Rhythm and knee bending play a big role in how well you can control your snowboard, so today I’m going to cover ‘bouncing’ in between turns.
What is bouncing?
The official name for ‘bouncing is called ‘up-unweighting’ and basically what it means is that while you will be bending your knees during turning, you’ll also extend and rebend them again whenever you change the direction of your turn.
Doing this makes you look like you just bounced or bobbed up and down.
Why should I be doing this?
Knee control is one of the most important snowboarding skills to learn. We previously talked about bending drills for the hill, so this is building on it and it will help you control your turns better.
How do I ‘bounce’ / ‘up-unweight’?
During your turn you’ll be in the knees flexed position, bending them to create pressure and use your edges. As you move to change direction and turn, suddenly push upwards with both feet, straightening and extending your knees.
You want to almost be jumping, but not leaving the snow. As you ‘bounce’ upwords, look towards the direction of your next turn, and follow your head by also moving your shoulders, body, knees and ankles to start turning in the other direction.
As you look and turn towards the new direction (toeside or heelside), bend and flex your knees again as if you just jumped and now want to land softly. Use your body weight and pressure from ‘landing’ to power yourself into the new turn.
How does this help my turning?
It works by making you weight less as you shift your snowboard’s turning direction, which basically makes it easier to turn. It also allows you to use your body weight combined with your body to execute the turn better.
When you turn, you build up pressure on the edge of your snowboard. By bouncing up and back down, it allows you to release that pressure and re-use it to help you to change your turn from a heelside > toeside turn or vice-versa.
Don’t worry if you don’t get it perfect right away, it takes some work and practice to get the timing right. When you do it right, you’ll know because it feels as if you’re bouncing up and down when you turn and you can feel a rhythm in your turning.
Hope you found this helpful!
ps – If you find you need video demonstrations, don’t worry, I’ll work on recording some brief video examples in the next couple weeks to explain these techniques a little better.