What is snowboard carving
Carving is the act of turning your snowboard with only the edge (side cut) of the board. When you are carving, you maintain the speed throughout your turns. It helps ride pipes and in the setup of spinning jumping.
Carving is something we do naturally. If you’re skiing on a slippery slope it is easy to slide down if your feet are level It l, however, you will be able to get a grip when you lift your feet and then get them into the snow, similar to the edges of your snowboard.
When you make a skidded turn your snowboard slides across the snow and leaves a swishy track. In carved turns, your edge gets buried in the snow and creates an uninvolved arc within the snow.
How to carve on a snowboard
Don’t get fooled by the appearance, carving is not a method that you can use for the entire mountain. It is used only for a limited part of your ride.
Indoors, you’ll be able to feel the sensation of placing your weight above your edges to carve. Begin by holding on to something (or somebody) to help you stability. To get your toe edge, lower your ankles and knees, as you push your shins towards the tongues on your shoes. When you do this you’ll be putting your weight on the edge of your toe on your board.
From here, move your hips inwards and create an edge, as if it were you carving. Then, try doing this without grasping any object.
To get your heel edge, lower your ankles and knees, and then lower your hips toward your backs. Now, you are stacking your weight on the heel edge of your board. However, you’ll need to raise your feet to raise the edge of the toe of your board.
Tip. Make sure your knees are bent and you are on your heel edge to create an edge angle. Do not straighten your legs!
Go to an intermediate run and try carving the hill using an arc. Because you’ll traverse the entire run make sure you look upwards to stay clear of collisions.
For a toeside-side traverse, keep your knees and ankles bent. You can tilt your snowboard to the side by pushing your knees down the slope. Apply more pressure to your back and front toes…then you can try adding less pressure (notice the fact that your feet don’t grip the snow, even as you decrease the force). What happens when you decrease the angle at the edge?
When you’re doing a heel traverse, imagine using your butt to get your snowboard to the edge. It should feel as if you’re in a low chair, and the muscles in your calf should be pressing against your backs and high-backs. Put more pressure on your heels…then reduce it. You’ll want to play around to determine the ideal amount of tension and tilt to ensure you can cut across the slope without sliding.
Check out your track. If it’s a neat thin line, you’ve got it. If it’s long and thin Keep working.
If you’re looking to improve your skills you can try carving garlands.
- From a traverse position the weight of your front leg so that your point is pointed downwards.
- When you’ve got some speed, tilt your snowboard upwards and increase your edge. You’ll be able to make many toes turns over the course of one row.
- Try it with heelside.
Carved single turn
On an intermediate groomed run practice single carves. For toe carves:
- Get straight and increase your speed (remember speed can help you)
- Place a weight on your front toe to start the turn, while keeping your snowboard over. Toeside, push your knees up the slope to keep your snowboard on edge.
- Make sure to press down on both feet, letting the snowboard cut
- Go uphill, and you will come to a halt
If you’re doing it right it will be quick and sharp and you’ll be left with a smooth slim line through the snow. Repeat the same process with the heels.
- Find some speed
- Set a heavy weight of your front foot to begin the turn, while you are tilting your snowboard to the side.
- Then, press down on the heels of both feet.
- Make sure to drop your butt down the hill and then press your high backs to become a pro.
For longer turns, place the snowboard over and apply constant, gradual pressure on your edges. If you are turning in smaller areas, place your board onto the edge and apply pressure quickly.
Link carves together
If you can do toe and heel carvings you can try linking them.
- Make an incline. Then put your weight on your front feet.
- When your snowboard’s slope is downwards, you can tip the board upwards on its edge (really feel your knees and ankles being pushed upwards) and apply pressure to create a carving, but do not stop.
- After you have completed this carving and cut into the slope using a toeside cut traverse.
- From the toe traverse, apply pressure to your front heel and begin in a downward direction. Place your board on the edge and then stick your butt out and apply pressure to both heels.
Reduce the slow duration of the carves traverse and you’ll soon be connecting them.
The art of carving properly requires a lot of practice, so make sure you dedicate a few hours each day until you’re confident. As you get better you’ll be able to feel the power and speed you get from slicing up groomers.