Can You Teach Yourself to Snowboard in a Day? Cheat’s Guide

Can You Teach Yourself to Snowboard in a Day? Cheat’s Guide

Banner with person in ski goggles holding a snowboard with text: learn how to snowboard in a day

Maybe it’s your first time on the slopes and you don’t want to be left out. Or maybe you’re just impatient – we answer the question… can you teach yourself to snowboard in a day?

Some might say it’s impossible without lessons. But, who doesn’t love a challenge?

There are some reasons why learning to snowboard in a day is a bad idea. But, we’re not always sensible either.

Nobody wants to be the last one down the mountain every time!

So, here’s our guide to help you learn how to snowboard in a day.

Can You Learn to Snowboard in One Day?

Although challenging, it is possible to learn the snowboarding basics in a day. It will take hard work, a willingness to fall over and a little bit of prior preparation.

Do You Need Lessons to Learn to Snowboard?

While a few lessons with a snowboarding instructor are usually recommended, you can get to grips with a snowboard with the help of internet guides and videos – just like this one!

If you’re serious about getting into the sport, it’s probably a good idea to take a few snowboard lessons to get started, to hone your technique and perfect your performance.

Can Anyone Learn to Snowboard?

Pretty much anyone can learn to snowboard if they have the motivation. It’s easier to learn if you have a decent fitness level, have experience in a similar sport like surfing or skateboarding, or have spent time on the slopes.

Likewise, as we get older learning new tricks becomes more difficult. However – you can learn to ski or snowboard over 40!

How hard is snowboarding?

Snowboarding can be challenging at first, especially learning to balance and turn. However, once you’ve got the basics down, it can be easier to master than skiing!

Learning snowboarding after skiing can make it easier for some, as you will already understand the basics of using your edges and body position to speed up or slow down. However, there is a big variation in technique so don’t be fooled into thinking the switch from skiing to snowboarding will be completely plain sailing!

How Long Does it Take to Pick up Snowboarding?

So, how long will it take to learn to snowboard?

We know we’re trying to learn in a day. But, how long exactly?

Realistically, it will take the whole day. Stay on the slopes until they close, if possible.

You’ll probably find snowboarding itself to be easy, and all the simple stuff to be hard. Surprisingly, getting yourself strapped into the board can be tough!

We recommend heading to the slopes as early as possible to get the most out of your day.

But, don’t forget to take regular breaks. Nobody wants to injure themselves on day one.


Snowboarding First Day Breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of what your day might look like. You don’t have to follow this exactly, but a rough guide never hurts!

Give yourself some clear milestones you want to achieve each hour. Set yourself four hours to master the very basics.

Hour One:

Take things slow and get to grips with the board. You have all day remember! In the early hours, practice carrying your board, standing up, and falling safely.

Hour Two:

Learn to snowboard with one foot – you’ll need this to master the chair lift!

Hour Three:

Learn how to distribute your weight properly and master snowboard stances. Remember to bend your knees!

Hour Four:

Once you get your balance, turning will become much easier. Centre your weight to avoid falling over!

Hour Five:

Take a break! An hour’s lunch is recommended.

Hour Six:

You’ve probably got a rough idea of the snowboarding basics by now. So, start having fun with it!

Control your speed and don’t attempt any of the more dangerous slopes or stunts just yet.

The Rest of the Day:

Keep practising anything you’re unsure about in the snow park. While snowboarding is easier than skiing in the long run, the first day is going to be tough!

Get to grips with your technique and what you’re good at. No one will become a pro in a day, but you can definitely make your mark in the snow. 

You may also like: Skiing vs. Snowboarding: Which is Actually Better?

A snowboard with snowy mountains in the background

How to Snowboard for Beginners: Tips

A breakdown can be helpful for planning your day, but how do you get started?

Here’s a few helpful tips and tricks to help you learn to snowboard in a day:

Be Prepared and Get Fit

If you’re going to learn how to snowboard, do a little prep beforehand.

Your muscles are going to get a little shock to the system, so train them with some exercises. Squats and lunges are a great way to ready yourself for the slopes.

Also, use any relevant experience you have to help you! Ever been surfing? Have you tried skateboarding? Practised on an indoor slope?  Any experience is good experience!

Particularly if you only have a short amount of time on the slopes, learning to snowboard in a day is very appealing! So, drawing on any previous practice should help you learn much faster.

Learn from Other’s Mistakes

If you’re braving the pistes without a qualified teacher, use those around you. Avoid making the same mistakes as those who keep falling over!

But, if you know nothing about the art of snowboarding, it can be hard to notice poor technique. So, here’s a few snowboarding tips:

Watch your Turns

While it can be tempting, don’t lean too much on your back foot when turning! 

