One footed riding, or more commonly known to snowboarders as "skating", is a technique essential to becoming a well rounded snowboarder. This is often one of the first things instructors teach, because you need the skills of skating one footed to ride a lift or try and navigate flat terrain. No one wants "scootch leg" from trying to jump across flat ground with both feet strapped in!
To avoid the dreaded scootch leg, check out this free tutorial on How To Ride One Footed.
Scootch Leg - A medical diagnosis for snowboarders who suffer from one leg significantly outgrowing the other (Usually a result of "scootching" on flat ground with both feet strapped into the board)
Riding One Footed
1. Take out your back foot from your binding and stand on your back leg.
2. Lift your board up to feel what its like.
3. Put your board back on the ground, take a step with the foot that is strapped in (the front foot), sliding it forward a comfortable distance.
4. Put weight on your front foot strapped into your board, lift up the back foot (unstrapped) and place it behind the front foot. Tip - Make sure you are balanced on your front foot before lifting your back leg up. You don't want to slide out here!
5. Repeat step 3 and 4 over and over again to get to where you want to go. Step, slide, step, slide.
6. When that gets easy. See if you can get a bit of momentum. Step, slide and put your back foot onto your board when you pick up enough speed.
7. Once you get used to the feeling of standing on the board while gliding (with your front foot strapped in and your back foot unstrapped on your board), you can begin to learn to apply your weight to different edges.
How To Turn While Riding One Footed
To improve on turning while riding one footed, bend your front knee slightly and apply weight towards your toe edge for a toe-side turn, and apply weight to your heel edge for a heel-side turn. Being able to turn one footed is important, because when you get off a chair, you may need to turn as soon as you skate off the lift.
How To Break While Riding One Footed
You may find you need to break or slow down. One tactic is to put your back foot a little bit off the board so that you can dig your heel into the snow, to bring you to a stop.
Tip 1 - Get a stomp pad! These will allow you to put the back foot on the board, providing your unstrapped foot with grip. Stomp pads are an awesome little addition to make skating one footed a LOT easier!
Tip 2 - If you don't have a stomp pad, dig your back foot into the binding like the below photo. This will hold you in place with more control
Tip 3 - You may see some people skating with the unstrapped foot in front of the board. Quite simply...don't do this, ever... (like the below photo):
This technique of skating with the leg in front does work, but it is SUPER awkward and a bad habit to get into. You may twist your leg and you will get much better results from learning the correct way, with your foot going behind the board.
Tip 4 - A lot of riders who are first learning the correct one footed technique, do so with open shoulders:
You must align your shoulders with your snowboard, so that you move smoother, in a straight line and can go faster with your skating:
Fun Exercises To Improve Your One Footed Riding
Extra Challenge 1 - Try and lift your board up off the ground, then jump back onto it while its still in the air. Stomp your landing. This will help your awareness of where to put your back foot, will also let you feel the weight of the board with the foot that is still strapped in, and can lead you on to one footed tricks in park jumps!
Extra Challenge 2 - See if you can do the one footed jump while moving.
Extra Challenge 3 - See if you can skate in reverse.
Extra Challenge 4 - Once you can skate in reverse, backwards push, stomp, 180.
Finally, just have fun with it. Get experimental and goof around!
If you haven't seen the video below... This is one of the funniest snowboard parody videos of all time:
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The Snowboard Addiction Team
Our Goal is to improve your riding!