You've got your gear, you're at the hill, and you're ready to start learning to snowboard. The first thing you're going to have to do is skate to one of the lifts.
Skating is the most common way to move around on a snowboard on flat ground. It is how you will you will move when you're waiting in line to ride a lift, when you're clearing lift unloading areas, and when you get stuck on a flat spot and have no way to get moving again.
Skating is accomplished by pushing your snowboard forward with your free rear foot while your front foot is strapped into its binding. It is possible to push with your rear foot behind the board, but most people find it easier to push with their foot in front of the board, so that's what we're going to talk about in this article.
Time Required: 5 minutes
- Stand on your snowboard with your front foot strapped into the front binding and your rear foot on the board in front of the rear binding.
- With your knees bent, turn your upper body so that it's facing the front of the snowboard and place your rear foot on the snow beside your front foot so that they make a 'T'. Your front ankle and knee will have to twist nearly 90 degrees to do this. It will feel very unnatural, but you need to keep your ankle and knee twisted in order to skate. This is the hardest part of skating. Once you get used to it, skating is a breeze.
- Next, in a fluid motion use your rear foot (the one on the snow) to push your board forward and then lift it up. You should have enough momentum to glide for a moment.
- Before you lose your momentum, bring you rear foot forward again, put it on the snow beside your front foot, push, and lift it off the snow again. Make sure that you keep your front knee bent while you do this. It will help you to keep your balance.
- As you continue to push you should be able to keep your momentum. Congratulations, you're skating.
- Short strides will not give you much power or speed, but long strides can cause you to lose your balance. Aim for the happy medium between the two.
- Since your front leg is bent and supporting most of your bodyweight, it can get very tired while skating. Some snowboarders will put their hands on top of their front knee and use their arms to help support the weight of their upper body so that their quads don't have to do all the work.