#6 It’s cold so invest in quality, breathable under layers
SO IMPORTANT. Good breathable thermals that pull moisture from your body but keep you warm are a vital staple in any snowboarder’s wardrobe. Avoid wearing a cotton T-shirt or under layers as these will soak up your sweat, prevent your skin from breathing, making you feel wet all the time. If the temperature drops, your sweat-soaked underlayer could also freeze, making you even colder. Cotton = bad… Synthetic - like polyester - or natural - like merino wool = the best! (Merino Wool is so good because it doesn’t smell). EVER! Patagonia (or Patagucci as ski-bums call it!) is also recommended.
#7 Your gloves need to be super waterproof
Like comfy snowboard boots, you want your gloves to be waterproof and warm. As a beginner snowboarder learning to turn, you spend a lot of time pushing yourself to your feet and switching from your bum to your belly with your hands. If you are taking a bag up the mountain, carry a spare pair of gloves that you can change for your afternoon snowboard session if your first pair gets soaked.
#8 Your forearms, leg and neck muscles will hurt after your first day
Depending on whether you are regular or goofy, you will spend the majority of the day looking over that front shoulder (the same as your forward leg); This is a bit unusual and your neck muscles won’t be used to it. Another set of muscles you won’t be used to using as often are your forearms to push yourself up and different legs muscles to balance.
You’ll have pain, (good pain) in muscles you never knew you had! Spend some time before your first-day snowboarding doing pushups on a box (with your arms behind you so you work your triceps) and do squats (so you work your quads). This should help warm up these muscles and get them ready for a hard workout. Unfortunately, there isn’t too much you can do for your neck.
You are also going to want to take some essential oil rubs and heat pads with you. Prime Natural Muscle Relief Blend essential oil is great for tired and sore muscles, comes in 10ml bottle and is undiluted.
#9 Try to keep your weight directly over your board
When up and riding, try to imagine you have a pole that runs vertically down the centre of your body, sticking out of the top of your head and out of your bum! When standing on your snowboard ready to ride, you want this pole to be going vertically down between your legs, falling in-between your snowboard boots. It shouldn’t be sticking out behind you way over the heel edge of your board. If you imagine trying to keep your back straight and over the centre of your snowboard, this will help position the weight equally over your heel and toe edge.
#10 Speed is your friend
Everything that you do on your snowboard will become easier when you have momentum behind you in the form of speed. You will need speed to initiate your turns, to bring your snowboard round when you feel it is getting stuck, and to start your next turn. Speed is your friend. Speed is always your friend. Try to be comfortable with speed and learn to just ‘point it’ as we say! And one more time…..SPEED IS YOUR FRIEND!
#11 Snowboarding flatbase is one of the hardest things to do
When snowboarding, you are normally on an edge, your heel edge or your toe edge. Sometimes on cat-tracks or flat roads, to keep speed you will need to go flat base. This means you are not on your heel or toe edge but the board is flat to the snow. This is one of the hardest things to do BUT, speed makes it easier as it will stabilise your snowboard under your feet. Stick with it, don’t be scared and remember that speed is your friend.
#12 Look after your skin-take some sunscreen and lip SPF in your pocket
Snow reflects 80% of UV reflection meaning sun exposure when snowboarding is close to double what it would be normally. Protect your skin from getting cremated and becoming a leathery old mountain women, by keeping a small tube of zinc-based mineral sunscreen and lip SPF in your pocket. You’ll lose them so put them in lots of pockets!
Look for good deals and discount codes on natural sunscreens before you go on your trip. You will definitely need a lot of it.It’s also a good idea to take a good face cream or oil (like rosehip oil), so you can soothe your skin overnight ready for the next day. Sun Bum make some great products you can keep in your pocket.