Before shredding the slopes, a bit of basic snowboarding education is a must. Once you’ve made it up the chairlift and positioned yourself for a fresh ride, the last thing you want to do is stumble and tumble down the hill. Keeping your balance on a snowboard is nothing like balancing on a pair of stilettos -- so you might find you’re a bit out of practice when you tighten the bindings on your new board.
Strengthen those gams before you even begin. Squats and lunges are ideal leg-building exercises -- and they require only a few minutes per day and no special equipment. Once you’re comfortable knocking out squats with both legs, try the single-leg versions for extra complexity.
Build your balance, while you’re at it. Good balance is crucial for maintaining your stance on a snowboard. Practice balancing on one leg while brushing your teeth or applying your makeup. As your balance improves, up the intensity by swinging your elevated leg out to the front, side and back as you balance.
Balance your weight over the middle part of your foot’s arch. This position might be awkward at first -- so just focus on keeping your big toe pressed into the board, which will help engage your arch.
Keep your head and hips centered. You should be able to feel the collar of your snowboarding jacket at the back of your neck. When your head tilts forward, your hips respond by tiling backward -- and your balance might respond by crashing your snowboard.
Hold your hands out, just slightly away from your sides -- just pretend you have a fresh manicure that hasn’t quite dried yet. Your hand should still be centered directly over your board.
Ignore Chubby Checker’s rock-and-roll plea and never twist your body while balancing on a board. Other than your arms moving slightly out to the sides, the only real movement should come from your head -- which should turn in the direction you’re traveling.
Krista Sheehan is a registered nurse and professional writer. She works in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and her previous nursing experience includes geriatrics, pulmonary disorders and home health care. Her professional writing works focus mainly on the subjects of physical health, fitness, nutrition and positive lifestyle changes.