Roman Malanke

3 Mistakes of Beginning Snowboarders

I’ve just come back from the slope and while being there and looking at people I suddenly felt inspired to write this post. From the name it may seem that I’m kind of a cool guy who already knows the rope, which isn’t that true. Actually I stood on a board for the first time less than a year ago, so when I write ‘beginners’ what I mean is ‘first-timers’, because frankly I hardly doubt that I could be classified any higher than ‘beginner’ myself. But anyway I’ve already grasped the basics and did it in a pretty short term so I feel like, well… competent to write this. And hopefully someone will find what’s below useful. Here we go…

Mistake 1: ‘Whenever I’m in critical situation I should listen to my body – it will tell me how to act.’

This one is common for any type of skill you try to learn which differs from those mother nature has given to us. I mean when our instincts were programmed — whoever did it — he didn’t think that one day man would decide to ride the piece of wood skating from the slope.

So how does this mistake show itself in snowboarding? Every time you are scared by uncontrolled high speed when skating down you tend to bend your body back away from where you’re headed. This is totally wrong. What you have to do is shift your weight forward which will allow you to relieve back foot and pull up.

This is just one common example and there are tons of others. So every time you don’t understand why you can’t control you board think about whether you do what you should or what your unqualified body tells you to do.

Mistake 2: ‘I’m not gonna use ski lift until I overcome my fear of the peak of the slope and until I learn how to ride confidently.’

This is a false thing to think. Here’s why.

Imagine a guy who’s trying to learn how to swim in the swimming pool. He already knows how not to drown but he tries to comprehend swimming technique. What he does is he swims 25 meters and then he gets out of the water and starts to run around swimming pool, after running for 10 minutes he goes back into water and makes another 25 meters. Do you think this approach is going to be more effective than just to swim? I don’t. Hope you caught the idea.

If you want to learn something really quickly and effectively you have to concentrate on that thing and put away everything else. So do use ski lift from the first day on the slope. This will accelerate you progress significantly not only because you will concentrate on skating down instead of climbing up dripping with sweat, but, you will also crash you fear of the peak in the egg.

Mistake 3: ‘I will learn how to slide down on the back edge of the board, then of the front and only then I will learn how to ride with the nose in front and make turns.’

This one is a little bit contradictory and may not seem obvious especially for those who’ve just read some kind of beginner’s guide. Actually it is important to learn how to control the edges of the board, no doubt of that. But what many people do is skate on one edge of the board all way down drawing something similar to Christmas tree on the snow. Whenever they reach the border of the slope they don’t turn switching active edge of the board but instead slowly start to skate down with another foot in front.

Believe me that this isn’t good idea. It’s much better to slide all the way down with your forward foot in front than all the way on the heels changing board’s direction. It will not only make your learning much more effective and fun, but you will also end up with not getting tired in a short time, because turns allow you to load your heels and toes equally.

Good luck, and have a nice snow wherever you are!