Gliding is essentially putting both your feet on the board and then moving forward with it without having to kick with your back foot. Sounds easy? Yes, it is. This skill will be very useful when you need to get off from a chair lift – you would need to glide away as smoothly as you can to prevent yourself from toppling down or causing trouble for other snowboarders who are getting off.
That means that as soon as you can stand on your board and glide down an incline, you can confidently use the chairlift and advance to learning other skills.
Following these steps would help you learn how to glide in no time at all:
- Find a gentle slope without too many people. On top of the slope, stand up with your arms spread to help you stay balanced and upright. Once you are ready and you are sure that you would not hit anyone, place your back foot on the board, just right in the front of the back binding.
- Now, lean forward. You would feel that you are moving forward and down the slope. Bend your knees a little and keep your arms spread. If you think that you are moving too fast, shift your weight to the back. That will slow down the board or put it to a stop.
- When you reach the flat surface at the end of the slope, turn around and skate upwards. This would be a little harder than skating on a flat surface. To skate uphill faster, just increase the intensity of your kick.
Since you do not know how to turn yet, you would find that you are facing the wrong edge. Most beginners would try to jump around to make them face the right edge; however, you could lose your balance when you do that.
The safe way to turn around with your feet strapped onto the board is to remove the bindings and turn your board around. However, there is a trick to doing the toe to heel switch in such a way that it is much easier than having to do your bindings again. Follow these steps would make that flip easier:
- Drop to your knees and place your hands on the ground. Prop your elbows on the snow.
- Place your right shoulder on the ground and start rolling to that direction.
- Gradually lift your snowboard into the air as you roll and turn it around.
- Put your snowboard down and use your hands to help you get into sitting position. Push yourself up. You have already switched to heel edge.
Tip: if you want to do the toe edge, just follow the above steps in reverse order.
Side slipping Using Your Board’s Edges
Here’s the tricky part in snowboarding. When you are doing the other tricks, you would have to slide down slopes with both your feet on. For that reason, it would be best to start training yourself with both your feet strapped on. When you do not have your back foot free to help you prop yourself up, you would need to learn how to balance and keep your body upright at all times.
This next technique is called slide slipping which means being able to move perpendicularly by shifting the balance from your toes and heels. With this technique, you can control your speed while going downhill using the edge of the board and slide along the fall of the slope.
Follow these steps to learn how to slide slip. Do this exercise as often as you can to become more acquainted with your board’s toe and heel edges.
- Find a moderate slope and attach both feet in your board’s bindings.
- Face uphill and kneel. Dig your toe into the snow to plant the toe edge of your board. Support your body with your hands.
- Move your hands slowly towards your body until they reach your sides. Balance your body while you raise your knees.
- Extend your legs and lift your body until you reach a standing position. Keep your balance and make sure that your board remains planted on the snow on its toe edge.
- Now, slowly plant the back of your board on the snow. You will begin to slide backward. Slightly bend your knees to lower your center of gravity and gain balance.
- Let your board gain speed by leaning backwards. If you think that you are going too fast, lean forward.
- Keep leaning forward until you perform a full break.
Now, if you want to sideslip using the heel edge, all you need to do is to start from a sitting position and plant the heel edge of your board to the snow, and then slowly lift your body to start. If you want to increase speed, you would need to lean forward to your toe instead. If you want to stop or decelerate, lean backwards.