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Strap on those boots. A great way to burn off calories without noticing, snowboarding involves descending a snowy slope with feet attached to one smooth board. And the good news is, you don’t need to take a jaunty weekend to the Alps in order to try it out. There are plenty of venues in the UK where you can learn to snowboard, whether on dry slopes or real snow pistes.
Snowboarding is a winter sport that evolved from skateboarding and surfing. After you’ve got the right equipment and have found a suitable real or faux mountain, you’re ready to go! Snowboarding is really a full body workout; you’ll use almost every muscle in your body for balance as you make your way down an icy slope.
If you haven’t snowboarded or skied before, it is a wise idea to invest in some professional lessons before letting yourself loose on any precarious hills unaided. Many people try skiing first, as it is typically easier to get the hang of when it comes to balance and technique, but there’s no reason why you can’t dive head first (hopefully not literally) into hitting the slopes on a snowboard.
While snowboarding, riders steer, stop, and go faster by transferring weight onto different parts on the board using their feet. The most common snowboarding styles are free-ride, freestyle and free-carve/race, which are used for both recreational and professional snowboarding. Each style is unique, but there is some overlap between them.
At a winter sports resort, snowboarders take to the same runs as skiers. These vary in difficulty, with beginners advised to stick to the easy green and blue slopes. The black run is fairly intimidating and strictly for seasoned professionals only!
If you’re looking to try something new, then yes! Snowboarding is a highly enjoyable sport that will burn calories, tone muscles and leave you famished after an invigorating few hours!
If you want to sample some real mountain slopes, then be prepared to spend a lot of money. You’ll have to fork out for equipment hire or purchase, which all adds up, on top of normal holiday costs.
If you’re quite happy learning to snowboard on dry or indoor ski slopes at home, then the experience is altogether more affordable. The sport is not suitable for anyone with knee or ankle problems as frequent jumping with feet strapped to the board does put quite a bit of stress on the joints. However, snowboarding is a great, sociable workout that will get you learning a new skill and increase your fitness.
Snowboarding has only been around since 1965 and snowboards were originally called ‘snurfers’.