Today’s reader question:
How do I snowboard with one foot strapped in to cover short distances? I’ve seen people doing turns to get across small areas to the next chairlift, but when I try I fall or lose control.
Well firstly, it’s going to take some practice, so don’t expect one foot riding to be something you can do right away, even with these tips.
It’ll come with time as you get more used to how your feet control your snowboard, but in the meantime, here are 3 tips that can help you on your way:
1) Wedge your back foot into your rear binding (or buy a stomp pad)
One thing I always do when I ride with 1 foot strapped in is to wedge my rear foot against my rear binding. This means I’m putting my boot on my snowboard, right in front of my rear binding (where a stomp pad might usually be) and pushing backwards against my rear binding to simulate having my rear foot strapped into my board.
By doing this I gain some turning control with my back foot and stop it from floating around or getting thrown off in a random direction by small bumps.
Either do this or you can invest in a stomp pad which has a similar effect.
2) Weight over front foot and gentle soft turning pressure
When you first start riding with one foot, don’t try to make massive s-turns with just your front foot. You won’t have to same level of control since you only have one foot, so you may find that if you try to do a big turn, you won’t be able to correct it and stop the turning.
You want gentle pressure on your edges when you want to steer in any direction, don’t try to do big, sudden turns.
Think of how you’d do a gentle turn while riding in deep powder to avoid your board digging in, that’s how gentle you want to start off with when first making turns while riding 1 footed.
3) Keep your body aligned
Even though you only have 1 foot strapped in, keep your entire body aligned as if you had both feet strapped in.
This means even though you’ll naturally have more weight on your front foot for control, you want to keep that back foot wedged against your rear binding (or firmly on your stomp pad) and keep your feet, hips, knees and body all aligned anytime you make small turns.
This means if you turn toeside, your whole body turns toeside. Don’t let half your body turn toeside and your rear half stay straight just because your back foot isn’t strapped in.
When you pretend that you still have both feet strapped and keep your body aligned in you may notice that turning with 1 foot becomes a lot easier because your alignment becomes better and you stop fighting against your own turning.
Finally, if you’re having trouble with one footed riding, I still HIGHLY recommend you buy a stomp pad. There’s nothing wrong with using a stomp pad and you can always remove it later as you get more comfortable with using just one foot to turn.
Hope that answers your question.