Snowboarding for your first time can be a very fun and exciting experience. There are a few things to consider before you hit the slopes to ensure you have the best time possible. In this post I’ll go over how to stay warm and dry, how to budget properly, whether you should rent or buy, which stance you are, and basic safety tips.
Staying Warm/ Dry
Chances are that when you first go snowboarding, you’ll encounter a new environment you aren’t going to be used to. The mountain is going to be cold, wet, icy, and possibly windy. Without wearing proper gear for the conditions, it is going to make for one long day. Check the weather conditions the day that you will be riding to see how much insulation you will need, how much waterproofing you will need, and how much wind proofing you will need. For colder days you will want to layer properly for the temperature for the day. For colder temperatures you will want more layers and for warmer temperatures you will want fewer layers. You will want your outer layers to be waterproof so they won’t hold any moisture making you cold. If it is windy, you will want your outer wear to be a wind proof material to keep you warm against the wind.
For your first time snowboarding, you won’t need the fanciest gear on the slopes. Main brand snowboard gear can get pretty pricey and high end gear can be in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars. When you’re first starting out you’ll just want gear that’ll keep you comfortable and ensure you have a good time. If you snowboard a few times and fall in love with it, then might consider upgrading your gear as you ride more.
Rent, Don’t Buy
Believe it or not but not everyone falls in love with snowboarding their first time. You don’t want to buy a five hundred dollar setup for your first time boarding then at the end of the day decide you don’t ever want to snowboard again. Then you’d be stuck with half a thousand dollars worth of gear for a sport you didn’t enjoy. So for your first time on the slopes, I’d recommend just renting a snowboard with bindings. Renting is a lot less cheaper than buying a board and it’ll still ensure you learn to ride just as well as having your own board.
Regular or Goofy
Regular and goofy are the terms to described whether you ride left foot or right foot forward. The majority of people ride regular but it is still normal to ride goofy. There are a couple ways to figure out which one you are. The first way is to see which foot you would kick a ball with. If you kick with your right foot then you are probably left foot forward. If you kick with your left foot then you are probably right foot forward. The second way you can find out is if you close your eyes and have someone give you a gentle push on your back, whichever foot you step out with to catch yourself is most likely your front foot on your board. One of the last ways you can find out which stance you are is to find a small patch of ice or slick floor and run at it and slide on it. Your front foot will slide out first to keep you balanced.
Safety should always be your first priority when on the slopes. One of the easiest ways to stay safe is to wear a helmet. Snowboarding can be dangerous sometimes and wearing a helmet can save you a lot of trouble if you fall and hit your head. You can usually rent a helmet at your local board rental shop for cheaper than buying a helmet. Check the weather before you hit the slopes. If it is going to be cold that day dress appropriately to keep your self warm enough. Really cold temperatures can become dangerous if not prepared accordingly. Read your local ski resort rules. The rules are to keep you and others safe. Failure to ignore the resort rules can result in injury or getting your pass revoked. Wearing goggles can help keep your eyes from getting irritated. Goggles will keep wind out of your eyes while riding and keep your vision clear. On sunny days wearing goggles with a bit of tint will keep the sun reflecting off the snow out of your eyes. On very sunny days not wearing eye protection can result in sunburn eyes believe it or not. Lastly you might consider doing a couple stretched before boarding. Riding with loose muscles will make falling hurt a lot less the next day.