How to Carve When Snowboarding
Before learning to carve, snowboarding is really just an act of precarious balance that is going to end in a fall. Carving is a correct snowboard form and is the basis for all the snowboarding you'll do from green circle to double black diamond. Learning to carve might not be as exciting as dropping a 1080 or hucking a 50-footer, but it's far more important.
Begin from the stopped position. Your board should be cutting perpendicular to the fall line with you facing up the slope or down the slope (whatever is most comfortable).
Shift some weight. If you're facing downhill, you're leaning on your heel edge. If you're facing uphill, you're leaning on your toe edge. To begin moving, slowly take the pressure off the edge and put a little weight on your front foot. The board will begin to turn and move down the slope.
Allow the board to turn until it's pointed down the hill. Keep your knees bent and shoulders parallel with the board as you begin to gain some speed.
To carve toe side and move in the direction you're facing, bend your ankles slightly so your toes press your toe edge into the snow.
Guide the carve by leaning your front knee inward slightly and slowly swaying your front hip fluidly into the direction of the carve. To slow down or carve wider, apply more pressure gradually onto the edge and guide through with your knees and hips. You could kick out your rear foot to spin the board around for a rapid stop.
Slowly ride toward the side of the slope on your toe-side edge. When you get to the point you want to turn, slowly lift your toes and your toe edge will lift off the snow. Allow the board to slowly turn and place pressure on your heels, digging the heel edge into the snow slightly.
Let the carve flow through your front knee and hip by rotating slowly outward in the direction of the heel-side carve.
Just like with toe-side carving, use additional heel pressure to carve more dramatically or to stop. Add motion from your hips and rear leg to stop more quickly.
Tips & Warnings
Visualizing snowboarding can be difficult, and learning is best done in person. Consider taking a lesson if you experience trouble.
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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