I was at the gym tonight and I found a great solution for what I'm looking for! One poster said if it's hard for you to get up on your snowboard then you're simply out of shape. I disagree. Last year was my first time snowboarding and at that time I was riding my mountain bike 50 miles/week - so reasonably in shape.
However, when you ride your bike your knees don't typically bend more than 90 degrees so you don't work some of the muscles that you would normally work if you bent your knees more. You can do leg presses and this helps a bit. However, the element of balance is key. For example, you can bench press a lot more on rails than you can free form because the rails manage the balance for you. Likewise, getting up on your snowboard is a more complex motion than typical gym exercises.
I came up with a great solution at the gym tonight. If you've ever used a FreeMotion machine before you know great it is for targeting different muscle groups, especially the FreeMotion Dual Cable Cross: FreeMotion Dual Cable Cross
So I've created 2 exercises: 1 for getting up toeside and 1 for getting up heelside. Get one of the mats to make the ground softer and put it at the base of the machine.
Do this exercise facing the machine. Find a good weight level that will provide a good amount of resistance for letting you gracefully decline to the ground on your rear. Then use your leg strength and leverage the negative resistance of the machine to help you get up. Adjust the weight as needed and reduce weight as you get better at this exercise.
Do this exercise facing away from the machine. This helps replicate the gravity of getting up toeside facing down a hill. Put a padded bar through the handles of the machine and put the bar under your arms. From a standing position use the negative resistance to slowly lower yourself to your knees on the ground. Then try to get up from your knees by rolling back from your toes onto your feet. Use your leg strength and leverage the negative resistance of the machine to help you get up. Adjust the weight as needed and reduce weight as you get better at this exercise.
Most people simply don't use this full range of motion/balance on a daily basis so this is a great training exercise. I did these exercises tonight and my legs felt almost *exactly* like they did after my first snowboard experience last year. My legs were like "WTF just happened?!" and I was waddling around like an 80 year old lady. I'm surprised I haven't read anyone recommend these exercises because they do mimic the actual motions very closely.
I plan to keep doing these exercises as much as possible when I go to the gym and I believe when I go snowboarding at the end of the year I'll be able to easily and consistently get up on my snowboard from heelside and toeside....