg usually is thrust forward for balance, while the stronger leg remains behind for support. This should accurately determine your snowboard stance.

As with undertaking most new endeavors, lessons are highly recommended. Taking the lift to the top of the mountain cold-turkey definitely is not. No matter how coordinated, strong, and balanced you may be, prepare for a humbling experience your first time out. Expect a few face and fanny plants; anticipate some bruises and sore muscles. Some beginners even wear protective padding on their wrists, knees, elbows, and posterior; in-line skating equipment works well. Competent, experienced instruction will minimize the struggle and maximize a swift progression from tumbling to turning. Snowboard lessons geared to adults, such as the Delaney Snowboard Camp increasingly are available at most resorts and help make the learning process successful and enjoyable for the mature set.

Generally, the baptism by fire that a new snowboarder experiences is short lived. In comparing the learning curves of skiing and snowboarding, it is said that “skiing is easy to learn and hard to master, while snowboarding is hard to learn and easy to master.” In both sports, the initial task is the ability to turn in both directions in order to control the rate of descent. This usually is more quickly accomplished on skis, where balance is easier to maintain with two legs moving independently rather than being attached simultaneously to one surface. But once turning is assimilated, the progression from awkward novice to steady intermediate to confident expert is markedly faster on a snowboard. It is not unusual to advance from floundering on the mildest bunny hill to carving deep trenches on groomed black diamond terrain in a single season.

Finally, some comments about injuries. Beginner snowboarders typically sustain more injuries to their upper body, such as thumbs, wrists, elbows, and shoulders, which absorb much of the forces in falls. Ankle and foot injuries also are prevalent for riders in soft boots. Caution and common sense during the learning phase, as well as using protective guards and pads, should help to minimize their occurrence. Once the beginner stage is passed, the rate of snowboarding injuries drops significantly, and liklihood of knee injuries is much less than for skiers. Having both feet attached to one board with bindings specifically designed not to release prevents the independent twisting of the legs and torsional stress associated with injuries to knee ligaments common in skiing.

So, to all of you grownups, adults, and over the hill oldsters: be adventurous, be bold, be outrageous. On your next visit to your favorite resort, follow your kids on a snowboard. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Well, those are terms which sort of defy definition. Some argue it’s a riding style, others that it’s an attitude, still others that it’s nothing at all. Here are a couple of selected posts which express the opinions of their respective authors:

Guys from Old School probably started boarding around the mid to late 80’s when the Burton Safari and the 1st generation Sims ATV came out. At this point in boarding, we were running our back foots kind of straight across with Sorels. The “trend” at this stage was to evolve boarding to a more ski/high tech thing. Stances were going tighter and more angled, hard boots were getting more consideration (I’m sure old Damian helped out here..), and asym’s were starting to flood the market. This is not to say “freestyle” and pipe riding was declining. However, sometime later (92?), there was a backlash towards more trick oriented boarding with heavy emphasis on bilateral abilities. In order to be fully symmetrical with a lot of fakie oriented moves, the board really requires a rider to have his feet straight across, wide for stability, and the board to be fully symmetrical (did barf make the first real “twin-tip” board?) Thus, boarding reverses its trend and this is where I believe “New School” arrived. I remember the days when guys would laugh at you if you rode a perpendicular stance. Anyway, that’s how I view it.

I was always under the impression that the difference lies mainly in tricks and overall style. Old school tends to be big on huge air, grabs, a nice carvey riding style, bigger boards, freeriding, etc., while new school tends towards shorter twintip boards, flatland tricks, spins, a really wide stance, lots of time spent in the park as opposed to freeriding the slopes, etc. (A lot of this difference is reflected in skateboarding, I’m told by a friend who’s been skating since the mid-80s.) >…is it as trivial as the old bunch of stylin’ snowboarders turning 20, and thus ceasing to be relevant? 🙂 Well, yeah, that too, probably… 🙂

When I started riding there were no freestyle bindings. I’ve stayed pretty up to date with the technology though, and ride a fully symmetrical Barfoot (a recent one, not the one from the 80’s) with pretty much 0/0 stance angles. But I still consider myself “Old School” when I have to make the comparison (and I don’t like to), because I consider the difference to be mostly an attitude thing. Perhaps this may be inaccurate, but I’ve always associated “New School” with the whole lame, commercial, gangster imitating, skier dissing, baggy pant wearing crowd of (worm)heads who have of late started giving the sport a bad name and sparked quite a few closures to snowboarders around the country. Just my $.02 worth. Take it or leave it.

