One of the most important things in snowboarding is knowing how to fall to minimise the impact on your body, so here’s one key thing you need to remember when you fall:
Go with the fall
Okay that’s kind of vague, but let me explain further.
What does ‘Go with the fall’ mean?
I’ve talked about safe falling techniques and keeping your hands tucked in when you fall, but besides that you need to also learn not to fight against your falling momentum and to instead ‘go’ with the momentum.
What this means is anytime you fall or crash while snowboarding, you’ve got all that weight and momentum going forward and you want to do your best to allow that momentum to keep going forward to reduce the impact on your body.
You want to ‘go with the fall’ because it lets you slow down gradually, instead of suddenly impacting your body from full speed to sudden stop
Think of it this way:
If you’re in a car and you crash into the car in front of you, the front of your car acts as a crumple zone to give your car more distance to spread the impact of the crash.
If there was no crumple zone in cars, you’d basically go from full speed to sudden impact and A LOT more people will be getting injured and dying from small accidents.
You want to have a similar ‘crumple zone’ when you fall or crash while snowboarding.
How to ‘go with the fall’
Going with the fall is simple, just don’t fight it. Tuck your limbs close to your body and let yourself fall and slide. Sure it may hurt, but it’s going to hurt more if you try to fight the fall and start panicing and sticking hands and arms out.
If you’re going sideways, go sideways. If you’re going forward, go forward. Don’t try to fight with the direction you’re falling. Just keep everything tucked in and let your body slide on the slope until most of the impact is gone or you stop sliding.
If you want a really good example of this, watch advanced snowboarders hitting big 50+ foot jumps in the terrain park and pay attention to how they react when they bail during a trick.
It’s almost instinctive that as soon as they crash they keep their limbs out of harms way and let their body slide on the landing of the jump. Falling this way allows them to lessen the impact on their body instead of trying to put anything out to stop their slide.
Going with the fall is part of any good fall technique, so the next time you go snowboarding, try to remember to let your momentum ride out instead of fighting it.
Snow is slippery, use that to your advantage to absorb the impact of your falls.
ps – Here’s one of the masters of falling showing you how it’s done (from snowboard’s parent sport, skateboarding):