How To Snowboard - By Sven Liden


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This is a presentation I put together on how to snowboard - everything from gear, getting off the chairlift, learning the basics, falling, to more advanced snowboarding.

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How To Snowboard - By Sven Liden

  1. 1. How to Snowboard By Sven Lidén
  2. 2. Overview Table of Contents Types of Riding • Finding Your Lead Foot • Equipment (Board, Boots, Bindings, Other) • Clothing • Stance & Balance • Getting Up • Skating • Getting off the Lift • How to Fall • Edging & Side-slipping • Traversing • Pendulum (Falling Leaf) • Making a Turn and “pivoting” • Linking Turns (C-turns) • Advanced Riding (linking S-turns) • Pressure Control, and “Timing and Coordination” • How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 2
  3. 3. Types of Riding Three main styles of snowboarding: • Freeriding: Riding almost any terrain, but spending most of the time on the ground rather than in the air. If you're a first-timer, this is your style. • Freestyle: Lots of tricks, spins, and time spent in the snowboard park. Usually, the boards associated with freestyling have twin tips (that is, identical nose and tail shapes) for riding forward and backward. Freestylers also spend a lot of time in the air. This is an advanced trick style, for which you'll need a trick board. • Alpine/freecarving/racing: Unlike the other styles, alpine riding is concerned with going very fast; to this end, alpine boards are much narrower and longer than other types and use a hard boot and binding system (like skis). How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 3
  4. 4. Finding Your Lead Foot Stance - Regular or Goofy - describe a rider’s stance. Neither one is better, it’s just a name - Supposedly (Disney’s) Goofy rode a skateboard with the right foot forward. Ways to figure out dominant (thus lead) foot: • The foot that stays on the ground while kicking a ball should be the leading foot. • Slide across a room. Whichever way you slide across should also be the way you stand on a snowboard. • Have someone gently push you from behind, whatever foot you put out to brace yourself “Regular” should be your leading foot. = Left foot forward “Goofy” • If none of these work, just put your left foot in = Right foot forward front. (75% of people do this anyway.) How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 4
  5. 5. Equipment I would highly recommend renting equipment until you get good • As you get better the length and style of boots, binding and board you want may change • If you buy, get boots first & rent the board so you can try different lengths and styles as you get better • Technology keeps improving, so the longer you wait to buy, the better equipment you’ll get How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 5
  6. 6. Costs Snowboarding can be expensive • Rent equipment from a local shop instead of at the mountain to avoid time delays and incorrect gear (those mountain stores often run short in equipment on crowded days, and they may try to get you to rent ill-fitting equipment). • Most shops rent a complete set up (board, boots, and bindings) for about $30-40/day (vs. $50-70/day on the mountain), and some local shops will even apply all rental charges to the eventual purchase of a new board. • If you’re going to buy equipment, buy the boots first, and rent the board and bindings. New boards range from $350-800; boots: $150-350; bindings: $130-400; complete set-ups: $600-1500+ (look for package deals). Although pricey, the snowboard market is seasonal, so shops often boast deep discounts during the summertime. You’ll also need your own snow gear (including gloves, headwear, goggles, etc.) (See “Clothing” section for more info) How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 6
  7. 7. Equipment – The Board • Usually made of a wooden core wrapped in fiberglass and encased in a plastic or fiberglass cap with metal edges • The top of the board is known as the deck while the bottom is the base. • The two most important considerations are its length and waist width Some newer boards boast features like “aluminum honeycomb cores” or “magne-traction edges”. You may also want to consider how environmentally friendly the manufacturing process is. The best way to decide whether these are worth the extra money is to demo them after you’ve been riding for a while, where you can compare two boards side by side. How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 7