When it comes to repairing gouges and “dings” in bases the correct process depends on how the base was originally made; there are two different methods of manufacturing the polyethylene used for bases. Extruded bases are made by melting pellets and forcing the material through a nozzle of the required size to form sheets of the desired thickness. The resulting base material is very easy to repair, but equally easy to damage. Very few boards are made with extruded bases. Maybe some of the cheap Kmart type boards, etc. Sintered bases are made by slowly heating powdered polyethylene under great pressure. The result is a block (sort of like a big wheel of cheese) that is then skived (cut) to form the base material. This method costs about three times as much as producing extruded bases. Sintered bases are much higher in molecular weight; with increasing molecular weight, abrasion resistance and wax absorption is increased.

While it’s great to have a base that won’t get gouged as much, it is a lot harder to fix. Repair candles contain a whole bunch of stuff other than polyethylene, like wax and things to make it able to burn at a low temperature. It won’t stick to sintered bases. Snow, especially granular snow, can be very abrasive (how ’bout that last bloody face plant you/I did!). You can scrape out a drip repair with your fingernail. Depending on the size, depth and location of the damage there are three repair methods, using pure polyethylene, that can restore the base to as good as new (or almost): using an extruder, a plastic welder or putting in a base patch. For each of these methods to work right it is important to heat the surrounding (good, clean) base material also so it will bond securely to the repair material. It is also more difficult (than with drip candles) to remove the extra material that is left above the surface of the base. Unfortunately, the tools to do the job are expensive and not practical for most people to own. If it is more than some small scratches, it is worth having a good shop do the work.

 

 

Most of us have heard it before: “Boarders suck, they scrape off all the snow.” “They cruise in packs and scare the women and children.” “The baggy clothes are used to conceal weapons of mass destruction.” “They ruin the moguls.” “When they carve, they leave deep ruts in the snow.” “Boarders have an attitude problem.” “How does a boarder introduce himself? Whoa (crash), sorry dude.”

Rather than attempt to prove some point one way or the other, listed below are several facts and conclusions, it is a debate that will not be solved here. – The outward trappings of the snowboard culture are alien to most skiers, much like the tie-dyed clothes and long hair of the 60’s. – Snowboarding is here to stay: it’s an Olympic event, PSIA certifies snowboard instructors, 97% of U.S. resorts allow it, more than half of American resorts cater to boarders with half- pipes, its growth rate is over 10%, and the list goes on and on. – With such a huge growth rate there are a lot of beginning boarders out there. – Most boarders love their sport dearly and have money to spend. On average a boarder is on the slopes 3 times(!) as often per year as the average skier. – The sport is about 12 years old since steel edges came into use, this hasn’t given the boarder population time, relative to the skier population, to attain advanced skill levels. – The average age of the boarder population is increasing from 18, 4 years ago, to about 21 now. – Some people (especially young adolescent males) will occasionally get in over their heads and be on slopes they have no business being on.

Beginning snowboarders scrape off powder and so do beginning skiers. The issue is beginners and skill level. They both fall down on their butts a lot, and you see them sitting there either on the side or the middle of the run taking up real estate. – Some snowboarders have an “attitude” problem. Actually, we (the net) have concluded that, it’s not specifically boarders, it’s an artifact of hormone charged, adolescent males. So indict them. Deal with them. The consensus is that some people were buttheads well before they chose which way they would go down the mountain. – Snowboard discrimination is like blaming a car for driving out of control instead of the driver. Let’s face it there are weird people out there on every vertical descent device. It is the person, not the sport they are engaged in. Snowboarding is growing big time. It is in the spotlight. For every outlaw snowboarder, who cuts you off, and is in the limelight, there are a bunch who are civil and law abiding.

No. It’s fairly even, skiers and boarders have about the same number of injuries but those injuries are different. You are much less likely to sustain knee injuries while snowboarding than skiing. There has been a recent study on snowboarding injuries. The study was done in Australia and appears in “The American Journal of Sports Medicine” vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 701-704. In this article comparisons between skiing and boarding injuries are documented for a 4 year period. The distilled info goes something like this: skiers are much more likely to injure their knees, and when they do injure their knees the injury is usually worse (grade II or III, if that means anything to you) than a boarder’s knee injury (usually only grade I or II, with only one grade III reported during the course of the study). Boarders are more likely to injure their ankles, feet, wrists, and hands. There is also info in the article about soft boot injuries vs. hard boot injuries. The study aside, though, you can pretty much understand just from looking at a board why there are fewer knee injuries. When you fall you pretty much either go straight back on your bum, or straight forward on both knees (or hands if you stick them out (hence the increased # of wrist injuries). It is really hard to torque your knee when your feet remain locked in place.

