Snowboarding – characteristics, techniques and dangers

Just 20 years ago Snowboarding virtually unknown in Europe. It wasn’t until the early 90s that it spread as a trendy sport even on local ski slopes. In the meantime, snowboarders are as much a part of the typical image of winter sports as skiers are. Even more: many young people do not learn skiing at all, but get directly into snowboarding. What are the differences between snowboarding and classic skiing, and what techniques are used in snowboarding?? Inform yourself here.

Differences to skiing and the various snowboarding techniques at a glance

Snowboarding – General characteristics

Snowboarding is a Winter sports where you ski on snow standing on a board. The rider stands sideways to the direction of travel.

There are two basic postures. Stance positions. If the left foot is in the direction of travel, the position will be shown as regular while goofy describes the posture with the right foot in the direction of travel. Decided according to subjective preference.

The angles at which the bindings are attached to the snowboard can also vary. A "right" or "wrong there is just as little here.

According to the recommendations of the German Ski Association, beginners best choose an angle of 30° in the front and 15° in the back. This advice is equally valid for advanced skiers who do not pursue a particular style.

More and more popular is also the position "Duckstance with 18° in front and -12° behind. Freestylers usually choose a rather flat angle, while freeriding relies on steeper angles.

If you want to know more about the different types of bindings and snowboards, you can find out here.

Snowboarder sits on ski slope under blue sky

Snowboarder sits on ski slope under blue sky

Skiing and snowboarding in comparison

In the following we will go into the crucial differences between snowboarding and skiing.

Differences in equipment

The most obvious difference is of course in the material. A skier uses two separate skis on which his feet are fixed in hard-shell ski boots by means of a binding that is also very rigid. To keep the balance, the skier uses two ski poles.

Snowboarder, on the other hand, stands on a single board, the snowboard. It is wider in dimensions than both skis combined, but also much shorter.

Snowboard boots are much softer than ski boots, and the binding is also looser. Sticks are not used in snowboarding.

Differences in riding technique

The skier stands on the skis in the direction of travel. That is, the toes point to the ski tips. The snowboarder on the other hand stands sideways to the direction of travel on the board.

While skiers can determine their direction of travel more with weight transfer over their legs this way, snowboarding works quite differently. Here, too, a lot of weight shifting is used, but more via the knees and the upper body. Snowboarding involves using your entire body weight in the turns.

Common to both sports is the edging up and in. However, snowboarding is considered the more physical of the sports.

The body lies flatter in the terrain and often approaches the snow very closely. In part, the hands are used to optimally navigate the curves.

Differences in lifting

Lifting with the snowboard is also more demanding than with the skis. Here the boarder must go with a shoe out of the binding, in order to receive an optimal stand in the bow lift. Also in the chairlift, one leg is released from the binding so that the board can be turned comfortably.

If the snowboarder wants to move on the flat, he cannot do this with the help of poles, but must also free himself from the binding. Falls on a snowboard usually go smoothly, but occur much more frequently than on skis.

The different techniques of snowboarding

Just like skiing, snowboarding also has very different techniques. They are needed to

  • to ride curves
  • Record speed
  • to brake or
  • to determine the direction of travel.

The basic techniques of snowboarding we present here.

The right posture

The basic requirement for a good figure on the snowboard is the posture. The binding must be mounted in such a way that Feet in the middle of the board The distance from the front edge is the same as the distance from the back edge. The feet are about shoulder width.

It is now important to keep the Optimal balance to find. This is achieved when the slope can be mastered without the rider falling.

Transition and extension

The three basic movements of snowboarding are to be performed with the body. During the "Extension is driven around a curve, and the body is pushed upwards from the snow in the process. During the "transition on the other hand only the board is turned by 180 degrees.

Often the transition is combined with the extension. For the beginner, especially the transitions are a big challenge, because the board loses contact with the snow for a short time. Good balance is very important here.

The third technique is "Compression. In this technique, the weight is shifted to the new side after the turn has been made.

Body control and a quick shift of weight are therefore the be-all and end-all when boarding. Each rider develops his or her own individual methods, so that there is often no such thing as uniform training.

