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If you're after a snowsport that's a hit with the teens, snowboarding could be it! Often compared with skateboarding, snowboarding is the cool and trendy alternative to skiing with plenty of street cred.

Unlike skiing, where stiff boots are fastened to one ski on each foot, snowboarders wear soft boots secured sideways on a cross between a surfboard and a skateboard. For many it is the ultimate means of descending the steep 'n' deep snow-covered slopes, allowing a fast, exhilarating run. However, snowboarding is not confined to the snowy slopes, but can be learned and practised at many of the UK's numerous artificial slopes, so scouts can experience the thrills and spills of snowboarding year-round in virtually any weather, relatively cheaply at many locations around the country.

There are various types of artificial slopes: some consist of a brush-like synthetic matting, some are more like a carpet, whilst a few are indoors and actually generate artificial snow. Modern slopes are also equipped with tow-ropes, button lifts and even chair lifts, which can be used by snowboarders to make climbing back up the slope easy. Most are open to group use, providing equipment and instruction in groups, so all you'll need is coverall comfortable sportswear (plus waterproof outerwear at the indoor snow slopes). Many are open for extended hours accommodating scout group meeting times. Artificial slopes might also offer tobogganing or snowtubing, as well as snowboarding, to add to the experience.

Learning on an artificial slope will allow you to pick up the fundamentals quickly. Even after a one hour session most first timers will have mastered the basics enabling them to make a controlled descent balanced on their board, gaining a sense of achievement and having had a laugh with friends along the way!

How to run/provide snowboarding

There are 3 ways of running Snowboarding in Scouting. These are:

  1. Scout-led activity - running snowboarding yourself or using someone else in Scouting

  2. Externally-led activity - running snowboarding using an external provider

  3. Activity for adult groups - running snowboarding for a group entirely of adults

Useful links

The National Governing Bodies for snowboarding are:

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