Blog, Tips

The most common snowboarding FAQs

6th January 2018

Snowboarding is a lot of fun, but it also takes quite a bit of skill. It is easy to learn though, and with patience and practice, you can be out on the slopes enjoying this winter sport while staying safe. Before you go out and purchase a snowboard and find the nearest snowy hill, there is quite a bit you should consider, especially when it comes to your safety. Here are some of the most common snowboarding FAQs.

Where should I start learning how to snowboard?

Designated ski and snowboard slopes are always best to learn on. These have been deemed safe to use. Take the time to become familiar with the trails! If you can walk them safely, then do so, or make use of a map.

Some of Australia’s best resorts for beginners includes Charlotte Pass, Falls Creek, Perisher Blues and Selwyn Snowfields. These resorts have dedicated slopes just for beginners. Never go out on your own! Even if the slopes have other people on them, you should go with a buddy to keep an eye on you, and vice versa if you’re both wanting to learn.

When is the best time to go snowboarding?

Never just jump out into the first snowfall you find. Some snow can be downright dangerous to snowboard on. Always check the weather forecasts before going out. Fresh snow is best, especially when it is very loose. This is ideal for beginners as the snowboard moves more easily on it and it acts as a cushion for any falls. Never attempt snowboarding on frozen snow. This is extra slippery and can be hazardous.

If you want to go to a resort to learn how to snowboard, then try going midweek. This is the least busy time, giving you enough space. The weekends can be packed, making it difficult when just starting out.

Which snowboard is best?

If you are just starting out in the sport, always go for a beginner board. It will give you everything you need while you are learning. More advanced boards come with features that you don’t need to worry yourself with at this stage as they will just make things more difficult to start with.

Go for a board that has medium to soft flexibility. It makes it easier to manoeuvre. Stiffer boards are great for high speeds, but while at beginning stages, this isn’t anything you will need. The ideal stance is centred, to help with balance, and shape should be true twin shape. Look for a base that is extruded. This helps slow down the board. Speed is not something you want right now! It is also easier to take care of and cheaper. There’s no need for spending too much on your first board to learn on. If you’re ever unsure of what to look for, most manufacturers have a label on the board that says who it is suitable for, from beginners to expert.

Avoid getting a board that is an ability beyond yours, thinking you can just learn how to use it. If you do not have a board that suits your ability, it will make it difficult for you to learn.
How should I dress?

As you are outside in the cold, it is imperative that you dress appropriately. Wear thermal layers, socks, and a jacket that you can move around in. Have a warm hat and scarf to top it off.
Other accessories include helmets (an absolute must no matter what your skill level!), goggles, bindings to connect you to your board, wrist guards and snowboarding boots that protect your feet and ankles.

Should I take snowboarding lessons?

Yes! Nobody will show you the best way to get started with the proper techniques than an expert who has been in your shoes before. Having snowboarding lessons will give you the best start, as they will show you how you should be practising and will help you develop your skills.

What are the basic techniques of snowboarding?

Before you go on any slope you should get familiar with your board and its movement. You can do this by “skating” with the board. Strap your front foot onto the board and leave the other out of the bindings to help you skate along. Once you start moving, you can put your foot back into the binding. Use your arms for balance. Crouch a bit to keep your centre of balance low and put your weight on your front foot for control. Gently shift your weight into the direction you want to go.

What does “goofy” and “regular” mean?

“Goofy” and “regular” are terms used to describe which foot you put to the front. Left is “regular” and right is “goofy”. Whichever you choose is completely up to you, but should be what feels most natural. Think about which foot you put into a pair of trousers first, or which foot you would put forward if you were boxing.

How can I avoid wiping out?

It is inevitable that you will fall when learning! Don’t let them get you down. To attempt to avoid them, always stay in control. Never go as fast as to the point where you feel uncomfortable and out of control. Avoid edges and stay on smooth snow. Keep on beginner slopes.

How can I stay safe?

As mentioned before, if you’re going to go snowboarding, bring a friend. It will be good to keep an eye out for each other. Anyone in front of you has the right of way! Give them plenty of space. If you run into them, it will be your fault.

Make sure the slopes you go on are for beginners as indicated. There should be plenty of signage around to let you know, but if you are unsure, just ask someone. You don’t want to be stuck on an advanced course when you are just learning.

You’re going to fall, and that’s okay! But do not try to catch yourself with your hands. This can give you a bad wrist injury. Let the cushion of the snow and your clothing break your fall and try to distribute your weight all over your body before making an impact.

So, you have your snowboard and appropriate clothing. You found the perfect slope to practice on, and the snow is nice and fresh. How are you going to get there?! Roof racks for your snowboards are the handiest way to get you and your gear out to the slopes. Yakima has all the car accessories you need for your outdoor sports, including snowboarding racks and ski racks. No matter what size car you have, we have the roof racks that will fit and carry multiple snowboards, so you and family or family and friends can get to the slopes. Check out our selection to find what suits your snowboarding or skiing needs.

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