The braking

The last important technique to learn when boarding is braking. This may sound lapidary, but sometimes it is not so easy at all.

To brake the board must standing crosswise to the direction of travel and slightly upturned become. Not infrequently this leads to falls. Very popular especially among the younger target group is also the officially so-called "ass brake", which must be considered in many cases.

Snowboarder in the air against blue sky with yellow snowboard

Snowboarder in the air against a blue sky with a yellow snowboard

The equipment for snowboarders

If you would like to try snowboarding? Then you have probably already thought about what equipment you need for it. We would like to help you with a small list, so that you do not forget or overlook anything.

Snowboarding gear:

  • Board
  • Snowboard boots
  • Snowboard clothes
  • Snowboard Helmet
  • Protectors

The board

If you want to snowboard, you need the appropriate sports equipment, the snowboard. It consists of a short and wide plank, which is slightly bent up at the ends.

On the top it is provided with a binding, with which the boots of the driver are securely anchored on the board. It usually belongs to the board.

If you are taking a snowboarding course, then you probably have the option of borrowing the board first. Beginners can hardly know which board is most suitable for them. Advanced riders usually find it much easier to buy their own board.

The boots

Special boots are needed for snowboarding. They are most comparable to very thick and soft winter boots. Snoboard boots have a thick plastic sole and are usually closed by a lacing system.

It is important that you use pure boarding boots for snowboarding and not just any footwear. Only in this way you will find optimal hold in your binding.

The clothing

Young woman in ski clothes with white helmet and snowboard under her arm, in the background are three friends

Young woman in ski clothes with white helmet and snowboard under her arm, in the background stand three friends

The clothing style of the boarders is emphasized wide and very casual. However, this has not only fashionable, but also quite practical reasons: Because in the loose clothing you can move well. You can wear basically any winter sports clothing that doesn’t constrict you.

Clothing should be cuffed to prevent snow from getting in. Special anoraks also have an integrated snow stopper. For starters, however, you can practice in your ski clothes.

The helmet

In the meantime, the helmet is just as indispensable for snowboarding as it is for skiing. You can use your ski helmet.

However, special snowboard helmets are usually cut a little differently. They sit higher on the head and are overall slightly shorter than the classic ski helmet. But the main thing is that your head is well protected.

The protectors and protectors

Get a pair of thick padded gloves that not only protect against the cold, but also cushion falls well. Many boarders also wear special protectors under their clothing for

Arguing with skiers: special lanes for snowboarders

Again and again one hears that it comes to quarrel between skiers and snowboarders. Both fractions feel disturbed by the other and demand more consideration.

On crowded slopes this is unfortunately sometimes very difficult. Because the different skiing and snowboarding techniques unfortunately mean that the respective riders can easily get into each other’s way.

With a snowboard, the slope is usually crossed. Fast travel is taken at an angle to the slope so that the line of travel takes place more or less horizontally. Skiers, on the other hand, especially the very skilled ones, often ski directly in the fall line of the slope, and find their ideal line there.

Skiers are used to watching out for and avoiding only those people who are below them on the slope. If a fast snowboarder suddenly comes at them from the side, it is often difficult to make the right decision and react well.

If the slopes are free, this small problem can be quickly avoided with a little care. Especially during peak season and weekends, however, many slopes are often so crowded that it can be really difficult for both skiers and snowboarders to find the ideal course and have fun.

Benefits and features of special areas for snowboarders

To take this into account, many ski resorts have already separated the slopes of skiers from those of snowboarders. Of course there will be no explicit prohibitions, and the observance of the piste separation will not be supervised either.

However, the offer of assigned slopes and their equipment alone ensures that snowboarders and skiers go to their respective slopes. Here the snowboarders can rest even once sitting in the snow, without immediately being an obstacle to traffic.

The slopes and tracks of snowboarders often contain special gimmicks like jumps or ramps. The highest of the feelings, however, is the halfpipe, a tediously formed channel of snow, in which run-ups are taken and jumps and tricks can be practiced.

