February 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
I enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities including running, wakeboarding, and scuba diving. In the winter months one of my favorite activities is snowboarding. While it takes some practice getting used to, once you are comfortable with your equipment, snowboarding offers some of the most enjoyable moments you will ever experience in the snow.
In order to snowboard you need a board with the correct foot orientation. Just as most people are right- or left-handed, they are right- or left-footed as well. To determine which foot is more natural for you, imagine sliding along some ice. The foot you would put naturally put forward is the foot you should strap into the forward position on the snowboard.
Falling is an occupational hazard of snowboarding, even for the professionals. As a beginner you should get used to taking falls with some frequency. If at all possible, try to fall uphill, minimizing impact. If you can’t avoid a downhill fall, roll with it rather than tensing your arms and legs and trying to stop the fall. The most common injury among beginning snowboarders is actually not a broken leg or arm, but a broken wrist. To avoid this, keep your hands in fists when snowboarding. When you fall try punching the snow rather than letting your hands hit open faced, and allow your rear-end to take the major impact.
An appealing aspect of snowboarding is that you don’t need to be on a mountain to practice the basics. Through spending time indoors practicing the basic positions before taking to the slopes, you will save significant time and money, making effective use of your hours in the snow. When practicing, work on achieving a stance that is relaxed and natural, allowing you to balance while looking ahead. Try out movements such as steering, heel-side edging, toe-side edging, and toward the front and back of the snowboard while maintaining balance. I highly recommend snowboarding as a great way to spend a day or a weekend with friends. While much about snowboarding may seem unnatural at first, have patience and open yourself to new possibilities and you will be racing down slopes in no time.