The SoloTravel Guide

Snowboarding for BeginnersWeek One as a Snowboarder

A Q&A with Phil Teare from The Ski Gathering

So you've taken the plunge and booked your first ever snowboarding holiday. Congratulations, that was a great decision - and one that will open up a whole new world of adventures for you! But what should you expect from your beginner's snowboarding holiday, and what happens next? This Q&A from The Ski Gathering will answer all your questions and put your mind at ease.

Snowboarder learning new skills
Solo snowboarder with amazing winter view

What do I need to buy?

The short answer is: you should only buy clothing. It is much better to rent a snowboard and snowboard boots, at least to start with. It's also worth noting that, there is no difference between ski and snowboard clothing. Any purported differences are more around style and fashion. The requirements of the two are identical, so just go for whatever style suits you and your budget.

For a fuller answer, check out our improver's guide to buying ski equipment & clothing.

Pre-Holiday Shopping List

What do I need to organise ahead?

Before arriving in resort you should book your beginner snowboarding lessons, snowboard hire and lift pass. We can happily do all this for you (there is no charge), so if you'd like that please do just let us know and we will get everything in place.

Equipment hire:

You should hire a snowboard, snowboard boots and a helmet. Be sure to let your provider know that you are a beginner so they can give you the most appropriate equipment. Beginner boards are softer and more forgiving than advanced ones.

Snowboarding Lessons

The most common option is to take half day group lessons. You can get full-day lessons, though generally they are not as popular. Half-day lessons would normally be about two and a half hours every morning of your holiday. The camaraderie of being with a whole group of beginners in group lessons is really popular: you're all in the same boat and it's a good giggle.

Lift pass

You'll need to buy a pass which allows you up and down the ski lifts. Depending on the time of year, some areas will do a lessons and lift pass deal together. Most ski areas have at least two options: a local area lift pass for the slopes surrounding your resort; and a full-area pass for the whole area. Again chat to us and we will advise you for your resort, but normally the local area is more than sufficient for your very first week of snowboarding.

What to expect...

...On your first day

Firstly don't worry, you are not on your own. We will explain everything - where to go, who to meet, even how to do up your snowboard boots! Don't forget the sunscreen too! Being upper altitude, combined with the reflective snow, means you can get some serious sunburn even when it's many degrees below zero.

Expect a few falls en routeā€¦!

It's worth setting your expectations before you arrive in resort: the first few days of snowboarding generally involve falling over, a lot. Snowboarding can be a challenging sport to get started with. The rewards at the end are enormous. But the first few days involve falling over, getting up, falling over again, getting up again and on it goes!

Generally after a few days of falling over and feeling a bit frustrated it will click - and suddenly you're off! The feeling of getting it all together and navigating your way down the slopes is like nothing else. All those falls will have been worth it and by the end of the week you will be loving every minute of it.

What time of year should I go?

You can learn any time throughout the winter season, but January and March are especially good months.

January generally has the best snow and the quietest slopes. This will give you the smallest group sizes in your lessons, and the most peace and space whilst you're getting to grips with your new found skills.

March is also a good time of year. The days are sunny, warmer and longer, and again if you are outside school holidays your find it not too busy at all.

Any questions, about anything at all?

Just ask! We are always only too happy to help, so what you would like to ask please do just get in touch.

More articles like this...

Empty Ski lifts shot by Solo Skier

Where to Ski Solo and Why: Best routes for solos

Some people go on singles ski holidays to get away from it all and enjoy their own space. For others, it's a social opportunity to meet new people and share the mountain. But whichever category of solo skier you are, the same ski routes stand out as the places to go this winter. And we have compiled them into one list of unmissable singles ski routes. These ski routes are all quiet, so you will have plenty of space. In many cases, they are also relatively unknown.

Read More
Solo Traveler in Uxmal, Mexico

Going solo: why so many prefer to travel alone

For many people, a first solo travel experience is often booked out of necessity rather than by choice. It might simply be that you decided to extend a solo business trip abroad; maybe it was a niche holiday which didn't interest your partner; or perhaps the rest of the gang just couldn't come along that year. But many would be surprised to learn just how many subsequent solo travel holidays are booked by choice rather than by necessity.

Read More
Group members on a singles ski holiday

The Six Concerns of Solo Skiers... and how to avoid them

No matter what the destination, the same problems always seem to crop up for first-time solo travelers. For all the many advantages there are to traveling solo, it can so often be the little things that put some people off the idea of getting out there and booking an independent adventure. Here are six of the little things that might make some people think twice about booking a solo ski holiday, and how to get around them with The Ski Gathering.

Read More
Piste-side drinks in Les Gets ski resort

Avant Ski! The web's best pre-holiday ski and snowboarding resources

Alas, it's still too soon for aprés ski, so put the Jaeger Bomb down and turn off the French reggae. But that doesn't mean you can't while away the hours chatting about pure corduroy, amazing runs and legendary wipe-outs. So cook up a vin chaud, put your goggles on sideways, and enjoy some "avant ski" online before your ski holiday. Here are some of the web's best resources for skiers and snowboarders preparing for their ski holidays.

Read More
Single skier executing a parallel turn on skis

What level of skier or snowboarder are you?

When booking ski lessons, organising ski hire, or simply choosing the right liftpass, it is important to have an idea of your own confidence and experience levels. This page provides as handy guide for anyone trying to gauge their own abilities as a skier or snowboarder. Beginner skier, novice, lower intermediate, upper intermediate, advanced skier or expert. This guide will help you decide which lessons, if any, are right for you.

Read More
A skier or snowboarder admiring the Alpine view

Skiing Versus Snowboarding: which is right for you?

Skiing versus Snowboarding is a classic debate, and usually a pretty predictable one. Ask a skier, and they'll tell you skiing rules. Ask a boarder... well, you can probably guess. It can be hard to get neutral, well-informed advice, with evangelists from both camps passionately insisting that their chosen sport is by far the superior. So I should begin by laying out my cards. I am one of the few people who do both to a pretty similar level.

Read More
An individual snowboarder mastering her new skills

All aboard: Week One as a Snowboarder

A Q&A with Phil Teare from The Ski Gathering. So you've taken the plunge and booked your first ever snowboarding holiday. Congratulations, that was a great decision - and one that will open up a whole new world of adventures for you! But what should you expect from your beginner's snowboarding holiday, and what happens next? This Q&A from The Ski Gathering will answer all your questions and put your mind at ease. Let's go!

Read More
Skis against a snowy background

The improver's guide to buying ski equipment and clothing

On a summer beach holiday, you might only pack your bathers, your passport and some currency. Not so in winter, sorry. There is a lot of stuff that goes into making ski holiday the awesome experience it is. But what should you buy, what should you borrow, and what should you hire? In this article we will break down all the essentials for you, letting you know about some of the best deals and best snowsports specialists in your local area.

Read More