At the time of writing, we’re in the middle of the off-season (I’m struggling guys!).
But all is not lost.
I’ve decided that this season, I’m going to hit the ground running. I refuse to spend the first month of the season just getting my endurance back!
So… I’ve been exploring how to practice snowboarding at home.
This article documents my results.
The Short Answer
Here’s how to practice snowboarding at home:
- Embrace The Balance Board
- Build Your Strength
- Strap Into Your Snowboard
- Keep Up The Cardio
- Switch Up Your Board Sports
- Practice Your Aerial Awareness
- Watch and Learn
Best Ways To Practice Snowboarding at Home
If you’re still with me, let’s take a closer look at each of these stages.
1. Embrace the Balance Board
This is my number 1 tip for a reason… it’s the most fun!
Balance boards, also known as wobble boards, are not just for rehabilitating injuries – they’re your personal snowboard simulator. They also work your core, which is obviously critical for snowboarding.
I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that for 2-seasons, I used a homemade balance board (if you must know, I glued my old gym shoes to a skate deck and stole my girlfriends foam roller).
If you’re serious about snowboarding, don’t do this. I now have several real balance boards and have seen the error of my ways.
If you’re an experienced rider, options 1 and 2 below are perfect (depending on your budget). Option 3 is a little more forgiving.
- Transferable snowboarding skills!
- Super premium product
- Free access to their tutorials
- Extra 5% off: SNOWBOARDINGDAYS
✖️ The price-tag!
- Best value balance board
- Practice tricks as well as balance
- Builds your leg muscles in the off-season
✖️ A relatively advanced option
2. Build Your Strength
Snowboarding uses a surprising number of muscles, and the stronger they are, the better you’ll be able to control your board.
Build your strength at home with exercises targeting your legs, core, and upper body. Squats and lunges are fantastic for your legs and glutes, while planks and Russian twists will work wonders on your core.
Don’t neglect your upper body either – push-ups and pull-ups can strengthen your arms and back, readying you for those inevitable falls.
I’ll write up a program at some point, but until then check out these stretches and do the above exercises!
3. Strap Into Your Snowboard
Practice moving around, bending your knees, and leaning forward and back. This also allows you to simulate the movements you’ll be making while snowboarding, improving your muscle memory.
I always do a bit of this in the lead up to the season (or when I’m bored). You’d be surprised by how much your presses can improve from a bit of carpet boarding.
4. Keep Up The Cardio
Much as it pains me to say it, we shouldn’t underestimate the power of cardio. You need endurance to stay on the mountain all day.
Incorporate regular cardio workouts into your routine. Running, cycling, or a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout can help build your stamina.
Cardio will not only make your time on the mountain more enjoyable, but it will also help your recovery after a day on the slopes.
5. Switch Up Your Board Sports
Exploring other board sports is a fun and effective way to cross-train for snowboarding.
Skateboarding, surfing, and wakeboarding all require balance, control, and a similar body movement to snowboarding. This will undoubtedly provide some transferable skills.
If you have a skateboard at home, try working on your ollies, kick turns, and riding switch. The more you practice, the more they’ll become second nature.
If you have access to a surfboard, paddleboarding, or wakeboarding, these are great for improving your balance and overall board control.
More recently I’ve discovered OneWheeling. It might be my new favorite off-season sport!
6. Practice Your Aerial Awareness
Developing a strong sense of aerial awareness is vital for spins, jumps and advanced tricks.
This means understanding how your body moves in the air and knowing how to spot (and stick) a landing!
Fortunately, you don’t need to be on a mountain to practice this. If you have a trampoline at home, or a trampoline park nearby, make good use of it!
Spend time jumping and performing simple spins, flips, and inverts. This can help you become more comfortable with being in the air and improve your understanding of how to control your movements.
An even better way to practice snowboarding at home is picking up a trampoline board (assuming you have access to a trampoline).
These bad boys are super well-designed. They have a grippy, padded base and smooth edges. This makes them trampoline-safe, unlike regular snowboards which are slippery and can potentially rip the fabric (trust me!).
Snowboard Addiction’s version (pictured and linked above) comes with universal binding screws too.
If you do go this route, I’ve got a challenge for you… Tick off every grab on our grab chart, trampoline first, then on snow!
7. Watch and Learn!
Immersing yourself in snowboarding and learning from the experts is another great way to improve.
Not to sound too arrogant, but Snowboarding Days is a great resource to start with!
There’s also a vast amount of snowboarding videos and tutorials available online. Studying these provides a better understanding of techniques, styles, and forms. Try to replicate these movements at home (in your mind if needed), ingraining them in your muscle memory.
Why Should You Practice Snowboarding At Home?
Firstly, why the heck not?
It keeps your skills in check and passes some time before the season rolls back around.
Secondly, most people’s time on the slopes is (sadly) limited. Practicing your snowboard skills at home is a great way to make the most of it. Work on your leg strength, jumping ability, or your press technique, then bring it to the slopes!
Personally, I realised (about 10-years too late) that exercising in the winter and bingeing on BBQ and beer through the summer isn’t exactly healthy. By keeping my creaky knees active through the summer, I’m now able to dive straight back into the snow season.
By following these tips on how to practice snowboarding at home, you’ll be well-prepared when you can finally hit the slopes.
Remember, consistency is key! Keep at it, and you’ll be amazed at how much these at-home practices can boost your confidence and skills on the actual slopes.