If you like the winter and like being active then you might be thinking of snowboarding. This is a winter sport that takes skiing to a different level.
Instead of running slaloms with two skis and some poles, you have one board, the snow, and the crisp mountain air to keep you going. Snowboarding is a popular sport for the Winter Olympic Games now and isn’t just for kids running the hills on a board anymore.
There are many established levels of experience for snowboarding, and thus, many different types of snowboard lessons to get you where you want to be with your snowboarding level.
When you want to hit the slopes and enjoy some excitement in the winter air, snowboarding is an activity you will never want to put down. Anybody can do it, and a few lessons will be all that you need to do it right.
Get all of your questions about snowboarding lessons answered here.
There is a kind of snowboarding for everyone, how far will you go
If you have never been snowboarding before, it will seem like there are a lot of terms to learn at first, but it is not that hard. There are three different kinds of snowboarding, and at least one of them is going to meet your needs.
The three different kinds are freestyle and freeride snowboarding, all-mountain snowboarding, and racing snowboarding.
Additionally, there are different levels of snowboarding, and active snowboarders use them as a second language. You’ll need lessons at every level.
1. Freestyle snowboarding is why many people start snowboarding in the first place
Freestyle and freeride snowboarding is the type of snowboarding that you see in the most dangerous games of the Olympics. But it isn’t always that dangerous.
Remember that those are Olympic-level skills, and they all started with a beginner lesson one day. Still, in freestyle snowboarding these are the tricks and the jumps that people do with their boards, and they can be exhilarating. This is easily the most popular method of snowboarding.
Here you can perform rail slides, half-pipe rides, tricks, and something called switch riding just to name a few mad skills here. Competitive game here includes the half pipe, quarter pipe, big air, and slopestyle.
Of these, the half pipe is the most common game. On-air moves and grabs of the board are a starting point to some of the real big moves in this style of snowboarding.
Freeride snowboarding is exactly the same, but the board is a little bit different. This is a stiffer board that doesn’t have as much flexibility as a freestyle board.
In snowboarding, stiffness of the board is measured on a scale of 0 to 10. Free ride snowboarding typically uses a 7 stiffness, and freestyle snowboarding is just a little lower.
For snowboarders, the stiffer board has a stronger edge to hold, and freeriders like that because it makes it easier to run down the mountains on their boards.
Steep hills and slaloms move well with this board that handles well with sharp and precise skills on the slopes. This is an exciting branch of snowboarding, and you can start with beginner love and work your way to this level.
2. All-mountain snowboarding is an exciting all-purpose kind of snowboarding that everybody can play
The all-mountain version of snowboarding is the kind that everybody has tried at least once and where most people start. Here you can learn what the mountains and hills feel like and what it feels like to have a board strapped to your feet.
The stance used here is slightly different than the above types of snowboarding because it is just straight snowboarding here. There aren’t tricks and games here.
It doesn’t matter where you snowboard, despite the name of the kind of snowboarding. What matters is that you get out there and enjoy it. When you do, you’ll be more likely to take lessons at the advanced levels.
3. Racing snowboarding is exactly what it sounds like with competitive spirit
Snowboard racing is precisely what it sounds like, but at the competitive level. You can race with your snowboards on the amateur slopes, but why is what any snowboarder that competes would say.
There’s nothing like running a giant slalom and finishing with the W. In snowboard racing, time is of the essence and how the competition is determined.
There are several different kinds of races for the racing snowboarding. Those include the parallel slalom and the giant slalom. There is also a combination of the two called the parallel giant slalom.
The parallel slalom was first seen in Sochi, Russia, at the 2014 Olympic Games where snowboarders raced through a number of gates and performed their turns at 8 to 15 meters apart to see who would be the fastest in the world.
For the men, Vic Wild of Russia won the gold, Nevin Galmarini of Switzerland won the silver, and Zan Kosir of Slovenia won the bronze. For the women, Julia Dujmovits of Austria won the gold, Anke Karstens of Germany won the silver and Amelie Kober of bronze.
These were the first six people in the world to win medals in the parallel slalom on the world stage, and they all started with beginner lessons at one point in their snowboarding career.
In the parallel giant slalom, the courses are 10 to 15 meters apart and the distances between the gates are 20 to 27 meters. Speeds for snowboarders here can each 70 km/h. Each of these kinds of snowboarding is a unique discipline, and each one requires its own equipment.
The many different ways that you can go to snowboarding school
There are many different ways that you can learn to snowboard, and for this, we are referring to actual lessons. In a nutshell, if you want to learn it, there will be someone that is interested in teaching you how to do that.
Snowboarding school and snowboarding classes are very common and popular. Like any school, you are going to be able to take advantage of snowboarding lessons at any level and should look for a school that offers as many levels of snowboarding as possible.
You’ll learn the basics of snowboarding and theory on how the best in the world have made it to the podium. What you may not find here are private lessons. That is because snowboarding schools do not have the time or space for private instruction.
Still, the world of snowboarding in every city is very tight and small, and referrals are likely if you want a private lesson. You’ll likely also get good ones from within this tight-knit community.
Private or solo lessons in snowboarding are very common for the serious snowboarder. These can be taken at any level and will be provided by instructors willing to teach those interested in private lessons.
Snowboarding school or class lessons can be a fun way to make friends in this exciting sport and to grow your own circle in this community. But if you want the gold, going one-on-one is going to have to happen eventually.
