What Level Snowboarder Are You?Snowboard ability guide to help you figure out what level you are

Katie Blundell


1 month ago in Snowboard

The most effective and fun way to progress your snowboarding is to be on the right snowboard course for YOU. No matter what level on snowboarding you are and what your goal is, we have something for you.

The wonderful thing about snowboarding is there is ALWAYS room to progress, always new things to learn, style to improve and technique to tweak. Even if you win the Olympics, there are still more tricks to be learnt. Even if you can do all the tricks in the whole wide world, there are still tricks that could be invented. The options are endless and Snowboarding will never stop giving, thats the great thing about it!

Our goal at Ticket To Ride is to make sure you have the best experience on snow humanly possible with maximum stoke levels. Each course/ camp is suitable for different abilities. But which is the best one for you?

We know it can be hard to rate your own snowboarding sometimes, so we have outlined a rough ability guide to help you figure out what level snowboarder you are.

Level 1: Beginner
First of all, don’t be put off if you are a total beginner, we all have started where you are now and its totally amazing that you are just starting off in this awesome sport. This is the most exciting bit! So a beginner can be someone who has never strapped on a snowboard before, or maybe has, but in their living room. Pretty much starting from scratch. Or, it can be a beginner who has dabbled a little in snowboarding before, can do “the falling leaf” and side slipping, maybe even some shaky turns, or perhaps linking toe and heel side turns on nursery slopes and mellow green runs.

As a beginner you might be scared of pointing your snowboard directly down the hill and gathering some speed. Button lifts and chair lifts in general might freak you out. You may have a preferred edge or only be able to turn one way. Flat even terrain might be ok but uneven bumpy snow might make your heart quicken?! However as a beginner you have a huge desire to get this new activity sussed and a thirst for learning. A phrase often said as a beginner is “I just want to be able to get down the slope” or “I just want to be able to keep up”. Don’t worry, you soon will!

 

Level 2: Skilled Beginner
You are finally making progress now and (semi) confidently linking turns together both heel side and toe side. You can do this well and at a good pace on greens and blue runs, even on some easy red runs. You have learnt how to stop efficiently (phew) and you can control your speed well. Your turns are becoming more “s” shape (closer together) rather than beginner “C” turns, and your turns are less erratic. However, when there are curve balls thrown in your path like steep, icy, bumpy terrain, you lose your nerve and start to panic. All of a sudden everything you have learnt goes out the window and things seem scary (don’t worry, we are here to help that!).

 

You might revert back to side slipping down on your heel edge when you come to terrain you are not sure of. You have the basic skills now ie: snowboarding, but you long to be able to take it to any slope without worrying and with ease, with a little bit more style too. You also want to learn the skills on how to tackle terrain that isn’t just flat. mellow, wide, open pistes. T-bars and button lifts still might give you the heebie-jeebies!! You would now like to explore the WHOLE mountain and not be restricted by the difficulty of the runs. You might also quite fancy the idea of learning some simple piste “jibbing” (tricks).

Level 3: Intermediate
Look at you go! You can now tackle greens, blues, reds and even some black runs, and not only that, you feel good whilst you’re doing it. And you look good too, believe me! Your turns are consistently linked and smooth. Sometimes even with an element of carving in them. You can easily vary the shape of your turns (quick/ long) and react quickly to any obstacles in your path (skiers?!). You can alter your speed efficiently deepening on the terrain and situation.

You can even going super fast now and not fee out of control whilst doing it. You have now even begun to toy with off-piste, dipping in and out of terrain off the side of the pistes and venturing into some short open off piste runs. You may even started to explore in the trees, slowly working your way down through them but still stopping a lot. If you are blessed with a huge dump of snow, you can enjoy the powder (still cautiously) without getting stuck every 5 mins. Although your legs still burn (this will never change!). You have started doing tiny jumps off side hits/ moguls and maybe even trying some switch (but feels weird and uncomfortable) and perhaps a little Ollie (jump, not a mate) here and there. Facing down hill and going straight/ flat base a long narrow runs is less intimidating and your even have a little snowboard steeze now!

Level 4: Advanced
You are happy to explore the whole mountain and nothing really phases you now. Not only that, but you do everything with confidence, precision and snowboarding now is second nature to you. You have spent a lot of time on your snowboard and clocked up the miles, perfected your technique and you are consistent with this even in tricky conditions. You can tackle any terrain and you can ride off piste happily. When you are cruising around, you can pop some 180s, butter, press and various other “jibs” and enjoy exploring how your snowboard works/ reacts.

The mountain has now become your playground and you are becoming creative with your riding. You can go fast now, like really fast. But 100% in control. You may now have even started going into the terrain park and beginning to learn some tricks off the jumps and on the rails/ boxes. Basic slides/ grabs and some spins and working your way up to bigger features and more tech tricks. Your days of a beginner snowboarder seem like a distant memory.

You have perfected snowboarding but you would like the next challenge, in whichever area that maybe.

Level 5: Expert
You are now a very experienced snowboarder, an old timer! You have spent A LOT of time with a snowboard attached to your feet, it almost feels part of you now, like an extra limb! Perhaps you have done some seasons? Or just lots and lots of awesome trips. An expert snowboarder will have ridden in many different resorts in all sorts of different conditions. You will be very knowledgeable off-piste and in the back country. You are normally the leader of the pack, or you certainly don’t hold anyone up anymore and powder and switch are like a walk in the park now.

You will have dedicated heaps of time on your technique but also in more “specialised” areas of snowboarding (ie: backcountry/ moguls/ split boarding/ freestyle). Some expert snowboarders have even done some sort of snowboard course/ camp/ instructor qualification before and want to progress and push themselves even further.

You have started to turn some heads in the park with your tricks and can boost around the whole mountain with certainty. You are fearless, an adenine junky and many look up to you….and want to be YOU!!! But don’t worry if button lifts still freak you out!

Hopefully this has given you a better indication of what level snowboarder you fall into. Don’t worry if you are in between levels, there will be lots of cross-overs and areas you are more confident/ less confident with. Also don’t be dishearten in you “plato” with you level of snowboarding for a while. You will find you progress faster through the beginning levels, and then you progression slow down as you get better. Snowboarding is thought to be easy (ish) to learn but difficult to master.

Anyway, we are here to help you progress you snowboarding as much as you want. If you are satisfied with your skill level and just want to have an awesome holiday, Ticket To Ride are also here to just give you a bloody good time!

Please email us with any questions if you are unsure about your snowboard level.

See you on the mountain!