Snowboarding has a steep learning curve… almost as steep as the slopes we’re flying down! This often means you can progress through the snowboarding skill levels pretty darn quickly. You might therefore be wondering what your current snowboard level is?
- Level 1-4: Beginner
- Level 5-6: Intermediate
- Level 7: Advanced
- Level 8: Expert
Keep reading to find out what snowboarding skill level you’re currently working with. I’ve also thrown together a snowboard level chart and a handy quiz to help you out!
Snowboard Levels Definition
Use the handy tabs below to see which snowboarding skill level best describes you. Be honest!
Does Your Snowboard Ability Level Matter?
Snowboarding skill levels aren’t supposed to make you feel bad, or give you bragging rights. Snowboarding should always be about one thing… having fun!
The snowboard level definitions are simply there to help you identify reachable goals and areas for improvement. They’re also useful when ordering gear and booking lessons or guides. You need the right tools and people to help you progress, whatever stage you’re at.
If looking at your current snowboard level today happens to give you a little motivation, that’s just an added benefit!
The Snowboard Level Chart
For the visual learners out there, here’s a snowboard level chart. Which level best describes you?
The Snowboard Level Quiz
If the above system has left you feeling more confused, here’s a simpler system to work out what level of snowboarder you are presently.
Many snowboard schools simplify snowboard ability levels into the following groups:
Take The Snowboard Level Quiz!
Answer the following questions honestly to get a rough idea of your ability level. Remember, this is a very rough guide. It doesn’t take into account whether you’re super skilled in one snowboarding domain and less so in others. Use the 1-8 level system for a more accurate picture.
1. Have you had more than 2-3 days experience on a snowboard?
Move on to question 2.
2. Are you able to turn both ways (toe-side and heel-side)?
Nice. Move on to question 3.
3. Are most of your turns linked together relatively smoothly?
You’re smashing it. Move on to question 4.
4. Are you comfortable exploring more difficult terrain?
For example: uneven ground, blue (intermediate) slopes and small jumps?
Awesome. Move on to question 5.
5. Are you in control at high speeds, starting to make carved turns, venturing onto black runs, riding switch, heading off-piste and comfortable on the medium jump line?
Hell yeah! Move on to question 6.
6. Are you confident in pretty much all conditions and terrain? Are you comfortable on larger features in the terrain park and carving at speed even on black runs? Are you linking turns smoothly in switch and exploring steep, deep backcountry lines with prowess?
Your Ability Level: Expert!
Congrats, you just completed snowboarding…
I’m joking of course. There is always more to learn and more techniques to hone. Inverts, gnarly backcountry chutes and huge halfpipe aerials are all on the menu this season!
Reasons To Find Out Your Snowboard Ability Level
Now that you know your skill level, consider what you can do with that information.
#1: Set Achievable Goals
Progression is one of the most fun parts of snowboarding. Fortunately, you’re likely to see a huge amount of progression when you’re just starting out. This continues up until around intermediate level and then slooooows right down. It’s hard not to expect to keep learning just as fast. After all, black runs and backflips are just around the corner!
Taking a step-back and setting realistic goals gives you more achievable milestones to master. This keeps motivation high and ensures you’re progressing at a safe pace.
#2: Buy The Right Gear
Another strong temptation is to hop straight from beginner gear to advanced gear (don’t worry, we’ve all done it).
Choosing the right board, boots and bindings for your ability level will help you to keep progressing whilst maximising your enjoyment. A beginner wearing hardcore free-ride boots or bindings is going to have a bad time. A very bad time.
When you’re renting or buying a board, the store will nearly always ask your ability level. Now you can confidently tell them, safe in the knowledge you’re getting the right gear for the job!
#3: Choose The Right Resort/Instructor/Slope.
You probably get the point by now, but once again, choosing the right resort, instructor and slopes for your ability is super important. A beginner booking a resort riddled in expert runs is going to hate snowboarding forever. Equally, an advanced rider won’t gain very much from booking beginner lessons.
Hopefully that’s everything you need to know about snowboarding skill levels.
Now it’s time for you to get out there and ride!
Take a look at some of the best snowboarding mountains in the world – choose one appropriate to your ability level and let her rip!