Snowboard Club UK (SCUK) FAQs (frequently-asked questions)
-> How do I start
How do I start?
Compared to surfing and even skateboarding, snowboarding is pretty easy to pick up. The movements of snowboarding are pretty natural and stay the same, whatever your level. Back to top
But you must take the time to learn the basics. Every rider (even Terje) started his snowboarding career with bruised knees. Sure, those first two days can get frustrating but they’re your path to future shredding greatness and you can aid your progress by using your head. Lessons with a qualified instructor are the quickest route to success, as is choosing equipment such as soft boots and bindings and a board designed for beginners. Dress in dry, waterproof clothing and don’t be afraid to wear pads on your knees, elbows and butt. Take a few days at your local Dryslope or indoor Snowdome before you head out to the real thing…here’s how you can take your first steps to snowboarding glory…
It is important that you take your time to do the following at home before you hit your first slope:
Get in Shape. It is very likely that you will take a lot of falls in your first days of snowboarding, and perhaps even after. So do warm-up before hitting the slopes. You'll enjoy riding the slopes more if you're physically fit.
Acquire proper Snowboarding Equipment. Wearing the right gear would enable you to perform various Snowboarding Styles and Techniques better for a longer period of time. However, be sure to have your Snowboard Bindings adjusted correctly at a local snowboard shop. Also, wrist guards and knee pads is a must for first timers since they will help cushion snowboard falls.
Dress in Layers. Layering allows you to accommodate your body's constantly changing temperature. The keys to a successful layering system, in order of importance, are warmth, weight, moisture management and packing the right number of layers. For most winter sports, the three-layer system is applicable.
Prepare for weather shifts. Climate in the slopes can be quite unpredictable. Thus, for any Winter Activities, it is extremely necessary to wear Gloves or Mittens to protect your hands, and wear a Hat or Cap (you can lose up to 40-50% of your body heat through your head).
Protect yourself from the sun. The sun is very strong at high altitudes and against a snow-white background since it reflects off the snow. So equip yourself with sunglasses, Goggles and sunscreen.
Re-check your gear considerably in every aspect. Nothing ruins a great day of fun as much as an accident that didn't have to happen had you only re-checked your gear before hitting the slopes.
Warming up & Stretching
It is very likely that you will take a lot of falls in your first days of snowboarding. To minimize your susceptibility to injuring yourself on the slopes, it is always a good idea to Warm-Up and Stretch before snowboarding. Proper warm-up will not only prevent injuries, it will also get your circulation going, prepare and loosen your stiff muscles, and lubricate your joints.
It is a good idea to do a full body warm-up. However, it is important that you concentrate on the muscles that you will be using most: your lower and upper Legs, buttocks, Back, and Neck. Good exercises are Running in small circles, Walking up and down the slope, sidestepping, and jumping. Your warm up need not take too much of your time - just enough to get you energized.
Regular or Goofy?
Don’t be offended, it’s the board-sports equivalent of ‘left or right-handed’. As every board-rider (snowboarder, surfer or skater) stands sideways on their board, these terms differentiate between left-foot forward (regular) and right-foot forward (goofy). Everybody has a natural preference, so find yours by imagining which way you would prefer to stand on a skateboard. Or stand with your feet together and get a friend to push you over – whichever foot comes out first is your front foot!Back to top
Read more about the history here
Goofy riders can pledge their allegiance to the Judean Riders Front
Regular riders can pledge their allegiance to the Riders' Front of Judea
How-to turn and stop
Turning and stopping are the basics of snowboarding. Luckily, they’re simple to master. The next obvious step is to link your turns until your journey from the top of the mountain to the bottom is one, smooth flowing ride. From linking your turns, every part of advanced snowboarding stems. This is how to do it. Back to top
Once the board is pointing downhill it will start to slide forward. Keep your knees bent and a relaxed upper body.
Lean on your toe edge, the board will turn in an arc and literally ‘carve’ through the turn. Keep balance with your arms and upper body.
You are now fully committed to the turn. Keep relaxed and keep looking forwards to oncoming terrain rather than at your board. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what effect you have on the board.
Now you’re ready to turn back the other way. Push against the edge you’re on and using your upper body, start to initiate your turn.
Stand back upright from the toeside turn and begin to swap your edges from toe to heel. This is the trickiest part of turning and can only be overcome by giving the procedure 100% commitment.
You should now be transferred onto your heel edge. By lifting and lowering your toes you are now in a position to carve through the heelside turn as gentle or as hard as you like. As above, experiment with your feet and legs to see how your board responds.
You are now completely ‘on an edge’. It’s a safe place to be so enjoy it and relax.
If you keep turning this way, eventually you’re going to start going back uphill. So now it’s time to think about turning back to your toeside edge. Using the same commitment as before, change from your heel edge to your toe edge.
"msingleton" asks: is there a fool proof way to get on the button lifts, i am useless?
Not really but getting on with the back foot unclipped helps, also try to stay calm and get yourself into position as soon as you can so that when the button comes round you are not rushing. Best thing is obviously trial and error, but ask the locals at the slope to give you pointers as to what you are doing wrong.Back to top
Can you change from goofy foot to regular foot because I used to be goofy but now I feel better as regular.
Some people will start riding one way as that's what felt better when they first started. There's no easy method to find which one you are. If you find you're better another way then try that. Simply change your bindings around.Back to top
I am looking at a snowboarding holiday in Davos. I have never been snowboarding. I play ice hockey and use to do a lot of skateboarding. Would it be better to hire gear when i get there or buy before i go.
you will be able to hire kit in resort no problem and if you havent been before then i suggest you book lessons too.Back to top