(Following, compliments of Surfdog789) After seeing Dave Schutz bibliography, I checked out Medline for more articles. The abstract (summary) that follows is interesting [from Am J Sports Med (US), Sep-Oct 1993, 21 (5) p701-4]: “Information on the rate and spectrum of snowboarding injuries is limited. This 4-year prospective study at 3 major Australian ski resorts assesses incidence and patterns of snowboarding injuries, particularly in relation to skill level and footwear. Ski injury data were collected for the same period. In a predominantly male study population (men:women, 3:1) 276 snowboarding injuries were reported; 58% occurred in novices. 57% of injuries were in the lower limbs, 30% in the upper limbs. The most common injuries were sprains (53%), fractures (24%), and contusions (12%). Comparing skiers’ versus snowboarders’ injuries, snowboarders had more fractures to the upper limbs, fewer knee injuries, and more ankle injuries. Ankle injuries were more common with soft boots….. Knee injuries and distal tibial injuries were more common with hard boots… Overall, novices had more upper limb fractures and knee injuries; intermediate and advanced riders had more ankle injuries. Falls were the principal mode of injury. To prevent injury, beginners should use soft boots and take lessons.” All I can say is – never mind the danger, just think of the fun!

That said, snowboarding takes a lot more out of ya than skiing. On skis you can widen your stance and coast on flats, and take it easy. In snowboarding, there is no taking it easy. You always have to be in a carve, toe or heel edge. If you flat board it, that is when you are likely to catch an edge and do a real hard body slam fall. These hurt. On traverses, often boarders have to ride on one edge for a long time. It is like trying to stand on your tip toes for a continuous period of time. It is quite fatiguing, even if ya flip and ride fakie to relieve it. At any rate, this exhausts riders, and makes them need to rest more than skiers. That is why we sit down a lot. Also freestylers like to sit and plan there next trick, or air, or what ever. All skiers and snowboarders should always rest on the side of the trail, not under a lift, and so as to be seen from above. A lot of boarders, never have taken a lesson and been told this safety info. A lot of them are younger and just are not tuned in or aware.

It’s very difficult to stand still on a snowboard. If you want to be stationary on a slope, you would have to balance, much like a bicyclist balancing when stopped at a stoplight. Because the bindings don’t release, about the only way to stay still is to sit.

Editor: On a personal note, I attended a snowboard camp where one of the instructors (Chris Karol) who had been a pro for 10 or so years never sat down. In the 2 days I was there I never saw him fall or touch the snow with any part of his body except his hand. If he had to stand in one place for more than a couple minutes he’d unbuckle his rear foot (he was wearing hard shells). When he came to a stop, he’d sort of dig his edge in and balance there, regardless of how steep the slope was. The snow was pretty soft so that helped. The point is, using strength and balance, it is possible not to have to sit down.

 

A good point to keep in mind here is that snowboarding doesn’t have to be painful. Taken slow and with the right guidance boarding can be quicker to learn than skiing. PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) and CSF (Canadian Snowboard Federation) now certifies snowboard instructors and most resorts which allow boarding will have instructors on staff. Most boarders who have also skied agree that boarding is initially more difficult than skiing but after learning the basics the intermediate and advanced levels are achieved more quickly.

Edging and balancing skills are more important from the outset because your feet are secured, you can’t step from foot to foot, and you don’t have the use of poles as skiers do. Snowboarders fall differently than skiers do. Where skiers tend to fall to the right or left snowboarders fall forward or backwards onto their face or butt. It is best in a forward fall to fall to the knee and forearm (do not stiff arm on the palms) and then lift the board in the air until you stop. In a backwards fall it is best to go to the butt and roll onto the back, keeping the chin in your chest, lift board until you stop. Learn to ride with fingers in a fist, to avoid finger smashing. And why not have releasable bindings? Most boarders would disagree with the use of a releasable binding, the board is relatively short, most ride a 150-170 cm length board, and the idea of going down a hill with one foot released and one not is a very scary thought.

Most ski areas require snowboards to have metal edges, leashes, and secure bindings. The newer boards are far easier to use than anything made prior to about 1988. Boards today are lighter, easy to turn and comfortable to ride. If the board your friend is letting you use to learn on has a split tail, center fin, solid high-back bindings, bindings with nylon straps, or a stance very off center towards the rear of the board find a new friend, or rent. Use a boot designed for boarding. How would you like to learn to downhill ski in hiking boots? The right boots give your ankles much needed support and alleviate pressure points from the straps or buckles. A beginner should learn on an all-around or alpine board with high-back bindings and a firmer soft boot or hybrid boot. Hard boots and step-in bindings are not recommended because of the increased difficulties of balancing, turning, skating and using lifts. There now are a few books out there on snowboarding which include how to sections written by professionals.

