Snowboarding can seem easy, but it can be challenging to learn.
The debate of whether you can learn snowboarding by yourself hence continues to hit up the snowboarding community.
Here is a look at whether it is possible to snowboard without lessons.
So, Can You Snowboard Without Lessons?
While it is challenging to snowboard without lessons, it is not impossible.
However, about 90% of riders are better off taking lessons. Individuals with previous experience in surfing, skateboarding, or wakeboarding are probably ahead of the curve and can often snowboard without lessons relatively easily.
Similarly, people with previous skiing experience and familiar with sliding on snow can normally teach themselves the basics of snowboarding relatively fast because skiing has a similar balancing aspect to snowboarding.
While it is possible to teach yourself snowboarding, it is not recommended, particularly if you don’t have skills in any related sports.
Having snowboarding lessons is essential in helping you perfect the snowboarding basics, minimizing the bad habits, and enhancing your mental confidence to progress.
Teaching yourself to snowboard can take relatively longer and might even result in an injury.
Snowboarding experts advise taking at least an entire day’s worth of lessons before trying snowboarding alone.
However, if you are very cautious and afraid of falling, learning can be a rough process as you will constantly be washing out and catching the edges.
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Four Drawbacks of Teaching Yourself Snowboarding
If you choose to teach yourself snowboarding without lessons, you should understand the pros of this approach. These include;
1. Can Build Poor Habits At The Start
Without the right guidance from experienced snowboarders, you may end up having a flawed technique which even puts you at the risk of an injury.
Most self-learners regret teaching themselves snowboarding as it has made them ride poorly for years and sometimes get severe injuries.
Without good lessons to guide you on simple things like these, self-learners can feel like they are doing it perfectly, while in reality, they use a poor stance that can cause damage to their hips and knees.
On the other hand, most individuals who end up undertaking coaching lessons after several seasons often claim it’s the best thing they have done.
2. Reduced Safety For Yourself And Others
When you are not sure about what you are doing during snowboarding, you can be sure to fall plenty several times.
Knee, wrist, and tailbone injuries are some of the common injuries for newbie riders. You don’t want to be a hazard for yourself and even other riders.
3. You May End Up Spending More In The Long Run
While you may think that taking lessons is an expensive option, going with the self-learning option can end up costing more.
Snowboarding without lessons puts you at a high risk of injury. Paying about $40 for a snowboard lesson might be a lot less expensive than the treatment cost for the injury.
4. Can Be A Major Waste Of Time
Other than money, you are likely to waste a lot more time perfecting your snowboarding skills.
A snowboarding self-learner without any snow or board sport experiences a couple of snowboarding trips to get their moves properly.
You will hence end up spending more time compared to several days worth of snowboarding lessons.
For most riders, learning snowboarding on your own will take more time on the beginner runs.
How Long Should You Learn Snowboarding?
It will often take you about three days to learn snowboarding. However, the length of time it specifically takes every person will depend on various factors.
For instance, individuals with a strong core, naturally coordinated physique, and excellent body shape are more likely to learn and pick snowboarding quicker.
Likewise, if you have similar balanced sport skills such as skateboarding, surfing, or wakeboarding, learning to snowboard will be much easier than a person who has no experience.
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Taking lessons will also recommend you to learn the basic snowboarding techniques quicker. It will be quicker for you to learn with lessons than trying to teach yourself.
However, even if you are a boarding beginner and have no such qualities, you can still learn snowboarding, just that it might take a bit longer.
What you only need to do is maintain the right attitude and not give up.
Six Tips for Learning Snowboarding By Yourself
If you have little skills onboarding on snow or natural skills for board sports, you can consider trying out snowboarding on yourself. Here are several tips for learning to snowboard by yourself.
1. Online and YouTube tutorials
Watching online videos and on YouTube can be a great way of learning the right stance and technique.
Even professional riders view online video lessons to advance their skills and improve on their weaknesses.
With so many online content creators providing snowboarding tutorials from S turns for beginners to the expert invert rotations, you can try it out.
2. Record Yourself And Learn From It
Another way of improving your boarding skills is watching yourself when in the act. Taking a video of yourself is vital in helping you pinpoint what you are doing wrong and fix where you are going wrong on your technique before it develops into a significant issue.
3. Maintain Proper Fitness
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Despite how fit you are, beginning to learn any sport from scratch can be physically exhaustive.
Maintaining your thighs, knees, and core in great physical shape is important in advancing your snowboarding technique and ability.
Proper flexibility is useful in avoiding many injuries like minor sprains and strains while building up muscles will also be vital in riding.
The fitter you are, the longer you can snowboard on the mountains.
4. Stay On The Hill Consistently.
If you want to be good at something, you must not give up.
In this case, you should not leave the hill until you can maneuver and control your board well.
Until you can snowboard successfully down the hill without losing control or falling and can ride between heel and toe side with relative stability, do not leave the hill.
You should be willing to give it the attention and time required, and you will get the reward. After hitting the breakthrough, the progress will be very quick.
5. Find A Group To Ride With
Once you have familiarized yourself with the basic boarding technique and sporting equipment, you should consider finding a group or crew to ride together.
Riding with a group, particularly with better riders than you, will help you improve.
They can help to point out your mistakes in the technique and style you are using, especially during the early training stages.
6. Purchase Some Safety Gear
To keep safe from serious head injuries, always put on a helmet when teaching yourself to snowboard.
It is also highly recommendable to wear a back brace and knee and wrist guards for ultimate safety.
While it is possible to snowboard without lessons, it is still recommendable to undertake a few snowboarding lessons to provide you with the fundamentals and direct you on the right path before you start to teach yourself.
Like it is the case for other extreme mountain sports, it is best to take your time and learn how to board appropriately before going on to put yourself and other riders at risk on the hill.
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