Almost every snowboarder wants to get better. It does not matter if you just learned how to ride or if you have many seasons under your belt, there’s always room for improvement. However, going about that is not as straightforward as it first might seem. There are many factors that influence your ability on a snowboard. In this guide, we will break down the important ones to help you advance your skills and reach the next level.
Some People Are Naturals
Before we get into the tips on how to get better at snowboarding, it’s important to realize that some people are going to be naturally better than others. If you happen to be one of those naturals, you’re lucky. Take advantage of your abilities and push yourself to the limits as best as you can.
If you aren’t naturally gifted on a board, don’t worry. That doesn’t mean you can’t become an expert snowboarder. It just means you need to put in more work and effort to get better. You are still quite capable of reaching new heights, but it will take more time to get there. The majority of riders fall into this category, so don’t get frustrated if you have a friend that’s a natural or if you can’t quite excel right away. You can still become great if you put in the effort.
Get on the Snow
Practice makes perfect. There’s no better way to get better at snowboarding than to get on the snow and ride. The more time you spend snowboarding, the better you will become. If you want to see your skills improve, snowboard as much as you can. When you spend time on the snow, you will improve your overall riding abilities far better than if you only ride every once in a while.
You can also take advantage of your time on the snow by focusing on specific skills you want to improve. For instance, maybe you want to get better in the terrain park or maybe you want to learn how to ride in the trees. Focus your time and energy working towards those specific goals and you will see improvements.
If you want to get better quickly, you need to shoot for a minimum of 20 days on the mountain during a single season. However, it would be much better if you could get 50 or more. Obviously, everyone’s going to have a different schedule and you might not be able to hit those marks, but you can still make progress. Just take advantage of every day you have and get in as many runs in as possible.
Another way to get better is to take a snowboarding lesson with a good instructor. Even if you’re an intermediate rider and have the basics down, there’s always room for improvement. An instructor is going to be able to take a good look at your current abilities and help you figure out where you can improve. This is quite valuable and something that you won’t always be able to do on your own.
If you’re just learning, a lesson is essential. Without help, you might never figure out how to develop basic skills. You could also develop some bad techniques that will hurt you later on. Lessons are a great way to learn from more skilled riders as well. They help you get personalized attention so you can improve your riding abilities and, while they do cost money, they give you a way to get better in a much more efficient way.
Another reason lessons are a good idea is that they can help you bust through a plateau. Whether it’s mental or physical, having someone walk you through the steps enables you to get places you wouldn’t be able to otherwise reach.
Get in Shape
Getting in shape is another way to get better at snowboarding. The sport is demanding, and the better prepared your body is to handle the rigors of the mountain, the more likely you are to improve. There’s no better way to get in good snowboarding shape than to actually snowboard, but you can train off of the snow during the warmer months and even in-season to help your body perform at its best.
Strong legs and core muscles are key when snowboarding. In order to control your board, you need your body to respond quickly and effectively at a moment’s notice. The stronger you are, the more control you will have and the less likely you are to get fatigued while riding. Lifting weights or at least doing some bodyweight leg exercises like squats at least three times a week can really help your riding.
You also want to be in good cardiovascular shape. If you want to do any backcountry riding or go hard on the mountain, you are going to get winded. The better your cardio shape is, the better you will perform over a long period of time. Pushing yourself when you ride is a good way to get into good cardio shape. If you are out of breath after a long run, that’s a good thing. Jogging, biking, and hiking help your riding as well.
With hard work and dedication, you can easily get better at snowboarding. When you’re first learning, you might see big changes right away. When you’re more advanced, it can take longer to make the breakthroughs that will get you to the next level. Either way, if you stay focused, work hard, and get out on the snow as much as you can, you’re sure to get better.
Do you have any tips for other riders to improve their abilities? Let us know in the comments below!