Snowboarding in powder gives you the sensation of floating

submitted photo


Snowboarder Scott Martin rides some sweet British Columbia powder.

There are a few sports that provide you with the feeling of floating along the snow and carving turns like you are on a big ocean wave. Snowboarding in powder is something I wish everyone could have the opportunity to try. It is the reason why when it dumps on the local mountains, I am the first one out of bed heading off into the mountains with my board in tow. Here’s how you can join me.

If you have been craving to try snowboarding over the last few years but have just not stepped up to the plate, then this is the season to get out there. The local mountains have an incredible snow base and it will be here long into April. All three local mountains offer excellent snowboard lessons that include everything from awesome instructors, rentals and specific ladies-only clinics to ensure you learn in a positive environment.

I tell most beginners to take their lessons on Grouse Mountain. The Cut run on Grouse provides a gentle slope on which to learn how to carve turns without the fear of gaining too much speed. The incredible backdrop of the city also makes it one of the coolest places in the world to snowboard.

Grouse offers adult lessons and guarantees that you will be dialing in your turns in four easy two-hour lessons. The program also includes video analysis to help you see your initial mistakes and correct them faster. Prices start at $135 for just the lessons or $298 for lessons, lift tickets and rentals. Lessons are available on Saturday/Sunday or on Wednesday evenings. Monday evenings are reserved for the ladies-only lessons. Details are available at

If you are linking turns and consider yourself an intermediate to advanced rider but still need some help to hone in your park skills, jumping, or general freeriding, then check out the North Shore Snowboard Team Coaching. NSST provides high-end coaching to groups or individuals on Grouse or Seymour Mountain. They provide coaching and camps to youth, adults and offer cool ladies-only clinics all at reasonable prices. Check them out online at

If you’ve taken some lessons and are addicted and looking for your own gear, check out any of the wicked shops that litter Vancouver. A good store will ask you questions about what type of riding you like to do and let you know all the options. As with most sports, spend the most time and money getting a proper pair of comfortable boots. When checking out bindings look at their ease of getting in and out of them and how they transfer your movements to the board. Lastly, choose a board that mimics your riding style. Of course we would like powder all the time, however, most resort boarding is done on groomed or icy slopes so make sure you buy the right gear that can handle those conditions as well. This will ensure you have fun every day that you’re out!

gear guide

Burton Women’s Sapphire Boot

Description: The lightweight and supple flex of the Sapphire allows it to be ridden anywhere with style. Lightweight three-part outsole with air cushioning features molded EVA footbed with support shank and a synthetic leather shell with independent articulated cuff. Price range: $299

Where to find it:

Crystal Glide Board/Ski Service

Description: If you rip the rails in the park or hit some rocks in the backcountry and your board needs some TLC then look no further than Crystal Glide (757 Marine Dr., North Vancouver). Dave Parras will repair, ground and polish your board so it looks new. Price range: $35-$60

Where to find it:

Giro Bad Lieutenant Helmet

Description: If you’re looking for safety and your own style then look no further than the Bad Lieutenant helmet. High impact ABS outer shell with EPS liner, plush and removable ear pads for changing temperatures, and tune-ups compatible for your iPod.

Price range:$89.99

Where to find it:

Dakine Heli-Pro Pack

Description: The Dakine Heli-Pro Backpack is the ultimate pack for backcountry shredders. It will carry your board, snowshoes, and all your avalanche safety gear so you can get to those secret stashes. Its hydration compatible has pockets everywhere and fits like a glove. Price range: $120

Where to find it: