Monthly Archives: February 2023

The Key Things Every New Snowboarder Should Know

The Key Things Every New Snowboarder Should Know

We have had the opportunity to speak with plenty of people who have come to our shop looking for snowboard rental only to second guess their decision to get into the sport. We get it. New snowboarders often feel apprehensive about tackling a sport they have never tried before. Hopefully, we can offer a little bit of encouragement that helps them follow through with their plans.

Here at Canyon Sports, we don’t just sell and service skis and snowboards. We are actually skiers and snowboarders ourselves. To the extent we can, we are happy to offer whatever wisdom we possess along with our own personal experiences. With that in mind, we think there are some key things every new snowboarder should know.

1. It’s Not Harder, Just Different

We can’t tell you the number of times we’ve arranged snowboard rental for beginners convinced that the sport is harder than skiing. We are not quite sure why this thinking prevails, but it does. The thing is that snowboarding isn’t any harder than skiing. It is just different.

Being two different sports means that skiing and snowboarding require different skill sets. They utilize different techniques and methodologies. Even the equipment is demonstrably different. So saying one is easier than the other does a disservice to both. One particular skier might find snowboarding harder, but that does not mean snowboarding is harder across the board.

2. Trying Before You Buy Is Okay

Next up, we think it’s important that every new snowboarder know that trying things out before they buy is okay. That is one of the reasons we offer snowboard rental here in Utah. We want beginners to get a good feel for the sport before they spend their hard earned money on new equipment. We would hate for them to buy a new board that ultimately doesn’t work for them.

3. Lessons Really Are Helpful

There is something about both skiing and snowboarding that leads people to think they should be able to do it without taking lessons. Do not misunderstand. It is possible to learn how to snowboard without formal instruction. But truth be told, lessons really do help.

Snowboarding is like any other sport in the sense that succeeding requires a certain amount of knowledge. Why acquire that knowledge through the school of hard knocks when you can learn it from someone who already knows how to snowboard? Taking lessons doesn’t make you weak. Quite to the contrary, lessons will make you a stronger snowboarder.

4. Size Does Matter

When we outfit a customer with a seasonal snowboard rental, one of the things we pay attention to is the person’s height and weight. Why? Because size matters. The width and length of a snowboard needs to be commensurate with the user’s height and weight. Having a board that is not the right size makes learning even basic skills more difficult.

We think it is very important to fit each snowboarder with an appropriately sized board. When a beginner’s board fits, they have an easier time mastering the skills necessary to become an expert. That is ultimately what we want for any snowboarding beginner.

5. Practicing Falling Is Necessary

Finally, one of the first things new snowboarders learn in formal lessons is how to fall. It sounds contrary to the goal of remaining upright. Still, it is necessary. Every snowboarder falls regardless of skill level. Learning how to do it properly prevents unnecessary injuries and equipment damage.

If you are a beginner, a seasonal snowboard rental represents your opportunity to try out a fantastic sport loved by millions. We wish you well on the slopes.

Skiing vs. Snowboarding: Which One Is Right for You?

Skiing vs. Snowboarding: Which One Is Right for You

Have you ever wanted to go to a Salt Lake City area ski resort and start a debate in the lodge? There’s an easy way to do it: just ask a couple of people whether skiing is better than snowboarding. Forget about things like ski tunes and discount lift tickets. Skiing vs. snowboarding is a debate that must be settled!

All kidding aside, neither winter sport is better nor worse than the other. The general industry rule of thumb is that skiing is easier to learn but harder to master. Snowboarding is harder to learn but easier to master. If you don’t know why, it boils down to technique.

It’s important to have skis and snowboards tuned. It is important to get to the slopes and get as much practice as possible. Taking lessons helps, too. But in the end, the biggest difference between the two sports is the technique.

Learning to Ski

A lot of us who snowboard actually started out on skis. Obviously, learning to ski isn’t a prerequisite. Yet skiing is easier to learn. It has been said that skiing is more intuitive simply due to the fact that it’s more aligned with the way we naturally stand and move. Consider the following two things:

  • Leg Position – The leg position when you’re strapped to a set of skis is very similar to your natural leg position. Your legs are slightly spread with your feet facing forward. Additionally, your feet can still act independently to catch you if you find yourself off balance. You don’t have to change that position to get yourself moving on your skis. 
  • Body Position – Likewise, your body position remains the same. This is to say that the skis strapped to your feet are parallel to your feet. They are almost like an oversized pair of shoes with a heel and toe.

Ski classes for beginners involve learning things like snowplowing, turning, and learning how to fall. Most people can learn the basics with just a couple of lessons and a day or two on the slopes. To master skiing though, you will need a lot of slope time and regular ski tuning.

Learning to Snowboard

Learning to snowboard is more difficult for the same two reasons that make learning to ski easier. It’s all about foot and body position. On a snowboard, you basically have two positions:

  • Standard – Your left foot is toward the front of the board
  • Goofy – Your right foot is toward the front of the board.

Though your forward foot can be slightly offset a bit, both stances have you effectively standing on the board sideways. This is contrary to the straightforward position you adopt when skiing. Going down the hill sideways goes against every natural inclination. Coupled with your legs being locked into the same position relative to each other,  it’s pretty clear what makes learning to snowboard harder.

Here’s the thing about snowboarding: the hardest thing to learn is how to use the edges of the board to keep you upright and maintain whatever direction you want to go in. Compare this to skiing, which allows for independent leg movement to stay balanced. Once your brain and body get used to the edges, the hard part is behind you. Snowboarding becomes an exercise of just feeling it.

Of course, learning and mastering snowboarding requires proper snowboard tuning. So if you’re new to the sport, make sure to get your board tuned before your first lesson. Then take it in for tunings on a regular basis.

Which winter sport is right for you: skiing or snowboarding? That’s up to you to decide. Canyon sports offers both snowboard rentals and ski rentals so you can try both. You might turn out to be one of those rare people who thinks they are both equally fun.