I recently packed up the car and took my friend to the slopes for her first day of snowboarding….ever! I wanted to make sure that she didn’t hurt herself, so I really stressed that it was very important to start with the basics.
I say this because when I learned, a buddy of mine gave me his gear and a board and left me alone. I then spent the next 3 hours crashing and rolling down every ski run I was stupid enough to think I could successfully navigate.
The key to safely learning ANY new activity is to remember these words….“first things first!”
With regard to snowboarding, the first thing is to learn how to stop yourself which is the foundation that everything else rests upon. I taught her how to slow down, control her speed and to stop. From there, she quickly learned how to turn by leaning and shifting her body position accordingly with controlled leans rather than random turns that usually result in crashes and injury. My mistake was to try and bomb down the mountainside before I knew how to control my speed and stop. This caused me to spend my entire first season trying to correct bad habits which was a pain in the butt…literally!
The second key is to have someone willing to take the time to coach you on the the fundamentals which will help you attain a level of comfort and skill in a very short amount of time. I spent maybe 25-30 minutes showing my friend how to safely slow down and stop. Within a couple of hours, she had already learned how to turn and safely navigate down the intermediate ski runs with no problems. All this was possible because she started out slow, had an open mind and was willing to try and learn something new. She stayed focused on the fundamentals and was not shy about asking someone to help her out with basic tips and encouragement. There was also some good athletic ability on her part with learning so quickly but this formula works for anyone!
Does this sound familiar??? Well it should because the formula for learning how to snowboard is the same as learning how to adopt a healthy lifestyle!! Here are some basics to keep in mind:
- Start out slow
- First, master the basic fundamentals
- Work your way up to higher levels of skill and function
- Don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help
- Be willing to try new things
- Stay consistent and mix things up from time to time
Life is short…get out there, get active and get involved. Go Getem!