There used to be a lot of animosity between snowboarders and skiers, but nowadays that seems to be less the case -which is the way it should be. The trend does seem to be swinging back to skis though with far more people hiring skis than boards this year – according to the ski shops.
However, snowboarding is, and always will be, a very popular adrenaline pumping extreme sport.
The Scandinavians call snowboarders ‘seals’ which is an apt description when you see them sprawled over the slopes in little colonies, flapping and clapping about on mittens and knees!
However, before you are able to ride like a pro, you have to master the basics. Here are a few suggestions that will make your snowboarding a much more enjoyable experience:
- Always choose a board that’s the right size for you. The board should reach somewhere between your chin and collarbone; if you are a beginner, choose one that’s a bit shorter, as this will make it easier to manoeuvre. For the width, the board should be as wide as your boots standing across the top.
- The equipment you choose depends on whether you are intending to do the freestyle/freeride style or alpine/carving. The alpine board is thicker and heavier to give a smooth ride, while the freestyle board is shorter and easier to manoeuvre.
- The clothes you wear are equally important. They should be fitting but still comfortably loose, waterproofed and properly insulated – bear in mind how much time snowboarders resemble seals please… Trousers should be high in the back to protect you from getting bucket-loads of snow down your back! In direct contrast to ski boots, snowboarding boots should be comfortable and not too tight… a definite bonus!
- Goggles, good gloves, a hat or helmet are essential and if you want extra protection you can get padded trousers to protect your coccyx and bumb.
- It is also a good idea to take a lesson or two. This will save you from many unnecessary crashes, bumps and bruises – and will keep you considerably dryer in the long run!
Another good tip is to board with friends and to practice tricks in company rather than on your own. Even if you have been snowboarding for a while and know a few tricks it’s a good idea to have someone nearby so that you can look after each other.
So get on out there – go extreme.