Taking snowboard lessons at Park City Mountain (PCM) offers numerous benefits for riders of all levels. For beginners, it provides essential safety instructions, proper technique guidance, and a faster learning curve with personalized feedback. Instructors familiarize learners with the resort's terrain, instill confidence, and help overcome challenges. They also assist with equipment and teach valuable mountain etiquette. Advanced riders can refine their skills and learn new techniques. Snowboard lessons create a fun and structured environment to enhance the on snow experience, making your time on the slopes safer and more enjoyable.
You may have a background in other board sports like skating or surfing—or maybe even skiing—and are looking to try snowboarding to branch out. It's best to keep in mind that when learning there are techniques and challenges that set snowboarding apart from parallel sports. Some key specifics to snowboarding are:
- Balance and Foot Position: Snowboarding involves standing sideways on a single board, which may feel less stable initially. Riders can be either "Regular" which means left foot forward or "Goofy" which is right foot forward. Everyone has a natural stance on their snowboard and when you buy or rent, your technician will help you identify which you are.
- Movement and Turning: When carving on a snowboard, turns are made by carving the board's edge into the snow with body and weight shifts.
- Learning Curve: Snowboarding can be more challenging over skiing for beginners, particularly with balance and board control.
- Terrain Adaptability: Both Skiers and snowboarders can adapt to variable terrain including moguls, and different snow conditions. Snowboarders may have challenges in flat areas without the ability to use poles like skiers.
- Equipment: Snowboarding requires a snowboard, snowboard boots, and bindings. These components work in harmony and reflect the ability of the user. A beginner will start with soft flex boots, bindings, and board. As you progress, you'll upgrade to more advanced equipment that is stiffer but stable at higher speed.
What to Expect During a Snowboarding Lesson
When taking a snowboard lesson at PCM, you can typically expect the following:
- Professional Instruction: PCM employs certified and experienced instructors who are skilled at teaching various skill levels, from beginners to advanced riders.
- Group or Private Lessons: The resort usually offers both group and private lessons. Group lessons are a great way to learn with others of similar ability and are less expensive, while private lessons offer more personalized attention and are tailored to your specific needs and goals.
- Skill Level Assessment: At the beginning of the lesson, instructors will likely assess your skill level to determine which group you should join or how to structure your private lesson to ensure the best learning experience.
- Learning Progression: The instructors follow a structured learning progression to help you improve your skiing or snowboarding skills gradually. They will start with the basics and gradually introduce more advanced techniques as you become more comfortable and capable on the slopes. Advanced riders will skip the basics and head to more difficult terrain to work on skills there.
- Safety: Safety is a top priority during ski and snowboard lessons. Instructors will teach you about mountain safety, proper equipment use, and how to prevent accidents while on the slopes.
- Fun and Encouraging Environment: The goal of the lessons is to provide a fun and encouraging atmosphere that fosters learning and enjoyment. Instructors are usually friendly and patient, making the experience enjoyable for learners of all ages.
- Terrain Choice: PCM has a variety of slopes catering to different skill levels. Depending on your ability, instructors will choose appropriate terrain that allows you to practice and progress effectively.
- Duration: Lessons at PCM may range from half to full-day sessions, depending on the type of lesson you choose. Full-day lessons will include a break for lunch.
- Skill Improvement: By the end of the lesson, you should feel more confident and capable on the slopes, having acquired or improved your skiing or snowboarding skills.
What Gear Do I need for a Snowboard Lesson
Having the appropriate gear is crucial for a great day out on the slopes, as it can make or break your experience. Below is a helpful list that you can use to make sure you have the best day out! Remember - dress in layers to adjust to changing weather conditions.
- Base Layers: Wear moisture-wicking and thermal base layers to regulate your body temperature.
- Socks: Choose ski-specific socks, usually wool is best, to keep your feet comfortable and prevent blisters. Wearing one pair of socks is also key. Two pairs of socks seem like they will be warmer, but in fact they will trap moisture and be colder as well as pinch or bunch on top of your skin in your boot and cause pain.
- Outerwear: Wear waterproof and insulated pants and jackets to stay warm and dry on the mountain.
- Gloves or Mittens: Keep your hands warm and protected.
- Neck Gaiter or Balaclava: Protect your face and neck from the cold and wind.
- Goggles: Protect your eyes from the sun, wind, and snow glare, and bring a spare lens for changing light.
- Helmet: A must for safety, providing protection for your head during falls or collisions.
- Snowboard Boots: Well-fitted boots that provide comfort and support. Make sure they are compatible with your snowboard and bindings.
- Snowboard: Properly sized snowboard suitable for your skill level and the type of terrain you'll be learning on. Consult a shop technician to get the right size!
Need some of or all this gear? Check out Cole Sport and Bazookas for everything you need!
Snowboard Rentals in Park City
If you don't have your own snowboard equipment, PCM offers many rental options, ensuring you have the appropriate gear for your lesson. If you book your gear in advance you can usually save money. And if you rent your gear from the resort, returns and swaps are easy with locations at both bases. To avoid the ski shop hassle, there are also a few convenient delivery and pickup services around town. Below are a few snowboard rental shops in Park City:
Now Go Snowboarding
Alright, you've got the gear, your lesson is booked, and you're headed to Park City! Snowboarding is one of my favorite things to do in this whole world. I’ve taken lessons and they’ve really helped me work on a couple of bad habits that I’ve acquired throughout the years and progress so that I can continue to have as much fun as I can on the mountain—becoming a better rider and doing it safely. So get STOKED for an amazing fun day of shredding the gnar no matter what your ability level is!