How to Get Back into Snowboarding

Getting back into any sport after taking some time off can be difficult, but with the right mindset and approach, you’ll be back on the slopes in no time!

Someone kneels in the snow with their snowboard.

Photo courtesy of Lib Tech

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If you’re reading this article, that means for whatever reason, you have taken some time away from the wonderful sport of snowboarding. Maybe you had kids and had to put off your favorite hobby for a while, maybe work got in the way and you no longer had the time in your schedule to go riding, or maybe you simply took a break. Whatever your reason is, it’s totally okay to take a step back from things sometimes. Life happens, and we do our best to manage it.

Getting back into any sport or hobby after taking some time off can be difficult, but with the right mindset and approach, you’ll be back on the slopes in no time! When we take time off things, we’re of course going to be a little rusty which is why it’s important to be patient with ourselves and give ourselves the time and space to get acclimated. If we feel like we’re new at something, self-doubt is likely to make its way into our minds but it’s very important to stay positive and be patient. If you’re looking to get back into snowboarding, keep reading for some tips to get you back to shredding the gnar!

Overcome Self Doubt

Someone sits on the ground with their snowboard. Before them is a wide expanse of clouds.

Photo by Ostap Senyuk

When I recently decided to get back into snowboarding myself, I had a lot of self-doubt. There was a lot of, “I can’t do it,” and “Who am I kidding?” and “it’s been so long, I don’t know if I can still do it.”

But I wouldn’t have made it back to the slopes if I hadn’t chosen to refuse to believe those thoughts. Negative thoughts are the opposite of what snow sports are all about, so don’t let those thoughts keep you down if you’re having them. Free yourself in this way, and you’ll be free to roam the slopes!

It’ll also be worthwhile to question your own motives. I know, it might seem silly—what motive could be behind picking up snowboarding again beside the love of snowboarding? Regardless of your reason, just make sure you’re doing it for you and not anyone else. It’s easy to find something attractive because other people are into it or get involved in something because someone else wants us to or we feel like we should. Social media certainly hasn’t helped in that respect, but it’s important to do what makes you happy because it makes you happy and there shouldn’t be any other superficial reason behind this decision.

The last step in overcoming self-doubt is to avoid living in fear. Unfortunately, most people nowadays are living in fear. We see so many people not living out their dreams or fulfilling themselves. Why? It’s because they’re afraid. But the truth is, fear does nothing but hold us back and if we keep constantly avoiding things because we’re afraid, we’ll never see our dreams come true. Dive in headfirst regardless of any fear you’re feeling, and you will thank yourself.

Start Small

A woman stands on her snowboard and looks off to the distant hills.

Photo by Xue Guangjian

If you’ve only taken a few months off snowboarding or a handful of years, just remember that snowboarding is like riding a bike—you’ll never forget how to do it! Of course, if you’re looking to get back into tricks and freestyle riding, some practice will be in order but as far as just cruising around, your body remembers a lot more than you think it does.

Another thing that I was afraid of when I got back into the sport was what people might think of me, as silly as that is. But it’s true, I was afraid people would somehow know I was a 20-something going back to the basics after not riding for 3 or 4 years. But the strangers on the mountain don’t know your story, and they don’t need to. So, if feelings of embarrassment are holding you back, just ignore everyone else on the mountain! You aren’t there for them, you’re there for you and your only job is to have fun and do what your heart wants.

Speaking of fun, that’s the most important part! If you’re not having fun with it, then you’re doing it wrong. Pretend you’re a kid who’s just learning a new skill. Remember how we used to be able to throw ourselves into anything without a care in the world? Get back to that! Put yourself in the shoes of your younger self and let yourself learn and explore. Let go of any expectations you have for yourself and have a blast. If you’re worried about what other people are thinking, just remember you’re probably having a lot more fun than them since you’re free to make mistakes and learn along the way.

Immerse Yourself

A woman in a yellow Burton jacket holds her snowboard.

Photo by Kateryna Burlutska

If you’ve decided to get back into snowboarding, there’s no obligation to get right back to riding immediately. Before I picked it up again, I spent a lot of my time watching snowboarding films, learning about pro riders, and watching video tutorials for tricks. A large part of snow sports is also the attitude. Maybe before you hit the mountain, try adopting a more relaxed, carefree attitude. Let things roll off your shoulders, say “why not” more often, and smile! If you’re stressed out when you strap in, you probably won’t have as much fun as you would if you were in a free and playful mindset.

Handle the Finances

Snowboarding can be an expensive sport, but don’t let that stop you from getting back out there! Of course, it would be nice to have all the newest and nicest gear, but let’s face it, you can get by just fine with the bare necessities.

If you don’t have a board, you can always rent one or borrow one from someone. If the lack of proper clothing is holding you back, there are plenty of thrift stores and online marketplaces where you can find gear way cheaper than retail pricing.

It’s also important to be resourceful. If you have all the gear you need but you’d rather have new gear, focus on what’s more important—how good you look or being able to ride despite not having the latest products.

If a lift ticket or season pass is out of budget, find out if your local resort is hiring. Many resorts offer a season pass as one of the perks and depending on what department you’re in, riding could be part of the job description! With tons of departments and positions, you’d be sure to find something you’d enjoy doing. Working at a resort is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and save some money on a season pass.

Patience is also key. If this is really what you want, everything will come together with time. Just keep your eye on the goal and don’t stop dreaming of hitting the slopes! Overall, if you’re determined to get back into the sport, you’ll find a way even if you think you don’t have the money.

Snowboarding is the best sport (sorry skiers) and you won’t regret getting back into it! Forget about how much time has passed and let yourself have fun with it. That might mean going back to the bunny hill, but you’ll be shredding the blues and blacks again in no time. Even if you’re not looking to go too hard, just getting back out there alone will feel so great and you’ll be so glad you did it.

If you catch yourself feeling doubtful, just think about the feeling of walking around in snowboarding boots, the sound of the snow crunching when you step on it, the beautiful sights of the snow on everything, the feeling of riding on fresh corduroy, and the elation of cruising (or flying) down the mountain. Think about how happy you are when you’re riding and that should be enough motivation to get back out there!

If you're looking for any help, reach out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated! We'd be happy to chat and get you all prepared!

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Written By
Loretta Visconti
Loretta Visconti
Snowboard Expert
Hi! I started skiing when I was about 3 or 4 and did that for a few years until I switched to snowboarding when I was in middle school. I've been riding ever since and have over 10 years under my belt. I started working as a ski lift operator at my home resort Mountain Creek when I was 15 and I'm st...
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