Introduction: How to Snowboard

Picture of How to Snowboard

This is an instructable for anyone who is interested in learning how to snowboard. I am an avid snowboarder, and i feel this should help you out a lot, plus I am going to put some work into this so I hope you enjoy!

Make sure you get a board that fits you, based on height and weight. This depends on your tastes, but I am 5'7" and I ride a 154cm board. This will go up and down in height with park riding or if you are out west in Canada riding deep powder you want to have a longer board.
Pretty much you want a board that is right around your chin when you are standing straight.

Step 1: Getting a Board That Works for You , and Rules of the Slope

Picture of Getting a Board That Works for You , and Rules of the Slope


Get a board you feel comfertable with. I suggest you rent a board for first time. Take a lesson from a paid teacher on the hill for your first time to add to the experience.
Also, no matter what, you will fall ! Do not try to learn too fast, you do not want to hurt someone on accident. There are key things you have to know before the first trip down the slopes. They are :

1. Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.

Since this is HOW TO SNOWBOARD, each of the following things are explained in this instructable.

Step 2: Always Stay in Control

Picture of Always Stay in Control

Always staying in control can be challenging.

This will come over time with carving. Carving is when you turn, or shift your weight on your toes or heel so that the board will let you go right or left.
Sometimes you will "catch an edge" where you will fall quickly because the boards edge. This is hard to avoid and it is best to know it will probably happen your first few times. There are ways to avoid it though. Keep your weight on your forward foot (except in deep powder). Second, never ride the board flat. You will always ride on your uphill edge. If this is your front (toe side) edge, you will always feel as though you are on tip toe just a bit. If it is your back (heel side) edge, you will always feel as though you're curling your toes up. Third always keep your knees bent - even on the flats. Unlike with skiing where you can stand up straight, sit back and flatten out your skis when you get to the flat parts, this is bad news on a board. Keep your knees bent, your weight forward and keep riding on the uphill edge.

Step 3: The Dreadful Getting Off the Chair Lift !!

Picture of The Dreadful Getting Off the Chair Lift !!

When you're sitting on a chair lift, your board is perpendicular to the direction you want it to be to dismount. When you approach the dismount point, twist sideways in your seat so that the foot that's still in the board is facing forward. Once the board touches the ground, hold onto the chair with one hand, stand up on the foot that's connected to the board and place your loose foot on the board just in front of the binding into which it goes. Center yourself over the board and release the chair. If your instructor, doesn't tell you these things ask him or her about them. Just a few simple tricks can make your boarding experience much more enjoyable.

Step 4: Clothing and Safety

Picture of Clothing and Safety

Since you aren't holding onto poles, you will tend to put your hands in the snow more than when skiing. Water resistant gloves or gloves which have a rubberized inner surface are better. Also, longer boarder's gloves are better than shorter skier's gloves since they tend to keep the snow out of the gap between the jacket and the gloves. When you are just starting, this is not terribly important so it doesn't warrant you buying new gloves just yet.

Wear a head band or a hat (baseball caps don't count). If you catch your rear edge you can fall backwards and will sometimes hit your head. The hat provides extra padding. Though the best thing to do is to wear a helmet. And certainly if you are going to continue in the sport after your first lesson, that should be one of your first purchases!

Some people have also suggested wearing wrist guards like you use when rollerblading and something extra to pad the tail bone. I've never tried it, though.

Step 5: My Favorite - TRICKS !!

Picture of My Favorite - TRICKS !!

I know this is a little early to bring tricks into the equation of "learning" , but I look at this stage as "positive motivation" to continue to progress so that you can do these tricks! Here is a list of my favourite tricks and what they are.

A method of getting air without a jump. You just lift your front foot and spring off the tail of your board.

Rail Slide
To slide the along almost any non-flat surface (e.g. trees, a picnic table, etc.) on edges of your snowboard.

180 Air
A simple air with a 180 rotation. Off a straight jump this leads to a switch from regular to fakie or vice cersa. In the halfpipe, you continue the same way you were already riding.

