Category Archives: Snowboarding

Tips on Freestyle Snowboarding

Snowboarding is quite a popular sport done mainly for recreation though it is also done professionally. It is estimated that about 3.4 million people in the United States snowboard. There are three basic snowboarding styles:

Free ride snowboarding

This is the best style to start with if you are a beginner in snowboarding. Basically, it involves standing on the board and riding down the mountain or hill. The snow boards used here are longer and narrower.

Alpine snowboarding

This is snowboarding done with the focus being making clean, curved turns.

Freestyle snowboarding

It is the most popular snowboard style where the snowboarder performs jumps, spins and other acrobatics. It is mainly used in competitive snowboarding.

How to dress for Snowboarding

It is vital to dress appropriately before you begin snowboarding as this helps to avoid injuries. Warm clothing is essential to protect yourself from the cold weather. Ensure you have a snow coat, snow pants and thermal layers. The clothing should be insulated, lightweight and waterproof. The snow coat should be long enough to cover your midriff and the snow pants should fit loosely so that you are able to move your legs easily. Snow gloves are also needed. Some snowboarders may prefer mittens instead of gloves but whatever your preference, it should have insulated liners to absorb moisture and perspiration and should be waterproof. Wrist guards may be worn especially by the beginners under the gloves so that in case they fall, they are protected from injury. Snow goggles are essential to protect the eyes from direct sunlight, ultraviolet radiation, wind and particulate matter. It is also mandatory to wear a crash helmet whether you are a beginner or an expert in order to protect your head. Most snowboarding helmets have inbuilt insulation to keep your head warm. Ensure that your helmet fits properly.

Freestyle Snowboarding equipment

The actual snowboarding equipment consists of the boots, the bindings and the snowboard. There are specially designed snowboarding boots with either step in or strap in bindings used to attach the boots to the snowboards. One should ensure to wear the boots properly. Boots can either be hard or soft.

For this style, soft boots are preferred as they provide the rider with comfort, great support and more ankle flexibility. The freestyle snowboards are shorter, wider, flexible and more stable allowing the snowboarder to jump, spin or try any other trick he wishes.

How to approach and practice freestyle snowboarding

Before you can snowboard using the free style, it is important that you train yourself mentally and physically. Before you can try out a trick, visualize it. When training, train with a specific trick in mind. Physical training will ensure that you are in a good shape that that your muscles are flexible. You could go to the gym, run walk, bike, do squats, push ups or stretch your entire body to build your body’s strength and make it more flexible in order to execute your tricks.

The Best Snowboard Tips For Beginners

First you have to find the perfect stance on your snowboard that you feel comfortable with. Most professional snowboarders would recommend having your bindings set as wide as possible at a 15 degree angle. Having a wider stance gives you more control of the board and allows you to execute your tricks much easier.

Taking baby steps is the most important part of snowboarding because if you are trying anything new that is way out of your league you are risking some serious injuries. Always start off on the bunny slopes and move your way up to the next biggest thing once you feel completely comfortable with what you are doing.

Learning to carve and stop on your snowboard isn’t rocket science but it does take time to perfect. In order to get the perfect carve down you have to practice going back and forth from your heels to your toes and vice versa until you get the feel for it.

Always remember to be aware of your surroundings and use common sense at all times on the mountain. It is common sense that will make you or break you as a snowboarder. The biggest problem when people try to snowboard is that they over think the situation and make it harder than it really is.

The most basic things you learn in snowboarding are the most important things because everything you do in snowboarding is completely based off of the basics. The most basic and important move that you will need to learn on your snowboard is learning to pop up on your board or “ollie” as most riders would call it. Learning this basic move will allow you jump onto jibs and jump off of jumps with ease. In order to learn this I would recommend finding a nice area of grass and strapping into your snowboard. Once you can get a foot off of the ground a couple of times you will be ready to try it on the snow.

When you are learning how to jump onto rails and boxes you need to remember that balance is key. If you let your snowboard lean too much toward your heels or your toes you will slip off and fall. The key to hitting jibs is keeping the bottom of your board flat on whatever surface you are on and balancing it out. It takes a lot of practice to get it down so don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t get it right away.

Beginner’s Guide To Snowboarding Tricks In Summer Snowboarding Camps

Snowboarder sitting with mountain chain in the background

Snowboarding tricks are always fun to watch, isn’t it? But they are not so easy to pull off as they seem like. You may feel the urge to hit the snow and experience the adrenaline rush all by yourself. But if you have decided to try some tricks yourself, remember to pick the tricks that are fit for beginners. Join a snowboard camp and learn the tricks, practice those till you have mastered them and then only, you are ready to move to the more complicated ones.

