Skidding to pivot works when snowboarding, but you’re also losing speed. This is where carving comes in handy, which is when you make turns with the edge of the snowboard. Carving has the potential to significantly boost speed on turns and enhance the setup for spinning jumps. If improving your turning style is one of your top goals with snowboarding, here are some tips on how to make your board carve better, brought to you by ASO Mammoth, your one-stop shop for gear, repairs, and snowboard rentals in Mammoth.
Fine-Tune Your Board Tilt
A good place to start with improving your carving skills is to work on the initiation when you begin your turns. Pay particular attention to the tilt on your board on the heel side and toe side. You’ll get a better carving initiation with your board tilt by:
• Flexing your toes toward your shins
• Bending your knees as if you’re going to sit down to get added toe-side edge lift
• Extending your toes on the toe-side edge away from your shins
• Straightening your knees a bit to make the heel-side edge lift as the other edge digs in
Work on Board Control
Control of your board plays a big role in how well you carve on your board. Get into the habit of letting the board turn for you instead of exerting added pressure. What this means is holding the edge as the board passes through the fall line of the slope. The board’s side cut then guides you through the turn. Also with snowboard control, it can be helpful to:
• Keep your upper body still and lined up with the board
• Line up your shoulders with the board’s nose
• Keep your head up and your back straight
Ease Up as You Finish
Improve how you finish a turn when carving by holding the edge as the board slows down. As the board naturally slows, relax your flexion and extension and tilt the board to the other edge for the next turn.
Focus on Your Timing
Keep an eye on the terrain and your body movements so you can start your turns using the board edge at the right time. Ideally, you want to put sufficient pressure on the edge just as your body weight is shifting as you prepare to turn. Timing also involves foot and ankle control during the turn as your board moves.
Practice, Take Wider Turns, & Consider Lessons
Practice makes perfect with any snowboarding skills and abilities. With carving, work on your timing, technique, and control in areas where there’s sufficient space. You may also notice improvements in carving by taking wider turns so you can feel the board’s edge better. At places like Mammoth Mountain, you can also take on-site lessons to get personalized advice.
Consider a Snowboard Upgrade
You don’t need to upgrade your snowboard to improve your carving skills. However, skill progression is a valid reason to invest in a customized board or rent one that gives you more support and dexterity. If you opt to stick with your current board, do routine inspections, especially on the edges if you regularly use carving for turns.
Even if you’re already great at snowboarding, follow these tips to move your carving game up to the next level. When you get to Mammoth, snowboard rentals and repairs are available anytime you need them. Drop by and see us at ASO Mammoth for the highest-quality rentals, gear, and service on the mountain. Find out more about us by giving us a call at 760-965-3444.