Step 6: Get up, start and stop


How to get up, start and stop on a snowboard.

In this episode we cover the essential, but often forgotten basics of standing up, starting and stopping.

How to stand up on a snowboard: Before you can snowboard, you’ve got to stand up. It can take some getting used to, but luckily you’re already familiar with it from everyday movements. The technique is similar to getting up off the floor. Practice getting up from both your bottom and knees at home.

Now move to the hill with your snowboard strapped in. Practice standing up at the bottom of the hill where it’s flat. This prevents you from going downhill accidentally. There are many ways to get up—practice which method you prefer. No matter what method you use, it’s important to keep the pressure even between both feet. Keeping foot pressure even when standing up will prevent you from shooting down the hill in one direction.

How to start and stop a snowboard: Once you’re standing up, you’ll need to start and stop. Adding equal pressure to both feet and tipping the board up more will cause the edge to dig into the snow and you’ll slow down. Lots of pressure and you’ll stop.

Reducing the pressure on both equally will cause you to speed up, since your edges aren’t grabbing onto the snow as much. It’s the same with peanut butter. Hold your knife flatter and you’ll smooth over it. But tilt the blade more and you’ll dig in.

You can practice this by hanging off the stairs. We automatically put pressure where it needs to be in order to stay balanced. Sudden movements will throw you off balance. Just like on your snowboard, keep everything subtle and smooth. The movements on the stairs are virtually the same as on a board, so this is a great drill to get the feeling.

How to do a traverse: A traverse means you move across the slope without entering the fall-line—in other words you’ll cut across the hill rather than go down it.

For a toe-side traverse, tip your snowboard onto its toe edge gently shift weight onto your front foot. Your snowboard will tilt down hill slightly. Keep your edge digging into the snow evenly and you’ll travel across the hill.

From your heel-edge, shift weight onto your front leg and tip your snowboard onto the heel edge. If you keep your snowboard on edge, you will cut across the fall-line.

Next step: Garlands