As mentioned in my new year post, Activities for 2020, I will be going on a snowboarding trip to “La Plange” in a couple of months time. As I was so terrible at it last time, I wanted to see if there were any snowboard training techniques I could do at home, pre-holiday.
Snowboard training at home
Once my holiday was booked, I searched the internet for snowboard training to do at home. I spent countless hours watching many videos and reading many blogs. After filling my head with so much information, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two main things to focus on.
- general fitness
Focusing on the balancing element, I came across two items that appeared in my search for snowboard balance training. One is more of a low cost DIY method and the other is a purpose built piece of equipment.
DIY balance board for snowboarding.
This DIY method is featured in quite a few YouTube videos. It’s simply made using a 2 litre bottle, duct tape and a skateboard (without its wheels) as shown in the video below.
I did tweak this slightly by not duct taping the trainers to the board. As a beginner I’m not looking to do jumps or twists etc. The main aim is to focus on balance. The other thing is from a safety point of view, by not having your feet stuck, you can jump off the board without falling and injuring yourself.
So I had a cheap skateboard that I’d never used sitting in my garage and removed the wheels. I then purchased a cheap 2 litre bottle, removed the contents and filled it to the rim. Replaced the lid, then proceeded to duct tape the lid and the body of the bottle. That’s it, your balance board is complete!
At first, it seems a little scary, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. I sort of mastered going from side to side comfortably within the 1 week. Though didn’t mean I stopped training with it. The more I did this, the more it became second nature. Not only am I training my balance, but I’m also training the muscles in my legs (squat position). The stance you take on the balance board sort of mimics the stance you have on the snowboard.
Level 2 training, DIY balance board
To further my training the next step is to repeat the training with snowboard boots on. This is because there is less flexibility in the ankle and the boot is bigger, thus finding your centre of gravity is a bit harder. As demonstrated by my other half below.
Though mastering the side to side action is great, I found I was missing the toe and heel balance action. The toe and heel are the main movements that enable you to turn on a snowboard. The DIY balance board doesn’t really allow for this action. Therefore I went back to the internet to see if there were any options to practice this movement and discovered the Vew-do board range.
Purpose built balance board for snowboarding
After a lot of research I feel the boards by Vew-do were the best for snowboarding balancing. They have 3 levels to purchase:
- Zippy – beginners
- Flow – Intermediate
- El Dorado – Advanced.
When I initially looked, Vew-do only shipped in the USA. They have distributors in other countries, for the UK it is Ubalance. The boards range from £139.95 to £149.95 (correct as of 10th Jan 2020). With any purchase I make, I always check to see if I can buy it on Amazon . To my surprise the Zippy was lower cost (though with a longer lead time) and sold by Amazon themselves, winner!
Amazon.co.uk even offered the option with the foam roller which was only available on the official Vew-do site. The Zippy View-do board with the foam roller is £111.87 on Amazon.co.uk (correct as of 10th Jan 2020).
Due to the price, I purchased the Zippy Vew-do board from Amazon.co.uk. I’m now eagerly waiting for it to arrive, my current order status states delivery next week. Once it arrives I will share my review.
Vew-do board has arrived, see my review in my snowboard training at home part 2 post.