Snowboarding Ability Levels
Snowboarding Ability Levels
A beginner is someone who is obviously new to the sport and is taking it all in. Most beginners are still trying to get the fundamentals down of making heel side turns, toe side turns and stopping on purpose. You might know what kind of riding style you want to be from the start or just want to check out everything to see what appeals to you the most. It all starts by learning how to link your turns. Beginner freestyle riders have mastered the above and are now starting to check a thing or two out in the smaller parks.
An intermediate snowboarder is someone who is riding well down most beginner to intermediate runs and is now looking to challenge themselves on steeper runs. They skid their turns a lot so when you look back at your tracks on corduroy you don’t see a thin s line the whole way down. They’re also ready to check out the small parks for a trick or two. This rider is working to proficiently ride every run on the mountain, to ride switch, to ride powder, to hit the small jib park, to make small jumps and to ride the 8 feet or less half pipe. Most people are trying to figure out what riding styles they like and are trying to get better.
An advanced snowboarder is more in tune with what type of rider they are and is developing that style. They’re starting to understand how to make good turns anywhere on the mountain. They still skid their turns or lift up the back foot on occasion but are getting closer to turning correctly. For example when you look back up hill after a few turns the lines are pretty thin and only have a few skid marks or places where it gets wider. They are having fun on powder days without doing cartwheels or getting stuck in the middle of a run. Advanced Freestylers are now riding switch, know how to ollie, butter, press, can get up and down the pipe wall, can hit most moderate jibs and and can land most small to medium jumps. If they are a freestyler, they are learning to go bigger everywhere and are trying new tricks.
They aren’t pros but understand the mechanics of every move in their style of riding. Expert Mountain Snowboarders make razor thin turns, have good form and are in complete control of their boards when it comes to edge to edge transitioning. They can throw out a hard nipple scratching carve and are competent in any part of the mountain. Freestyle/Park riders are riding switch whenever and wherever it suits them, can get out of the bigger pipes, hitting kickers with a bevy of tricks in their arsenal and jibbing anything they want. An expert has seen it all and can do almost anything in the riding style they choose.
We strongly suggest taking lessons on the mountain when you are a beginner or intermediate rider. However even when you’re at the advanced or expert level, you can keep learning from a good instructor.