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Beginning Snowboarding

Peers Teaching Peers
Sven Lidén
Jan 9, 2004

 Types of Riding
 Finding Your Lead Foot
 Equipment (Board, Boots, Bindings, Other)
 Clothing
 Stance & Balance
 Getting Up
 Skating
 Getting off the Lift
 How to Fall
 Edging & Side-slipping
 Traversing
 Pendulum (Falling Leaf)
 Making a Turn and “pivoting”
 Linking Turns (C-turns)
 Advanced Riding (linking S-turns)
 Pressure Control, and “Timing and Coordination”

If you're a first-timer. Types of Riding  Three main styles of snowboarding:  Freeriding: Riding almost any terrain. Freestylers also spend a lot of time in the air. the boards associated with freestyling have twin tips (that is.  Alpine/freecarving/racing: Unlike the other styles. Usually. . to this end. for which you'll need a trick board. identical nose and tail shapes) for riding forward and backward.  Freestyle: Lots of tricks. this is your style. and time spent in the snowboard park. This is an advanced "trick" style. alpine boards are much narrower and longer than other types and use a hard boot and binding system (like skis). alpine riding is concerned with going very fast. spins. but spending most of the time on the ground rather than in the air.

describe a rider’s stance. just put your left “Goofy” = foot in front. it’s just a name - Supposedly (Disney’s) Goofy rode a skateboard with the right foot forward. whatever foot you put out to brace yourself should be your leading = Left foot foot.  Ways to figure out dominant (thus "lead") foot:  The foot that stays on the ground while kicking a ball should be the leading foot.Regular or Goofy . Finding Your Lead Foot  Stance . Whichever way you slide across should also be the way you stand on a snowboard.  Slide across a room. (75% of people do this Right foot anyway. forward  If none of these work.  Neither one is better.  Have someone gently push you from “Regular” behind.) forward .

Equipment  I would highly recommend renting equipment until you get good  As you get better the length and style of boots & board you want may change  If you buy. get boots first & rent the board so you can try different lengths and styles as you get better .

 New boards range from $350-600. complete set-ups: $600- 1000+ (look for package deals). and they may try to get you to rent ill- fitting equipment). the snowboard market is seasonal. bindings: $130-200. . and bindings) for about $30 a day.  Most shops rent a complete set up (board. boots. boots: $150- 250. Costs  Snowboarding can be expensive  Rent equipment from a local shop instead of at the mountain to avoid time delays and incorrect gear (those mountain stores often run short in equipment on crowded days. and some will even apply all rental charges to the eventual purchase of a new board. so shops often boast deep discounts during the summertime. Although pricey.

 The two most important considerations are its length and waist width . Equipment – The Board  Usually made of a wooden core wrapped in fiberglass and encased in a plastic or fiberglass cap with metal edges  The top of the board is known as the deck while the bottom is the base.

the wider board you'll need.  Beginners should consider more flexible boards. flexible board (to give them some weight for control). . Smaller. height. the length of the board depends on the rider's weight. Selecting a board size  Measured in centimeters. People with size 11 feet (or bigger) usually require a wide board. heavier people should get a longer. Here's how to pick the right board:  As a rule of thumb. the toe and heel of the boot should be flush with the edges of the snowboard. and riding style. lighter folk should get a shorter.  You should definitely rent a snowboard your first couple times out. since they offer more control (albeit less speed).  Waist width (or the width at the board's middle) is primarily a function of foot size. while bigger. while the width usually depends on the size of the rider's foot. The bigger your feet.  Most adults need a board between 150 cm and 165 cm tall. rigid board (to help them sail along the smooth powder). That way you can experiment with different styles and feels.  Consider your weight. Generally. a board standing on end should reach between the rider's shoulder and bridge of nose.

just rent the boots. and then buy those. Sample around until you find a pair you like. Boots  Most snowboarders' boots are known as "soft boots“  When picking out a pair. and your heel should not rise up too much when you bend your knee forward.  The fit should be snug. You should not feel any pressure points or pinching. if you're a novice.  Again. here's what to consider:  The most important considerations are fit and comfort.  Make sure that your ankle feels secure. .  Try the boots on with only one pair of socks (preferably the socks you intend to snowboard in).

