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Readers Respond: Learning to Snowboard Doesn't Have to Be Painful!

Responses: 22

By

From the article: How to Snowboard
There's no question learning how to snowboard is more difficult than learning to ski, but snowboarding has a bit of an unfair rap as a sport that subjects beginners to undue amounts of pain. Today's beginner equipment is designed to make learning how to snowboard as easy as possible, and resort's throughout the industry have taken advantage of this new equipment. How did you learn how to snowboard? Was it by taking a lesson with a professional, or did you put your faith (and body) in the hands of a friend instead? Which method would you recommend to others?

easy as pie

I tried friends that were experienced boarders and even instructors with no luck and a lot of physical pain. Then, I "googled" the phrase "snowboard tips", it brought me to "abc's of snowboarding" or something to that effect. The website was easy to navigate, informative and logical. I followed the steps, by myself, with no help from friends (I told them to enjoy snowboarding without me, reality is I didn't want their help, never worked in the past). following those steps I was boarding down blues in mountainess regions without an accident in 45 minutes.
—Guest justin

First timer help

Is there a butt cushion for boarding ? I think it really comes in handy n will not turn newbie away for those major fall. I have sat on the side line for many hours becos of a bad fall n hurt my butt real bad
—Guest mybuttturnblue

The beginning of an obsession !

I started with lessons and am really glad I did. The first few days all I remember is pain, cold, and the initial terror of my first more difficult blue runs. My toe side seemed out to get me, and I had bruises the size of oranges. I just kept doing lessons and practicing til I got it. 14 years on, I'm more obsessed than ever! I love this sport so much.
—Guest PlanetV

Free “real” video lessons on the net

I’m a 6-4 mid-30s male and I chose free online video lessons and the on-mountain private lessons for two days (or should I say group lesson where I was the only one that didn’t quit within an hour). Three expert skiers in my family previously started and quit board lessons on day one due to soreness so I expected the same, but I persevered and am very glad I did. My on-mountain instructor was great BUT watching a free online instructor prior to the mountain helped most. Find a “real” instructor online; not someone trying to impress you by showing off skills. Watching the pros explain step-by-step helped me more mentally than physically. I am returning to the mountain on a board this year. If you’re new, invest in wrist guards and butt padded shorts. Also, I skateboarded growing up and I’m told that probably helped me. Skateboarders: Do NOT lean back to stop on a snowboard as you do with a skateboard. Doing so gives you lightning speed when snowboarding. Happy trails!
—scott365

from falling to 1260

i started at 15, now im 30. the first day i went it wasent good. i learned within an hour how to go down the hil with what looked like attempts to turn, but got to say it was fun. but the next day i was in so much pain i couldnt get out of bed. from what i remember i took couple of days of school. but now 15 years later i still board and not only fall down the hill, but actually learned most of the tricks, and still learning. dont give up and keep doing what you got to do, but have fun while doing it, and make sure u do it better then the next
—Guest red 1

Indoor lessons

In Holland it takes 12 hours to drive to the alps, with a friend I decided to go on a course in one of the indoor big-fridge real snow slopes in Holland. We learnt pretty quick in about 4 lessons (2 hrs) how to link turns. I think I even got a pretty swing (more speed then control however). Going for a week on the real mountains in France was a disaster, those slopes with turns, bumps, invisibility from snow, lifts, crowded and flat sections where something else. The indoor slope I got used to was a very controlled, static angle, short run, the end of the slope was always in sight. Being very fit helps, falling over 50 times an hour does wear you out especially doing this all week long. I have to say the first days of my weeks holidays I made the most progress, the last days I get very tired in my legs. I think you are having more fun with taking a halfday brake halfway the week.
—Guest Lord o/t Board

Just started

I had my first lesson a few days ago. I was surprised how quickly i was doing basics like toe slides down the practise slope. Based on some of the comments above it looks like a lot of people don't get proper training and then they complain because they fall over!!! Get some lessons, people! It's only £60 for 4 x 1.5 hours lessons in the UK. Bargain if you ask me :)
—gnarlygee

Sheer Determination

Seventeen years ago, my buddy had a couple plastic snowboards and we had a big snowfall. We bombed the hill in his yard and launched off a small kicker into the powder. Without needing to turn, that much was easy and I fell in love with the sport. The very next fall, I bought a real snowboard - a used morrow 162 spoon and was at the resort the day they opened the bunny slope. I had no idea what I was doing and that many years ago, there were no snowboarding instructors and no other snowboarders at that mountain. I spent several hours catching edges pretty badly until I eventually figured out how to keep my edges up. I recall sliding down the 100 yards of the bunny sloped on my heel edge and being happy with my progress for the day. Maybe a week later, I was building on that experience and practicing my toe edge. Trying to connect the two would wait until the next week. Once those turns started connecting, the pace of progression increased and 16 years later, I'm still boarding
—Guest CG

A full season of PAIN...

