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So, you decided to give snowboarding a try . . .
 

If you’re anything like me – then you’ve decided to try snowboarding while playing a videogame (“Coolboarders 3” for PS rocks!). Or maybe you saw a movie or a video that featured snowboarding. Or maybe your friend snowboards, and got you to try it. And as you’re heading for the mountain, you’re already dreaming of doing cool trick in the halfpipe and making crowd go “Holy shizznit!”.  After all, it looks easy in a videogame, and your friend already told you what “halfpipe” and “shizznit” mean . . .

 

If you would like to remain in the above-described dreamworld (well, at least until you put the board on for the first time) – read no more of this rant!  Off you go, hit the slopes before the snow melted.  However, the result will most likely be very disappointing for you – reality often bites.  The rest of this article is for people who are slightly more down-to-earth and would like to know what to expect from their first day on the board, and how to make that first day somewhat less PAINFUL.

 

Heh, I’ll bet the word at the end of the last paragraph got your attention! PAINFUL. Yes, snowboarding can be that. If you are terrified of pain, then you probably should stay home and learn crochet. If you’re not – here’s WHY the snowboarding WILL hurt at first.

-         Sore muscles! After your first day on the snow you will discover a multitude of muscles you never knew you had. They will make themselves known throughout your body for approximately two days after your on-the-snow experience.

-         Falls!  You WILL fall. It will take 2-4 days (on the snow) to get your balance sorted out so that you don’t fall when turning and stopping.

-         Cold!  Snowboarding is a WINTER sport.

 

And here’s for some more good news – there are ways to minimize the pain and suffering of your first day. Here’s how :

 -         Sore muscles! The better physical shape you’re in – the less soreness you will experience. Also, with every trip your muscles will be more and more used to the exertion, and will hurt less and less. I’m not talking one trip every season – I’m talking a trip a week.

-         Falls! You can get devices to reduce the impact, such as : Wrist guards, knee guards and padded shorts. All three recommended, but are not necessities if you think you’re tough enough!

-         Cold!  Proper clothing is the key here. Remember – you’re spending a day outside –dress warmly. However, don’t overdo it – you will be engaged in a very physical activity – overdressing will mean sweating, which will freeze the moment you stop . . .   My personal guideline – dress so that you would not be comfortable just sitting outside for half an hour, but could tolerate it.  Also – give preference to synthetics over cotton, especially in undergarments, as cotton tends to collect and keep moisture, whereas synthetics suck it away from your body. Outside layer should be at least waterproof, if can’t afford fancy snowboarding outerwear.

Another great way to avoid or reduce the discomfort of the first two items on the list is to take a snowboarding lesson on your first day. The lesson is designed to prevent you from making at least some of the mistakes (and in snowboarding every mistake will either hurt or ache, or both!) and to teach you how to snowboard more efficiently, thus reducing an undue strain on your body in the future.

 

Now, why would I go into describing all this pain and suffering? Am I trying to scare you away from snowboarding? Of course I am! And if you were scared by what you just read – I’ll repeat myself – stay home, watch Oprah. 

 

If you’re not scared off at this point – you are prepared to snowboard. You have a fairly good idea of what to expect on your first day, and if you give snowboarding a fair chance, it won’t disappoint you.

Written by Stan... A Hunter instructor and serious carver!


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