Looks like you got a good response to your question by posting it on Twitter
Some of the people that answered your questions are great
resources so I would follow them on Twitter if you haven't already.
I think the most important question you asked is whether it is worth it or not. Only you can decide - but until you do none of the other questions really matter, do they?
Snowboarding is a great way to get outside, it is social, it makes you excited for the one season many people dread. It is great exercise; it satisfies the basic human need for excitement and I call it my Mental Floss...it is my way to clear my head when the world gets too crazy.
The flip side is yes there is a risk. Just like in any sport there is a chance
, a small chance but a chance just the same, that you will get hurt. The common injuries are to the head, tailbone, wrists and knees. Helmets, padding and common sense can mitigate these risks - and letís face it, the risk is part of the excitement!
So you have to ask yourself - what do you want your life to be like? What other things do you do in your life and how does snowboarding fit into the overall picture?
Once you have decided that you are committed to try snowboarding then the other pieces can fall into place. You are never too old to try something new...on our local slope, 7 Springs Mountain Resort
, every weekend last year I saw this little old guy - by old I mean in his 80's at least - working with a young snowboard instructor. By the end of the season I rode up the lift with him and he had a grin from ear to ear and said this was the best winter he'd had in years. You are never too old to have that much fun
The other people responding had some great advice - rent and get a lesson. Rental gear isn't always the BEST gear but it is designed with the beginner in mind. It is easy to learn on and frankly, until you try snowboarding you won't know what you want from your gear. Plus being a beginner can be hard on equipment, not that it breaks easily but it does get banged up - let the rental gear take the hard knocks then get your own stuff once you've gotten over the hump.
So how long will it take to get over that first hump? Well I'll be honest with you-the learning curve is pretty steep. Meaning it will be VERY hard at first but get easier quite soon. How hard it is at first will depend a great deal on your life experience - if you ski, water ski, wakeboard, skate, skateboard or do any other similar activities you will get the hang of the balance faster than if you have never done anything of the like. Honestly, if you take a lesson and have any
physical abilities you should get the hang of it in 1-2 lessons and can build from there.
The most common mistake I see new riders make is to get too much weight on the back foot - as said in another post this is typically a fear response and will throw the balance totally off making it virtually impossible to turn - a good lesson will help you avoid this and other pitfalls-I would consider a professional lesson one of the top investments for a successful adventure
You have gotten some excellent advice from all of your responders - We all enthusiastically welcomed you to the hill and remember there are no silly questions, if we are laughing it is only because we've been there and remember what it was like to be a newbie...snowboarding is fun, laughing is fun and if you can't laugh at yourself what [I]can[I]you laugh at?
Have a great time and you'll have to let us all know how it goes!
Wishing you the best!