Using one or both hands to grab either edge of your snowboard. Works better if you're in the air at the time.

A snow structure built for freestyle riding build like a pipe sliced longitudinally with flat areas along the sides.

360 Air
An air with one full rotation. When done in the halfpipe and riding fakey, it is called a Caballerial. Best to do with a grab as well , and a flip, to a rail slide, and then get sponsored by a company.

Step 6: Extra Turning With Picture

Picture of Extra Turning With Picture

It is helpful to have pictures as well showing exactly how to carve a snowboard.

This picture is of the heel edge, this is a harder turn then on toe edge. Make sure to be going at a comfertable speed, and the faster you go the better chances of not losing balance. Remember though , it will take time to get used to the speed.

Step 7: Go Out Snowboarding !

Picture of Go Out Snowboarding !

Now I hope this instructable has helped, and I want to edit and add more and more to this as long as it helps beginners.

Also, if there is a need or want for a skateboarding instructable I am willing to do so , let me know !

I hope this helps, and as you already know, learning from life experiences is the best way to learn!! Go out there this weekend, buy a lift ticket, be a ski bum, get a goggle tan, taste mountain snow, shread the knar, jib the rainbow, and whatever else fancies your mind into stepping onto the board, I am happy you are !


ShahrehmanS (author)2015-07-09

Your are absolutely right this post is very helpful while choice a snow board, thanks

benz.extreame (author)2014-12-28

Your Instructors do help me a lot. Thank you so much for spending time on this.

Jaxton Maez (author)2013-09-30

I longboard in the summer in the streets of ol' Utah, but I need something to do in the winter. I just realized this is the best idea. Very similar to longboarding. I bought a snowboard at the DI. :)

TheOriginalCreator (author)2012-12-08

I once had a goggle tan that looked like frostbite so I had to spend like 30 minutes in the ski patrol lodge

jonathanhannsson (author)2010-11-16

I'm just learning to ride, you crazy people are already doing 180 and 360's I'm too jealous of all you.

Its crazy..... AND FUN! :)

freeza36 (author)2011-12-15

The last time i went skiing. the charlift caught on my coat. It pushed me down, and i tried to get my ski back on (apparently in the way of the lift.) the operator DID NOT stop the lift, and it hit me in the face. It knocked my tooth out. Worst pain of MY LIFE

234567890 (author)2011-10-21

I found that this website had some good info on snowboarding

jonathanhannsson (author)2010-11-16

One thing for sure is to have the right amount of layers I learned that the hard way. Now I know that it's the most important thing if you're going to be out there for a while. And if you're a beginner, it helps if you're falling a lot of times.

Rishnai (author)2008-04-21

When I was taking lessons, one time I got on the lift next to a girl who was still having difficulty getting off the lift with good balance, and although she meant well, when we went to get off, she grabbed me to stop from falling, but that just pulled me down, too. Of course, we were still trying to get up off of one another when the chair arrived, and basically ran over me. That was embarrassing. The lift operator, in his infinite presence of mind, then stopped the lift. On top of me, so I could lift my head six inches, but not get all the way up. Then he told me to get out of the way, and I told him to move the damn chair. Oh, yeah, that was a dignified moment. The moral to this comedy of errors: first of all, when you fall getting off the lift (at first you will fall), get out of the way of the chair. Second of all, don't grab for someone who isn't expecting it. Third, everyone saw it, and it can get worse, so don't take yourself too seriously.

jonathanhannsson (author)Rishnai2010-11-16

ha ha, I love the story it's pretty funny. But I like what you said about not taking yourself to seriously. That's so true in a lot of circumstances.

jonathanhannsson (author)2010-11-16

This is probably one of the most difficult parts I found to be in snowboarding, but as you keep practicing it keeps getting easier. It remind me of learning to ride a bike.

jonathanhannsson (author)2010-11-16

I'm glad I found out about all these rules. I'm just getting started with snowboarding and I have a long way to go. It's so cool to find awesome people giving tips and ideas for free. Thanks for sharing!

