Feeling confident and effortless in your riding can be as simple as getting your body aligned through turns, letting you absorb and work with terrain instead of against it. This tutorial, How To Ride In Alignment, walks through body positioning to help you achieve smoother, more controlled riding.
For more tutorials on body position and carving, check out our entire Intermediate Riding Series.
(Narrating/Riding: Nev Lapwood. Film/Edit: Vince Emond. Filmed At: Whistler Blackcomb)
The Importance Of Alignment
Having your body in alignment gives you better balance and stability over your board. Let's look at correct alignment vs. incorrect alignment.
- Upper and lower body in line with your board
- Looking forward
- Back straight
- Weight centered
- Knees bent
- Hands over nose and tail
Aligned riding position.
- Upper body facing forwards
- Forced turns
- Arm swinging
Riding out of alignment, making life hard, and not looking cool.
Counter rotation is when your upper body and lower become disjointed, not working in harmony and twisting against each other through turns. The easiest way to see if you're counter rotating while you're riding is to have someone film you.
Counter rotating, upper and lower body moving against each other.
How To Break Your Counter Rotation Habit
Grab the sides of your snow-pants, forcing your arms to be straight down the sides of your body. This will aid as a reminder every time your body tries to counter rotate to stay in proper alignment. Another tactic is to pretend you're holding a pole (or borrow a friends ski pole) horizontally in front of your body. While pretending/holding the pole, turn your whole body, initiating the turn with the pole at your hips.
Holding the side of your pants to force yourself into correct alignment.
Riding switch (against your natural direction) is a second method of straightening out your alignment. Riding switch is difficult, so try this on an easy slope to start. Riding switch will force you to straighten out your alignment and your normal stance will love you for it.
The final step to get you riding in alignment is to relax! Sometimes forcing yourself out of bad habits and straightening out your alignment stiffens you up. Shake it out and make sure you're having fun, that's always your number one.
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