How to Ride Chair Lifts With a Snowboard

How to Ride Chair Lifts With a Snowboard
Snowboarding arrived on the scene a bit later than skiing. What this means is that chair lifts are designed for skiers. While those skiers are sitting back relaxed and comfortable, snowboarders are twisting and praying that their board doesn't fall off. If you're lucky, you can ride a gondola or tram all day, where you take the board off and sit or stand comfortably. Otherwise, you'll have to learn to ride a regular chair lift--or start hiking.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Snowboard Lift ticket
  • Snowboard
  • Lift ticket
Step 1
Purchase your lift ticket and get in line. Get ready. Insert your front foot into the binding and tighten down the straps. If you're using a leash, secure that to your ankle or boot. Skate up to the line.
Step 2
When the people in front of you move into loading position, watch their chair. As it comes around the corner and approaches them, proceed forward slowly.
Step 3
Line your board up so that it's pointed forward and the front is resting on the loading line. Keep the board straight and turn your head to watch for the chair coming up behind you.
Step 4
Gently sit down as the chair comes near enough and quickly shift your weight to the back of the seat. Get comfortable.
Step 5
Lower the bar. Many resorts require you to lower the bar and it is a good safety precaution. It's also usually less comfortable because of the footrests designed for forward-facing skis. Once you get comfortable riding lifts, it'll be up to you whether to lower the bar or not, but for the first couple of times, it's best to lower it.
Step 6
Situate your feet. If there's a footrest, you can twist your body so that you're able to rest the board on it. Another option that might be more natural is to swing the board out in front of the footrest, place your free foot underneath the heel-side edge to take some weight off your front foot and rest whichever leg is in front of the footrest. This will keep the board parallel with your shoulders and won't require twisting. Experiment with positions to find the one that feels most comfortable.
Step 7
Enjoy the view and watch other skiers and riders, but pay attention to how close you are to the top. Two or three poles before the lift gets to the unloading area, move your board and feet out of the way of the footrest and lift up the bar. There's often a sign indicating when to lift the bar.
Step 8
As you approach the unloading area, turn and straighten the board so that it's pointing forward. If you're unsure of where the person next to you is going, don't hesitate to ask. Keep the tail of the board raised as much as you can so it doesn't get caught in the snow.
Step 9
Let the lift guide you forward so that the board meets the ground on the flat area prior to the dismount slope. As you approach the lip of the slope, put your back foot on your stomp pad in front of the rear binding, stand up off the lift seat, balance your weight and ride down. Carve away from the unloading area to prevent getting hit by the next rider, or stop and then skate over to the side.

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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