There’s no experience quite like snowboarding. It’s an exhilarating sport that’s fun for seasoned professionals and absolute beginners alike. You might be thinking about strapping on a snowboard this winter and are wondering whether or not you wanted to waste your vacation time with lessons, but you have to make the most of your time away, so are snowboarding lessons really worth it?
Snowboarding lessons are worth it for beginners and professionals alike. They teach you how to be confident on a snowboard and also help you to perfect your technique. These lessons will make you a better snowboarder and help prevent injuries from improper technique.
Continue reading this post for more information about why you absolutely need snowboarding lessons if you’re heading up the mountain this year, what kind of snowboarding lessons you should get, and just how many classes you need before you become “good” at snowboarding.
Are Snowboarding Lessons Worth It?
If you’re wondering whether or not you need snowboarding lessons or if they’re worth it, think about this: how quickly do you want to become good at snowboarding? And I mean really good at snowboarding.
Look, can you be a great self-taught snowboarder? Yes, you certainly can. Some people are just naturally gifted snowboarders, just like others are naturally talented writers, artists, or singers. Those people can get to a pretty high level of ability on raw talent alone, but (and this is crucial “but”) even people who are naturally talented at something can benefit from lessons.
Why? Because there will still be things you don’t know how to do or things you can learn to do better. Even the best self-taught snowboarder can still learn a few pointers to improve their technique. You might not realize you’re doing something wrong until an instructor points it out to you, and once you know how to improve it, you can strengthen your technique and help prevent any injuries that might occur.
But what if you’re completely brand new to snowboarding – should you take lessons? Absolutely. Not only will you learn how to snowboard with better technique, but you’ll also learn how to snowboard quickly, and — more importantly — you’ll learn how to snowboard safely.
The short answer to “are snowboarding lessons worth it” is: yes. They are one hundred percent worth it. Anyone can benefit from lessons in something, no matter how skilled they are, and if you’re new to snowboarding, lessons will get you out on the slopes and feeling confident much faster.
What Will Snowboarding Lessons Teach Me?
What you’ll learn in your snowboarding lessons will depend on what level you’re at. There are four levels of snowboarding proficiency: beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert.
It’s probably pretty obvious what beginner snowboarding lessons will teach you. As a beginner, the lessons you take will be all about getting you comfortable with your equipment and getting out on the snow for the first time. You’ll learn things like how to stand up on a snowboard properly and how to prevent yourself from injury (although I won’t lie, as a beginner snowboarder, you’ll fall… a lot).
On the other hand, if you take lessons as an intermediate or an advanced snowboarder, the content of the lessons is going to be geared much more around perfecting the skills and techniques you already have. Your lessons will also help you learn more advanced tricks and progress your confidence as a snowboarder even further, getting you to that expert level you’ve wanted to reach for so long.
Should I Get Group or Private Snowboarding Lessons?
Alright, now that you understand the value of snowboarding lessons, the next step is to work out whether you want to attend group or private lessons. Each has its pros and cons. We’ve evaluated both fairly in-depth below so that you can easily make up your mind about which kind of snowboarding lessons to choose:
Group snowboarding lessons offer a chance for you to learn how to snowboard with an instructor and a small group of other students at your ability level. Group lessons are available for snowboarders of all ages.
- A great option for beginners. That’s because group lessons are cheaper and a great way to test out if you’re really interested in snowboarding or not (trust us, you’ll be hooked once you start).
- Great for those on holidays because you can do with them with friends and family.
- A chance to learn from other snowboarders as well as the instructor.
- Not all snowboarding schools offer group lessons beyond beginner levels.
- It can be a bit overwhelming and discouraging if other snowboarders are progressing faster than you.
- The instructor has less time to spend with you on your individual technique.
Private snowboarding lessons offer a chance for you to learn how to snowboard with an instructor in a one-on-one environment. Private lessons are available for snowboarders of all ages.
- An excellent option for snowboarders with specialized learning needs.
- A great way to learn and improve your snowboarding technique because the instructor can tailor the lesson to fit your needs.
- You can find private lessons above the beginner level.
- Private lessons are more expensive than group ones and therefore may not be accessible by everyone.
How Long Does It Take To Be Good at Snowboarding?
Unfortunately, if you were looking for a magic number regarding how many days it takes to get good at snowboarding, we don’t have one for you. Snowboarding is like any skill, and any skill gets better with time and practice.
That said, most people will start to see more of a significant improvement in their snowboarding skills after around twenty to thirty days of snowboarding in a row. This improvement rate will also increase if you take proper snowboarding lessons. Some can get snowboarding basics down in as little as one day.
How Many Snowboarding Lessons Do I Need?
When trying to decide how many snowboarding lessons you need, there are various factors to consider.
First of all, remember that everybody learns at their own pace. There’s nothing wrong with taking extra time to learn a snowboarding skill. In fact, slowing down can sometimes be better because it can help you perfect your technique properly.
Second of all, consider what you want to get out of your snowboarding experience. Do you want just to be able to tackle a few gentle slopes with your friends on holiday, or are you looking to master some more extreme skills? How far you want to go with your snowboarding will also determine how many lessons you will need.
Generally, it takes around six to eight hours for a brand new snowboarder to learn the basics. That means that you would need three or four two-hour-long lessons. The length of lessons will differ depending on where you’re learning to snowboard.
Most places will offer either half-day lessons (around 2 to 3 hours) or full-day lessons (typically about 4 to 6 hours). Full-day lessons are generally the best option, as not only are they more cost-effective, but they’re also more in-depth and help you learn how to snowboard much faster.
Private or Group Lessons
Another factor that’ll determine how many snowboarding lessons you need is whether you’re taking private or group lessons, as private lessons tend to build your skills faster.
Your age will also play a part in how long it takes you to learn, as generally, kids tend to pick up new skills faster than adults (and they may also be a little more fearless, meaning that they are willing to dive into the snowboarding lessons a little more than a more reserved adult might).
Level of Physical Fitness
Finally, your level of physical fitness will also determine how fast you can build your snowboarding skills and how many lessons you will require. Those who are more physically able tend to learn faster, as do those with a sporting background. If you already have some skill with skiing, surfing, or skateboarding, snowboarding also tends to come a bit easier to you as you already have more of an idea of what to anticipate.
Why Do Snowboarders Wear Backpacks in Competitions?
Sometimes you will see people riding a snowboard while wearing a backpack. This may seem like a bulky annoyance that could put you off-balance, but as long as your backpack is not too heavy and is properly strapped on, it should not be a problem.
The main reason why snowboarders wear backpacks is because they will contain various safety items, which can be absolutely crucial in remote areas. In a competition setting, however, the backpack will mainly contain items such as a water bottle.
However, sometimes snowboarders just wear backpacks for the fun of it – the backpack of Norwegian championship snowboarder Fridtjof Sæther Tischendorf or “Fridge” has become his trademark, which all started out as a joke with a friend.
Wearing a backpack when riding is a personal choice, but it is a good idea if you are going to be snowboarding somewhere more remote.
Snowboarding lessons definitely shouldn’t be viewed as optional for anyone interested in the sport. Snowboarding lessons are not just for beginners, either – anyone can benefit from advice from a professional to help them improve their technique.
Whether you go for group lessons or private ones, know that you will need to dedicate at least 6-8 hours to learning if you want to pick up the basics of snowboarding. Snowboarding lessons are just as fun as being out on the slopes by yourself and will help you to become a confident and safe snowboarder in absolutely no time!