Snowboarding is considered a progressive sport. Before the fame and the money, the number one reason professionals snowboard is to stretch the limits of our sport. No matter what level of snowboarder you are, there is always room to improve your skills as a rider. Here is a few pointers for fine tuning your skills at any level of rider.
As a beginner, you first want to know which foot you feel most comfortable leading down the mountain with. Left foot or right foot forward? Regular or Goofy in other words. Once you figure that out, you want to make sure your bindings are set correctly. The recommended stance for beginners is +15 degrees in the front ,+0 degrees in the back. Positive points down the mountain and negative points up the mountain.
The Falling Leaf
First thing you want to learn to do is how to stop. Strap in and stand up facing down the mountain with your toes pointed up. If you do this correctly, you should be on your heel edge. This is how you stop. Now proceed down the mountain by flattening out the board slightly and putting weight on your front foot to allow the board to start going across the mountain. When you are at the other end of the trail and want to switch directions you push your back foot down the mountain and start leading with your back foot. As you proceed down the trail you will leave a track that looks like a falling leaf from a tree. Hence the name. When you are comfortable with your heel edge, start doing the same leaf fall pattern while facing up the mountain on your toe edge. After learning how this works, you should start to connect your turns.
Snowboarders who already know how to connect their turns need to learn how to ride switch. Riding switch means learning to ride with the leading foot in the back. This will allow you practice balance and in addition you’ll be able to land tricks like 180s and 540s. You may want to graduate yourself to a different stance. Consider a duck stance with your back foot pointed back almost as much or as much as your front foot. This will allow your hips to open up down the mountain whether you are riding regular or switch. I would suggest 9,-9 but everyone is different.
Now that you are pretty good at snowboarding, take your skills to the next level. Do you like the park or back country? Find your niche and rip it up. I can’t tell you to do back flips and travel dangerous terrain so do that on your own. But snowboard camps are all over the place now and will help you tremendously for park riders. Better yet, practice the terrain that you rather not do. If you’re a park junkie go back country or vice versa. Feel free to ask any questions to clerify what I have said and I will try to answer them promptly.