How to snowboard, step 3: straight glide
Gliding is a basic snowboard skill that you’ll use every time you hit the snow. It introduces the balance, pressure and edging skills you’ll need for turning later on. Like most snowboard skills, you know more than you think about gliding from the everyday things you’ve been doing all along.
Before watching this video, you should have mastered skating and stepping. In this episode we’ll teach you the next step in learning how to snowboard: a straight glide.
Step 1: Practice the correct snowboard posture
Snowboarding is much easier than you think. Good snowboarders look so smooth because they just maintain good posture while making subtle adjustments to their feet and knees. For a straight glide, you just need good posture, so lets get that figured out (we’ll add foot and knee movement later on). Head to a hill in your backyard and get into an athletic stance with your knees bent and arms down. Be sure to keep your shoulders even with the slope of the hill. While you intuitively want to lean back into the hill, on a snowboard you always want your hips and shoulders parallel with the hill. While this may feel strange at first, it’s essential for your balance. As with skateboarding, if you’re body isn’t level, the board will come out from under you.
Step 2: Find a gentle hill
Now that you know the correct posture, find a hill with a slight grade and a smooth run off…so you’ll naturally run out of speed without having to slam on the brakes. The bottom of the bunny hill usually works.
Step 3: Do a straight glide
- Buckle your front foot into your binding and step up the hill a short distance, about 10 or 15 feet.
- Rotate your snowboard so the nose points downhill and get into that good posture we just discussed.
- With your front foot strapped in, get yourself moving (a nice wiggle ought to do it), then rest your foot up against your back binding (or on your stomp pad if you’ve got one).
- For a straight glide, simply get moving down hill and stay put until you naturally run out of speed.
- Like coasting on a bicycle or riding on the back of a shopping cart, once you get moving, you just want to maintain your balance. Don’t try to turn; just relax, stay balanced and don’t do anything with your arms.
- Set it and forget it. Put your back foot in place, maintain a balanced posture and don’t do anything. Let the board go down the hill. You just want to get the feel of moving while maintaining good posture. Don’t fight with the board or wiggle around.
- Keep your weight centered. Often, beginners get nervous and lean back. To avoid this, imagine shifting your hip forward over your front leg. This should help you stay centered.
- Imagine you’re an action figure—Once you get into your posture, hold still until you come to a stop.
I hope we’ve helped you find the joy of riding straight. Once you’ve mastered straight glides, watch our video on J-Turns and practice the next step.
Next step: How to snowboard, step 4: J-turns