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Snowboarding for Beginners: Tips & Tricks

Group of snowboarders on a lesson at Chill Factor<sup>e</sup>

Beginner Snowboarding Tips

Chill Factore is home to the UK’s longest real snow slope - so it’s the perfect place to develop your beginner snowboarding skills. Right through to intermediate and more advanced techniques!
Read on to see our Top Tips for snowboarding basics.

Do you want to learn how to snowboard, but you’re a little daunted by the process? Don’t worry - below we cover what beginner snowboarding tips and tricks you need to be aware of, before jumping on your board for the first time…

Here at Chill Factore (home to the longest real snow slope in the whole of the UK) we offer lessons for beginners led by expert instructors, to guide you through every snowboarding element and help you move comfortably, and with ease, on your board.

You’ll be booking your freestyle lessons and learning jumps and tricks before you know it. Before you get to that level however, you first have to learn the basics.

Snowboarding Tip #1: Are you Goofy or Regular?

The first basic thing to understand as a beginner snowboarder is whether you are Goofy or Regular. And this doesn’t mean your style of humour! This actually refers to which foot is going to be your lead foot. Get a friend to give you a gentle shove from behind and whichever foot you step forward with is your lead foot. If it’s your left foot then you are ‘regular’, if you step forward with your right then you are what’s known as ‘goofy’.

Your snowboard needs to be set up so that the correct leg is your lead leg to make it easier for you to ride.

Snowboarding Tip #2: Fastening The Bindings on your Board

For snowboarding beginners, the term ‘bindings’ is probably quite an alien one. Bindings are the plastic fastenings attached to your snowboard, that you strap your feet into when stepping onto your board. Fastening your bindings can be quite confusing at first, but in reality they are fairly straightforward to use. There are two common types of binding: strap bindings and speed entry bindings.

Strap bindings are the most common binding type and so called because there are two straps that you fasten over your boot to secure yourself to the board. The straps are padded plastic offering excellent cushioning and feature multiple adjustments.

Speed entry bindings look similar but also have a highback part to them which reclines to allow you to slide your boot out easily. It’s purely a convenience thing and means you don’t have to struggle with fastening the bindings whilst wearing thick gloves.

To fasten either to a comfortable position, place your foot in position and then push one end of the binding through the fastener on the other. Keep pushing until they are comfortably and firmly holding your foot to the board. To release, simply press the quick release toggle and slide the binding apart.

To move around on flat surfaces, get on and off lifts and climb up the beginners slope you should keep your rear foot out of the binding and use it to push yourself along – a little like skate-boarding.

Snowboarding Tip #3: How to Control Your Speed

When on the snow for the first time, it is important to be able to control your speed. Mastering your speed means mastering your board - and means you can feel more confident hitting the snow. Getting your posture right is half the battle. Snowboarding for beginners is all about getting the foundations right, and that means maintaining even pressure across both feet and sinking down into the knees.

Applying pressure to the edge of your snowboard will create friction, and this means your board will gradually start to slow. This is a really important skill when out on the snow, as it means you’ll be able to slow down and speed up whenever you need to, meaning your confidence will develop more quickly.

Snowboarding basics for beginners

How to fall on the snow without injuring yourself

Let’s be honest here, if you are learning to snowboard you are going to fall. Quite a bit. So it’s important to learn how to fall well. Try to fall uphill rather than downhill and try to avoid falling on your coccyx - that can really hurt. When you do fall, try to stay as relaxed as you can and avoid putting your hands out to stop yourself as this can damage your wrists.

Dropping slightly to your knees when you feel yourself about the fall means that you will only hit the snow from about one foot in height, meaning that the chances of you hurting yourself are much less.

How to get fit for your board

Snowboarding is a fun and challenging sport, and like any sport it takes physical effort, strength and stamina. The fitter and stronger you are, the easier it will be to go through the lessons and pick up what you are being taught. Because you will be spending a lot of time with your knees slightly bent, you will soon start to build strength in your legs. But if you would prefer to build your strength before you hit the slopes, try working your legs with exercises like squats, lunges and calf raises.

Why you should get on your board every day

Don’t forget, you actually need to get out there on the slopes and keep working at it in order to improve. The more hours you put in the better you will get – it’s as simple as that. Luckily for you, Chill Factore is open 7 days a week with early mornings and late evenings as well, meaning there is always time to practice and keep trying until you get it.

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