Would snowboarding really be easier if you take a lesson? The truth is, it is. With that out of the way, we will still look at if snowboard lessons are worth it and which type.
There are multiple types of lessons and even lessons that aren’t geared towards beginners so let’s take a look at which lessons are worth it and in the case when snowboard lessons aren’t worth it.
Who Should Take Snowboard Lessons?
Beginners, intermediate and advanced riders can all benefit by taking snowboard lessons. The more you progress on your snowboard journey, you’ll see that there are still things to learn.
The learning doesn’t stop once getting off the beginner slope. You might find that you need help riding the blue trails or want to head over to the park and learn to ride more freestyle.
If you want to get to your goals faster (we’ll touch on this in a bit), then you should take some snowboard lessons.
What to Consider Before Starting to Snowboard
There are also a few factors that come into play when taking lessons and just having an overall think about who should take snowboard lessons.
Really anyone can try to take beginner snowboard lessons but let’s look at how age and physical fitness can affect lessons.
1. Age When Starting to Learn
The earlier a snowboarder starts, the better. Some children are even starting to snowboard around age 3. These little shredders get ahead of the game compared to someone who starts in their teens or later.
As snowboarding is a lot of muscle memory, starting out earlier is better but don’t be hesitant to take beginner lessons in your teens, 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. With a little persistence, age isn’t a determining factor.
2. How Your Physical Fitness Level Will Affect Your Snowboarding
While all snowboarders should be in decent shape, it helps to have a bit of a physical fitness level. You don’t need to be crazy into cardio or weights but it will help if you are in shape for snowboarding.
Snowboarding will test muscles you might not often use when just starting out. Your quads may burn and you might get tired quickly. Over time, you’ll get used to it. Also, as beginners are more prone to falling, being in good physical shape will generally help with any injuries.
Lastly, approaching snowboarding with a bit of flexibility is always helpful for when you get out on the slopes. You don’t want to be stiff as a board.
Are Snowboarding Lessons Worth It?
There is no question that spending time snowboarding in the company of a professional instructor will undoubtedly improve your skills on the slopes faster than if you were to try and teach yourself.
However, this doesn’t mean that all snowboarding lessons are worth it. Lessons can be expensive and if you’re only going for a couple of days, it might not be worth the money.
If you’re a beginner, though, or have been out of the game for a while, investing in some quality instruction is definitely recommended. A good instructor will help you learn the basics safely and give you feedback so that you can progress quickly.
Lessons aren’t as worth it if you have a friend who is extremely competent in snowboarding or an instructor. If you can leverage their time and expertise then it can be worth trying them before a formal lesson.
What Will Snowboarding Lessons Teach Me?
What snowboard lessons will teach you really depends on the level. As we mentioned, beginners, intermediates and advanced riders can all benefit from snowboard lessons. Here are a few things you can learn at each level:
- Beginner snowboard lessons – You will learn to get on and off lifts, how to stop, how to use your gear and an intro to turning.
- Intermediate snowboard lessons – Turning will be perfected and you will become more competent in carving. Terrain park lessons are an option at the intermediate stage.
- Advanced snowboard lessons – Advanced lessons can teach everything from the terrain park to backcountry and moguls. The sky is the limit.
Now, do you see why you shouldn’t just stop snowboard lessons at the beginner level? It is a constant learning and improving process. Just like school but a lot more fun.
Should I Take Group or Private Snowboard Lessons?
When I started out snowboarding, I started with group snowboard lessons. I still believe group snowboard lessons are where all beginners should start. Unless you know exactly what you want to work on, have tried group lessons or are taking intermediate to advanced lessons then there is no need to go with private lessons to start.
Group lessons will work for the majority or people. If you want to grasp the terrain park or moguls then private lessons make all the sense and cents!
Group Lessons: Must-Knows Before Taking a Lesson
If you’re new to snowboarding, group lessons are a great way to learn the basics.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before taking your first lesson:
1. Make sure you are properly equipped. You’ll need a snowboard, boots, and bindings, as well as warm clothes and a helmet. You can get all this at the resort rental package minus the clothes.
