The Culture Of Snowboarding In India
Snowboarding has always been a fascinating sport in India. This is one of the major reasons why a lot of people prefer snowboarding and skiing over other kinds of winter sports. Major hilly states like Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, etc. spend a lot on their skiing and snowboarding resorts so that they can offer the ultimate experience to people.
It is a fairly expensive sport, but the love for snowboarding is immense. Indian Snowboarders Unite is one such bright forum where people share all their personal anecdotes when it comes to snowboarding and skiing. In the last few years, this has picked up a lot and many foreigners visit the rugged hills to glide on the topography of the valley. There are also many competitions held, which brings active participation and insatiable enthusiasm from the community.
Competitions held in the Solang Valley, Hamta slopes at an altitude of 10,000 feet have witnessed more than 200 athletes and some of the brightest from the community have represented India in international competitions, and even the Winter Olympics. So, if you want to be a part of this rich culture, continue glancing over this snowboarding guide.
Table of Contents
- What Is Snowboarding?
- The Best Of Snowboarding Gears
- A Comprehensive Guide To Snowboarding - Beginners And Pros
- Common Mistakes In Snowboarding
- Best Destinations For Snowboarding In India
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Bottom Line
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What Is Snowboarding?
Snowboarding has been around since the 1920s when boys and men would tie plywood or wooden planks from barrels to their feet using clotheslines and horse reins to steer themselves downhills. Modern snowboarding began in 1965 when Sherman Poppen, an engineer in Muskegon, Michigan, invented a toy for his daughter by fastening two skis together.
Considered a very easy version of skateboarding, snowboarding allows you to experience the joy of swooshing through deep snow on a specially designed board. These boards are usually made of tougher material and the boards can easily glide through the snow. Most of the riders become professionals after just a few snowboarding lessons, especially those who have strong legs and some familiarity with skiing.
It is one of the best winter sports in India and most athletes and adrenaline junkies prefer snowboarding on their trips to the hills. Snowboarding can be pursued in all those regions where skiing can, except on flat, cross-country trails. It is prevalently dominant in the hills and this comprehensive snowboarding guide has already laid out some of the best destinations in India.
If you are planning to snowboard in the foothills of the Himalayas and enjoy the valleys to the best of your abilities, you will obviously need some of the best equipment since snowboarding can be considered dangerous, and you will need all the protective gear, which you can get in your hands. In the next section, we have covered some of the best snowboarding gear, which goes well with the snowboarding tips for beginners.
The Best Of Snowboarding Gears
Whenever you are snowboarding, you need the right gear to ensure that you are not getting compromised. This means that you will need the best equipment at the right price. For this, Decathlon is the best place where you will get all of the snowboarding gear at the right price.
- Snowboards: Without a proper snowboard, you cannot do well in the snow. It is also about the longevity of your snowboard, and how much you can use it in extreme conditions. The Men's On-piste & All Mountain Snowboard Bullwhip 300 Evo is one of the best snowboards, which is economical in pricing and also offers the best of experience.
- Snowboarding Gloves: When you are snowboarding in the foothills of the Himalayas, you will also need the right amount of thermal covering. At Decathlon, the Snowboarding and Skiing gloves - SNB GL 500 is the best waterproof gloves, which will help you in the snow.
- Snowboarding Boots: With the right snowboard turning tips, you will also need the right pair of snowboarding boots to ensure that you have the ultimate grip on the board, and you are not screwing up on turns. The Foraker 300 from Decathlon is an amazing pair of boots, which covers this aspect of your snowboarding. It is relatively cheap and highly functional as a boot.
- Snowboarding Thermals and Goggles: To complete your list of possessions, you must also get yourself the Warm Ski jacket 500: Men’s or Women’s and the all-weather Snowboarding Mask G 500, which keeps you safe and fresh during your snowboarding experience.
A Comprehensive Guide To Snowboarding - Beginners And Pros
When it comes to snowboarding you need to understand that different levels of snowboarding require different levels of snowboarding guideS to excel in this fluid act. With the escalation, you will also need to keep certain tricks in mind, which can become handy.
The beginners’ approach to snowboarding:
- You need to have the right snowboard: Rocker camber is the best board for beginners since it places rockers in between your feet, and cambers underneath each foot. When the rocker sits between your feet, it will make the board more catch-free when you are learning to turn. The cambers also help while initiating turns.
- Proper Gear helps you to go a long way: With the right set of boots, you will be able to glide in a much better manner since your feet will have breathing space and you will take turns, easily. This is an integral part of the snowboarding guide as the right gear will keep you comfortable and you will be able to make your moves correctly.
- Lessons are very important: Since snowboarding is an extreme sport, make sure to not shy away from snow-boarding lessons or you can hurt yourself quite easily. Lessons will help you learn the foundations of boarding and it also gives you the confidence to take that ski lift up to the top of the mountain. Instructors will help move your learning curve faster while giving you snowboarding tips for intermediate which helps a lot.
- You need to bend your knees: When your eyes are up and you are looking forward, you need to remember to bend your knees. With the bent knees, it absorbs the contours in the snow and helps you keep control of your board. With straight knees, you’re not going to be able to manoeuvre the way you need to.
