Snowboarding can be a dangerous sport. Following some simple snowboarding rules will help keep you and your friends safer on the mountain. You won't find yourslef cutting your trip short after doing something stupid.
One of the most common reasons new snowboarders are injured is because they over estimate their own ability. Spend a few minutes on a busy piste and you will see someone going way too fast, looking out of control with no chance of stopping. Make sure this isn't you! Every time you encounter a new slope ask yourself the following questions
1) Can you confidently ride this slope in full control?
2) Can you quickly and safely stop on this slope if you need to?
If the answer to either of these questions is "no" then you should look for a route down that you are confident with. If this is not possible then make your way down slowly close to the edge of the piste where you will not hinder other riders or skiiers.
When riding in busy areas of the mountain kill your speed to minimise the chance of accidents. The mountain is home to all abilities of skiiers and snowboarders who can often make unexpected moves. Bring the situation under your control by slowing down and being prepared for anything that may happen. Always expect the person infront of you to cut into your path. Remember, people down hill from you can't see you coming.
This simple step will ensure you have a good day. Before joining a lift line take a quick look at a map to make sure you can cope with where it is taking you. You don't want to be half way up a lift only to realise that you are soon to be faced with terrain that you aren't confident with when you reach the top.
One of the simplest snowboarding rules that can literally save you. If you get stuck in a white out then the small folding map in your pocket may become your best friend. It will help you safely get to the bottom of the mountain. Also, if you get seperated from your friends a map will help prevent you from making a wrong turn. You don't want to end up in the wrong valley after lifts close with an expensive cab ride back to your hotel to be greeted by your laughing mates.
It may be nice sunny and warm when you head to the lifts in the morning but be warned, the weather in the mountains can quickly turn. This snowboarding rule is to simply be prepared for the cold weather by layering up in the morning. Wearing a number of thinner layers is better than a thicker piece of clothing because you can always take one or more off if you need to. It is better to go out overdressed than underprepared. A good idea is to also carry an extra layer in your bag or jacket/pants pocket too. Don't get cold. I was once in a gondala when a girl went into shock due to being too cold. It was pretty scary to say the least. Don't let it be you.
Take note and follow all of the signs that you see whilst out on the mountain. A sign telling you to "Slow down" or to avoid a closed area are there for a reason and should not be ignored. If you don't take note of what mountain signs are saying, not only could you be at risk but it may mean you are not covered by insurance if anything goes wrong and that could cost you a lot of beer money!
When you reach the top of a lift, make sure that you move a safe distance away before you stop to strap your free foot into it's binding. Not only will this help others getting off the lift, it will prevent you getting crushed by anyone who is following you and out of control. The last thing you want is to be squashed by an over weight skiier in front of your laughing friends.
Before setting off down the slope, always take a look up and down the hill to make sure it is safe to do so. A quick glance behind you will stop you cutting in someones path and causing and accident, possibly ending in an ugly mountain side wrestling match.
If you need to overtake a slower rider or skiier while on the piste make sure you give them plenty of room. As you approach take a second to judge their turning pattern, pick a spot that is wide enough of them and commit to a safe pass. Not a difficult snowboarding rule to remember.
When stopping on the mountain for any reason it is safest to head to the side of the piste or run that you are on. Here you will be out of other peoples way and free to sit down and rest for as long as you like.
Following on from snowboarding rule 10, if you need to stop make sure you do so in a visilble place. At no time should you stop just over the crest of a roller or dip on the mountain where you can't be seen by others. This is the worst place you can be and don't be surprised if you get ploughed into by a fast moving rider or skiier. If you want to have a head at the end of the day you won't ignore this one!
Narrow parts of the mountain can quickly become bottle necked and congested. Keep them as safe as possible by not stopping where there is little room for others to safely pass you.
When you stop for lunch and take off your board there is a simple way to make sure it is as safe as possible. If there is no room in the supplied board racks or there are none around then you should never leave it resting on it's base. Turn it over and dig the bindings into the snow so they can act as brakes. This will prevent the board taking off down the mountain and causing a problem.
When carrying your board through town after a hard days riding be careful. You always see people stumbling back from the bar hitting people with their board like someone in slapstick comedy film carrying a plank of wood. Make sure this isn't you because people won't be very happy with you and like in the said films you could get yourself a bop on the nose.
Ok so this isn't really a snowboarding rule but it is important. You have probably spent a lot of money for your trip so make sure you make the most of every minute. Before you know it you will be back behind your desk in the office dreaming of next season. You wouldn't want to regret not riding as hard as you could while you had the chance would you?
We hope these snowboarding rules have helped you out. If you have any questions and want to know more then please drop us an email through the Contact us page.