How to Get Off a Ski Lift Snowboarding  – How to Snowboard

How to Get Off a Ski Lift Snowboarding – How to Snowboard

In the video “How to Get Off a Ski Lift Snowboarding – How to Snowboard” by SnowboardProCamp, Kevin, a snowboard coach in Whistler, B.C., shares his top tips for successfully getting off a chairlift on a snowboard. He emphasizes the importance of practicing riding with one foot strapped into the board before attempting to get on the chairlift. By finding a short, gentle slope and mastering one-footed riding, riders can gain confidence and get ready for the chairlift. Kevin advises riders to keep their free foot against the binding, knees bent, back straight, and hands over the snowboard while dragging their toe to come to a stop. Additionally, he encourages viewers to leave any questions in the comment section and subscribe to SnowboardProCamp for more helpful videos, such as the upcoming beginner’s series on heel sliding.

Table of Contents

Preparing to Get off a Chairlift

Practice One-Footed Riding on a Short Hill

Before attempting to get off a chairlift, it’s important to practice one-footed riding on a short hill. Find a gentle slope that flattens out at the bottom, and strap one foot into your snowboard. Turn and point your snowboard downhill, and place your free foot in the center of the snowboard, against your back binding. Pushing your foot against the binding will prevent it from sliding off the board. As you start moving, maintain balance by keeping your knees bent, back straight, and head looking in the direction you want to go. Make sure to position your hands over the nose and tail of the snowboard to keep it pointed straight. When you reach the bottom of the slope, stop by placing your free foot halfway off the board and dragging your toe in the snow. Practice riding with one foot until you feel comfortable and confident.

Positioning Your Free Foot on the Snowboard

When getting off a chairlift, you’ll need to have one foot free. Before approaching the chairlift, make sure to position your free foot against your back binding. This will allow you to easily step off the chairlift once you reach your destination. By keeping your free foot firmly against the binding, you’ll ensure that it stays in place and doesn’t accidentally slide off the board.

Maintaining Balance and Control

Balancing and controlling your movements is crucial when getting off a chairlift. As you approach the unloading area, bend your knees and keep your back straight. This stance will give you stability and control over your snowboard. Additionally, by keeping your back straight, you’ll be able to react quickly to any changes in terrain or obstacles. Make sure to maintain a relaxed yet alert posture to effectively navigate the unloading area and maintain balance.

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Stopping at the Bottom of the Slope

Once you’ve successfully exited the chairlift, it’s important to come to a controlled stop at the bottom of the slope. To do this, drag your toe in the snow. This action will slow you down and bring you to a halt. By practicing this stopping technique, you’ll be able to confidently and safely navigate the area near the chairlift unloading point.

Getting off the Chairlift

Standing up with Your Free Foot against the Binding

As the chairlift approaches the unloading area, prepare to stand up. Before the chairlift comes to a complete stop, position your body in an upright position and ensure that your free foot is securely against your back binding. This will give you a stable base and allow for a smooth transition from the chairlift to the snow.

Bending the Knees and Keeping the Back Straight

Maintaining the proper posture when getting off the chairlift is essential. As you stand up, remember to bend your knees and keep your back straight. This position provides stability and control, allowing you to easily adjust to the terrain and make quick movements if necessary. By keeping your back straight, you’ll be able to maintain balance and react effectively to any unexpected situations.

Placing Hands over the Snowboard

To further stabilize yourself when getting off the chairlift, place your hands over the snowboard. This will help you maintain balance and control as you transition from the chairlift to the snow. By placing your hands over the nose and tail of the snowboard, you’ll be able to keep the board pointed in the desired direction and maintain a straight line of travel.

Dragging the Toe in the Snow to Come to a Stop

Once you’ve successfully exited the chairlift, it’s important to slow down and come to a controlled stop. To do this, drag your toe in the snow. This technique will decrease your speed and allow you to safely navigate the area near the chairlift unloading point. Remember to keep your free foot halfway off the board while dragging your toe to avoid catching an edge and losing balance.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Overcoming Fear or Nervousness

For many riders, getting off a chairlift can be intimidating, especially for beginners. To overcome fear or nervousness, it’s important to practice and build confidence. Start by practicing one-footed riding on a short hill, as mentioned earlier. Gradually increase the difficulty and length of the slope to simulate the experience of getting off a chairlift. Additionally, consider taking lessons from a qualified instructor who can provide guidance and support.

Dealing with Crowded Chairlifts

Crowded chairlifts can be challenging, particularly when there are multiple riders trying to get off at the same time. To navigate crowded chairlifts, maintain awareness of your surroundings and be patient. Wait for enough space to safely exit the chairlift and communicate with other riders to ensure a smooth and organized process. It may also help to choose less busy times or alternative chairlifts if possible.

