Sadie's First Weekend Snowboarding

Well it happened. I strapped my feet into my first set of snow boots and hit the slopes this weekend. The feeling between nervous and excited ran a very thin line but I managed to stand up and slide down.

Snowboarding can be very easy, very safe, and very fun to learn, with the help of a qualified instructor. So be sure you work with a qualified instructor to get you started. It will help guide you through the beginner phases. Snowboarding is a different body movement than I have made before. Its like learning to balance on a super thin edge while sliding down a hill. Its even very different to surfing. These differences, and this new body movement, are things I will be learning throughout the process. Being gentle with your body motions and not pumping the board down the mountain is something I will struggle with but as everyone says “practice makes perfect.”

Sean Bellerby was my instructor for the weekend which was quite nice considering how calm and patient he was with me. Sean started me off on smaller hills to teach me the basics and to explore the feeling of this new activity. After he felt like I was ready to conquer bigger mountains we decided to head our way to the ski lifts!

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The first trip up to the top was quite an experience and a moment I will never forget. I’ve never been on a lift before and that in itself was the most exciting part for me. Being that high up and watching everyone shred down the mountain was so surreal, but I stayed focused on that fact that once we needed to get off the lift that I didn’t want to be the person that fell down off of it. So focus, focus, focus.

Well guess what? With the help of great snowboard instruction, I managed to get off smoothly and stood at the top of that mountain ready to conquer it. I watched children as young as 3 years just fly by me on their little boards and I thought to myself, if they can do it…so can I! Learning to snowboard felt like learning to walk again because its a new body movement to learn. To learn this sport quickly, to learn it safely, and to have fun doing it from the get go, you need a lot of guidance from a qualified instructor to get it down.

I would say for a first day, first hour I did pretty dang well. I fell safely a few times (only because I chose to learn this way, I’m kind of a fail and learn from my failures type of gal) and stood up ready to go again seconds after that. I learned to go left and right, what a j-turn is, to roll on snow, to use my heel and toe edges as breaks, but most of all I learned that I am very excited to get back on my board and try again soon.

A couple tips from this first timer :

  1. Wear layers - it was quite warm that day but once you start getting into the swing of things that extra padding and warmth really goes a long way. Also gloves DO help!
  2. Skating around with one foot really helps you get the hang of being on your board. You can get a quick feel for the ground beneath you without completely strapping all the way in.
  3. A great instructor makes all the difference - lucky for you readers you can use the GoSnow app to read about others experiences with instructors in your area. Find someone that fits your needs whether it’s your first time or not, a fun snow buddy can change the entire day.
  4. You will not get this sport down in one day - you may get the basics down and slight movements but don’t feel defeated after one day of snowboarding. Get back out there and try again, it’ll become second nature before you know it.
  5. Prepare for the time of your life - there’s nothing like getting out on a mountain with your friends and playing in the snow. Now i’m learning sports in the snow and it’s a whole new ballpark of fun. I cannot wait for the day that I can go fast and keep up with everyone else.

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So if you haven’t tried snowboarding for the first time and you’re a bit nervous, this new timer is happy to tell you that the excitement of the sport overcomes the fear of the sport. You’ll leave with a smile no matter what and you’ll feel accomplished knowing that today you tried something new! Happy shredding everyone!

PS: Sean Bellerby is not only a great entrepreneur, Co-Founder, and CEO of GoSnow. He is also the holder of a Snowboard Instruction New Zealand Level Two Qualification (which is internationally recognized). Sean has coached snowboarding at NZski, Whistler, & even young athletes at Steamboat Winter Sports Club. Someone said he might be teaching snowboarding at Powder Mountain this winter watch this space! So I’d say he is more than qualified to help his friends with their snowboarding!