Snowboarding is a winter sport, but you can maintain regular practice during the off-season. Balancing, carving, jumping, spinning, grabbing and landing are a few basic and advanced snowboard techniques that you can practice on snow, on a trampoline or even in your living room. For best results, practice one skill for 10 to 20 minutes every day.
A trampoline is an essential tool for a serious snowboarder in the off-season. Sit on the trampoline and buckle the snowboard to your feet. Stand up on the snowboard and begin to produce small jumps, gradually building up to larger jumps. Get used to the feeling of your body in the air when it's attached to a snowboard, the timing of your jumps and your landings. Once you're comfortable getting sufficient air and landing safely, try spin moves such as 180s, 360s and 540s in either direction. Attempt tail and nose grabs on your board. Combine tricks to get used to moving your body in the appropriate direction to produce the trick and land safely.
When you can get on the snow, carving allows you to maintain appropriate speeds and change direction with agility. To begin mastering the carve, ride your board down a moderately steep hill. Turn your board to the left if you're right-foot dominant, and to the right if you're left-foot dominant. Bend your knees in an athletic stance and grab the boot of your dominant foot. This technique locks you into the appropriate carve position. The inside edge of your board will slice through the snow, slowing you down. To carve the other direction, turn your board and grab the opposite boot. Carving out rather than in will feel less natural, so ease into this position.
To perfect your core balance and stabilization, ride without the use of your hands. Move onto this step only after you've mastered the carve while holding your boot. Place your hands on your head or hips to remove them from the ride. Repeat the carving technique, using your abdominal muscles, back muscle and legs to stabilize yourself and turn safely. This stops you from relying on you hands and strengthens the rest of your body for snowboarding.
Cat and Mouse
Choose a partner at the same or similar riding level as you. One of you assumes the role of cat and the other of mouse. The mouse attempts to outrun the cat by carving, changing direction, gaining speed and avoiding safe obstacles such as piles of snow or shadows on the snow. The mouse creates the trail and the cat follows it as closely as possible; both roles require creativity and skill. Switch roles when you get to the bottom of the hill and repeat.
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