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How to Snowboard for Beginners

By Contributor

Snowboarding is an exciting sport, but with proper precautions is no more dangerous than any other high-energy participation sport, according to the National Ski Areas Association. A new snowboarder should understand that although the sport is challenging, physical skills and a better understanding of mechanics are learned with practice over time.

Step 1

Put on your boots and make sure they are tied as tight as you can get them. The more space there is in your boots, the harder it will be to control your board. Make sure you have your gloves and goggles and proceed to the lift.

Step 2

Strap in your front foot. For most beginners, this is your left foot. Put your front foot in the bindings and tighten the straps. They don't have to be tightened all the way yet; you can do that at the top of the run. When it's your turn, push up to the line with your free foot and sit on the lift as it comes under you. Prop your board up on your free foot to take the pressure off of your strapped-in ankle.

Step 3

At the top of the lift, take the board off of your free foot and twist your body a little so that you are lined up with your front foot forward. As your board touches the ground, put down your free foot and your stomp pad -- the gel pad you should have on your board between the bindings -- and push off of the lift chair to stand up and ride away. Make sure you are not going to hit someone, and turn "heel side" if you were on the left or "toe side" if you were on the right to stop. Don't worry, everyone falls down during this part until they get the hang of it.

Step 4

Push yourself with your free foot to the top of the run you plan to go down. It is highly recommended that you choose a shallow, wide run with no trees, jumps or other obstacles. Try to find a family run or at least a slow run so you don't get in other people's way. Bend over or sit down if you can't keep your balance, and strap your other foot into your bindings. Make sure that both bindings are tightened well. Push up to stand so that you are facing downhill and your board is perpendicular to the slope. This will be your "stop" position for now.

Step 5

Twist at the hips while tilting back your board to keep the "toe side" off of the snow. Beginners spend a lot of time "catching an edge," which means letting the edge facing downhill touch the snow, and falling. At this point just concentrate on bending your knees and keeping your toe edge up, then tilt your hips so you slide to the left, then tilt them back so you slide to the right. You should look like a falling leaf dipping back and forth.

Step 6

Turn around so that you are on your toe edge, perpendicular to the slope, facing up the mountain. Make sure to really bend your knees and avoid catching your heel edge so you spend as little time as possible on your butt. Then proceed to "leaf" down the run again, remembering to turn at the hips.

Step 7

Practice going strait down the run and turning both left and right and stopping. Remember to always bend your knees and turn at the hips. When going downhill, the board is controlled by your back foot, so tilt to the correct edge and swing your back foot out. With practice you will become good at this and be able to do it quickly without thinking.

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