Though this site is devoted to helping beginners get their snow legs, snowboarders of all ability levels can stand to improve their form. Snowboarding can be incredibly frustrating, and nothing feels worse than the idea that you’ve progressed as much as possible. The joy of snowboarding comes from mastering and perfecting new techniques, and if you can’t do that, you’re likely to grow angry with the entire sport. Luckily, there are a few strategies for boarders to improve their technique without spending hours on the mountain. Here are our four steps to improving your technique, regardless of ability.
- Get in shape. Being in shape will make a substantial difference in your performance. Focus on keeping your strength to weight ratio high (I.e. not bulking up), increasing your core strength, exercising your legs, and improving flexibility. Plus, exercise and training will help to prevent muscle and ligament injuries when you do eventually get out on the snow.
- Buy or rent the right gear. When purchasing equipment, do as much research as possible before pulling out your credit card. Think carefully about the areas of your riding you’d like to improve. If you don’t feel very stable while riding, opt for a wider board. If you want to focus on park tricks and techniques, look for softer, lighter, park-focused equipment. There’s a type of board, binding, and boot for every style of snowboarding, and figuring out which works best for you is a great way to up your game.
- Record yourself. The next time you go out boarding with friends, ask somebody to record you heading down a slope for a few minutes. Then, use this footage to assess your riding style. Compare your tape to a recording of your favorite snowboarder, then see what they do differently. Once you begin to isolate the parts of your riding you’d like to improve, you’ll target better learning and improvement strategies.
- Take a lesson. Nobody is too good for a lesson… and we mean Even Olympic snowboarders have daily coaching. If you’re truly stick in a snowboarding rut, sign up for a private or group lesson at your local resort. Prior to the lesson, think through everything you want to improve, then clearly communicate this to your instructor. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference one hour of instruction can make.