Like ski bindings. Bindings  Bindings (that is. while some freeride snowboarders prefer three straps instead of two. they must complement each other:  Most freestyle and freeride snowboarders use high- back bindings with two straps to secure the boot. While these eliminate the time and hassle of "strapping in. the straps) are what connect your feet to the board  Your choice of boots will affect your choice of bindings and vice versa." they do require special boots and can sometimes become troublesome when snow gets jammed in them. these do not rely on straps to secure the rider to the board.  Some freestylers prefer low back systems. step-in bindings have moved to the forefront. it's really just personal preference.  Recently. .

while wider stances give more rotational maneuverability (make spinning easier). or they might point slightly forward.  Freestyle riders generally have wider stances (the bindings are farther apart) with their stance angles at around 0° (meaning their feet point directly across the board). .  Your stance width should measure about the same as the distance from the bottom of your heel to the middle of your knee.  Narrower stances allow the board to flex more easily.  Your feet might be directly perpendicular to the board (standing purely sideways). how far apart your legs are). Setting your Stance  Stance width: The distance between the two bindings (that is.  “Duck Stance” is with your feet pointing slightly outward  Alpine riders have narrow stances with their feet pointed towards the front of the board.  Stance angles: The way your feet point on the board.

Nothing is more miserable than being wet while trying to navigate down a steep glacier. material for this layer should be made of rugged. breathable.  Outerlayer: Outerlayer: to protect you from the elements. tough. Material like denim should be avoided at all costs. waterproof. breathable fabric and should be baggy enough to allow for movement. "Gore-Tex" is currently the best outerlayer material on the market. Basically. This layer functions to keep you warm while wicking away all the sweat that you're going to generate picking your butt up off of the slopes. Clothing  Most experts recommend a three-layer system to stay comfortable in changing weather. and tough  Hat or helmet to retain that 90% of heat that can be lost through your head  Goggles or sunglasses  Sunblock  Some beginners also like to wear wrist guards under their gloves . Also. The key adjective for this layer. Stay away from cotton because cotton will absorb the sweat and end up keeping you colder than desired. is waterproof. which should also be rugged. Although costly. this layer provides most of the warmth and can be easily shed if pulling all of those tricks makes you too hot. consisting of a jacket and snowboard pants.  Waterproof gloves or mitts. Dress for colder than predicted:  Underlayer: long underwear and polypropylene socks.  Insulation layer: consisting of wool or fleece sweaters for the torso and glove liners for your hands.

knees and hip joints slightly flexed  Arms out and loose for balance – keep them over the tip & tail of the board  Head and eyes facing the direction of travel  Body weight distributed evenly between both feet (equal pressure on both feet until you want to move)  This is critical to get better at snowboarding .Stance & Balance (1)  The Balanced Body Position (BBP) is the basic athletic stance for snowboarding:  maintain a tall relaxed position (torso upright)  ankles.

Move your body over the bindings and stand up  Off your Toe Side (easier): 1. Getting Up  Off your Heel Side (tougher): 1. Use your back hand to push off the snow 3. Bend your knees & ankles 4. Get your weight over the board 2. Push off the snow with your hands & stand up  Tips:  Make sure the board is perpendicular to the fall line otherwise you’ll start moving down the slope before you’re balanced  You can always flip over to the side that’s easier for you . Move your weight over the board 3. Bend your knees & ankles 2.

Skating  Put your front foot in the binding  Walk around by pushing with your free foot  Try to push in front and behind the snowboard  When you start moving place your free foot between the bindings  Stay centered in balanced body position while skating  Use your free foot when you want to stop  Tip: Find a tiny slope to practice. like a the bottom of a hill you can walk up easily .

and slow its motion with your hands as you sit down. These kind of lifts are notorious for banging people in the back of the knees. Getting off the Lift  To get on the lift:  Make sure you remove your back foot from its binding & slide with your front foot.  Stay in a balanced position until you glide to a rest .  Look over your shoulder at the approaching chair.  To get off the lift:  Prepare to unload by turning your body a bit so that your board points straight in he direction of travel.  Lean forward and stand up soon after the board comes in contact with the snow  Don’t worry about moving too fast – the BIGGEST MISTAKE people make in getting off a lift is LEANING BACKWARDS to slow down.

