I’m in no way naturally good at snowboarding, but I’ve stuck at it for nearly a decade. These are the things that helped me learn quicker…
Do a season
If you can, riding regularly is for sure the best way to progress. I went every weekday without fail and that’s when things finally started to click for me. You also get to ride a whole range of conditions which leaves you better equipped next time you encounter icy hard pack or even better, thigh deep powder. Which leads me to…
Go out in all conditions
Yes, even when the weather/snow/visibility is rubbish. I’ve ridden in slow, wet rain-snow, complete white outs and frigid cold temperatures (minus 37, plus wind chill) and although none were ideal, dealing with different conditions definitely improved my overall ability. Plus, next time it’s a bluebird powder day you’ll appreciate it all the more.
Ride with people better than you
Although when I was starting out I sometimes hated riding with people better than me – always being the one that can’t catch up sucks – I know it made me a better snowboarder. Riding with people more confident than me helped me go faster and take on tricky traverses and sketchy runs that I wouldn’t have pushed myself to do on my own. As a result, you end up riding better on those runs you are comfortable on.
Get your kit right
Don’t underestimate the difference a new board or boots can make. I suffered with my boots for years until I decided enough was enough, went to the ski and snowboard show and tried on every single pair of boots there. Now I have the right boots I never get foot or calf pain, which was my main issue.
Changing my board also made a big difference, even though I was getting along fine with my existing board, I tried a different one on a demo day and it was so good I refused to give it back (luckily they were happy to sell it to me).
And a few things that didn’t help
Good until a point, but a 30 second run can’t compare with the mountain. Save your money and go to the Alps instead.
Buying second hand boots
It’s tempting, but in my experience, never worth it.