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Snowboarding Maneuvers For Beginners

Here are some basic snowboarding maneuvers for beginners. You should practice these on a gentle slope with your front foot strapped in
but with your rear foot free. This is to help you to quickly regain your balance by stepping off the board when you're about to fall while saving you the time and energy needed to constantly re-strap your rear bindings.

Edging

While snowboarding, you'll be spending most of your time literally on the edge. One of the most important skills beginners must learn is how to balance the board while on its edges.

To practice toe-side edging, place your rear foot on the stomp pad, move your body over the toe edge, bend your knees and rise up on your toes while tilting the board on its toe edge. Hold the board on its edge for a few seconds, gradually increasing the duration with each attempt.

Repeat with the heel-side edge of the board. Bend your knees and move your body over the heel side edge. Pull your toes up and push your lower legs against the highbacks of your bindings.

Skating

When you are stationary on a flat surface with your front foot attached to your snowboard, you'll have to move around by skating. This is what snowboarders do to move toward the chairlifts.

To skate, put your weight on your front foot and push with your free foot. Practice toe-side and heel-side skating by slightly tilting your board on its respective edges as you push. Also practice gliding by placing your free rear foot onto the stomp pad after pushing off.

First Descent

Well, all of that must have been rather mundane and unexciting but you're finally ready to actually glide downward. First, find a gentle slope for beginners with hopefully
Snowboarding
very little traffic and with a long flat runout at the bottom.

At the top of the slope, when you're ready to go, transfer your weight to your front foot and place your rear foot onto the stomp pad. Relax and maintain your balance while looking ahead or in the direction you want to go as you start to glide forward. Continue your descent until you stop naturally on the flat runout. Climb up the slope again and repeat this fun little exercise until you feel comfortable with balancing yourself.

Stopping

Since not all slopes and trails conveniently end in a nice and flat runout, it's time to learn how to stop. You do this by turning either onto your toe-side or heel-side edge.

To stop with a toe-side turn while you are on your descent, steer by twisting your front foot and pushing with your rear foot so that your board turns in an arc with its tail following its tip. As you turn, look in the direction you wish to go and tilt the board so that it remains on its toe edge until the board decelerates and comes to a stop with the board across the fall line. To execute this maneuver, natural riders will be turning right while goofy riders will turn left.

Once you can stop with a toe-side turn, practice stopping with a heel-side turn. The principles will be the same except that you will be turning in the opposite direction and stopping with the heel edge of the board across the hill. You may find this a little tricky to perform at first but it will get much easier later when you have your rear foot strapped in.

Basic Traversing

Traversing means descending across the slope of the hill through the use of proper edging as opposed to gliding straight down. It is an important skill snowboarding beginners should learn as you will use it in the future to negotiate steep slopes. By adjusting your angle of descent (or attack as they like to call it) you can control how fast or slow you move.

First, practice traversing the hill on the toe edge of your board with your back facing toward the fall line, your rear foot slightly uphill and your front foot pointing in the direction you wish to move. When you reach the far side of the trail, step off your board and position yourself and your board to repeat the maneuver on the heel edge of your board.

Keep Practicing

It's important that snowboarding beginners continue practicing the skills above until they feel confident in being able to execute them comfortably. On average, this shouldn't take you more than two hours before you're ready to finally head up the lifts and strap your rear foot in.

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