I learned to ski on tow-ropes in the early 70s--and it hurt; I broke my nose because of ski 'safety-straps' & loved the sport anyway. 30 yrs later, after a season of teaching left-footed 8 yrs olds how to ski, I decided to REMIND myself what it's like to learn a snowsport... My curve of progression involved an entire year in the "learning-area"--when I had FREE access to the entire hill...that sucked! Then, after a while I realized I was too old to work two tricks at the same time & sold my 1 yr old skis...for which my wallet still gripes! Six years (and 4 boards) later, I have the proud distinction of being the oldest female snowboarder on the hill! You'll never find me in the pipe or park, but I can definately hold my own on the mountain & I'll never own a pair of skis again... Now I'm just hoping to round-up a 50+ Snowboarders club!
—Guest karen

i was lucky enough to be a natural

i've always been good at sports, my introduction to snowboarding, consisted of buying my buddies hand me down board and bindings, bought padded shorts, pants and gloves and went to the mountain, my buddy unkowingly took me down a black run the first run, lol i'm glad i didn't know at the time. i spent the first 15 to 20min falling as soon as i stood up, with my friend patiently laying on the ground about 30 yards away, once i could stand up, heelside came pretty easy, on that steep of a hill its easy to just lean back and the slope holds you up, i was going back and forth across the mountain all day on my heelside, not pretty, but fun for the first time. the second time to the mountain, linked a few turns but still fell more than not anytime i went toe side with any aggression, by the end of the day was tired but happy, i'm going up tomorrow for the 3rd time and i know the longer i work the better i'll get, best advice with snowboarding, JUST KEEP AT IT, it is well worth the time.
—Guest jj

Pain in the butt..turned out pretty well

I had always wanted to board, but the drive down to the local resort was a three hour drive and I didn't want to drive three hours just to fall on my butt all day. It wasn't until I went with my school that I finally agreed to turn in my skis for a board. Was it ever different! I spent about an hour or two falling on the bunnyhill before I was able to get the hang of heel-side. After that I spent the rest of the day "attempting" to toe-side. Eventually I was able to make some pretty decent turns. Now I go boarding with my friends and family as often as I can! :D
—Guest Angela Chan

it was all youtube

i was a pretty good at skiing, but most of my friends snowboarded. so i started with a lesson yesturday at big bea, it was useless. especially when your in a group lesson. what helped me the most was actually the huge amount of youtube tutorials i have watched the day before. once i got the the mountain i got on and off the lift with out falling. i started to link turns and by the end of the day i was carvin down the mountain.
—Guest vince

Snowboarding Ever Since

Well, let's just say that everyone in my family had given up skiing for snowboarding one day just to see what it was like. Ok. First off, the sport can seem really discouraging at first because there's a lot of falling involved. This is much unlike skiing because it's basically downhill/pizza/downhill/pizza all the way down when you first learn. By the way, pizza is when you put the tips of your skis together like a pizza. Anyway, we all soon fell in love with it after a few day when we could finally link turns. Well, I never looked back anyway.
—Guest Cam

On my butt at Big Bear

Me and a couple of my Marine buddies left 29 Palms for a 96 and went to Big Bear Mtn, February 1999. I had never been skiing or boarding. Being from Texas I had never really seen snow. I only had 2 days and spent the first on my backside. The second day was a little more smooth and I was able to link a couple of shaky turns together. It's been 10 years since I first tried snowboarding, but I've been dying to get back!
—Guest Joshua

I fell - alot

I had a friend help me. He kept telling what to do, but nothing made sense until he said lift up your toes. It was the only thing that got me off the bunny hills!
—Guest Nicole

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