This is what we live for on a snowboard! Fresh inches have fallen overnight and you are about to embark on the best thing that snowboarding has to offer in this guy’s humble opinion.
I’ve actually had the thought while riding powder in the trees. “I don’t even care if I hit a tree and die…this is what I live for on a snowboard.” So if that is you…or you plan on it being you, read on. We’ll go over how to snowboard in powder below. Man, I’m excited, so let’s dive in!
Let’s get you geared up!
Once you ride powder, you don’t go back! Just try to find a seasoned snowboarder that disagrees with me on that. Also, once you ride powder and you’re hooked, you realize there is some gear that you need in order to ride pow the most effectively.
First things first…snowboard. Riding the powder is not like riding the park all day and you may need to retire that uber flexi short board you have learned to grind all the rails with and exchange it for a free ride or all mountain board.
If you are going to ride in powder, you are going to want a board with a little more length and stiffness to it. This will give you stability in the deep stuff. Ooh, I’m almost drooling just thinking of riding that nasty fresh powder.
Next, if you plan on riding any back country terrain, you will want some avalanche survival training and some avalanche safety gear. Things like a beacon, expandable pole, shovel, and maybe even an avalanche airbag. These items can save your life in the back country, so I’d say learn how to use them and then do so!
Where to find the Pow
OK, so now you’re set with what gear you need to ride the pow. Now let’s talk about where you can find it! Think of yourself as a hunter on the prowl for the worlds most elusive and unpredictable endangered species. Once you find it, hold on tight and don’t let go!!
If you are doing some resort riding, the best place to find fresh tracks is going to either be by getting up super early and making it to the mountain for first chair after a night of snow showers, OR you can duck into the trees and look for where others may not have gone and find the stashes of powder that lay hidden on the mountain.
If you are more daring and adventurous you can take a snow cat ride to fresh powder lands or do a heli boarding ride or even trip. These can cost a pretty penny, but are totally worth it!!
How to ride it
If it’s your first time riding powder, there are some tips and tricks I have for you to help you pick it up quickly and never look back.
First you want to make sure and shift your weight towards the tail. Sometimes it’s even necessary to lean back if the powder is super deep. By putting the weight towards the tail or leaning back, you keep the tip (or front) of the board up and out of the snow.
You do not want the nose of your board to sink down into the snow. You will come to quick stop and a tough start if that happens.
Your back leg should be burning by the time you are done with the run. (although it’s a good burn;)
Use your whole body to help you make turns. Your knees, hips, and shoulders should either be all going out or all going in at the same time depending on which turn you are making (front side or backside)
Next, on each turn make sure you are spraying snow off to the sides. This will help control your speed and turns as you make your way down the powdered mountain! The only time you want to spray snow down the mountain is if you are coming to a stop or checking your speed.
Third, make sure you keep your speed up so you don’t come to a stop in the deep snow.
Lastly, start with long and narrow turns to get used to riding powder and then when you are more comfortable, you can start doing shorter and quicker turns. Plan your run so you know where you want to go and make sure to get there!
What will go wrong:)!
When first learning to ride powder, you will have some epic spills and thrills! But the best part about these are that when you fall in powder, it’s like falling into a field of pillows. So go ahead and try those flips, spins, and jumps to your hearts content!
However, some of the more frustrating things that can happen to you while riding powder include:
- Not having your tip up and you nose dive it into the snow and get stuck.
- Once you fall you can’t get up because try as hard as you can to push off the snow to get yourself up, your arms continue to sink down deep into the powder.
- You could end up in a tree well (a hole at the base of a tree) and be stuck there for a bit or even requiring you to unstrap from your board.
- You go flying through the landing zone, land too far leaning forward and tomahawk your board into the snow so deep, it gets stuck. This can take a minute or two to get yourself free.
- Exhaustion takes over if you’ve fallen multiple times. It takes a ton of energy to get yourself back standing.
BUT IT’S ALL WORTH IT!
What are you waiting for? Get out and ride it!
If you haven’t tried snowboarding in powder, you gotta do it! It will be the BEST time of your riding life. Trust me, once you go powder, you never go back.
So download those snow and weather apps and watch them carefully! When you see a storm coming in, make your plans to get up on the mountain and enjoy the best part of snowboarding. Riding powder is THE BEST!!!!!
As always, leave me any comments, questions or thoughts and I’ll get back to you! Otherwise, I’ll see you out on the mountain!
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