3. Minimize Your Upper Body Rotation
Since you ride sideways in snowboarding, it's only natural to think that your body is facing sideways when on the slopes right?
Ordinarily however, humans face forward, living their day to day lives.
Since facing forward is human's natural posture, most snowboarders face forward without thinking about it when on the slopes.
Since humans live their lives facing forward, it is optimal for our bones, muscles, etc. to face the front when moving.
Because of this, a posture in which the whole body faces forward makes it easy for us to maintain balance and be able to use muscle effectively.
When snowboarding you are facing sideways and riding.
However, when the upper body faces forward while snowboarding, the body is twisted.
In other words, this optimized body takes on a posture that is contrary to it's composition.
So, why is it that most snowboarders don't snowboard with their upper body facing completely horizontal?
Well, let's compare the advantages and flaws of a forward posture and a horizontal posture.
Allow me to introduce a specific example of where "Facing forward" causes mistakes.
In a heel side turn, the board skids because the lower body is pulled by the twist in the upper body.
When going into a toe-side turn, since the upper body is facing opposite to the direction of movement, it makes it hard to go into the turn.
In a spin approach, starting a wind-up too early can cause your stance to be unstable for a longer amount of time, and therefore lead to a bad takeoff.
These issues are solved by adjusting the timing and the upper body's rotational angle.
However, because snowboarders are human, it is for certain that we gain a sense of motion by facing forward.
Facing forward while on the slopes is very possible, however, making sure that the joints have been stretched enough is a precondition.
Even if you twist your body, when the joints' range of motion is expanded, you can maintain balance without placing a burden on them.
Therefore, it is now possible to draw out the advantages of "facing forward."
Next, let's think about "facing sideways."
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Ryoki Ogawa from Ninja country is killing street rails in Dirty Pimp's special edit.
He is the one of the best and stylish rider in Japan.
His skill is refined in Whistler Canada when he was 15 to 19 yrs old.
When he came over to Whistler he was just 15 years old but was already showing strong talent on jibbing.
But he is actually good at spinning too as he could spin a double cork in 2011.
Personally I want him to go US and show his style in something like Sunday in the park.
But he wants to stay in Ninja country and search for and film with more challenging street items so that he can show his Japan all over the world.
He is featured in my tutorial video and showing some spins and simple jibbing skills with steeze!
2. Bend Your Ankles
When we talk about standing position, we know that the center of the board is where we should be.
However how do you check your position?
There are 4 ways to check your standing position.
1. Nose to Tail balance
2. Toe to Heel balance
3. Rotational balance
4. Vertical balance
We talked about Nose to tail balance in the other tutorial “Key #1 Weight on the back leg” which is about checking your position from nose to tail.
This time I will talk about “Toe to Heel balance” which is typically overlooked.
To check this balance, pay attention to your body position between the edges of the snowboard, while sliding down the hill.
Then we can see where our head and hips are toward the toe or heel side to find out this balance.
When we do turns on the hill, our body leans to the toe or heel side to make an edge angle.
Beginner and intermediate riders tend to lean their body more than the edge angle which will put your head or hips out of alignment over the board.
A strong rider won't be out of alignment with their head and hips over the board, so their weight will stay in between the edges.
Why do our hips and head fall out of alignment?
We get low while turning in order to keep a low centre of gravity.
To do this we bend our hips and knee joints.
This causes our head and hips to naturally leave alignment over the board which is not easy position to keep balanced, but a strong rider is stable even if they are in low standing position.
How do they stabilize this position?
They bend their hip joints and knees but they bend their ankles too!
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1. Weight On The Back Leg
Before we start let me ask you a question, where do you think is the best place to stand over your snowboard while riding?
The center of the snowboard would be the typical answer to this question, and I would agree with this answer sometimes BUT!
Did you know that this only works best in certain terrain and snow conditions?
For example, when riding on groomed terrain with not much speed,
keeping your weight in the center of the board is certainly the best, but please watch this video carefully… are they really standing over the center of the board?
While it may look like their weight is in the middle this is not always true, especially when approaching the jump and before takeoff.
