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