A Newbie's Guide To Snowboarding Options

Freestyle, alpine and freeriding snowboarding styles are just a few most popular ones, in this article we examine the differences between them, and how you can keep fit and have fun while doing them.

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If you are keen to learn lots of snowboarding tricks and learn to ride the half pipe, you will need a different type of board than if you want to get into downhill racing. Most new snowboarders are freeriders, in other words they like a bit of everything, but here are the different snowboarding disciplines for you to consider before investing in any snowboarding kit …

Freestyle snowboarding

Generally speaking, freestyle snowboard riders ride the half-pipe on occasion, but most of the time they make full use of all the quarter pipes, lumps and bumps on the slopes to jump off and do their tricks. They also use the flats on the slopes to do tricks such as ollies, nollies, jibbing, bonking and riding fakie. Freestyle riding has no real rules – it’s dynamic, acrobatic and is responsible for creating loads of snowboarding tricks that other boarders aspire to.

Alpine/racing snowboarding

A few snowboarders prefer to wear hard boots (similar to ski boots) and execute high speed carving turns on well-groomed slopes. This type of boarding is at the other end of the scale from freestyle riding. They use race boards to maximize speed and allow them to perform technical high speed slalom turns. Racing can be a huge buzz but it does require much snowboard training.

Freeriding snowboarding

This is the most common of all of the snowboarding disciplines. Freeriding encompasses all aspects of snowboarding – freestyle, and just enjoying cruising down the wide open slopes. Beginner’s wanting to get their own board are best to get a freeriding board so they can easily try out all the styles of riding. These boards tend to be longer and narrower than freestyle boards, with more side cut.

While many of us would love to perform some of the freestyle acrobatics that the 13-year olds pull off so well, the truth of the matter is, we are happier being freeriders. Freeriding is the pure essence of snowboarding and it’s the original adrenalin rush. It allows the rider to create their own style and explore the slopes both on and off-piste.

Snowboarding is the world’s fastest-growing winter sport. It tempts you to spend your hard-earned cash on going riding as much as possible. Otherwise sensible people leave secure and high paid jobs to travel to ride for long snowboarding seasons at a time. Many have switched from skiing. Why? Because snowboarding is simply a fantastic buzz.

How snowboarding is good for fitness

Aside from being an amazing buzz, snowboarding is also a great sport for developing your fitness and there are plenty of ways snowboarding gets you fit:

  • Snowboarding offers a great workout for developing the leg and arm muscles.
  • Improves the body’s sense of balance and co-ordination.
  • Promotes mental strength and concentration, as well as refreshing the mind from everyday distractions.
  • Improves the body’s flexibility due to its quick changes of pace and direction.
  • Develops upper body strength, with agile shoulder movements required to stay on the snowboard.

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