Now that you have learned How To Conquer The Chairlift, your next step is getting to the bottom of the mountain in one piece. A good S-turn is the basis for good snowboarding and is often overlooked. Being able control your speed and control your board is essential for advancing your snowboarding. These tips may seem elementary, but they can help any snowboarder in the long run.
The Falling Leaf:
A Basic way to get comfortable
The falling leaf method is for beginners. Start on small inclines and work your way slowly to the bigger stuff. This method is simply sliding on your heels with your back facing up-hill. You will slowly ride down the mountain sliding back and forth across the slope, resembling that of a “falling leaf”. You never want to lean forward in this position, because you will instantly catch your toe edge and stop your momentum. A common mistake of beginners is trying to lean into your turns and put the snowboard on rail. This causes the edge of the board to catch into the snow and cause the rider to fall. A good way to think about learning snowboarding is that you are not turning down the mountain, you are controlled sliding. Use the edges of your board to help direct you in the direction you want to go as well as control your speed.
Toe-Side and Heel-Side Turns:
The next step to getting down the mountain
The switch from heel-side to tow-side can be quite a commitment for beginners. That’s exactly what it takes, Commitment! Toe-side may seem a bit scary at first, but start on small inclines and be confident. Put most of your weight on your front foot and utilize your hips to help swing the back foot around, always keeping your weight on your toes. Imagine that you are pushing or plowing snow with the edge of your board. Always keep your weight leaning into the mountain rather than down the mountain. Pivot off of your front foot and distribute most of your weight to your back foot keeping the edge of your board leaning towards the slope. Start small and build up your confidence! To initiate the heel-side turn you will be going across the slope on your toe edge and you are going to want to put most of your weight onto your front foot. Use your hips to swing the back foot around so you are on your heel edge. You have now just completed the first steps of S-Turns.
Putting it all together: Magic Happens
S-Turns are exactly how is sounds, making an “S” shape down the mountain. S-Turns are compiling heel-side and toe-side turns. Use the techniques learned from heel-side and toe-side turns and alternate between the both going down the slope. S-Turns can either be long and drawn out lines, or quick and short cuts. You are the decider of that depending on your skill and the terrain. Using your hips, back foot, and weight you can alternate and switch between heel-side and toe-side. Once you can master this, snowboarding becomes a whole lot more fun. You will be able to have complete control of your board and be able to try more advanced maneuvers.
Stay within your abilities and be confident. Most all snowboard mountains offer snowboarding classes and lessons. If you are seeking additional information, these lessons are a great way to start. Check out Flow’s Top 10 North American Family Resorts to see some great mountains that offer these services.
-Get out on the mountain and have some fun!
-Come join us at Flow!