- Boarding |
Anyone heading to the slopes, whether at home or abroad, will face the big choice – skiing or snowboarding. The sport is inspired by a mix of skateboarding, sledding, surfing and skiing. It has been around since the 1920s, when people would tie wooden planks from barrels to their feet to ride down hills, but has come a long way since. There are a number of different types of snowboarding including jibbing, freeriding, and half-pipe, but the most common is alpine snowboarding.
Snowboarding involves a rider sliding down a snowy slope whilst their feet are mounted on a board. Bindings hold specially designed boots in place which, unlike skiing, won’t unclip in the case of taking a tumble. Snowboarders require less gear than their skiing counterparts, with no need for poles, which is extremely useful when it comes to wipe outs in deep powder!
Similar to skateboarding and surfing, boarders control their direction and speed by leaning their body weight in a particular way. Boarders must keep their eyes looking forwards in the direction that they want to travel, rather than at the floor or downhill, as their eyes will lead the rest of the body.
Beginners will start on a flat board with slightly curved tips and should don a helmet and wrist guards before heading to the slopes.
Learners can try out the sport inside an artificial snow dome or on dry slopes. Interested in other snow sports or want to know where you can do them? Check out the full activities list here or find a location near you [HYPERLINK].
- Fun winter activity for all ages
- Quicker to learn than skiing
- Better than skis on slush and powder
- Transferrable skills between surfing and skateboarding
- Culture, community and lifestyle
- Lifts can be awkward
- Limited options in the UK
Training & Qualifications
You do not need formal snowboarding qualifications unless you want to instruct or guide. Expert training and instruction is highly recommended for all levels.
Snow sports can be expensive for something which you do maybe once or twice a year. Most ski and snowboard schools offer equipment for hire, with different boards available for more speed and control as you progress.
Your own boots and warm winter clothing are sound investments.