Step 8: Linking Turns

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After you master C-Turns, this next lesson will be our last. Linking turns is the last step in learning how to snowboard. I will be making more posts about by snowboarding trips and adventures, so don’t think this will be my very last post.

By linking turns you can now make your way all the way down the mountain. When you hear the term, “linking turns” you can simply think of it as back to back C-turns. You will make a C-turn on your front edge and then link it back into a C-turn on your heel edge. The hard part about linking turns is having the courage to go from one edge to the other edge within a short time frame. You know the steps and how to make these proper turns, so now it’s all up to you to fully commit in linking these turns.

The most important part about linking turns, is to slowly practice doing C-turns on both of your edges. Once you feel completely comfortable making C-turns on both edges, you can then  begin practicing going from one edge to the other edge. Every time you try to link turns, shorten the amount of time it takes to go from one edge to the other. Any easy way to practice linking turns is to get on a flat surface of snow and have a friend push you from behind. As you slowly move through the snow, apply pressure to your front toes and then quickly apply pressure back on to your heels. This will help you to know how much pressure to apply on your toes and heels when linking turns on steeper terrain.

Once you shorten the amount of time it takes you to link turns, you can look up the mountain and see that you’ve made an “S” in the snow. This will indicate that you have mastered all the fundamentals of snowboarding. It’s all down hill from here, keep practicing, and soon you will be bombing down the mountain like a professional.

The video below, brought to you by the SnowProfessor will demonstrate how to link turns and the common mistakes made in learning this final step.

Final note: Check back here, where I’ll tell you more about my snowboarding adventures and teach how to do 180’s and hit jumps.

Step 7: C-Turns

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After you master Garlands, the next snowboarding lesson I will be teaching you are C-turns. If you remember doing J-turns earlier, then you have made it to the more advanced turns for snowboarding. If you’re one of those people who skipped ahead, go back, and start from step 1. If you skip ahead in snowboarding you’ll probably end up hurting yourself by using improper techniques.

The most important part about C-turns and any other kind of turn is proper balance. You will need to have an athletic stance when doing all of your turns for snowboarding. You will also need to know how much pressure to put on your toes and heels. An athletic stance means having your head turned down hill, shoulders parallel with your snowboard, body weight center with the board, knees bent, and your feet ready to shred.

When doing a C-turn on your toe side, you will bend your knees and then apply pressure to your toes on your front foot first. Then you apply pressure to your toes on your back foot. When applying pressure, you need to make sure that you apply gradual pressure because if you apply too much then you will fall. You can practice applying pressure to your toes by leaning against a fence or a friend and tilting your board on its edge by applying pressure to both feet.

When doing a C-turn on your  heel side edge, you will do the same process of using an athletic stance and bending your knees. Except this time you will apply pressure to your heel on your back foot first, then you will apply pressure to the heel of your front foot, and then gently push your front knee out in the direction you want to go.

The video below brought to you by the SnowProfessor will demonstrate how to do a C-turn properly with the correct stance.

Final Note: Check back here, where I’ll teach you how to link turns.

Step 6: Garlands

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After you master starting, stopping, and getting up. The next snowboarding lesson I will be teaching you are garlands. You may be asking yourself, what the heck are garlands? Garlands are basically simple turns that will take you take down the mountain a short distance and then turn you back up the mountain. Garlands are very simple, so they can easily be forgotten by snowboard instructors. It’s important to practice garlands first, so you know how to slide down the mountain with full control. They also help you learn how much pressure you need to put on your toes and on your heels while turning.

Your snowboard is designed to twist from side to side. This twisting allows your board to turn in different directions by applying pressure with your feet. Sometimes you’ll apply more pressure to one foot and less pressure on the other foot. Get on a flat surface of snow and practice twisting your snowboard. Apply pressure to one foot and pull up on the other foot. This will help you get the feel of how your board will twist when you apply pressure.

Start by doing a “traverse”, where we slide across the mountain. Slide across the mountain a short distance on your heel side edge. Apply gradual pressure to your front foot ONLY and you should feel your board start to turn down hill. Switch pressure back onto your heels and you should turn back into a traverse. Practice applying pressure to your front foot and sliding down the hill, then dig your heel edge in, and you’ll go back up hill. You’re basically making diagonal  waves in the snow when doing garlands. Practice this same technique on your toe side edge until you feel comfortable with both edges.

The video below brought to you by the SnowProfessor will show you a great demonstration of doing garlands if you’re confused!

Final Note: Check back here, where I’ll teach you how to do C-Turns!

Step 5: Starting, Stopping, & Getting Up

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Once you’ve mastered riding the chairlift, this next snowboarding lesson will lay the foundation for  riding a snowboard. There are multiple fundamentals you need to learn before you become an advanced snowboarder, but the most important one’s are: starting, stopping, and getting up.