It is very important that you must learn the basic tricks first and then you must move to complicated ones. Most of the beginners’ courses offered by a snowboard camp may involve the following basic tricks and techniques.

The aerial tricks

Among the aerial tricks, here are some of the common ones that you must learn:

Air to Fakie: This trick needs you to turn 180 degrees in the air and again riding back after the turn. This kind of snowboarding trick is actually helpful in preparing you to move in the air. Air to Fakie also gives you the basic knowledge about how it feels in air tricks.

Ollies: One of the most common jumps, an ollie is the one in which a jump is done with the help of the tail of the snowboard which acts as a spring. This is one of the basic steps to many of the aerial tricks. Moreover, this trick also helps you when you need to jump over little barriers.

The surface tricks

Butters: This is a very important and exciting ground trick that involves making a set of 360-degree turns. You can do it on slopes where you can build up the moves and speed. Plus, you can also include many other snowboarding skills in this trick.

Wheelies: When you do a wheelie, you ride your snowboard with one tip of the snowboard in the air. In this trick, you need to maintain your balance when you ride with just one end of your board. When you learn to develop the technique and power to lift the tail or nose of your snowboard, you will be preparing yourself for more complicated tricks.

Halfpipe Tricks: Halfpipe is nothing but a U-shaped bowl that allow riders to move from one wall to the other by making snowboarding tricks and jumps on each of the switch. Originally, halfpipe was first developed in skateboarding, but has now shifted completely to snowboarding.

Backside 720: Backside 720 is one of the most developed tricks that you can do on a halfpipe. You can spin two times in the air when you perform this trick. But before you do this trick, you must make sure that you have brushed up your aerial movements properly and then try this trick.

Nose and Tail Rolls: You can do a tail and nose roll by spinning either of the nose or tail of the board some 180 degrees, thereby changing your posture. This is somewhat similar to wheelie but here, you need to include a 180 degree turn to it. So, it is very important that you must know a wheelie first before you do this trick.

Alley Oops: You have to turn some 180 degrees going uphill when you do this trick.

When you do snowboarding tricks, make sure you are keeping the safety factor in mind. You can get all the tips and required guidance from an experienced instructor in a summer snowboarding camp. So, make the most of your winter fun and have an exciting experience.

A Beginner’s Guide to Snowboarding

Morzine, France – March 18, 2015: Snowboarders sitting on the snow whilst having a lesson with the chairlift and other skiers passing by in the center of Morzine in the Portes du Soleil ski area in the French Alps.

Nothing is more inviting than the first drop of snow in the winter. It signals a start of the best holidays which, despite of the cold could warm the spirit of anyone who enjoys the winter activities. One of the most famous winter activities is snowboarding. Every year, winter resorts all over the world, attract hundreds of thousands of snowboarding enthusiast of all ages, eager to get their adrenaline pumping and their snowboards jetting down that slope.

However, as fun and exciting as it is, snowboarding can be challenging and at times dangerous for beginners. So before you put on that snowboard and jump of that snow slope, here are basic things to know about snowboarding.

First, one has to have the right gear for snowboarding. Some nice warm clothes are a prerequisite unless you would like to have the cold beat you from enjoying. Avoid cotton clothes. Choose synthetic, moisture resistant clothing. Gloves or mittens as well as a sturdy headgear and goggles or shades are also important for protection.

Next is choosing your snowboard. In buying your own snowboard, think of how you would like to ride it. A freestyle snowboard would be different from the downhill snowboard. Read the catalogues and ask questions from experts and those who have been snowboarding for some time. If there are demos you can watch then it will be better since you can see the boards in action. One may also try it themselves to get a personal feel of the board. Investing in a good snowboard can be costly so one wants to do it right the first time.

Another important piece of equipment is a good pair of snowboard boots. When buying your snowboard boots make sure that they fit well with the snowboard socks on. They should be very comfortable. Feet should be well secured inside the boots otherwise it will affect the snowboarder’s performance.

It is also important to get good snowboard bindings since it is that piece of equipment that connects the snowboarder to his board. Nowadays, there are various styles and types of snowboard bindings. However, like the boots, it has to be comfortable and must secure the rider’s feet in place so it is important to try the bindings on before buying them.

Once the equipment has been taken care of, it is imperative for someone new to snowboarding to take lessons from a professional instructor. As mentioned earlier, snowboarding can be fun but it has its share of danger so it is better to learn the basics of the sports first. In almost every ski resort, there are snowboarding classes facilitated by instructors who are into the sport for quite some time now. This will be beneficial can help avoid accidents. Always go in pairs. Slopes are divided based on the skill levels of skiers so it will be best to try out your skills on the easier slopes first.

