Unfortunately, not all of us can snowboard every day. Even if you live in one of the best mountain areas on earth, you’re still pretty likely to have an off-season. Practicing at home can help you stay in shape for when the snow starts to fall again.
I’ve been snowboarding for most of my life and currently work as a snowboarding instructor. I always give my students tips for practicing off the mountain, which seems to help them prepare.
This post will give you some great tips on how to practice snowboarding at home. Whether you have a big winter trip coming up or just want to stay ready for the first day of the season, the information found here will help you out.
Put your sweatpants on, and let’s get after it.
Things to Practice at Home
All of the skills, exercises, and tips I’ll mention in this section can help you stay prepared and ready for action once you get on the snow. Even if you are getting ready for your first day ever, these suggestions can still prove useful.
In my opinion, one of the best ways to practice snowboarding at home is to keep your body in shape and well-prepared for the winter. There is no way to replicate snowboarding without actually doing it, but focused exercise can get close.
There are many different exercises you can do to prepare for snowboarding. You want to focus on using your legs and core as these are the muscles you will use the most when riding. Having strong legs, hips, abs, and lower back muscles will let you adapt to the snow.
This excellent article by Burton will show you some exercises you can do easily at home. If you complete all of these three or more times a week, you’ll be in solid shape for the start of the season or your first time out.
Endurance is another critical factor towards getting into shape for snowboarding. Running, swimming, hiking, or any other endurance sport will help you prepare for the rigors of riding. If you can complete these at high elevation, even better.
The better you take care of your body off the snow, the better it will perform on the snow. I believe that a proper exercise program is essential for snowboarders at any ability level. Being an athlete requires training in the off-season!
2. Get on Your Board
Strapping into your board at home might sound like silly advice, but it can actually help you practice riding, especially if you are a beginner.
Before doing this, make sure you are on a soft surface that won’t cause any damage to your board or the floor. A carpeted room works great, or you can lay down a rug or blanket. You don’t want snowboard edges on tile, wood, or any other hard surface.
Simply strapping into your bindings and standing up on the board is good practice for beginners. If you are new to the sport, this can help you get used to the steps involved after getting off the chair lift.
You can also work on your balance without actually riding. Once you are fully strapped in, Lean toeside and heelside so you can get a feel for what the turns will be like. You can also lean front to back. Just shifting your weight slightly allows you to get comfortable on a board.
Doing heelside and toeside balances is another excellent way to practice. Simply lean into either edge of your board and try to maintain the balance with your board up for a few seconds. This will help you turn, stop, and start once you get onto the snow.
Practice squatting down and bending your knees. This will help you maintain balance when you are starting and stopping. You can also practice making small jumps and ollies. Just make sure you are on a very soft surface for this!
Another tip that I always tell my students for practicing at home is to just strap into your board and visualize yourself going down the mountain. Lean into your bindings or initiate turns while you do this. It’s like shadowboxing for snowboarders.
3. Use a Balance Board/Training Board
A balance board is a fun thing to have around the house that can help you practice snowboarding. These can be set up anywhere in your home, and you can jump on them anytime you want.
You won’t get much edge control practice with a balance board, but they can help keep your legs in shape. Working balance board training into your exercise routine can help you develop better balance that can pay off when the season starts.
A training board is another good way to practice at home. This is basically a wooden or plastic board that has strap-style bindings. I like to use these on a trampoline to practice different snowboarding tricks.
I have some friends who just use a skateboard deck without wheels as their snowboard training board. This also works well on a trampoline and is a lot of fun. If you don’t have a trampoline, you can still practice ollies or visualization.
4. Practice Other Board Sports
One of my favorite ways to practice snowboarding at home is to do other boards sports. Skateboarding and surfing are the two obvious choices for this. While they aren’t exactly like snowboarding, they are similar enough to help you stay in shape and practice.
I think skateboarding is more closely related to snowboarding because you use similar balance and lean into your turns. It’s also easy to skateboard at home for most people. Just remember to wear safety gear, so you don’t hurt yourself for the winter season.
Surfing is also a fantastic sport that can help you stay in shape for snowboarding. It’s more of a workout than skateboarding, but it’s also more demanding and not as accessible. If you live somewhere near the ocean, this can be the best way to spend the off-snow season.
5. Watch Snowboarding Movies/Videos
While this isn’t a method to help your body prepare for snowboarding, watching movies related to the sport can definitely help your mind. I always watch my favorite snowboarding movies in the days leading up to the start of the season to get stoked for the snow to come!
If you choose a movie or documentary filmed at an area or resort you like to ride, this can help you choose a new line or understand the terrain. Again, it’s more mental practice than anything else but can still pay off.
If you are a serious snowboarder, the warmer months of the year can seem to take forever. By practicing at home, you can keep your body and mind in shape for when the snow starts to fly.
All the tips mentioned here are easy to do, so take advantage of the time off and start today!
Do you have any tips for practicing snowboarding at home that I didn’t mention here? Let us know in the comments below.About Lorraine