If you’re wondering how to start snowboarding for the first time or want to go snowboarding for the very first time because you’ve noticed it’s one of the most fun things you can do, you're in the right place.
It doesn’t matter if you want to start snowboarding when you’re 13 or 30, just a kid or about to be middle age.
As long as you are basically healthy and willing to try something new, you can start snowboarding today for the first time in five easy steps.
How to Start Snowboarding Fast
Snowboard Resorts for Beginners
If you’re looking for the best mountain for beginner snowboarding, the answer is, the mountain you’ll actually go to. For some of us, this means hiking the local golf course after a snowstorm. For others, this means world class mountains in our backyard or anything in between.
The best mountain is one you can get to, can afford, and will actually go to. If you can, make a trip to Colorado, Utah, or California, but if that’s not in the cards, don’t fret. Smaller mountains are great for learning how to ride, even if it’s in Pennsylvania, New York, or Maryland.
As a beginner, we’re looking for “groomed” runs, meaning the snowcat has made the ski slope nice and easy to ride down, “green circle” runs, which is the easiest difficulty rated ski run, and maybe even a “bunny slope,” which is a term to describe a run meant for beginners at a ski resort.
Almost every mountain will have a bunny slope, you just have to ask where it is. If you’re looking for a snowboard lesson to get started or wondering, are snowboarding lessons worth it checkout these beginner snowboard lessons at the mountain, or these “snowboard lessons near me.”
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What to Wear Snowboarding
If you go snowboarding without the right gear, you’re going to have a bad time. At a minimum, you need breathable base layers that don’t absorb water (that means no cotton t-shirts or pants) and waterproof-ish outerwear.
Clothing designed specifically for snowboarding is best, but if you don’t own any of that Golf clothing, hiking clothing, and similar activewear are often used in place of snowboarding base layers. (Think wool socks for hiking)
For the outwear you’ll need snow pants, a jacket, gloves or mittens, goggles, a helmet, and if it's cold, a neck warmer.
Anything less, and you risk getting soaked after a few falls which could result in you getting cold at the very least, and much worse if you’re somewhere temperatures reach dangerous levels.
Your first time snowboarding it’s important to be as comfortable as possible so you like it enough to want to go back.
We put together a full beginner snowboard tips video on what to wear to the mountain that will help you figure out.
On this post are the best snowboard YouTube channels!
How to Setup Your Snowboard
Once you have your base layers and outerwear, you need a snowboard, bindings, and boots to start snowboarding.
Snowboard bindings are pieces of metal and plastic that connect your boots to your board. Now, your gear should be specific to your skill level, height and weight, and mountain conditions. You're probably wondering, what size snowboard should I buy? Check out our guides on boots, bindings and boards to learn the specifics.
In general as a beginner, you want to use a shorter, softer snowboard. This will be easier to turn and learn on than a stiffer, longer snowboard.
If you ask your local snowboard ship or rental shop they’ll be able to get you pointed in the right direction.
You can also find snowboard gear on sale online, at garage sales, craigslist, or Facebook marketplace.
If it’s your very first time, I would recommend renting snowboard gear until you decide if you like it or not and want to continue.
After that, it’s nice to have your own snowboard that you’re used to, so you don’t have to start over with new gear every time you go to the mountain.
In order to setup your snowboard you’ll need to decide if you’re regular or goofy, and learn how to attach your bindings to your snowboard.
The short answer is, you’re regular on a snowboard if you prefer to ride with your left foot forward, and goofy if you ride with your right foot forward. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether you’re right or left footed, so if you’re not sure you can do a test.
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How to Get On and Off The Lift Snowboarding
One of the hardest parts about being a beginner snowboarder is learning to get on and off the lift. Before you even take one snowboarding run you have to tackle the scariest part!
Lucky for you, we put together a whole video on how to master the lift before you take your first run, including a couple of practice drills to do at the bottom of the mountain before you set foot on a ski lift.
Check out shred school for step by step drills to snowboard faster than you thought possible. To learn how to get on the lift on a snowboard, you’ll need to learn how to strap in on a snowboard, how to push with one foot, and how to ride the chairlift.
How to Take Your First Run On A Snowboard
Ok, you made it to the top of the lift, you’ve got your gear and you’re ready to start snowboarding for the first time. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. The important part of taking your first run is taking it slow, and not going beyond your limits. It might even help if you learn to fall properly to minimize the risk of getting hurt on a snowboard.
First, learn to stop on your snowboard. You’ll do that by turning your board sideways across the slope and applying pressure to your uphill edge. This means if your front is facing up the mountain, you’ll apply pressure to your toes. If your front is facing down the mountain, you’ll apply pressure to your heels.
Next, learn to turn on your snowboard. Combine the ability to stop and turn, and you’re “shredding!” You should be able to make it the whole way down the mountain with these two skills.
And even if you can only stop and not turn, you can perform what’s called a “falling leaf” to get down the mountain.
You did it! You're getting good at snowboarding. Congratulations now, there’s about 100 more steps to go from beginner to pro in less time than ever.
If you want to shortcut your learning curve, avoid the major mistakes and have more fun snowboarding, check out our beginner to backflip snowboard tutorial video series.
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