15 Riding Switch

Riding switch is riding backwards on your snowboard, where you ride with the opposite foot forward than you would normally. So if you usually ride left foot forward, riding switch would be riding “goofy” or with the right foot forward and vice versa if you usually ride “regular” with the right foot forward. Being able to ride switch will make you a better snowboarder and will greatly increase your confidence and board control. It is also very good for your muscles to ride switch as it will allow your muscles to develop evenly through both sides of your body.

To start to practice riding switch, a good challenge is try riding the chairlift switch, with your opposite foot strapped in. This is going to force you to do movements you are not comfortable with. It is best to start practicing on a beginner slope. The next step will be to start down the hill, take a little bit of speed and begin a toe side turn. Turn all the way around and begin to travel up hill. As your board comes to a stop, roll to your heel edge, continue down hill in a switch heel side turn. You end up doing a big and curved “UU” shape across the run. It’s basically a regular turn, followed by a switch turn. On the other side of the run, start off on your heel edge. Go down hill to get a bit of speed and do a big heel edge “U” so that you come up hill on the run. As you come to a stop, roll onto your toe edge and continue down hill on a switch toe side turn.

Keep in mind that when riding in your normal stance, your body is leaning downhill with the same angle as the slope. By default, your body is used to leaning forwards with your weight on the front foot. When you turn around and try to ride switch for the first time, you are so familiar with being down hill towards your front foot, that your weight tends to stay over that foot (which is now your back foot) resulting in you leaning too far back.  Train your brain to get used to a different weight transfer depending on whether you are riding normal or switch.



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Skiing and Snowboarding Copyright © by Dr. Renee Harrington is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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