Winter is officially over! Some of you might be lucky enough to be enjoying the Spring shred but for most of us the season is well and truly over.. But there are some things you can do to help get you through the Summer.
I first tried wakeboarding a couple of years ago at a cable in Sheffield and I found it really challenging – but in a good way. It’s weird because being able to snowboard already gives you a massive advantage, you understand edge control and already feel comfortable with your feet strapped to a board but learning how to even stand up can take ages… It’s frustrating to start with but once you get the hang of it you will really start to enjoy it. That is until you have to tackle the corners! The challenge is what makes wakeboarding a good thing to do in the Summer, it gets you out on a board while keeping it interesting for you. You might even feel like hitting a box or jump after you have got the hang of it. Compared to boxes in snowparks the wakeboard ones seem to go on forever and are usually nice and wide giving you loads of time to get used to them. My local lake is the New Forest Water Park which is a great spot, you can learn on the beginner cable before heading out onto the full cable which will make it less daunting if you are nervous. They even host ladies mornings where they slow the cable speed down a little bit allowing you to get to grips with things.
Indoor & Dryslope Snowboarding –
You don’t have to completely pack your snowboard gear away.. make a trip to your local snowdome or dry slope. It might not seem appealing as the slopes tend to be really short but if you haven’t already tried freestyle then the indoor and dry slopes are a really good place to learn.
Most places have features out on Thursday & Friday evenings and there are always beginner friendly features. All of the indoor domes offer freestyle coaching too so if you want a bit of extra help and advice then join one of the groups. Don’t be afraid of dry slope either, it can look really unappealing but the saying goes ‘if you can ride dry slope, you can ride anything’ you won’t feel out of your depth on those ice black runs after a few dryslope sessions! Both the domes & the dryslopes are great ways to meet new people too.
Glacier Trip –
if you really can’t bare being away from the mountains then you should consider a short trip to a European glacier. With resorts like Les Duex Alpes, Hintertux & Kaunteral you can ride real snow all year round. Lots of coaching camps put on summer trips so can book your accommodation, lift pass and transfers without any hassle. Take a look at Maverix Snow which is a UK based freestyle coaching group.
Surfing –Surfing is really fun to try, it’s hard work but good fun at the same time. If you get the chance you should try and visit Devon & Cornwall as there are lots of really nice beaches all with surf schools to get you started. You won’t struggle to find a surf school that will kit you out with all the equipment and an instructor for a couple of hours. My favourite spot is Croyde in Devon, it’s lovely area with awesome ice cream and there’s even a campsite called surfers paradise just behind the sand banks on the beach. With the nice big floaty beginner surfboards you can stand up on your first day and once you get the hang of it you will find that your snowboard skills will help with carving on your surfboard.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding –
If surfing is a bit too full on for you then you should give stand up paddle boarding a try. It’s a lot more chilled out and relaxing. I tried it out at the New Forest Water Park and was pleasantly surprised with how easy it is (I didn’t fall in once!) It’s a really nice thing to do with friends as you can chat away to each other as you paddle around.
Skateboarding has always seemed harder than snowboarding to me – concrete is harder than snow right?! It’s stupid to dismiss it though as it can be really fun once you get the basics down. Subvert Boardstore at Castleford have their own indoor skate park and I’m sure would be able to find a local park nearby for you to try it out. Most indoor places offer some kind of coaching too so you don’t have to go it alone and try and figure it out by yourself. Get yourself a decent pair of trainers that are suitable to skate in (it’s a good excuse to buy a new pair of shoes) and book a lesson at your local park. There has been an increase in the amount of girls skating recently so you might be lucky and find there is an girls session being run where you can meet other girls and learn in an environment with less pressure. Stefani Nurding is an awesome skater with really sick style you should check out her blog for some skate fashion inspiration! She skates at Prime in Plymouth and they host a girls night so if you live nearby you should check it out.
If skateboarding isn’t for you then you should give longboarding a go, it’s easy to pick up and you can enjoy a nice roll down the beach front or through the park on a nice day. I only have a small Penny board but I love going out for a cruise on it when the sun is out. Lyndsay Mclaren is a rad longboarder and she just set up a blog too so if you want some inspiration then have a read.