There are a few things you need to know about your board before you get started, so now’s the time to get acquainted. You should know about your binding by now, and how to operate them.
Your Board’s Anatomy
Now the bottom of your board is essentially simplistic in design, but inherently complicated by its very nature. There are three basic components to the bottom of a snowboard: the base, which makes up all of the flat surface area that you familiarized yourself with when learning to glide in a strait line; the edges, there are two sharp, metal edges that run along both side of the board, one runs along your toes, or ‘toe-side’, and the other runs along your heels, or ‘heel-side’. So you have a toe-side, and a heel-side edge.
Heading for the peak
Now you have the gear, you’re at the resort and you’re ready to go right? So the big question now is, are you goofy-footed or regular? If you’re a goofy rider that means that your right foot will be in front, regular means your left foot will be in front. Most of us have at some time ridden a skateboard, so a good way to tell if you’re goofy or regular is which foot is first when you skate? If you’ve never skated before, and you just don’t know which foot is first, then here’s a little test: Take a friend (that you trust) and have them give you a little shove from behind, not too hard, just enough to make you have to take a step to gain your balance. Which ever foot you stepped forward with is going to be your front foot. (This test is not 100% but it works pretty well. If you discover later that you tend to be more comfortable riding the other way, then just switch your bindings around and ride the other way!)
So now we know which foot we are, goofy or regular, strap that front foot in to the binding. This foot will stay strapped in pretty much all the time. While loading on and off the lift, and generally getting around, the back foot will remain free. This is so you can skate, or push your self around. You can skate with the board in front of you, or behind, it’s all personal preference. Try skating around a little bit and get comfortable with it. Find a nice little gradual slope and skate your way to the top of it. Once at the top of the slope, give a few pushes to get yourself going, and then position your back foot up against your back binding, and just glide along. Try this a few times until you’re comfortable gliding a strait line. Remember to keep your knees slightly bent, back straight and head up at all times, watching where you are going.
Once you’re comfortable gliding a strait line, skate your way through the lift line and once you’re at the front of the line, follow the next chair that comes around and stop at the little sign that says ‘Stop’.
BE SURE TO KEEP YOUR BOARD POINTED UP THE HILL!
When your chair comes around grab it with your hand and gently ease yourself into the chair, keeping your board pointed strait up the hill. I wish I could say that there was one sure way to position your board comfortably while riding the chair, but there’s really not. Your front foot is going to hurt for a while until you get used to it. You can try crossing your free foot under your front foot, or propping the board on the toes of your free foot, but it’s always going to be a little uncomfortable. The price we pay for glory! Some chairs have foot racks that you can use, and those are always a nice relief.
As you approach the top of the chair lift there will be a little apprehension about unloading, but have no fear! Remember the exercises you practiced making strait glides? That is what you must do now! As you approach the top of the lift there will be a sign that says ‘Unload Here.’ There you must point your board strait, stand up and put your free foot against the back binding, and make a nice strait glide down. Remember: keep your knees bent, your back strait, your head up and watch where you’re going. That was easy. Just be sure to skate out of the way of other people who are unloading behind you. Now comes the fun part.