Easy Snowboarding Techniques for beginners 

Beginner snowboarding technique

If you’ve ever struggled or are new to beginner snowboarding techniques then you’re not alone, Snowboarding can be very frustrating if you don’t have the right coach in your corner…

…And that’s why I’m here, I am going to be your Professional snowboarding coach!

Now let’s pretend you’re a first time snowboarder and you need to learn everything about snowboarding, from what snowboarding gear you’ll need, right through to performing certain exercises to get you moving on at least one edge of the snowboard.

Note: Being able to learn some of these beginner snowboarding techniques quickly, is key to having a really great time with your family and friends.

One way we can do this is by not rushing the progression, make sure you practise these techniques on the beginner slopes of the ski resort.

Always try and stay in situations where your speed is somewhat controlled by the pitch of the hill!

If you can, stay on the beginner slopes for as long as it takes.

When you’re trying these techniques, think about being relaxed and it would be a good idea if you could start learning how to visualise the technique in your head before you try the exercise.

This will help you immensely!

Ok, let’s get in to it.


What outerwear gear do beginners need for snowboarding?

snowboard beginner gear

This one is pretty self-explanatory

 You’ll need:

  • Snowboard pants (waterproof)
  • Jacket (waterproof)
  • Hoodie depending on how cold it is
  • Gloves
  • Helmet
  • Goggles
  • Wrist guards (maybe) Most of my students don’t wear them

Use common sense here, if it’s hot, you can always take clothing off, dress for the weather, this includes thermals as well!


Snowboard Basics to Get You Ready

If you don’t have the money to go out and buy a snowboard, you can always rent one from the mountain.

I always try and rent from a snowboard shop, there gear is better and it is in their best interest to supply it as well.

So what type of snowboard should you get?

Stick to, all mountain soft boots setup.

Snowboards also come in a range of sizes including width.

To figure out what length you’ll need, just simply stand the snowboard up (vertical) so that the tail or nose is on the ground and then bring it in close to your body.

A good general rule of thumb is, if the tip of the snowboard lands in-between the bottom of your nose and your chin, that size length should work for you!

Make sure you go for an all mountain snowboard, this will make it easier for you to enjoy the whole mountain. It will give you a nice flexible snowboard that won’t be too stiff or limiting for you!

RELATED: Snowboarding Techniques


Analogy of a Snowboard:

snowboard ANATOMY beginner

  1. Nose of the snowboard
  2. Tail of the snowboard
  3. Front binding and back binding
  4. Your Toe edge and Heel edge
  5. Side rails and Camber of your snowboard. (More on this later)
  6. Stomp pad (where you place your back foot when it’s not strapped in)
  7. Leash (stops your snowboard sliding away)

NOTE: Want to learn how to shortcut your frustrating beginner snowboarding progression? Simply download this beginner snowboarder roadmap to learn all aspects of learning how to turn.

Learn what bad habits beginners tend to make so you can avoid them to progress faster and maintain balance and control easier…check it out now!

Beginner Snowboarder turns tutorial


Your Beginner Snowboard Binding Setup

snowboard stance angles for beginners

I like to recommend +15 on the front foot and 0 on the back binding, this setup will help you become familiar with front forward nose pressure and it will make it easier for you to pressure the entire snowboard.

At this stage of the game, it’s not essential to have the perfect binding angle set up, as you become more confident and gain more skills, we can then start playing around with a variation of this binding setup.

Until then, just stick to this and you’ll be in good hands!


What Style of Rider are you?

Now we need to figure out what style of snowboarder you are?

There are two types of snowboarding styles, goofy and natural!

Not much difference really, it basically comes down to what preference you prefer your front foot to be.

Natural snowboarders are left foot forward first and Goofy snowboarders are right foot forward first. (Closest to the nose of the snowboard)

How do you figure this out?


I want you to pretend you are standing on the edge of a cliff with both of your feet together. (If you’re on the snow, you can draw a line etc.)

Now…while standing there, I need you to take one step forward and peer over the edge of the cliff.

