How to Ride a Ski Lift When Snowboarding

How to Ride a Ski Lift When Snowboarding
Unfortunately for snowboarders, skiing has been around a few extra years and ski resorts were designed with skiers in mind. No place demonstrates this more clearly than the ski lift. Trying to sit down on a chair while strapped to a board pointed directly forward can be awkward for any rider, particularly a beginner. Riding a ski lift on a snowboard takes a bit of practice to perfect, but it shouldn't be intimidating; you'll never get to snowboard until you try it.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Get in line. Whenever possible, choose the side that is more comfortable for you. For instance, if you are more comfortable on your heel edge, try to get to the side of the lift in which you'll turn out onto your heel edge to move away from other riders (for a goofy-footed rider this will be the right side of the lift). Beginners who are not that comfortable with getting off the lift should avoid sitting in middle of several other lift passengers, as there is less room for error and more likelihood of crashing into someone.
Step 2
Proceed as directed by the lift attendant or automated lift system. Be sure to take turns when merging from separate lines. When the lift chair ahead of you turns the corner and begins to move forward toward the passengers, begin to skate toward the loading position.
Step 3
Position yourself on the "Load Here" mat on the ground with your board pointed directly forward. Turn to watch the lift approach. As the lift approaches, sit down on the chair and push yourself back so that you are comfortably seated and balanced by the time the lift moves into the air.
Step 4
Lower the lift bar. Chances are that if you're riding with a skier, he'll want to lower the lift bar. Unfortunately, the foot rests on lift bars can be rather uncomfortable for snowboarders since they require pointing the board forward and twisting your legs and ankles accordingly. However, it's basic etiquette to drop the bar if one passenger asks. If no one asks, most snowboarders find it more comfortable to ride with the bar up so they don't have to twist their legs and can allow the board to hang more laterally. Some resorts may require the bars to be dropped, so consider any regulations. You may also find that the foot rest works for you or that you prefer the protection of the safety bar.
Step 5
Keep your board out of the way of any lift towers or trees that are close enough to smash into. Keep your eye out for such obstacles and position your board accordingly.
Step 6
Raise the lift bar. Most lifts have a sign indicating when it's time to raise the bar. If there's no sign, simply raise the bar when you get within one or two lift towers of the unloading zone.
Step 7
As you approach the unloading ramp, point your board forward, keep the tip up and let it slowly meet the ground. Put your back foot on the board between the bindings (on the stomp pad if you have one) and push off the chair so that you glide directly forward into the unloading area. Be sure that you move forward before the chair begins to circle back around or you may get caught or knocked over.
Step 8
Stand straight up, maintain your balance and glide forward. Turn slightly away from the passenger next to you to avoid crashing into him. Don't cut him off just because you want to go in the other direction. You can skate wherever you need to go once you've come to a stop.

Tips & Warnings

 
Use a stomp pad between the bindings to provide more traction for getting on and off lifts and general skating. Use your free foot to support the snowboard while riding the lift to prevent uncomfortable pressure on your front foot.
 
Use a stomp pad between the bindings to provide more traction for getting on and off lifts and general skating.
 
Use your free foot to support the snowboard while riding the lift to prevent uncomfortable pressure on your front foot.
 
If you have trouble getting on or off of the lift, yell to the attendant so that he can stop the lift and prevent further problems. Don't be embarrassed to yell; hanging off the lift by one arm or getting plowed into by the guy behind you will be much worse. Don't stop and strap in right in front of the unloading zone or you may get run into by those behind you. Move to the side to strap in.
 
If you have trouble getting on or off of the lift, yell to the attendant so that he can stop the lift and prevent further problems. Don't be embarrassed to yell; hanging off the lift by one arm or getting plowed into by the guy behind you will be much worse.
 
Don't stop and strap in right in front of the unloading zone or you may get run into by those behind you. Move to the side to strap in.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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