The reason to start with the rear foot out is twofold: 1) It is not natural to have both feet locked down. We are bi-peds with independent leg action to move. When trying anything new it is best to take baby steps to learn. Putting only the front foot in, lets a person try stuff while still using their rear foot in an independent way as sort of a training wheel. You do this on only slightly sloping almost flat terrain, so that the person gets the feel of the board, builds their confidence up, and so that their muscles start to memorize how to turn a snowboard. Baby steps. 2) The 2nd is way more practical. We have to cruise around a lot with only one foot it. Traverses, lifts, etc. It is just good and necessary to learn how to move around with only one foot in. Think of it as skateboarding on snow just to get the feel of the board and lock down the proper stance (weight on front foot).

I see people each week on our bunny slope, bag on lessons, go to the top, strap both feet in, go for it. 9 times out of ten they go too fast, sit way back, wipe out, can’t turn. A bunch give up. Give up on a very fun sport, even before they have given it an honest try. The best way to learn is in a lesson.

The best ingredients of a lesson are:

0) Stance: Natural athletic stance. Feet about shoulder width apart, angles of about 15 in front and 0 in back usually work well. Knees bent, kind of posed like your going to box somebody. If you jump up an come down in a boxer ready stance you will usually land in the proper stance naturally.

1) Front foot in: walk around. Skate and slide like a skateboard. Weight on front foot.

2) Front foot in: Straight run. Climb up on almost flat terrain. Push off. Glide straight down to a stop. Weight on front foot.

3) Front foot in: Direction change. While doing straight run, with weight on front foot, look and point with front hand in the direction you want to turn. heel then toe, then combo. If you have trouble, make a motion like you’re opening and walking through a left handed, then right handed door.

4) Lift: Watch people get on. Talk about getting off. Just do a straight run or slight direction changes as before as you get off. Lean forward. Do not put rear foot on snow, put it on the stomp pad if you have one or right in front of rear binding.

5) Strap in. Side slip. straight down on heel edge or toe edge. Need a moderate incline. Balance weight over edge. Smooth changes. Slide evenly – like spreading peanut butter on bread. Stay on uphill edge.

6) Garland: Move across the hill. Stay on uphill edge. Look up hill to slow down, look down hill to speed up. Do not make a full turn (edge change). Go across the hill, sit down, flip over, do on other edge. This is the best way to learn – teaches turning without massive speed build up in that no-mans land between turns.

7) Link turn: Do garland, but on very mellow terrain, bring board around to other edge, and proceed on the new garland. Flat board during transition. Patience. Terms: Front foot: The foot that is always secured to the board. Left for regular (righty) rider. Right foot for goofy (lefty) rider. Back foot: The foot that you remove from the board when walking around or getting on or off the lift. Toe side: The edge and direction on the side of the board where your toes are. Right for regular rider Left for goofy rider. A Toe side turn then is one where you are kind of up on your toes, heel in the air at the end of the turn. Heel side: The edge and direction on the side of the board where your heels are on. Left for regular riders. Right for goofy riders. A heel side turn then is on where your toes are in the air and you are balancing more on your heel at the end of the turn.

Common Problems:

1) Sitting back. Get your weight forward. Sticking your front hand out (left arm for regular, right arm for goofy) helps keep your weight forward. Do not stick your butt back to counter balance your arm being forward. Bend your knees and get you entire weight forward. If you start out slow on the flats and get confident on the board you will trust it and lean forward. If you are up on the hill and are leaning back, it typically means you are scared and went too fast. Go back to the start. The skateboarding moves at the beginning with one foot in should really lock in the mind and in the muscles that the board will only move correctly with the weight on the front foot.

2) Looking down: I always ask my students what color or pattern is on their board. ‘Good’ I say, now that you know you do not have to keep looking at it. Look where you are going, forward or to the left or right. You body will follow. When you look down, you tend to also lean back.

3) Locked front knee: Front leg straight. Need to bend it. Makes your weight back. If you have to, crouch down and stick your arm out, or grab your cafe with your front hand to stop this bad habit. This is a bad habit for a lot of snowboarders. Do not get into it at the start. If you go into a turn with a locked front leg, you could be a body builder and still not be able to bend your knee. The key is to go in with your leg bent and then go down from their. In snow boarding you never want locked knees.

4) Lift falls: Don’t put back foot on snow instead of board upon exiting lift. Don’t sit back.