Monthly Archives: July 2016

Tips and Techniques to Go Snowboarding

Snowboarding means freedom, camaraderie, and pushing yourself to the limits. This sport evolved many decades ago. Today, it has, however, become a huge sport. Ski enthusiasts look at snowboarding as an evil against snow skiing. However, this is not the truth, as skiing does still exist as a big adventure and professional sport. The level of adventure to which you would want to go to depends on yourself. If you are the kind who likes to a push little harder or live on the edge, then you may want to jump off a 40-foot cliff. However, if you are a beginner, it is recommended that you take your time, and first learn to cruise down bunny hills, before attempting to go down huge hills.

Tips and Techniques to Go Snowboarding
To become a snowboarder, there are some tricks which you will have to master so that you become proficient. Although these tips may sound more apt for beginners, it is recommended that advanced snowboarders also take some time out and examine the basics for themselves, so that they are sure they are indeed doing the right thing.

Take a Lesson
While most people think that they can learn the art of snowboarding on their own, it would definitely be better if you took lessons, and you are able to snowboard properly from the very beginning. This is because, once you have gotten used to the wrong habits, unlearning them becomes a difficult task. At the same time, you will not have to break your bones trying to learn on your own. You can learn on your own, but taking lessons for a couple of hours is the better of the two options.

Gear
The most fundamental tip is to choose the right gear. Snowboarding gear is available in a number of sizes. If your snowboard is improper, chances are high that you may trip down the hill and injure yourself. The boards come in all sizes for adults as well as for children, so make sure you get the right fit.

Heel Edge, Toe Edge, and Linking Turns
Adequate practice of the heel edge, toe edge, and linking turn is required. For safe and correct snowboarding, linking your turns with the transition from the toe edge to the heel edge, and heel edge to the toe edge is the key. The transition should be done smoothly. For almost everyone, it is hard to feel equally balanced on both the toe and heel edge. It is very natural that one edge will dominate over the other, and you will feel more comfortable on that edge. However, this needs to be worked upon, so you can feel equally balanced on both.

Practice Makes a Man Perfect
It is always good to take baby steps and learn things the right way. Everyone starts off practicing on bunny hills, before they graduate towards the big slopes and hills. For the first few days of practice, your body tends to be sore; but don’t they say, ‘no pain, no gain?’ A number of people also do fall off the snowboard during the first few days of practice, but this is normal.

Fall With Grace
Like I just said, falling is inevitable during the first few days. Hence, learning to fall with grace so that you are not hurt is very important. A lot of people suffer from broken wrists, because they do not know the right method to protect their body. Although protecting the body with the hands is instinctive, you should make a fist with your hands (to protect the fingers) and distribute the body equally on your elbows and forearms. This will reduce the chances of grave injuries, like broken wrists, etc.

Tricks Skateboard for Beginners

skateFor seasoned campaigners, skateboard tricks are just a matter of routine and honing their skills. For amateurs and beginners though, learning new tricks is what forms a major chunk of their skateboarding stint. Basically, these tricks are maneuvers and antics performed by skateboarders. Obviously, learning new ticks is always the order of the day.

Kickflip
The kickflip somewhat resembles the ollie, but is a bit more complicated. What is done here is you flick the board below your feet, and make it spin mid air. A flawless kickflip is achieved when a skateboarder kicks the board with the ball of the front foot. As a result, the board spins or flips minimum once, and the landing is smooth, with the wheels down. The kickflip is much jazzier than the ollie.

Heel Flip
Start with the Ollie position and then pop similar to what is done in an ollie. The only difference is that, as soon as you pop the board in the air, you have to kick the heel of your front foot forward. Immediately after your front foot leaves the board, point your toes in the air and kick it forward, in front of you. You have to flip and flick the board using your heel, as the name goes. Pull your front foot underneath you to give room for the board to flip. Stay balanced and keep your weight above the board. Once you flip the board, catch it by putting your back foot on it. Putting your front foot down on the board is a natural following in this step. Now simply land with the knees bent, and roll off.