The intermediate and pro approach to snowboarding:
- You need to ride across the slope: You may feel scared when you are going to get off the ski lift and you may have a natural sensation of losing control of your board as you speed down the mountain. If you are thinking this, ensure that you are not boarding directly down the mountain and you are riding across the slope. The motion is pretty simple - you are going from the left to right, then back to the left, and slowly making yourself back to right. This movement is quite prevalent in videos of snowboarding. With this, you can keep control of your board.
- You need to have the perfect routine while snowboarding: Snowboarding is just like a habit of performing the right amount of manoeuvres and turns, day after day on the mountain if you have an impeccable routine. The riding switch manoeuvre i.e. when you lead with your opposite foot instead of your more natural stance and instinct, it forces you to get back to the basics of riding and focusing on the fundamentals. You don't have to spend entire days uncomfortably riding switch down every trail. However, switching down the number of runs per day will improve your snowboarding, whether you prefer the halfpipe, backcountry, or groomers. Additionally, landing a perfect 180 and riding away switch is guaranteed to boost your confidence for bigger and better manoeuvres and you can take part in competitions with this snowboarding guide.
- The Ski and snowboard Instructor lessons help: Who said that advanced lessons do not help snowboarders? With enough lessons and certification, you will be able to get deep into snowboarding and this helps to get over the fear of performance and anxiety. Many people spend hours looking at pro videos to acquaint themselves with turning tips and stunts on the board.
Common Mistakes In Snowboarding
Whenever you are snowboarding after a long time, you are bound to make certain mistakes. These snowboarding lessons will help you to catch the mistakes fast:
- Ignoring skating: Snowboarding with your backfoot unstrapped from your binding and using it to push yourself forward is a vital snowboarding skill that is often forgotten about in learning guides and videos. If you want to snowboard, you must be able to skate up to and off of lifts, which is the first of snowboarding tips for beginners.
- Rushing on the turns: Turning is the most important and hardest thing to learn while skateboarding. If you want to master your turns and work your way up to carving, you must learn not to rush your turns by kicking out you are backfoot.
- Leaning back while turning: Along the same lines, you may be tempted to lean on your back foot while making a turn to balance yourself. Leaning back actually causes you to lose control though since you cannot push your board onto its edge well. This is an important part of the snowboard refresher tips.
- Leaning too far while riding on an Edge: Lastly, many beginners will be uncomfortable riding their heel and toe edge and lean to compensate. Not only will straightening your knees while riding your heel edge make you unbalanced, but it will also take away the shock absorbers in your knees meaning any bump could throw you further off balance and possibly to the ground.
With these lessons in mind, you are ready to progress to the destinations of snowboarding across India.
Best Destinations For Snowboarding In India
When you are looking for destinations and reading about snowboarding tips for intermediate, you should also want to know some of the best destinations for snowboarding in India.
- Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir: A popular tourist spot in Jammu and Kashmir, this town in the Pir Panjal range with an average annual snowfall of about 45 feet has to be one of the best snowboarding spots. Gulmarg also boasts the second-highest gondola in the world at almost 14,000 feet above sea level. The gondola drops you off at the shoulder of the Apharwat Peak, from which you can ski or snowboard down.
- Auli, Uttarakhand: The Uttarakhand government spent a lot of resources on tourism, and Auli has emerged as a ski and snowboarding hub. In 2017, Auli – which is at an altitude of over 9,000 feet above sea level – hosted the national snowboarding championships and is considered a paradise for snowboarders in India.
- Solang Valley, Himachal Pradesh: This is located near Manali and there is a 1.3 km long ropeway, which carries a person to an altitude above 10000 feet and there is a sweet vertical drop of over 500 meters, which a lot of snowboarders enjoy and cherish.
- Sethan, Himachal Pradesh: Sethan is a small village in the Hamta Valley, and it is only 15 kilometres away from Manali. With an altitude of nearly 9,200 feet, and a very feeble population, Sethan is loved by all kinds of snowboarders and winter sports enthusiasts and many companies are capitalizing on getting training centres there.
- Pahalgam, Jammu, and Kashmir: It is located at the banks of the Lidder River, and stands at an altitude of 8,990 feet. It is already a popular tourist destination and has an annual winter festival every January-February.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is snowboarding hard for beginners?
Snowboarding is not at all hard for beginners. You might have to take some of the fabled snowboard refresher tips and once you have taken that, you will be all set to snowboard like a professional. However, you can always read the common mistakes section in the article to acquaint yourself with snowboarding.
2. Is snowboarding expensive?
If you are snowboarding in India, you can easily get all the equipment under INR 20000, and this includes your headgear, snowboard, boots, and all other protective gear like knee pads, elbow pads, etc. You can also enrol yourself in a snowboarding school with such low fees.
3. How many years does a snowboard last?
Snowboards usually need a lot of thorough maintenance like dry storage, proper waxing, and clean storage. With these pristine conditions, it can usually last more than 10 years. However, how you store your board for 6 months between seasons is more important as that will define your board’s longevity.
4. How long does it take to get good at snowboarding?
If you have an athlete’s build, you will not take much time to snowboard. It usually takes 3-4 lessons to get accustomed to the board and the snowboard turning tips. Once you know how to balance yourself, you need to be regular every season to ensure that you are making swift turns.
The Bottom Line
With this comprehensive guide, we are certain that you have got a lot of theoretical knowledge when it comes to snowboarding. So, what are you waiting for? It is time for you to pack up your snowboarding gear, head to one of the snowboarding destinations, and hit the slopes while you showcase your moves. This will certainly get your adrenaline up and running and you are bound to have a great time!