Tag Archives: boarding

Snowboarding: Slush

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It’s important to remember that you won’t be riding with perfect snow conditions every time you head up to the mountain. There will be times of fresh powder, hard ice, and slush. You need to prepare yourself for riding in any kind of weather, because each snow condition feels different and requires different techniques.

When you happen to hit a slushy part of the run, it’s easy to catch an edge. You’ll be carving down the mountain like normal, and then suddenly your board will slide out in a weird direction. If this has happened to you before, then you probably hit some slush. This happens because the soft snow makes your edge dig in deeper, so when you sink deeper into the snow your snow boot has  a higher chance of coming in contact with the snow. In order to prevent this, you want to keep your eyes peeled for parts of the run that might be slushy. You can spot slushy spots by looking for loose snow that has a clear smokey look. If you happen to go across a slushy spot, you want to keep your edge angle low and dig in less. I recommend trying to straight glide across it and look for the nearest groomed terrain.

On warm days the whole mountain can be filled with soft, slushy snow. If this happens you can use skidded turns to ride your way down the mountain. I’ve seen experienced riders wipe out at the end of runs because they weren’t aware of the slush in front of them. Use this as a reminder to take it slow at the bottom of  runs near the lift entrance, because this is wear it tends to get slushy. At the bottom of runs, riders tend to put on the brakes to enter the slow zone for the lift, so the snow loosens up rather quickly and turns to slush.

The snow tends to soften up and turn to slush during the afternoon as well, because this is when the sun is at full strength. The hot sun will loosen up the snow and it will turn to slush. The snow may be nice and compact during the morning, but during the afternoon it may get soft and slushy. With the right techniques and awareness you’ll stay on your feet and won’t look silly falling from the slush in front of everybody at the lift.

Final Note: Check back here for more snowboarding!

Snowboarding: Riding Steeps

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Riding steep terrain can look scary to beginners, but once you get the right technique’s down it all becomes a breeze. The trick to riding steeps is building up your confidence. Riders who are new to riding steep terrain tend to sit back and do side slips on their heel edge till they reach easier terrain. To effectively ride steep terrain riders need to be using agile pivot turns with an athletic stance. These pivot turns will allow you to control your speed and make you look stylish.

The hard part about learning to ride steep terrain is getting your posture right and controlling your speed. You need to use the same exact posture you use on easier terrain, but new riders tend to send back on their boards. Doing this causes your board to fight with the mountain. In stead of side slipping your way down the steep terrain, you should be using quick pivot turns to gradually make your way down the mountain. When using pivot turns on steep terrain, you should be light as you initiate the turn and heavy when you finish it. Imagine lifting your back leg up and pushing it out, and then digging it back in.  When you first start hitting steeper terrain, you’ll feel yourself picking up speed a lot faster. The best way to make it down steep terrain without picking up rapid speed is to make agile pivot turns.

If you feel scared to start doing pivot turns right away on steeps, then try doing skidded turns with a slight side slip in  between. When you feel more comfortable making skidded turns down the mountain, then start to gradually reduce the side slip in between turns. These skidded turns should adequately prepare you for making pivot turns down the steep terrain.

Remember to keep an athletic body stance, control your momentum, and enjoy getting down the mountain.

Final Note: Check back here for more snowboarding!

Snowboard Park: Board Slide

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After you master doing 50-50’s on a box, you can then begin doing board slides. Board slides are the best, because their super easy and you get bonus points for style. If your looking to impress a friend, I recommend that you learn to board slide a box.

It’s a simple trick, all you do is pop off the jump, do a sideways turns, land on the box, and then simply slide off. Make sure you dig your edge in a little, and that’s basically all there is to it. You can even practice this in your backyard. Lay your snowboard on the grass and practice popping up with your feet strapped in. Find something like a broom stick with a thin handle and practice popping onto it with a sideways turn. Practice the motions, then go up on the mountain and give it a shot. You may fall a couple times, but eventually you will land it. It’s a great feeling when you finally land a perfect board slide for your first time. BackyardJuly2820120731-064641cfb_5741

I would recommend that you start practicing hitting the box as straight as possible. When you move on to rails, it becomes crucial to have your approach with the rail spot on. There’s little room for error when you start hitting thinner rails. Make sure you can pop straight on the box every time before you move onto harder rails.

Final Note: Check back here, where I’ll teach you more about hitting park terrain!