Don’t think about it, just step forward and have a look over the edge!

Whatever foot you put forward first is most likely your dominant foot and should lead you on your snowboard.

By having our dominant forward first, it will make it easier for us to pressure the nose of the snowboard!


Beginner Snowboard Techniques and your Basic Snowboard Stance.

Now that we have all our basic components in place to get us up and running, it’s time to actually learn some of the beginner snowboarding techniques that help you go from complete newbie to making basic steering movements down the hill!

Some of the techniques will seem a bit awkward at first but with a little bit of time and commitment, they will soon become second nature to you.


Beginner basic stance snowboarding stance:

In order for us to snowboard with the least amount or resistant, we need to stand in a certain stance and we call this the ‘basic snowboard stance.’

Not only does this stance enable us to steer the snowboard more effectively but this stance also helps with muscle fatigue when standing in stationary positions for a long time.

It essentially helps take pressure off the muscle system so your skeletal structure does more of the work!

Basic stance looks like this:

Snowboard stance to go faste

  • feet and knees are slightly flexed
  • Hips in line with the snowboard
  • Straight back
  • Arms relaxed and to the side
  • Head looking up and in the direction of travel

Always try to maintain this stance when snowboarding.


Walking (skate) with one foot out exercise

heelside and toes side skating on a snowboard

So why do we need to learn this?

When you first start learning how to snowboard, you need to learn how to maneuver around the hill with one foot out.

Without learning these basic beginner snowboarding techniques, you won’t know how to correctly pressure your snowboard at the beginner stages of the progression.

We also need to learn how to get on and off the chair lift when you only have one foot (Front) strapped in.  

More on that later…

Ok, let’s carry on. Standing in a stationary position with only your front foot strapped in and your back foot standing on the snow behind the heel edge, I want you to slowly slide your front foot forward (about 1 foot) and then bring your back foot up to the starting position again.

You should have your heel edge in the snow at this point, it will help create friction in the snow for you to help balance yourself.

Keep practising this exercise until you feel confident doing it!

Then try it on your Toe edge…


Skate and Straight glide on the snowboard Exercise

straight glide on a snowboard beginner technique

This time, standing in the starting position with your back foot on the snow, I want you to start skating forward but this time, give yourself a big push with the back foot on the snow and then place your back foot on the stomp.

Make sure you stand in your basic stance with weight on the front foot and glide your snowboard until you come to a stop!

NOTE: Make sure you practice this on flat ground. (Beginners area)

The idea behind learning this beginner snowboarding technique is not just for basic mobility but to enable us to walk and glide so we can gain access to the chairlift.

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beginner snowboarding tutorials


Climbing Exercises for Beginner snowboarders

Now we need to learn how to climb with one foot out, the idea behind this technique is to help us climb small hills when we need to get from point A to point B.

climbing on a snowboard beginner snowboard technique

Sometimes when you are snowboarding, you’ll find yourself running out of speed and need to unstrap one foot to climb a hill before you can carry on.

Here’s how you do it:

Standing in your starting position. This time facing your snowboard across the fall line.

Step forward with your back foot so it lands on the snow above the toe edge. Now bring the snowboard up to meet the heel of the foot that is already in the snow.

Dig your toe edge in and then repeat the process, take one step forward, then bring the snowboard up to the back of your foot that’s already planted in the snow!

Rinse and repeat.


Straight glide with speed Exercise

Great, now that you have mastered the art of climbing, it’s time to practice our straight glide technique again, but this time we are going to add a little more speed!

WORD OF WARNING: This exercise must only be performed when you have no chance of sliding away down the hill with no natural stopping point….In other words, Practice this on the beginner learning area to stay safe and controlled!

RELATED: Intermediate snowboarding techniques

For this Beginner snowboarding technique, you need to climb up a small hill and then face your snowboard down the fall line.

Standing in your stationary stance again, slowly place your back foot on the stomp pad of the snowboard and stand in your basic stance.

Remember your basic stance?

