Here’s a snowboard stance mistake that’s pretty common, easily noticable and easily fixable on the spot.
The mistake with your knees:
When we get tired, thrown off balance, navigate bumpy terrain or deep powder, one of the most common mistakes that occurs is letting your knees drift inwards when you turn.
This simply means your knee is bending, but as it bends it starts inclining inwards, towards the middle of your snowboard.
Using my amazing drawing skills, I’ve re-created what it looks like:
Now we usually don’t mean to let this happen and it doesn’t always happen with both legs, but it’s something that just tends to happen from time to time, particularly in our leading leg.
Why this is bad:
When your knees aren’t staying in line with your hips, you start to lose power and control over your snowboard. Simply put, you end up in a situation where you’re trying to get power to your snowboard, but your knees are cutting off the power before it gets there.
In addition, it’s also bad for your knee joints to bend that way and can cause strain in your knee. In particular, if you have dodgy knees (or previously injured knees like myself), you’ll notice the strain on your knee when you ride without proper knee alignment.
The fix to this problem:
It’s a simple fix. Just pay attention to how your knees are bending when you snowboard and if you catch your knees inclining inwards as you bend them, start pushing them back outwards.
In particular, pay attention to your knees when you’re tired and riding bumpy snow, because I’ve found that these snow conditions are the most common times when your knee starts to drift inwards.
You may also find that you have to keep catching yourself and reminding yourself to do it, but you should notice an immediate effect on your power and control when you start keeping your knees from inclining inward.
So basically, riding with proper hip and knee alignment gets all that power from your body and your upper legs to your snowboard. You’ll also notice that it engages your quad muscles a lot better when you’re bending your knees properly.
Hope this helps you out, happy shredding.
ps – Dumping snow again in Whistler… huge powder day tomorrow? Yes please!