Snowboard Turning Techniques

Snowboard Turning Techniques
Stopping, turning and carving on a snowboard are all performed using the same basic technique: applying varying amounts of pressure onto the toe or heel edge. This is good and bad for the beginner. To begin with, you'll have trouble doing anything right. On the flip side, once you learn to use your edges you'll be on your way to picking up the essential skills.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Snowboard boots Bindings Snowboard
  • Snowboard boots
  • Bindings
  • Snowboard
Step 1
Start on a gentle slope or bunny hill. The best place to learn is on the smallest hill you can find.
Step 2
Strap your boots in and get the board into position so that it is pointed directly down the hill. You can either do this while sitting down or standing up on the board, depending on what is easiest for you.
Step 3
To begin forward motion, simply stand on the board and allow it to go. Keep your knees bent and center your weight on the board. Keep your shoulders parallel to the board and look directly ahead.
Step 4
Immediately put pressure on one edge or the other. Don't allow the board to remain flat for too long or you'll have trouble controlling it. Follow step 5 or 6 depending on which edge you intend to use.
Step 5
Turn toward your toe-side edge by gently pushing the edge into the snow with your toes. Initiate with your front foot, pressing the edge into the snow with your toes. Then allow your rear foot to follow through pushing the edge. The board will begin to move in that direction. Apply additional pressure to turn further and eventually you'll pull the board to a stopped position. Don't lean your upper body forward, but allow your feet and legs to guide the board.
Step 6
Turn using your heel edge. To turn in this direction, lean your ankles back slightly so that your heel pressure pushes the edge into the snow. Begin with the front foot, lift your toes and apply pressure with your heel. Follow through with the rear foot, applying further pressure. The more pressure you apply the further you'll turn. Again, keep your body weight centered and rely on your feet.
Step 7
Practice each turn individually. Get comfortable with both the heel-side and toe-side turns and stops. Eventually, you'll be linking the turns to transfer seamlessly from toe to heel edge, but at first focus on each separately. Try getting enough control so that you can turn the board around corners and aim it where you want to go.
Step 8
Shorten the turns. For a quicker, shorter turn, throw your lower body into it. On a toe-side turn, apply pressure to the edge, then turn your knee inward and rotate your knees and hips in the direction of the turn. Keep your shoulders parallel to the board and let your upper body slowly follow your lower body. Kick your rear foot backward to make a decisive, quick turn.
Step 9
Shorten the heel-side turn. Apply pressure to the heel edge, then rotate your front knee out and follow through with your hips and knees. Kick your rear foot forward to make an even quicker, more drastic turn.

Tips & Warnings

When first starting out snowboarding, it pays to take a lesson or two.
Snowboarding is dangerous. Wear a helmet and always ride within your ability.

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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