Tips for Beginner Snowboarders

Snowboarding is an incredibly alluring and exciting sport to engage in, and it is possible to snowboard at practically any age. It is no wonder why humans from all kinds of different ethnicities, ages, and backgrounds are now interested in skiing. But how does someone learn how to snowboard, and where should they start? What techniques does a beginner need to know? And how in the world do I buy a snowboard? If you’ve been asking yourself these questions because you’re interested in skiing, this article is for you. In this beginner guide, I will educate you how to buy a snowboard, and what you should look for while shopping for one. Also, you will learn what every beginning snowboarder needs to learn, how to perform a jump, and five of the most common techniques so you can learn tricks. Hopefully, this guide will get you started in the right direction! 

How To Buy A Snowboard For Beginners

resting beginner snowboarder

In order to start learning how to snowboard, you need to buy a snowboard! So it’s time to grab your wallet and head down to the nearest winter sports store. Inside, you’ll find all kinds of different snowboards with different designs to choose from. But what features should you be looking for in your first snowboard?

How To Know What Kind Of Snowboard To Buy For beginners

Size

The size, which means the width and height of the snowboard, depends on your skill level and how tall you are. As a basic rule, the length of a snowboard should come up to about the middle of your nose and your chin. On the back of every snowboard, there is a manufacturer’s guide that shows the size and weight of the people who can use the board. You’ll know you have the correct board size for your body because turning the tail is easy, and it remains stable when you pick up speed.

Snowboarders who have large feet, usually bigger than size 10, need to buy a wider board. Your toes and heel shouldn’t dangle off the edges of the board when standing on it. It is very dangerous, and your sense of balance will be off. 

Flex – For beginners, the best type of board is a soft to medium board. When searching through snowboards, each one will have a flexibility rating. The lower snowboard is on the flexibility rating, the better it is for high-speed snowboarding and unstable terrain. The more flexible the snowboard is, the better it is for practicing tricks.

Camber or rocker?

Snowboards that have a camber design have an arch in the middle of the board and a flat nose and tail, while snowboards with a rocker design have curved noses and tails, but the middle of the board sits flat on top of the snow. If you are snowboarding in fresh powdery snow, then use a snowboard with a rocker design, but for hard snow, you’ll need a camber snowboard.

Don’t forget, you can always request help from one of the workers in the store. People who work in winter sports stores often participate in many different types of winter sports themselves, and they will be happy to help you and answer any questions that you have.

If you have spent hours at the winter sports store and you’re still unsure of which one to buy, you can always rent a snowboard and test it out on the slopes. This will help you can get a feel for what type of board works best for you right now as a beginner, and then you can come back to the store and purchase your first snowboard.

The Parts Of A Snowboard

Understanding the different parts of a snowboard and the names of each feature will make it easy for you to learn from videos, tutorials, and instructors. Snowboards, in general, have very little differences between them, so once you learn the names of some of the parts, you’ll be able to talk about any snowboard. 

The nose and tail are names for the different ends of a snowboard. The right foot is on the nose of the snowboard and your left foot on the tail end.

When you make your own snowboard, you may hear people call the snowboard a base. This is a name for the snowboard by itself, without any bindings. The top of the base is called the deck. The deck is where the boot bindings are placed.

Every time you snowboard, you connect both of your boots on to a mechanical device. This device is called a binding. Bindings are what keeps you attached to the snowboard.

The middle of the board is called the waist.

Learn How To Snowboard For Beginners

beginner snowboarder

Now that you have your first snowboard, what are some of the first things you need to know in order to start practicing? Although I’m sure you would like to start catching some serious air and performing death-defying tricks, you’re a long way from doing that. 

As with any new hobby or skill, you must learn the fundamentals first before moving on to the fun activities and techniques. As a beginner, here are the top three things you need to learn during your first day of snowboarding.

The Proper Stance

The first lesson you must understand is how to stand in a proper snowboarding position. Without learning how to stand, your balance will be off, and you won’t be able to perform techniques and tricks the correct way. Correct posture also controls your speed, and an incorrect position could cause you to speed up or slow down when you didn’t want to.

There are two ways of standing on a snowboard, The regular way and the goofy way. If a snowboarder uses a regular stance, their right foot is their front foot. Snowboarders who use a goofy stance have their left foot as their front foot. A snowboarder’s front foot must be inserted into the binding closest to the nose. The stance that you adopt is up to you, but there is a way to test for it. Think all the way back to the last time you kicked a ball. If you use your right foot to kick it, then that foot is likely to be your back foot, and the foot that you used to balance yourself on the ground will be your front foot. The front foot helps you keep your balance on the board, and it controls your speed. 

