A Seasonnaire's Guide To Snowboarding

Ella, accomplished seasonnaire, key member of the Chamonix boarder crew and general badass Aussie chick is here to tell you her snowboarding experiences; the highs (jumps), the lows (crashes), what keeps her getting up and the general steeze  required to become one of the snowboarding crew, shredding the resort like you own it. And in true Aussie style having a bloody good laugh! If you are deciding whether to give snowboarding a go Ella would definitely recommend it.

Snowboarding… You know you want to give it a crack, it looks so sweet and so easy. Look at that dude coming down the hill he’s so fluid in those in those turns and jumps, I could do that, that’d be easy and I would look sick. These were my first thoughts when heading up a mountain for the first time and yes snowboarding does look sweet, you can’t deny it, and the seasoned pros make it look so easy. However, after day one, with a hard thump back to reality (literally) you realise it’s going to take a bit more practice to get to the rad, smooth looking level.

After the first few days of boarding you’ll feel muscles and soreness in places you never even knew you had. Your tailbone may never feel the same again, your arms are shaking from pushing yourself back up again and again (and again) after those continuous falls. Just as you decide to chuck the board and resign to sledging for the rest of the season, boom!  It clicks! The very first time you manage to link your turns, it feels amazing. The elation hugely outweighs any pain you may have. There you are cruising just like the others, feeling awesome, looking good, you lose concentration for a second, catch an edge and bam- face plant! Yet again. But as snowboarders that’s what we're here for. Falling is learning, you’re not pushing yourself if you’re not falling, falling is learning! I tell myself that a lot! 

Guaranteed you will wake up the next morning thinking ‘oh. My. God. My body hurts Every-Where! and ‘oh I’m so hung-over’ (or maybe that's just me). Then you look out the window and see the white gold falling from the sky. You immediately forget about your hangover and any soreness in your body and want to get up, get out and get those first fresh tracks, it is an addiction! Chuck on your gear, grab your board and some tunes and go fuel the addiction by pushing yourself to that next level, to tackle that next trick, to fall and laugh and do it all over again.

By the end of your first week you may be hitting some sneaky kicks and getting 2 inches of air but my god it’ll feel like 2 metres.  You'll have this vision of how sick you looked and how all those skiers were watching you, envious of how how gnarly you are. You are now hooked and you will want to get out and shred some pow every day, just to get a bit more air, tackle some 180’s then move onto 3’s, might save the backflip attempt for the next session though..

Out with you mates cruising the slopes. One mate falls you naturally spray him with as much snow as possible without stacking yourself, cause you know what they say about payback... You all have laugh and cruise on to the next slope, the next trick, the next fall. Every time you nail a smooth turn or small jump or a huge 3, you get that old familiar rush of adrenaline and general stoke. Nothing beats it - especially as your mate got it all on his GoPro- Siiiccckkk! Can’t wait to upload that onto Facebook!

It can be sketchy at times and your body will hurt, but that’s what your there for, the new exciting experiences and skills. It’s the adrenaline hit that makes you want to go faster, hit more kicks, try that backflip that you previously bailed on. That amazing feeling you get being up on a mountain, with awesome views, cruising with a group of mates making memories that’ll last a lifetime and change your outlook on life forever. 

You’ll finish the week already planning the next trip so you can build on your awesomeness. You’ll start organising your beginner friends to come along so you can show off your mad skills, passing on the addiction. When they are falling, face planting, cartwheeling you'll tell them over and over, falling is improving and once you get it, you've got it!  Snowboarding is the ultimate way to relax, the best way to get your thrills, the fresh air and incredible views puts the world into perspective. Laughing at yourself and laughing with you mates is truly good for the soul. 

UCPA packages include instruction options for all levels from absolute beginner to expert level. Beginner snowboarders get 25 hours of instruction with a qualified instructor to help them build confidence and progress very quickly.  Unlike other, more old school instruction, the UCPA courses are very relaxed and very fun. This helps make you feel more comfortable and confident and therefore improve faster. All levels of skiers and snowboarders can travel together and find a course to suit them. More advanced groups will spend time off piste searching for powder, in the park getting air, perfecting their on piste techniques and generally cruising the resort and having a laugh.

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