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Snowboarding Key Movements

Now that you're comfortable with the maneuvers you practiced in Maneuvers For Beginners and are able to balance yourself while steering your board,
it's time to head up the lifts! Strap your rear foot in (yes, finally) and with both feet attached to your board, work on the moves below. These are key maneuvers which you must master before you can progress any further.


Start with a toe-side traverse. Place your board across the fall line and get into a kneeling position with your body uphill from your board. Push yourself up to a standing position and balance on your toe edge. Now start your traverse by looking in the direction you wish to move (left for natural, right for goofy) and putting some weight onto your front foot.

Maintain your balance and steer the board so that you move across and slightly down the hill. Start with a small angle of attack and gradually increase this as you gain in confidence. To stop, push downward with your rear foot so that the board is across the hill and tilt the board higher on its edge.

Once you are completely across the hill at the end of the trail, kneel down and roll over so that you can stand on your heel edge. Again, look in the direction you will move, shift your weight to your front foot, and traverse to the other side of the hill on your heel edge.


Sideslipping involves skidding down the hill on the uphill edge of your board. Being proficient with this skill will allow you to descend virtually any slope regardless of how steep it is.

As usual, we'll start with the toe edge. Keep your board balanced across the hill on your toe edge. Make sure that your weight is distributed evenly across your board. Tilt the board slightly downward to reduce the amount of edging and you should begin to skid downward following the fall line. Tilt the board up again to bring your board to a stop.

Once you can consistently control the speed of your sideslips on the toe edge, repeat the exercise on your heel edge.

Falling Leaf

Falling leaf refers to the process of descending the slope while traversing forward and backward (fakie) on the same edge. Yes, that's right, you'll
no longer have to drop down to flip your board over so you can traverse to the other side of the hill.

To do this, just traverse as you normally would on your toe or heel edge. When you get to the end of the trail, stay on the same edge, look over to the opposite direction and place some weight onto your rear foot so that the tail of your board is now slightly down the hill.

You should now start moving backward on your board in the other direction. To slow down or stop, push down with your front foot so that the board is across the hill again. Once you are at the end of the other side of the trail, simply traverse forward again on the same edge. You can keep doing this until you reach the bottom of the hill.

Garland / Half Turns

Garland turns are partial turns which do not involve a change of edge. They are used to allow you to get accustomed to making small turns before you progress to full turns.

On your toe edge, steer the tip of your board down the hill, more than you would while traversing but not straight down. As you begin to move downward, steer your board up the hill again so that you slow to a stop.

Keep making a series of partial turns on your toe edge until you reach the end of the trail. Now, of course, you'll make partial turns on your heel edge to get to the other side. You knew that was coming, didn't you?


Garland turns help you master the start of a turn while traversing and sideslipping are encountered during the middle or end of the turn respectively. By mastering these techniques, you'll find making complete full turns that much easier.

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