How to Carve on a Snowboard
Ever tried snowboarding? It is a wonderful sport that demands loads of patience, long hours of practice, and high levels of endurance and stamina. It will not be wrong to say that snowboarding is a sport meant for the adventurous types. If you ever watch a snowboarding video, you will notice that snowboarders turn by pivoting their boards. This works absolutely fine except for the fact that you have to sacrifice speed for that. If you prefer to carry more speed during taking turns, then it is time for you to learn how to carve.
It is important for you to know that carving also allows you to stay out longer. This is simply because all the legwork on skidded turns ultimately turns your thigh and calf muscles to jelly. You will be surprised to know that finessing the snowboard is much simpler as compared to wrestling it. You will also not fear any crud snow as the snowboard will neatly slice through any bad patch and not simply pinball off of them.
TuneUp Or Upgrade?
It is good for you to know that any snowboard will be able to carve. Thus, there is no need for you to spend a fortune on new gear that can help improve your turning skills. However, gear progression and skill progression are directly proportionate to each other. Thus, now will be a good time to consider the possibility. If you prefer to stick to your existing gear, better check it once and if needed, take it to the store to get some work done on them if required.
Upgrading Your Boots
It is true that snowboards get all the attention. However, it is also crucial for you to choose boots that fit you the best. Choose stiffer boots as they are more responsive, this will be helpful for you when it comes to learning advanced moves. If you still wish to wear your old boots, they may prove to be much softer for you to carve efficiently.
Upgrading Your Board
- Board Width: It will not be to your liking to drag your heels or your toes while tilting the snowboard on edge. For people with boot sizes up to 10.5 for men and 11.5 for women, any standard-width snowboard will be acceptable. If your boots are bigger, you will have to go for a wider board.
- Edge Grip: It is good to know that different brands have their individual ways of enhancing the grip. For instance, some may have a serrated edge. If you ever hear a buzzword that hints at the additional grip, that snowboard should help you carve much better than others. Different brands have their own word for additional grips.
- Sidecut Radius: This spec is basically the radius of a circle that is formed by the sidecut arc on your snowboard. If it is a smaller value, it will allow you to take sharper turns.
- Mixing and Matching: Your softest component is sufficient to determine the responsiveness. Thus, if you have the same level of flex in your boots, bindings, and boards, it will give your snowboard a consistent feel while riding it.
- Camber and Flex: you can carve with the help of a stiffer snowboard. On the other hand, reverse camber and softer flex will allow you to carve tighter turns.
Tune Your Board
It is important for you to remember that ding-free and sharp edges will help you carve better. Thus, if you have a snowboard that is your favorite, better check the edges and the base for wear and tear. Smoothening minor issues at home will not be a big problem. However, you need to be aware that sharpness may also cause you to catch an edge. Thus, it will not be a bad idea to de-tune certain areas of the board. These include the tail and the nose. These are the parts of your board that you do not want to hook up. This is especially true for park riders.
You also have the option of bringing your board to an REI shop for some serious edge work and bigger repairs. Do ask them to fine-tune the base and also adjust the bindings while they are working on the snowboard.
Best Place to Practice Carving
If you reconsider on possible practice slopes, your progression will be much faster from learner to the burner.
- Locate An Empty Run: It is true that mega-resorts will have their own place. However, smaller out-of-the-way operations will be much less crowded. It will also be a good idea to try and go to practice your snowboarding on midweek days. You will end up spending less time focusing on traffic and more on your technique.
- Find a Wide Run: Although carving is much faster than skidding, your snowboard will invariably do wider turns. Thus, you will need to wide enough run to practice properly. How tightly you actually turn, is basically dictated by the sidecut radius of your board. This is why you will need a much wider run if you wish to have a long sidecut radius.
- Locate A Blue Run: It will not be a bad idea to go beyond the greens. You will require a sufficient amount of slope to allow your snowboard some momentum and tilt. It is just analogous to riding a bike. It is needless to say that if you have some amount of speed, carving gets much simpler. It will not be a bad idea to practice on a blue slope. If you practice on a black-rated run, the speed will be so much that the edge will tend to skid as opposed to carve and grip.
Find a Groomed Run: It is always recommended to choose a slope that is neither too soft nor too icy. If the snow tends to be too icy, your snowboard will find it difficult to dig in enough to hold on edge. At the same time, if the snow is way too soft, the snowboard will dig in easily. However, the snow will not hold an edge.