06/03/2018

First Time Snowboarding!



If I was to tell you that I snowboard what picture comes to your mind first? Is it of a cool looking gal with a beanie hat, ripping through the fresh fluffy powder snow leaving a smooth trail behind her and everyone watching in awe of her incredible skills and stamina? Well you are probably thinking about the gal that has just passed me. I am the one on my bum or knees depending on my luck and how much time I've had to prepare for the fall. Eventually, but this is after hours of practice, I can be the one that catches the edge more often that I should because I am still not use to the sensation and speed. Actually have a look at my Instagram account for one of my many falls! This one was not as painful as it looks, but believe me there were times when I would hit the ground with my head so hard that I was nauseous for a whole day. 

Snowboarding My Beginning 

Or should I say: Snowboarding the most painful experience that I did not want to repeat nor ever thought of doing before I met my then boyfriend, but could not back off because I had already gotten snowboarding boots and you know... It was a bit of a pride thing too? Before the snowboarding group lessons in France I did...

Lysa Gora, Gdansk 

The first time that I had a chance to try snowboarding was when I couchsurfed in Gdansk. Long story short my host wanted to go so I had to with go without any proper equipment, which you can also read as I went to the slopes looking like a fashion victim. Assertiveness and common sense vs being way too nice for my own good 0:1. 

At this time I also believed that I do not really need to wear a helmet because you know... How hard can it be? Well definitely as hard or more than the icy snow, which I quickly experienced and went back down to rent out a helmet. 

It was quite a few years ago so I do not remember much from the event. However, snowboarding was a daunting experience which did not last longer than an hour and a half as after a few falls I decided quite rightly that without the proper clothes, such as thermals and many layers of them, my place is in the cosy bar with delicious mulled wine in my hand rather than outside in the snow. The rest of the evening I spent in the company of other people who did not feel the particular love for snow sports at the time just as I didn't. 

Aberdeen Snowsports

'Nevermind the previous experience in Poland a few months before' I thought to myself as I clicked the 'Buy' icon to take advantage of a voucher offering snowboarding taster session at Aberdeen Snowsports. First thing I've noticed? Wow! My abs are on fire! My balance was off so I had to constantly pick myself up. However, it helped me to grasp a little bit more technique and basic position, and to work out my rider stance regular or goofy. Truth is that I am tempted to say neither as I switch too often, especially when I do not want to have my back towards the edge of a cliff or drop off. One lesson was definitely not enough to get my confidence up so I still did not feel ready to go straight for a winter holiday. As it turned out snowboarding on a dry slope ... 

Snow Factor

...is not quite the same as snowboarding on real mountain snow. I am glad I discovered it before going to the Alps as it would be a massive challenge without the experience! The fast track lessons gave me a really good feel of what to expect. The first half of a day was a repeat of the taster session that I had in Aberdeen, however on a higher level of difficulty. The second part definitely gave me more of a feel of how physically and technically demanding snowboarding is! Snowboarding is not forgiving so I quickly realised that even if I am doing weights my stamina levels still needed to be higher! There was definitely a difference in difficulty between dry and indoor wet slopes, not mentioning the cold. Before booking a winter holidays or buying equipment I would encourage trying a daily session. It is a great way to get a feel of an activity without committing to a big spend. I've also started to master the art of falling without hurting yourself too much. 

After the whole day I was still not quite ready to go out on the slopes on my own so as a part of my winter holidays in Alpe d'Huez I booked a set of group snowboarding lessons. Read more about my experience and what to expect from snowboarding group lessons. 

Would I recommend lessons before hitting the slopes? 

Absolutely! It is a great chance to get to know the basics, learn how to get up, fall, and work on the technique without committing to a high budget spend. A designer jacket is a great thing but don't spend too much money before knowing you want to stick at it. Ask around if you can borrow one from someone and rent out kit. You will also get a feel of the activity and if it is something you want to continue or if you are not feeling it at all. Bear in mind that during my first attempt I did not get the snowboarding vibe whatsoever and only progressed because I did not want to admit defeat! Take your time and give yourself a dozen or even more hours before never looking at the board again. 

Are you tempted to get out on the slopes or you a water baby and cannot wait for the summer? 

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2 comments

  1. I would LOVE to go snowboarding, and skiing. I went skiing when I was in high school but I have not been back since. Snowboarding is supposed to be much harder, so I'll probably take your advice and have some lessons first :) xxx

    https://lauralovette.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Wooooo! Let me know what are your thoughts after the taster session! I really would suggest trying it first before jumping straight on the plane for winter holidays! x

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