Ollie
Yes, I know it is a huge cliche! Ollie is supposedly the trick of tricks, and if you ask any skateboarder, this will be amongst the first few ones that will be mentioned to you. To do this, bend your knees considerably while you are on the go. Then slam your foot as hard as you can on your skateboard’s tail. Now, while you do that, ideally, you would want to jump off your back foot. This will need a bit of practice, which will give you the idea as to how to get the timing right. As the skateboard hits the ground, leap off that foot. At the end, make sure that your back foot has been pulled high into the air. It has to be quick and snappy. Once you jump in the air, roll your front foot slightly inwards. What you need to do is roll and drag the skateboard. Finally, just pull both your knees up, or rather as high as you can, and land on the ground. As you land, again bend your knees as you did before you did the Ollie. This is crucial, because this will reduce the intensity of the shock of the landing.

50-50 Grind
Here is where the trucks come in. Trucks are T-shaped metal parts that are mounted on the underside of the board deck. There are 2 such trucks in a regular skateboard, facing each other. Face the ledge or any platform you want to skate on, keeping a fair distance between you and the ledge or rail. Start skateboarding on a comfortable speed. Have your feet in the ollie position while going towards the ledge―the ball of the back foot should be on the tail, and the front foot above the front trucks. Just before the start of the ledge, ollie up on the object meant for 50-50 grinding. Make sure you land with the trucks uniformly on the ledge―that is the ledge or rail in the center of the trucks. As you land, remember to bend your knees. Keeping your knees bent while grinding will help you balance. At the end of the rail, have a small pop up, and land on the ground.

Tips Choosing Surfboard

If riding on sea waves has always been your dream and you have finally reached the point where you are ready to try it out, the first thing to do is buy a surfboard. As you know, it is an adventure sport, wherein you ride the incoming waves on the seashore using a board as your vehicle. Your surfboard needs to be such that it can take the lashing of incoming waves, should have the right design to cut through the waves and float over them, while providing a solid base to take your weight.

The image of the blue sea with rising and falling waves and a surfer riding them with grace and balance! What a sight and a feeling it is indeed. Though great surfers make it look easy, it is a fact that it’s a dangerous sport and beginners should not take this fact lightly. Like every adventure sport, safety lies in choosing the right equipment and right technique.

How to Choose Your First One?

Surfboards come in various types and sizes. It is essential that you take your first surfing lessons or learn it from someone who knows surfing, before venturing in the sea on your own. While the traditional boards, first used in Hawaii, are made of wood, modern surfboards are made from polystyrene and even carbon fiber. Here are the features you need to look out for.

Thickness
One of the most important features that needs to be primarily considered is the thickness, as it decides the strength of your board. It is highly recommended that you go for a board, which is at least 2-3 inches in thickness as it provides the requisite strength. However, see to it that the board is not too rigid also. It needs flexibility to be able to withstand the wave impact. Make sure that the board has a leash, which will help you control it.

Types of Boards
There are many standard types of boards, including short boards, longboards, and medium length boards with features like fins and special tails. However, a beginner need not bother himself with any advanced features as the default choice for them is the longboard. Amateurs are advised to start with cheap, used boards, as they take a lot of battering initially.

Length
One of the most important factors, of course, is the length of the board. Ideally, this has to be longer than your height so that you can easily lie down on it to paddle through, when the waves are down. The greater length is also beneficial because it provides greater stability. So the length of the board has to be up to or more than 7 feet. A longboard is always the safest choice for beginners.

Width
The second most important parameter of course is the width of the board, which is recommended to be at least 19 inches. In fact, beginners are better off with boards that have a width up to 21 inches. Choose the length and width that is appropriate for your weight and height. Take an instructor’s advice into consideration and take a look at the size chart before choosing.

