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Snowboarding holidays: beginner’s dos and don’ts

If you’re planning your first snowboarding holiday, here are a few dos and don’ts to help you on your way.

Do

Get in as many lessons as you can before you go, ideally at a snowdome. Dry slopes are fine (and cheaper), but a long way from the feeling of having real snow beneath your feet. By having at least a basic grasp of boarding, and even being able to turn confidently, you’ll get so much more out of your trip.

Don’t

Assume that just because you have good balance and balls of steel, you’re going to be a natural. Snowboarding is a skill that takes time, patience and a lot of practice. While balance and balls help, they’re useless without skill.

Do

Choose your destination wisely. It can be easy to be drawn in by the bright lights of big, popular resorts, but as a beginner you want somewhere which is going to help, rather than hinder your progression. Here are some good options for first timers.

Don’t

Go out and spend thousands of pounds on new hardware. As a beginner it’s highly unlikely you’ll need a brand new, top of the range snowboard, despite how much of a ‘gnarly dude’ you think it’ll make you look. Beg, steal and borrow all you can for your first trip, or hire it when you’re out there.

Do

Invest in good pair of boots. Seriously, if you’re going to invest your money anywhere, make it boots. When you’re on the slopes, comfort is so important, and believe me when I say that even the best of days can be tarnished by the relentless pain of foot cramps.

Don’t

Forget your helmet! You know what’s cool? Not having brain damage, that’s what.

Do

Dress appropriately. And by this I don’t mean dress only in Burton gear, but rather consider that snow is cold and wet (who knew!?). Layer up, wear decent gloves, and make sure you have suitable arse protection, because you’re going to be spending a lot of time sat on it.

Don’t

Wear sunglasses when you ride – they look whack, fall off easily, and can shatter in your eyes if you take face dive. Goggles are much better in every sense.

Do

Brush up on your piste etiquette.

Don’t

Drink and ride. It makes snowboarding incredibly difficult, and puts yourself and others in danger.

Do

Get in shape. You’ll enjoy your trip much more if your body is able to keep up with your enthusiasm. It’s your legs which will take the most battering, so get them working overtime in the lead up to your trip. Also, stretch at the start and end of each day – you’ll feel better for it in the morning.

Don’t

Give up. Snowboarding is a difficult art to master, but once it ‘clicks’, it’s the best feeling. Remember that even the pros started somewhere.

Do

Have fun and brag repeatedly to your friends and family by posting lift selfies on Facebook and Instagram. Better still, buy a helmet camera and brag via the medium of HD video.

Got something to add? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

Cover image via Dag Magnus
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Matt B

Snowboarder | Cyclist | Rookie SUPer