  8. 8. Selecting a board size Measured in centimeters, the length of the board depends on the rider's weight, height, and riding style, while the width usually depends on the size of the rider's foot. Here's how to pick the right board: • As a rule of thumb, a board standing on end should reach between the rider's shoulder and bridge of nose. • Most adults need a board between 150 cm and 165 cm tall. • Waist width (or the width at the board's middle) is primarily a function of foot size. The bigger your feet, the wider board you'll need. Generally, the toe and heel of the boot should be flush with the edges of the snowboard. People with size 11 feet (or bigger) usually require a wide board. • Consider your weight. Smaller, lighter folk should get a shorter, flexible board (to give them some weight for control), while bigger, heavier people should get a longer, rigid board (to help them sail along the smooth powder). • Beginners should consider more flexible boards, since they offer more control (albeit less speed). • You should definitely rent a snowboard your first couple times out. That way you can experiment with different styles and feels. How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 8
  9. 9. Boots Most snowboarders' boots are known as soft boots“ (with the exception of hard- shell racing boots) When picking out boots, here's what to consider: • The most important considerations are fit and comfort. • Try the boots on with only one pair of socks (preferably the socks you intend to snowboard in). • The fit should be snug, and your heel should not rise up too much when you bend your knee forward. You should not feel any pressure points or pinching. • Make sure that your ankle feels secure. • Again, if you're a novice, just rent the boots. Sample around until you find a pair you like, and then buy those. How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 9
  10. 10. Bindings Bindings (that is, the straps) are what connect your feet to the board Your choice of boots will affect your choice of bindings and vice versa; they must complement each other: • Strap bindings: • Most freestyle and freeride snowboarders use high-back bindings with two straps to secure the boot. • Some freestylers prefer low back systems, while some freeride snowboarders prefer three straps instead of two; it's really just personal preference. • Step-in bindings are also popular. Like ski bindings, these do not rely on straps to secure the rider to the board. • While these eliminate the time and hassle of strapping in, they do require special boots and can sometimes become troublesome when snow gets jammed in them. (You need special compatible boots to use step-in bindings) • Although step-in bindings make it easier to get in and out of at the lift, you may find that they give you less control and responsiveness in advanced riding. How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 10
  11. 11. Setting your Stance Stance width: The distance between the two bindings (that is, how far apart your legs are). • Your stance width should measure about the same as the distance from the bottom of your heel to the middle of your knee. • Narrower stances allow the board to flex more easily, while wider stances give more rotational maneuverability (make spinning easier). Stance angles: The way your feet point on the board. • Your feet might be directly perpendicular to the board (standing purely sideways), or they might point slightly forward. • “Duck Stance” is with your feet pointing slightly outward. This stance makes it easier to ride in both directions (“riding switch”), but is harder to see over your shoulder in one direction. • Freestyle riders generally have wider stances (the bindings are farther apart) with their stance angles at around 0° (meaning their feet point directly across the board). • Alpine riders have narrow stances with their feet pointed towards the front of the board. How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 11
  12. 12. Clothing Most experts recommend a three-layer system to stay comfortable in changing weather. Dress for colder than predicted: • Underlayer: long underwear and polypropylene socks. This layer functions to keep you warm while wicking away all the sweat that you're going to generate picking your butt up off of the slopes. Stay away from cotton because cotton will absorb the sweat and end up keeping you colder than desired. • Insulation layer: consisting of wool or fleece sweaters for the torso and glove liners for your hands. Basically, this layer provides most of the warmth and can be easily shed if pulling all of those tricks makes you too hot. • Outerlayer: to protect you from the elements. The key adjective for this layer, consisting of a jacket (a “shell”) and snowboard pants, is waterproof. Nothing is more miserable than being wet while trying to navigate down a steep glacier. Also, material for this layer should be made of rugged, tough, breathable fabric and should be baggy enough to allow for movement. • Although costly, Gore-Tex is currently the best outerlayer material on the market. • Material like denim should be avoided at all costs. • Bibs are nice for snowboarding (vs. pants) because you’re less likely to get snow down them when you’re sitting on the ground (which you’ll do a lot starting out) How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 12
