Niamh Gale

Niamh Gale

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How to prepare for your first snowboarding lesson.

So you’ve decided you want to learn to snowboard? Here are our steps to get ready

Booking a lesson is the best way to kickstart your involvement in this incredible sport. You may as well clear your diary of all other holidays from now on!

1. Before you arrive in resort
  • Fit & strong
  • The right gear
2. Night before your lesson
  • Prep like a pro
3. On the day
  • Fuel up
  • Stretch
  • Positive attitude

Snowboarding is one of the most dynamic, progressive and influential sports out there. It encourages passion, adrenaline, happiness and adventure. It is a release from the modern day world, is quite literally a breath of fresh air and will rapidly become your new obsession. Whether you’ve decided to do this for yourself or your kids, you’re young or old, it’s your first mountain adventure or your 50th, you want to get off on the correct foot. Right? Here’s an insight in to a few steps that will make sure this is a decision you will never look back on.

1. Before you arrive in resort

Fit & strong

Your first lesson is going to be pretty physical; full of getting up, down, walking up hills, bending, flexing and all sorts. A basic level of fitness before you start is definitely going to work in your favour! If you have time before your trip, try to build in some light leg work like squats and lunges to your regular exercise routine. If you’re already into fitness there are tons of snowboard specific work outs online that you can do at home that will really get you ready!

The right gear

A common error is splashing out on a good jacket and neglecting pants and gloves. You’re going to be spending a lot of time getting up of the ground, falling on to the ground and generally just rolling around in the snow. For this good waterproof pants and gloves are essential! On top of this a few safety bits such as: goggles, helmet, bum protection pants and wrist guards can really enhance your learning experience.

2. The night before your lesson

Prep like a pro

Let’s not forget one of the most important steps in prepping like a pro – your snowboard set up. At this stage rental is key; you’ll progress so fast and your board and boots will change with you so it’s best not to buy just yet. Your snowboard school will be able to recommend a good rental shop. While you’re testing out your regular and goofy stances (left or right foot forwards as you ride), your board should be set up in duck stance. For boots, a tight and snug but comfortable fit is best, too loose and you risk losing control of your board.

The night before your lesson

The night before your lesson spare 5 minutes and check the weather forecast. You’ve probably heard about how cold the alps can be… while this is true you don’t want to be wrapped up so much you can’t move. Layering is the best way to ensure warmth and range of movement. Everyone’s heating systems will vary but as a general rule a non-cotton base layer and a mid layer as well as your jacket will do the job. We say non-cotton because if you sweat cotton gets wet and then freezes – making you cold! A pair of thermal leggings and a good knee length pair of socks is all you’ll need under your snowboard pants.

3. On the day

Fuel right & hydrate

On the day of your lesson, some thought out preparation will allow you to get the most from the session. Make sure you stay hydrated (you can bring a water bottle along to the lesson). Get some fuel, a good breakfast will provide the energy you’re really going to need. Stretch! Now this doesn’t have to be extreme but when learning to snowboard you’re going to fire up muscle groups you don’t regularly use – and probably don’t even know exist – so the more limber those hamstrings, quads etc are, the better!

Positive attitude

Finally, the last step in prepping for your first lesson is going with a positive, can-do attitude. Learning to snowboard takes time, patience, determination and stamina but the rewards you’ll gain are priceless. You’re going to be in a lesson with someone who’s entire job is to help you progress by passing on their knowledge, tips and tricks. Take advantage of this, hang in there and enjoy the ride!

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