In order to stop yourself from barrelling straight down the hill, the first and most important safety manoeuvre you're going to want to learn is how to stop.
Stopping, fortunately, is very easy. There are three ways to stop on a snowboard: frontside stop, and backside stop, and emergency stop. Here we're going to discuss the frontside stop.
Time Required: 30 minutes (or less)
- You'll start by standing up with your snowboard pointing across the hill with one edge digging into the snow to hold you in place.
- Gradually flatten the board on the snow to start sliding down the hill. As you start to slide move your weight over your front foot. This will turn you so that you're going straight down the hill.
- Pointing straight down the hill and picking up speed can be scary, but don't panic. In a pinch you can always emergency stop (explained below). Keep your knees bent and your weight over your board. Be careful not to lean back -- which is many people's first reaction -- because you have no control over your board when your weight is too far back.
- Shift your weight onto your front foot. Turn your head so that you're looking up the hill (your chin will be almost touching your uphill shoulder) and twist your upper body so that it's facing uphill. This will naturally cause your board to pivot on your front foot until it's perpendicular to the slope again.
- Now, you'll be facing up the hill with your board pointing across the slope and you'll be sideslipping down the hill backwards on your toe edge. Lift your heels and lean slightly forwards (into the hill) to increase the pressure on your front edge. This will slow you down and bring you to a stop.
Excellent! Now once you learn to backside stop, you'll be prepared to stop in any situation.