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Home > Tips > Snowboarding > Getting down the Slope



Learn more about
 Riding Gear
 Different Snowboarding Styles
 The Basics of Snowboarding
 Boots and Bindings
 Getting down the Slope
 How to Build a Snowboard Kicker




It's one thing to get to the top of a slope, quite another to get down. Mastering the edges of a snowboard requires patience, strong leg muscles, and a healthy dose of courage when it comes to pointing your board down the fall line (straight down the slope) for the first time--remember that next time you're still learning to snowboard in Lebanon.

There will always be those who race through the sideslipping/traversing phase and are brave enough to start linking turns in the time it takes you to get strapped in and stand up. Everyone learns at their own pace.

These techniques have been the starting point for anyone who's ever strapped on a board, just ask around at the Faraya Village Club if you're staying there:

Sideslipping
This technique involves sliding down the fall line (the angle of the slope) with the snowboard perpendicular to the direction of movement; a single edge is used to control speed. Sideslipping can be done on either the toe or heel edge (facing towards the hill or away from it) and is mainly an exercise in keeping your balance on the board.

Start by digging the long edge of your board into the snow and try to stand, keeping knees bent, arms out for balance and weight evenly distributed across both feet. Decreasing the angle of the board with the snow will cause it to begin moving down the slope, increasing the angle again will bring you to a halt. The range of motion between moving and stationary is very small and takes practice to master in a smooth manner.

Traversing
Learning how to move across as well as down a slope is essential for a complete range of motion on the pistes. Traversing is performed on a single edge, the same as sideslipping; the starting position is the same, and it can be a toe- or heel-side traverse.

Stand with the snowboard orientated across the fall line and angled on a single long edge to prevent slippage. With arms outstretched for balance shift your weight onto the leading foot in the direction you wish to travel, allowing the board to angle slightly downhill and build momentum. Be sure to always look in the direction of travel. Shift your weight back to both feet to stop, and allow the board to return to a position perpendicular to the fall line. Repeat in the opposite direction.

Falling Leaf
Combining a traverse from one side of a slope to the other is a simple method of descending in a controlled and safe manner. This technique is called the Falling Leaf.

Garlands
After mastering the sideslipping, traversing and Falling Leaf techniques you'll be anxious to start building more speed and Garlands help with this transition.

Getting down on a snowboard in LebanonBegin in the familiar position with your board perpendicular to the fall line and start to rotate by placing weight on your leading foot so that in points down the slope and begins to pick up speed. Maintain your balance and get comfortable with the speed gain. To slow down and stop, increase the angle on either your toe or heel edge by leaning into a turn and allowing the board to return to its position perpendicular with the slope. Repeating this process will speed up your descent of a slope and enable you to practice turning at speed.

Linking Turns
Linking turns requires the rider to have a good grasp off all the above techniques; it's a combination of traversing and Garlands. Start by visualizing where on the slope you might make your turns and begin traversing the slope. A turn is always started by turning your upper body in the direction you want the board to go.

Once you become established at linking turns you'll have all the skills necessary to deal with a range of environments and will see quick progress in your comfort level on the slopes.