Handling Different Types of Chairlifts

Different types of chairlifts may require varying techniques to get off safely. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the specific features and operations of each chairlift before riding. If in doubt, observe experienced riders or ask for assistance from the lift operator. Being aware of the specific requirements and procedures for each chairlift will help ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Maintaining Speed and Momentum

Maintaining speed and momentum when getting off the chairlift is important to smoothly transition onto the slope. To achieve this, focus on keeping a consistent pace while riding down the short hill during your one-footed riding practice. By building up speed and maintaining momentum, you’ll be better prepared to handle the transition from the chairlift and smoothly continue your ride down the slope.

How to Get Off a Ski Lift Snowboarding  - How to Snowboard

Chairlift Etiquette and Safety Tips

Observe and Follow Signage and Instructions

When using a chairlift, it’s important to observe and follow all signage and instructions provided by ski resort staff. These signs and instructions are in place to guide riders and ensure everyone’s safety. Pay attention to any warnings, instructions, or specific rules related to the chairlift, such as weight restrictions or special loading procedures. By following these guidelines, you’ll contribute to a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

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How to Properly Load and Unload from the Chairlift

Loading and unloading from the chairlift correctly is crucial for safety. When loading, wait for the chair to approach the loading area and sit back onto the seat without hesitation. Keep your snowboard tilted up and pointed toward the ground, ensuring that it is secure on the footrests. When unloading, wait for the designated unloading point and stand up, staying balanced and maintaining control. Look around to ensure a clear path and follow the directions of the lift operator if any assistance is needed.

Keeping a Safe Distance from the Person in Front

Maintaining a safe distance from the person in front of you when riding a chairlift is essential for safety. Avoid getting too close to the chair in front to allow for a comfortable and smooth transition when getting off. Give ample space to ensure that you can exit the chairlift without interfering with other riders. Be mindful of your surroundings and adjust your speed accordingly to maintain a safe distance.

Being Mindful of Ski Poles and Equipment

When on a chairlift, be aware of your ski poles and other equipment. Avoid swinging or flailing ski poles, as they can pose a safety risk to both yourself and others. Make sure to securely hold onto your equipment and ensure that it doesn’t dangle freely. By being mindful of your ski poles and equipment, you’ll prevent accidents and create a safer environment for everyone.

Chairlift Emergency Procedures

What to Do in Case of a Stopped Chairlift

In the unlikely event of a stopped chairlift, it’s important to remain calm and follow the instructions of the ski resort staff. Stay seated and avoid attempting to disembark unless directed to do so. Ski resort staff will assess the situation and communicate instructions to riders. Listen carefully to any announcements or instructions provided and be prepared to follow emergency evacuation procedures if necessary.

Maintaining Calm and Composure

During a chairlift emergency, it’s crucial to maintain calm and composure. Panicking can lead to poor decision-making and potentially dangerous situations. Trust the expertise of the ski resort staff and follow their directions. Remain patient and understanding, knowing that ski resort staff are trained to handle emergencies and ensure the safety of all riders.

Following the Instructions of Ski Patrol

Ski resorts typically have ski patrol teams responsible for responding to emergencies and enforcing safety procedures. In the event of a chairlift emergency, it’s important to follow the instructions of ski patrol personnel. They will provide guidance and support to ensure that all riders are safely evacuated from the chairlift. Listen attentively, ask questions if necessary, and cooperate fully with ski patrol staff.

Evacuation and Rescue Procedures

In rare situations where an evacuation or rescue is necessary, ski resort staff will have established procedures to ensure the safety of all riders. Follow the instructions provided by ski patrol and do not attempt any self-rescue unless specifically directed to do so. Ski resort staff are trained to handle these situations and will prioritize the safety of all individuals involved.

Tips for Riding the Chairlift

Strapping in and Being Ready

Before approaching the chairlift, make sure to strap both feet securely into your snowboard. Double-check that your bindings are properly fastened and adjusted to provide optimal control. Additionally, organize and secure any loose gear or backpack to prevent it from interfering with your snowboarding or posing a safety risk when riding the chairlift.

Storing Equipment Safely

When riding the chairlift, ensure that your equipment is stored safely and securely. Avoid letting your snowboard dangle or swing excessively. Place your snowboard between your legs or on the footrests provided on the chairlift, ensuring that it is stable and will not interfere with your ride or the ride of others. Be mindful of other riders’ equipment as well and avoid stepping on or damaging it.

Using Safety Bar or Restraint

Some chairlifts may be equipped with safety bars or restraints that should be used during the ride. If these safety features are available, make sure to use them correctly and securely. Lower the safety bar or restraint, ensuring that it is properly engaged and locked in place. This will provide an additional level of security and stability while riding the chairlift.

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Enjoying the Scenic Views

While riding the chairlift, take a moment to appreciate the scenic views. Ski resorts often offer breathtaking landscapes and panoramic vistas. Use the time on the chairlift to observe and enjoy your surroundings, allowing for a more immersive and enjoyable snowboarding experience.

Safety Gear Considerations

Wearing a Helmet for Head Protection

To ensure maximum safety, it is highly recommended to wear a helmet when snowboarding. A helmet provides essential head protection in case of falls or collisions. Choose a well-fitting helmet that meets safety standards and wear it properly secured and adjusted. Remember, wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the risk of head injuries.

