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You can’t become a great snowboarder overnight. It takes time, dedication, and training to really master the craft. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a noticeable improvement with some quick and easy tips.
A Few Tips To Up Your Snowboarding Skills
1. Wax That Board
It’s easy to push board waxing to the side and even forget it completely. But you should be waxing your board at least once every other time you go out. A sintered base will require even more attention and wax. The wax not only improves the speed of the ride, but it also protects the base of the board from abrasion caused by the snow and debris. Your best option is to rely on a hot wax treatment.
2. Make The Bend
Beginners are often eager to tackle more difficult terrain before they are actually ready for it. This results in a lot of people falling over. But that doesn’t mean you should shy away from the difficult terrain. After all, the challenge is what is exciting to many people. It just means you need to learn how to stay upright all of the way down.
One of the main reasons that newcomers tip over on difficult terrain is because they fail to bend their knees properly. Bending your knees is essential to maintaining balance and absorbing bumps. Having stiff knees will turn every little bump into a potential disaster.
Learning when and how far to bend your knees will come with more experience. If possible, watch a recording of yourself snowboarding. If it looks like you are standing up straight the entire time, then you have a problem with stiff knees and need to learn when to make the bend. Finally, even when you think you’re bending your knees enough, bend them a little more. Going a little extra will always help more than it could hurt.
3. Graduate Quickly
A bunny slope is a very gentle ski trail that is designed specifically for beginners. In most cases, it’s the slope that is packed with tourists. You’ll notice a lot of people falling down and a lot of people skiing or snowboarding erratically. It’s perfectly fine for your first few trips down the hill, but it’s not where you want to be for long. It’s difficult to improve on a slope with no challenge and it’s difficult to find your groove when there are so many people around.
Luckily, you don’t have to graduate from the bunny slope to the most extreme slope around. There are likely several other novice-friendly slopes around that aren’t quite as packed and will offer a decent challenge.
4. The Right Gear Is Important
You can’t spend your entire life using your uncle’s old board and gear. It’s perfectly fine for your first run if you aren’t sure you’ll like boarding, but once you’re hooked it’s time to get the gear that is right for you. Not only does this include your board, but also your clothes, gloves, helmet, wrist guards, goggles, and impact shorts. It can be a hefty investment at first, but having your own gear and the right board makes a huge difference.
5. Get Used To Falling Over
Even the best snowboarders are going to fall over. However, nobody falls as much as a beginner does. It’s part of the experience and it can be a sign that you are improving. If you’re falling a lot, then it means you’re spending a lot of time on the snow and hopefully you’re learning something. Falling can be dangerous though, which is why it’s important that you learn how to fall over properly.
Broken wrists are one of the most common injuries that snowboarders suffer from. In many cases, it’s because they stick out their arm to catch themselves when they are falling. That is a big mistake. You want to pull your arms in close to your body and cross them over your chest. Let the padding on your body and the snow absorb the impact instead of your fragile wrist.
6. Take A Lesson
Taking a professional lesson is a great way to greatly improve your skill. As a matter of fact, it should be one of the first steps that any aspiring snowboarder completes. It’s a much safer option than trying to teach yourself while on the slope. A proper lesson will greatly reduce the risk of suffering from an injury due to a simple mistake. Snowboarding lessons are generally inexpensive and very effective.
Lessons are the best place to start, but only actual experiences will help you improve. Start with a few runs on the bunny slopes and then venture out to find more challenging green slopes. Remember to bend your knees to reduce the chance of falling and to fall properly when it inevitably happens.
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