Step 2: Skating & Stepping


First on-snow snowboard lesson: skating and stepping.

Once you’re familiar with snowboard terms and have your bindings mounted, get on the hill for your first lesson. Skating and stepping are the first skills you’ll learn on snow, and ones you’ll use every time you strap on a snowboard. And while the movements may seem unusual at first, never fear, because they’re simple variations of motions you already know and love.

How to skate on a snowboard.

Step 1—Stance First stand in an athletic snowboard stance. The proper snowboard stance is: feet about shoulder width apart, back straight with shoulders square, hands at your sides and ankles, knees and hips slightly flexed.

Step 2—Practice the movement by tracing a line in the snow Plant your front foot in the snow and keep your knee nice and bent. If you are regular, this will be your left foot. If you’re goofy, your right foot will be forward. Now use the heel of your back foot to trace a line in the snow. The line should be between 16 and 20 inches long (about as long as your stance is wide). When you’ve got that down, trace a line behind you with your toe. Buckle your front foot into your binding and trace the same line while strapped into your board. Remember, you only need to trace a short distance.

Step 3—Skate To get moving, apply the same motion you used tracing, but this time dig your back foot into the snow. Get traction and you’ll start to move forward. If you are having trouble, focus on moving your back foot a short distance, too much will cause you to be off balance.

Whether you skate on your heel edge with your foot behind you, or on your toe edge with your foot in front will largely depend on two factors: your preference or the terrain. Some people find it more comfortable to skate with their foot in front.

If you’re on any incline, you always want to keep your board on an edge. Your edge digs into the snow, acting as a platform to stand on. If you’re skating on your toe edge, dig the edge in by putting pressure on your front toe. For your heel edge, put pressure on your heel.

How to step uphill on a snowboard.

Stepping involves taking steps up the hill with your front foot strapped in and your back foot out. Like skating, stepping is an essential skill to get around the mountain.

Step 1 – Practice the motion on stairs Approach a hill or a flight of stairs, and step forward with your back leg. When you step up, pull your front leg up behind you, as if you’re limping.

Step 2 – Step up the hill Buckle your front foot into your binding and tip your board up on its edge. You’ll want to really dig it in to get traction, so pretend you are standing on your tip-toes. Apply the same motion you used to walk upstairs. Use your snowboard as a platform and step your back foot uphill. Now, put all your weight over your back foot and lift your snowboard completely off the ground and pull it uphill behind you.

If you are having trouble, take smaller steps, big ones cause you to be off balance. While you will mostly step using your toe edge, it’s good to practice stepping on your heel edge as well.

Although it may not be as fancy as carving or freestyle, learning how to snowboard requires mastering a series of basic (yet essential) steps. Thanks for tuning in and congratulations on completing your first on-hill snowboard lesson!

Next step: How to snowboard, step 3: straight glides