Skill - Stance and Balance
Starting to Snowboard is a very exciting time, but it can also be quite frustrating if you don’t learn the proper techniques. The best thing to do if you want to learn how to Snowboard is to take a beginner lesson.
You should learn how to snowboard the right way the first time so you don’t fall into any bad habits that you will have to break later on. Being a Snowboard Instructor I have seen it all, but the one most common mistake I see with beginner snowboarders is their stance. The stance is usually the first thing you will learn in a beginner lesson. Here are some key points on how your stance should feel and look.
- Knees should be bent and out towards your nose and tail. This is called the Cowboy Stance because it looks like you have been riding a horse all day.
- Your weight should be more on your front foot than your back foot so you head in the direction on your nose (the tip closest to your front foot).
- Your back should be straight and not bent at the hips at all.
- Hands should be over you nose and tail to help you keep balanced while riding.
- Turn your neck so you are looking over the nose of your board, don’t turn your shoulders, just your neck.
If you follow these steps to improve your stance you will have better luck learning how to Snowboard.
Novice and Intermediate
A Novice or Intermediate snowboarder should have conquered the bunny hill and is turning using both edges (heel and toe) down blue square runs. At this point most people think that they have learned all the need to learn when it come to Snowboarding, which is not the case. I am a Level Two Instructor, working on my Level Three, and I still learn new things on my board all the time.
The most common mistake I notice with novice and intermediate snowboarders is their alignment when riding. If you are not aligned on your snowboard you’re not balanced which usually ends up in a pretty nasty bail. Bad alignment usually happens more on your toe edge than on your heel edge because you want to look down the hill rather than in the direction your board is moving.
Here are some tips on how to keep yourself aligned.
- Always try to have your shoulders lined up with your knees and your feet. This is called stacking. If your shoulders are turned one way and your feet another you are defiantly misaligned.
- Try to have your hands over your nose and tail at all times.
- Try doing a few runs with your backhand grabbing on to the side of your jacket while doing your turns. This will help you because now you don’t have that back hand as a crutch which is usually what throws off your alignment.
- Try to turn your board using your lower body (knees and hips) rather than your shoulders.
Ron Davey, is 22 years old and lives at the base of Blue Mountain. He is a Level 2 Instructor working on his Level 3. This is his twelfth season snowboarding and fourth season instructing. He teaches skateboarding in the summer and fall months and also plans on getting his Golf Pro Card next summer. His family lives in Brantford Ontario (home of Wayne Gretzky) where he spent the first 18 years of his life. He has three younger siblings and two parents that snowboard so he has lots of experience with younger kids and adults. He has taught people of all ages (5 – 72!!) so no one should be discouraged on learning how to snowboard because of age.
For private lessons you can contact Ron via e-mail to organize a lesson.