Snowboard Turning Tips – Why You’re Fighting Your Own Turn

Today’s lesson:

The breakdown:

1) Most snowboarders struggle with turning for 1 big reason

When I look at most snowboarders, their big problem is alignment. Their body isn’t lined up to make the turn properly and they aren’t using their whole body to execute and power through each turn.

It’s the cause of a huge majority of turning issues and it’s the reason most snowboarders struggle with getting quick and powerful turns during those beginner to intermediate stages of snowboarding.

When half your body is turning one way, and the other half is turning the other way, you’re basically fighting against your own turn, so that’s why you need to get your alignment and body movement correct when snowboarding.

2) Top down or bottom up

Whichever method you use to turn, you should be turning in sync with the rest of your body. This means either turning from the bottom up or from the top down.

So if you were doing top down alignment when turning it would be:

  1. Head looks where you want to go
  2. Shoulders and body turn
  3. Hips turn
  4. Knees turn
  5. Ankles and feet turn

It’s all about working in unison to get everything moving together in the right direction.

3) The time between each movement is also important

One more thing about alignment is it’s not just about moving everything in one direction, but it’s also about moving everything quickly in unison, one after another.

This means you shouldn’t have massive gaps between each step. You don’t want your shoulders to turn, then your hips and knees to follow 3 seconds later. Instead you want your shoulders to turn, immediately followed by your hips and knees and ankles.

You want your body movements to flow together quickly and in rapid succession. That’s how you execute those quick and powerful turns that allow you to hit tight, expert runs like gladed terrain where you have to make short and quick turns in between each tree.

– Jed

How Long More Will You Be Able To Snowboard?

(edit – by the way, for those waiting for video 3 in our free snowboard freestyle trick tips, it’s coming, I had to make some adjustments and re-do some bits that I wasn’t happy with, but you’ll have by tomorrow :))

Last year I was hanging with my brother-in-law and we came up on the topic of surgery and knee replacements. He’s a surgeon, so it’s interesting to see his take on sport injuries and the effects of them, especially in a sport like snowboarding where big injuries are common.

One of his statements caught my attention:

Pretty much everyone in active sports, including me (he plays football), will probably have issues with arthritis and be candidates for knee or hip replacements when we’re older.

Now I don’t know about you, but that sucks. He’s not just talking about people who have had knee injuries like me, but instead he’s saying the entire population of snowboarders is at risk of having their snowboard years cut short.

As someone who has had knee injuries and is at high risk of knee issues in the future, I do my best to slow the decline of my knee, so I can snowboard as long as possible.

If any of you are interested in doing the same for yourself, here are a few things you can do as well:

1) Stay slim

The more weight your carry, the harder it is on your body and knees. Every pound of weight is adding to the amount of impact pounding down on those knees and hips every day that you snowboard.

So keeping slim isn’t just good for picking up girls (or guys), but it’s great for your joints as well because you aren’t putting extra stress on your body.

I don’t mean you have to become some Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie look-a-like, but not letting yourself put on too many pounds is very good for your joints and longevity in snowboarding.

Honestly a lot of it is just eating right and avoiding fast food. Easier said than done I know, but one thing that’s worked for me in the past is setting one day every week or two to go crazy and eat whatever you want, while staying healthy the rest of the time.

2) Strength and conditioning

The gym sucks. I hate the gym. You hate the gym. Pain is not fun. Life gets busy and it’s easy to make excuses to not work out – especially when you hate working out.

I know we’re not all like my friend JP who runs 20 km’s on a saturday (hi JP, I know you read my blog… by the way you’re crazy), but you have to find what works for you because staying strong has a direct effect on the wear of your joints.

Stronger muscles = less wear on your joints

Now personally, I like to go to the gym and get my punishment over with quickly, but I know plenty of people who find other ways to get their workout. They go rock climbing, skateboarding (great lower body workout), biking, swimming, kayaking, surfing etc. etc.

There are ways to stay in shape and get a good workout outside the gym. For example, check out this blog – ‘Nerd Fitness‘ – that’s dedicated to work outs for the average guy who isn’t a gym junkie.

Honestly a lot of this is just about making the choice to actually do something about it. Most people are too lazy to make a change… but most people also won’t be able to snowboard when they’re older, so you have to make your own choice.

– Jed

Do You Need A Twin Shaped Snowboard For Riding Switch?

Today’s reader question:

Do you need a twin shaped snowboard for riding switch? What about binding adjustments? Do you need to swap your bindings around or make any major adjustments to ride switch?

The breakdown:

1) Do you need a twin shaped snowboard for riding switch?

