Is snowboarding hard? It’s one of the most commonly-asked questions about this sport. It looks fairly easy, but looks can be deceptive, and people are understandably not willing to drop $1,000 on snowboarding equipment and resort passes before they understand just how challenging the sport is.
With that said, let’s see if we can answer that question and discover how hard it is to learn snowboarding.
Is Snowboarding Hard?
It’s often said that skiing is easier to learn and harder to master while snowboarding is harder to learn but easier to master. It’s true, but there are some important caveats.
If you’re the sort of person who struggles to stay upright when you’re standing on a skateboard or roller blades, none of these things will be easier for you and snowboarding could be incredibly difficult. Also, while snowboarding is easier to master than skiing, it’s definitely not “easy”.
The problem with snowboarding (from a beginner’s perspective) is that it can feel unnatural to stand sideways with your feet bound to a board. You’re turning sideways and looking forward or back, and you’re doing that while trying to maneuver a board through snow. It’s unnatural, and if you have no experience with board sports, it can seem impossible.
If you know how to skateboard, however, it should be much easier and may actually be easier for you than skiing.
With some prior experience and good balance, you can learn snowboarding in a few quick sessions. It will feel much more natural to you and you shouldn’t have an issue adapting. With no such experience and very poor balance, it’s a different story.
A Few Things to Make Snowboarding Easier
If you’re struggling to stay on the board and are sick of making raggedy snow angels as you angrily clamber back to your feet, the following tips could help you.
This Video: 10 beginner Snowboarding Skills
Get the Right Equipment
Snowboard bindings, snowboard boots, jackets, goggles—snowboarding gear extends far beyond a simple board. The right gear will ensure that you’re ready for the slopes and will keep you warm and protected when you’re out there.
You’re going to be falling a lot and wearing the right gear will greatly reduce the risk of injury and ensure you stay warm and dry at the same time.
Don’t Fall On Your Hands
When you fall off the board, your first instinct will be to hold out your hands, which is why some of the most common injuries in snowboarding occur in the wrists and arms.
You’re wearing enough padding to protect your board, so you don’t need your hands to cushion the blow. It will feel weird, but you need to learn how to roll into a fall, allowing your body (and not your hands or head) to hit the snow first.
Get in Shape
Professional snowboarders are athletes. They have a lot of core strength and fitness, and not only does that give them more control on the board, but it ensures they’re not as vulnerable during falls. The fitter you are, the easier it will be, and if you’re completely unfit when you hit the slopes, you could be placing your health at risk.
Get in shape before you learn snowboarding. You don’t need to be super fit, but you definitely shouldn’t be going from the couch to the slopes.
Don’t Worry How You Look
Beginners often try to do too much. They either try to learn quickly or assume that they are ready for tricks and high-speed rides long before they actually are. They’re eager to start riding like the pros, but more often than not, they’re also trying to impress other people around them.
No one expects you to be a master every time that you hit the slopes and your friends and fellow boarders are not going to be judging you, either.
Take it easy. Don’t worry about falling. And don’t try to do something you’re clearly not ready for.
Learn, Practice, and Keep Going
Experience makes everything easier. The more you ride, the easier it will get, and the more you know, the fewer mistakes you will make.
If you don’t have the money for a snowboarding instructor, just watch a few YouTube videos or ask some fellow boarders. They will tell you the basics and help you to shave hours off your practice time. Once you have all the basics nailed, you just need to get out on the snow and start putting them to the test.
It’s important that you have someone with you, though. They can be friends, an acquaintance, an instructor, or just someone who needs a snowboarding buddy for the day. Never ride along.
The learning curve is fairly steep, but if you go at your own pace, don’t expect everything to happen at once, and just try to enjoy yourself, you’ll get there eventually.
It’s like playing an instrument. If you approach the guitar with the knowledge that those first few weeks will be spent nursing sore fingers, getting frustrated, and learning basic chords and riffs, you’ll be okay. If you buy your first guitar with the expectation that you’ll be shredding like Slash within a few minutes, you’re going to be very disappointed and you’ll give up pretty quickly.
Can you learn snowboarding a day?
You probably can’t learn how to snowboard in a single lesson or day, and contrary to what you might think, you will always be surrounded by first-time snowboarders. More importantly, everyone is too busy concentrating on themselves to care about what you’re doing. If you want to shorten your learning curve, take a snowboarding lesson.
How long does it take to learn snowboarding?
With lessons or a someone to teach you, like really teach you not just watch you fall a lot, sooner than if you didn’t take lessons. Give yourself 2 or 3 days including a lesson or 2 to learn the basis of snowboarding. Put the time in. You will be glad you did.
Is snowboarding hard for beginners?
Snowboarding tends to be easier for beginner snowboarders who are transitioning from other board sports.
For other beginners with less boarding experience it could be more difficult. Stick with it and your will make progress.
Can I teach myself to snowboard?
Maybe, you are a good candidate. If are already good on another type of board like a skateboard or a surfboard and you have patience with yourself and can self-correct and you can learn from watching YouTube videos, then yes, you can probably teach yourself to snowboard.
Summary: Is Snowboarding Hard?
So, is snowboarding hard? Well, not really, but it all depends on you. No two beginner snowboarders are the same. Some have boarding experience, are better at balancing, have more willpower, and don’t have any fitness or strength issues. Others expect everything to happen at once and think they can be Shaun White after their first lesson.
The good news is that regardless of your skill level, snowboarding is fun for everyone.