Like many extreme sports, snowboarding began as an informal activity practiced by boarding enthusiasts in the 1950s, a time when surfboards and skateboards were already commonplace. The sport caught on quickly and a decade later, commercial snowboards began to enter the market. Today, snowboarding is a common option on the slopes and has developed a culture of its own. This includes terms like "butter."
In the world of snowboarding, a butter is a 360-degree turn that a snowboarder makes when she is on the ground. The technique has a graceful and sleek look when performed correctly and can be done in multiples or with several variations, depending on the skill of the boarder. The ability to perform butters increases the level of enjoyment for snowboarders. It is one of the first simple trick maneuvers that beginners can master.
Anatomy of a Snowboard
Snowboards come in three primary optimizations: Freestyle, All Mountain and Alpine Carving. Each kind of board has the same parts but are constructed with slight variations which have an impact on how the board handles. The key parts of the board include the base, which has contact points that touch the snow when no one is on the board, the camber or arch of the board, the tip of the board and the edges, metal contacts lining the side of the board.
Butters and Bases
The base of your snowboard has a key effect on the board's suitability for butters. Because butters involve turns, the less resistance the base of the board experiences when contacting now, the smoother and easier butters are able to be completed. Bases built with graphite are black and typically found on racing boards. Graphite bases have the highest capacity to hold wax of all other base types, and therefore qualify a snowboard as a "butter-able."
Butters and Cambers
On new snowboards, the camber has the optimal amount of flex or spring for a particular board. Flatter cambers tend to help the board spin better, which makes this style preferable for snowboarders who like to butter on the slopes. The camber should not be flat to the extent that it is worn, but should have the right amount of flex for stability, which adds to your ability to stay upright when doing butters.
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