When riding downhill all obstacles and bumps are going to hit us from the front meaning the nose of the snowboard is usually the first to take the impact.
If your weight is directly in the middle of the snowboard when this happens your body will keep its momentum and your snowboard will lose momentum due to the impact on the nose.
This will cause your weight to shift towards your front foot and nose, which is not a stable riding position so the rider will be more likely to fall down.
Ok now how can we prevent ourselves from losing balance in situations like this?
Try shifting your weight to your back leg.
If your weight is near the back of the snowboard when you hit a bump, you will still shift slightly forward but your weight will now stay closer to the center instead of being pushed all the way to the nose.
This will also make your nose lighter, and your snowboard will more easily pass over small obstacles and bumps.
Here are some examples of when you should have less weight on your front leg.
When riding in powder, it is essential to keep your weight over your back leg.
This will keep your nose above the snow and allow you to float on top.
This position will help keep the rider balanced and avoid get thrown forward when passing over the moguls too.
Any rail that requires you to jump on from the side will most likely be set up fairly high.
This means getting a good pop is Key to locking into the rail properly.
To get a good “pop” or “ollie” you must first shift your weight to the rear leg, this will make your nose lighter and easier to lift onto the rail and avoid smashing into it.
The angle of a park jump points up and into the air, so if the rider has their weight in the middle and stands up straight aligning their body with gravity, it will gradually shift their weight to the front leg as they move up the lip.
We want to avoid this by keeping our weight near the back leg as we ride up the jump.
Keeping your weight near your back leg when turning can also be a good idea as it will allow for better edge grip in the snow due to the strong pressure at a point under the back leg.
Too much pressure on both feet while turning can cause the snowboard to bounce because it will be harder to release the pressure.
For example, a racer will sometimes stand with less weight over the front leg and more pressure over the back leg.
This helps to release the forward pressure over the snowboard throughout the turn.
This will help the rider avoid losing grip with the snow through bouncing or “chattering” and will also increase acceleration.
This is useful in all snow conditions, but becomes exceptionally handy in the more challenging terrain.
Those of you who are beginning to feel more comfortable on your snowboard, and want to start moving on to the harder terrain should first try learning how to ride and turn while holding most of your body weight over your back leg.
Here is an example of one of the incorrect body positions typically used by beginners.
An ideal riding position on challenging terrain will be the opposite of this.
Review the video once more and now what do you think!?
Be sure to check back for Key #2 on how to get a better all-around riding position!!
Snowboard Dojo Wiz
#ridingpositionsnowboard #howtosnowboardbeginner #howtoturnsnowboard
We have learned how to ride steep terrain with using your eye sight and upper body so far.
This time we will learn how to use our lower body to make turns on steep terrain.
This skill might be challenging for some of you since it will require you to have stronger balance while turning.
Ok, now let's begin!
3. Lower Body
If you could consistently make nice turns by using your upper body, next, try to use your lower body.
Since your lower body is much closer to your board than your head and upper body, your board react much quicker after rotating your lower body.
This time you can focus on rotating knees and ankles.
Reason why advance riders are riding such stable without much body rotation is because they use their knees and ankles.
Since this way to make turns don’t require you much body movement you can ride with less effort, and maintaining your balance while turning will be increased too.
You can start practicing this movement from gentle slopes.
Try rotating your knees first to make turns.
And next, try rotating your feet in your boots to make turns.
You can compare this way to make turns with rotating your upper body.
Then you will be noticed that by using your lower body your board start turning quicker.
Also, you might be noticed that your hips or whole your upper body are following your lower body.
Furthermore, rotating your knees and feet (ankles) are physically twisting your board toward the toe and heel side as well.
Therefore, you make edge angle to start turns by rotating your lower body.
As we learned here, rotating your body help to make turns.
But we also learned if all body parts work together, we can get the best result.
For example, if your lower body is turning right but your shoulders are turning left, you will make things difficult.
Try not to hinder each body to rotate to right direction by the other body parts rotating toward opposite site.
Please feel free to ask us your question.
We will try to answer as soon as possible.
Thanks for visiting our blog and please come back here again!
