We all know that there are so many awesome places to visit in Europe during winter, but while snowball fights and mulled wine by the fire is excellent, you might feel the need for something a bit more extreme… snowboarding! Carving your way down the mountainside is the ultimate rush, and you’ll get extremely fit while doing so. Anyone who straps themselves into a snowboard might think they’ll be Shaun White straightaway, but they should keep in mind that there are many obstacles to overcome first and foremost!
These are the ten things every newbie snowboarder absolutely must have.
You’re not going to get far without lessons from a professional snowboarder! Learning the basics is the only way to progress, and if you’re passionate about the sport, then it won’t take long to master the art of swerving the board and knowing how to stop correctly.
9 A helmet
When you fall over on a snowboard, it can hurt! Falling over will happen a lot in your first few sessions, so to avoid any potential damage to your head, then ensure you’ve got yourself a helmet.
8 Cool gear
Most beginners opt to rent a snowboard and boots from providers found at the mountains, but it’s still necessary to buy a waterproof jacket, gloves, and pants, which are all found from brands like Adidas, Helly Hansen, High Sierra, or Burton. A trendy pair of goggles is also an absolute must-have to shield your eyes from UV rays as well as snow from hitting your face. You’ll need a pair that not only look great but are comfortable too, as you’ll be wearing them for most of the day. See if there’s something for you in this range.
7 Wooly socks
A nice, thick pair of wooly socks perhaps isn’t as cool to discuss, but having freezing and wet feet isn’t cool either! This can ruin your snowboarding session when all you can think about is putting your cold feet next to a warm fire.
6 GoPro camera
If it wasn’t recorded, did it really happen? Once you get a little better at snowboarding, you could start filming your runs and prove to everyone that you’re actually good at this extreme sport!
5 A free weekend
Due to the fact that getting to the mountains takes a lot of effort, not to mention spending all the money on gear and transport, you’ll want to spend the entire weekend to get better at snowboarding. Also, because it’s only a winter sport, you need to maximize your time while there is still snow.
4 A lot of patience
Much like learning anything, picking up snowboarding takes many hours and a lot of practice. The big difference with snowboarding is that you’ll likely fall over a lot during your first sessions, which means perhaps a few bumps and bruises! The main thing is not to let this damage your pride, as everyone will be a bit unsteady on the first snowboard ride. Keep motivated and don’t give up if you enjoy it! Check out these tips for all kinds of questions first-time snowboarders will ask.
3 The desire to get better
Of course, no one expects you to be an Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding, but if you take up the hobby earnestly, then make as many trips as possible to the mountains, and practice on different slopes. Challenging yourself comes part and parcel with snowboarding, but a strong desire to keep going and become better is a must when first starting.
2 Your own boots and snowboard (eventually)
Once you’ve decided that snowboarding will be your new major hobby, it’s wise to invest in your snowboard and boots, as you can’t keep renting them forever. You should get to know your board well and how it handles the turns and a bit of speed. Quality snowboards start at around $200 and close to $150 for boots.
1 Good fitness level
You might think that simply standing on a board doesn’t require so much fitness, but you’ll need to be very agile and fit to handle to great turns and even a few falls. Your knees and wrists should be in good condition, as they’ll take a lot of strain, as will your back and thighs. In general, make sure you’ve been hitting the gym a few months earlier and already have good stamina before taking up snowboarding.