When snow hits the slopes, no skier or snowboarder longs to sit indoors to read a book. But in the off-season or between trips to the ski hill, books can keep your head in the game. If you want to round out your knowledge of the sports or simply find gifts for the skiers or snowboarders in your life, you’ll want the best skiing books available.
How to Snowboard (Have Fun) and Not Die, Kyle Ashton, 2018.
“Snowboarding is extreme, and that’s why we love it,” starts this self-published book that offers some information on most topics you’ll need to know about snowboarding.
Truth be told, snowboarding can be extreme, if that’s what you want. “The six steps of progression” part of the book outline what you need to do to attain an intermediate stage of riding. Beyond that, you’ll have to practice and, the author says, perhaps a physics book might help.
But back to the beginning. The book starts off with rider etiquette and how to adjust your bindings (deep squats? Perhaps, but many riders won’t ride that way). It then moves to things you consider in clothing, boots, bindings, snowboards, and helmets before discussing trail-rating systems and on-mountain safety concerns (Carry mace to ward off animals?)
“The fun of snowboarding comes from pushing yourself, proving to yourself that you did something today you weren’t capable of yesterday,” the author says late in the book. And that proving to yourself (and proving yourself) starts on the first day: “Your first day of snowboarding is merely an exercise in survival, but as you progress you begin to thrive in the face of adversity.”
“How to snowboard” doesn’t have the mental coaching that “Snowboarding is for Adults” does, nor does it do much to address the value of (or what to expect in) lessons. But it’s a good complement to that book.
Snowboarding is for Adults Rosemary Kelly, 2016.
The author, who was 61 years old when she wrote it, explicitly says that it’s not an instructional book. And it isn’t, in the sense that it doesn’t tell you how to start or end a turn, let alone how to carve. But the person who has never been on the snow (and even many who hae) can learn a lot from this electronic-only version (available in Kindle, PDF, or e-Pub format). “My intention,” she says, “is to get you off the couch and on the snow.” That’s a worthy intent, and Kelly delivers with important-to-know information about snowboard equipment and clothing, as well as how a snowboard lesson works.
The book starts off, though, with a big helping of “adjust your attitude” and “you can do this.” Embrace the challenge of a new experience and well, don’t be afraid of making a fool of yourself. The payoff will come.
Even a veteran snowboarder may find some overlooked recommendations. Here’s one observation we like a lot: Take a lesson on your first day, and do it in the morning. Don’t go out on the slopes and try to figure it out first.
We would differ from the author in a few small points. The text sells short alternatives to strap bindings, and it states that most ski areas require snowboarders to use a leash. While we use a leash, we haven’t seen one required in quite a while. But none of that takes away from the overall recommendation: If you’re new to snowboarding, you need this book.
Snowboarding is for Everyone, Dominic Kelsey, 2016.
Our favorite chapters are “Lessons for beginners,” because everyone should start with a lesson or two, and “Don’t sneer at the bunny hill,” which is where such lessons occur. There are over two dozen appendixes, called “bonus articles.” Most are short profiles of various ski areas and read like advertorials. One bonus for history buffs is a page or two that reprints text from the Muskegon Chronicle about the Snurfer, one of the progenitors of the snowboard. It has some recommendations for exercises and training off the snow.
Get Fit for Snowboarding, C. Yates, 2014.
The hip flexor lunge, advanced triangle stretch and triangle press-ups are just a few of the exercises you will find in in this book to help you improve your physical conditioning for the snowboarding season. Yates is a dance, yoga and fitness instructor.
Mastering Snowboarding, by Hannah Teeter and Tawyna Schultz, 2012, 200pp.
Teeter is a professional snowboarder with medals earned at the Winter X Games and Olympics; The two introduce readers to snowboarding, from what to expect on the first day to what competitive riding is like.
The first half of the book covers the basics of equipment and hill operations, your first time in a snowboard, and eventually, how to link turns.
The second half of the book deals with a variety of tricks that range from basics such as ollies and frontside 180s to more advanced moves such as the crippler and Michalchuk. Tucked in the second half is a small but useful chapter on various exercises that can make anyone into a better rider.