How to Fall  Forward:  Don’t fall on your wrists. but on your lower arm  If you’re going fast you can often tuck and roll to lessen the impact  Make sure you have good gloves for wrist protection  Backwards:  Roll onto your back  Tuck your chin into your chest  Keep your hands under your knees (don’t brake with your hands)  Tips:  Spread the impact out by sliding or rolling  Make yourself as small and compact as possible (pull your knees up!) .

on both your toe and heel edge. The “fall line” is where a  Practice side-slipping until you are able snowball would to accelerate and slow your slide at roll down the hill will. . In essence.  Practicing side-slipping is a great way to develop the edge control skills necessary for turning and stopping. Edging & Side-slipping (1)  Side-slipping . it’s a braking action.  Enables you to descend even steep slopes safely.a controlled sideways slide down a slope with your board across the fall line.

Edging & Side-slipping (2) slower faster  Toe Edge (facing the mountain):  Make sure you are in a balanced stance with the board perpendicular to the fall line  Keep equal pressure on both feet  Straighten our your back and bend your knees  Adjust the speed with your heels (up=slower / down=faster)  The stance of your weight decides your direction (right=right / left=left)  Heel Edge (facing down hill)  The same except lifting your toes adjusts the velocity .

Pendulum (Falling Leaf)  Find a medium slope ending in an open flat area.  Start in the basic stance like you are side-slipping  Start side-slipping and put about 5% more pressure on your front foot (start with your toe side)  To slow down equalize the pressure on both feet  Keep your arms up look in the direction you’re moving. and remember your balanced body position . away from traffic.

flip over. start side-slipping and put about 5% more pressure on your front foot (start with your toe side)  Go all the way across the slope!  To slow down equalize the pressure on both feet  Keep your arms up and your head facing forward. Traversing  Find a gentle slope ending in an open flat area. and remember your balanced body position  After you stop. lie back down on the snow. away from traffic.  Like the pendulum. and go the other way on your heel side .

 Flex your knees as you begin to turn and gradually put your weight from your tows to your heels.  When you are halfway the turn. Heel-side Turn  Begin gliding in a low position  Rise to reduce pressure on the board. kick your back foot to the outside of the turn. . go down again and let the turn complete. to pivot the board about your front foot.  Toe-side turns are done in the same way except that you put your weight from your heels to your toes.  Point your front shoulder in the direction of your intended turn.

Linking Turns  All turning maneuvers can be divided into 4 basics phases of a turn:  The preparation (stance and balance) for the turn: Un-weight (rise) in preparation  The initiation (pivot) of the turn: Turn your shoulders  The execution (edge and pressure): Switch edges and swing your rear foot around  The completion (pressure and edge) of the turn: Re-weight (down) to complete the turn Weighting (flexion) and Un-weighting (extension) motion will help initiate the turn .

. narrow corridor turns. Advanced Riding (linking S- turns)  When linking turns. the turns are never quite completed as in the last two examples therefore only the initiation and execution parts are noticed. the completion of one turn prepares you for the next so only three parts are noticed  During short radius fall-line.

In the expert riding. In a sport such as snowboarding where the very essence of the sport is balancing while moving over ever-changing terrain. timing and coordination is crucial to progress beyond the beginner stage. etc. extend or bend at the right time. . and then later. timing and coordination is the magical element that makes riding appear effortless. fluid and so fantastic. to do several of those actions at the same time (coordinated).  Initially the student learns to do such things as pivot the feet at the right time. and “Timing and Coordination”  Timing and coordination refers to the skill of harmonizing movements so that the right things happen at the right time. Pressure Control.

Other Terms Backside Heel-side edge of the snowboard Directional The nose is longer than the tail (the board has a direction) Effective Edge Where the board gets grip on the snow Flex Flexibility (of board or bindings) Frontside Toe-side edge of board Hardboot Skiing-style boot (hard shell) Nose Front of the board Noseturn Board turns 180degrees while nose stays on the ground Softboot Boots for freestylers and freeriders Tail Back of the snowboard Twintip Nose & tail are equal (symmetric) .