How to Turn on a Snowboard – How to Snowboard

How to Turn on a Snowboard – How to Snowboard

In the “How to Turn on a Snowboard – How to Snowboard” video by SnowboardProCamp, the focus is on teaching beginners how to successfully turn on a snowboard. The ability to turn is crucial in snowboarding, as it allows riders to navigate the mountain and maintain control over their speed. In this video, the instructor breaks down the process of turning into three simple steps, providing clear instructions and highlighting the two key factors for success. Whether you’re new to snowboarding or looking to improve your technique, this video is a valuable resource for mastering the art of turning on a snowboard.

How to Turn on a Snowboard - How to Snowboard

Step 1: Body Position

Snowboarding requires proper body positioning to maintain balance and control throughout the turns. This step focuses on the positioning of the feet, centering the weight, and bending the knees.

1.1. Positioning Your Feet

To begin, it is important to position your feet correctly on the snowboard. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, with the toes angled slightly outward. This stance helps with stability and control while turning.

1.2. Centering Your Weight

Maintaining a centered weight distribution is crucial for balance and control while snowboarding. Keep your weight evenly distributed between both feet and avoid leaning too far forward or backward. This will help you stay balanced and execute turns smoothly.

1.3. Bending Your Knees

Bending your knees is essential for absorbing shocks and maintaining stability while snowboarding. Keep your knees bent at all times, as this allows for better control and maneuverability. Additionally, bending your knees helps to lower your center of gravity, aiding in balance.

Step 2: Initiating the Turn

After establishing the correct body position, it is time to initiate the turn. This step involves choosing a gentle slope, determining your stance, shifting your weight, engaging your edges, and extending your front leg.

2.1. Choosing a Gentle Slope

When learning to turn, it is best to start on a gentle slope. This allows for slower speeds and easier control. Look for a slope with a gradual incline that is free from obstacles. Choosing the right slope will build confidence and provide a safe environment for practice.

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2.2. Determining Your Stance

Determining your stance involves identifying whether you ride regular or goofy. Regular stance is when the left foot is forward, while goofy stance is when the right foot is forward. Experiment with both stances to find what feels most comfortable and natural for you.

2.3. Shifting Your Weight

Shifting your weight is an important technique in initiating a turn. To turn left, shift your weight onto your toes and apply pressure on the toe edge of the snowboard. To turn right, shift your weight onto your heels and apply pressure on the heel edge. This movement helps to initiate the turn smoothly.

2.4. Engaging Your Edges

To execute a turn effectively, it is crucial to engage your edges. Edges are the metal edges running along the sides of your snowboard. By applying pressure on the respective edge (toes or heels), you create friction with the snow, enabling you to change direction smoothly.

2.5. Extending Your Front Leg

As you initiate a turn, extend your front leg slightly. This movement helps to shift your weight and adjust your body position accordingly. Extending the front leg also aids in maintaining balance and control while executing the turn.

Step 3: Completing the Turn

Completing the turn involves rotating your upper body, rotating your hips, and shifting your weight to your back leg. These movements help to complete the turn smoothly and prepare for the next one.

3.1. Rotating Your Upper Body

To complete the turn, rotate your upper body in the direction of the turn. This movement helps to guide the snowboard and maintain balance throughout the turn. Keep your shoulders and hips aligned with the direction you want to go, while keeping your lower body stable.

3.2. Rotating Your Hips

Rotating your hips is another important aspect of completing the turn. As you rotate your upper body, allow your hips to follow the movement. This rotation helps to shift your weight and maintain stability while transitioning from one turn to another.

3.3. Shifting Your Weight to Your Back Leg

To prepare for the next turn, shift your weight to your back leg as you complete the current turn. This movement ensures a smooth transition and sets you up for initiating the next turn. Remember to maintain a centered weight distribution and avoid leaning too far back.

Key Tips for Successful Turns

To improve your snowboarding turns, consider the following key tips:

4.1. Look in the Direction You Want to Go

To ensure proper body alignment and control, always look in the direction you want to go. Your eyes play a crucial role in guiding your movements and maintaining balance while turning. Look ahead and anticipate the next turn, allowing for smoother transitions.

4.2. Maintain a Relaxed and Balanced Stance

Snowboarding requires a relaxed and balanced stance. Avoid tensing up or stiffening your body, as this can interfere with your movements. Maintain a slight flex in your knees and ankles, allowing for better shock absorption and increased maneuverability.

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4.3. Practice on Different Types of Terrain

To become a well-rounded snowboarder, it is important to practice on different types of terrain. This includes groomed slopes, powder, and even freestyle parks. Each type of terrain offers unique challenges and opportunities to improve your turning skills.

4.4. Use Your Arms for Balance

Don’t underestimate the importance of your arms in snowboarding. Use your arms as counterbalance, especially when initiating turns. Extend your arms outward and parallel to the ground, using them to counterbalance your upper body movements and maintain stability.

4.5. Use Your Core Muscles for Stability

Engage your core muscles throughout the turns to improve stability and control. Strong core muscles help you maintain balance while executing turns. Focus on engaging your abs and lower back muscles to help stabilize your body and maintain proper body positioning.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

To prevent common mistakes and improve your turning technique, be mindful of the following:

5.1. Leaning Too Far Back

Leaning too far back while turning can disrupt your balance and control. Avoid leaning too heavily on your back leg or leaning back excessively. Instead, maintain a centered weight distribution and focus on shifting your weight smoothly.

5.2. Leaning Too Far Forward

Conversely, leaning too far forward can also impede your turns. Leaning forward excessively can cause you to lose control and increase your chances of falling. Remember to maintain a balanced stance and avoid leaning too far in any direction.

