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
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