Keep weight forward over the front foot and glide with a flat base until you come to a complete stop on your snowboard!

keep practising this until you can maintain a balance when sliding.


The J turn Beginner Snowboarding Technique

So what is a J turn?

J turn beginner snowboarding technique

A J turn is how we slow down when we only have one foot strapped in on our snowboard.

This beginner snowboarding technique will teach you how to pressure your snowboard nose correctly so we can learn to slow down and stop when we are getting off a chairlift on the mountain.

With this exercise, we now need to start learning how to use both of our snowboard edges…

Let’s start with the heel side edge J turn first.

Standing back up the hill in your starting position with your snowboard facing down the fall line (down the hill). I now want you to start your straight glide by placing your back foot on the stomp pad and gliding down the hill.

This time, instead of just gliding straight and coming to a stop.

I want you to keep your weight forward over the nose (standing in your basic stance) and slowly lift your toes (so you engage the heel edge) and look and point to steer your snowboard back across the fall line.

This will naturally bring you to a stop.

Now we need to try the same beginner technique on our toe edge.

j Turn toed edge beginner snowboarding technique

Starting in the same position, start your straight glide…

Keep weight forward over the front foot, but this time, you need to apply pressure onto your toes (lift your heels) to engage the toe edge.

IMPORTANT: DO NOT LEAN, you MUST stand up tall, looking and pointing to where you want to go (across the fall line).

Don’t break at the waist or lean into the turn, let your toe edge and camber of your snowboard create the turn. (And your basic stance upper body movements)

Rinse and repeat these movements until you have them mastered.


The Side slipping Beginner Technique.

heelside side slipping beginner snowboarder

So now you understand the concept of pressuring our snowboard edge (weight on the front foot)

It’s now time to learn another beginner snowboarding technique called side slipping?

This is when we finally strap our other foot in and begin the process of the beginner progression.

We now need to learn how to stop when we have both feet strapped in. Starting back on the beginners slope with your snowboard across the fall line (across the hill)

I want you to stand up on your heel edge in your basic stance, except this time we are going to have even weight on both feet.

This will help keep your snowboard facing across the hill and not pointing down.

At this stage you have your toe edge up and pressure on your heel edge in the snow.

Keeping your arms out, slowly start to lower your toe edge just enough so that your snowboard starts sliding down the hill.

It is important to not let your toe edge touch the snow (otherwise you’ll catch an edge and fall) and release the heel edge slowly.

Keep even weight on both feet and your head looking up? If you find yourself sliding more in one direction than the other, it means you have too much weight on that foot, so bring it back to a centered stance.

Once you have slid down the slope a few feet, it’s time to slow down again and the way we do this is by simply creating more toe edge angle again.

This time, I want you to flex down (through the lower body) and lift your toes at the same time!

This will help amplify edge pressure and give you more control than if you were to only lift your toes.

Here’s a snowboarding secret: Flex down to apply edge pressure, extend up to release snowboard edge pressure!

Practice the same Technique on your toe edge now.

beginner snowboarding technique side slipping

It will be a little harder but with a little bit of practice, you’ll become a pro in no time!

Standing up in your basic stance with pressure on your toe edge. (Heels are lifted) Slowly lower your heel edge until your snowboard starts sliding down the hill.

IMPORTANT: Do not let your heel edge touch the snow, you will eat crap if you do!

Keep even weight on both feet and have your arms out for extra balance. When you want to stop, flex down into your toe edge and lift your heels at the same time.

Remember not to break at the waist, stand up tall and keep you head looking up.

Practice on both edges until you can ride down the hill with confidence!

Stay tuned for beginner snowboarding techniques part 2…

NOTE: Want to learn how to shortcut your frustrating beginner snowboarding progression? Simply download this beginner snowboarder roadmap to learn all aspects of learning how to turn.

Learn what bad habits beginners tend to make so you can avoid them to progress faster and maintain balance and control easier…check it out now!

Beginner Snowboarder turns tutorial

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Logan is the founder of Online Snowboard coach and has been coaching people how to snowboard for over 12 years...

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