Snowboarding is an exciting winter sport for gliding down snow-covered slopes. As a beginner though, that first snowboarding trip can be daunting. With the right preparation, however, you’ll be shredding powder in no time at all. This comprehensive checklist should cover everything you need to know to make your snowboarding debut safe, fun, and successful.
Gearing Up With the Essentials
Having the proper gear is crucial for enjoying your time on the mountain to the full. The base layers you choose will keep you warm and dry as those temperatures drop. Look for moisture-wicking fabrics to keep sweat off your skin. Go for wool or synthetic base layers but avoid cotton if you can as this stays wet and so will make you cold.
Your outerwear is also important. Look for a waterproof, insulated snowboarding jacket along with snow pants. Make sure the jacket has vents to prevent overheating. Wrist gaiters will keep snow out of your sleeves and choose insulated gloves or mittens. Sturdy snowboarding boots should lace snugly for support; allow wiggle room for your toes though.
Don’t forget eye protection like snow goggles, which shield your eyes from bright sun glare. And always wear a helmet to protect your head in case of falls. Finally, consider bringing hand warmers and an extra face mask for additional warmth.
Renting Quality Gear
The folk at Utah’s Canyon Sports recommend snowboard rental for your first trip as this can help you save money until/if you decide to purchase your own. Check out rental shops at the mountain beforehand and read reviews of their gear quality and customer service. Avoid very cheap rentals, which usually have poor quality, ill-fitting boards and bindings.
Schedule your snowboard and boot rentals early because supply can run low on busy weekends. Ask the rental tech for beginner recommendations and let them know your height, weight, and shoe size so they outfit you properly. Don’t forget about a helmet and goggles. Test out the gear’s fit and comfort before hitting the slopes. High-quality rentals will enhance your early snowboarding experiences.
Taking a Lesson for the Basics
Booking a private or group beginner lesson is highly recommended when starting out. Snowboarding has a steep learning curve, and a one-to-two-hour lesson provides proper instruction on the fundamentals. An experienced instructor will cover everything from correctly securing your feet in the bindings to learning to turn and stop. Lessons build confidence and allow you to safely link turns down beginner terrain by the end of the day.
Sticking to Beginner Terrain
As a new snowboarder, sticking to specifically marked beginner terrain will provide the gentlest slopes to build your skills. These are wider, less steep runs that allow you to get comfortable sliding on your heel and toe edges to control speed and turning. Avoid narrow, icy, bumpy or crowded runs early on which require more experience to navigate safely.
Green circle rating signs indicate beginner terrain, while blue squares are for intermediate riders. Save black diamond and double black diamond runs for after you’ve honed your turning and stopping on easier terrain.
Having Fun and Being Patient
Above all, maintain realistic expectations for your progression and don’t get discouraged. Expect to spend the first day or two just learning how to turn and stop safely before trying anything advanced. You will fall a lot at first, which is all part of the process. The key is getting up, laughing it off, and trying again.
Everyone needs multiple days of practice before they become truly comfortable riding. Stick with it, focus on incremental improvements, and you’ll be carving turns in no time. Snowboarding ultimately offers lifelong fun, so enjoy the journey. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to explore the whole mountain!