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How Long Does it Take to Learn Snowboarding? (With Data)

How Long Does it Take to Learn Snowboarding? (With Data)

Many factors affect how long it will take a newbie to learn snowboarding. Depending on your skills, fitness, and whether you take snowboard lessons or learn with friends, Learning basic skills may range anywhere from a single day to an entire season (average of 6 months).

Children, teens, and adults can typically learn how to snowboard in as little as one week. Other riders may need as long as an entire season depending on ability, age, and willingness.

The following table shows estimated average time for each phase of snowboard learning by age group, assuming < 15 riding days per season and assuming you’re learning on your own:

Age GroupBeginnerIntermediateExpert
Children < 13yrs1 full season2 – 3 seasons4 > seasons
Teens 13 – 20yrs½ – 1 season2 seasons3 > seasons
Adults 21yrs >½ – 1 season2 seasons2 – 4 > seasons

Children, teens, and adults with a strong desire to learn how to ride will devote their time to being on the slopes in order to quickly dial in their technique, while other riders may need to take it slow due to ability or willingness. 

The learning time estimates in this articles assumes you will be taking lessons

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Factors that affect snowboard learning time

Let’s briefly look at factors that play a part in how long it takes you to learn snowboarding.

1. Age and size

What we often observe in snowboarding (and other snow sports) is the competence barrier of younger children due to their lack of development.

Smaller children under 5yrs, tend to have their center of gravity in their heads making it difficult to stay standing on a snowboard. 

On top of that, they’re also learning to navigate the world around them, use fine motor skills, and communicate their needs, making the learning process slow.

For adults 50 yrs and older, while their ability to learn or continue riding is prime, the risk of injury and prolonged recovery process is the main concern for this age group.

2. Fitness level

Riders of all shapes and sizes are on the slopes these days; however, a physically fit person will have more strength, endurance, and mobility, advancing quicker on a snowboard. 

An overweight individual may lack the core strength to stabilize themselves, or may have some difficulty getting up after falling. This typically leads to a slower learning curve.

3. Other board sports experience

Time spent on other types of board e.g. a skateboard or a surfboard will transfer over well to snowboarding. 

These riders will already have the experience of finding their balance and using their ankles, knees, and hips to direct a board. This generally makes for quicker progress in snowboarding. 

4. Frequency & access to ski slopes

Spending as little as 2-3 hrs a day at a ski hill can lead to weekly progression, whereas 2-3 days per season may give you little momentum to efficiently build off of previous skills. 

For example, someone who works at a ski resort or lives near a slope will have unlimited access to fine tuning their skills and can climb the ladder to expert status in as little as one month or two

In contrast, someone who visits the mountain for a week’s vacation will often make small advancements as they’ll have to first take off the rust from last season’s visit. 

5. Snowboard gear

Proper fitting gear is a critical aspect for learning to snowboard in a timely fashion. A rider who is set up properly with the correct size board, boots, and bindings will be able to focus on practicing ideal form and techniques. 

Ensuring that the soft goods – snowboard jacket, gloves, undergarments etc – fit correctly also helps the rider move freely without constriction while keeping them warm and dry. 

6. Snowboard lessons

Signing yourself up for snowboard lessons is the fastest way to climb the ladder to expert. Investing in an instructor can assist you in building a firm foundation, reduce frustration, and shorten the learning curve. 

Taking on  the task of learning how to snowboard by yourself, or with the help of friends, is easier on the wallet but can often end up costing more in the long run.

Forming bad habits can result in a higher risk of injury and wasted time. 

Learning how to snowboard involves falling and making mistakes, which is safer with an instructor. They will teach you how to fall and get back up swiftly, as well as motivate you to keep practicing.

Whatever your current level, taking snowboard lessons can improve your riding in a fraction of the time of doing it alone.

How long does it take to learn beginner snowboard skills?

Beginner snowboarding skills include: 

  • safely falling and getting back up
  • Gliding
  • J-turns
  • Traversing
  • Getting on and off a chairlift

Most people over 6 years old are able to grasp these skills, comprehend the movements and find their stamina after 2 – 4 hrs a day over a week. 

Those with previous board sports experience will often feel confident after a full day.

It is essential to learn from a snowboard instructor or snowsports school for optimal fundamental progressions. It’s not impossible to teach yourself, but this can easily lead you to form bad habits. See Can you learn snowboarding by yourself?

The following table shows average learning time for beginner snowboarding skills by age group, with either a consistent or inconsistent training schedule:

AGE GROUPBeginner skills learning time with consistent training (6 – 8hrs a day)Beginner skills learning time with inconsistent training ( < 10hrs/week)
< 5 years old4 – 10 days7 – 15 days
6 – 10 years old2 – 7 days5 – 12 days
11 – 18 years old1 – 4 days3 – 8 days
19 – 29 years old1 – 4 days3 – 7 days
30 – 39 years old1 – 4 days3 – 7 days
40 – 49 years old1 – 6 days3 – 8 days
> 50 years old2 – 7 days3 – 10 days

How long does it take to learn intermediate skills?

Once you’re able to control movements on a snowboard, including sliding left and right on each edge, toe and heel side slipping, stopping, and making a single toe and heel side turn on a green slope, you’re ready to work on intermediate skills.