#howtoturnsnowboard #howtosnowboardbeginner #ridingsteepssnowboard
Last time, you learned to simply “Spin Your Arms.”
That's probably because if you're going to do a spin you should spin right!?
I think that you were able to understand more deeply from a physical standpoint on how to spin.
For those of you who haven't seen it yet, please take some time to look at it now.
This time, we're going to look at a method that perhaps no one has heard of before!
That is precisely the reason it's a “secret.” It's a secret because no one recognizes it.
We call jumping on both feet as a POP.
When you jump, you go up, but you don't spin right?!
I can hear everyone saying that already.
It's for certain that if you just jump, you will not spin.
However, a very big result comes from adding a pop into your spinning motion.
This time, we are not going to think about it from a physical standpoint, but from an anatomical one.
So is there or is there not a “jumping” motion?
This is one big difference between the spin of intermediate and advanced snowboarders.
This “jumping” motion also has to do with stretching the entire body upward.
By jumping, you go up, and when this happens, the muscles of the entire body are elongated.
I'm not talking about a slow stretch.
I'm talking about a stretch that is quick and all at once.
Due to this kind of stretch, the muscles suddenly become elongated.
This is the main point of this tutorial.
When the muscles are suddenly elongated, their reaction is to quickly contract in order to prevent tearing.
This reaction is called the “stretch reflex.”
By using this reaction effectively, you can gain the ability to spin more.
For more detail, please look it up on Google and use Wikipedia, etc. for further study.
This “stretch reflex” is caused by sudden muscle elongation.
However, in addition to that, when you flex these muscles during a stretch reflex, you can get an even stronger, quicker reaction.
Let's take the vertical jump for example.
You crouch low, then, you contract and relax the muscles in preparation to elongate them.
While crouching, you completely relax the entire body before jumping.
From that point on, you relax, jump, and expand the muscles that were contracted all at once.
The moment you jump, the more you expand upward, and the more this stretch reflex occurs.
In addition to that, you intentionally put power into the stretched out muscles and then contract them.
Keep in mind that after you've jumped, by having created this crouched position, you naturally put strength into these muscles.
At this moment, since it is a muscle reaction and not a matter of consciously performing the action, you don't feel the weight of the lower-body.
There is a reason as to why not feeling the weight of the lower-body allows you to spin easier.
This is the whole secret behind being able to spin more!
Let's try to add even more spin movement.
The key is…
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#howtospinsnowboard #howtosnowboardbeginner #addingmorespinsnowboard #spin360snowboard #spin540snowboard #snowboardspinpop #snowboardstretchreflex
With the last article we have learned rotating our "Line of Sight" to initiate turns on steep terrain.
For people who solved your issue with the last article, congratulations!
For people who still have an issue to initiate turns on steep terrain, here is next tip for you.
Now let's begin!
2. Upper Body
Now we can focus on rotating our upper body.
While beginner snowboarders are taking a lesson, instructors sometimes let his students focus on rotating arms and shoulders as well as gaze.
It is not wrong way to make nice turns but if you understand the core fact of these rotational movement, you will get deeper understanding and make it much easier.
Rotating arms and shoulders are to turn your board.
But do you really think rotating arms and shoulders are enough to turn your board?
It's actually not enough.
Let's analyze what will happen when you rotate arms and shoulders.
First visualize spinning your body.
You will use your arms to generate spin.
Then your shoulders follow your arms.
People who don’t get much spin at this point, they rotate only arms and shoulders but don’t rotate whole their upper body.
Same issue is actually happening while people are making turns.
You can use your arms and shoulders, but rather try to focus more on rotating whole upper body.
With my coaching experience, I can say that this way is much effective to make nice turns.
Or you can focus on rotating hips to get same result with rotating whole your upper body.
You can try both ways and find the one which you feel better.
We just focus on different body parts this time but how to rotate your upper body is exact same as rotating your gaze.
Rotate gradually and point it just little ahead of where we are going.
Think if you have eyes on your chest and hips, and just rotate them as your head.
Rotating your whole body might be easy while in the heel side turns, but might be scary while in the toe side turns since you face and lean toward downhill at same time to start turning.
This is the most reason people stop rotating their upper body in the middle of the toe side turns and they can’t complete it.
