What Is An Intermediate Snowboarder? (My 9 Point Checklist)

by Fraser

Snowboarding has different levels based on your expertise. Like most other sports, you start as a beginner, proceed to intermediate, then advanced, and finally a pro. So, what is an intermediate snowboarder?

An intermediate snowboarder can comfortably link turns on intermediate slopes at increasingly high speeds. They are starting to venture onto black slopes but ride these less smoothly than advanced riders. An intermediate rider should be confident on small jumps and able to perform basic tricks. They may also have started to venture into off-piste terrain. 

In this article, I’ll tell you how long it takes to become an intermediate snowboarder and whether you can count yourself as an intermediate rider. 

How to Know If You’re An Intermediate Snowboarder.

I should probably point out that snowboarding skill levels aren’t just about ego or bragging rights. Knowing your snowboard level is essential because it helps you get the appropriate snowboarding gear. This ensures you have the best tool for the job and the most fun on the mountain. 

You’ll also be able to choose the right guides, instructors and goals to improve your skills. 

If you can tick off at least six of the below, you’re an intermediate snowboarder.

    1. You are not afraid to change edges. 
    2. You can comfortably ride on steeper (intermediate) terrains without side-slipping in challenging sections.
    3. You can comfortably point the board downhill on easier blue terrain.
    4. You’re comfortable with riding switch on mellow slopes.
    5. You can comfortably make small jumps in the park.
    6. You can confidently do 180s, and your turns are smoother.
    7. You’re starting to venture off-piste, which may include turning between trees. 
    8. You are dabbling with boxes or basic rails. 
    9. You may be starting to “carve” you turns more and rarely need to “skid” on intermediate slopes.

Why don’t you need all of these skills to be an intermediate rider?

Well, you’re probably at the stage where you’re developing your favored riding style. Some will be steering towards freestyle riding, others towards powder snowboarding.   

It’s clearly not necessary to be able to perform tricks or hit rails to be an intermediate powder slayer. Nonetheless, I would still encourage you to tick off each of the above skills. They help with board control, balance and overall progression. 


How Long It Takes To Become an Intermediate Snowboarder.

There is no definite time to become an intermediate snowboarder

Progressing from one level to another depends on:

    • Your instructor (you should have one!)

    • The number of days you train per season

    • Your ability to grasp snowboarding concepts

If you’re a quick learner with a great trainer, you might only need a few days to become an intermediate snowboarder.

However, you might take longer if you ride less than 5 days per season. You might also take longer to move from intermediate to higher levels.

Are you learning faster than average?

I reveal how long it takes the average person to learn to snowboard here. 

Do Lessons Help You Become An Intermediate Snowboarder Sooner?

As you can imagine, the answer to this one is a solid yes.

Unfortunately, lessons are pretty expensive and not always accessible. If you’re wondering how many snowboard lessons you actually need – read this article. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully you now understand what it takes to become an intermediate snowboarder.

If you’re not quite there yet, don’t be disheartened!

The best thing you can do is take a look at the checklist and work on any skills you still need to master. Consider taking a few more lessons. Heck, even the pro’s have snowboard coaches nowadays.

You can also brush on on your snowboarding knowledge in our learning to snowboard section

Good luck and happy riding!

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Andrew 07/09/2023 - 12:05 pm

To be honest, this is probably the most ridiculous classification of “intermediate” level i have ever seen and not at all aligned with any snowboarding school or instructor i’ve ever worked with

Fraser 07/09/2023 - 12:40 pm

Hey Andrew! What would your classification be? I think you’ll find most snowboard schools (for example here and here) are pretty consistent with what we’ve written.

Happy to stand corrected though 🙂

You might also want to check out our full article on the different snowboard levels. This breaks each level up even further.

Best wishes!


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