How many days of snowboard lessons do I need?

If you’re new to snowboarding, the number of lessons you need can vary greatly depending on several factors. Getting comfortable on a snowboard takes time and practice, but taking lessons is the best way to learn proper techniques and progress quickly. With the right approach, most adults can become proficient snowboarders within 5-10 days of instruction.

What factors determine how many snowboard lessons I need?

The main factors that influence how many lessons you’ll need are:

  • Your athletic ability and prior experience with board sports
  • How quickly you tend to pick up new physical skills
  • Your tolerance for falling and being challenged by new skills
  • How much time you have to practice between lessons
  • The quality and method of instruction

Athletic people who have excelled at other board sports like skateboarding, wakeboarding, or surfing will generally adapt to snowboarding more quickly. But even if you’re less athletic or have no prior experience, you can become a competent snowboarder with enough practice and commitment to learning.

How do snowboard lessons work?

Most ski/snowboard schools offer lessons in half-day (3-4 hour) or full-day (6-7 hour) increments. Lessons are typically taken over consecutive days like a Monday-Friday work week. Here’s what a standard schedule looks like for beginner snowboard lessons:

  • Day 1: Learn how to put on gear, basic balance and sliding exercises, stopping, and simple turns.
  • Day 2: Link turns together to control speed, learn to use chairlifts, introduce linking carved turns.
  • Day 3: Refine linked carved turns and speed control on beginner terrain.
  • Day 4: Introduce switching between heel and toe-edge turns to link “S curves”, expand terrain options.
  • Day 5: Practice all skills on a variety of green and easy-blue runs, introduce basic switch riding.

Lessons focus on key skills and generally follow a progressive curriculum over consecutive days. You’ll stick with the same instructor and student group over the course of your lesson package.

How many lessons does the average beginner take?

For the average beginner with no prior snowboard experience, most ski/snowboard schools recommend taking a 3-5 day lesson package. Here’s a general benchmark:

  • 3 days: Minimum lessons to learn basics and gain confidence on beginner terrain
  • 4-5 days: Ideal number of lessons to become proficient on most beginner and some intermediate slopes
  • 6+ days: Extra lessons needed only if struggling significantly with coordination or if unable to practice between lessons

While everyone progresses at different rates, most adults without major physical limitations can achieve snowboarding competency within 5 days of good instruction, complemented by additional practice time on their own.

Should I do group or private lessons?

Group lessons with 3-5 other students are significantly cheaper than private one-on-one instruction. Group lessons also allow you to learn from watching others and provide a motivating social environment. However, private lessons allow for highly customized instruction at your own pace.

Here are some tips on choosing group vs. private lessons as a beginner:

  • Do group lessons if you’re under 40 years old and like learning in a social setting.
  • Consider private lessons if you dislike group activities, struggle with coordination, or feel uncomfortable falling.
  • Only do private lessons if you can afford the higher cost for 5+ days.
  • If choosing group lessons, opt for a smaller group with 3 students or less.

The camaraderie and extra feedback from group lessons make them a great choice for most beginners. But students with special needs, like avoiding injury or embarrassment from falling, can benefit from the personalized attention of private instruction.

Should I take lessons on consecutive days?

It’s highly recommended to take snowboard lessons on consecutive days when you’re first starting out. Here are some key benefits of daily lessons as a beginner:

  • You retain muscle memory and skills better with daily practice.
  • It allows your instructor to follow a progressive curriculum.
  • You avoid feeling like you’re starting over after long breaks between lessons.
  • Learning and falling often leaves your body sore, so spacing out lessons helps.
  • Days off from lessons allow your brain to process new information.

While back-to-back lessons maximize skill retention as a beginner, you’ll still benefit from lessons spaced 2-3 days apart. This provides more time for deliberate practice between lessons. Just be wary of 10+ day gaps between lessons, as you may need to relearn key skills.

Should I practice between lessons?

Practicing on your own between lessons is highly recommended to reinforce what you’ve learned. Here are some tips:

  • Even 1-2 hours of practice will boost skill development between lessons.
  • Repeat the drills and techniques your instructor focused on during your last lesson.
  • Stick to green circle runs and avoid terrain that’s too challenging.
  • Ride with a friend for motivation and tips on improving your technique.
  • End practice sessions once fatigue sets in and your body feels worn out.

Not only does practicing between lessons help develop muscle memory, but it also informs your instructor on what skills to prioritize for your next lesson. Just don’t overdo it to the point of injury or burnout.

How long does it take the average person to learn to snowboard?

While everyone learns at different paces, most healthy adults can expect the following general timeline for snowboard skill acquisition:

  • 1-3 days: Learn basic balance, sliding, stopping, and turning on beginner terrain
  • 4-6 days: Link turns to control speed and ride most beginner terrain confidently
  • 7-14 days: Become confident riding intermediate slopes with linked carved turns
  • 14-30 days: Progress to advanced green/easy-blue terrain including small jumps and boxes
  • 30-100 days: Develop skills and confidence to ride all terrain, including black diamonds and terrain park features

While you can become functional on beginner green runs within 1-3 days, it typically takes 2-3 weeks of consistent practice to look smooth linking turns on intermediate slopes. After your first month of riding, you can expect to progress to more challenging terrain with further practice.

Can snowboard lessons be fun for kids too?

