Last time with my post on this blog, we focused on the standing position to ride steeps.
That skill is the most important to ride steeps but that is not enough yet.
Here we can learn next skill to make your turns easy on steeps.
While coaching students riding steeps, 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!
Snowboard Dojo Wiz Team
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