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Snowboarding Tip: how to ride drag lifts

When you are new to snowboarding drag lifts are usually avoided like the plague. A nice warm gondala or a fast 6 man chair would be anyone's preference.

It's hard enough standing up straight with both feet strapped in to your board let alone being dragged up the hill with only one foot attached.

Fear not

If you get caught in an area of the mountain where a drag lift is your only option then keeping a few simple pointers in mind will help you avoid looking like Bambi after a few too many beers. If you do fall just grab your board, keep a straight face and hold on until you get to the top. If anyone asks tell them it is this seasons latest trick.

Step 1: Get ready

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Preperation is the key when riding drag lifts. Start by removing your back foot from its binding and point your board in line with the direction of travel. Even a slight angle will cause a problem when you begin to move. When you are in the queue take note of the speed the lift is moving as it travels around the wire. This will prevent you from being taken by surprise when it comes to be your turn.

Step 2: Confidently grab the lift

snowboarding tips

As soon as you are in place get your eyes fixed on the next available lift. If it takes you a bit longer to get set then don't feel pressured and let a lift pass without grabbing it. Confidently take hold of the lift as it passes and get ready for the next stage. Don't panic. If there is a lift worker there to help you all the better.

Step 3: Get in position

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A crucial part of proceedings. Slightly bend your knees to create a wider gap between your legs to make this step easier. Calmly put the bar between your legs in a comfortable position. You could be in for a long ride. Don't rush but get this done relatively quickly.

Step 4: Lift off

snowboarding tips

Lift your head and turn your upper body in the direction of travel. Step your back foot onto your board. Pushing it against your back binding can help with stability. Engage your core muscles as often the initial pull of these lifts can be quite strong. Be prepared for a jolt. Keep your arms and legs relaxed. Look about 5 metres in fornt of you to help keep your balance.

Step 5: Enjoy the ride

snowboarding tips

Now the hard part is over you can enjoy the ride. You still need to concentrate because if you take your mind off the job in hand you can easliy end up on the snow. Keep looking about 5 metres in front of you to anticipate any corners or bumps. If you do loose your balance and you end up hopping after the lift (as we all do) try and calmly straighten your board and gently place your back foot in position. If you can't regain control and you do fall make sure you get out of the way of the next lift user as quickly as you can. Strap back in and ride to join the queue again.

Practice makes perfect

So there you go, some basic pointers to help you ride drag lifts a little easier. Remember, like most things in life they are all about confidence. The main thing is to relax and give it a go. Before you know it you will be an expert who has no fear for the dreaded drag lift.

We hope this snowboarding tip has helped you out. If you have any questions and want to know more then please drop us an email through the Contact us page.


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