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Your First Snowboarding Turns

Well, you've mastered the Key Movements and now you'd like to be able to get down the hill without having to drop
down to change edges anymore since the falling leaf maneuver is starting to get old fast. In other words, you want to learn how to turn! Well you're in luck because here's a step-by-step guide to learning how to turn effectively.

Basic Turns

To practice your first turns, find a well-groomed and gentle slope with little traffic and plenty of room to move.

Start by positioning yourself on the toe or heel edge with your board across the hill and put your weight onto your front foot as you would during a traverse and look in the direction you wish to go as you begin to glide.

Use your feet and legs to steer the board so that you twist your front foot in the direction you wish to turn while your rear foot pushes away from that direction. Make sure your movements are smooth and gradual.

As your angle of attack approaches the fall line, gradually roll the board over to the other edge and steer your board completely across the hill while maintaining your balance and controlling your speed.

Practice making turns using both the toe and heel side edges. After completing a turn, use the maneuvers you have learned (traverses, sideslips
and garlands) to find a new spot where the conditions are suitable for practicing another turn.

Linking Turns

When you are comfortable with executing basic turns on both edges, you'll be ready to link a series of turns together while descending a hill.

To link turns together, you'll have to be comfortable with rising up to an upright position and sinking down low to a flexed position again. First, practice rising and sinking on flat surfaces. Next, use the some rising and sinking motion while traversing across the hill on both edges while maintaining your speed.

You can then incorporate this into your turns. As you start, extend your body and rise up. During the middle and toward the end of your turn, flex your lower body. Continuing traversing while flexed and rise up again to begin a new turn.

By rising before the beginning of a turn, the amount of weight on a board is reduced making it easier to steer and to move into your next turn. Repeat the cycle of rise, turn, flex and finish over and over again through a series of linked turns.

Initially, perform these turns in a rhythmic fashion as you make one turn after the other. Once you are comfortable with this, try deliberately changing the rhythm of your turns by increasing or decreasing the length of each turn randomly or according to the trail. Doing this will give you greater control, allowing you to turn whenever you need to.

Explore Trails

Once you are able to link turns confidently, take your new found skills to a variety of green-circle (beginner) and blue-square (intermediate) trails to experience varying terrains and conditions while experimenting with turns of different sizes and speed.

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