How to Teach Snowboarding Lessons
When teaching a child or friend to snowboard, it's important to be patient and work slowly, allowing the student to grasp one aspect of riding before moving on to the next. With a little work, you can provide the tools to understand the techniques involved in the sport. From there, it's simply a matter of practice.
Have the person strap his front foot into the binding and secure the leash onto the ankle or boot. Get him to stand up straight and try skating with his back foot, pushing off to move forward. Allow some time for him to get comfortable with skating on the board.
Go to a slight incline and let your student practice sliding downhill with one foot strapped in. Have her bend her knees and put the rear foot onto the stomp pad. Suggest applying pressure with the heels or toes to bring the board around to a stop. This practice will come in handy when it comes time to unload on the lift.
Take your student onto the bunny hill. Instruct him carefully on how to get onto the lift and have him watch others in front of him to get the idea. Provide physical support if he falls and help him to get seated onto the lift. Be sure to lower the safety bar.
While riding, discuss how you will dismount the lift. When you get close, pull the bar up and lead by example, spinning your board into the correct position and allowing it to glide onto the snow. Instruct your student to put her rear foot between the bindings on the stomp pad and push off of the lift, gliding to the dismount area and applying slight pressure to one of the edges to stop. Watch closely and assist if she falls or struggles with stopping. Ask the lift attendant to stop the lift, should she fall inside the path of other lift riders.
Get your student into the correct position. The knees should be bent slightly and his weight should be distributed evenly on the board. Start with the board parallel to the mountain and have your student stand up and get balanced.
Begin with the basic falling leaf motion. Begin on the edge that is most comfortable for your student (likely the heel edge so she can see down the mountain). At first she'll keep the board parallel to the slope in a stopped position, but will slowly apply weight onto the front foot and begin moving in that direction. When she comes to the side of the trail or is ready to proceed in the opposite direction, she'll apply weight to the rear foot, move in the opposite direction, back into neutral position and begin sliding in the other direction.
Lead by example. Stay a few feet ahead and demonstrate how the falling leaf works. Alternately, if you're comfortable riding backwards and working closely, hold your student's hands and physically prompt him into the motions.
Practice falling leaf on both edges until the student is comfortable with the basics of shifting weight and using the edges to stop and move. Then prompt her to apply more pressure, spinning the board out and gaining more comfort with speed and handling. Remind her that she can always bring the board to a stop by shifting to the opposite foot.
If your student is progressing quickly, move on to more advanced techniques such as J-turns and carving. If not, continue practicing and save those techniques for the next day on the slopes.
Tips & Warnings
Always be positive and patient, and verbally encourage your student.
Don't push the student. If he's tired, take a break.
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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