There are tons of times you’ll need to go down hills with just one foot strapped into your snowboard. The biggest one and easily the scariest for beginner snowboarders though is getting off the chair lift! That's why it's important that you’re able to ride and control your speed and direction with just one foot strapped in.
This tutorial covers how to straight line down a small hill to get you comfortable balancing on your snowboard as you slide down. If you're looking for even more beginner snowboard tutorials, make sure you check out our Learn To Ride series.
(Narrating: Duncan Mainland. Film/Edit: Vince Emond. Filmed At: Whistler Blackcomb)
Finding The Perfect Slope
Find a small slope, ideally ending with a long flat or slightly uphill run out so you don’t have to worry about stopping. Climb Up a few meters to a point you feel comfortable dropping in straight from. Pivot your board so the nose is pointing straight down the fall line but make sure to keep your free foot planted in the snow until you’re ready to go.
FYI, your snowboard waits for no one.
In one smooth movement take your free foot and place it on top of your board against the back binding and away you go!
Try to stand with you knees flexed, back straight, head up and hands over your nose and tail.
Duncan with that perfect techie!
You board will generally go where your shoulders go. If your hands are hanging out on either side of you snowboard, it’ll turn your shoulders in that direction. This makes your snowboard want to turn as well. Keep your shoulder aligned to stay in a straight line.
A Few Quick Tips
It’s common to want to lean back as you slide down the slope. This puts you onto your back foot making it difficult to balance and keep control. Instead, keep your shoulders parallel with the slope to make it easier to keep equal weight on both feet.
Our first quick tip, keep your shoulders parallel to the slope you're riding.
If you can’t find a hill that runs out to a flat or an uphill, you’ll have to stop yourself before you run into something or someone. The easiest way to stop yourself is to drag your heel or toe in the snow.
Dragging your toe or heel in the snow works just like a gas pedal but opposite. Press down harder to slow down more.
But make sure you keep part of your foot on the snowboard against your back binding, otherwise the splits become a pretty real scenario.
Get Funky With It
Now that you're getting the feeling of it, do a bunch of laps gliding down and experiment with how you stand on your board.
- Stand as tall as you can. Get as low as you can. Then try somewhere in between.
- Lean forwards. Lean backwards. Then centre yourself to find that happy middle ground.
There it is, all our tips to help you one foot straight line and master those chair lifts! Now that you've got this dialled, check out our How To Traverse tutorial so you can start turning on the hill.
Our Goal Is To Improve Your Riding!