Why Do Snowboarders Wave Their Arms?
Snowboarding with ease and style requires practice and experience. Some inexperienced snowboarders frequently find themselves flailing their arms. What causes snowboarders to wave their arms?
Many beginner snowboarders will wave their arms for balance or to initiate a rotation. Skiers with more experience learn how to control the board from the waist down. It takes time and practice to balance and control the board with your lower body. Don't be discouraged if people call you "wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man."
When snowboarding, the most important thing is to have fun, stay safe, and enjoy the ride! Find out what equipment you need for snowboarding if you are a beginner assembling your gear.
When you're snowboarding, what do you do with your arms?
The fundamental skill that every snowboarder should learn is how to get into a basic stance. Remember that upper body movement makes you work twice as hard when snowboarding. In snowboarding, flailing your arms is known as "GARM," which stands for gorilla arm, or "The Punter Wave."
If you're stuck with your arms, the first advice is to grab the sides of your pants while riding. Your arms will be straight down the sides of your body this way. That will serve as a reminder to keep your arms down. Find out why your forearms hurt after snowboarding in our article.
What snowboarding stance should I take?
When you first start snowboarding, you should figure out which of these two stances comes naturally to you:
1. Regular/natural: you skateboard with your left foot forward. In other words, your left foot is closest to your snowboard's nose. Although this is not always the case, right-handers are usually consistent.
2. Goofy: When riding goofy, put your right foot forward. In other words, your right foot is down the hill first. Left-handers are known to ride goofy.
Neither of these two positions is superior to the other. What matters is that they feel comfortable to you. Find out why snowboard boots lean forward.
Best way to learn the proper snowboard stance
Learning the proper snowboard stance is essential, and once you start turning, proper posture becomes even more important. The following are the steps to achieve proper alignment:
- Knees and ankles bent: Your knees should be relaxed and tracking over your toes. The idea is that your knees are soft and can easily flex in response to changing terrain.
- Maintain a relaxed posture with your hips and shoulders in line with your board.
- Relax your arms: Your arms should be relaxed by your sides.
- Look straight ahead: Only your head should be facing the direction you're riding in. Keep your head up and avoid looking down while riding.
In snowboarding, you should always turn from the waist down, not from the hips. When your torso is fully forward, it causes counter-rotation movements in which your upper and lower bodies work against each other. Counter-rotation movements throw you off balance and make snowboarding much more difficult. Break the habit of counter-rotation movements and learn that your feet, not your arms, move the board.
What should the width of my snowboard stance be
The width of your snowboard stance should be neither too wide nor too narrow. Aim for a width that is slightly wider than your shoulder width. If your stance is too wide, it will be difficult to maneuver the board and nearly impossible to make any kind of sharp turn. When your stance is too narrow, however, it is difficult to control the board because your feet are unstable.
You can determine your stance width by standing on a binding-free board and taking a shoulder-width stance first. Then, move your feet outward slightly. Your stance width is when you feel more comfortable with bent knees than straight knees.
When putting on bindings, use the distance between the centres of one foot and the centres of another as a guide. Experiment to see what works best or better for your personal style.
Best way to skate on a snowboard
Skating on a snowboard entails leading with your front foot strapped in and pushing forward with your free back foot on flat ground. It's similar to skating on a skateboard. Skating is useful for flat terrain and getting on and off a chairlift. This is how you get started on a snowboard:
- Maintain a slight bend in your knees and an upward gaze at all times.
- Place your free foot in front of or behind your skateboard; the latter is the more popular way to skate.
- Begin pushing yourself with your back foot, finding balance with small shuffles and gradually progressing to longer pushes. Before going up the hill, get comfortable on your board on flat terrain.
- If your free foot extends past your back binding, you may do a split.
How to glide on a snowboard
When you're comfortable skating, you can move on to gliding. Gliding is the movement of your free foot on the board around flatter surfaces or gentler slopes. Place your free foot in the centre of your board against the back binding. This will provide you with additional stability. Gliding is also required for getting off a chairlift.
How to make a J-turn
The J-turn is one of the first snowboard maneuvers you will learn. This move will teach you how to control your speed, balance, and edge control. Remember that you must apply the proper amount of pressure to your feet in order to turn your snowboard. You can practice certain subtle foot movements both at home and on snow.
A J-turn involves flying straight and then making a slightly uphill turn in the shape of the letter J. J-turns are classified into toe-side J-turns and heel-side J-turns. Choose a beginner's slope or a bunny hill to practice whichever you choose.
The steps to toe-side J-turn
- Glide forward and apply gentle pressure to your toes: this gradual pressure will point your board in the direction you want it to go: straight down a gentle slope.
- Transfer your weight to your front foot by flexing your knees and ankles and moving your hips over your toes.
- Turn the board by shifting your weight to the toe-side edge, resulting in an edge angle. Your snowboard will return to the top of the hill.
The steps to heel-side J-turn
- Stand in your basic stance, with your front foot clicked into the snowboard, and your back foot slowly placed on the stomp pad.
- Flex your ankles and knees and move your hips over the heel-side edge to apply weight to the front foot.
- Create a tilt by slowly lifting your toes to the top of your snowboard boot and turning the board uphill.
Both of these J-turns should be practised at least seven times. Practice until you are confident that you can steer, turn, and stop your snowboard with one foot not clicked in.
After that, strap in both feet and practice both J-turns a few times. Only after this will you be ready to ride the chairlift. If you have pressure points in your snowboard boots, read our blog to learn how to eliminate them.
Best way to traverse on a snowboard?
Beginner snowboarders who learn to traverse will find it easier to learn to ride and gain edge control. Traversing is the ability to balance and control your direction. There are two traverses: toe-side and heel-side.
The steps to perform a toe-side traverse
- Find your balance point by bending your knees and distributing your weight evenly over the toe-side edge. You should not attempt to balance on your toes.
- Shift your weight to the front foot: as you move toward your board's nose, push more on your left heel to go left or more on your right heel to go right.
- Slow down and come to a complete stop by pressing evenly on both feet, aligning your shoulders, and leaning over to increase the edge angle, slowing you down and bringing you to a complete stop.
The steps to perform a heel-side traverse
- Find your balance point by bending your knees and not standing too tall. Transform your hips over the heel-side edge.
- Slowly shift your weight to the front foot: push down a little more with your left toes to get the board moving. This will direct you to the left. Make small tilting adjustments rather than large movements.
- Slow down and stop: the process of stopping is identical to that of a toe-side traverse.
If you want to learn how to ride a snowboard but find all of the steps outlined here overwhelming, consider taking snowboarding lessons from an American Association of Snowboard Instructors certified instructor.
Riding a snowboard has numerous health benefits. Learn how many calories snowboarding expands. Remember that safety is your responsibility when snowboarding, and don't forget to have fun!