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Why Slowing Down Is Important
If you’re looking to become an experienced rider, you must learn how to lower your speed. Can you imagine how it is to drive a car without knowing how to break?
The ability to reduce the speed is a basic skill that beginner riders must know. You learn this in all board sports as an important safety measure, so don’t expect your snowboard lesson to be any different. You need this skill to be able to protect yourself and the other people riding the mountain snow.
Picture yourself going downhill on your first day. The slow speeds you started with will gradually increase, and this happens even faster if you are headed straight without curves.
When you slow down, it lets you control how fast you are going. You can start, stop, and navigate appropriately when needed. It will also help you avoid the obstacles you encounter.
Your speed changes a lot when you are snowboarding. To navigate these changes successfully, you must be able to reduce your speed as it cannot be neglected in your journey in advancing to the next level of snowboarding.
Make sure to learn how to slowly decrease your speed on a snowboard at the beginning. To become the best snowboarder there is, you must be able to control speed when riding.
How to Slow Down on A Snowboard
Slowing down on a snowboard is a bit different than with other board sports. If you’re brand new to the snow, brace yourself. It will take more than a few attempts to get the hang of it and will likely involve mild crashes.
The key to this new process is not to let yourself get discouraged. As with other winter sports, practice makes perfect. Soon enough, you will learn the basic skills that will improve over time.
There are different ways you can slow down while snowboarding. Some of them are simple techniques while others are more advanced. We’ll do our best to look at the most common ones here.
Learn and practice the basic methods until it becomes easy for you. Once you mastered the basic techniques, you’d be ready to dive into the advanced methods.
Fair warning though, you will fall a couple of times so wear protective clothing. Gear up with butt pads for butt injuries, knee pads to prevent achy knees, wrist guards for wrist injuries, helmets to protect the head.
Learn to Control The Edge
If you want to enjoy smooth snowboarding, controlling speed is important. This also means that edge control should not be played with. To reduce your speed, you’ll have to use your snowboards’ edges because it acts as brakes.
There are various metal strips found around the edges of your snowboard that will dig and bite into the dry snow to decrease speed.
By doing this form of scraping, it will create enough friction between the block of snowboard and the cold snow. This friction helps you regulate your speed as well as assist in turning and carving.
Most of the big techniques you see in snowboarding are because of knowing how to reduce your speed. When it comes to snowboarding, think of your edges as the best friends you can have, so you need an effective edge.
Doing The Basic Slide
The basic slide is the easiest way to slow down on a snowboard. The direction of travel matters a lot when doing the basic slide. It comes into play as you slide perpendicularly on a downhill slope.
The basic slide is a crucial technique that beginners must learn to control the speed of their board. Most people tend to become disappointed when they see it for the first time because it does not look cool.
It works effectively when you want to get out of gnarly situations. It helps you easily slow down, gain control, and then allow you to decide what to do next. You can reduce your speed using the basic slide, by following these steps.
To get started, you must build your speed to a certain level. It goes without question that you cannot slow down if you’re not fast in the first place. Make sure to point your snowboard down on a beginner slope and start your journey downwards.
Once your speed is up a bit, it’s time to apply a bit of skill by rotating your board in a way that ends with your toes pointing in the downhill direction. You’ll find yourself going perpendicularly downhill if you’ve done this turn right.
It’s time to drop your heel side edge into the snow, which will help lower the speed. As you push your heel side edge deeper into the dry snow, you will find your speed reducing.
You can then adjust your basic stance and lean forward on your snowboard to go downhill on the slide. Then, repeat the process.
Get the hang of the basic slide by repeatedly practicing these steps until you’re comfortable. Soon you’ll be able to get started on your slide, but make sure to maintain that slide to lower your speed and then head downhill on your board. Remember that practice means perfect.
Turning and Carving
After the basic slide, turning and carving is the next speed control to conquer. This method is the most common one, but it will help you slow down and snowboarders at all levels practice this.
The reason why turning and carving is popular is because it is very effective. It allows snowboarders to maintain control through many conditions, but to use this technique, you must be able to turn and carve properly.
The first step for this technique is to learn how to turn and carve as mentioned above. Being able to control the edge is also very vital here. The difference with the edge control here is that you use your heel side edge and your toe side edge for turning and carving.
Point your snowboard downward while you’re on the bunny slopes, so it generates the initial bit of speed needed and then lean into your first turn. Your uphill edge will dig into the cold snow, which allows you to complete your turn. After completing your turn, turn in the other direction.
Make sure to do this with your opposite edge facing uphill. As you dig more into your uphill edge, the more you can control how fast you’re going. A sharper turn will make you become slower while a narrower turn will be faster.
The Sudden Stop
The Sudden Stop, otherwise known as gravity stop or hockey stop, is the most advanced way of slowing yourself down. You need to reach a certain comfort level to attempt this maneuver.
The speed stop is more of a stopping technique rather than a way to reduce your speed. You must turn really quickly and dig the uphill edge on your snowboard in the snow, allowing you to completely stop in a few seconds.
While it requires skill, we advise you to learn it as soon as you can because you will be able to stop immediately and avoid putting yourself in danger.
With the speed stop, you’ll also find that you need to turn. The main difference is that instead of heading downhill to control how fast you’re going, you dig in. Just remember that bent knees and bent hips are key for this method, which will help you absorb whatever impact stopping will cause.
It’s important to keep your board’s tip pointing uphill slightly as you turn, which will cause gravity to play a part in your stop. We advise you to try this on a terrain that isn’t so steep at first, but you can try riding it on advanced terrain once you master it.
You can’t enjoy all that snowboarding has to offer without control. Learning how to stop is one of the first steps in your control. Once you use the above tips, make sure to keep practicing which will help you gain confidence and become better at the sport.