Seven Tips for Your First Time Snowboarding with Stoke
Snowboarding first time: All you need to know so you don’t blow in the snow
Whether you’re secretly staring in lustful awe at park girls riding Perisher, sitting on your stiff arse while school kids on skis surpass you in Nozawa Onsen, or flailing like a fool in front of your instructor at Cardrona, your first time snowboarding is likely to leave your butt, your dignity and your preconceived illusions of athletic ability a little hurt. Lessen the blow of your first time in the snow with our advice on popping the white cherry.
Those five half-baked dips you do once a fortnight-ish after accidentally encountering images of Kim Kardashian on your socials ain’t gonna cut it. The angle of your snowboots will have you locked not only to your board, but also in a half-squat that ain’t going away ‘til the end of the day (and given how much you paid for you lift ticket, you’re not going home early). If you front up to your first lesson with an untrained booty looser than your mum was in college, you’ll be expending so much energy just on your stance that you won’t have any left for making those skill gainz you so desperately need. As soon as you book that snow holiday we want to see you squatting while you brush your teeth, squatting while you cook dinner and squatting while you squat.
You thought all those surfer bros and babes on your ‘Gram were just getting bendy cos it’s trendy, didn’t you? You’re wrong. Yoga teaches more than just how to look good in active wear, it also teaches balance, which is essential when you’re trying not to flop off your board like a flaccid willy in winter. This skill is just as vital in the snow, so go get some of that ashanti vinyasa flow before you go.
3. Trade intuition for logic
Your scare-devil instincts tell you to lean back when confronted with a rushing slope of icy death, but you know what that means? Landing on your bruised little booty yet again. Overcome your fear of face-planting and lean into that powder like a guy with a rolled five-dollar-note towards a mirror tile – cos if you ain’t steering the board, who is?
It’s how you learnt to boil an egg, apply make-up and put on a condom, so why have you forgotten your trusty old know-it-all friend now? There are endless how-to YouTube videos to aid the aspiring powder hound, so flick open that laptop as you thaw out by the fire and get watching. You’ll go from falling-leaf to fanging the black runs in no time.
5. Utilise your emergency brake
What is the emergency brake? you ask. Here’s a hint: it’s not your wrist. When things start going arse-up on the slopes it’s time to go arse-down. We know it’s already black and blue, but your eyes will be too if you plough through Captain Ski-Dad-GoPro-Helmet’s eight-year-old on the green run – don’t do it, put your back into it.
6. Wear a helmet
Some people don’t wear a helmet in the snow because they think it looks uncool, you will already look uncool and the only way you could possibly look any uncooler is with an entirely avoidable brain injury, so wear one.
7. Tuck in
Hold-up hombre, lo-slung jeans went out of style at around the turn of the century – it’s time for you to embrace the high-waisted fashions of the times, especially when it comes to your snow attire. You best tuck your woollen socks into your thermal leggings, your thermal leggings into your thermal top, your top into your pants, your pants into your hoodie and your hoodie into your jacket – or you’ll have blue balls and frigid flaps to contend with. There will be snow in every orifice.
Think a European snow holiday is out of your budget? Think again. Join Stoke for an Andorra Snow Weekender this winter.
Note: The person in the feature image did not take any of our advice.