Improve Your Snowboard Carves

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Carving is when you tilt your snowboard on edge and let it cut through the turn instead of skidding. A good carved turn will leave a pencil thin line in the snow showing the shape of the arc. Learning to carve turns is a great way to improve your riding.

You should be comfortable controlling your speed with skidded turns on both toeside and heelside before trying to carve. Put your board down on the snow and then tip it up on the toe or heel edge to feel how the edge engages in the snow. Try sliding it back and forth on its edge and see how it cuts a line through the snow.

In the flats, strap in and try tipping your board up on both to edge and heel edge. It’s helpful to hold onto something for balance while exploring your edge angle. It’s best to begin working on your carve turns on gentle terrain. We’ll start with a J-turn. For the heel side, point your board down the hill, flex your legs as if you’re sitting halfway into an imaginary chair, and tip the snowboard up on edge. Resist the urge to extend your back leg to turn the snowboard, and allow the edge of the board to carry you down, across, and back up the hill in a J shape. Similarly on the toe edge, point the board down the hill and tip your board on edge by flexing your ankles and knees and leaning over the toe edge.

Try to let the board turn only through that tipping motion, don’t push the back foot through to skid the turn.  Look back at your track in the snow. Where is it pencil thin, and where can you see the skid? Feel for the different sensations of the board cutting through the snow versus skidding across the surface. 

Once you’re consistently carving your J-turns, start linking from one carve to the next.  Carving will help you carry speed through flat terrain. Since you’re not skidding the board through the snow there is less friction to slow you down. 

Save this post so you can watch it while you’re out riding! Let me know if you’re having trouble carving and DM a video of your carves if you want feedback. Comment below what other trick tips you’d like us to add, and tag your friends!

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