Snowboard Tricks: Front-side 180

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Doing 180’s is probably one of the best parts about snowboarding. It not only adds to your repertoire for snowboarding, but it also introduces you to a whole new field of snowboarding. After you master hitting jumps, you’ll probably want to add some 180’s, 360’s or even a grab to your jump.

Snowboarding tricks are extremely hard to learn, because you can’t just go up and practice them all day. When you fall trying to land a new trick, it can put an end to your whole day. The most dangerous part about snowboarding is trying to land big tricks. It may say seem easy to land these tricks when your watching the winter X-games on TV, but it’s a whole new ball park when you try to do it in person.

The 180 will add some style to your snowboarding and it’s extremely basic. It will also prepare you for bigger spins and learning harder tricks. The 180 is a continuation of my previous post of learning how to hit your first jump. A 180 is basically popping with your board off a jump, and doing a half rotation. The hard part about 180’s is that you’ll land switch. This means that you’ll be riding regular when you go off the jump, but land goofy. This is what makes doing tricks difficult. If you can’t ride switch, I recommend that you hold off on doing tricks for right now.

The best way to practice doing 180’s is to basically do step 6: garlands, but this time do a complete turn when you turn up the mountain. Ride down the mountain regular footed, turn up the mountain, and then do a complete turn. When you complete the turn you should be riding goofy. This will help you to know what’s is like to spin and then ride off in the opposite stance to what you’re comfortable with. After you feel comfortable doing this, ride down the mountain, and when you go to turn up mountain add a pop. This will help you to know what it feels like to pop and then ride away switch.

After you mastered the beginning steps, you can now practice doing front-side 180’s on your snowboard. Get on a flat surface of snow, strap in, and then popping  while spinning. You should be able to get a general idea of the motion you need to do when your moving with more momentum. Find a small jump and do some straight airs to get comfortable going off this particular jump. Once you feel comfortable going off the jump, you can then try doing a 180 off the jump. Start by getting low, turning your board onto it’s toe side edge, and popping with a 180. When you land keep your head downhill and focus on getting your board straight. Make sure you DO NOT land sideways on your edge or you will be seriously hurting. When you go do to any trick it’s important that you always fully commit, because if you bail out on a simple 180 you will do a 90 degree turn and end up hurting yourself.

The video below brought you by the SnowProfessor will demonstrate how to do a proper 180 and give you helpful tips so you don’t hurt yourself.

Final Note: Check back here, where I’ll teach you how to do more snowboarding tricks!

First Run at Northstar With My Bro

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Here’s a short video of me and my brother doing our first snowboarding run at Northstar. We are both using GoPro cameras, so that’s why I go from first person to third person view in the video. I tried to show you what it’s like to snowboard from my point of view, and then from my brothers point of view as well.

I tried to show you the instructional steps in the video, but the sound came out muffled because I didn’t know where the microphone was located. I start off the video by showing you how to ride the chairlift up the mountain, and then get off. I then go on to show you how to plant your foot, do a straight glide, and then a simple J-turn to complete the process. After I get off the chairlift, I skate and step to the bench to sit down and strap in. I was considering showing you the ways of learning how to turn down the mountain, but we didn’t have enough time. You will always have to do the fundamentals of snowboarding, but after you master going down the mountain you tend to go straight into linking turns. If you are not at this step, don’t try to rush yourself. Get a solid foundation on doing the  fundamentals of snowboarding first, then turning and linking turns will come along more quickly. If you rush, then you will have a harder time learning how to snowboard because you will be falling a lot more. Take it slow and snowboarding will simply come to you. There will be an, “Ah-Ha” moment where everything will begin to click.

My older brother and I have been snowboarding pretty much all our lives. He’s 10 years older than me and helped me learn the proper way to snowboard. It’s great to have somebody around who can instruct you on what you’re doing wrong, but sometimes people don’t have the money to do this. It takes longer to learn how to snowboard from watching videos and reading up on the sport online, but it can be done. I’m in the process of teaching myself how to do park, because i don’t want to pay an instructor to teach me. I’ve been hitting the progression park quite a bit at Northstar this season to add to my repertoire for snowboarding. I still can’t do tricks or big rails, but I’ve watching YouTube videos to learn and I’ve been practicing what I learn every time I go up to the mountain.

I hope my blog will encourage you to read through the steps, and then eventually go up and give snowboarding a shot at least once. Enjoy!

Final Note: Check back here, where I’ll tell you more about my snowboarding adventures! The song is Mac Miller – Loud