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Riding In Deep Powder

Anyone who has ever experienced the exhilaration of riding in deep powder will tell you it is the ultimate in snowboarding. Riders hooked
on the sport will invest all the time, energy and money they can afford as they travel the globe searching for fresh and untracked powder.

To truly appreciate riding in deep powder, you'll need to make a few adjustments. This is because you'll actually be riding in the snow rather than on it as you would generally do over groomed trails.

Before you dive into it, however, first make sure that you're able to link turns on groomed intermediate trails.

Finding Powder

Finding deep and untracked powder could be one of your greatest challenges simply because they don't last long. To increase your chances, get out early and head straight to the front of the chairlift line before the chairlifts actually open so that you can enjoy that first run.

Later in the day, you'll have to venture out to search for lesser-used trails. You probably won't get much help from the folks or patrons down at the resorts since they'll probably be just as keen on finding powder as you are.

Starting Out

First thing you'll need, of course, is fresh powder. Lots of it, if possible. Start with a gentle slope which ends in a nice runout. Go straight down the slope through powder at a reasonably fast speed which will allow your board to float closer to the surface of the snow while making it easier to steer.

Do not put too much weight on your front foot or you may sink the tip of your board and crash. When riding in deep powder,
keep most of your weight on your rear foot so that your board stays floating (think water-skiing). Mounting your bindings farther back on your board may be convenient if you plan to be riding in deep powder all day.

As you float through the snow, practice adding some gentle bouncing movements so that your board bounces deeper and shallower in the snow. In addition, try pulling your legs and feet up from underneath so that the board is lifted to the surface. While this will give you an indication of the snow's texture, you'll also use this technique later for turning.


Using the bounce and retraction technique you practiced earlier, initiate your turn when the board is near the surface of the snow at the top of your bounce.

Get into a rhythm of bouncing and turning so that you'll begin to link turns all the way to the bottom of the slope with little effort.

Getting Up

Getting up after a fall in deep powder may be a little tricky due to the nature of loose snow. In general, you'll probably find it easier getting up on the toe side. You may have to roll over to do this if you fall forward.

Try to keep your board over the snow surface and make sure your board is not buried in the snow. Otherwise, you may find it close to impossible to move.

Controlling Your Speed

Make sure you don't get caught stranded in flat areas of powder by looking ahead to plan your route. Maintain your speed across flat areas by pointing your board mostly down the hill. If you still find yourself slowing down, try riding in tracks created by others to lessen the resistance.

Slowing down probably isn't much of an issue in deep powder. All you'll need to do is to ride into a section of deep powder and turn.

Anticipate a change in terrain if you are moving from a groomed run to a deep powder area or vice versa and adjust your weight accordingly. The sudden deceleration or acceleration may result in you falling over or your board sliding out from underneath you.

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