Snow must go on ! 🎶
Hello, let me introduce myself: Romane, Communication Office at the Oxygene ski & snowboard school. Angeline (the marketing manager) and I are taking on a new challenge: try snowboarding for the first time!
I’ve always wanted to try snowboarding, but as a good skier, I was afraid to learn a new sport from scratch. Leaving our worries behind we say “Hello Tignes” for an exhilarating and unforgettable day.
As Oxygene has a brand new ski shop in Tignes we were lucky to be equipped with the latest equipment. Snowboard boots are a game-changer for a skier. Say goodbye to the penguin shuffle and painful feet, we felt like we were wearing our comfy trainers. Even carrying your equipment is a breeze, particular when faced with a steep staircase.
We feel like we are ready to tackle a black slope as we head off to meet our instructor. Federico starts with the basics of snowboarding: how to securely fasten our boots into the bindings, how to tighten the bindings, how to stand up on the board… Federico is very patient and really gives us the ABC’s of snowboarding. First things first, are we Goofy or Regular? This simply means which foot is in front of the snowboard: left or right. Regulars will put the left foot in front and the right foot for Goofys. Spoiler alert: we are both Regular.
Fun fact, there are many more Goofy snowboarding champions than Regular. It’s not looking like we will be the next Chloe Kim! (editor’s note: American snowboard champion)
After getting some practice slides while holding tight to Federico’s hand, it’s time to get serious and set off on our own!
The first hurdle is to stand up… it seems simple, but it’s a real challenge for us. Finally standing up (after many attempts), Federico explains to us how to do the “falling leaf” sliding from side to side. This is a turning point for us, as we were able to experience our first gliding sensations and to remain upright for more than a minute.
Despite a few falls and some comical positions, we quickly gain confidence and manage to get down the slope. To avoid ending up with your backside on the ground, it is important to bend your knees, to stay upright and to look straight ahead, otherwise you will lose your balance very quickly!
Top-tip: If you feel yourself losing your balance, don’t be afraid to sit down again (slowly!) and thus avoid the edge fault* (oops the wrists).
Next the scariest step, the chairlift. I’ve seen many videos of snowboarders falling off a chairlift, and I think I even had nightmares about it. I can assure you, with Federico’s guidance, everything went very well. “Get in the right position and look forwards”, we do as instructed and stay up-right.
After the chairlift adventure, we come on in leaps and bounds. Learning to board down the run moving left or right by using our eyes and shifting our body weight. By repeating this exercise many times, we are much more comfortable. After 2 hours of lessons, the tiredness kicks in. Despite this we manage to move from back side to front side (facing the slope: much simpler to get up).
The end of day arrives, we have well soaked rear-ends and the thighs on fire, but we are delighted with our afternoon. We will need more lessons (and practise) before tackling steeper slopes, but we have a good solid foundation.
Compared to skiing, snowboarding is known for its rapid learning curve. Nevertheless, having a knowledgeable instructor to provide guidance is crucial for avoiding injuries and ensuring proper technique. Despite the physically demanding day, we really enjoyed ourselves and we were left with one burning desire: do it again!
*Edge mistake : Error that consists in losing your balance