Yesterday we covered a little trick for fixing your turns, so today let’s cover how to improve your body alignment to get more control over your snowboard. I’ve talked very briefly about it in other blogs, so let’s do a full blog covering it.
(edit – For the snowboard instructors out there. I’m using the Canadian style of body alignment and turning – top to bottom – instead of the US instructor’s method of bottom to top.)
What is alignment and how does it work?
When you make a turn or change of direction on your snowboard, you move parts of your body. Good alignment is simply keeping everything in a fluid motion instead of moving random parts of your body at random times.
Just like when you drive a car, you look where you go before moving hands to turn the steering wheel. You don’t turn the wheel before looking at where you want to go.
How does it apply to snowboarding?
When you turn, you want your whole body to follow through with the turn in a smooth motion. When you don’t turn your body in alignment, you have parts of your body fighting the turn, which means you have more problems controlling and turning your snowboard fluidly.
What should my alignment look like?
First, let’s divide your body into each main section that we’ll use. So we have head, shoulders, body, hips, knees, ankles.
What you want to aim for when you turn is to work from the top to the bottom. So a turn should be executed like so:
- Look where you want to turn and turn your head
- Turn your shoulders (and your body)
- Turn your hips
- Turn your knees
- Turn your ankles
Now the important thing to remember is that each section turns right after the other. There’s no pause in between each motion. Everything is connected.
For example, if I dropped a rock into a pond, it causes a ripple that runs the surface of the water. You want your movement to be like that ripple. The ripple doesn’t pause, so neither should your body movements pause when you turn.
What you’re aiming for is fluid motion, so your head turns immediately followed by your shoulders, knees, etc.
Another example I like is the ‘glove example’. Hold the top half of your glove. Now use your other hand to hold and turn the bottom section of the glove 180 degrees. Let go of the top half. What just happened? The top half followed the bottom half.
You want everything to move like a well oiled machine.
Hope this helps your riding and let me know if you have any questions!