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Skiers, snowboarders and avid outdoors-people, juniors Natalie Arndt and Jewel Chandler hit the slopes each winter season to advance their snow sport skills. As Chandler approaches her tenth year of recreational skiing and Arndt continues to strengthen her snowboarding abilities, the pair explores new techniques, winter sport recommendations and other open air activities. Open Air Adventures will be published bi-monthly and the bloggers can be reached via email.

Tod Arndt

The biggest lie I was told as a beginner was to put all your weight on your back foot, but now with experience I disagree.

Once arriving at China Peak, the first step is to figure out where to rent equipment and begin the process of learning how to snowboard. China Peak, has an equipment rental shop located in the Day Lodge. There, employees can assist resort attendants with everything they need to get on the snow. 

Afterwards, visitors can either schedule a snowboard lesson from a professional, or begin the trial and error process of mastering the sport on their own. I recommend finding a friend who is experienced in snowboarding to come and encourage you along the way.

When it comes to snowboarding, first it is important to learn how to get around on flat ground while on your board. Start by placing your non dominant foot facing the way you want to go, and then place the other foot behind your snowboard in order to push yourself around the hill.

Tod Arndt

Sunscreen is an important step when on the mountain, even when the sun is not out. The higher the sea level, the closer you are to the sun and more prone to getting a  sunburn.

The biggest lie I was told as a beginner was to put all your weight on your back foot, but now with experience I disagree. Instead, lean on your front foot and use your back foot to pivot and carve the edge of your board in the snow.

If you have any experience in skateboarding or surfing, draw from that when learning how to snowboard. Make sure to wear sunscreen on the snow even when the sun is not out. The reflection of the sun is very evident on the hill. 

Another important tip is to wear extra padding especially when first learning. The flatter the hill the harder it is to turn!

In the end it takes perseverance despite many trial and errors. Snowboarding has many positives and negatives but once you overcome the big challenges, it’s definitely worth it!

Natalie Arndt can be reached via email.

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