  13. 13. Additional Gear Other stuff you’re going to need: • Waterproof gloves or mittens, which should also be rugged, breathable, and tough • Mittens are better than fingered gloves for snowboarding because your hands get colder (they’re in the snow a lot, especially when you’re starting out). Get ones with removable inner gloves/liners so you can take the shell on and off easily to put on your bindings at the top of the lift. • Hat or helmet to retain heat that can be lost through your head • I’d definitely recommend a helmet (vs. hat) – they’re way safer, and they keep your head warm • Goggles or sunglasses • Hint: Once you put them on, don’t take off your goggles, or they’ll get snow inside. And don’t wipe out the inside – it has a protective coating that will get rubbed off. Shake the snow out or let them air dry inside if they get wet. • Sunblock and chapstick • Some beginners also like to wear wrist guards under their gloves • A snowboard lock to lock up your board when you go inside How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 13
  14. 14. Stance & Balance The Balanced Body Position (BBP) is the basic athletic stance for snowboarding: • Maintain a tall relaxed position (torso upright) • Ankles, knees and hip joints slightly flexed • Arms out and loose for balance – keep them over the tip & tail of the board • Head and eyes facing the direction of travel • Body weight distributed evenly between both feet (equal pressure on both feet until you want to move) This is critical to get better at snowboarding (at all levels) You can practice by standing on your board on a VERY gentle hill with your bindings unbuckled. (See “Skating”) How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 14
  15. 15. Getting Up Off your Heel Side (tougher): • Get your weight over the board • Use your back hand to push off the snow • Bend your knees & ankles • Move your body over the bindings and stand up Off your Toe Side (easier): • Bend your knees & ankles • Move your weight over the board • Push off the snow with your hands & stand up Tips: • Make sure the board is perpendicular to the fall line otherwise you’ll start moving down the slope before you’re balanced • You can always flip over to the side that’s easier for you How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 15
  16. 16. Skating Find a tiny slope to practice, like a the bottom of a hill you can walk up easily • Put your front foot in the binding • Walk around by pushing with your free foot • Try to push in front and behind the snowboard • When you start moving place your free foot between the bindings • Stay centered in balanced body position while skating • Use your free foot when you want to stop Tip: This will also help you get off the lifts. How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 16
  17. 17. Getting off the Lift To get on the lift: • Make sure you remove your back foot from its binding & slide with your front foot. • Look over your shoulder at the approaching chair, and slow its motion with your hands as you sit down. Chairlifts are notorious for banging people in the back of the knees. To get off the lift: Bad! (Leaning backwards) • Prepare to unload by turning your body a bit so that your board points straight in he direction of travel. • Lean forward and stand up soon after the board comes in contact with the snow • Don’t worry about moving too fast – the BIGGEST MISTAKE people make in getting off a lift is LEANING BACKWARDS to slow down. • Stay in a balanced position until you glide to a rest Good! (Balanced Body Position) How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 17
  18. 18. How to Fall Most snowboard instructors don’t want to tell you how to fall because of liability reasons. But here are some tips if you know you’re about to fall: Forward: • • Don’t fall on your wrists, but on your lower arm • If you’re going fast you can often tuck and roll to lessen the impact • Make sure you have good gloves for wrist protection Backwards: • • Roll onto your back • Tuck your chin into your chest • Keep your hands under your knees (don’t brake with your hands) Tips: • • Spread the impact out by sliding or rolling like a ball • Make yourself as small and compact as possible (pull your knees up!) The hardest falls people take (especially beginners) is when they are getting tired, and are afraid of going too fast: They’ll turn their board perpendicular to the hill to slow down, and catch the entire edge of the board at once, flipping them over. When you’re first learning (sideslipping) down the hill, keep your toes (or heels) up, don’t let them get • lazy. As a more advanced boarder, you should always make sure you are doing complete turns, and don’t ride • down the hill sideways. How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 18
