Snowboarding is just cool, right? It’s one reason many people choose to ride as oppose to skiing. But one thing that can easily get boring with snowboarding is becoming complacent with skill progression. By that I mean just riding one-way and bombing it down run after run.
A few butter tricks, jumps, and 180’s makes snowboarding so much more fun. And in order do this you need to learn how to ride switch on a snowboard.
Plus, riding switch is a safety concern because you need to be able to ride down a mountain looking either way. Consider when you’re snowboarding along the edge of a mountain, you should be riding in the direction that has your face pointed towards the edge. Another scenario is when two riders are snowboarding beside each other, looking in opposite directions, where one is goofy and the other is regular, there’s a higher chance they will crash into each other.
How to Ride Switch on a Snowboard
- Ride on a true twin snowboard.
This one is obvious but many beginners are not aware of snowboard shapes. Make sure you have a true twin snowboard so that you can comfortably ride in either direction.
- Practice snowboard stepping on switch.
On flat ground with only one boot strapped in, practice stepping (walking) and gliding on switch. It will feel different but that just means it’s working.
- Get off the chair lift on switch.
This one can be tricky because there’s a high chance you’ll fall but makes a huge improvement on riding switch. I recommend only doing this when the chair lift is empty or partially full.
- Adjust the angles of your bindings.
If you have a hard time remaining on your switch side or carving, then test out different binding angles. Chances are you’re set at the wrong angle. A 3-degree binding adjustment makes a huge difference.
- Practice riding on powder.
Groomed, hard-packed snow is not ideal for learning switch at first. There’s a higher chance you’ll catch and edge. On the other hand, riding switch on powder is forgiving. It’s harder to catch an edge. And if you do fall, it won’t hurt.
- Wear body armor.
The fear of falling and being in pain limits many snowboarders. For this reason, wear a full-piece body armor. It’ll reduce the impact of falling and gives you confidence riding switch and in the park.
- Practice switch on a snowboard with 3BT.
A snowboard with triple base technology has the edges (contact points) lifted. This creates a boat-like shape which reduces the likelihood of catching an edge. They’re also great for park and butter tricks.
- Listen to music.
Play your favorite jam when snowboarding. Good tunes will give you some adrenaline and confidence riding switch.
- Practice at least 30%.
You’ll need to dedicate each day you ride to practice switch 30% of the time. This may mean you’ll need to remove yourself from your snowboard crew to practice alone. Many snowboarders don’t like riding or practicing switch. This is an unfortunate reality.