A Beginner's Guide To Snowboarding
There are three snowboarding styles to choose from - freeride
, freestyle and alpine. In freeride, you ride down the face of a mountain, whilst taking in its natural bumps and curves. Freestyle focuses on tricks and special skills, such as spins, jumps and grabbing the board in mid-air. Snowboarding alpine style is not unlike skiing, as it emphasizes fast speed and hard turns. If you are not sure which style is best for them, starting withe freeride is advisable, as it is the easiest to pick up the basics of the sport with.
There are two different stances snowboarding stances that can chosen from. The most popular is the regular stance, in which your left foot goes first. This contrasts to the goofy stance, whereby your right foot goes in front of your left foot. Both will be shown to you by your instructor at the beginning of your lessons so you can decide which is preferable to you.
In contrast to skiers, who shift their weight from side to side, snowboarders shift their weight from heel to toe. In this respect, snowboarding is similar to skateboarding or surfing. By shifting your weight forward, you will go downhill and pick up more speed. By shifting your weight backward, the board slows down. By digging your heels down, the edge of the snowboard drags in the snow and causes you to stop.
There are three different types of snowboards available: alpine, freestyle and freeride boards. Each is manufactured uniquely in relation to size, shape and materials. The type of board you ride should correspond to your favored style of snowboarding, your height (when standing on end, the board should reach between your nose and chin), your shoe size and your weight (heavier riders need a board with a stiffer flex).
You will need snowboard boots and bindings as these are essential to attach yourself securely and comfortably to your snowboard. The higher the quality of the ones you get, the more control you will have whilst snowboarding.
As for clothing, a three-layer system widely thought to be best: an outer later, a middle layer, and a base layer. Warmth, weight and moisture management being considered for each of those layers.
Protect your head and ears from extremely low temperatures with a comfortable hat or beanie and, over that, wear a snowboard helmet. Wear goggles to prevent your eyes being damaged by snow, wind and tree branches. Choose gloves which are durable, waterproof, and have a fleece or other synthetic-based insulated lining.
by: Mark Walters
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