We’ll bet you can’t wait to get out on the slopes this winter. And if the snow is that fresh, fluffy powder stuff, then you’ll be even more eager to get go snowboarding. After all, powder snow is exactly what snowboarding is meant for. But whether the new white stuff lies on the slopes, or you have to go searching off-piste for powder snow, you’ll want to remind yourself of a few basic technique tips.
[caption id="attachment_956" align="alignleft" width="275" caption="All the fun of powder snowboarding"][/caption]
For those who are a bit rusty, or less experienced in the powder, it’s probably worth having a lesson or two from an expert. Powder snow demands good technique, and going off-piste comes with a range of dangers that you need to learn how to deal with.
Here's our refresher tips for great days of powder surfing
Feel the speed!: Powder snow tends to slow you down but going too slow will also “bog” you down. It’s important to keep your speed up while snowboarding on powder snow, especially if you can see a few flat areas coming up. Maintain your speed on the downs to get you across the flats. We’re not talking crazy, out-of-control speed but an in-control speed that allows you to stop quickly if required.
Softly, softly: Turning in powder should be a gentle and soft affair. Sudden turns are much more likely to bury your board under deep snow and tip you over so use gentle pressure. The aim is to stay on top of the powder and turn with grace.
Feel your weight: Don’t be tempted to lean too far one way or the other when turning in powder. This will cause the nose or tail of your board to go under the snow. The aim is to keep your body weight in the middle of your board, or perhaps a little to the back. The aim is to ride over the snow, and not burrow under it.
Follow your head: When you snowboard, remember that your body follows the direction that you turn your head. So if there are people, trees or other obstacles around look in between these and aim for the gaps.
Do a trial run: There is no harm – or shame – in checking out a route more slowly the first time and then heading back up to give it your all on the second go. This is especially true when snowboarding in areas where there are lots of obstacles. Every snowboarder loves a bit of gladed surfing on powder snow but that means you’ll want to avoid the trees and surf between the gaps. You can only do this safely if you’ve checked out the route first.
On the steep: Steep, powder-covered slopes demand a very different style of snowboarding. You’ll be looking to make short, sharp turns and act pretty aggressive with your technique. Try not to stop or think about the slopes for too long because steep descents are all about momentum and action.
Happy powder surfing!