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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.