SeMi_AuToMaTic (author)2010-07-16

Yes. ha. I learned how to 'catch the edge' the hard way. One fractured wrist and one sprained wrist. Ouch, but fun!

aavawhistler (author)2010-03-25

Some good advice, especially step 3. Thanks for sharing this.

bham4321 (author)2010-02-04

people should also remember not to be waving thier front arm around to much cause that looks wack

zip0nada (author)2010-01-09

One of the most useful tip I got while I was learning was to keep my leading shoulder pointed where I wanted to turn, then use my trailing foot to push the board through the turn.

zip0nada (author)2010-01-09

I learned pretty quick that it's best to take a fall on either the knees or the butt, and grit your teeth as you fall so you don't bite your tongue. Also, when getting up or balancing, use a closed fist rather than a flat hand on the ground, so you break a finger.

masstraffic (author)2008-04-11

question wut size snowboard should i get if im 6'2" and 220-265 pounds

becauseican (author)masstraffic2009-02-19

your weight doesnt really matter.the board should be anywhere from your chin to your eyes.

gofast845 (author)becauseican2009-11-24

no snow board should be anywhere between the chest the the chin

nosut (author)becauseican2009-04-30

becauseican that is the worst advice I have ever seen. That is the biggest rookie comment ever "that it should be from your chin to eyes". Weight is the MAIN factor is snowboard size. Also masstraffic the range of 220-265 is really wide try to find out your weight a little bit better if you plan to buy a snowboard. When you find that out you can just refer to Don't worry about the boards they show just learn the size you need.

becauseican (author)nosut2009-05-01

ya i dontsnowboard but when my friend got 1 the guyt at the store said from ur chin or eyes he didnt care about weight so the information isnt from me.

the_mad_man (author)becauseican2009-06-10

I've been told by a person who I know who works in a snowboard shop, says that the board should by at you chin if you are a beginner and down to you sternum if you are pro.

becauseican (author)the_mad_man2009-06-11

i would think it to be the opposite of that as a shorter board makes it easier to turn.

the_mad_man (author)becauseican2009-06-12

yes, a short board is easier to turn, but it is less stable and you are more liable to fall over using it. snowboards don't follow the rules of skis length wise, it follows the rules of boards. think of it like a surfboard. you don't start with a 5 foot board and move up to a 9 foot mal, it's the other way around.

nosut (author)the_mad_man2009-06-20

......Ok there are no set rules like you have been saying. A pro does not pick a snowboard by putting it up to himself and saying "yea it reaches right there". First off they should already know what size board they like so they dont even need to do that they can just find a board in the size they want. And the way a snowboard works is the longer it is the faster it goes and better it does in powder. A shorter board is normally used for better control less speed and more tricks. A guy at a snowboard store does not make them qualifyed to say what a good board is. In fact I have been to many stores where the people have no damn clue what they are talking about. Normally unless they are a board tech with a passion for snowboarding they dont really care and it is just a check so they do not know and just give the basic advice. Also you are not more liable to fall over using a short board a shorter board.

the_mad_man (author)nosut2009-07-06

yes, you do use different sized boards for different conditions, but I don't have a $1500 lying around to buy a set of 3 boards and nether do a lot of people. but in general the board get shorter as you get better. and then, usually only then, do you get into needing more than one board. i.e. one for racing, one for tricks, one for just cruising around and so on. a lot of people don't have that kind of money. hell, a lot of people don't have enough money do even go boarding/skiing.

yes, you are entirely correct and I agree with you.

jbriano2 (author)masstraffic2009-09-28

rent a board first find out if u like a bigger board or a samller board its all prefrence ive seen tall pepps wit little boadrs and litlle peeps with big boards

doom980 (author)2009-06-15

for nose rolls ride regular prewind your shoulder and lean on the nose of the board unwind your shoulders and spin like a 180 but dont lift your feet off the ground

coolo52 (author)2009-05-25

is that a picture of you on the first page?

instructing tables (author)2008-02-01

Oh man getting off the chairlift is the worst. I've been twice and the second time I got of the chairlift I fell, twisted my board around my leg, and tore my ACL. Any tips?

