Best way to slow down & stop on a snowboard

Best way to slow down & stop on a snowboard

Best way to slow down & stop on a snowboard

Stopping on a snowboard is an important skill for any beginner learning to snowboard. It will not only help you stop, but it will also give you confidence that you can apply the brakes at any time. 

Slowing down allows you to progress faster, learn new skills, and avoid catching edges. When riding on narrow tracks with little room to maneuver, you'll need to know how to slow down and stop, and when you progress to jumps and tricks, you will need this same technique or method to be able to scrub off some speed.

This technique involves a lot of upper and lower body separation and counter-rotation, and it's a great stepping stone to learning a lot of other snowboard moves. This fundamental technique is also used in shifties, board slides, powder slashes, and tweaking out grabs, to name a few...!

To get your board to stop, turn it 90 degrees to the slope of the hill so that the tip and tail of the board face perfectly across the hill. You must also apply pressure through the board's edge. The edges grip the snow and push some of it down the hill. This is what causes you to lag.

You can get the board to 90 degrees by simply turning it, but this will cause you to continue traveling down the hill. This can be an issue if you're trying to stop amongst a crowd, such as at the bottom of a lift where crowds can form.

Instead of performing a standard turn, you must be able to rotate it 90 degrees without moving it across the hill.

The key here is to use counter rotation to move the board around.

This move can be done on either the toe or heel edge of your board, but we'll start with the heel edge because it's the easiest and most useful.

Stopping on your heel edge

To begin, open up your upper body by rotating your shoulders to the front of the board as if reaching forward with your back hand. This creates tension between your shoulders and hips in the core of your board, which we can use to force the board to rotate.

Next, slightly rock your board onto your heel edge, then counter rotate your upper body back and push your back foot forward, punching your heel edge into the snow.

Practice by flat basing straight down the slope for a few meters and seeing if you can slow down and stop without the board traveling across the hill.

Stopping on your toe edge

Slowing down and stopping on your toe edge follows the same principles as on your heels but is a little trickier. However, once you've mastered the toe edge stop, you can actually stop much harder and faster than on the heel edge.

Begin by rotating your shoulders to the board's tail and leaning lightly onto your toe edge.

Then, as with the heel edge turn, use your counter rotation. But this time, push your hips up the hill so that you are facing up. With the toe edge stop, you can lean against the toe edge and dig your toes into the snow. This will quickly bring you to a halt and hurl a load of snow into the air.

Once you've mastered this, you can perform a white room, in which you fire a load of snow into the air before performing the entire move in reverse and riding back through your cloud of snow.

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