As we all know, snowboarders are very passionate about their sport! They spend lots of time practicing their tricks, working on new ones, and meeting up with other riders for pow days or tour seasons.
Many people begin snowboarding as beginners who need help learning how to ride and get some inspiration from watching YouTube videos. Others may be more advanced, but can sometimes feel discouraged because they cannot seem to learn anything new.
Both groups have something in common: there is always someone somewhere that knows how to do a trick better than you. This can make you feel bad if you try to imitate it or even keep trying to perform this trick because you don’t want to look dumb next to them.
I understand why this could cause feelings of self-doubt and fear of failure. But here’s what I will tell you – it’s totally normal.
It’s completely natural to feel like this when you watch pro snowboarders doing really cool moves. It takes a lot of practice and effort to become good at your own trade, which makes it hard to compare yourself to others.
However, this should not prevent you from keeping training and improving your skills going. You are still on a journey to success and creating memories while you’re engaged in your passion.
Self-confidence is an important part of being successful and functioning well in life. So, believe in yourself and pick your battles wisely by focusing only on things you can control.
Repetition is the mother of skill
As mentioned before, snowboarders spend a lot of time practicing their tricks. However, there’s one trick that most beginners fail to work on consistently — repetition.
Snowboarders will learn a new trick about twenty times before they can add it into their repertoire. This seems like an awful lot, but it’s not! It’s actually very little compared to what professional snowboarders do.
Professional riders have a trick repeated hundreds or even thousands of times until it becomes second nature. The more times you practice something, the closer your brain gets to thinking “this feels natural.”
Practice makes perfect. So why don’t we see many perfectionists when it comes to skiing and/or riding? I think part of the reason has to do with our culture.
We are always looking for the next big thing, the hot trick. When someone else does this cool move, everyone goes and tries to copy it.
This mentality is great if you want to be famous for doing a backside nose drop. But if your goal is to feel comfortable performing basic maneuvers, this may get in your way.
It could also hurt your progress because you’ll be chasing after the pro instead of learning how to take care of yourself first.
Avoid these pitfalls by making practice fun.
Practice when it makes sense
Even if you are already advanced, there is always something new you can learn about your snowboard skills. There’s no reason to feel that you have learned everything there is to know about your board!
You can find most anything you need to improve your riding online. YouTube offers very detailed tutorials for almost every trick imaginable.
Practice your new skill as soon as possible after learning it so you can get quicker results. This is especially true for more complex tricks such as back-to-front ollies or kick flips.
Once you have mastered those two tricks, try doing one per minute without stopping. You will quickly see how much faster you go once you start practicing this rule.
And don’t forget to use your natural instinct in front of the computer! Some riders pick up certain moves just by trying them out and feeling what feels right.
Try new tricks
The best way to improve your snowboard riding is by trying different types of tricks. There are several ways to learn new tricks so you can start easy and work up from there!
Tricks such as front lip, back lipslide, tabletop or butter table, switch kickbacks, half-pirouette (or coffin) tails, and heel flips all require lots of practice, so try one every day for a few minutes until you feel comfortable doing them.
You don’t need to do these at full speed, but if you can manage it then that would be great!
Some people also suggest practicing with slow music so that no distractions occur. This helps focus on the trick alone!
Reminder: Never push yourself too hard! If you feel tired, take a break, relax, and come back later. You will know when you have practiced enough because your muscles will feel relaxed and you will enjoy snowboarding more.
The number one snowboard skill is staying hydrated, so make sure you are drinking enough water before, during and after your session.
Many people start skiing or boarding in winter when children’s ski programs offer refreshments such as drinks and snacks. However, adult skiers and boarders should be just as aware of their drink intake since most resorts do not have easy access to beverages.
Most people assume that they will stay well-hydrated while out for an activity, but no matter what kind of rider you are, you can always improve your skills.
Snowboarding is a relatively active sport, which means you will be moving around more than sitting down, keeping you engaged and requiring more fluid to keep up with your body.
You may also find yourself going uphill or downhill more frequently, both of which require additional fluids to prevent bone and muscle dryness. A good rule of thumb is to drink two cups per person per hour of activity.
Eat and drink properly
While snowboarders mostly focus on how fast they can get down an icy slope, there is another important element of their sport that gets much less attention– how well they ride the board. Riders who are able to control their board and keep it stable will be more comfortable for extended periods of time.
Snowboards have different types of feet designed for specific tricks or styles of riding. The most common type is what’s called a “freestyle foot.” These have very flexible toes that allow you to do almost anything! However, using a freestyle foot requires careful management of your weight because too much pressure in one area may cause instability.
Fortunately, we have some tips here for improving your board handling skills. One of our favorite tips is to eat smart and drink enough water. Why? Because both foods and liquids contain glucose, which gives us energy. And since snowboarding is a winter activity, you should be sure to give yourself enough fuel to stay awake during the event!
Another way to improve your board control is by working on your balance. You can do this by practicing doing things as quickly as possible (like jumping off a ramp) or by trying to maintain position with your body while keeping your hands still.
Get an expert to watch you
It is impossible to improve your snowboard skills if you do not have someone who can show you how to ride! Find a professional that teaches beginners so that they can see some of your skills, and then ask them to critique yours.
There are many ways to learn about snowboarding, from watching YouTube videos to attending workshops or clinics. The best way to find out which one works for you is by experimenting with different types of learning.
You could try just spending an hour every day practicing certain moves, or you could spend more time under the guidance of an experienced teacher.
Join a club
If you want to improve your snowboard skills, then there is no better way than to do it with people of like-minded individuals. A local board park or professional event can be a great source for finding such clubs that offer lessons and competitions.
Most parks have beginner’s groups where members are able to practice maneuvers and learn how to ride more efficiently. Or if you are already quite advanced, there may be an open group or competition that anyone can join to watch others perform tricks on a half pipe or powder slope!
These settings work especially well when done in a community setting as other similarly skilled riders are available to help you develop your fundamentals and concepts.
Ride with friends
This is one of the most important things you can do as a snowboarder. You will learn more from your peers than anywhere else!
Finding friendly riders who are willing to teach you their tricks or show you new ones is the best way to improve your own skills.
Your riding style will influence what types of maneuvers you can perform, so looking at different styles and figuring out how to add some unique touches to yours is very helpful.
You’ll also get inspiration for new trick ideas when you watch others in action.
Having people look up to you and wanting to be like you makes you want to push yourself harder to achieve that goal.
Surrounding yourself with talented individuals will help you stay motivated and keep practicing.