In Your First Turns, we covered the basics of performing
turns on the snowboard. After you've performed the basic turning maneuver
for awhile, you might find the noise and sloppiness inherent in skidded turns
may not quite be to your more refined taste.
This is where carved turns come in to the picture. Carving with a snowboard
is an advanced art form which takes time to master so make sure you are
proficient with basic skidded turns first before attempting to carve.
The idea behind carving is that by tipping the board
on its edge sufficiently, you can exploit your board's sidecut and
flex to provide the turning power while you control the edging and weight
Traversing Without Skidding
The first step towards carving is to practice traversing
on both toe-side and heel-side edges with the board rocked up higher
on its edge and your knees and ankles flexed more. Hold the board
on its edge as it rails across the slope without skidding.
Once you are comfortable with traversing on your edge without skidding,
turn the board slightly down the hill and carve your way back up
the hill while remaining on its edge. Do this by ensuring that
the tip and tail of your board pass through the same point in
the snow so that the board's sidecut causes it to turn.
Examine the track you have created in the snow. If it is a thin line
which has sliced through the snow, then you've got it right. If
it is a messy and sloppy track caused by too much skidding, then
you'll need to keep working on it.
As you gain in confidence, increase the angle with which you point
your board down the fall line until you can eventually point it
straight down and carve back up. Keep practicing until you
can confidently carve on both edges. Experiment with different
degrees of edging where you'll find that tilting your board higher
will give you a sharper turn.
Linking Carved Turns
Now you'll be ready to link carved turns. Once you have
carved your way back up, roll your board onto its downhill edge.
Yes, it's downhill edge. In most cases, this would cause a wipeout
but with carving,
the board's sidecut will pull you into a carved turn. To link
turns smoothly together, adjust the amount you turn up the slope
and use the shape of the turn to control your speed.
As always, practice on progressively steeper slopes as your confidence
and ability increases. With higher speeds, make sure you that you
are in an open area away from any obstacles or peoples who may
get in your way while you are carving.