Snowboard lessons are a fun and engaging experience for kids as young as 4-5 years old. However, kids have shorter attention spans and get fatigued faster than adults. Here are some tips for snowboard lessons with kids:

  • Opt for smaller group lessons with 3 students or less
  • Book morning lessons when energy levels are highest
  • Choose kid-friendly instructors who incorporate games and activities
  • For kids under 6, book private half-day lessons to allow for rest time
  • Give lots of encouragement and positive reinforcement
  • Make lessons fun with snacks, hot chocolate, and breaks

If structured well with their age and abilities in mind, lessons can help kids fall in love with snowboarding from an early age. Make sure to schedule in off-snow activities, food breaks, and enough daily lesson time for their age.

What age should kids start snowboard lessons?

Here are general recommendations on what age kids can start snowboard lessons:

  • Ages 2-4: Pull-along “stomper” rigs to learn balance and coordination
  • Ages 4-6: Private half-day lessons with lots of games and breaks
  • Ages 6-8: Half-day group lessons on beginner terrain
  • Ages 8+: Full-day group lessons and terrain-based training
  • Teens: Adult group lessons and flex learning programs

The youngest age most ski schools will offer private lessons is 3-4 years old. Kids under 6 generally have short attention spans and get tired out quickly. But with games, snacks, and creative teaching methods tailored to short beginner sessions, even very young kids can start to learn the basics.

What are the costs for snowboard lessons?

Snowboard lesson costs vary depending on location, but the following ranges reflect current standard rates at most ski/snowboard resorts in the U.S.:

  • Youth Group Lessons: $45 – $75 per half-day; $80 – $150 per full-day
  • Teen & Adult Group Lessons: $90 – $120 per half-day; $150 – $225 per full day
  • Private Lessons: $400 – $650+ per full-day

Multi-day lesson packages offer bulk discounts, usually 10-20% savings for booking 3, 4, or 5 consecutive days. Both group and private lessons become more affordable per day the longer you book. Gear rentals generally cost extra if needed.

What’s the best way to choose a snowboard instructor?

Here are tips for choosing a qualified instructor that’s a good fit for your needs and learning style:

  • Read online reviews and ratings of specific instructors
  • For kids, request instructors with early childhood training
  • Ask about instructors who specialize in teaching beginners
  • Choose instructors certified by organizations like AASI/CASI
  • For females, consider requesting a female instructor
  • Meet with instructors beforehand to confirm interpersonal chemistry

The best instructors communicate well, keep lessons fun and engaging, and have specialized experience teaching beginners. Don’t be afraid to request a different instructor after a lesson if you feel you didn’t click well.

What do I need for snowboard lessons?

Here’s the basic gear and clothing you need in order to partake in snowboard lessons:

  • Snowboard boots
  • Snowboard bindings
  • Snowboard
  • Snowboard-specific jacket and pants
  • Goggles
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Helmet (usually can rent or optional)
  • Base layers (long underwear)
  • Socks
  • Neck gaiter or facemask

It’s best to come equipped with your own gear. But all ski/snowboard schools will offer full snowboard and boot rental packages if needed. Most areas require helmets for kids 17 and under in lessons. Pack layers for variable weather and high breathability.

What skills will I learn in snowboard lessons?

Snowboard lessons focus on building a solid foundation of the following core skills:

  • Properly putting on and clipping into your snowboard
  • Flat-basing to glide straight and maintain balance
  • Proper posture and foot positioning
  • Side-slipping to control speed and stop
  • Heel-side and toe-side turning
  • Linking turns together to gain control
  • Riding chairlifts and disembarking
  • Carving seamless S-turns on steeper terrain

With good instruction and practice, you’ll also progress to skills like switch riding, jumps, boxes, rails, halfpipes, and advanced carving. But mastering the basics makes all advanced skills attainable long-term.

How can I get the most out of snowboard lessons?

Here are some key tips for maximizing your learning from snowboard lessons:

  • Focus intently on absorbing the techniques your instructor demonstrates
  • Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and seek clarification
  • Be ready to fall a lot and laugh it off
  • Push yourself incrementally outside your comfort zone
  • Practice drills on your own between lessons
  • Stay hydrated, rested, and fueled up with quick snacks
  • Maintain a positive attitude and appreciation for small wins

Learning to snowboard requires patience, persistence, and letting go of fear. The more engaged and present you stay during lessons while embracing falls, the quicker your skills will progress.

How do I continue improving after lessons?

After completing your beginner snowboard lessons, here are some ways to continue advancing your skills:

  • Practice riding different green and easy-blue trails
  • Challenge yourself to learn 5 new trails every day
  • Increase your speed and work on carving cleaner turns
  • Take a one-off intermediate lesson for expert tips
  • Find group lesson “clinics” focused on specific skills
  • Watch snowboard instructional videos online
  • Follow a structured progression plan for skills development
  • Enlist advanced rider friends for tips and motivation

It’s important to have a plan and structure for improving beyond beginner lessons. Seek new challenges like steeper terrain, switch riding, and freestyle tricks to keep progressing the fun way.


Learning to snowboard takes most beginners about 5 full days of quality lessons, complemented by practice between lessons. While everyone progresses differently, following a structured curriculum with the same certified instructor is key. Kids as young as 4 can start learning with age-appropriate lessons tailored to their needs. Make sure to reinforce new skills between lessons and gradually increase difficulty. With consistent practice and challenging yourself beyond beginner zones, snowboarding can become a lifelong passion.

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