So there you have it, some guidelines and things to do to make sure that you will enjoy your first day of snowboarding. Just always remember to put safety first at all times. That way you will get to snowboard the next day and improve your skills some more.

Finding Your Snowboarding Stance

How to properly find your stance

Opening day, cold temps, and a parking lot. You’re setting up your new board in the parking lot and realize that if you keep doing this you won’t feel your hands after awhile…

Don’t be that guy. Be ready when opening day comes. Set up your in a heated shelter. All you need is a screwdriver and a little bit of knowledge. A tape measure can also help too.

TIP 1: Angles

This is the direction your toes will point when strapped into the board. First, lay your board on an even surface, then stand on top of it. See what feels comfortable, having your angles the opposite or the same. The basic stance angles are between -18 to 18 degrees. If you’re planning on riding switch, make sure you have a little “Duck” to your stance. This means that your back foot is the opposite angle of your front foot. So say your front foot is a 15, your back foot would then be a negative 15. If your goal is to do some harsh carves, put both bindings at a positive angle. Try a variety of stances to see what you’re most comfortable with.

TIP 2: Width

The width of the stance is the distance between the center of each binding. To measure what your stance width would be, measure from heel to knee cap. This is what the normal distance is for most people. Make sure of one thing, that it is not uncomfortably wide or narrow. The typical stance width is a tad wider than your shoulders. The most important thing is to not feel awkward while strapped into your board.

TIP 3: Throwing it all together

For this step you are going to need a #3 Phillips head screwdriver. First, place the bindings on the board where you found what was most comfortable. Now you are going to want to place the center plates or as we like to call them cookies in the bindings. Make sure that the holes in the cookies match up with the screw holes on the board. Place the bolts in the correct spot, use the #3 Philips head screwdriver to tighten the bolts. An easy way to test the stance is to make the bolts loose and stand in the bindings. This way it will be easier to re-adjust them if it doesn’t feel right.

Once you have the bindings on and tightened, it’s time to strap in. When you strap in, make sure the binding strap is centered around the boot. If it is not centered you might have uneven pressure points, which suck by the way. If the straps aren’t centered, there should be something on the strap that lets you tighten and or loosen it.

TIP 4: Finishing touches

Before hitting the slopes you are going to want to dull or sharpen your edges. If you hit rails you are going to want to dull the edges just enough so it reduces the chances of you catching an edge. To dull or sharpen them you are going to need a file. Watch this short video on how to dull your edges. After you finished the technical part, it’s time to make your board look good. As everyone calls it, a “sticker job”, is an inexpensive way to make your board look slick. Die cut stickers or regular stickers can turn any board into a masterpiece. You just have to find stickers that you like!

Why Is Snowboarding So Addictive?

The sport of snowboarding has seen massive growth over the past few decades. Twenty years ago there were few snowboards on the slopes. It was seen as a rebel fringe sport.

Snowboarders were seen by skiers as little more than an annoyance who routinely got in their way on the mountain. Now, there are just as many snowboarders if not more on the mountain as there are skiers. Why has snowboarding become so popular? Why is snowboarding so addictive?

Speed, speed and more speed. If speed is what you want then skiing is for you. In a downhill race skis will beat snowboards every time, but is speed simple how fast you can get to the bottom or is it something more. Snowboards are plenty fast and the feel that a snowboarder gets through their board and body often leads to the perception that they are going faster than they actually are. Snowboarding is more exciting because of the level of control that a boarder feels over their board. Speed plus fine control leads to a more exciting run than simply speed.

The versatility of a board is another factor in its growing popularity. A board can go anywhere as long as it’s downhill.

Its broader base means that boarding through powder that would bog most skiers down is no problem. It is also easier to carve and cut with a board than it is with skis, meaning that moving through an obstacle strewn path is easier on a board. Boarders can venture where skiers do not dare to go.

The tricks are what suck most snowboarders in. There are a lot more ways to look cool on a mountain with a snowboard than with a pair of skis. Never underestimate the appeal of looking cool. Every snowboard can be used in a bowl or half pipe, where specialty skis are often required to pull off the more impressive tricks.

The final addictive factor of snowboarding is one that is shared with skiing. The silence. That crisp silence that is only found when you are barreling down a mountain. That feeling of speed and isolation that is accompanied only by the hiss of your board on snow.

It’s an amazing feeling that is hard to duplicate. It is certainly addictive. Why else would people constantly drag their bruised and sore bodies up a mountain time after time? They love the rush. They are addicted.

