Why get into snowboarding?
Snowboarding or boarding is an exciting, action packed winter sport, which provides an excellent all round workout. In particular it works the calves and shins through the “heel to toe” motion. Snowboarding also strengthens the thighs and abdominals through holding the riding position and getting up from sitting down position; and lastly the muscles in the lower back.
5 good reasons to take up snowboarding
- Packed with high adrenalin fun
Snowboarding is highly addictive and lots of fun. Nothing beats heading off piste for that deep, virgin powder.
- Better than flying - no check-in nor passport required!
Snowboarding is perfect for jumping, catching some air and doing clever tricks.
- Easy to learn
Newcomers to snowboarding can typically reach a reasonable level and learn the basics of turning or carving within two 2 days, though be prepared to fall a lot on your wrists and behind which can be painful! Surfers and skateboarders amongst will find the transition to boarding more straight forward given their ability to balance.
- Comfy boots
Snowboard boots are comfy make walking long distances a doddle.
- Better on the knees than skiing
Skiing puts a lot of pressure on the knees unlike snowboarding.
How do I start snowboarding in London?
Surprisingly enough there are some great ski locations around London, where you can take lessons (full equipment hire available) before you head to the Alps, Pyrennes or the Rockies in North America.
To find your nearest indoor ski/ snowboard centre, use Find a Sport Club/ Venue directory on Totally Sporty. There are in fact an incredible 12 ski and snowboard centres within 30 miles of central London with excellent facilities, soft and fluffy snow and a full range of lessons, including the massive 160m piste in St Albans (opened April 2009) and the 120m Wycombe Real SnowDome. Full details on the Totally Sporty website!!
Snowboarding is certainly more fun when you have some company. To find a recreational snowboard partner, or even some one to go to an indoor ski centre with, you can use the Find Sport Partner section on Totally Sporty. Simply put in your postcode and will show you winter sport enthusiasts in your area!!
Snowboarding on the Continent
Book your next snowboard holiday with SnowTrex, Europe's largest winter sports tour operator. They specialise in both cheap/ low cost deals throughout Europe, luxury packages, flights and self drive car hire. Every Snowtrek ski deal includes a lift pass as well as a Snow-and-Nice-Price Guarantee.
See www.snowtrex.co.uk for more information.
Different levels of snowboarding
- Ability to turn “carve” the board the board
- Wide turns only
- Likely to fall over on regular basis.
- Boarder can ski goofy (right foot forward) or regular (left foot forward) though is more competent boarding one way.Some small jumping
- Can do more sharp turns and competent on blue pistes (easy) and red piste (difficult).
- Effective boarder on all types of terrains
- Boarder is good jumper and has an array of tricks, including Ollies (small jump over small object), air to fakie (involves making a 180-degree turn in the air and then riding switch).
What clothing and equipment do I need?
Similar to skiers, snowboarders need warm clothes and to wear lots of thin layers, which allow the body to move freely. The gloves or mittens will need to be more hardwearing with stronger stitching and more protection, as good boarders will skim the snow whilst turning. It is recommended to bring a bum bag or a small rucksack to carry any extras you may need, such as sun cream, lunch, mobile phone and water.
If you suffer from the cold, here are some additional tips to keep warm:
- Bring silk liners for your gloves
- Use hand and feet warmers/ packs
Lastly, if you are a complete beginner, it may be worthwhile investing in some wrist guards.
Airdog: a snowboarder who jumps most of the time and enjoys doing tricks.
Bail or Stack: a big wipe-out or crash
Bomb: to point the nose of the snowboard straight down the hill to accelerate
Eat snow: same as a face plant. Fall face first into snow.
Fakie: riding backwards
Fudged: to mess up something badly
Goofy: riding with the right foot forward instead of the left foot which is the normal stance (opposite to “regular”)
Hot dog: quality female boarder who tears up the slopes
Nectar: totally sweet, awesome insane
Newbe: a new boarder who is not very good
Powder puff: somebody who only likes riding powder
Scope: to check something out eg. a landing
Shred: to carve with intensity
Snow slapped: when another boarder or skier does a really big carve in the snow and gets snows on you