I went to the mountains for the very first time to snowboard when I was in middle school and we only had 2 days to go out on the mountain and have some fun. For me, this was not a fun time because I fell over and over and could not get the hang of snowboarding in such a short time and it jaded me towards the sport.
I know many novices, like me when I first started out have asked themselves, “How Many Days Does It Take To Learn To Snowboard?”
The time it takes to learn to snowboard is different for everyone, but on average it takes 3 or 4 days (sessions) to get the basics down and not fall as much. For riders that have skateboarded or surfed, snowboarding comes more naturally and can take as little as 1 day.
The bottom line is that there is no set figure as to how many days it takes to learn how to snowboard, but with practice, it shouldn’t take long. Some people get it in a day or two and some people never seem to get the hang of it.
How Many Days Does It Take To Learn To Snowboard? (The Factors Involved In Learning How To Snowboard)
If you are just starting out, or need a little more info on just what it takes and what affect the time it takes to learn how to snowboard, we have you covered. Several factors play a part in how likely you are going to be in learning how to snowboard quickly and they start with:
This is one of the biggest factors when it comes to determining how fast you are going to learn how to snowboard. If you already know how to skateboard or surf or even ski with some skill then you are already at a much larger advantage than your normal beginner that does not have any of this experience.
If you know how to ski then you already know how to navigate mountain and and can find comfort when transitioning to a snowboard. Bear in mind that skiing and snowboarding have vastly different mechanics but you can still gain an extra edge from having a knowledge of skiing.
Skateboarding and surfing can set you up for actually riding on a snowboard where you are moving forward while your body is in a sideways position. Snowboarding has one big difference that takes a lot of getting used to. You are attached to your board and you can’t just bail off if the situation gets a bit too much to handle. The board stays with you and you must be able to navigate falling without having your board smack you around.
Strength & Fitness
My first few days on the mountain were spent getting used to riding, and falling, but what I didn’t realize is how much of a workout snowboarding really is. Snowboarding requires you to constantly shift your body weight and twist your hips and entire body left and right.
This requires a lot of muscles that I previously never used before and I was sore for days after my first few rides but over time I built up the muscles required to go out for 8 hours of riding and be able to come back the next day with no problem. If you are already a physically fit person, this can help aid in lessening the learning curve a bit because you will not suffer from exhaustion or sore muscles as fast.
How Often You Go Snowboarding
Everyone says that you need to build up muscle memory in order to learn the skills required and in order to do that, you need to snowboard as much as possible in your first sessions. This means spending several hours on the mountain for at least 2 days to start. If you go for one day and then come back a week or 2 later, your body will not remember the movements and techniques of snowboarding as well as if you had come back the very next day.
I can speak from experience that it was much easier to come back and pick up where I left off the day before. It would have been much harder to come back a week later and pick up where I left off. The frequency that you go after your first few sessions will also increase the chances of learning to master snowboarding because the old saying “practice makes perfect” is so true in this case. The biggest factor to learning fast is to spend a lot of time on snow consecutively to build up your skills.
Age plays a factor for many people, but saying that age is a limiting factor is just naive. Many younger people tend to pick up skills faster, but age does not limit you from learning any skill, and snowboarding is no exception.
Size & Weight
Snowboarding requires good balance and the ability to make snap decisions and react quickly and the more weight you have to shift around, the tougher it will be. This does not mean that you can’t learn quickly just because you are overweight. I learned in about a day and a half and I was sitting at 210 pounds and 6’4” tall.
Willingness To Take Risks
If you are scared to fall then it will take you a lot longer to learn how to snowboard. If you are the type of person that can pull it together and just go for it, the skills required will come much quicker. You always learn on a groomed, beginner slope where the terrain is designed to be more flat and more forgiving for newer riders.
Once you master the smallest slope (generally the bunny slope) then you can move up to the next slope where the majority of people go. You should progress through the trails in order of difficulty as you master the previous ones. Not only will this build up your skills, but it will build up your confidence as you get to the tougher trails on the mountain.
The Ability To Get Back Up
Falling over all the time will hurt but you must be able to get back up and keep going down the hill if you want to learn to snowboard. If you are afraid of falling then you are never going to take the chance to go just a little bit faster or take a sharper turn and you won’t be able to learn.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure you have fun snowboarding and that includes having fun while you are learning. You should always go with friends, no matter what their experience level is. If they are better than you, then they can give you tips and help you out. If they are the same skill levels, then you can both have fun falling together.
How Long Does It Take To Master Snowboarding?
If you consider snowboarding being able to go down the hill with minimal falling on the easiest slopes on the mountain then you can definitely learn in a few days. If you want to see how long it takes to master snowboarding, then you are in for a lot of time on the mountain.
Once you have suffered through all the aches and pains of learning the basics, it is only a matter of time before you can “master” snowboarding. The ability to link turns and develop a rhythm that is natural and flows from one turn to another takes time, but once you develop, it is a wonderful thing to achieve and it will fill you with a sense of pride knowing where you came from in your snowboarding journey.
It should only take around 10-15 sessions to really “master” snowboarding in the sense that you can navigate almost any trail on the mountain with minimal effort.
For me, I went from linking turns, to weaving in and out of trees, to black diamonds, and jumps in a matter of a few weeks of hitting the mountain Friday through Sunday every week for about 7-8 hours a day and it was very gratifying seeing my own progress.
Can You Learn To Snowboard In A Day?
Anyone can learn how to snowboard in a day. It will take several hours of dedication and practice on the snowboard with attention to detail on snowboarding techniques. Many people will need an instructor to teach these skills or you can learn through trial and error.
If you want to learn to snowboard in a day then you will need to start on the easiest slope on the mountain and practice shifting your weight and learn how the board reacts to your weight distribution. If you want a more in depth guide then check out our guide on learning to snowboard in a day.