If you’ve had fun in the snow be it throwing snowballs with your friends or just sliding down the street on a plastic bag, you’re missing out on a lot. To take things on a different level than what you’d do as a kid consider going snowboarding. Why? Snowboarding is in fact quite a healthy way to strengthen your core and improve your balance. It helps activate almost every muscle in the body. If you’ve never been on a snowboard the best place to start would be the park.
Yes, there are snowboard parks that will teach you a thing or two about how snowboarding works. In this case, you’ll need a snowboard meant for the park. Park snowboards are light, short and extremely flexible, allowing you to have total control over them. Don’t get me wrong, other gear and accessories such as a protective helmet, the proper snowboarding jacket and footwear are important too, but the board is what makes the whole experience.
What Is the Right Park Snowboard for Me?
To pick the right type of park board you need to first determine what you like doing most – your style. If you’re someone who looks at every rock and exposed surface as a place to do a trick, then you might be what is known as a jibber. If you are one, then you should opt for a park snowboard that has a jib-friendly design which will make manoeuvring easier. This is basically a short park board. You’ll also want to make sure it has a soft flex rating to allow you to hop on rails more easily – these have soft cores. Flat profile or fully rockered park snowboards are preferred too since they are easier to control and to slide on rails with.
If you favour jumps over easy snowboard tricks and want to go fast, then you should look into boards with a regular length. These boards are similar to the ones that you might ride outside the park on the regular slopes. You should also pick a park board with moderate to stiff flex rating. This will allow you to have a better edge hold and pop for those higher take-offs. When it comes to the profile of the board, you should go for one with a positively cambered profile. This will allow you to carve-off more easily and then make for fast-spinning landings.
Jib & Jump Board
But what if you want to be able to do both. Well, in this case, you’ll want to get a board with moderate flex to it and a hybrid rocker profile. Why? Because this way the board will provide you with a bit of both worlds. Both flexibility and stiffness will be available at a moderate level which makes for a good middle ground.
How to Ride Park Snowboard?
Before you get out and start riding in the park, you need to keep some things in mind. First, you should know that you will fail no matter what. No matter how hard you try and make things perfect you will fall all the time. Even when you become somewhat of an advanced board user you will still fail so just get on with it and don’t think much about it.
To make your overall experience more fun and mistakes less daunting, bring some friends with you. You’ll laugh at each other’s mistakes and get through the process of learning much quicker and easier. Also when learning how to ride a park snowboard make sure to take your time. The slower you start off the better you’ll be later on.
You’d want to warm up with some snowboarding exercises before every session in the park. This will prepare your body for the vicious exercise that you’ll put it through and keep you safe from strains. Also, learn the park etiquette meaning you’ll need to understand the features of the park. There are small medium and large features. Obviously, in the beginning, you’ll want to star with the small features.
The main thing you need to keep in mind is your balance. Start off by leaning forward on the board a little bit and start moving the front foot slightly forward. When you start to slide and want to stop, you can do a twist. A twist is done by twisting your body so that the board is horizontally positioned in front of you when done. Just start with your front foot by swinging it in front of your inwards and let that lead your other foot into it.
Once you’re comfortable with sliding downhill and stopping it’s time to move on with turning. Making quick turns is the best way to start and it is best done when sliding. Whilst you’re going down a slope start making small left and right turns without going fully into either one of the. Just slightly lean your body towards where you want to go and shortly after you start going to the left or right get back into position by moving your fit inwards.