The first time I ever tried snowboarding, I headed out with my brother, my cousin and a family friend and (to borrow a phrase from Nike) we just did it. Or at least, we tried to.
It was my first ever winter sports holiday and having decided skiing was something boring parents did, we’d excitedly chosen boards (complete with 90s step-in bindings) instead of skis from the rental shop. Sensibly, our parents had booked us a lesson for the following morning, but that was hours away. There was a chairlift nearby where they weren’t checking passes and we thought (in all our 12-year-old wisdom): “How hard can this be?”
“There was a chairlift nearby where they weren’t checking passes and we thought ‘How hard can this be?’”
It was very cold and nearly dark by the time we made it down. My cousin had sprained his wrist and my coccyx was so bruised I couldn’t sit down for a week. But if our gung-ho ‘do it yourself’ approach seemed regrettable at the time, with the wisdom of hindsight I’m not sure it was an entirely bad idea.
We actually taught ourselves a lot by just trying it. And as anyone who’s learned to link turns will tell you, snowboarding is a sport where theory can only get you so far. There’s a moment when it just clicks, when you just get it. Having an instructor on hand will definitely help you reach that point quicker, but it’s still something that you have to feel for yourself.