No. You can ride switch just fine on a directional snowboard, so don’t worry about it 🙂

The only exception is if you have something like a crazy swallowtail snowboard with a special tail designed for floating in powder… obviously those don’t do very well if you try to ride switch on them.

2) What’s the difference between a twin snowboard and a directional snowboard for riding switch?

Basically a twin snowboard has an even nose and tail and it doesn’t matter whether it’s switch or regular because it’ll be exactly the same shape either way.

A directional snowboard will have a longer nose than tail, which helps with floating in powder and riding regular. The side effect is the longer nose means it isn’t quite as good for riding switch as a twin snowboard, however, you can still ride switch just fine.

3) Do you need to make binding adjustments to ride switch on a directional snowboard?

No, not unless you have some crazy binding setup, such as having a huge amount of setback or riding with both binding facing forward (eg – +12, +9).

It does help to have a little ‘duck’ on your back foot by having a more symmetrical binding angle such as +12, -12, but again, this isn’t compulsory and I know plenty of people who ride with only a small amount of duck angle on their back foot.

It may also help to have your bindings more centered vs. having a big setback, but again, I know people who ride switch with a decent amount of setback and they do just fine (even if it’s not ideal).

So basically you should be able to ride fine on your current setup without any changes. Hope that answers your question!

– Jed

Burton Free Full Length Movie Final Part – RESORT

Two things today:

1) Burton’s free full length movie part 4 is out!

Basically what I learnt from this movie is that Mark McMorris destroys any park he rides. The Shaun White cameo was a bit weird, but I suppose they have to squeeze him into every Burton movie:

2) Snomie Members Area Updated

If you’re a member of our paid snowboard trick tip videos/lessons, go login now to the members area because you’re in for a surprise 🙂

I’ve been working non-stop for the past week, but the entire members area has been redesigned and it’s live now. It’s pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

Here’s a peek (login here if you’re a member):

Snomie New Members Area - Sneak PeekBasically the design is a whole lot cleaner, everything is organize nicely and you’ll find links to the next lesson on every video and everything is just far better to navigate.

Next thing on my to-do list is to get some of those new spinning trick tip videos on 180s, 360s and straight airs uploaded to the members area, they’ll go live over the next week-ish.

Enjoy 🙂 Now I’ve been up for 24 hours and have to go crash, but man… the new members area is so pretty!

– Jed

How To Size & Fit Snowboard Boots Correctly

I got a few requests for snowboard boot fitting tutorials lately, so here’s a quick video on the topic. I do intend to make a far more in-depth boot buying tutorial video at some point too, this is just a quickie on boot fitting:

ps – a lot of this is covered in far more detail inside my snowboard gear guide, so if you don’t have that you can grab the guide here.

The breakdown:

1) Why your snowboard boots are more important than anything else

By far, snowboard boots are your most important piece of equipment. You can skimp on a snowboard, bindings, outerwear etc. etc, but if you skimp on snowboard boots you’re going to have a bad time.

You should be spending your money with the priority on snowboard boots first, then the rest of your gear.

Good fitting boots mean you snowboard without pain. Period.

2) What should I be looking for when trying on boots?

You should be looking for boots that are around the flex you want and around the rough width of your foot. Try on as many boots as you can that are roughly around the width and flex you want.

Every boot company has a different rough width for their snowboard boots and boots can often vary in width between one model to the next, so you need to find out how wide your feet are and start trying on boots inside that rough width range.

You can find out your width by getting a good boot fitter at a local shop to size your foot by using a foot measurement tool to figure out your size and width. They’ll also be able to recommend boots to you which fit the width of your foot.

With flex, it varies depending on preference, but if you want to know more about picking your flex, you can get my full gear guide here.

3) How small should my snowboard boots be?

Your boots should be a snug fit. No painful pressure points, but tight enough that your toes are touching the end of the boot, but not curling or giving you pain.

All boots expand about a half size to a size, so if you buy a size 9, it’ll become a 9 and a half to 10 after it breaks-in, so always buy snug boots or you WILL end up with loose boots that don’t fit after breaking them in.

4) The one thing you should add to your snowboard boots

I highly, highly recommend buying a pair of aftermarket custom footbeds for your snowboard boots. You can find entry level custom insoles for $30-$50. They make a world of different in giving you proper support in your snowboard boots.

Typical footbeds that come with your snowboard boots suck. They squish flat without any real pressure and offer no real support.

I recommend checking out Remind Insoles if you’re after some good entry level footbeds and Superfeet make decent footbeds too (although Remind seem to be the more popular one).

Anyhow, hope that helps you out. I highly recommend picking up my full snowboard gear guide if you want a more in-depth look at buying snowboard boots, because as I said, this is just a mini talk about fitting and sizing.

– Jed