Putting all your weight on your back foot will cause you to fall over. Falling will be an inevitable part of your first day of snowboarding but try and limit this as much as possible by distributing your weight between your back and front foot.

Something else to remember: don’t turn too quickly! Getting caught in a twist and losing your balance won’t help you master things easily.

The solution to this? Make your turns bigger! The bigger they are, the easier. Keep your pressure on your toes and turn with the rest of your body.

Get Your Balance

At first, snowboarding will feel alien. But, we’re here to learn to snowboard in a day so let’s not dwell on this!

A top tip for snowboarding for beginners? Don’t lean too far forward or backwards. Your hips should be centred over your board!

It might be easier said than done at first, but just keep reminding yourself.

Remember Your Posture

With snowboarding, bad posture means bad habits!

How to be good at snowboarding? Keeping your knees bent is a must. A straight back never hurts, either.

Get to Grips with the Chairlift

No one’s first chairlift experience is a happy one.

With snowboarders, the chairlift is complicated further as you have to unclick your bindings on one foot.

While skiers can walk on and off far easier, snowboarders have a harder time! Add this to the list of reasons why there’s a rivalry between skiers and snowboarders…

But, don’t be afraid of the chairlift! There are some ways to master it:

  • Don’t lean back
  • Practice one-footed snowboarding
  • Put your free foot between your bindings

If nothing else, just accept falling will happen. By the second or third time you use the lift, it will become much easier!

Be Confident

Snowboarding for beginners requires confidence!

If you’re wondering how to get good at snowboarding fast, act like you know what you’re doing.

Your attitude towards falling will be very important too. Being scared will cause you to tense up and possibly injure something! Remaining un-phased by your mistakes will help you pick things up quicker.

In answer to the question, ‘is snowboarding hard?’ Yes – at first. But, the trick is not to show it! Snowboarders ooze cool, remember.

Know Your Limits

We may have just mentioned that confidence is key, but learning how to snowboard has no room for arrogance.

Don’t attempt any black runs or try going off-piste on day one –for fairly obvious reasons. If a piste looks too hard for you – it probably is!

Snowboarding for beginners requires confidence, but there’s a line.

Watch Some Professional Snowboarders

Learn from the best! Videos are the perfect substitute for a teacher. Snowboard Academy have a vast range of videos to help you find your feet on the slopes. A virtual lesson including techniques, tips and step by step guides is a great alternative. 

You might not be able to beat the expertise of a real teacher, but we only have a day. Videos are the next best thing to a private lesson!

Use an App

Technology can be your best friend on the slopes!

There is a huge range of ski apps out there to boost your performance on the pistes.

From tracking to competitions, your phone can be used as a portable teacher. Snoww sets you challenges, lets you climb to the top of the leader board and records your stats. Ideal for those looking to learn to snowboard in a day!

Ask Someone to Film You

Snowboarding is a sociable sport, so chances are one of your friends won’t mind filming you.

This can help you pick up your mistakes and watch what you’re doing wrong.

Since you don’t have a teacher – be your own critic!

Dress Properly

Dressing right will help you to stay safe and comfortable on the slopes. 

There should be no gap between your goggles and your helmet and your snowboard boots should fit correctly. 

Plus, being cold and miserable will hinder your learning, so dress warmly.

Carrying your snowboard over your shoulder is the preferred method. Getting the look right will help your confidence on the slopes!

Once You’ve Finished Your Day

So, congratulations, you’ve learnt to snowboard in a day!

We recommend plenty of water, laughing off your falls, and celebrating at après-ski.

Plus, stretching out sore muscles never hurts either.

Happy woman learning to snowboard on the mountain

Perks of Learning to Snowboard in a Day

While taking lessons is the recommended way to learn how to snowboard, there are some benefits to taking your own crash course.

Cramming all the basics in quickly can help you develop muscle memory, and build skills quicker.

Plus, avoiding lessons altogether saves money. Who doesn’t love to save money?

Downsides of Learning to Snowboard in a Day

Of course, there are some inevitable consequences.

Poor Technique

Firstly, you’ll miss out on the expertise of a trained teacher. So, it’s likely you’ll never master the sport. If you’re hoping to become a professional, a few hours of lesson are the way to go. (You can save money by opting for group lessons)

Bad Habits and Safety

Cramming it all into one day may cause some bad habits which are hard to break. Teaching yourself can make you less safe around others!

Can’t wait to get to the slopes? You’ll need to rely on your transfer to get you there! Trust Alps2Alps for an affordable, professional service to all major resort destinations in the Alps. Find your low-cost transfer!

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