So, You’re Planning to Snowboard for the First Time. Here’s What You Need to Know.

I picked up snowboarding in the beginning of 2021. It is a sport that has the ability to suck you in very quickly and leave you wanting more, even if you end up on your butt for the majority of your day learning how to snowboard. There’s something special about being at what seems like the top of the world and floating down with all this beauty of nature around you. It’s also an adrenaline pumping sport that can have you moving at fast speeds and performing some pretty cool tricks. If you are just starting out, take your time getting to the adrenaline pumping part of the sport and make sure you take the time to master the fundamentals!

However you stumbled upon snowboarding, it’s very exciting to prepare for your first snowboarding trip. There’s mental prep to complete and there’s also a lot of packing that needs to be done, so let’s get right into!

What to Expect When You Snowboard for the First Time.

When you watch professional snowboarders do their thing, they make it look effortless and easy. Fair warning, it can take some time to really get comfortable being on your edge. When you snowboard for the first time it is important to understand than it is ok if you fall. It’s ok if you feel weird being on a snowboard, you are learning something new. It takes time to adjust and get comfortable with the feeling and to start to feel comfortable being attached to the snowboard.

At the beginning of the day you can expect to :

  • Have some trouble getting of the lift
  • Fall a few times
  • Learn how to stand up after you fall this is so incredibly important
  • Be nervous around some of the other riders on the mountain
  • Fell a little anxious about going down the mountain the first time

And every single one of those things are ok! Remember you’re learning snowboarding for the first time, it’s a new skill you have to master. Going in with the mindset that you are learning and it’s ok to fail is so important. It’s sad to see people give up on snowboarding because they don’t get it on day 1 or even on run 1. Knowing that you have a lot to learn and you are ready to learn it all is a necessary mindset for you to have when you snowboard for the first time.

At the end of the day you can expect to :

  • Start to feel comfortable on one or both of your edges
  • Know how to make it down beginner terrain with a limited number of falls
  • Have had so much fun learning that you’re ready to get back out for day 2
  • Build up a little confidence on a snowboard to maybe explore some new terrain

Packing for Your First Snowboarding Trip

Now that you know what to expect, let’s get into what you need to bring. These are not exhaustive lists and frankly there may be some items missing. These lists can be used as a guide or inspiration when packing for your own snowboarding trip.

Packing List for Snowboarding Gear

  1. Top Base Layer
  2. Top Mid Layer
  3. Bottom Base Layer
  4. Snowboard or Ski Jacket
  5. Snowpants
  6. Ski Socks
  7. Beanie
  8. Gloves or Mitts
  9. Neck Warmer

    If you aren’t renting equipment, don’t forget :
  10. Snowboard
  11. Snowboard Boots
  12. Boot Bag
  13. Helmet
  14. Goggles

Packing List for Apres Ski

  1. Leggings or Sweats
  2. Hoodie
  3. Comfortable Outfits
  4. Heavier Winter Coat
  5. Comfortable Boots/Sneakers
  6. Hat
  7. Gloves
  8. Scarf

Random Things Worth Bringing

  1. Hand Warmers
  2. Extra Socks
  3. Extra Dry Clothes
  4. Headphones
  5. Bath Mat (for boot changes in the parking lot)
  6. Chapstick

Helpful Tips for When You Snowboard for the First Time

Now that you know what to expect and what to bring on your first snowboarding trip, let’s get into some helpful tips that will help you make the best of your time on the mountain!

  1. Understand that it’s ok to fall down.
  2. Don’t feel pressure to go to expert terrain right off the rip. Start on green trails to get your bearings and then advance as you feel comfortable.
  3. Do not just bomb down the hill, learn how to stop and control your speed. This is necessary before going on longer trails for safety reasons.
  4. Take a private lesson from the mountain and not from your friend group. The instructors are professionals and there is less pressure to perform. You’ll learn more from an instructor than you will from a friend.
  5. Watch snowboarding videos on YouTube before you head to the mountain. Knowing what proper form looks like can help you have your “aha” moment sooner.
  6. Follow instructional snowboarding accounts on Instagram. Tommie Bennett ( @tommieb1 ) is an amazing resource for all snowboarders, both new learning to ride and intermediate/advanced riders looking to progress.
  7. Get ready for an awesome time!

Snowboarding is a great sport if you only go once a year or if you go 100 days a year. The most important thing to remember is that everyone learns at their own pace. Some may pick up the sport quick, while it may take multiple trips and lessons for others to feel comfortable on a snowboard. Don’t get discouraged if others are picking up snowboarding faster than you and don’t get a hot head if you are learning the sport quicker than others.

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