You spend a good amount of time on the basics of balance, start, and stop - but what about the chairlift? Part of building your confidence as a new snowboarder is mastering getting on and off the chairlift. Stick around as we drop 5 tips to help you look like a pro!


1. Getting On the Chairlift
1.1. Practice One-Foot Glide
1.2. Learn By Watching
1.3. Secure Your Gear
2. Getting Off The Chairlift
2.1. Look Ahead & Prepare
2.2. Touch Down

Check out our video of Sunglass Rob from SportRx and Kevin from SnowboardProCamp to show you the best techniques.


Getting on the Chairlift

1. Practice One-Foot Glide

To give you the most control and balance when getting on and off the chairlift, you will need to have your front foot strapped in and your back foot free.

how to get on and off chairlift - SportRx

5 Tips to Getting on and Off the Chairlift – Practice riding like a skateboard.

The back foot is used to push you along like a skateboard for stopping and overall stability.


  • taking a couple of steps
  • your push and glide
  • slowdown and stops

You can practice anywhere and this will be the fundamental skill to have down in taking on the chairlift.

2. Learn by Watching

While in line, note how everyone approaches the lift. Where do they stop and wait? Watch how they look behind them as the chair approaches. This is the best way to see what works and what doesn't. Now it’s your turn. While looking over your shoulder behind you, prepare to bend your knees with your board pointing straight in front of you. As the chair arrives take a seat and make sure everyone is ready if your dropping the safety bar.

3. Secure Your Gear

Ok, so you made it this far. Secure your helmet, gloves, and check your binding on the front foot.

5 Tips - How to Get On and Off a Chairlift - SportRx

Make sure your items are secure before you start getting off the lift.

Getting off The Chairlift

1. Look Ahead & Prepare

Avoid rushing to get off the chairlift. Look for signs letting you know when it’s time to get off. Check that it’s safe to lift the bar, and then position your body sideways with your board pointing straight ahead. Lead with your front foot strapped in the binding. The foot secured to the board is on front.

2. Touch Down

As the ground is coming up to your board, prepare for touchdown by thinking ahead with the following steps:

  • Once your board is on the ground
  • Step off the lift onto the foot secured to your board
  • Place your back foot onto the board behind your front foot between the bindings
  • Allow the momentum from the chair to move you along.
  • Stabilize yourself
  • Look to get out of the way of others
  • Remember to utilize your one foot glide that you have practiced

It's ok if you fall, just make sure you move out of the way as soon as possible to avoid a pile-up. Practicing ahead of time is the most important for building your confidence.

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