Today’s reader question:
Hey Jed! I’m pretty new to snowboarding, can you give me a list of some things I can work on with my snowboarding to get better?
Sure. I’m not totally sure where you are with your riding, but I can give you a few common things that almost everyone can learn to progress up to that intermediate/advanced level of riding.
1) Bend those knees (and actually use them)
The first thing you’ll notice with every beginner rider is they don’t use their knees properly. Their turning is basically looking where they want to go, turning their body, then letting their board slowly turn that way.
Their knees are mostly just there to follow where their body is turning. You need to change that asap if you want to have real control over your snowboard. Start focusing on bending your knees and driving them into the turn.
Eg – If you’re turning left, bend and push those knees left and power your snowboard with your knees. You’ll notice immediately how much quicker you’re able to turn when you drive your knees with your turn.
2) Exaggerate your movements
The rule my old snowboard coach taught me with learning snowboarding is that with many new skills, we always think we’re doing it at 100%, but really we’re only doing it 20%.
So for example, let’s say you read the first tip and start working on bending your knees. You may think you’re bending them 100% of the way, but I guarantee you that if you record some video of yourself you’ll notice that you’re only bending them 10-20% of the way.
This means you have to really exaggerate your movements to get anywhere close to what you actually need to be doing. This does get easier over time and feel more natural, but at the start it really helps to exaggerate the movements you’re trying to do.
3) Pretend you’re being filmed
If you’re learning a bunch of new snowboard techniques, you’re likely going to find it annoying and a little difficult to maintain a smooth motion and technique throughout everything.
Things like keeping your body in line, not cheating with your turns by swinging your arms around, keeping those knees bent at all times. Those don’t come naturally and you have to fight your body to do them.
That’s why one of the other tricks my previous snowboard coach taught me is to pretend you’re on film. This keeps you from being lazy and slacking with your techniques.
One thing every instructor notices is when you do video analysis of someone’s riding, they suddenly ride better the moment you take out a camera and film them. This is because they’re suddenly concentrating on all the steps they need to be doing and working extra hard to do them.
You want to be doing that all the time. That’s how you force your body to learn good technique that comes naturally, so you don’t want to wait for a camera to be pulled out before you concentrate and ride like you’re being filmed.
Pretend you’re on film ALL the time. How would you ride if you knew someone was paying close attention to your riding and filming you the entire day?
Alright so those are 3 basics things that should help you out in those early stages of snowboarding. Hope that answers your question!
ps: For our more advanced snowboarders out there, make sure you check out our free snowboard freestyle lessons if you’re interested in learning to stomp tricks like the pros.