Start practicing it from gentle slopes and gradually move on to steeper terrain.
If you still struggling to get over the fear, try to be small while toe side turns.
Hope you solve your issue with the tip we've learned in this article.
However we have more tips and will introduce it next time so please come back again!
#howtoturnsnowboard #howtosnowboardbeginner #ridingsteepssnowboard
Last time with my post on this blog, we focused on the standing position to ride steep terrain.
That skill is the most important to ride steep terrain but that is not enough yet.
Here we can learn next skill to make your turns easy on steeps.
While coaching students riding steep terrain, I see many students who is riding with good standing position over the board but they can’t control speed and turn shapes sometimes.
There might be another reason but you can first focus on Rotational movement while turning on steeps.
Snowboard is made with a side cut which is rounded shape along the edges.
When you lean your body and board right or left while riding the slopes, this shape will enable you to turn easily.
However, leaning your body and board on steeps is not that easy for beginners and sometimes for intermediate riders.
So for those people I’m suggesting to focus more on rotation instead of leaning your body.
Now how can we rotate our body to make turns easier on the steeps?
Here we can talk about it by focusing on 3 body parts.
1. Line of Sight
To start, let’s focus on using your head to rotate your body and make turns easier.
Line of sight which is very important for all snowboarders at any level while snowboarding.
When you start your heel side turns, snowboard is about perpendicular to the downhill while standing on the toe edge.
Whatever if you are not moving or moving toward the nose side of your board at this point, rotate your gaze gradually toward downhill.
But try not to rotate it too far and point it just little ahead of your turn arc while turning.
As we are doing so while driving a car and bike, we are searching and being ready by seeing little ahead of where we are going.
Therefore, we can maintain balance and be ready for any changes while snowboarding, and so we can make nice turns.
While sending your gaze little ahead of where you are going, try not to look too close to you.
This way your head is leaning forward so that your body balance while turning will be unstable.
Try looking up to make nice turns.
For your toe side turns, we can apply same method.
More people are struggling with toe side turns than heel side turns.
Most common failure while toe side turn is locking your gaze downhill at the middle of the turn arc.
If your gaze is locked while your board is pointing straight the hill, your body start leaning uphill due to fear to accelerate.
As a result you gain more speed and can’t control your turns.
More failure while toe side turns is rotating your gaze too far and too early.
Because you are not look at where you are going by rotating it too much, your body balance will be difficult to maintain.
Therefore, your body lean too much or too early toward inside of the turn arc.
And your toe edge catches the snow and you will fall.
This case of fail is happening not only while turning on steeps but while beginner is learning turns too.
Once again, try to rotate your gaze gradually toward downhill and point it just little ahead of your turn arc while turning.
However, where can you look at when your turn is about to complete?
Beginner snowboarders tend to keep rotating their gaze at the end of the turns so their gaze is pointing uphill at the end of the turn.
Please remember that we are just looking at little ahead of where we are going.
So we can predict and be ready for the next.
At the end of the turn, where we want to go is not uphill but where your board is pointing.
Try to visualize someone riding several meters ahead of you and try to follow him with your gaze while riding on steeps.
Then your gaze will be always at right position to make nice turns.
Next time, we will focus on using Upper Body for better management our turns on steeps.
Thanks for visiting our blog and please come back here again to improve your snowboarding!
#howtoturnsnowboard #howtosnowboardbeginner #ridingsteepssnowboard
Can you keep turning comfortably on Speeps, Bumps, Powder and so on?
For most people who is feeling uncomfortable while turning on those slopes, they should focus their toe side turns.
Initiating heel side turns are easier than toe side turns because you can face forward direction while initiating turns so that you add a rotational movement naturally to the direction to go.
Ok then, what is happening while you are struggling initiating toe side turn?
Let's watch this video and figure it out!
#howtoturnsnowboard #howtosnowboardbeginner #toesideturnsnowboard #snowboardridingsteeps #snowboardingmoguls #snowboardingpowder
And here is tutorial for Goofy to do a Back side Blunt 270 Out on a Box!
Start learning the trick from practice on the flat ground!