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How To Snowboard

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Brandon Arnold,
How To Snowboard For The First Time

Learn To Snowboard In 10 Steps

So you've decided to try snowboarding. You've bought the gear, you've mounted the board... now it's time to learn to snowboard.

This article will take you through learning to snowboard in ten steps. Each step is listed in order so that you may progress logically from one step to the next. You may even want to print this article and take it with you to the slopes as you learn to snowboard.

Learn To Snowboard Step 1: Preparation Dress in comfortable, loose-fitting snow clothing. Don't forget gloves, goggles and a hat. Wrists are very vulnerable, especially for beginners. Consider wearing a pair of wrist guards and a helmet.

Learn To Snowboard Step 2: Get Into The Bindings In a flat area with the snowboard in front of you, place your front foot in the front binding.

If you have strap bindings, strap both the toe and ankle strap until they are snug. If you have step-in bindings, step in and roll your foot around to make sure it is properly secured. Repeat with your back foot. Bounce around a little bit to see what it feels like to be strapped into a snowboard. Now, take out just your back foot (leave your front foot in its binding).

Learn To Snowboard Step 3: Baby Steps Take a few steps up a slight incline with your front foot in the snowboard binding and your back foot out. For this to work you need to start by facing your shoulders and toes directly up the incline with your snowboard going perpendicular to the incline. Take one step with your foot that is not attached to the snowboard, then lift your foot with the snowboard attached to it and take a step with the entire snowboard (keep it perpendicular to the slope). Keep taking steps until you are a little ways up an incline.

Learn To Snowboard Step 4: The Heelside Slide Sit down and strap both feet into the snowboard. With your snowboard perpendicular to a small slope, stand up so you are looking down the slope. Your weight will be mostly on your heels. Now point your toes on both feet just a little bit and you will start to slide down the hill. Pull back up on your toes to stop. Repeat this until you get the hang of pulling up on your toes to come to a stop.

Learn To Snowboard Step 5: Skating "Skating" is an essential skill to have for maneuvering through flat areas and getting on the chairlift. It refers to the way snowboarders push themselves along using their back foot while the front foot is in the binding. Practice skating around for 10 or 15 minutes before you go near the chairlift! Push off the snow with your back foot and slide your front foot forward with the snowboard. Your back foot can push from either side of the board, so try it first on one side and then on the other to see if one is more comfortable for you.

Step 6: Simulate Getting off the Chair Go to an area with a slight incline and secure only your front foot in its binding. Point your snowboard down the incline, put your weight on your front foot and start to glide down toward the flat area. Just as you start sliding, place your back foot on the stomp pad alongside the rear binding. Glide to a stop.

Learn To Snowboard Step 7: Get On and Off the Chairlift Once you feel comfortable skating around in a flat area and gliding to a stop from a slight incline, you are ready to head for the chairlift. Every resort has a beginner lift -- find it. From a safe distance, watch how other snowboarders get on the chairlift until you understand the basic technique.

Learn To Snowboard Step 8: The Falling Leaf Pattern Now that you are at the top of a beginner slope, you are going to slowly slide back and forth across the hill like a "falling leaf," staying on your heelside edge the entire time.

To begin sliding, press down with the toes of your front foot. To stop sliding, pull back up with the same foot. (Treat it like a gas pedal.) When you reach the edge of the run, stop and press down with the toes of the other foot to start sliding in the other direction. Again, pull up to stop. Continue to the other side of the run. Repeat this back and forth "falling leaf" pattern all the way to the bottom of the run.

On the next run, try this same thing but on your toeside edge. To begin sliding from your toeside edge, push down with the heel of your leading foot. Pull it up to stop.

Learn To Snowboard Step 9: The J-Turn Once you are comfortable with the falling leaf on both your heelside and toeside edges, you are ready for the J-turn. The J-turn uses the same technique as the falling leaf, but your goal is to point the snowboard directly down the slope for a moment before turning and coming to a stop. Again, start on your heelside edge. Looking down the slope, press on the toes of your leading foot to begin sliding. Keep pressing on your toes until you are going directly down the slope, then pull up on your toes to go into a heelside turn and come to a stop. Repeat. Continue doing J-turns on your heelside edge all the way across the run.

Now try a toeside J-turn. Flip over so you are standing on your toeside edge. Press on the heel of your leading foot to begin sliding. Keep pressing on your heel until you are going directly down the slope, then press on your toes to go into a toeside turn and come to a stop.

Learn To Snowboard Step 10: Linked Turns Got the J-turns down? You are just moments away from linking turns. All you have to do is put your heelside and toeside J-turns together. As soon as you finish a heelside turn, press down on the toes of your front foot to start heading downhill again and continue pressing on your toes right into a toeside turn. Now press down with your heel to start heading downhill and continue pressing with your heel until you complete a heelside turn.

Brandon Arnold,

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