  19. 19. Edging & Side-slipping • Side-slipping - a controlled sideways slide down a slope with your board across the fall line. • Enables you to descend even steep slopes safely. In essence, it’s a braking action. • Practicing side-slipping is a great way to develop the edge control skills necessary for turning and stopping. The “fall line” is • Practice side-slipping until you are able to where a snowball accelerate and slow your slide at will, on would roll down both your toe and heel edge. the hill How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 19
  20. 20. Edging & Side-slipping Toe Edge (facing the mountain): slower faster 1. Make sure you are in a balanced stance with the board perpendicular to the fall line 2. Keep equal pressure on both feet 3. Straighten our your back and bend your knees 4. Adjust the speed with your heels (up=slower / down=faster) 5. The stance of your weight decides your direction Be careful not to drop your heel (or toe) (right=right / left=left) all the way, or you’ll catch the opposite edge and fall over (fast!) Heel Edge (facing down hill): The same except lifting your toes adjusts the velocity How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 20
  21. 21. Pendulum (Falling Leaf) After you learn to Sideslip: • Find a medium slope ending in an open flat area, away from traffic. • Start in the basic stance like you are side-slipping • Start side-slipping and put about 5% more pressure on your front foot (start with your toe side) • To slow down equalize the pressure on both feet • Keep your arms up look in the direction you’re moving, and remember your balanced body position How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 21
  22. 22. Traversing • Find a gentle slope ending in an open flat area, away from traffic. • Like the pendulum, start side-slipping and put about 5% more pressure on your front foot (start with your toe side) • Go all the way across the slope! • To slow down equalize the pressure on both feet • Keep your arms up and your head facing forward, and remember your balanced body position • After you stop, lie back down on the snow, flip over, and go the other way on your heel side How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 22
  23. 23. Heel-side Turn 1. Begin gliding in a low position 2. Rise to reduce pressure on the board. 1 3. Point your front shoulder in the 4 direction of your intended turn, kick your back foot to the outside of the turn, to pivot the board about your front foot. 4. Flex your knees as you begin to turn and gradually put your weight from your tows to your heels. 2 5. When you are halfway the turn, go down again and let the turn complete. 5 Toe-side turns are done in the same way except that you put your weight from your heels to your toes. 3 How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 23
  24. 24. Linking Turns All turning maneuvers can be divided into 4 basics phases of a turn: 1. The preparation (stance and balance) for the turn: Un-weight (rise) in preparation 2. The initiation (pivot) of the turn: Turn your shoulders 3. The execution (edge and pressure): Switch edges and swing your rear foot around 4. The completion (pressure and edge) of the turn: Re-weight (down) to complete the turn Weighting (flexion) and Un-weighting (extension) motion will help initiate the turn Video of linked turns How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 24
  25. 25. Advanced Riding (linking S-turns) When linking turns, the completion During short radius fall-line, narrow of one turn prepares you for the corridor turns, the turns are never next so only three parts are noticed quite completed as in the last two examples therefore only the initiation and execution parts are noticed. How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 25
  26. 26. Pressure Control, and “Timing and Coordination” Getting beyond the beginner stage: In snowboarding, balancing while moving over ever-changing terrain is critical. Timing and coordination refers to the skill of harmonizing movements so that the right things happen at the right time. Initially you will learn to do such things as pivot the feet at the right time, extend or bend at the right time, etc. and then later, to do several of those actions at the same time (coordinated). In the expert riding, timing and coordination is the element that makes riding appear effortless and fluid. How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 26
  27. 27. Other Terms Backside Heel-side edge of the snowboard Directional The nose is longer than the tail (the board has a direction) Effective Edge Where the board gets grip on the snow Flex Flexibility (of board or bindings) Frontside Toe-side edge of board Hardboot Skiing-style boot (hard shell) Nose Front of the board Noseturn Board turns 180degrees while nose stays on the ground Softboot Boots for freestylers and freeriders Tail Back of the snowboard Twintip Nose & tail are equal (symmetric) How to Snowboard - by Sven Liden 27