Beginner snowboard lesson step 7—Learn snowboard garlands.

The garland is one of the most important (and forgotten) steps in learning to snowboard. Garlands are really just turns—turns that don’t require transitions, tons of speed or linking. Just relax and focus on what your feet are doing to make your edges grip the snow.

What’s a garland?
Before trying garlands, you should have mastered skating, stepping, gliding, j-turns and riding the chairlift. In this episode we’ll teach the next step, garlands. Garlands are turns on just one edge that travel across the hill from a traverse. Named for the shape they leave in the snow, this is how you begin turning. And like real turns, garlands start with your feet.

Step 1—Understand snowboard flex: Engineers have designed your snowboard to twist side to side, or torsionally – like wringing out a wet towel. This twisting is responsible for nearly all the smooth turns you’ll make during your life and garlands teach the foundation. Your snowboard will twist when you put opposite forces on your feet –press one foot down and pull up on the other.

Equal edge pressure is good for starting and stopping, but torsional pressure helps you do garlands and turn.

Step 2—Try heelside garlands: Head to a groomed beginner run. Start in a heelside traverse and press down on the heel of your front foot (pull up on your toes); the edge over your front foot will grip into the snow and you’ll begin to turn uphill and slow down. To go downhill and speed upl, press down on you front toes. Your edge will dig into the snow less and the nose of your board will point down the fall-line as you accelerate. Do heelside garlands across the whole hill until you feel comfortable.

Step 3—Try toeside garlands: Start in a toe-side traverse. Press down on the toes of your front foot to turn uphill. Take the pressure off your toes (or even press onto your heel slightly), the tip of your snowboard will begin heading back downhill. Practice until it’s easy.

With the right edge pressure and torsional flex, garlands will become solid linked turns.

Next step: C-turns

2 Responses to Step 7: Beginner snowboard garland
  1. Gabbiano(seagull)
    January 21, 2013 | 11:00 am

    Hi guys!
    I’m writing you from Italy, where I’m from just to thank you about sharing, in a very detailed (and funny) way, your knowledges on the web.
    Your videos have been “vital” for my progresses and I’m learning a lot from them! Especially Garlands made me feel a sort of jump of quality in understing the movements I’m supposed to do to learn how to curve!

    Thanks again! and I hope you continue to enrich your website with more videos!

  2. Rich
    December 31, 2011 | 9:50 am

    This step was the key to me actually being able to carve turns. I tried fighting the board and training hill for several hours before my wife yelled at me for not practicing my garlands. Once I started with garlands I began to understand how the boards edges actually work and was able to quickly progress from these to linked turns. DONT skip this step its critical.

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