**I was invited to a complimentary day of snowboarding at Wachusett Mountain as part of a media event. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**
For years I’ve wanted to try my hand at snowboarding. I can ski, although I haven’t done so in a number of years, but for whatever reason, I had never given snowboarding a try – until last week.
I was invited to spend the day at Wachusett Mountain Resort in Princeton, MA. I had the option to ski or snowboard, but I knew right away that this was my chance to have a go with the snowboard, so I jumped on it. Plus, I was going solo, so my husband wasn’t going to be standing there laughing at me, which was an added bonus.
Fun fact: “Wachusett” is the Algonquin Indian word for “The Great Hill”.
As you know, winter is not over yet, and thanks to the copious amounts of snow we got here in the Boston area this year, there is still plenty of time to spend at the slopes. In case you want to try your hand at snowboarding, I decided I’d go over some tips for snowboarding with you today. You can never be too “safe” when it comes to snowboarding and I definitely learned a lot while I was out there on the bunny slope last week.
It’s safe to say that if you’re going to go snowboarding, you should probably bundle up! Bundling up allows you to stay warm while you adventure out into the snow.
Falling Will Happen
No matter how great you want to be at snowboarding, there is a great chance you’ll fall. Don’t get discouraged if you fall, get back up and try again!
Strength Training is Important
If you plan on snowboarding on a regular basis, then strength training is semi- important. You’d be surprised at how many muscles it takes to snowboard.
Learn How to Fall
Since falling is a part of the sport, learn how to fall appropriately. If you fall forward, learn to fall on your knees or even your forearm or elbows, so you don’t break your wrist.
I’d say one of the most important things to pay attention to when learning how to snowboard is to wear the proper safety gear. A helmet and goggles (because you will get snow in your face) are necessary. Although you may be falling in the snow, snowboarding still makes you fall hard and you may be more prone to injuries.
As I mentioned, this was my first go on a snowboard, so I thought it would be a good idea to take a lesson. Just because I know how to ski didn’t mean that I would be able to strap on a snowboard and go. Snowboarding may not look complicated, but it’s important to know and understand what’s going on out there before you start. Pay attention to the instructor and have fun!
Luckily, Wachusett had me covered. Their ski school has the largest ski school in Massachusetts (200 instructors) and they have programs & lessons for all abilities (newbies to advanced training clinics). At Wachusett you can take a class lesson or even get a private or semi private lesson if you are more comfortable with that. Over 10,000 beginner ski school lessons are taught annually at Wachusett!
I was in a beginner lesson with three other adults and absolutely loved my instructor, Anthony. He genuinely cared about teaching us the correct way to strap on the board and how to fall the right way. I was impressed by how patient and helpful he was.
So now that you’re ready to take a lesson, you need gear right. No worries because Wachusett has a complete rental shop featuring more than 2000 pairs of Head shaped skis and more than 800 Head Snowboards.
At Wachusett, they have 22 trails and 8 lifts and in case you’re wondering, if they get super busy, they will cap off the number of tickets they sell for the day – so it won’t be so crowded that you wait in line for the lift for hours.
Ok, so you’ve been skiing or snowboarding all day and it just occurred to you that you’re staving.
There are quite a few eating options at Wachusett.
- Black Diamond Restaurant
- Coppertop Lounge
- Mountain Cafe (The cafeteria can serve up to 500 burgers an hour during a busy winter day and an average of 300 gallons of chili are sold each week!)
- Balance Rock Coffee Shop featuring Starbucks Coffee
- Waffle Cabin – indulgence at it’s best!
- Bullock Lodge Cider House – serving hot apple cider and donuts
- The Core- serving snacks, pretzels, candy and more.
While I was there, I got the chance to stop into Bullock’s Lodge for a snack. It’s located trail side, so if you’re up on the mountain and suddenly get the urge for an apple cider donut, stop in! I had one and it was to die for. They also have some other snacks and you can get a warm drink there, too!
One of the things that impressed me the most during my time at Wachusett was the sense of family and community there. I have been to other ski resorts over the years and I’ve honestly never experienced that feeling anywhere else. Throughout the day as I would pass employees, you’d see them chatting with each other, talking to other guests, offering help to people in need or even picking up litter. It was really nice to see. As a parent I loved the family oriented atmosphere there and it is definitely a place that I would want my children to experience for their first time on the slopes.
If you are tired and just want to take a break and warm up for a little bit, the base lodge has a nice warm fireplace. If that’s not enough to warn you up, the Balance Rock Coffee Company sells Starbucks coffee (and other fancy schmancy hot Starbucks beverages) & those are sure to warm you up. Yes, Starbucks!
Buy your tickets online or at the ticket booth when you get there. If you plan on visiting often, a season pass may be a good option for you. Plus, there are locker rentals available if you need them, a ski shop if you’re interested in upgrading your gear and at Wachusett, you can stay for some night skiing, too!
Thanks to the awesome folks at Wachusett for having me up there for the day. I loved it there and can not wait to get my kids up there to learn to ski (or snowboard) in the very near future.
Wachusett is located at 499 Mountain Road in Princeton, MA 01541.