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.
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
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.
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. There is an awesome snowboard size calculator here, which you can use to see what type of snowboard you will need.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just ask! We are always only too happy to help, so what you would like to ask please do just get in touch.