Winter is here, and it is officially the season to begin carving mountainsides, climbing ice walls, lacing up ice skates, and polishing the runners on your children’s sleds.
Some people live for the winter sports season, and others are going to be brand new to the sports. Maybe this is your first winter in a cold climate, or maybe you’ve just never had the opportunity to try snowboarding before.
Whatever the case, if you plan to try boarding or skiing or skating for the first time this winter, you should spend a few minutes watching a video tutorial or two on the sport. This will get you up to speed faster (you don’t want to be standing around in the cold taking notes), and it will help familiarize you with many of the unnatural motions native to many winter sports.
Below are 16 winter sports video tutorials, divided up by sport. Dive in now, and you will be much better prepared when you are out on the hillside or frozen pond.
Saint Paul, Minnesota’s TruSnow, a snowboarding community and store, is a good bet if you’re planning to try out snowboarding for the first time and aren’t entirely sure where to start.
The video below covers everything from what gear you need to snowboarding etiquette to demonstrations of how to steer and control your board.
An Overview of Board Types
If you are heading into the snowboard rental shop for the very first time, board options might seem overwhelming — at least if the shop has a decent selection. That’s why SnowboardAddiction.com put together this video to show the differences among board types, and how to select a board that fits your own dimensions (height, weight, shoe size, etc.).
The video is actually intended for people who are buying their own boards, but the selection process works exactly the same when renting.
Turning and Stopping
A good idea for any first-timers is to practice the motions in making heelside turns, making toeside turns, and bringing your board to a stop. Get this out of the way now, and you will spend less time on your backside in the snow later.
Ride Vermont enlists the help of a local snowboarding instructor for the video below, which goes over the mechanics of stopping and turning.
Skill-Building for Beginner Snowboarders
The Adventure Ski & Snowboard School in Encinitas, California, has some of the most helpful video tutorials around for anyone who is going to ski or snowboard for the first time ever (or at least for the first time in ages).
This video builds upon the very basics of snowboarding to show you how to make smooth turns, how to approach the downward slope backward (i.e. you’ve turned around), and other such moves that will prove valuable once you get up on the mountain.
Getting Those S-Turns Down
Photographer and snowboarder F.J. Sarmiento put together a helpful five-part series for rookie snowboarders, and his first four videos pretty well align with the skill you would have built in the videos above.
Video five demonstrates how to go from toeside to heelside and vice versa. Once you put those moves together, you can start carving those big, graceful S patterns down the mountainside.
How to Nail Your First Jump
If you’re good with the basics, then maybe it’s time for you to catch some big air. Actually, you should start with small air and work your way up.
This video, from Snowprofessor.com, walks you through the steps of doing (and landing) your first jump on a snowboard.
How to Do a Frontside 180
If you feel comfortable with getting a little bit of air and landing, you can add some flair to your runs with some basic tricks. Here, Whistler-based snowboard coach Kevin from SnowboardProCamp walks you through the steps of doing a 180 that takes you from your heel edge to landing on your toe edge.
Selecting the Right Boot
If you are skiing for the first time, odds are you will be renting ski gear from the local shop. Depending on where you go, the staff on hand may or may not be very helpful in this endeavor, so it’s better to understand in advance how to find a boot that fits. Otherwise, you’ll be in for a painful day on the slopes.
Steve Kopitz, owner of Skis.com, has a nice tutorial on boot selection:
Instructor Darren Turner has put together a collection of smartphone applications called Ski School Apps that cover skiing instructions for all skill levels.
This video starts at square 1: understanding the physics of skis, how to use the equipment, and how to guide yourself on a gentle downhill slope.
The Snow Plow Position
This is the basic stance that will allow you to slow down and come to a stop on skis. Austrian ski information portal bergfex.com has a very well-done demonstration of this position that is easy to follow.
Javelin turns are a nice exercise for more experienced skiers who need to improve their turning skills — crucial when heading down a steep slope.
Below is a quick video by Canadian ski and snowboard training company Section 8. The Canada connection probably explains the Barenaked Ladies background music. Skip to the 1:22 mark for actual instruction.
One of the best ski instructors you could imagine would have to be a former Olympian, right? In the video below, Jonny Moseley, who took gold for the US at the Nagano games in 1998, shows you exactly how to catch air safely on a pair of skis.
Cross-Country Skiing: The Diagonal Stride
Cross-country skiing is a good aerobic workout, and once you gain proficiency in the techniques you open up a universe of winter trails for exploration.
But first, you have to learn the basic movement, which in classic skiing is the diagonal stride. Below is a video from David Lawrence at XC Ski Academy that will give you a primer on how to propel yourself forward on cross-country skis. Lawrence also has some helpful tips for beginners to get over that initial hump.
HockeyTutorial.com has a great video for anyone who is going to give ice skating a go for the first time this season. Because these are the basics, this tutorial should be helpful for anyone who wants to try hockey or just recreational skating.
Luge is such an intense, heart-racing sport that we definitely recommend that you do your homework before you hop on the sled. In this extended video tutorial below, Natural Luge Alberta goes over the basics of luge, how to steer, and how to keep yourself safe.
If you’ve been fishing before, you know most of what is important about ice fishing. The big difference is you need to break through the ice to get to the fish below. TakeMeFishing.org has a helpful video to show you how to drill a hole in the ice with both a power auger and a hand auger.
lead image by: ^bchu / Flickr