Snowboarding noob tips

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It was -1° when we arrived at Coronet Peak this morning. The view was breathtaking. I want to say ‘remarkable’, but there’s a mountain range in Queenstown called The Remarkables and I’m not sure if that’s what we were looking at. That first ascent along the gritty mountain road brought front of mind how far away we are from Perth.

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SNOWBOARDING IS SO MUCH FUN. I am very obviously a complete noob, evidenced by my very sore arse. If a nice bruise comes up tomorrow, I shall let you know. We were blessed to be surrounded by seasoned snow sportsmen, but this meant getting a lot if advice that was hard to reconcile as a noob with zero context for the activity.

So, here are my noob tips for first timers:

Falling is your emergency brake. It’s ok to fall on your bum if you can’t stop otherwise. It’s the safest thing to fall on, as going forward will hurt your knees, wrists, elbows or face. If you struggle in your first session, then at least spend time getting to be all right with falling on your cushiony behind.

You go where your weight goes. Makes sense when you think about it, right? When you’re sliding down a hill, board flat (not tilted on its edges), the part of the board that presses heaviest on the ground will be the bit that moves the fastest, leading the rest of the board – friction and physics, etc. The saying, “You go where you look,” is kinda the same thing, as sometimes your body shifts its weight to where you’re looking.

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You don’t have to throw all your weight to go that way. Snowboards are designed to twist; your feet can control the degree of twist. Subtle twisting puts weight on the board, allowing you to shift direction with little effort.

Mm, that is not totally true. Snowboarding takes a lot of effort. It hurts like hell in your quads, bum and calves. Ankles, foot arches and if you’re unlucky, knees. The boots hold your feet in an uncomfortable lean-forward position, which is great while you’re boarding, but is painful when trying to walk normally. You look hilarious when you fall, ridiculous when you try to get up again. Then the agonising walk, heavy board in hand, to get to where you next need to be… arg.

BUT in those brief moments of beginner’s luck, when you take a turn without stacking it, when you zig zag INTENTIONALLY, and when you get the posture so perfect you’re afraid to even think about it, you feel like a fucking boss.

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That didn’t happen often for me, over the five hours we spent at the slopes, but the couple of times it did, I was on top of the world (or at least very high up). A++ would totally do again, but not sure yet if this trip or another one. It rained in the town tonight and our group’s more experienced snowmen have resigned to rain at the Peak too, sludging or washing away all the snow. We’ll probably stay in tomorrow, or find our way to an ice skating rink.

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It’s 3 in the morning, how did this happen? Yeah, definitely won’t make it up early for morning snow sports. Nite nite for now.