Sometimes it’s ok to fall down, it’s how you get back up that matters.
I was looking forward to getting back on the slopes, strapping on a snowboard and throwing myself downhill, wind whistling past my ears, zig-zagging through tree-lined forests and carving up the piste on the slopes in Tirol, Austria. I’d had a very successful first day at Skicircus Saalbach-Hinterglemm/Leogang ski resort. There was a small group of just three of us which meant I could follow the two in front at my own speed. Surprisingly I kept pace and spent more time on my board than on my backside.
The second day at SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental, things didn’t quite go according to plan. I found myself with a face full of fresh snow, violently coughing up snowflakes after face planting head first into some off piste deep powder. I knew I’d suffered a snowboarding setback. With no broken bones but a dent in my pride, I tried to get back on my board. It’s almost impossible to get up from sitting a couple of feet deep in fresh snow. Luckily for me our guide skied over to give me a hand. Seconds later, I was back, covered in snow with the other on looking bloggers slightly amused. I had warned our guide that I hadn’t tried snowboarding through deep snow before… I later learnt that leaning back on your board is the technique to use.
For someone like me, who doesn’t get a great deal of snowboarding practice, tackling some deep off piste snow probably wasn’t the confidence builder I needed. Thankfully, shortly after our guide noticed the problem and assigned us someone else to look after us on the slopes whilst the more advanced in the group went off down the more challenging runs.
Without the pressure of a whole group of keen blogging skiers behind me, I had the chance to slowly find our way back into snowboarding again. As the day went on I got better and a managed to overcome my demons by tackling the same off-piste area of deep snow that had plagued me early in the morning. I turned and freaked to look back at the new off-piste snowboarding skills I’d picked up, turns out all I needed were a few points on technique in deep snow.
It got me thinking, sometimes even if you’re an intermediate snowboarder it can be a good idea to get a refresher before tackling the slopes. Sometimes it isn’t “just like riding a bike”, sometimes you can be a little rusty. Especially if, like me, you haven’t been snowboarding for a good year or two.
So what can you do to make sure you make the most of the time on the slopes?
Some people are just naturally talented and can get back on the slopes and look like they’ve never had a break, but for the rest of us there are a few pointers we can use to make sure we get the most out of our snowboarding trip.
Here’s what you should think about to really make the most of your snowboarding trip this year.
Get Some Lessons
Even if you’ve had snowboarding lessons before there are always pointers that someone can give you on your technique and for improvements you can make. You can improve much more quickly with a few lessons for intermediates than going it alone on the slopes in the hope that you’ll pick off where to left off. Get a few lessons prior to hitting the slopes.
Get A Guide
If you don’t know your way around the ski resort you’ll find yourself spending plenty of time getting lost, staring at maps and creating meeting points at the bottom of every slope. Hiring a guide, at least for the first couple of days allows you to concentrate on snowboarding and improving your technique rather than worrying about where the red and black runs are.
If you’re still determined to go it alone then thankfully there is a handy map of the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm/Leogang resort and for SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental.
Take It Easy On The Slopes
You might be feeling confident, you’ve had a decent day on the slopes, but accidents can and do happen and usually when you’re pushing yourself a little too much. There’s no point in going over the top just when you’ve got on the slopes. If you get an injury early on you won’t be getting much practice in for the rest of your snowboarding trip. Find one of the many cosy huts scattered across the resorts for a break and sample some local Austria dishes. Relax, give those muscles a break for a while.
Make Sure You’re Having Fun
As I was pulled up from being embedded face first in deep snow our guide said “As long as you’re having fun, that’s what matters… right?”. He was right, there’s no point in throwing yourself down the slope time after time if you aren’t having fun. You’ll only be miserable from falling down and be susceptible to injury. If you find yourself in this position that it might be time to take a break for lunch or for the day. Book a couple of lessons for the following day.
Try Something Other Than Snowboarding
A snowboarding trip shouldn’t be just about snowboarding every day for a week, it’s good to give those muscles a break for a while. Why not try another winter activity, you might be surprised with what’s on offer. In Tirol, Austria I tried Fat Biking through the valleys and it’s a great way to explore those places that are quite difficult to reach in the winter season.
Sometimes when you hit the slopes you just can’t pick up where you left off. I started off in fine form on the piste in Austria, then fell to pieces on the second day and spent half of it sat on my backside. I eventually picked myself back up again, dusted myself down, got a few pointers from our guide and actually improved. In hindsight, a few intermediate lessons wouldn’t have hurt.
To improve your snowboarding skills it can pay to plan a little, take a few lessons, get a guide and take a break. You might be surprised just how much you can progress and make the most of your snowboarding trip this year.
Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm/Leogang
Website: Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm/Leogang Website
Other Websites: Tyrol – Ski Circus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn
Ski/Snowboard Schools: Ski/Snowboarding Schools Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm/Leogang
SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental
Website: SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental Website
Other Websites: Tyrol – Wilder Kaiser – Brixental SkiWorld
Ski/Snowboard Schools: Ski/Snowboarding Schools SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser-Brixental
How To Get There
If you have any tips for improving and getting back into snowboarding I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
Disclosure – The #inAustria blog trip was created and managed by iambassador in association with the Austrian National Tourist Office.TravMonkey maintains full editorial control of the content publish on the site.