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Snowboarding for Beginners: Based on Personal Experience

Snowboarding for Beginners: Based on Personal Experience

Hello Smilers! Wherever you are in Japan, the wind is starting to get very chilly and the weather is reaching the minus points everywhere. This can only mean one thing. It is time for the winter sports season to start! 

For those of you who are seasoned snowboarders and skiers, you guys must be excited to get going to all the great ski resorts this season. If you are a beginner and it was your first time snowboarding like me last week, I am sure that you are feeling excited and anxious at the same time. You came to the right place! Since I managed to come back alive and thankfully uninjured, I am here to share with you my personal experience as a beginner snowboarder on his first trip and share the tips and tricks of how to snowboard for beginners. 

Table of contents

1. Get the right gear for snowboarding

Before going on the trip, make sure that you have the gear necessary for snowboarding. Here is a checklist for you to print out if you are not sure of what to bring:

Waterproof gloves  
Ski masks/sports masks  
Heat tech (top/bottom)  
Snowboard goggles   
Plenty of socks       
Plenty of innerwear   

 As you may have noticed, there are a few things missing from the list that you should bring. For the snowboarding gear such as the wear, helmet, board, and boots you can rent it at the shop near the resort you are staying at. They also have snowboard goggles for rent but I personally bought them myself for around 2,000 yen. 

2. Getting the right fit for snowboarding

Getting the right fit is very important for beginners as you would want to feel as comfortable as possible while learning how to snowboard. For the gloves and ski masks, you would want them to be the right fit for you so they will be not too tight or too loose.

For the snowboard wear, you would want it to be a little bit of a baggy fit as you would want to move comfortably even while wearing your hoodie or crew neck underneath the wear. For the boots, the safest way to go would be with the usual size that you are wearing. 

For the snowboard, you will be able to choose the size from your height. If you are not sure of which one to choose, you can tell the staff in the rental shop your size and they will give you the size that is suitable for you. 

3. Be prepared to fall while snowboarding

From my personal experience, preparing to fall a lot before going on your trip will help lessen the pain. When you make up your mind that you will fall and it will hurt when you keep on toppling over, you will not feel discouraged and will be more motivated to get back up because you have already made up your mind that you are going to fall a lot of times. It is all about the positive mindset. Keep trying!

4. Get comfortable with the board

Now that you are already prepared to fall, it is time to get comfortable with your snowboard. There are not a lot of blogs writing and suggesting that you should get comfortable with your snowboard. Maybe it was just more of a personal thing for me.  I felt that getting comfortable with the board will help you to be more confident with it.

You can get comfortable with your snowboard by practicing on flat a surface and sliding around with one leg on the strap. Once you get comfortable, you can strap both legs, then try standing up on the board, then you can try moving and sliding around on the flat ground. That way you will be able to familiarize yourself with your snowboard.

5. Learn how to get off the lift with your snowboard

Now that you are comfortable with your board and ready to fall, you must learn to get off the lift while having one foot strapped on your snowboard. You must be prepared to slide down a small slope when you are getting off the lift.  Some lifts will allow you to have your snowboard on your lap while riding it but most of the lifts require you to have one leg strapped into your snowboard to ride the lift.

To get off the lift, put the leg that you strapped your snowboard in front of you sideways, and when you are getting ready to go off use the lift seats as a support and push yourself upwards. That way you will have the momentum to go down the small slopes. If you manage to get it on your first try, you might still fail on the second and third try. 

From my personal experience is that you just have to relax and not fight the momentum when going down the small slope off the lift. Let the momentum take you and you will be able to get off the lift safely.

I hope that my experience will help you guys to prepare and enjoy snowboarding! Comment below if you have any questions! Hope you have a fun and safe trip!

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