How to Ski and Snowboard Cliffs

Skiing and snowboarding are all about fun. For some people, that means splitting time between groomed runs and the après scene while on the mountain. For others, it means riding off cliffs to see how much air they can get before they hit the snow below.

If you’re in that second category, then we have the introductory guide to how to ski and snowboard cliffs you need to get started. Check it out below, then visit the ASO Mammoth shop for the best ski and snowboard rentals in Mammoth Lakes!

Skiing and snowboarding off cliffs is for experts only due to the danger involved. Not only should you be an expert skier, but you should also take the time to practice and learn techniques before attempting to hit a cliff. No one guide can tell you everything you need to know, so take the time to read and practice before your first cliff! 

Perfect the Basics First

Skiing or snowboarding off cliffs requires perfect technique. If you can’t ski through technical off-piste terrain without falling or losing control, then you can’t hit cliffs because that’s where they are. Not only will you not be able to get to the cliffs, but you won’t be able to ride off them or ride away from them with the confidence you need to stay safe.

Take the time to perfect your skiing or snowboarding on the snow before you try a cliff you can stay safe and have fun.

Check Out the Runway and the Landing

The two most important parts of a cliff you want to jump are the area leading to the jump and where you’ll land.

You need to be able to ride toward the take off with enough speed to clear any obstacles between you and the landing. You also need to have a set spot where you can take off from so you know where you’re going to land.

To do so, clear a path leading to your take-off point, and then mark it so you can hit it easily.

For your landing you need to make sure the snow is deep enough for a soft landing. The bigger the cliff, the deeper you need the soft snow to be so you don’t get hurt. The angle of the slope at the landing also plays a factor since a flat slope will cause a much harder landing.

Aim for a steep slope with deep snow for your landing.  If the snow is deep, then you may need to sit back once you hit it to avoid having your nose or tip dig in and cause you to fall forward.

Pop to Stabilize

Lastly, remember to pop off the lip of the cliff to balance out in the air. Popping, also known as an olly, is a necessary skill to skiing or snowboarding off cliffs, so if you don’t know it then now is the time to learn.

By popping off the lip you’ll be able to get your skis or snowboard level and ready to land.