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How to Sideslip on a Snowboard

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How to Sideslip on a Snowboard
Snowboarder

Sideslipping is the most controlled way to descend on a snowboard.

Photo © Matt Gibson

Sideslipping is one of the most commonly used techniques in snowboarding. Everyone -- from the newbie on the bunny hill to the pro preparing to tackle a nearly vertical chute -- performs this manoeuvre several times a run without even thinking about it.

Sideslipping is the safest, slowest, and most controlled way to descend down a slope on a snowboard. It consists of a rider sliding down the hill with the board perpendicular to the fall line (pointing across the slope) while controlling their speed by increasing or decreasing the pressure on the uphill edge of the snowboard.

Sideslipping can be done one both the toe and heel edge of the board, but it's most commonly done on the heel edge, so that is what is described here.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 5 - 20 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Sit on a slope (preferably one that's not too steep) with both feet strapped into your the bindings and facing down the hill.
  2. Carefully stand up while while keeping pressure on the heel edge of your board. You can't put pressure on the heel edge by leaning backwards. That will just make you fall on your butt. Instead, maintain pressure on the heel edge by keeping your knees bent and pulling the fronts of your feet upward.
  3. It may take a moment to get used to standing up this way and keeping your balance. Take your time.
  4. Once you feel comfortable and stable, slowly lower the front edge of your board by lowering the fronts of your feet. This will decrease the angle at which your heel edge is digging into the snow. When the angle is no longer sufficient to hold the board in place, you'll start to slowly slip down the hill.
  5. Control your speed using the angle of your heel edge. Increase the angle and slow down or stop by lifting the fronts of your feet, and speed up by lowering them.

Congratulations. You're sideslipping. You'll find this technique very handy when you find yourself on terrain that is too difficult or steep to ride any other way.

Tip:

  • To veer right while sideslipping, shift your weight onto your right foot. To veer left, shift your weight onto your left foot.
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