Dynamic snowboarding is that really sweet snowboarding you see the pros doing where their legs and board seem to move independently from their body. No longer staying directly above the board during turns, the board and legs are moving forwards and backwards underneath the body during, the legs flexing and bending with the rhythm of the rider.
Dynamic turns are all about being active instead of inert over the board and being able to make a combination of cross over and cross under turns, switching between the two as needed and thinking on your feet. You’re also going to need to throw in a huge heap of rhythm and hours of practice.
Sure it looks good but it’s not just about posing on the slope; you need to be able to make dynamic turns if you are going to take the board off course and into the backcountry or on steep or busy runs. Of course nothing beats the hands-on advice and years of experience of a good instructor and advanced snowboard lessons, but these snowboarding tips will give you a thing or two to think about when you’re on the snow next time.
Making Dynamic Turns
When making dynamic turns your body position is very important. Your knees should be bent to around 90 degrees, almost as though you are sitting in a chair; your back straight and your shoulders and ankles relaxed – let the boot take the weight of your ankles. It is important to remember to keep that back straight and not slumped to make sure that your centre of gravity stays where it needs to be.
Practice that body position
There are several ways to practice your body position for dynamic turns. The first is bouncing as you ride. Find a flat gentle run and ride straight down bouncing up and down, getting as low as you can by bending your legs- this will help you loosen up and really feel how low you can get over your board.
The second two are the falling leaf and garland drills. Whilst performing the falling leaf or garland, try and keep the body position as described above, bending your knees more at the beginning of the movement and straightening them more at the end. You should feel as though you are springing out of the carved turn.
Whether it is the relatively easy and relaxed cross over turns or the faster and livelier cross under turns, you need to be confident with them both before you can attempt to turn them into dynamic turns.
Choose an easy hill and start moving the board downhill, keeping your knees at the 90 degree ankle and your body relaxed back straight, and start a carving turn – either heel or toe turn – maintaining your body position. Don’t let your body lean into the turn as you would ordinarily, keep those knees bent, the back straight and allow the board to move underneath you. This is the hard part, your body naturally tries to do what it knows and stay above the board. Just relax, let the boot take the weight of your ankles and allow your knees to flex and the board to move across the snow.
The biggest part of making dynamic turns is rhythm – you’ve got to have it. You need to get into the feel of the turns and the rhythm of the board moving underneath you and your knees flexing. One of the best ways to find your rhythm is to ride to music, bending and flexing those legs to make those turns to the beat. This will help you find a steady rhythm and show you how it feels to be riding with good timing. With the added bonus that the music will more than likely help you relax and be more bouncy.
Dynamic turns take a lot of practice. If you want to get this right you are going to have to eat, drink and sleep riding. But let’s face it; it’ll be worth it when you see the look on your mates’ faces as you cut some sweet turns they could only dream of.