nosut (author)instructing tables2009-04-30

A large problem that most have when getting off the lift is that they put pressure on the unbound foot to try to keep it in place. This is actually a bad idea. Since you are trying to keep your foot in place you apply pressure and that then causes you to push the board away from you causing you to fall. When you get off the chair lift try to lean forward slightly and keep most of your weight on your bound foot. This will help you get off and not fall. After that you just have to learn to control the board with only one foot attached.

a lot of places if you signal the lift guy they will slow the lift when you get off. that way you can learn slowly.

theone i went to, he was such a meanie. he saw the fear in my eyes yet screaming out at me to get off quickly. and when i hit that flooor hard with my face n limbs, not only being extremely unsympathetic with my pain n embarassment but also screeching at me to get out of the way... worst experience ever for first time snowboarding noob like me....kekekek

Absolutely - the secret is to LEAN FORWARD. It's completely counterintuitive, but it works very consistently. Also, practice skating (having your front foot foot strapped in and your back foot pushing you along) so that you're comfortable maneuvering while not strapped in.

You can check out more snowboard tips at my site SnowboardPrep.

go straight and tell the people your riding with that you aren;t very good at getting of the charlift and they should give you space, also put your foot on your stomp pad and crouch down DONT GRAB ON TO PEOPLE THAT ALWAYS TICKS ME OFF! if your going down don;t bring someone with you

Tore ACL?! Go to the hospital and get them to help. Take time off for sure, learn to skateboard that will help a lot especially with balance. In terms of getting off the chairlift which I feel is your question, push off on the snow with one foot off the lift, and then put it immediately on the stomp pad or against your binding. Push off and stop to clip in. Take it easy for a bit though for sure with a tore ACL.

shredbetty (author)2009-04-04

Getting off a chairlift with one fit strapped in & one out is probably the hardest thing about snowboarding. Here's how to do it best: 1) Prepare to unload: Get your board STRAIGHT (pointed down the ramp) & put your back foot on the stomp pad next to the back binding. (Get a stomp pad) 2) Get in a somewhat crouched position & get ready to go mentally 3) Lean slightly FORWARD so you're body is perpendicular to the angle of the sloped ramp. 4) If you need to turn, gently press on your toes or heels or drag your free foot. If you fall, move out of the way as quick as possible. YOU CAN DO IT!

Eggbertius (author)2008-09-24

this is pretty good stuff, nice an accurate (but I wouldn't know about the freestyle, I don't do that). However, learning to snowboard is really easy if you get lessons. Nice one. +1

jamiespark (author)Eggbertius2009-03-28

true tat i got lessons 4 a week and by fri i could do easy blacks

becauseican (author)2009-02-19

i ski but i want to try snow boarding tomorrow . it is thursday now and on monday i killed my arse in the park skiing. i should were a tailbone gaurd but ill take a chance

kedzer (author)2008-03-13

For a REALLY detailed account about preparing for your first time on a chairlift while snowboarding, see:

keefurxxcore (author)kedzer2008-12-31

Thank you so much! Many times I've felt like a tool because of a bad lead off a chairlift!

snowboardingnoob (author)kedzer2008-07-26

this site is really good. thanks

DavidJones22 (author)2008-12-24

the best how to video i've seen for snowboarding by far was at unreal video

jamiespark (author)2008-12-14

is that ur pic because ive be there its in canada right

jester_rob (author)2008-04-29

Great instructable man, this should really help.

Rishnai (author)2008-04-21

The wristguard and tailbone idea is a good one. Even wearing a thick sweater and tucking that in really lessens the impact and helps when you have to then sit for hours to get home. As for wristguards, it is better to learn to fall without putting your hands out, since you can really break things that way, and the wristguard hurts your dexterity when messing with bindings. But then again, you can't really be too well-prepared, and guards are priceless when you suddenly have a bad day. Just my two cents.

locofocos (author)2008-03-28

i wanna snowboard so bad! but i live in Alabama :(

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