Today’s reader question:
Where should my weight be centered when I’m executing snowboard turns? I’ve heard I should shift my weight towards the front and I’ve also heard it should be in the middle of my snowboard. Which is right?
Both are correct. Kind of. Your turning and weight distribution will be different depending on what stage of your snowboard development you’ve reached.
Let me explain.
How you’ll turn as a beginner snowboarder
When you aren’t making a turn, your weight should be centered around the middle of your snowboard. This is your neutral riding stance and it’s the same for both beginner and intermediate snowboarders.
What happens when you start to make a turn:
When you start each turn, you’ll be shifting your weight towards the nose of your snowboard to help make your snowboard turn.
You do this because shifting your weight closer to the nose of your snowboard naturally makes it easier to swing your snowboard’s tail around and complete each turn.
Why this isn’t ideal in the long term:
Relying solely on shifting your weight forward to initiate each turn can lead to skidded turns. These skidded turns simply mean you skid downhill as you turn, instead of riding the edge of your snowboard and carving your way into that nice, sharp turn.
How you’ll turn as an intermediate snowboarder
As you get better control over your body while turning, your weight will start to move towards being centered around the middle of your snowboard at all times, even when you turn.
This is because as you advance your turning ability, you’ll be able to use your snowboard’s edge and your whole body (shoulders, hips, knee, ankles) to help turn.
This means you aren’t relying solely on throwing your weight towards your nose to turn. This is a good thing because having your weight closer to the middle of your snowboard means you can pivot left and right quicker and with more response, plus you also stop skidding downhill when you make a turn.
The thing to remember here is that if you’re still shifting a lot of your weight forward when you turn, it’s totally okay. It just gives you something to work on.
Your goal is to improve how you use your entire body to control and execute each turn, so you don’t rely solely on sending your weight forward to turn, but rather you’re also turning by using your hips, knees, shoulders, ankles and the edge of your snowboard to help each turn.
Hope that answers your question.