We hope you enjoyed reading our series of Beginner Snowboard Tips; here is the final instalment to get you ready for your snowy adventures!
Once you are comfortable with the falling leaf on both your heel side and toe side edges, you are ready for the J-turn. The J-turn uses the same technique as the falling leaf, but rather than pointing your board sideways across the slope, you’re looking to point the snowboard directly down the slope for a moment before turning and coming to a stop. Sounds easy, eh?
The Toe Side J-Turn.
To perform this J-turn, start on your heel side edge looking away from the mountain, down the slope. Press on the toes of your leading foot to begin sliding as with falling leaf. This time, rather than pulling your toes back up to keep the board sliding across the slope keep pressing on your toes until you are going directly down the slope. It is important to keep your weight centered on the board at all times or you won’t be able to turn. As your board reaches the point where it is pointing directly down the slope, your should be off your heel edge with both feet so the board is flat. Now pull up on heel of your front foot and as the board starts to turn, lift the heels of your back foot in to a toe side turn and come to a stop. Once stopped, you should be on your toe edge, facing the mountain.
Tip: If your board didn’t respond to your attempts to turn once you had a little speed, it is because you didn’t have your weight centred. You may think your weight is centred, but you’ll be leaning backwards. If you lean backwards, even slightly, the nose of the board won’t be able to grip the snow, and as you’re using your front foot to initiate a turn, that results in the board pointing straight down the mountain, getting faster and faster! If you’re lucky, you’ll be doing a tail press and everybody will think you’re cool 🙂
The Heel Side J-Turn.
Once you’re happy with your toe side J-turns it’s time to move on to the heel side J-turn. Start by standing on your toe side edge, facing the mountain. Press on the heel of your leading foot to begin sliding. Keep pressing on your heel until you are going directly down the slope, then come off your toe edge with both feet so the board is flat on the ground, now lift the toes of your front foot to go into a heel side turn and as the board starts to turn, lift the toes of your back foot and come to a stop.
Once you’ve got the J-turns down, the next step is linking the turns. All you have to do is put your toe side and heel side J-turns together. Start by performing a toe side turn, then without coming to a stop, press down on the heel of your front foot to start heading downhill again and continue pressing on your heel to go into a heel side turn. Now press down with your toes to start heading downhill and continue pressing with your toes until you complete a toe side turn.
As you get better and more confident, the turns will become smoother and quicker. Keep practicing and you’ll look like a pro in no time!
That’s all there is to it! Now go carve that mountain up!