Great Expectations! Your first time snowboarding
A lot of the nervousness first time riders have comes from not knowing what to expect. A lot of them have been told, “you’re gonna fall a lot” or “I tried it and I couldn’t sit down for a week” by friends and coworkers. After hearing a chorus of positive commentary like that, its no wonder people show up so anxious for their first lesson!
So here it is…a step by step guide to what is actually going to happen in your lesson. What you will see is that its all about progression. Progression is a word that you will see and hear over and over in regards to snowboarding. In this case, it simply means doing things in logical steps.
Part I Indoors
This is where you’ll meet your instructor. I like to take the time indoors to get to know people while going over their equipment and making sure they are set up right before we go outside. Taking a few minutes inside to get set up right and learn about an athletic stance goes a long way to making things more comfortable outside.
Part II Outside…On FLAT GROUND! No we’re not going to take you to the top of the hill and watch you fall down. We start on flat ground with one foot strapped in, and one foot free. This lets you get familiar with how a snowboard feels underfoot, and you begin to learn to skate which is how snowboarders get around on flat areas. Once you’re comfortable with that, we practice a few glides down a very slight hill, with one foot strapped in, and one free to step off. This is about when I start seeing smiles…people realize that this is nowhere near as stressful as they expected and oh my god this is kind of fun.
Part III Up and Away!
Once you’re comfortable doing straight glides with one foot strapped in, its time to go to the hill. We go to a beginner friendly area and ride up on a “magic carpet” of sorts. Its like the people mover at the airport..no chairlift necessary day one! The first thing we work on is skidding and stopping on each edge. Having confidence that you can stop when you want is one of the most important things I would like you to walk away with. Once you feel confident with that, traversing across the hill is cake!
The last challenge is learning to link turns from edge to edge, so that your board makes a track like an “S” going down the hill. Some people get this their first day, many don’t. Either way, if you take the time to master the progressive steps that lead up to it, learning to turn is no problem!
You can’t run before you crawl, and snowboarding is no different. As instructors, we understand that by providing you with a progressive first time lesson, you are going to have more fun, more confidence, and more success.