Beginner Snowboard Lesson – Heels, Toes & Straight

Beginner Snowboard Lesson – Heels, Toes & Straight

In this beginner snowboarding lesson, Kevin from SnowboardProCamp breaks down the three essential steps to get you sliding, stopping, and turning on your snowboard. The first step is mastering the power heel squat, which allows you to control your speed and come to a stop on the heel edge. He emphasizes the importance of practicing this on a beginner slope until you have it down. The second step is the toe side swivel, which teaches you how to control your speed and stop on your toes. Kevin recommends practicing this as much as possible, as it can be a bit harder but easier to balance on than the heels. Finally, the third step is going straight down the mountain, which can be intimidating at first but becomes easier once you are confident with the first two steps. Kevin provides tips on how to start sliding, lean onto your front foot, and maintain control of your speed on your heels. Once you have mastered these three steps, you will be ready to turn, snowboard, and have fun on the slopes. So, grab your snowboard and get ready for an exciting beginner snowboarding adventure!

Beginner Snowboard Lesson - Heels, Toes  Straight

Power Heel Squat

The power heel squat is a fundamental skill in snowboarding that allows riders to control their speed on the heel edge and come to a stop. By lifting up their toes, riders can effectively reduce their speed and maintain control. This skill is crucial for beginners as it helps them build confidence and stability on the slopes.

To perform a power heel squat, riders should start by sliding down the hill on their heels. As they gain momentum, they can lean and point in the desired direction to move from side to side. When they want to come to a stop, they should face the bottom of the slope, lift their toes, and stop on their heels.

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It is recommended for beginners to spend a significant amount of time practicing the power heel squat on a beginner slope. This will help them master the skill and build a solid foundation before moving on to more advanced techniques.

Tips for Power Heel Squat

  • Keep your knees bent and your weight centered over your board for better balance and control.
  • Start on a gentle slope before attempting steeper terrain.
  • Practice sliding and stopping on your heels to build confidence and muscle memory.
  • Pay attention to your body position and make adjustments as needed to maintain stability.
  • Focus on breathing and staying relaxed to avoid tension and stiffness.
  • Gradually increase your speed and challenge yourself to maintain control.

Importance of Toe Side Swivel

The toe side swivel is another essential skill in snowboarding that allows riders to slide and stop on their toe edge. Similar to the power heel squat, this skill helps riders control their speed and maintain stability. Mastering the toe side swivel is crucial for transitioning between turns and maneuvering on the slopes.

To perform a toe side swivel, riders should start by sitting down, grabbing their legs, and rolling over to their toe edge. With their knees bent and their gaze up towards the top of the slope, riders can slide on their toe edge and let their heels get close to the snow to maintain speed. When they want to come to a stop, they should bring their toes in and lift their heel edge to engage the brakes.

Practicing the toe side swivel can be a bit challenging at first, but with enough repetition, riders can improve their balance and control. It is important to spend ample time practicing this skill to build confidence and develop muscle memory.

Tips for Toe Side Swivel

  • Start on a gentle slope and practice sliding and stopping on your toes.
  • Focus on maintaining a balanced body position, with your weight centered over your board.
  • Keep your gaze up towards the top of the slope to maintain stability and awareness of your surroundings.
  • Experiment with different amounts of pressure on your toes to control your speed.
  • Gradually increase the difficulty by attempting steeper slopes and tighter turns.
  • Don’t be afraid to fall or make mistakes – learning from your failures is an integral part of the learning process.
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Importance of Going Straight

Going straight is the final part of the beginner snowboarding lesson and is the most exhilarating and rewarding aspect of the sport. Once riders have mastered the power heel squat and the toe side swivel, they are ready to confidently point their board straight down the mountain. This skill allows riders to build speed and experience the freedom and excitement of snowboarding.

To go straight, riders should start by sliding on their preferred edge (either heel or toe), then gradually transfer most of their weight onto their front foot. By leaning and pointing straight down the hill, riders can let their board ride completely flat for a moment before stopping themselves by turning and facing the bottom. This controlled stop is essential for maintaining speed and control during straight descents.

Building confidence in going straight takes practice and a solid understanding of the previous two parts. With enough repetition and experience, riders can feel comfortable and in control, even at high speeds.

Tips for Going Straight

  • Start on a gentle slope with enough space to maneuver and practice going straight.
  • Gradually increase your speed and challenge yourself to maintain stability.
  • Keep your body aligned and centered over your board to maintain control.
  • Use your legs and core muscles to absorb any bumps or changes in terrain.
  • Practice controlled stops by using your edges to turn and face the bottom of the slope.
  • Build up your stamina and endurance through regular snowboarding sessions to improve your ability to go straight for longer periods.


Mastering the power heel squat, the toe side swivel, and going straight are essential skills for any beginner snowboarder. These three parts of the beginner snowboarding lesson lay the foundation for sliding, stopping, and turning on the slopes. By understanding and practicing these skills, riders can develop confidence, control, and a sense of accomplishment. Remember to start on gentle slopes, take your time, and enjoy the learning process. With dedication and perseverance, you’ll be snowboarding and having fun in no time!

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Hi there, I'm Jesse Hull, the author behind AK Fresh Pow. "Shred The Knar There Bud" is not only our tagline, but also our way of life. As a Husband and Father, I embrace the thrill of conquering the slopes. Being a retired Infantry Paratrooper has taught me discipline and a love for adventure. Now, as a new snowboarder/skier, I'm embracing the freedom and adrenaline rush that comes with it. Alongside these passions, I am a full-time student at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage, Alaska, continuously expanding my knowledge and skills. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the beauty of the snowy mountains together.