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These 3 fundamentals lay the foundation for you to actually begin riding your snowboard properly. After you ride the chairlift up the mountain and you’ve strapped in your other binding. You’ll want to practice getting up from off the ground. There are several ways to do this, but my favorite way is the pommel horse. The video below brought to you buy the SnowProfessor will demonstrate several different ways of getting up.

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After you find the best way to of getting up, the next lesson is stopping. Learning to stop properly lays the foundation of staying in control. If you can’t stop, then you’ll end up sliding down the mountain out of control. This can lead to possible injuries to yourself and to others. Practice sliding down the hill on your heel edge first. Add equal pressure to both of your heels and you should feel the front edge  tip up and your back edge dig in. Add lots of pressure to stop and  reduce the pressure slightly to slide on your heel edge faster. Also try stopping on your toe side edge as well. This is the same process of applying pressure to both feet, except this time you will put pressure on your toes. Put lots of pressure on your toes and your front edge will dig in and make you stop. Slide down the mountain until you feel comfortable with both edges. Most people prefer stopping with their heel side edge because you  can see in front of you.

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After you master stopping, the last fundamental is learning how to start. Start by sliding down on your heel side edge a short distance and then ride across the mountain. Do not trying riding down the mountain yet because you will lose control and end up falling. What you want to practice is what we call a “traverse”, which means you travel across the ski slope without actually going down it. Practice a traverse by sliding across the mountain on your toe side edge and then on your heel side edge. The SnowProfesor will demonstrate how to do a traverse and give you great tips on stopping and getting up.

Final Note: Check back here, where I’ll teach you garlands

Step 4: Riding the Chairlift!

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After you master J-turns, it’s time to go further up the hill and practice harder turns. For most beginners, learning to ride the chairlift is probably the scariest part. It’s actually quite easy after you master skating, stepping, straight gliding, and J-turns. You’ll be using all of these previous techniques to get on and off the chairlift.

After you strap on your binding, skate and step through the line towards the chairlift. There will probably be an employee there who will scan your lift ticket. After they scan you in, ride up a little bit further and wait till it’s your turn to get on the chairlift. Find a chairlift for 4 people and try to ride it with a single friend. Practice getting on the chairlift with other people, because most of the time you won’t be riding up the mountain by yourself. Having another person will also help you practice the hardest part of riding the chairlift, getting off.

Siting down and riding the chairlift is easy. All you have to do is stand up from your computer  turn your body sideways, plant your back foot, and sit down in a chair. Then you take a nice scenic ride up to mid mountain, but before you can practice your new turns. You have to get off the chairlift. The reason getting off is the hardest part is because you usually have 4 people crammed on a single chairlift. Then you have people with skis and people with snowboards getting tangled up with one another. Then you have to slide down an icy hill with only one foot strapped in. All while watching out for people who may be going left, when your going right. Don’t forget to plant your foot on your grip, so you don’t slip and do the splits! 

The easiest way to get off the chairlift is to go slow and let everybody get off in front of you. Then place your foot on your grip, straight glide a short distance, make a J-turn and then your at the top of mid mountain. Sit down, strap in your other foot, and get ready to enjoy the ride!

The Snowprofessor will give you a great demonstration on riding the chairlift and give you a perfect example of how to get off the chairlift and what to do if you fall down.

Final Note: Check back here where I’ll teach starting, stopping, and getting up!

Step 3: J-Turns

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After you master straight gliding, the next lesson on learning how to snowboard are J-Turns. This type of turn is essentially a straight glide with a simple turn at the end.  The purpose of a J-turn is to help you realize what it feels like to turn on a snowboard with your heel side edge and your toe side edge. It also helps you to realize how much pressure you need to put on your toes and your heels, so you don’t put too much pressure and end up falling down.

Step back up to the same run you were using to the straight glide and strap in your front foot into the bind and leave your other foot on your grip. Begin with a toe edge J-Turn and start sliding down the hill with a routine straight glide. This time when your about to reach the bottom of the hill, apply gradual pressure to your front toes and you should feel the board dig into the snow and you should start to turn. When you complete this process you should be facing up towards the top of the mountain

Once you feel comfortable doing J-Turns on your toe side edge, switch to your heel side edge. It’s the same process of straight gliding, but this time you should apply gradual pressure to your heels or lift up off your toes. You should feel the board dig in and gradually turn like before. When you complete this process you should still be facing downhill.

The important part of J-turns is to keep an athletic stance and gradually bend your knees in the direction you want to go. You don’t want to use your arms or try to swing your hips in order to turn the board. It’s all about applying the right pressure to your toes or heels. J-Turns lay the foundation for learning how to turn on a snowboard and it’s important to the master J-Turns in order to perform more advanced turns. Snowboarding is an evolving process where each step builds on the previous steps. If you skip steps when learning how to snowboard  then you could severely injure yourself and delay your overall progress.

The Snowporessor will demonstrate how to adequately perform J-turns and give you great tips on maintaining  posture and what not to do while doing J-Turns.

Note: Check back here, where I’ll show you how to ride the chairlift!