There is nothing more fun and freeing than ripping through the trees on a snowboard! When you can find your flow and that perfect line, pure joy follows. These 7 tips for trees will help you feel much more comfortable and confident when riding off-piste. Make sure to boost your Snowboard IQ on tree wells before you venture off the slopes and dive into the trees.
7 Tips For Added Control For Snowboarding In The Trees
1. Eyes Are Key
Look at the spaces between the trees, not at the trees! Where your eyes look your body will follow.
2. Scope The Terrain And Environment
Nothing will kill your speed and make you lose your flow faster than looking down at your feet and the nose of the board. Keep your eyes up and try to think 2 or 3 turns ahead when your ride. This will allow you to anticipate what movements you want to make. By planning a couple of turns ahead we can also react and adapt to the terrain more effectively.
3. Less Leaning, More Steering
Resist the temptation to tip into turns. If you are leaning into turns too much, you end up trying to balance on a knife-edge, making it difficult to manoeuvre, balance and stay comfortable. You also give yourself much further to have to move when you want to change edge. Steer more with the lower body rather than using the edge / sidecut to direct the board. We want to be quick and agile like a ninja in the trees, especially when they start to get tight or the terrain gets steep.
4. Loosey Goosey
Ride with relaxed ankles. Stiff ankles won’t allow you to use the ankle joint to help absorb and adapt to the terrain under your feet.
5. Flat Base = Quick Easy Pivot Of The Snowboard
With nice loose ankles, you should feel the weight equally over the arches of the feet and find yourself riding on a flat base. This makes for really easy turns, as you can pivot the board without any friction from the edge. It’s hard to turn with an edge locked in the snow!
Safety 1st = Always Ride In Pairs When Exploring The Trees
6. Centred + Stable
Try to stay centred and planted on top of your board (shoulders, hips, and feet stacked on top of each other). It will allow you to make quick responsive turns. Let the board cross underneath you as it is much more effective in tighter terrain. Big clunky movements or riding on the backfoot will get you bucked and turns / edge changes will take a long time to happen as you will have much further to move.
7. Maintain Alignment
If your upper and lower body get out of alignment by kicking the back foot, it can help you make one or two emergency turns. However, if you do not regain alignment you will start to struggle and feel lockout in your body making it difficult to turn fluidly.
I hope these tips help you get some extra fun and control out of your riding in the trees. Stay safe and make sure you always buddy up when venturing into the trees! Any questions please do not hesitate to ask, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy the slopes 🙂