5.3. Not Shifting Weight Properly

Proper weight shifting is crucial for initiating and completing turns. Failing to shift your weight effectively can make turning more difficult and less efficient. Practice shifting your weight smoothly and deliberately to maintain balance and control throughout the turns.

5.4. Looking Down at Your Feet

Many beginners have a tendency to look down at their feet while turning. This can disrupt your body alignment and compromise your balance. Instead, keep your gaze forward and look in the direction you want to go. Trust your body’s muscle memory and peripheral vision to guide your movements.

5.5. Neglecting Body Alignment

Maintaining proper body alignment is essential for successful turns. Avoid twisting your upper body excessively or allowing your shoulders and hips to become misaligned. Focus on keeping your upper body stable and aligned with your lower body, ensuring a smooth and controlled turning motion.

Types of Turns

Snowboarding offers various types of turns that allow for different styles and experiences on the mountain. Explore these different turns to enhance your snowboarding skills and enjoyment:

6.1. Beginner Turns (J-Turns)

Beginner turns, also known as J-Turns, are simple and widely used for learning the basics of turning. These turns involve gentle arcs in the shape of the letter J. They are ideal for beginners to practice weight shifting, engaging edges, and maintaining balance.

6.2. Carving Turns

Carving turns are characterized by the rider making deep, clean arcs in the snow without skidding. They require precise edge control and are often used by more experienced snowboarders. Carving turns allow for higher speeds and a more dynamic riding experience.

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6.3. Freestyle Turns

Freestyle turns involve incorporating tricks and jumps into your turning movements. This type of turn is commonly seen in snowboarding parks and halfpipes, where riders can showcase their creativity and athleticism. Freestyle turns often require strong edge control and precise body movements.

6.4. Powder Turns

Powder turns are performed in deep, soft snow and are a favorite among snowboarders who enjoy off-piste and backcountry riding. These turns involve using a wider stance and making flowing, surf-like movements on the snow. Powder turns require advanced riding skills and are known for their exhilarating feel.

6.5. Switch Turns

Switch turns involve riding with the opposite foot forward, essentially riding “backwards.” This technique is commonly used in freestyle snowboarding and allows riders to perform tricks and navigate obstacles in the opposite riding direction. Switch turns require adaptability and specialized snowboarding skills.

Progression Tips

To progress your snowboarding skills and become a more confident and proficient rider, consider the following tips:

7.1. Mastering Basic Turns First

Before diving into more advanced turns, focus on mastering the basics. Practice initiating and completing turns on beginner slopes, gradually increasing your speed and confidence. Solid fundamentals provide a strong foundation for more complex maneuvers.

7.2. Gradually Increasing Speed

As you become more comfortable with turning, gradually increase your speed. This will help you develop better control and stability at higher velocities. Start by practicing on gentle slopes and work your way up to steeper terrain as your skills improve.

7.3. Working on Balance and Edge Control

Balance and edge control are critical skills in snowboarding. Dedicate time to improving your balance through exercises such as yoga or balance boards. Similarly, focus on edge control drills and exercises to enhance your ability to engage and manipulate your edges effectively.

7.4. Taking Lessons or Getting Professional Guidance

Consider taking lessons or seeking guidance from a professional instructor. A knowledgeable instructor can provide valuable feedback, correct any technique flaws, and suggest appropriate progressions to help you advance rapidly. Lessons can significantly accelerate your learning process and improve your overall skills.

7.5. Practicing Regularly

Consistent practice is key to improving any snowboarding skill. Make an effort to practice regularly, even during the offseason. Utilize indoor snow domes or dry slopes, where available, to maintain and refine your technique. The more time you spend on your snowboard, the faster your skills will develop.

Safety Considerations

Snowboarding, like any sport, comes with inherent risks. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, keep the following safety considerations in mind:

8.1. Wearing Appropriate Protective Gear

Always wear appropriate protective gear while snowboarding. This includes a helmet, goggles, wrist guards, and appropriate outerwear. Protective gear can minimize the risk of injury and provide added comfort on the slopes.

8.2. Checking Your Equipment

Regularly inspect and maintain your snowboarding equipment. Ensure that your bindings are properly adjusted, your boots are in good condition, and your snowboard is waxed and tuned. Faulty equipment can compromise your safety and performance on the mountain.

8.3. Being Aware of Your Surroundings

Maintain awareness of your surroundings while snowboarding. Be mindful of other riders, skiers, and obstacles on the slopes. Always yield to downhill riders and avoid congested areas if possible. Remember that you are responsible for your own safety and the safety of others around you.

8.4. Understanding and Following Mountain Rules

Familiarize yourself with and adhere to the rules and guidelines established by the mountain. Observe signs and markers, respect closures, and obey instructions from mountain staff. Understanding and following mountain rules ensures a safe and harmonious snowboarding experience.

8.5. Taking Breaks and Staying Hydrated

Snowboarding can be physically demanding, especially when learning new skills. Take regular breaks to rest and hydrate throughout your day on the mountain. Staying hydrated and properly nourished will help maintain your energy levels and prevent fatigue.


Learning how to turn on a snowboard is an essential skill for both beginners and experienced riders. By following the three steps of body positioning, initiating the turn, and completing the turn, you will develop the necessary techniques to navigate the mountain and control your speed.

Remember the key tips for successful turns, avoid common mistakes, and explore different types of turns to enhance your snowboarding experience. Progression comes with practice, perseverance, and a dedication to improving your skills. Stay safe by following safety considerations and enjoy the process of learning to turn on a snowboard. So, gear up and hit the slopes with confidence!

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.