Learning to snowboard

It’s not all about power, speed and agility when you’re learning to snowboard as this short video shows…

If you want to improve quickly Derek Begley from Red Ridge Niseko has these five top tips for when you’re learning to snowboard.

1. Take a lesson. Snowboarding, while awesome, is counter-intuitive for a lot of people when they first start and a day of flailing on the snow leads to bruised egos and tail bones. Many hills have beginner lessons geared to getting you on the snow safely and inexpensively – take advantage.

2. Get the stance down. The basic athletic stance (think soccer goalie or riding a moto-cross bike) knees flexed, arms relaxed and out to the sides, back tall and head level will go a long way in giving you the best chance in finding your balance early on.

3. Where you look is where you go. In the beginning, staying centred and balanced over the board is crucial to riding out those first tentative turns. As you slide down the hill look down the fall line, as you do a heel side you want to look up squarely. If you look at the tree on the side of the run or that woman in the bright pink ski suit, guess where your heading?

4. Relax. This gets harder after a few close encounters of the hard ice kind, but keeping flexible in the knees, hips and shoulders will allow for a quicker progression and less mega slams. Thinking of a happy little song helps take the nervous brain out of the equation.

5. Take a lesson. Seriously and not from someone’s second cousin who did it twice before and reckons its easy as. Snowboarding has a steep learning curve and after a few hours with a qualified instructor, you”ll be shredding like a pro, but trying to figure it out alone is like advanced trigonometry in a foreign language with full body slams. Trust me its money well spent.

Derek cruising on the Holiday course, March 2011

Derek cruising on the Holiday course, March 2011

If you want to book a snowboard lesson for you or your kids this winter send Derek and the Red Ridge team a message on their Facebook page to get a great deal on lessons for riders of all levels.

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