Let safety be the main point of concern when choosing the board and select one which ensures that you are protected while surfing. As discussed before, a broad and long surfboard is what a beginner must opt for, instead of going for a thin, sleek, and short one.

 

Tips for Ice Skate

Whether you want to take ice skating as a game or exercise, first you have to get into the basics of it. It’s bit technical but not that difficult to learn. As a beginner you have to start from scratch. Before starting, always remember if you are not in the skating arena, practice only on thick ice. Avoid going to the thin ice surface. On thin surface, speed is the only thing that can save you from breaking the ice and in the initial stage that is you major drawback. So let’s start with the things required for ice skating.

Things Required for Skating

Skates
When you start with skating, the first thing you should have is a good pair of skates. You should go for a good fitting skate so that it does not come out while skating. Instead of buying a new pair, take them on rent or borrow them from someone. As a beginner, you have to practice a lot and so, to save your new pair from getting spoiled, start with the old ones. After getting used to it, you can switch to your new pairs.

Correct Posture for Skating
Proper posture, good skates and a will to learn something new are some of the important points you have to keep in mind while skating. Posture is very important for balancing. If you don’t maintain a proper posture you will not be able to balance yourself on the slippery ice. Avoid leaning forward to minimize the risk of falls. Chin-up, chest out, body straight, knees slightly bend, hands and arms to your side, hips over your heels and weight over the instep. These are some of the most important postures to have a good balance. If you do not have figure skates and you are practicing with hockey skates, you have to put you weight to the front side of the blades as they lack the tail of figure skates.

Clothes
Where ever you go for skating, the temperature will be around 50ºF to 24ºF. So, it’s very necessary to take care of your clothing. You should wear something which is warm and should also be comfortable, so that you can move your body easily. Gloves and mittens are compulsory as they not only protect your hands from cold, but also give protection from injuries if you fall. Apart from this, helmets are optional but as a beginner, wearing helmet is always the best thing o do.

How to Ice Skate?
Now after getting good skates and an idea of good posture, follow the steps given below to start with the practice.

  • Try to walk on the rinks as they have rubber matting that makes a good grip on the skates and also helps you to get an idea of balancing with the skates.
  • It is said that you stand more strongly after a fall. So, fall is the best thing to make you learn. While practicing ice skate, you are bound to fall or we can say to learn how to stand, you have to fall. So fall accidentally or purposely the thing is you have to fall.
  • After the fall, try to stand up slowly. First try to sit in a kneeling position and hands on ice in front. Now put one foot in between your hands and then the next one. Now try to stand up slowly.
  • Now start sliding. Lean on your front foot and with the help of your back foot try to push the front foot in the diagonal direction. Keep on repeating the process with the other foot.
  • Just try to give extra flick to the ankle and toe. This flick should be at the end of every stroke and keep your knees bent. It will give you power and you will glide with your ice skate.
  • Now try to walk on the edges of the rink while holding the wall or the railing given at the end of the rink. This will make you understand the friction of ice and will help you to balance with skates.
  • Leave the wall and start balancing without holding anything. Take you hands up but not above the shoulder level and bend you knees a little.
  • Now you can start squats. For it, stand up straight, arms in front of you and feet at hip distance. Then start the squats. Repeat it till you become comfortable doing it with balance. Try keeping your eyes in front.
  • For skating backwards, form a ‘v’ with your feet and push them apart. Pull your feet together so that you can touch your toes, separate the feet and again pull them together so that your heels touch.
  • Now you should learn about stopping. There are many methods for stopping in the ice. They are hockey stop for ice hockey, snowplow stop, and, the t-stop. Best stop for beginners is the snowplow stop. Rest of the two stops are difficult and should be practiced after you get the techniques of ice skating. For snowplow slightly bend your knees and point your toes towards each other. Then slightly push your heels outside and try to slide while making a ‘v’. Try to apply pressure on the inner edges.

If you want to go for ice hockey after you start skating, my suggestion will be to learn ice hockey under a good supervision of a coach or a trained professional.