How to Slow Down When Snowboarding

How to Slow Down When Snowboarding
The fact that all the basics of snowboarding come down to the same motions is both a blessing and a curse. Turning, stopping, slowing down and maneuvering around obstacles are all accomplished by the same simple motion of carving. When you have no idea how to carve, this makes maneuvering a snowboard a bit difficult. However, once you have learned and practiced carving, you'll be able to approach the mountain with confidence, turning and slowing down whenever you need.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Step 1
Start from a complete stop. When you are first learning how to snowboard, you will start with your board perpendicular to the slope. This is the stopped position and to stop you'll have to return to this position. Depending upon your comfort level, you may prefer to stop on your heel side edge, facing down the mountain, or on your toe side edge, facing up the mountain. Eventually, you'll become comfortable with both, but its normal for a beginner to have a natural preference for one over the other.
Step 2
In order to ride the mountain, you'll want to shift your weight so that the board slowly turns and points down the slope. The further the board is pointed, the faster you'll go. Having the board parallel to the fall line will provide the most speed possible. When beginning, practice shifting weight onto the front foot, allow yourself to gain a bit of speed, then shift the weight to your back foot and you will slow down and come back into a stopped position. You can then try shifting weight and moving in the direction of your back foot. Slowly practice shifting your weight in this way and move from side to side in a "falling leaf." This isn't exactly the high-speed, adrenaline-induced snowboarding you were dreaming of, but it is essential toward getting you comfortable with riding and proficient at slowing down and stopping.
Step 3
Eventually you'll want to be able to make an s-shaped motion through the snow. This is basic carving using linked turns and is the building block of snowboard control. To do this, you need to keep your knees bent and use your ankles to slowly lean from your toe edge to your heel edge. Initiate the carve with your feet and allow your hips to gently guide you further into the carve.
Step 4
Apply more pressure to slowdown and stop. As you apply pressure to one edge, the board will move in the direction of that edge. The more pressure that you apply the further the board will move in that direction, eventually moving all the way into stopped position. If for some reason you need to come to a rapid stop, you can move your hips more drastically and kick your back leg out to come to the stopped position.
Step 5
To maintain a slow speed throughout the entire slope, you'll be making wide carves. The wider the carve, the slower you'll go. Slowly put pressure on your toe side edge and ride to one side of the slope, then gradually move the pressure to the heel side, make a wide turn and ride to the other side. You can continue this wide carving motion to maintain a slow, steady ride down the length of the slope. However, be sure to practice this on beginner slopes to prevent cutting anyone off who is going faster than you. The more comfortable that you get with carving, the tighter the carves you'll be making and the faster you'll be going. You can always slow down or stop by putting enough pressure on one of the edges so that the board will carve wider and cut across the slope more drastically.

Tips & Warnings

 
If you're having trouble with snowboarding basics, consider taking a lesson. If you are experiencing trouble slowing down or stopping in time to avoid a crash, sometimes it's best to fall down.
 
If you're having trouble with snowboarding basics, consider taking a lesson.
 
If you are experiencing trouble slowing down or stopping in time to avoid a crash, sometimes it's best to fall down.
 
Controlling your speed is a basic rule on the slopes. Practice gaining control before you practice gaining speed. Those in front of you have the right of way so learning to slow down and maneuver around them is essential toward safe, appropriate riding.
 
Controlling your speed is a basic rule on the slopes. Practice gaining control before you practice gaining speed.
 
Those in front of you have the right of way so learning to slow down and maneuver around them is essential toward safe, appropriate riding.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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