Snowboarding is all about control. Controlling your speed, direction, and how you make your way down the mountain. In this article, we’re going to teach you a few tips and techniques on how to control speed snowboarding. Whether you’re just starting or are an experienced rider, these tips will help you take your riding to the next level! So stay safe out there, and have fun!
We all know that feeling. You’re cruising down the mountain, taking in the scenery, and suddenly you realize you’re going too fast! Whether you misjudged a turn or hit a patch of ice, controlling your speed is essential for snowboarding. Many beginners go too fast because they’re nervous or excited, but it’s important to remember that you can always slow down. It’s much harder to speed up!
The Physics of Speed Snowboarding
Three primary forces affect speed snowboarding- gravity, friction, and air resistance.
Gravity is the force that pulls objects towards the center of the earth. It is what gives us weight and makes things fall. On a snowboard, gravity is what makes us go downhill.
Friction is the force that opposes motion between two surfaces in contact. For example, when you rub your hand across a rough surface, you feel friction. On a snowboard, friction occurs between the bottom of the board and the snow. The more friction there is, the slower you will go.
Air resistance is the force created by air molecules colliding with an object as it moves through the air. Air resistance increases with speed. The faster you go, the more air resistance you will experience. On a snowboard, air resistance slows you down.
A Detailed Guide on How to Control Speed Snowboarding
Technique 1. Applying and Releasing Edge Pressure
When you want to slow down, you need to release the pressure on your edges and let your board run flat. How much pressure you release will determine how quickly you slow down. If you want to brake hard, release all the pressure on your edges. Conversely, if you’re going to go slow and keep your speed under control, then only release a little bit of pressure at a time.
Step 1: Determine When You Need to Slow Down
This is the most crucial step because if you don’t know when to brake, you won’t be able to control your speed correctly. There are two main times when you’ll need to slow down:
- When You’re Approaching a Turn: You want to control your speed when you enter a turn so that you don’t end up going too fast and wiping out.
- When You’re Coming Down a Hill: keep your speed under control on steep hills so that you don’t go careening out of control.
Step 2: Release the Pressure on Your Edges
Once you’ve determined when you need to slow down, it’s time to release the pressure on your edges. How much pressure you release will determine how quickly you slow down, so be sure to release only as much pressure as you need.
If you’re braking hard, release all the pressure on your edges. But, on the other hand, if you’re trying to slow down a little bit, only release a little bit of pressure.
Step 3: Let Your Board Run Flat
Once you’ve released the pressure on your edges, your board will start to run flat. This is what allows you to slow down. Keep in mind that the more pressure you release, the flatter your board will become and the faster you’ll slow down.
Step 4: Repeat as Necessary
You can brake as many times as you need to to keep your speed under control. Just release the pressure on your edges each time you want to brake.
Technique 2. Dragging Your Hand
When you’re snowboarding, there are times when you need to slow down. One way to do this is by dragging your hand along the ground. This will help to create friction and slow you down.
Step 1: Figure Out Which Hand You’ll Use
This technique can be done with either hand, but you’ll need to figure out which hand works best. You’ll probably want to use your left hand if you’re right-handed. You’ll probably want to use your right hand if you’re left-handed.
Step 2: Place Your Hand on the Ground
When you’re ready to slow down, place your hand on the ground. Ensure that your hand is in front of your body and that your fingers are pointing downwards.
Step 3: Apply Pressure to Your Hand
As you’re moving, apply pressure to your hand. This will help to create friction and slow you down.
Step 4: Release the Pressure When You Want to Speed Up
Once you’ve slowed down enough, you can release the pressure from your hand and start snowboarding again.
Technique 3. Carving
Carving is the most effective way to control your speed when snowboarding. When you carve, you make a turn by digging the edges of your board into the snow. This slows you down and allows you to control your speed.
Step 1: Start by Carving on a Gentle Slope
If you’re new to carving, it’s best to start on a gentle slope. This will allow you to get a feel for the movement and help you build confidence.
Step 2: Turn Your Board Into the Slope
Turn your board perpendicular to the fall line as you approach the slope. This will help you carve more effectively.
Step 3: Dig Your Edges Into the Snow
Once you’re in position, dig your edges into the snow and lean into the turn. This will help you make a clean carving turn and slow down.
Step 4: Repeat!
Once you’ve made your turn, repeat the process on the other side. Remember to keep your weight balanced and stay perpendicular to the fall line. Carving is a great way to control your speed and have more fun on the slopes!
Safety Precautions for Speed Snowboarding
If you are new to speed snowboarding, you must take some safety precautions. Here are some tips on how to control your speed while snowboarding:
- Choose the right equipment. It is essential to have the proper equipment when engaging in any sport. When speed snowboarding, make sure you have a board designed for high speeds. In addition, wear protective gear such as a helmet and pads.
- Start slow. If you are new to speed snowboarding, start practicing at lower speeds. Once you feel comfortable, gradually increase your speed.
- Be aware of your surroundings. When speeding down a hill, be aware of what is around you. Obstacles such as trees or rocks can be dangerous.
- Follow the rules. When snowboarding in a designated area, follow all posted rules and regulations. This will help keep you and others safe.
- Use caution in bad weather. Snowboarding in bad weather conditions can be dangerous. If the conditions are not ideal, it is best to wait until they improve before hitting the slopes.
By following these safety tips, you can help control your speed while snowboarding and stay safe on the slopes.
Tips for Beginner Speed Snowboarders
- Start by learning to control your speed on gentle slopes. As you become more confident, you can attempt steeper and faster runs.
- Use your edges to control your speed. When you turn your snowboard onto its edge, it will slow down. The sharper the angle of the edge, the more braking power it will have.
- Practice perfecting your carving technique. This is a key skill for controlling your speed as it allows you to make sharp turns while maintaining momentum.
- If you start to feel out of control, use the emergency stop technique. To do this, dig your heels into the snow and lean back on your heels until you come to a stop.
- Always be aware of your surroundings and know where the safe areas are to stop. Ask a ski patrol or other experienced snowboarder for help if you are unsure.
- Lastly, always wear proper safety gear when snowboarding, including a helmet, to help protect you in case of an accident.
Advanced Techniques to Control Speed Snowboarding
- Do a Little Jump Turn This is a great way to slow down or change direction without stopping entirely quickly. Point your board in the opposite direction and do a little jump off of one foot while keeping the other foot planted on the board. This will help swing your board around and significantly reduce your speed.
- Use Your Brakes! If you are snowboarding on a groomed run, there will likely be some braking system in place. This could be a rope tow, handle tow, or magic carpet. Using the brakes will help you slow down without having to do any fancy footwork.
- Dig Your Heels in If you need to slow down quickly and there is no braking system available, try digging your heels into the snow. This will create drag and help slow you down. Be careful not to do this too much, or you may go over the edge of the run!
- Make Wide Turns Another way to control your speed is by making wide turns instead of sharp ones. This will help you keep your speed under control and avoid dangerous situations.
Following these tips, you’ll be able to control your speed and enjoy snowboarding at your own pace!
Snowboarding is all about control. Controlling your speed, direction, and, most importantly, controlling your landing. By following these simple techniques on how to control speed snowboarding, you’ll be able to take your snowboarding skills to the next level and feel in complete control while speeding down the slopes.
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