How to Backside and Emergency Stop on a Snowboard
Sideslipping is the most controlled way to descend on a snowboard.
Photo © Matt Gibson
After you've learned how to skate
and how to ride the chairlift
or the t-bar
, the next thing you're going to want to do is point your board down the hill and go.
For health reasons, however, it's generally recommended that riders learn how to stop before trying to straight-line down an icy hill
swarming with seven-year-olds learning to snowplow.
It's also a good idea to practice sideslipping
before attempting learning stop because it will help you to understand how your edges interact with the snow. After a few minutes of sideslipping, you should be ready to try some simple stops.
There are three ways to stop on a snowboard: frontside stop
, backside stop, and emergency stop. Here we're going to talk about the backside and emergency stopping techniques.
30 minutes (or less)
- After practicing sideslipping, you should be standing on your board with it pointing sideways across the fall line (the downhill direction). Begin taking the pressure off the uphill edge. As you do this you'll start sliding down the hill. Shift your weight over your front foot. This will cause your board to turn and point straight down the hill.
- It can be scary riding straight down the hill because you pick up speed quickly, but don't worry, you can always emergency stop (explained below). Many people react to this by leaning onto their back foot (away from the direction their going). Try not to do this, because it's impossible to control a snowboard in that position. Try to keep your weight on your front foot.
- While keeping your weight over your front foot, look behind you over your downhill shoulder and twist your body so that your chest is facing downhill. This will naturally cause your board to pivot until it's pointing across the slope and you're sideslipping forwards down the hill on your heel edge.
- Lift your toes to and lean backwards (into the hill) slightly to increase the pressure on your heel edge, which will slow and then stop you.
- Fall down. It might sound strange, but a lot of people panic and forget this simple, but effective, manoeuvre.
Excellent! Now you're prepared to stop in any situation. Try not to use the emergency stop too much, though, or you'll end up with a really sore butt.