In high school, I got my first job. I was a ski and snowboard technician in the rental department at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort. My first time skiing was actually in Girl Scouts but that was years earlier and by this time I had forgotten much of what I had learned. I relearned the sport during ‘ride breaks’ at work. Next season, I worked at Meadows again and was encouraged, by a friend, to try snowboarding. Skiing is a lot different than snowboarding. If you’re looking to make the skis to board transition, I have some advice and tips for you.


From Two to One

This biggest difference is quite obvious. In skiing, one can use both feet separately, much like roller or ice skating, while with snowboarding your feet are together somewhat similar to skateboarding.

Regular and Goofy

What I learned is that just because your feet are on the same board, doesn’t mean you don’t use both of them. With snowboarding you have a dominant foot. We would help first time boarders figure it out like this: whichever foot you would kick a soccer ball with is your dominant foot. If yours is your right foot, you’re board will be ‘regular’ if it’s your left, ‘goofy’. The dominant foot will be closer to the back of the board and is used to help steer.

Bend at the Knees

As with skiing, you’ll want to keep your knees slightly bent; this will help increase speed and allow you to have a quicker reaction in turning. On a snowboard you also want to lean slightly toward the back keeping more weight on your dominant foot. Too much wait in the front can cause you to tumble down the mountain head first.

Start on the Bunny Slope

If you are already a skilled skier, you may be tempted to take your first snowboard run on the expert trails. I wouldn’t suggest this. Start out a little slower. Try the bunny slope first or an easier trail for your own safety and the safety of others.

Get the Right Size Board

Depending on what type of skiing you are used to, snowboard sizing can be very different. A general rule of thumb that we used in the shop was a board that, standing up straight, was about the height of your chin. A smaller board is easier to maneuver for beginners.