Snowboarding is a very difficult sport to master. Particularly the art of carving. To make things easier for you, I've listed the most common snowboard carving mistakes and how to avoid them.
Here are the seven most common mistakes snowboarders make when carving:
- Failure to follow through.
- There isn't enough speed.
- Bad posture.
- There isn't enough lateral movement.
- You are not committed to your edge.
- Kicking the board out the back.
- Failure to get the proper snowboard.
In this article, I’ll show you the most common mistakes that beginners or newbies (and beyond) make when carving. You'll be carving like a pro in no time...
|7 worst common snowboard carving mistakes
7 common snowboard carving mistakes
1. Failure to follow through.
The most noticeable component of any successful carve is failing to follow through on your turn.
This is a common mistake made by snowboarders everywhere, not just when carving. Riders frequently begin the turn, then ease off and lose control of the snowboard as the board changes direction.
This doesn't allow your board the time to genuinely find "the edge".
Instead, riders should remain with the turn until the carve is completed, allowing the rider's weight and momentum to carry the board smoothly through to the following turn. Pulling out of the carve too soon can also make turning unpredictable, perhaps resulting in accidents or collisions with other riders on the slope.
Allowing your turns and carves to last longer than usual is a good practice. Returning to long "U" spins up the hill is a useful practice for this.
2. There isn't enough speed.
Speed is an important component of a successful carving. You must build up enough momentum to move from carve to carve cleanly.
Beginners frequently try to carve slowly. This keeps the board from getting too close to an edge, which prevents you from leaning over sufficiently to hold a carve. As a result, you end up "skidding" out your turns and struggling with transitions.
Is it necessary for you to fly down the hill at supersonic speeds?
Nope! Just make sure you've built up enough speed and momentum for your board to have the best chance of railing on edge.
Try it out on a wide, moderately steep slope. Take your time and wait until you're moving at a fair rate before beginning your turn.
3. Bad Posture.
Another common snowboard carving mistake is not maintaining proper posture. The way you stand is crucial to your success. You won't be able to sustain pressure over your edge if you're too upright or too slouched. You'll either leave the carve early or fall head over heels.
Getting a firm stance, relaxing your body, and keeping a tiny bend in your knees are all part of the proper carving posture. Throughout, your upper body should be reasonably still.
- Toe-side carves: Bend your knees slightly, maintain your back straight, push forward on your toeside edge, and lean into the hill. Some riders stretch their arms out to touch the ground; if you do this, use momentum and lean rather than bending your back.
- Heel-side carves: Squat as though sitting on a chair but not quite as low. Straighten your back. Apply consistent pressure on your heels. Keep it.
Learning how to get your posture right, like following through, will benefit you in many aspects of snowboarding, not just when cutting up the hill like a turkey.
4. There isn't enough lateral movement.
When carving, lateral movement relates to whether you lean forwards or backwards on the board.
When cutting, you should always lean towards the slope. If you don't lean far enough into the curve, you'll likely stop carving. If you lean in too far, you'll cross your center of balance and face-plant the slope.
You'll soon discover that carrying extra momentum allows you to lean in harder. You'll also notice that leaning over makes it simpler to hold an edge. Unfortunately, it requires some trial and error. But you'll make it!
5. You are not committed to your edge.
You'll be leveraging the toe or heel side of your board when attempting to carve up a slope on your board. As you might expect, the toe-side of the board is the direction your toes face while riding, whereas the heel-side is the opposite.
When riding with your right foot forward, lean toeside when carving to the left and heelside when carving to the right. When riding with your left foot in front, you lean toe side when slicing to the right.
Now that you've determined which edge to pursue, commit, commit, commit! Carving is impossible without committing to ride on one edge. Even a minor "flat-basing" will throw your carving off.
6. Kicking the board out the back..
This is a very common snowboard carving mistake.
Many riders kick out the back of the board to compensate for weak edge hold or posture. This is inconvenient when carving. Instead, it abruptly halts the carving motion!
On your snowboard, do not kick out your back foot.
Instead, shift your weight from your back foot to your front foot. This amount of pressure is sufficient to transition from turn to transition to turn. There's no need for any spectacular leg kicks!
Less is more when it comes to carving. Focus on keeping your body in a straight line with the board. Gently steer the board with your front foot. Never use your rear foot to steer.
7. Failure to get the proper snowboard
Snowboarding has various variations, including freestyle and freeride. The snowboards used by freestyle snowboarders are substantially more flexible. This allows them to perform rapid tricks, flips, and spins.
Carving, on the other hand, entails making lengthy, smooth bends at high speeds.
If you try to carve on a short freestyle snowboard, you'll probably have more difficulty than if you used a proper board. As a result, you may want to look for an all-mountain board to assist you in learning.
Obviously there will be a few readers thinking "but you can carve on any snowboard". This is correct. But why make things more difficult for yourself when you're learning?
Those are the most troublesome common snowboard carving mistakes!
Do you recognize any of them from your own riding? If you're hesitant, I'd suggest having someone record you while you're carving. Keep the aforementioned suggestions in mind as you watch the video. Examine your strengths and weaknesses. Repeat as necessary.
Now go forth and carve up that mountain like a knife through butter!