Learning to Turn

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.