The methods that you choose for snowboarding lessons will be your own personal preference, and of course time and budget will play a role. This is the case with any sport. When you find the right place to learn, and you really want to learn, those are the hills telling you something.
The many levels of snowboarding that you will soon become obsessed with
If you are serious about learning how to become a snowboarder, you’ll have to learn the levels like it’s a new language. Snowboarding, and its levels, are divided into four different categories. Each of those categories has numbered levels within it.
So you’ll have Beginner 1 and Expert seven and hear terms like that when snowboarding. To snowboarders, attaining each level is like winning their own personal gold. The four levels are Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Expert.
There are levels in each level, but the numbers are consecutive so that there are eight levels in total. In other words, advanced and Expert levels are the two highest levels, and they are levels 7 and 8.
If you want to take the sport seriously and be seen as taking it seriously, you typically have to go through them one level at a time.
Of course, as with anything that can get you on an Olympic or World Comp. podium, there will always be exceptions of rare talent that can give athletes the chance to jump levels if they can handle it.
The beginner snowboarder is the cutest of them all and so easy to teach
In the Beginner level, there are four levels of snowboarding. So you have Beginner Level 1, Beginner Level 2, Beginner Level 3, and Beginner Level 4. This kind of snowboarding is for people that are picking up a snowboard for the first time.
You’ll likely be in Beginner Level 1 for a few weeks at least, or even an entire season. If it takes you a season to master each level, then you will be even better by the time you reach the Expert stage.
How long it takes to master a level will depend on your motivation and the time you have to put into each level. If you can practice every day, you will go up levels faster, although for most people that is unrealistic.
In Beginner Level 1, you learn how to stay on the board without falling off. It is not as easy as it looks. You may begin to start going down the hills.
By Beginner Level 2, you are getting ready to go down the slopes on your own and will start to slope along the edges of the trails. You will be falling less by now and may even be motivated to begin taking turns.
Beginner Level 3 has you taking more advanced turns from the heel to the toe and backward, but you are still doing that on the gentler slopes. Your turns are going to look C-shaped, but you may begin moving onto the intermediate slopes soon and will want to be prepared.
The turns and the moves are going to get more advanced at Beginner Level 4 while you work on moving up to the Intermediate stage.
Here the slopes are green, but on the Intermediate slopes, you are boarding on blue slopes. Time to give it a whirl, and you’ll start practicing S-shaped turns now.
Intermediate level snowboarding will have you dreaming of taking your game to the competitive world
You will want to start competing with this exciting new skill of yours, even if it is just with the local county. You are able to complete turns now and will be thinking about those turns constantly.
You’re excited about mastering new skills now. At the Intermediate levels, you are both intuitively and proactively focusing on mastering your confidence and furthering your talent.
The Intermediate Level 5 is about getting comfortable making links between beginner and intermediate slopes and learning how to navigate the differences. Your speed will begin to increase here, and the joy of the sport is exciting.
You may begin with some jumps here, and this will depend entirely on your lessons and your teachers. The ride switch will be introduced at this point, and you will feel like an extraordinary snowboarder with so much excitement ahead.
Carving the slopes and making smoother S-turns are more skills you may spend weeks or months on alone. You may struggle with them but will master them if you want to. If you are boarding on powder, it may be easier, though that is up to the beholder here.
The Intermediate Level 6 is an exciting level to reach because you are now getting closer to the highest skills of the sport. You are linking and making turns, and your speeds are impressing others.
Steeper slopes are in your repertoire now or at least they will be soon. You have a smooth technique and might even be able to teach some beginners yourself now. You are a smooth snowboarder now and can stop when you need to and turn as sharp as you need to when you need to.
Advanced and expert snowboarding levels are the crème de la crème of snowboarding
When you have reached Advanced Level 7 and Expert Level 8 then you are at the end of your career of learning snowboarding. You are going to be impressing people with your work on the slopes.
Your confidence is obvious here, and you can board on and off groomer. It won’t be unusual for you to perform some back-country boarding by Advanced Level 7.
These are slightly more dangerous because they are not controlled and monitored trails so you will want to be sure you bring people and skills with you.
You are going to be better at choosing your own speed when it comes to making turns at your own speed. You have a wide range of turn kinds that you can do at this stage. If you want to board in a park, you can take small jumps in very fast speeds by now.
You can also manage the bigger ones too, and you’ll begin to bring spins into you mix. You are getting more technical now, but you are also starting to make some big moves.
By Expert Level 8, you are owning the slopes. You know it. They know it. You’ve probably won a few things by now too. We won’t say if you want to because, if you are working on Expert 8, you are here because you want to.
You can master major spins and turns at frightening speeds and know the joy of jumping off a mountain on nothing but a piece of fiberglass. What else is there to enjoy now but the thrill of the competition?
This is how long it will take you to get through the levels of snowboarding lessons
It is impossible to say how long it will take to get through your snowboarding lessons and to the level you want to reach. If you are working hard and practicing a lot, it is not unusual to reach Beginner 4 in a few weeks.
It is more normal for that to take months, though, and for some seasons if they only take a few lessons every winter. At the same time, some levels take longer than others. The higher levels typically take a long time to get to and work through.
Levels 4 and 5, for example, can take several seasons, even with a lot of practice. Getting to Intermediate 6 may take twice as long. To get through them faster, commit yourself, is what any coach in any sport would say.
Practice often, set goals, and get it done. If you don’t want to compete or reach Expert status, then you don’t have to. Find the place that makes your heart sing in snowboarding, and you can stop having lessons and enjoy the sport whenever you want.