Using Wrist Guards for Wrist Support

Wrist injuries are a common occurrence among snowboarders, especially beginners. To protect your wrists, consider wearing wrist guards. These guards provide support and stability, reducing the risk of sprains or fractures. Wrist guards are especially beneficial when learning new maneuvers or riding in challenging conditions.

Consideration of Back Protectors

Back protectors or spine guards are additional safety equipment that can provide protection for your back and spine. While not mandatory, back protectors can offer valuable impact protection and support. Consider wearing a back protector, particularly when riding at high speeds or attempting advanced tricks.

Ensuring Proper Clothing and Layers

Dressing appropriately for snowboarding is crucial for comfort and safety. Wear thermal base layers to provide insulation and moisture-wicking properties. Layer additional insulating garments, such as fleeces or down jackets, to adapt to changing weather conditions. Remember to wear waterproof and breathable outerwear to protect against moisture and wind. Good quality gloves, socks, and proper footwear are also essential to keep your extremities warm and dry.

Advanced Techniques and Tricks

Efficiently Loading and Unloading with Speed

As your snowboarding skills progress, you may want to load and unload from the chairlift with more efficiency and speed. To do this, practice the movements and techniques described earlier in this article. Maintain momentum and balance when getting on and off the chairlift. With practice, you’ll be able to smoothly and quickly transition from the chairlift to the slopes.

Mastering Chairlift Exits in Challenging Conditions

In some situations, chairlift exits may present challenges such as uneven terrain or poor visibility. To master chairlift exits in challenging conditions, stay focused and maintain control of your movements. Adjust your riding technique and stance according to the terrain and use caution when exiting the chairlift. If necessary, seek guidance from ski resort staff or more experienced riders to ensure safe passage.

Transitioning from Chairlift to Jumps or Rails

For more advanced riders, transitioning from a chairlift to jumps or rails can be an exciting part of the snowboarding experience. Before attempting any freestyle maneuvers, make sure you have a solid foundation of riding skills and are comfortable with jumps and rails. Take your time to assess the features, ensure their safety, and choose appropriate lines. Always prioritize safety and wear appropriate protective gear when attempting more advanced tricks.

Linking Chairlift Exits with Stylish Riding

Chairlift exits can also be an opportunity to showcase your style and skill. As you progress in your snowboarding abilities, focus on maintaining a smooth and stylish exit from the chairlift. Combine the techniques mentioned earlier, such as maintaining balance, maintaining speed and momentum, and staying in control, to seamlessly transition into your ride down the slope. Practice linking chairlift exits with stylish riding to enhance your overall snowboarding experience.

Chairlift Safety for Beginners

Taking Lessons and Learning the Basics

For beginners, taking lessons from a qualified instructor is highly recommended. Ski resorts offer a variety of lesson options tailored to different skill levels. By taking lessons, you’ll learn important snowboarding techniques, safety guidelines, and chairlift procedures. Proper instruction and guidance from a professional will help you build a solid foundation of skills and confidence, making your chairlift experiences more enjoyable.

Understanding Lift Rules and Etiquette

Before riding a chairlift, it’s important to familiarize yourself with lift rules and etiquette. These guidelines ensure a safe and organized environment for all riders. Pay attention to signs, instructions, and any specific rules communicated by ski resort staff. Be considerate of other riders when loading and unloading, and follow the established procedures. By understanding and adhering to lift rules and etiquette, you’ll promote a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Developing Confidence and Skill Level

Building confidence and skill level is a gradual process in snowboarding. Take the time to practice and develop your abilities in a progressive manner. Start with basic maneuvers and gradually progress to more challenging techniques. As you gain confidence and improve your skills, you’ll feel more comfortable and prepared to ride chairlifts and navigate the slopes.

Practicing Chairlift Exercises and Drills

To become proficient in chairlift procedures, practice specific exercises and drills. Set up mock chairlift scenarios on flat ground and simulate the movements involved in getting on and off the chairlift. This will help you become familiar with the necessary actions and build muscle memory. Practicing chairlift exercises and drills regularly will increase your confidence and make the process more natural when riding the chairlift on the slopes.


Proper preparation and practice are key to confidently and safely getting off a chairlift on a snowboard. By practicing one-footed riding, maintaining balance and control, and following proper technique, riders can easily navigate chairlifts and enjoy their snowboarding experience. Always prioritize safety, adhere to etiquette, and be aware of emergency procedures to ensure a smooth and enjoyable ride. Remember, with practice, patience, and a focus on safety, chairlifts will become a seamless part of your snowboarding adventures.

Hi there, I'm Jesse Hull, the author behind AK Fresh Pow. "Shred The Knar There Bud" is not only our tagline, but also our way of life. As a Husband and Father, I embrace the thrill of conquering the slopes. Being a retired Infantry Paratrooper has taught me discipline and a love for adventure. Now, as a new snowboarder/skier, I'm embracing the freedom and adrenaline rush that comes with it. Alongside these passions, I am a full-time student at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage, Alaska, continuously expanding my knowledge and skills. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the beauty of the snowy mountains together.