You've got your gear, you've had a good night's rest and
you're dressed in comfortable layered clothing. Now it's time
to get straight into your first snowboarding experience.
Warming Up and Stretching
Get warmed up by having a light run around
or doing some simple skips, jumps or hops before you begin riding. Doing so will
help pump oxygen into your blood, increase your heartbeat and breathing rate
while loosening your muscles and joints.
Once you're warmed up, do some basic stretching exercises for your neck,
shoulders, back and hamstring. Properly warming up and stretching your muscles
will go a long way toward minimizing the risk of injury.
Carrying Your Board
You may, at times, have to carry your board in your hands while walking
around or up the slope. When doing so, attach the leash of your board
to your gloves or wrist to make sure it doesn't escape from you. Simply
carry the board with one hand holding the middle of the board.
You may find it less tiring carrying your board placed horizontally on your back
for additional support using both hands.
In this case,
carry the board facing downward so that your bindings will dig into
the snow if your board drops thereby preventing your board from sliding away.
Bindings facing downward should also be the rule when resting your board
unattended anywhere on the mountain.
If you're walking up the slope, you may not have to remove your board at all.
Just dig the toe-side edge of your board into the snow across the slope and push yourself up
one step at a time.
Find a flat area on the mountain with soft-packed snow and low traffic.
First and foremost,
attach the leash to your board and front foot before placing
the board down on the snow. To keep your board still while you get strapped
in, step on it with your back foot (half on the snow) or use
Dust off any built-up snow from your
boot and binding and slowly slide your front foot into the binding
as far back as possible so that your calf is flush against the high back.
Buckle up your ankle strap to a firm and comfortable fit and
repeat with your toe strap.
You'll initially not have your rear foot fastened. This is to save you
time and energy while you practice new maneuvers, work on your balance
and use the chairlifts. You can strap your rear foot in
once you've got a firm handle on how to skate, glide, turn and stop.
Falling down is unavoidable when you're snowboarding. Therefore, it is
important to learn the right techniques for falling down to avoid hurting or
injuring yourself particularly in the wrist and knee regions where
the majority of injuries occur. Protective clothing and accessories such as wrist
guards and kneepads can only do so much.
If you're falling over toe-side, crouch down and place your forearms
in front of your knees. Clench your fists and straighten your legs. You should
then slide forward on your forearms when you hit the ground. Avoid ground impact
with your knees and wrists as much as possible.
To fall over heel-side, place your arms and
elbows close to your chest, tuck your chin in, crouch down,
round your spine, relax
and roll backward so that you slide on your back with the fall.
If you have both feet strapped into your board, getting up
onto your feet again is an art in itself. Before you try
standing up, your body should be uphill from your board.
Place your board exactly across the hill's fall line with the
uphill edge digging into the snow. This will
prevent yourself from sliding downward the second you try to stand.
To stand up heel side, grab the toe edge of your board with one
hand and pull yourself over the board while using your other hand
to push yourself up from behind your foot. Bring your pushing
hand closer to your board as you push to transfer the weight
to the snowboard before finally standing up.
Getting up heel side is tiring and requires some strength to
execute. The good news is that getting up toe side is a lot easier.
If you are on your back, you'll first have to flip over to a kneeling
position by lifting your feet and rolling over on the tail of your
snowboard. It will then be just a matter of pushing yourself up
with both hands to a standing position.