Snowboarding 101: A Primer

    Winter for many is a cold, dreary period that must be endured in order to enjoy the months of summer. But then for others it is a time of excitement and adventure. This is especially true for the residents and visitors to the popular area of Summit County, Colorado. Summit County is home to five of Colorado’s top ski areas.

    These areas include Breckinridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, and Loveland. Skiers and snowboarders, alike, flock to the area to enjoy the various slopes and trails. The areas are also extremely friendly to people who are just beginner to snowboard. However, there are some key points to remember before hitting the slopes.

    Proper Clothing and Gear

    The first step to learning how to snowboard is to obtain the proper clothing and gear that will be needed on the mountainside. One of the most important items to purchase is the right snowboard. Most beginners find it is easiest to use a shorter board to begin learning this sport.

    The board would ideally be the same height as the rider’s shoulders when standing on end. The proper bindings and boots are also very important pieces of gear to obtain. Ideally the snowboard you purchase will have secure bindings for your feet to be placed in. Snowboarding boots that fit snugly in the bindings and provide a perfect fit are also very important to have.

    Additionally, you will want to make sure to purchase the proper safety gear such as goggles, a helmet, and padding. The goggles will help keep snow and other debris from hitting your eyes. It will also help to reflect the sunlight. A helmet and padding are important items to have for the inevitable spills and falls that will happen as you learn to ride your snowboard.

    Dressing in layers is another important part of gearing up for your snowboarding experience. Thermal underwear, socks, pants, shirts, snow pants, and a ski jacket are all very important items to have on the mountain. Gloves, scarves, and other items are also helpful in keeping you warm on especially cold days.

    Snowboarder_in_halfpipeSafety Checks

    Once you have all of your gear you are ready to head to the mountain and begin your new adventure. However, before you begin learning to snowboard you will need to perform various safety checks.

    These checks will ensure your safety as well as others on the ski slopes.

    They will include making sure all your gear is operational and in good condition. You will also want to make sure you have brought all the proper clothing and essentials to keep warm.

    Snacks, a first aid kit, and other items should also be brought if you are planning on taking a longer course or trail ride.

    Basic Motions

    There are two basic motions to snowboarding, unless you are learning tricks. The skating motion is how boarders travel across flat terrains on the path. The motion is performed by moving your legs in the same why you would if you have on a pair of roller skates.

    The other motion requires you to slightly lean from side to side while one leg in front of the other. This stance is usually done while traveling down hills. The leg that is in front will depend on the individual rider’s preference.

    Proper Mountain Etiquette

    Using good manners and following the rules is just as important on the mountain as having the proper gear. Many of these rules are unspoken but followed by all seasoned skiers and snowboarders. Remember to always be aware of your surroundings and to stay off closed courses and trails.

    Another important rule is to remember that the skier in front always has the right of way. You should always be in control of yourself and able to stop or get out of the way if needed. Good manners such as no line cutting, sharing your lunch table with others, and helping others out in need are also important to remember during your adventure.

    Snowboarding and skiing are fun and physically active sports that can be enjoyed throughout the winter months. As you get more confident and gain more skills always remember to be courteous of others on the trail. This is especially true for beginners and classes you may encounter.

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