Looking for snowboarding tips? Snowboarding can be intimidating for beginners. Sure, we’ve all seen what Shaun White can do on a board in the half-pipe at Buttermilk Mountain during the Winter X Games – but what can someone really expect their first time? If you’re thinking about flips and inverted rotations on the half-pipe: forget it. (Nobody expects you to do a “Bloody Dragon” your first time out.) But you can expect to know the basics, especially if you go to snowboarding school and pay attention. You’ll learn the basics, from frontside/backside maneuvers to possibly evens switch-backs and fakies.
Confused yet? Never fear: Just like everything else, all it takes is a little ambition, determination and practice. This week, our blog team takes a closer look at a few basic snowboarding tips from Jenny Jacque, the Frias Properties extranet specialist. Jenny assists in booking Aspen vacations and works with huge industry names like Expedia and VRBO on a daily basis. She also loves the outdoors and recently took on snowboarding. A former skier, Jenny’s always up for a new challenge. So we decided to sit down with Frias’ September 2014 Employee of the Month to discuss a few snowboarding basics.
With a few days of lessons and a little determination, you’ll be riding in no time!
Q: What’s the first thing someone needs to know about snowboarding?
A: “Learn how to fall with grace. You will spend the first few days falling A LOT. It is key to learn how to fall so that you do not break your wrist. This is a common snowboarding injury.”
Q: Is it hard to learn?
A: “It can be a little frustrating the first few days. But then it just clicks and you’re flying down the mountain. It takes about 2-3 days to get the hang of it. Be sure to take a lesson as this will help you improve quicker.”
Q: Did you start with skiing or jump right into snowboarding?
A: “Started with skiing then a few years back. I took the local clinics to learn how to snowboard.”
Q: How is it different than skiing?
A: “The falls are not as forgiving. If you catch an edge on your skis, you can correct most of the time. I haven’t found this so with snowboarding. However, I’m still in the beginner stage.”
Q: Tell us about your first snowboarding experience. Where was it and how old were you?
A: “I was about 27 and I went with a friend. I fell A LOT, A LOT, A LOT! Next day I felt like I can ran over by a Mack truck. The next weekend I started taking the lessons with a snowboarding pro and was feeling really confident about making it top to bottom by the end of day three.”
Q: Did it come naturally to you?
A: “I felt like it came pretty naturally. It was a lot easier I think that I had the base knowledge of skiing and knowing my edges. It is difficult at first, but once it clicks and you feel how to make the turns then it is AMAZING and so much fun!”
Q: What’s a good beginner’s tip?
A: “Look where you want to go. Don’t look down at your feet.”
Jenny prefers Buttermilk as a beginner. More experienced riders can attempt Snowmass, Aspen Mountain or even Aspen Highlands and its renowned Highlands Bowl.
Q: Where’s the best place to snowboard? Which mountain?
A: “As I’m still learning, I tend to stick with Buttermilk. However, I have gone over to Snowmass as well.”
Q: Why Buttermilk over the others?
A: “I like the wider runs as I feel more comfortable.”
Q: What’s the coolest thing you’ve done on a snowboard?
A: “Not fall. I went top to bottom without eating snow. It was amazing!”
Q: What’s the Number One Safety Rule when it comes to snowboarding?
A: “Pay attention to the people around you.”
Q: Why do I always see people doing crazy stuff on snowboards? Is that normal?
A: “I’ve heard that you excel faster on a snowboard, so you are able to do the tricks a lot easier on a snowboard than on skis.”
Q: What equipment do I need if I am a beginner?
A: “Wrist pads, butt pad.”
Q: Where’s a good place to rent equipment?
A: “Aspen Sports.”
Q: Describe snowboarding in one word.
Thanks, Jenny! We can’t wait to see you out there on the slopes. Oh, and if you’re still wondering: A “Bloody Dragon” is a snowboarding move where the rider uses both hands to grab the tail of the board. (The rear hand grabs the board as it would do it during a normal tail-grab, but the front hand blindly reaches for the board behind the riders back.)