5 Easy Ways To Get Better At Snowboarding

Get better at snowboarding without leaving your house!

Photo: Mathieu Crepel by David Carlier

Snowboarding isn’t like other sports: there’s no score, no way to ‘win’ at it for most - instead you’re presented with a chance for continuous self-progression and expression. The beauty of it is that, more often than not, the best way to get better at snowboarding is to simply go snowboarding.

However, there are a few things you can do to ease your path through it all. Compared to a gym or football field, the mountains can be a harsh environment to learn in, plus the myriad of different equipment and clothes can initially be confusing. Often just giving some thought to these things in advance can save you considerable effort on the hill and give you a much more pleasant background to your riding.

Without getting bogged down in technical details about edge control or trick tips on 180s, we’ve come up with five super easy things you can do to get better at snowboarding before you even get on a chairlift. Trying out just one of these ideas might make a difference to your riding, so why not give them a try? And if you have anything to add, make sure you hit us up on Instagram with your own tips!

1 - Get Your Shit Together

Tim Humphreys and Sarka Pancochova check they have everything on the gondola. Photo: David Carlier

There’s no getting away from it: snowboarding requires a lot of gear. As well as your board, boots and bindings there’s also hats, goggles, helmets, facemasks, jackets, gloves and lift passes plus a whole lot more to think about, and forgetting any one thing can ruin a day.

It may sound like common sense, but keeping everything in the same place is a good start. Pop your goggles in your helmet and then hang them by the radiator you keep your gloves on, that way you can grab everything you’re not wearing in one go as you leave. Ratchet your gloves into your bindings and there’s less chance you’ll drop one on the way!

Put your lift pass in a dedicated pocket as soon as you get it, then never open it again. If you have a good selection of zips on your outerwear you can also find permanent homes for suncream, a spare pair of glove liners, a goggle wipe and any other essentials that you never think about until you need them. It sounds nerdy, but being organised means there’s less time spent faffing and more time for riding.

2 - Set Your Equipment Up Right

3 - Watch More Snowboarding

There are few easier ways to get better at something than by watching Youtube videos! Yes, with practice comes perfection, but as style is such a fundamental aspect of snowboarding, it’s important to have some good influences.

Snowboard media curates the best videos around, so it’s easy to find riders whose style you like and want to emulate, whether they’re backcountry shredders or just simply showcasing the latest in on-piste carving

4 - Get Up Early

This shot by Mike Basich makes the advantages of getting up early pretty clear

Generally, the early you get up the mountain, the better it will be. The pistes are fresh, there’s more powder on offer and by default you day is longer - perfect conditions for getting better at snowboarding.

As hard as it is to drag yourself out of a warm bed on a cold winter morning, the fresh air in your lungs at the top of that first lift will make it all worthwhile, we promise!

5 - Stretch

A recent chat with a yoga teacher got us thinking: why is it that with any other sport, be it running, football or swimming, a proper warm up and warm down are seen as essential, whereas with snowboarding the session often ends abruptly with a beer?

Days on the mountain are long and hard on your body, so even if it’s just once or twice a week, having a good stretch can loosen you up, make you aware of any complaints and help you kickstart an improvement in your riding.

Luckily for you, Nidecker team member Emilien Badoux is also a fiend on the yoga mat, and has put together this series on yoga for snowboarding for just this reason. Give the short videos a quick watch and see just how easy it is to get stronger and more flexible from the comfort of your own home!