Switch riding is a fundamental skill in freestyle snowboarding. Hitting features switch is definitely going to feel awkward at first, but learning this skill will make you a much better rider in the long run.
From Sketch to Switch
Getting comfortable hitting jumps switch takes practice. Buuuuuut, practice makes... what's the word for effectively doubling your bag of tricks... oh yeah PERFECT!
This tutorial will give you some great advice on how to walk all over that switch learning curve. Remember to check out our Snowboard Tutorial Membership for more great advice.
(Rider: Nev Lapwood Film/Edit: Adison MacDonald Filmed At: Whistler Blackcomb)
When first learning switch switch straight airs, make sure the jump you're hitting is fairly small. A smaller jump will reduce the consequence of falling, making it easier to commit to the proper body movements.
Take some time and get comfortable hitting the feature in your regular stance first. This will help you get the feeling for the correct speed and shape of the jump so there are no surprises when you drop into that bad boy backwards.
Six Switch Tips
- Practice a few switch turns every lap. Over time, you'll find that this consistent practice will have huge benefits and one day it will just click!
- Have switch races with your buddies! Sometimes the best way to learn is to jump into the deep end.
- When hitting jumps, pick a controlled location to drop in from and pay close attention to your speed.
- As you approach the lip, keep your shoulders in line with your snowboard and keep your base flat. Edges = Death.
- Bend your knees evenly and add a little bit of pop to leave the lip correctly.
- Stay in a crouched position in the air and avoid fully extending your legs.
This position should keep you from rotating one way or the other in the air.
As you start getting more comfortable with your switch straight airs, challenge yourself by trying out some switch grabs. Switch grabs are difficult but will help immensely with your control as you get into bigger switch tricks and switch spins.
Switch jumping can take a while to get the hang of. It's one of the aspects of snowboarding that you can always improve on. Believe it or not, performing everyday activity's with your weaker hand can also help with your switch riding. This could include everything from brushing your teeth to tickling your pickle. Performing these tasks with your off hand opens new pathways in your brain and will pave your way on the road to ambidexterity.
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