Getting Started in Snowboarding within the UK
The craze of snowboarding has taken off exceptionally quickly in the United Kingdom, and is now widely practiced. Although there are no real slopes in England and Wales (Scotland has a few slops open for limited parts of the year), there are a great deal of artificial slopes which means that boarders can practice at any point in the year. With Europe being so close as well, it is relatively quick and easier, as well as getting cheaper, to travel to one of the many resorts that are open across the continent throughout the winter months.
Where to learn
There are literally hundreds of dry ski slopes across the country, which all have facilities for learning and practicing snowboarding. For a full list of slopes look at the snowboard-UK directory to find the one that is closest to you. Most of these slopes have instructors working there who will be able to provide you with lessons, either one-to-one or within a group. These will range from around £20 to £40 an hour. It is also possible to do an intensive learning course through joining a camp or course, which will bring you up to speed quicker than if you have weekly lessons. These camps or courses will take you to a resort in Europe, usually for a week, and teach you to learn to snowboard intensively. For a list of courses look at the snowboard club directory. Some of the hills of Scotland provide opportunities for snowboarding in the right conditions. The main resorts in Scotland are Cairngorm near Aviemore and Nevis Range at Fort William, which provide the most consistently good conditions, and Glenshee, the Lecht and Glencoe which are sometimes closed so it is best to check to see whether they have had enough snow before visiting them. Conditions of all these resorts can be checked on the ski Scotland website or Ceefax page 421.
How to find an instructor
When you are learning to snowboard you want to make sure that you use an instructor who as been properly and appropriately trained. Therefore, when you look for an instructor make sure that he or she has been accredited by the British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI), and that they have passed the exams set by this association. The BASI website has a list of all their members and where to locate them.
The Snowboard Club UK is a riders’ network that provides information for boarders throughout the UK. The Snowboard Club UK website provides information on upcoming events, no matter how small they are, and details on what slopes are open when etc. It is a forum where boarders can swap information, and learn about what is going on in snowboarding in the UK and abroad.
The British Snowboard Association (BSA) controls regulations within all snowboard competitions held within the UK. Their website provides information about upcoming events, rules, regulations and riders.
The British Ski and Snowsport Federation also provide information about snowboarding competitions held at a professional level. Their website provides information about British teams competing at an international level, as well as information for snowboarders about how to get started in professional snowboarding.