How to survive your first week of snowboarding! Part 1
So you've managed to source your 2014 snow holiday, whether it's Andorra, Austria or France. So what's next? Well there is a certain list of must haves, essentials that I wish I'd known about before my own first holiday away snowboarding in Pas de le Cas in Andorra. So I plan on sharing some snowboarding survival tips.
Before I clipped into my board for the first time, before my first major fall, before scooping a ton of snow out of my snow pants, shivering from the snow down my back, and before being ridiculed for the ridiculous goggle shaped burn on my face I wish someone had imparted their wisdom upon me, so I feel it is my duty to do just that, give you the lowdown on surviving your first snowboarding trip, and eliminating any room for error.
1. The best tip I could give anyone is impact shorts, impact shorts, impact shorts. Because no matter how good of a boarder you turn out to be you are going to spend a considerable amount of time on your bum, either during your lesson whilst learning tricks and tips from your instructor or when you invariable take a tumble, they become your best friend. They mightn't protect you outright but they will soften the blow when you and your board end up in a deep pile of snow by the side of a run!
They are so many types and style on the market, be mindful of impact shorts when you're buying your snowboarding pants, make sure there is enough room to fit them comfortably under your pants. One of the best ones available are RED d3o Total Impact Padded Shorts, which absorb more impact than standard foam padding, so these shorts take the majority of the impact on hips, tailbone, and buttocksand you remain intact.
2. Next tip would be to try and get to a dry slope, even it it's just for an hour or two it will give you that extra little bit of confidence when faced with your first day or real snow. They might not mirror the real snow experience exactly, but dry slopes are a great way to get you familiar with board, boots, bindings and the basics.
3. It might seem like a simple thing but I always recommend a really great pair of waterproof gloves to first time boarders, you'll find yourself spending a lot of time loosening and tightening of bindings the first week out, so it's always good to have your hands warm, dry and nimble so you can do this effortlessly and quickly so you're not wasting quality boarding time.
4. Another safety essential for first timers are wrist guards and helmets, I know myself I'm more inclined to try a trick or go that little faster if I've not trusty protective gear on. It boosts your confidence that little bit because you've the reassurance that your precious head and hands are safe in case you take a tumble.
5. Layering is such an important part of boarding that sometimes people overlook. First time boarders can get a little hot and bothered on the slopes, so it's a good idea to have a base layer, fleece, and then your jacket. It means you can take on or off the fleece layer depending on the temperature.
My tips don't end there; I'll have more top tips for first time snowboarders next week. So watch this space and keep up to date with all my blog posts.