Many people are wondering why there are those who go into snowboarding and ask, buy “What is safety in this sport?” While everybody is locking themselves up in the cabin in front of the fireplace during winter, stomach there are some thrill-seekers who brave the chills and get out and enjoy the snow. Why not, snowboarding sounds really fun! Imagine wrapping yourselves up with snow, making snowballs and throwing them at each other. However, there is a common misconception that snowboarding is only for the experts, but learning how to snowboard is not that difficult. Everybody fears the cold in the mountains and there are many rules that come into play for this sport. Safety is a major concern, and this is what hinders many from trying this adventurous sport.
However, snowboarding is actually for everybody, even for beginners. As they say, every expert was once a beginner. However, if you want to learn the sport, you first have to know the safety precautions before and during snowboarding. Here’s a short list of what you have to take and keep in mind, as endorsed by the National Ski Areas Association:
BEFORE GETTING ONTO THE SLOPE
- Be physically fit. Plan ahead. Plot the date when you are going to hit the slopes. Once you have the date, make sure you prepare your body for at least three months before. You have to be in shape before snowboarding so your body gets to follow the slides and strides easily and freely. Jogging in the morning, stretching and strenuous workouts and other physical activities are important to condition your body. Aside from being physically fit, you also have to prepare yourself mentally. Staying in the snow for hours can be mind-boggling so you better be prepared.
- Do your research and study. If you’re really serious about the sport, you have to first know the basics of how to snowboard. You can do your own reading at home through the online reading materials available. However, it is best to talk to a snowboarding instructor so your better guided before hitting the slopes.
- Prepare your snowboarding equipment. You can visit some local ski shops and ask for the proper equipment for snowboarding based on your level of experience. The basic equipment would be a board, a leash, some pretty good boots and the bindings. How do you choose your snowboard? Consider the length and width. The length depends on your weight while the width should match the size of your boots. Usually the board should be about chin level.
- Snowboard goggles are also important so you have good visibility when you’re on the slopes. Make sure you choose the right lens, size and fit for your snowboard goggles. There are cylindrical and spherical lenses to choose from. Cylindrical lenses are curved horizontally and flat vertically. Spherical lenses, meanwhile, are bulky because they are curved both horizontally and vertically. Make sure that the goggles you get is perfect for your vision, with anti-glare features and a snug fit just right to avoid falling off while snowboarding. Boarding without goggles is dangerous and from personal experience they should be used at all times.
- Choose the right snowboarding wear. Snowboard jackets and snowboard pants are a must to protect you from the extremely low temperature. Make sure you get snowboard jackets and snowboard pants that are made from fabrics (polypropylene underwear is recommended, too) that are wind and water-resistant. Snowboard jackets should have zippers and collars that can be closed up to the chin. Dress in layers to protect your body.
- Be in control. Make sure you have studied the terrain and the techniques that are necessary to be in control of the slopes. Make sure you have taken some lessons from a good instructor before jumping in. If you feel like you cannot take the chills anymore, stop it. If you feel like you’re getting out of control of the snow and slopes, stop and take a rest. Alternatively find a slope that is a beginners grade to practise turning and stopping on to regain confidence in taking control.
- Know the rules. Those who are way ahead of you will always have the right of way. If you’re starting downhill, make sure you look uphill and put on the yield. Take advantage of devices that can help you and make sure you observe and follow signs and warnings.
If you’re still asking “what is safety” when it comes to snowboarding, make sure you follow the points mentioned above. Learning how to snowboard should always be a top priority when seeking some adventure out on the slopes in the snow. Snowboarding is real fun when you know how to do it right.