Snowboarding cousins - Skateboarding, Surfing

See why snowboarding hauls in the skateboarding and surfing set. Learn about fitness strategies unique to the sport and more.

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The thin outline of snowboarding formed in the 1960s when a surfer lashed together several skis in an effort to create a broader 'surf board' platform for trial attempts down a mountain. Who would've guessed that 20 years later, evolutionary phase two snowboarding entrepreneurs Burton and Sims would throw out the 'snurfer' and rope hybrid, substituting high tech materials and sophisticated designs for launching the sport into its rapid expansion period?

Riders coming into the boarding typically reflect youth viewpoints, slightly rakish if not flat out punkish and independent minded. With a hip-hop outlook and fearlessness to match, skateboarders and surfing dudes as well as wakeboarding fanatics and inline skaters all gravitate towards the speed and thrill of snowboarding. What better way to get 12 months of Xtreme sport?


Athletically, snowboarding mirrors surfing and skateboarding in its demand for fitness, power, balance and a certain imperviousness towards physical risk. You'll get your best performance results by supporting your on-mountain Ollie and half pipe time with a serious and ongoing fitness program emphasizing cardio vascular as well as strength conditioning for your legs and upper body.

Stretching and obtaining a limber yet athletic stance and then holding it for an entire day of runs requires some serious discipline, particularly if you're the type who indulges heavily in the après boarding night time party and entertainment life offered at most mountains. You need to focus on stretching, from your toes to your quads. Each area, such as calves or quads and hamstrings needs to be slowly and evenly stretched, without bouncing or shaking, in order to get the lengthening and softening of muscle fiber and associated tendons and ligaments.

Snowboarding is ultimately a power sport, demanding great lower back and abdominal strength as well as strong legs to form a balanced platform while your carving turns into fluctuating mountain terrains. Remember as well that boarding, especially during the early stages, involves face plants and butt plants and slide-outs and serious flailing as you learn how to lean into the slope, carve your turns and create somersault soft landings rather than bang into immovable objects. You'll need a reservoir of strength, balance and conditioning, along with an extra issue of guts and attitude to break through to the point where you'll be relaxed and able to enjoy the pure thrill of boarding.

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