This form of riding is known from skateboarding, but where the halfpipes are made of concrete. Just like the slopes of skiers, the tracks of snowboarders must be intensively and elaborately maintained every day so that they keep their typical characteristics.

Learning to ride: tips for snowboard beginners

Snowboarding has long since ceased to be an exotic and rare fun sport, and is now one of the most common winter sports in general. That is why the offer of lessons is also very large and varied. We are happy to present you some of them, so that you can easily choose the most suitable form of instruction for you.

Training with friends

If you have friends who are already good snowboarders and they have time and desire to teach you, you can easily learn snowboarding with their help. Many of them can be easily explained and copied from good riders. With a little practice, a sporty person with good body control can quickly achieve initial successes.

Take a snowboarding course

On the other hand, you can learn snowboarding in a special snowboard school with a system and a sophisticated and pragmatic learning program. Here are courses for beginners, advanced and specialists. Under the guidance of an experienced instructor, students are systematically taught how to ride.

The advantage of the snowboard school is clearly that in addition to the Driving experience very well also the necessary theory mediated. In addition also social aspects not too short.

Beginners usually feel very well taken care of in a group, and learning together can be a lot more fun than learning alone. The connection to a nice group is mostly guaranteed.

Due to the permanent corrections and tips of the snowboard instructor, skiing mistakes can’t get stuck in the first place. Snowboard schools are often integrated with ski schools, so it is worth checking with the ski schools at your resort to compare offers.

Suitable terrain and ski resorts

For snowboard beginners, the best choice is a group lesson medium steep training terrain without obstacles and too many waves. A mogul slope is therefore unsuitable for this purpose.

If the terrain is too flat, it is also unsuitable for beginners, as the typical movements are simply better practiced on a sloping slope. Ideally, the training area is accessible via a chairlift or gondola, as even lifting in a stirrup lift is not easy and requires some practice.

Schools for snowboarding lessons can be found in all larger and also in most smaller ski resorts. If you want to inform yourself in advance, you can usually find comprehensive information about your vacation destination on the Internet.

Snowboarder on the slope just does a flip

Snowboarder on the slope just does a flip

Dangers: Typical injuries while snowboarding

Snowboarding is great fun, but how dangerous is it really?? How frequent are injuries and which injuries are typical for snowboarding?? So which parts of the body should be particularly protected? Read more here.

What the statistics say

Statistical analysis has shown that the frequency of injuries in snowboarding is slightly higher than in skiing. However, most of the injuries for it are also less serious.

Susceptible to falling:

  • Hand (joint)
  • knee
  • arm
  • Leg
  • Head
  • Back

Skiing is dominated by leg and arm fractures and problems with

  • the knees and .

A twisted knee can quickly cause ligament strains and tears.

These types of injuries are just as common in snowboarding. Leg fractures, on the other hand, are somewhat less common, because the boarder is usually attached to the board with both legs, and unlike skiing the legs can not be twisted by the force of the device in positions foreign to the body. So the typical spiral breaks remain out.

Injuries of the hand

For this, the snowboarder very often falls forward or backward. Falls to the front are intercepted with the hands and often end on the knees. Very often, therefore, fractures or bruises of the Wrist bones.

Prudent riders get around these by using special wrist protectors, which are also used in skateboarding. Thickly padded gloves provide additional protection.

Injuries to the knee joint

Knee protectors are also often used. Because a strong impact on the knees can not only severely damage the kneecap, but also affect tendons and ligaments.

Bruises on the knee are also very painful. Therefore, it is rather a sign of prudence to equip yourself with the appropriate protectors.

Injuries to the buttocks and back

Falls to the rear are usually absorbed with the buttocks. The buttocks form the largest muscle in the body and are comparatively insensitive to impacts. So here are often only a few bruises or bruises from it.

Falls on the back, on the other hand, can be very dangerous. That’s why many boarders today already wear back protectors, as known from motorcycling. pecially for riders who practice acrobatics and jumps, these protectors should be part of the basic equipment.

Injuries to the head

Falls on the back of the head can lead to

lead. Special snowboarding helmets can protect the head and are therefore worn by almost every rider today. Unfortunately, they cannot reliably provide binding protection against injuries.

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