I'm going snowboarding in a couple of months and I'm hideously out of practice/not very good.

I remember when I last had lesson the instructor talked about how I should twist the board with my feet as I turn but TBH I never really got what he was trying to explain. Can anyone explain this? It'd be nice to understand the theory before I start practising again.

  • 2
    I guess you have already watched all of those... ;-) Nov 11, 2015 at 14:37
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    Interesting - I have never done that consciously, though perhaps it just happens. I thought I turned by edging either front side or back side and pointing my front shoulder/arm the way I want to go (which twists the hips and body).
    – brendan
    Nov 16, 2015 at 23:16

2 Answers 2


I first learnt snowboarding twenty years ago, when boards and bindings were rigid, the boards were long and asymmetrical, and back then carving was the way to turn. You'd lean right over (sometimes 75-80 degrees over) and the board would carve itself round a turn.

Modern boards are much more flexible, and what your instructor means by twisting is that you actually do twist the board. You turn your front foot into the turn before your back foot. Look at this picture of a heelside turn:

enter image description here

The front foot is leant back, twisting the front of the board.

As you turn back and forth across the slope, that twist should flow with each turn - you effectively lead your turn with the front foot twisting the board. It doesn't have to be a dramatic twist, but it starts the turn and puts the pressure in the correct part of the board.

  • Good one +1 But why would someone confuse a beginner with such things? O.o
    – OddDeer
    Nov 25, 2015 at 16:12
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    Because it is the essential way to turn - it sounds more complex than it is. (my son realised what was meant before I did, as he didn't have my old school mentality...)
    – Rory Alsop
    Nov 25, 2015 at 16:14
  • @OddDeer This is in many cases the problem that a person with a certain skill tries to teach someone else. Since you often don't really know what you do exactly but do it by feeling, you try to explain what it has to feel like to be right. Especially with activities that require steering with your center of gravity (CoG), in many cases trying to do something with your arm or leg effectively results in a change of your CoG which is the actual thing you want. However, directly achieving this desired change in CoG is often much more complicated than thinking in such a "auxiliary" movement. Nov 26, 2015 at 13:29

I think he meant the thing what I always call "let the board do the work". It's hard to explain theoretical, but I'll give it a try :)


So, as a beginner you really try to push your board in the direction you want to drive. You push your feed forwards/backwards to get your board where you want to.

However, it's really more about to try to lean your body in the curve and push your board to the ground accordingly.

Dry run

To understand the concept it might help to follow this dry run. Just grab a board and place it on your favorite ground (no need to strap yourself onto the board, however).

Notice, that your board is wider at the tail and nose. To get what I try to explain, place it on one edge. You'll notice that it's a little bit off the ground in the middle. So, if you press the middle backwards and tilt the board a little bit, you can reach a point, where the edge of your board is fully connected to the ground. You'll see that your board is then curved in the direction you would normally want to drive. The board is "twisted" :)

If you practice this you'll get to a "wtf this isn't as exhausting as it used to be anymore"-point. That's the point where you've learned the concept.

A picture

A guy/girl leaning into the curve

That's a random picture from Google. However, it's nice to see what the person does. He leans into the curve and let his body push the board into the ground. The board is fully connected to the snow and does the turn automatically.

Twisted board

Another random picture, but you might be able to mention the board's "twisting".

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    I think what you are describing is the carving aspect of the turn, not the twist.
    – Rory Alsop
    Nov 25, 2015 at 16:06
  • @RoryAlsop Yeah, but it was the closest thing someone could refer to as "twisting" (imho).
    – OddDeer
    Nov 25, 2015 at 16:10
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    I've posted up a wee bit on the twist aspect of turning that is essential these days if you don't want to scrub off all speed on a turn with a modern all purpose board.
    – Rory Alsop
    Nov 25, 2015 at 16:13

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