ride powder on a snowboard

Trick Tip: How To Ride Powder On A Snowboard

What a perfect day to get psyched for our last and most exciting trick tip of this five part series. Yes – it is true. This is the last snowboarding trick tip we got for you. But the great news is that we will have five more trick tips for our friends on skis. So whoever felt left out on this one, will be taken care of within the next few weeks. But what is this last trick tip about? We already covered Carving, Jumping, Rotating and Jibbing. So what is left? Exactly. The most precious feeling of snowboarding. Riding fresh and untouched snow. Or how the cool  kids would call it: Riding pow. 

This is probably the best feeling EVER. If you are able to ride powder, you are what we would call a very capable All-Mountain-Snowboarder. And that is what it’s all about in the end of the day. Being able to enjoy the experience  regardless of the resort you are riding in and of the conditions you are dealing with. And a perfect example of having fun no matter where you are in a resort was set by Cam Fitzpatrick at Jackson Hole with a top-to-bottom run straight out of your dreams. It covers pretty much all the lessons learnt from our trick tip series, including a pretty dreamy powder line right at the start.

So what is all the buzz about this? It is actually pretty hard to describe the feeling when you haven’t witnessed it yourself. It feels like a mix of surfing a wave, floating on clouds and disregarding the rules of gravity. Sounds like a great feeling hey? But before we can enjoy it, we have to talk about some basic rules. Safety is the most important aspect of backcountry, that is why everyone who leaves the slopes should visit an avalanche awareness course to not put yourself or others in a risky situation. Besides the safety aspect, the choice of the right snowboard jacket and snowboard pants  will by crucial when trying to stay warm during a long and cold day. Make sure to go for gear with high waterproofness and high breathability. This will keep you dry but it will at the same time allow your jacket to let air in when you are sweating (and this will make you sweat).

Basics

Backcountry Safety

So first things first. No one should leave the marked slopes without the right knowledge for heading to the backcountry. This short video will give you a quick overview on the gear you will need for going on a trip in the backcountry. But like we already said – this is not going to prepare you for an emergency situation. So make sure to visit an avalanche training course and go out there whenever you feel comfortable with dealing with the challenges that mother nature could throw your way. Never leave the slopes by yourself and without your transceiver, shovel and probe in your backpack. We recently published an article about avalanche safety that covers all important aspects to think about when heading out in the backcountry. 

Now that the important safety aspects of powder riding are covered, we can finally come to the fun part. We get to learn how to ride beautiful fresh snow. This is probably the least technical topic of our trick tip series. It comes pretty natural with trusting your own intuition and a lot of practice hours. Nevertheless, we want to give you some useful tips for your first time in the backcountry. But the most important one will always to be to stay safe out there and to have fun!

Board Setup

One thing that can really help before entering new terrain is to change the setting of your bindings. When in powder, you always need to make sure that you apply more pressure to your back foot than to your front foot. This can get very tiring (especially for your back foot). By moving your bindings a few inches into the direction of the tail of your board, you will have an easier time to put your bodyweight over your back foot and float in the snow.

start riding powder on a snowboard

Starting Out

Most importantly, go out for the first time when the conditions are good. The ideal day to draw your first powder lines, is a sunny cold day without wind affecting the fresh snowfalls. Ideally, try to get up very early in the morning and catch the first cable up the mountain. The earlier you are up there, the higher the chances, that you will find some runs with untouched snow in between slopes. They are easy accessible and you will feel safer because you are still close to the marked slopes. Find an open run that is not super steep to start off with. Try to go fast to not sink into the powder and always remember to keep your weight over your back foot and the nose of your board out of the snow. If you shift weight to the front, it is very likely that you will fall over and roll down the hill. Always try to stay bouncy and just go with the flow when riding a powder turn. Don’t force the issue – everything will come naturally to you!

Riding Trees and Obstacles

powder snowboarding

When leaving the marked slopes, tree runs are one of the most enjoyable things to do. In the woods it is really important that you look into the direction of where you want to go. Focus on the gaps between the trees instead of focusing on a tree. If you focus on the tree – you will hit it – not cool. Watch out for rocks or trees that are covered by snow. Always have your knees bent and try to absorb the obstacles in front of you. 

Angelica Sykes' Pro Tip:

“Freeriding is like nothing else in the world – the freedom, the euphoria. But what makes a good freerider vs. one who only care about the thrill? It is not just about the descent, it’s the whole process, the bigger picture that it is all about. Listen to people and learn from them – communication is totally vital. Prep before your adventure, get on the same page with your crew, gain an understanding of where everyone’s skills are best-suited. Ensuring you know what to do in the worst of times will mean the best of times. When the powder is fresh and light, everything will be even more amazing. So prep, communicate, learn, listen and grow!”

THANK YOU

dope snow family

This is definitely the one discipline that every recreational or professional rider dreams about the most. A lot of professional athletes with a slopestyle background end up filming backcountry parts when the competitive path of their careers hits the peak. The reason for this is simple. Doing this with your friends is the closest you will get to the roots of snowboarding. Exploring untouched territory, being out in the wild and in touch with mother nature. The true reason why we are snowboarding!

And that was it. Five Trick Tips to improve your riding. You are now officially an all-mountain snowboard pro. You can carve, jump, rotate, jib, and ride powder. And the best part is that you can combine all of those skills into one epic run on the mountain. Start off with a field of fresh snow, go for a cruise in the park and spin tricks on the slopes or over side hits. We hope you enjoyed this as much as we did and keep your eyes open for the upcoming trick tips on skiing (which of course isn’t close to be as cool as snowboarding – but that’s a whole different topic!). Enjoy your summer and stay stoked!

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