But you can also use your non-balancing foot to balance on your snowboard. This type of stance is called a switch or a fakie.

For more information about snowboarding stances check out our guide here

How to strap into a snowboard

Once you have established your stance, It’s time to strap yourself into your snowboard. Unstrap all of the buckles and belts on your snowboard binding and place your front foot first. Slide your foot in completely until the back of your leg touches the highback or back of the binding. 

You may have to wiggle your boots in or use your hands for extra force. The rubber part at the bottom of your shoes should be sticking out of the binding. Then redo the straps around your foot securely. The strap should not be tight to the point where you feel it through the boot, but your foot should not to wiggle and move in the binding. After your front foot is finished, now strap in your back foot using the same method. 

How to Ride on your snowboard

In order to move around on the flat ground, it is important to learn how to skate. If you ever use a skateboard before, it is exactly the same concept, except there are no wheels on your snowboard. In order to skate, unbind your back foot and remove it from the binding. Place it behind you on the snow, but keep your front foot in the binding. Using your back foot, you can skate around with your snowboard and begin to develop a sense of balance.

How To Jump On A Snowboard For Beginners

The first time a beginner snowboarder jumps in the air and sticks the landing is one of the best moments in their entire life, and they will never forget it. Beginners are surprised when they learn how to jump on a snowboard because it is quite easy. Here’s how to jump on a snowboard.

First, you must set yourself up for the take-off and the jump. While approaching the ramp, establish a speed that you’re comfortable with but is still fast enough to get you a decent amount of air. 

Second, put your body into the correct position. Your back should be straight, and your knees should be slightly bent. Don’t stare at your feet or the take-off point. Keep looking straight ahead towards where you are going to be. Your arms need to be extended slightly out on either side of your body, and your hands should be over the tail and nose of your board. 

Third, as you approach the top of the ramp, bend your knees slightly lower, and when the nose of your board passes the end of the take-off ramp, extend your legs by pushing against the snowboard and then quickly jump and bend your knees again. This is called popping off. Making this motion will add more height to your jump and give you more time to even out your stance in the air, so your board is level. 

Fourth, when you’re in the air, don’t look at the ground. Always keep looking ahead to see where you’re about to go. As you reach the height of your jump, you need to put your body back into the original position it was in, with your hands and arms extended out over the nose and tail of the board and your back straight and knees bent. As you begin to come back down, extend your leg out and when you finally hit the ground, bend your knees with the force of the impact. Now you can continue going in a straight line, or you can slow down by turning your heel out.

And there you have it! Your first jump!

When attempting your first jump, do not choose a large take-off point. It is difficult from a high pont, and you could panic and injure yourself.

Snowboarding Tricks for Beginners

To learn how to do snowboard tricks for beginners, you need to know which tricks you can start with. There are many different snowboarding tricks, but in order to get to the advanced tricks, you must be able to comfortably and easily perform tricks on the beginner level. The top 5 most common tricks that all beginners must learn are:

  • Tail and nose press – Jumping in the air from the ground and landing on either the nose or the tail end of your board.
  • Ground Frontside and Backside 180 – Twisting your body with enough force, so you swing your board around and perform a 180 mid-jump.
  • Butter spin – Using the force of your body to spin the tale of your snowboard around and do a full 360
  • Ollie – Jumping with the weight of your full body, so you spring yourself into the air. Also, the nose of your snowboard must be higher than the tail. 
  • Indy Grab – By bending your knees, you are able to grab and release your board as you perform a standard jump and reach the top of your jumps arch, 

Conclusion 

I hope this article was able to guide you to kickstart your new snowboarding hobby! Snowboarding and the snowboarding community is an active and wonderful world to be in, and there’s always room for one more on the ski lift! Snowboarders tend to be a happy and laid-back group of people who love nature just as much as they love speed learning new tricks. While you are learning how to snowboard, I suggest you hire a snowboarding instructor for private lessons so you can learn the fundamentals of snowboarding from a trusted and knowledgeable person. And remember, the only way to get better and learn different snowboarding techniques is to practice, practice, practice! 


Harry Sowers

Harry has been skiing and snowboarding since he was a boy growing up outside of Denver Colorado. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college a UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.