2. Get there early so you can get fitted for gear and ask any questions you have about the lesson.
3. Pay attention and follow the instructor’s instructions. This is how you’ll learn the most during your lesson.
4. Have fun! Everyone falls at the start. If you are taking a beginner lesson, don’t stress the falls and just work to get better.
Pros of Group Snowboard Lessons
- Group snowboard lessons are cheaper than private
- You still get great instruction in group lessons
- It’s easy to find other people to ride with in a group class
- Less personalized time with the instructor
- Can be harder to work on individual riding issues
Private Snowboard Lessons: What to Know
Private snowboard lessons are better if you are past the beginner level although some beginners find they need private beginner lessons. We suggest giving group lessons a try and if you are struggling after then book a private lesson if need be.
Here’s a few things to keep in mind on private snowboard lessons.
Pros of Private Lessons
- Private lessons provide flexibility on when you book them
- You can work on exactly what you need
- Often you learn quicker than group lessons
- The cost is often higher than group snowboard lessons
- Better for intermediate and advanced riders
How Long Does It Take To Be Decent on a Snowboard?
It’s a question that has been asked by beginners and experts alike – how long does it take to be decent on a snowboard? The answer, of course, is that it depends. Some people pick up the basics very quickly and are shredding the slopes in no time. For others, it may take a bit longer to feel comfortable on a snowboard.
But what factors into how long it takes to be decent on a snowboard?
One big factor is your natural ability. If you’re someone who is coordinated and has good balance, you’ll likely pick up the basics faster than someone who doesn’t. Also, if you have some experience with skiing or skating, that will help you learn how to snowboard more quickly.
For people who have never been on a skateboard or snow, they will often find the experience to be completely new. It can take a few trips to the mountain and lessons for the muscle memory to kick in. From there, it can be up to half a season or longer to confidently ride blues and move onto black diamonds.
How Many Snowboarding Lessons Will I Need?
If you’re new to the sport, you may be wondering how many snowboarding lessons you’ll need to learn the basics. The good news is that most people only need a few lessons to get started.
Your first lesson will teach you the basics of getting on and off the board, as well as how to control your speed and direction. In subsequent lessons, you’ll learn more complex techniques like linking turning smoother and carving. As with any new skill, the more lessons you take, the better you’ll become.
But three or four lessons should be enough for most beginners to start enjoying themselves on the slopes. If you have expectations to be snowboarding well after one lesson then you might want to try skiing which is quicker to learn but harder to master.
Pace Yourself When Learning to Snowboard
You don’t need to try to ride the whole mountain in a day or a week. Keep your learning safe when starting out snowboarding with these tips:
- Stop when you get tired
- Only ride at a trail level where you are comfortable
- Keep in mind it takes time to improve your snowboarding skills
The most dangerous things that beginners do are snowboarding for longer sessions than they should and riding more complex trails than they are ready for. Both are avoidable!
Setting Snowboarding Goals
Snowboarding can be a great way to have fun and get some exercise, but it can also be a challenging sport. If you want to improve your skills, you need to set some goals. Achievable goals.
One goal when starting out can be to master your toeside turns. It is usually harder for beginners than heelside turns.
A second goal could be to ride all the green beginner trails at your local resort.
A third goal would look like advancing to blue trails later in the season. It doesn’t hurt to have a mix of a few short term goals mixed in with your long term snowboard goals. Track them over the season and you’ll be able to keep a better eye on your progress.
Final Thoughts if Snowboard Lessons Are Worth It
There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding whether or not snowboard lessons are worth it. The first and most important consideration is your ability level. If you are a beginner, lessons are definitely worth it.
You will learn the proper techniques to stay safe while snowboarding and progress faster than if you try to teach yourself. If you are an intermediate or advanced rider, lessons may still be worth it depending on what you hope to get out of them. If you want to improve your technique or learn new tricks, lessons can be a great way to do that.
Ultimately, the decision comes down to how much you want to improve as a snowboarder and how much money you’re willing to spend.
If you are new to the sport and plan on renting gear and getting a lift ticket then you may as well take a lesson.
Jessie Gonzalez writes for Proper Peaks and lives in Stockton, CA. One of her favorite things about snowboarding is seeing beginners get started and watching them enjoy the sport.