So you want to learn to snowboard-great! Here's the basic snowboarding info you need to get started.
Riding at full speed as you carve great arcs across the face of the mountain is one of the most unique feelings in the world, and something that's more akin to art than sport. It's a gorgeous form of self-expression, and once you strap yourself into your bindings and start heading down the mountain, you'll see why it's become such a popular phenomenon in less than 30 years.
Obviously, snowboarding is related to skiing, but they're more like cousins than siblings. Sure, both involve gravity, snow, and speed, but that's really where the comparisons stop (or at least, that's what most riders will tell you). There are a number of differences, and every skier and snowboarder will be happy to discuss their merits for hours. Snowboards allow much more room for expression, especially in the air. At the same time, skiers can generally bomb down the mountain a bit faster, because they don't need to keep an edge to maintain control, as their weight is more evenly distributed.
Skiing has been around for centuries, but the first snowboard wasn't built until the early 1970s. What started as haphazard sliding on cafeteria trays turned into cutting edge snowboard designs, thanks largely to the work of Jake Burton (founder of famous Burton Snowboards). By 1994, the International Snowboard Association was created to regulate the sport, and it's grown astronomically since then. Today, you'll see famous riders like Shaun White (known for the raggedy red mop atop his head) and Ross Powers participating in high profile events including the X Games and the Winter Olympics.
What do you need to get started on your way towards stardom? The first snowboarding info you'll need to address is your lack of equipment. Riding isn't cheap, even if you rent gear for your first few times out on the mountain. There are three main components to your setup, besides the requisite safety gear and clothing, necessary for chilly winter mornings.
Obviously, you're not going very far without a snowboard under your feet. There are many different board manufacturers, including Burton, Salomon, Ride, K2, and Rossignol. Each of these companies manufacturers high-quality boards, and choosing between them comes down to preference more than anything else. Your best bet is to head to your local shop to check out what kind of deal you can score.
These are the things that keep your body attached to the board-also quite important. You'll want to invest in a decent pair of bindings, as their quality is directly related to how well you will be able to control the board. Clip-in bindings, while a great idea, have lost most of their market share to strap-in over the past few years.
Your footwear isn't just a matter of comfort and response; the boots are on your feet are a personal fashion statement akin to Carrie Bradshaw's high heels in Sex and the City. Still, our advice is feet first, fashion second. It will be hard to look cool once you step out of the boots if you can't walk!
Now you have the basic snowboarding info you need to head up to the hill. What about getting DOWN? Start with our Snowboarding 101 page to learn the other important snowboarding info you need... the skills.
Beware: the sport's been known to suck people in pretty deep, with folks waking up 20 years after their first ride, living in a ski-town wondering, "what the heck happened?" Jump into the car and drive to the mountain today to see what all the fuss is about.
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