Ski lifts are an essential part of any resort.
They’re also like kryptonite for inexperienced skiers and snowboarders, and YouTube is filled with videos of people meeting with disaster and hilarity when tackling these ostensibly simple contraptions.
They’re like old turnstiles at baseball stadiums or new-age toilets in a fancy bathroom-you know they’re simple, you know they’re easy, and you know that even kids can use them, but every now and then, it feels like you’re breaking into Fort Knox.
Don’t worry, though, as we have you covered.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to ride and get off these lifts and ensure you’re well prepared for your next snowboarding trip to the slopes.
Ski Lift Falls
Here are ski lift falls as a prelude to our lesson.
How do you Get on a ski lift With a Snowboard?
You may not have asked us, but we are going to tell you anyway.
Getting on a ski lift can be just as tricky as getting off.
Here’s How To Get On A Ski Lift With A Snowboard
- Be sure you only have your front foot strapped into the snowboard
- Follow the previous chair up to the green line.
- Stand and wait for the chair to come to you.
- When the chair comes, fall back into it when it touches the back of your legs and hold on to the handle to your left or right.
- Pull the safety bar down.
- Enjoy the ride.
How to Ride Ski Lifts on a Snowboard
Whether you’re snowboarding or skiing, the first step is to approach the line and wait for the lift to come to you.
Bend your knees as the lift approaches and then take a seat, holding the rails for support.
As the lift ascends, you’ll need to grab the safety bar and pull it down.
If there are other people on the lift, make sure they are aware that you’re doing this.
If you’re anxious about riding the chair lift in front of many people, just hang back and watch them ride it first.
Use them as examples and learn how to sit and ride safely.
How to Get Off the Lift
Riding a chair lift on a snowboard is a little trickier than with skies.
It helps, therefore, to be prepared.
You should spend some time practicing one-footed riding to prepare you for the chair lift.
Keep one foot strapped to the board and let the other hang loose.
Use it to assist with turning and hang it over the edge to slow down and stop.
Spend some time going back and forward and getting used to riding with one foot, and then you can hit the lifts.
Riding the lift while the snowboard hangs from your leg can be a little tiring, so just rest it on your free foot to take some of the weight off.
As the chair lift nears the end, lift the safety bar, and try to turn sideways, with your rear foot free at the back of the board.
Wait for the ground to reach your snowboard, stand up, and ride straight.
You can use your free foot for stability or to propel yourself forward if required.
When you’re ready to stop, just drag your back foot in the snow as you practiced earlier.
Is it common to fall off a ski lift?
No, it’s not common to fall off a ski lift.
If a fall is going to happen it will most likely happen when you are getting on or off the lift.
With that said, there have been a few fatalities from people falling off the ski lift while it was traveling above the ground.
Get Out of the Way!
If you fall when you’re getting off the lift, just stand up, and keep going.
Don’t stay on the ground.
It can be embarrassing, sure, but if you’re lying flat on the snow and getting in the way of other chairs and riders, you’ll just make the situation worse.
Beginner snowboarders fall all of the time.
It’s to be expected, and it’s something you’ll get over eventually.
Summary: Getting Off the Lift with Grace
The aforementioned tips should help you to get on and get off the lift with grace and control the next time you’re on the slopes.
It could save you from minor embarrassment.
It could prevent you from becoming the next epic fail meme.
At the very least, it’ll make your snowboarding or skiing session more enjoyable.