Learning how to maneuver on a snowboard can be difficult – it’s said that the art of snowboarding is actually the art of gracefully learning how to eat snow.
Never fear, though! Learning how to turn on a snowboard will keep you from falling, though it takes more bodily involvement than you might expect.
Be prepared to engage the whole of your body in your turns, and before long, you will have mastered the frontside, backside, and the frantic flailing that will keep you from freezing your teeth in the midst of another fall.
Using Your Body to Turn a Snowboard
Steering your snowboard requires the whole of your body – and just a heads up; you are going to be really, really sore after your first time snowboarding because of it.
While you are still learning how to maneuver the board, you will have to pay attention to some of the smaller things that your body does and correct them in order to spend more time upright and less time sitting in the snow.
Steering and turning begin with your eyes – just like when you are driving. You want to look in the direction you want to go in order to direct the rest of your body in that same direction.
If you get distracted, your feet will follow your eyes, and you will not be able to steer as effectively.
Though steering starts with your eyes, it continues with your shoulders and the rest of your torso. When you direct your gaze, you want to take care to ensure that your torso follows.
Carving on a snowboard requires you to use your core in the midst of a turn; again, look in the direction you want to go, clench your abs, and enjoy the shift of the snow beneath your board as you sashay down the hill.
You will want to keep your hips centered over your snowboard – unless, of course, you prefer a setback stance, but knowledge of this preference will come with more experience.
You will want to avoid, nevertheless, overcompensating with your hips; do your best not to lean over the board in one direction or another, or else you risk taking a nasty tumble down a slope.
Managing your hips is key for keeping your balance in check!
Your stance is essential when learning to turn on a snowboard – and how to snowboard, generally. You will want to keep your knees bent and keep your feet spread slightly wider than the width of your shoulders.
The direction your knees’ point will change the kind of ride you get, as well. When your knees are pointed towards the nose of your snowboard, you will be engaging in a heelside ride.
Alternatively, when your knees are angled towards the tail of the snowboard, you will be working with a toeside ride.
The kind of pressure you place on your heels or toes will also change how you are angled on the snowboard as well as the angle of your turn.
When you are not turning, you do not need to place more or less pressure on your heels or toes; try to keep yourself balanced, and shift your weight when you want to start carving down the hill.
Types of Snowboard Turns
For those learning how to snowboard, turning may seem as simple as deciding whether to go left or right.
However, there are actually two more specific types of turns which depend on how you shift your weight on the board.
The first kind of turn is the frontside turn. You will want to rest your weight on the back of the board, using the edge you cannot see in order to keep yourself from sliding down the hill.
A frontside turn requires you, then, to place more weight on your front foot. Then, you want to turn your gaze towards the top of the hill you are snowboarding down; this directing of your gaze will then twist the rest of your body and turn the snowboard in the appropriate direction.
The frontside turn can turn you left or right; the redistribution of weight just allows you to change the way you engage with the slope.
Comparatively, a backside turn has you starting the turn by preventing yourself from going down the hill by using the front of your board to brake.
Once you’ve slowed, shift your weight to the front of your foot and direct your gaze (and the rest of your body) over the shoulder that’s closest to the bottom of the hill.
Snowboarding requires you to pay more attention to the movement of your body than you normally do.
When you first start learning how to turn a snowboard, you will likely spend a fair amount of time face down in the snow, but don’t give up!
Learning to turn takes practice, and before long, you will be able to carve up snowy slopes with ease.
Here’s a video showing some tips on how to improve your snowboard turns.
Do you have any tips on how to turn on a snowboard?