Intermediate skills consist of: 

  • Linking toe and heel side turns on a green slope
  • Connecting toe and heel side turns on green and blue runs
  • Finding easier black runs to practice your dialed in beginner skills on

These skills can be learnt in anywhere between an 8hr day to one week.  You’ll advance swiftly by taking old skills and learning them on new, more difficult terrain.

The following table shows average learning time for intermediate snowboarding skills by age group, with either a consistent or inconsistent training schedule:

AGE GROUPIntermediate skills learning time with consistent training (6 – 8hrs a day)Intermediate skills learning time with inconsistent training (<10hrs/wk)
< 5 years old3 – 9 days 7 – 20 days 
6 – 10 years old2 – 7 days 5 – 12 days 
10 – 18 years old 1 – 3 days 3 – 8 days 
19 – 29 years old 1 – 3 days 3 – 7 days
30 – 39 years old 1 – 5 days 3 – 8 days 
40 – 49 years old 1 – 6 days 3 – 9 days 
> 50 years old 2 – 8 days3 – 10 day

See also: Is my snowboard stance too wide?

How long does it take to learn advanced snowboard skills?

Becoming an advanced or expert snowboarder can be accomplished by devoting over 24hrs a week, to perfect your riding. 

Building off of the fundamental skills with proper form and a willingness to push past your comfort zone will eventually make you capable of safely riding anywhere on the mountain with speed, rhythm, and control. 

The amount of time to become an advanced rider depends on your willingness to challenge yourself to ride harder, faster, and on intimidating terrain. 

A great tip for learning to ride like an expert faster is to ride with snowboard instructors who will naturally challenge you to push past your comfort zone.

The following table shows average learning time for advanced snowboarding skills by age group, with either a consistent or inconsistent training schedule:

AGE GROUPAdvanced skills learning time with consistent training (6 – 8hrs a day)Advanced skills learning time with inconsistent training (<10hrs/wk)
5 year olds 5 – 15 days 8 – 20 days 
6 – 10 year olds 4 – 10 days 6 – 10 days 
10 – 18 year olds 3 – 7 days 4 – 8 days 
19 – 29 year olds 2 – 6 days 3 – 7 days 
30 – 39 year olds 2 – 7 days 3 – 8 days 
40 – 49 year olds 3 – 7 days 3 – 9 days 
> 50 years old 3 – 7 days 3 – 10 days 

How long does it take to learn to jump on a snowboard?

How long does it take to learn to jump on a snowboard

You can learn a flat ground jump standing in the same spot in one day, whereas gaining the confidence to perform your first park jump may take up to a week. 

Performing a jump on a snowboard is easier than you may think. Stand on flat ground, bend your knees, and press off  the ground to jump; It’s best to land with your knees slightly bent and center of gravity over the middle of the board.

As for your first park jump, you’ll want to start on a small feature. Side slip down towards the jump until you feel comfortable enough to point the board forward while maintaining an athletic stance. Keep your snowboard straight, go off the jump, and bend your knees as you land to absorb the jump.

See also: Is snowboarding easier on your knees?

How long does it take to learn to carve on a snowboard?

It can take from one snowboard session on the slopes to 4 – 5 before you’re able to properly carve your turns. 

Once you have mastered the beginner skills, anywhere from 1 to 15 days depending on how many hours you practiced, you’ll begin to figure out how to lay your board’s edge in the snow.

The faster you are comfortable leaning the edge of your board in the snow, the better control you’ll have when generating speed.

How long does it take to learn how to ride a snowboard fast?

Safely riding at full speed is an intermediate to expert skill and may take you anywhere from a few weeks of practice to a few months. You will need to learn how to go from skidded turns to carved turns.

Skidded turns are when you only put heel or toe side pressure on the front of the snowboard and not in the back, which allows you to smooth over the snow with the tail of the board.

Carving, on the other hand, is when you’re able to maintain the pressure across the entire board, nose to tail, and create an indented ‘S’ into the snow behind you.

Staying in control at high speeds on a snowboard will feel more stable with the ability to carve your turns. Taking a few lessons and learning from a professional can be an easy way to reduce the time it takes to learn this tactic.

See also: How fast can you snowboard?

How long does it take to ride in the snow park?

Learning the essentials to ride in the snow park can take 3 – 10 days depending on age, consistency, and determination.

It’s crucial that you master the fundamental skills before trying to learn the various snowpark movements such as:

  • Jibs and jumps
  • Rails
  • Vertices (airing out of the half pipe)
  • Front lips
  • Backflips
  • Nose/tail grabs
  • 360s 

It’s not atypical to see an enthusiastic beginner in the park. Getting visual cues of how other riders hit various park features can help them learn faster. 

See also: 4 top snowboards for the halfpipe

How long does it take to ride a black diamond slope?

Riding a black diamond snowboard run can take anywhere from a week’s practice to an entire season, depending on age, willingness, and capability. 

It’s best to not follow others to steep slopes before getting comfortable with beginner and intermediate skills. 

Without knowing how to efficiently connect turns, stop, and control your speed, you might harm yourself and other riders around you.