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What Is Falling Leaf In Snowboarding? Is It important?

Snowboarding is a lot of fun regardless of skill level. However, there are some steps beginners can take to learn how to snowboard safely. A "falling leaf" is one of these moves, but what exactly is it?

The Falling Leaf is a snowboarding term that describes a fundamental movement that you must learn in order to control your snowboard. It entails riding either edge of your snowboard across the slope before reversing directions while staying on the same edge of your board. This avoids the need to point directly downhill at any point.

This article explains what a falling leaf is in snowboarding and why you should learn it right away!

What Is Falling Leaf In Snowboarding?

What Is Snowboarding's Falling Leaf?

As previously stated, a falling leaf occurs when you ride the edge of your board from one side of a ski slope to the other, then reverse and ride the same edge back in the opposite direction.

I hope that makes sense.

It is also known as zigzagging or side-slipping.

The falling leaf does imply "forwards" and "backwards" riding (otherwise known as regular and switch). You'll be fine as long as you go slowly and sideways!

Check why falling leaf is so important.

Why Should You learn The Falling Leaf?

One of the first things you need to learn when learning to snowboard is how to balance.

Standing sideways on a plank of wood while moving quickly feels strange at first (of course, if you started out by surfing then you may already have a head start).

It's best to begin by strapping into your board somewhere flat and just getting a feel for shifting your weight over the board's nose and tail. Then locate the center of the board as your safe zone.

After you've mastered how to center your weight on your board, the next step is to learn how to carve. But wait a minute! You won't be flying down the slopes on your heelside edge right away.

However, mastering the falling leaf technique is one of the most important ways to get there.


The Advantage of a Falling Leaf

The falling leaf is a deceptive method of teaching you to: 

1. Control your speed

2. Maintain control of your direction

3. Stop

4. Ride switch

5. Keep an edge

Is The Falling Leaf Only For Beginners?

Oh no!

If I come across a patch of gnarly, icy snow, I frequently fall back on the trusty falling leaf.

Similarly, if I'm tired at the end of the day, I'll treat myself to a falling leaf on some of the steeper faces.

There is almost no groomed slope you won't be able to get down once you've truly mastered the falling leaf (slowly).

Should I make use of the Falling Leaf?

If you're a beginner snowboarder, you should try the falling leaf method before progressing to more complex turns. It's an excellent way for new snowboarders to learn basic movements while maintaining a safe speed. You may still want to use it occasionally as your skill level improves.


Once you've mastered it, check our snowboard guides to continue expanding your skill set.

We'll see you on the slopes!

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