5 Best Alternatives to Snowboarding in the Summertime

5 best alternatives to snowboarding in the summertime to maintain your skills and condition in the offseason. Get ready for winter shred sessions.

To maintain your body in shape for the next snowboarding season you have to exercise a lot, but that can quickly become very boring. One thing you can do to diversify your routine is to find an alternative sport that is similar to snowboarding.

Actually this is what most of the professional snowboard athletes do during offseason. Alternatives to snowboarding can help build up your muscle memory, especially if you’re doing a lot of freestyle tricks.

1. Surfing

Person surfing in the sunset
Photo by André Hugo on Unsplash

The grandfather of them all. The ancestor of all the boardsports out there. Places to surf often available at the ocean coasts, rarely at the seashore due to small waves. You have to travel far to find a place to surf.

But if you happen to live close to the ocean especially somewhere in warmer regions, you’re blessed with the opportunity. Surfing gives you an unforgettable feeling, you should try this sport at least once in your life.

Surfing is a good way to improve your balance on a board and gives a heavy load on your muscles. Your core muscles must be very strong to maintain a position on a surfboard and control it on the waves. A perfect and fun way to improve your agility. As a bonus, you’ll get nice cardio while paddling into the water. 

Note: It is advisable to take surfing instructor for your first time, he will teach you all the basic stuff you wouldn’t even think about, as well as educate you on safety in the water.

2. Skateboarding

Skateboard rail grind
Photo by Rodrigo Ramos on Unsplash

Skateboarding evolved from surfing when surfers needed to ride during bad weather conditions. They attached small wheels to a board, this is a short story of how skateboarding was invented. But enough of history class, let’s talk business. Skateboarding influenced snowboarding a lot, tricks, culture, music, lifestyle.

If you’re willing to improve snowboarding skills especially at a freestyle discipline, then skateboarding is one of the best alternatives to snowboarding for you. Balance and agility, these skills you are going to develop when riding a skateboard. The majority of movements and tricks are very similar, you’re going to build up your muscle memory very rapidly. 

Take a look at some of the professional snowboard athletes, most of them do skateboarding in summer, I guess Shaun White is one of the most famous athletes I could mention, that does (or at least did) both sports professionally.

Unlike surfing, skateboarding is very affordable and easy to start. All you need is a skateboard and a clear sky, skating on wet pavement can be very painful. Also, there are skate parks with special features where you can practice tricks, they can be outdoors and indoors.

3. Longboarding

Person riding longboard
Photo by Marc Kleen on Unsplash

Same as skateboarding its originated from surfing. Like skateboarding, it utilizes a board on wheels and like the name implies the board is long. Longboarding is just another branch of skateboarding, but with its own traditions, culture, habits, and styles.

Talking about styles, there are a few that make awesome alternatives to snowboarding and resembles one in a way.

Downhill

The name speaks for itself. This discipline involves riding down the hill while maintaining the speed and controlling the board during tricky turns, sounds familiar? This discipline requires perfect balance and strong leg muscles. Because it is very dangerous, riders wear special protective gear like helmets, shin-guards, special gloves, and more.

Carving

If you’ve been doing snowboarding for a while, then you’ve probably heard of the term carving. This technique allows you to make turns on your board while maintaining the speed. The carving technique in longboarding is very similar to snowboarding and involves proper weight shifting, inclination, and angulation.

Carving is a very important skill to know in snowboarding, and by riding on a longboard you can significantly get better at it and be ready for the upcoming season.

Cruising

Simple cruising on a longboard around town is a great way to train your leg muscles and balance, pushing for a long time is hard you know. You can substitute a good leg workout by commuting on a longboard around your town.

Unlike skateboards, longboards have wider and bigger wheels, the decks are longer, which makes it so much easier and pleasant to travel on long distances. Also, longer distances are good for cardio and leg strength.

4. Wakeboarding

Person doing wakeboard flip
Photo by Steven Welch on Unsplash

Wakeboarding is a relatively new sport and gaining popularity around the world. The idea is that the athlete is gliding on the surface of the water on board by holding to a rope that gets towed either by the boat or by the cable.

These days wakeboards resemble snowboards a lot, they even have similar boots and bindings. This is not the only thing in common, a lot of tricks and obstacles on which these tricks are done resembles snowboarding with a naked eye. This is one of the reasons many snowboarders choose wakeboarding as a summer alternative to snowboarding. 

Few useful thing you should know about wakeboarding. 

  1. There are two main ways you can wakeboard, either by following the boat or get towed by the cable system
  2. You can start the wakeboarding season pretty early in the springtime, even if it’s still cold outside and end it late in the autumn. A special wetsuit is a key, it protects your body and keeps it warm and dry. Not only you can extend the season, but wetsuit can also be useful if the weather during summer isn’t treating you enough. So it’s good to keep and extra wetsuit just in case.
  3. Since you’re gliding on the water it’s not that painful to fall. Although sometimes when you’re at a higher speed and catch an edge, it can be painful. But the fact that you’re riding on the water should keep your mind at ease.
  4. Some tricks that you do on a snowboard may feel odd. This is because of the rope that tows you. The rope helps you to maintain the balance.

5. Balance boards

Balance board
Photo by Gustavo Torres on Unsplash

If for some reason you’re not able to do any of the above, amongst all of the alternatives to snowboarding there’s a special one for you. And that is a balance board.

There are many types of balance boards. But the main concept is that you have to keep the balance while standing on the board, which is to prevent the board from touching the ground. The board itself, however, is placed on some kind of a fulcrum, usually on a cylindrical roller.

This is a great way to practice your skills and it has many advantages over the other ways.

  1. You can practice almost any time you want when you’re at home. The balance board is always by your side, you don’t even have to go anywhere. Whether it’s daytime or nighttime, weekend or workday.
  2. It doesn’t take a lot of space, usually, you can keep it under your bed, or lean it against the wall. You can even keep it in the trunk of your car, and take it along with you.
  3. It doesn’t take a lot of maintenance, unlike other boards, in general, you just have to keep it dry.
  4. Weather doesn’t matter. You can practice both outdoors and indoors unlike other alternatives. It’s a year-round training tool.

The amount of tricks and exercises you can do on a balance board is almost infinite. You can practice both tricks execution technique as well as balance and physical exercises. And with all the different types of balance boards for snowboarding, you can focus on what you really want to improve.

You can also have several balance boards, each for specific needs. Many professional athletes use these kinds of balance boards for training and for recovering after injuries.

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