If you’ve ever been in the snowboard park you’ll immediately know what I mean when I say some people look insanely smooth doing a 360 and others will 360 and look horrible in the air.
How good your snowboarding looks comes down to your style and how smooth your can execute each movement, so here are 2 things you can do to improve your style:
1) Hands down
Keep those hands down. Waving your hands about is the universal sign for “This is awkward and I’m not totally in control.”
Moving your hands is okay, but waving them about is a quick way to make any good snowboard trick look like you’re out of control. The more in-control you can keep your hands, the better your tricks and techniques will look.
Once you start getting a trick to ‘click’, start looking at your execution and start cleaning up your arm movements to improve the style of the trick.
2) Relaxed knees
Straight, stiff legs are one of the most common sights in any beginner snowboarder. While this is 100% normal (everyone has stiff legs at first), you want to get in the habit of relaxing your legs and riding with your knees slightly bent.
Straight legs make it hard to be comfortable and relaxed, and that directly affects your style and makes your riding look uncomfortable and stiff as well. When you’re riding down the slope and making turns, constantly remind yourself to bend your knees into a nice relaxed position.
You want to make it so that relaxed, bent legs becomes your default riding stance while snowboarding.
This will not only make you look more stylish, but you’ll be able to balance better, and initiated movements with your legs easier when you have your knees bent.
One more thing…
Neither of these fixes will come instantly. Waving your hands about is a natural reaction when you’re not stable and bending your knees will not feel natural at first, however, it all feels more normal with time.
If you can’t focus on 2 things at once (totally normal), focus on your knees first. Arm waving tends to slowly fix itself over time as you gain more stability and control, but bending your knees will take conscious effort to force yourself to do until it becomes second nature.
Trust me I’ve been there too. In my first season on snow, I had instructors telling me “You need to bend your knees more” even though I was already bending my knees as hard as I could.
It won’t feel natural, but keep at it and keep concentrating on really exaggerating your knee bend until it feels more natural to ride in a comfortable, relaxed, knees bent position.