Top Snowboarding Safety Tips

Snowboarding safety factors are of vital importance. As with most winter sports, snowboarding includes a variety of risks plus a high injury rate thus taking proper precautions is surely an absolute must. Snowboarding features a higher per person injury rate than skiing. With around five people being injured every day for every thousand people hitting the slopes. Curiously, most injuries are with beginners despite the professional level snowboarders tackling several truly dangerous pistes and runs. The most common injuries are to the wrists and arms with fractures being the most common injuries. With this in mind we decided to give a list of good safety tips for beginners and experts likewise.

First and most importantly, buy some proper snowboarding coaching. Whilst you can have a little proceed without instruction it is not advised even if you are experienced in other skiing. Poor or lack of coaching is responsible for over 15% of all snow boarding injuries. Even one day of tuition will dramatically reduce your chances of injury so it’s really worth investing in. With a single day’s educational costs you can learn to ride and also fall correctly which will tremendously help you when you ride by yourself.

You need to make sure you training properly and don’t overestimate your skills. It is better to master some simple and easy, intermediate slopes rather than switching between slopes constantly. This can give you time to practice handle and the constant repetition will build up your skills quickly. Don’t make the blunder of overestimating your skills and trying to tackle runs beyond your level. This will result in you rapidly finding yourself out of your degree and attempting manoeuvres beyond your ability is a quick way to harm yourself.

Get in good physical shape and warm up thoroughly just before tackling the slopes. Being in good physical condition will make you much less likely to come to harm around the slopes. Cardio and muscle development exercises will help you be in greater condition and less likely to harm yourself should you fall.

Wearing the correct protective clothing is an absolute must. When you might not be the coolest person hitting the slopes if you fall you really won’t regret it. Wearing hand supports, knee pads and a helmet will protect you from basically the most severe fall so that you should buy or rent tis equipment before travelling.

Pay attention to the run type, the stipulations and stay on piste. Off pisting is extremely dangerous even if you are an expert so is not recommended. Sticking to the conditions and also run types that suit your level is an absolute must. Whatever you do don’t hit the slopes if you are ill or even if you have been drinking.

Keep your products in good working order and make sure you have equipment that’s suitable to your level of skill. Having a good board that is shined up correctly and is suited for the speed and manoeuvring you are capable of is totally vital to keep you risk-free. Most winter sports stores should be able to fit you properly depending on your skills as well as ensuring your own boots match your board exactly.

Finally although these tips will help you say safe accidents can and will happen. For this reason we would firmly advice some kind of winter sports insurance so that should you have an accident you’ll receive the quickest and best medical treatment possible.

Why Not Try Snowboarding For The First Time?

With cold mountain air stinging my nostrils and a snowboard strapped to my feet I swung towards the top of the ski run on a lift. The scenery was gorgeous, and the view was only getting more expansive as my friend Nick and I neared the end of the lift ride.

The whole time I wondered to myself “How did I get myself into this?”

I’ve never been afraid of heights, not really, but I do get a bit nervous when I’m close to steep drops. What if there is a loose rock? Or a huge gust of wind?

Thoughts like this just stay in the back of my head when I’m close to high edges. Silly or not I’ve never been able to get rid of that unease, and so it was with a sort of disbelief that I found myself getting ready to slide down a mountain.

When we reached the crest the slopes below us played out for what seemed like miles. Figures in bright ski suits sliced their way through fresh powder, carving across the slopes gracefully. For a brief moment I felt like my heart was going to stop.

This was exactly the sort of place that I hate to stand. “Let’s go!” Nick said before shuffling his weight forward on his board until it teetered over the edge. With a deep breath and quickly muttered prayer I followed. I arrived at the bottom of the slope fully intact and giggling excitedly and for the rest of the day I was in wonderland.

If you’ve never been skiing or snowboarding before then it is difficult to describe the exhilaration of it. The wind rushing by you as you speed downhill or the crunch of snow beneath the board are visceral attractions that can’t be quantified easily with simple words.

After my first run down a mountain, I knew that I was addicted.

I don’t think I will ever be a great snowboarder; in fact I’m pretty confident of it. The great thing for me about snowboarding is that I don’t need to be. Even as an uncoordinated relative amateur I can still enjoy a great day on the slopes, or even take on some jumps. Snowboarding is an amazingly fun and thrilling activity that has been on the rise since the 1970’s. It has grown so popular that it has been accepted as an Olympic event. The control, speed and balance of a single board are a unique thrill completely separate from skiing, and I couldn’t be happier that I got started. So, why haven’t you gone snowboarding?