You’ve mastered the basic parts of the snowboard, and now you want to better understand how the shape affects the way you shred. You should understand three vocabulary terms: camber, rocker, and flat.

Camber is the traditional profile for skis and snowboards. This is when the board has a slight upward curve in the middle with contact points (where the unweighted board contacts the snow) close to the ends. This type of profile requires more effort to turn but is excellent in nearly any snow condition. The rider’s weight puts pressure on the entire board, resulting in an increased edgehold. This is a great choice for racers and park riders.

Traditional Camber boards are the best for carving and jumping; the distribution of weight allows the edge to hold better than most shapes, allowing for precision and a decreased chance of slipping or catching an edge.

Rocker, also known as Reverse Camber, is exactly what it sounds like; Camber turned upside down. Rather than touching the snow at the tip and tail, an unweighted board will touch the snow at the center.  Rocker boards are excellent for soft snow and have easy turn initiation with a decreased chance of catching an edge. This is a popular profile for places known for powdery conditions, such as Colorado or British Columbia. Though jumps are harder to land, you’ll be able to float over ungroomed trails.

Flat, again, is exactly what you would expect—no Camber or Rocker. If you lay the board on a table with no weight, there will not be any space between the base and the table. This type of profile provides a better edge grip than rocker and a better maneuverability than camber.

Your board’s profile will affect the way you ride. If you’re confused about your style and which profile is best for you, visit your local board shop or sporting retailer. There, a professional should be able to assess your style and make accurate recommendations based on what you may need.

Learning to turn is one of the most important steps in your DIY snowboard education. Once you master a turn, you’ll be well on your way to tackling bigger slopes, different conditions, and varying speeds. There are two types of turns—toe side and heel side.

When initiating a toe side turn, you will start by facing downhill. When you’re ready to start the turn, press down on your front foot. As the board starts to point down, rotate your head, shoulders, and hips until your front hand is point to the other side of the slope and you’re on a toe side edge (body facing up the mountain). That’s it!

A heel side turn is similar. Start with your body facing up the hill, put your weight on your front foot, and let your board begin to point straight down the slope. Press your heels into the snow to slide around and face down the mountain. Turning is a simple motion, but it must be a flowing movement. Never force your turns and allow the board to do its thing.

When learning to turn, you’ll likely encounter one of several common mistakes. The first (and most common!) is leaning too far back. Turning allows you to go faster, and leaning back is a natural response to an uncomfortable speed. Unfortunately, leaning back makes turning more difficult; you always want your weight forward, allowing the board to pivot around your front foot.

Similarly, many self-taught snowboarders encounter something called Counter Rotating. This occurs when the body is out of alignment during the turn. To combat this issue, keep everything—your head, shoulders, hips, knees, and board—aligned as much as possible to facilitate a swift, flowing movement.