Category Archives: From Your Snowboard Coach

Get information about the Flowing Freeride head developer an AASI Level 3 certified snowboard instructor with 17 years of snowboard coaching and teaching.

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Snowboard Dolphin Turns

This online snowboard lesson will go over Advance Snowboard Lesson: Dolphin Turns. Dolphin Turns can really help you develop fore aft movements on your snowboard. Develop these movements will really help you improve in skill in all parts of your riding. If you’ve got this down you’re moving dynamically with good rhythm. You’ll have access to all our snowboard tutorials when you signup that cover every step and feedback from your coach. We also have some free snowboard videos to prepare for ‘Snowboarding Backcountry’ on our YouTube Page. I recommend watching these snowboard videos; Building Rhythm, Advanced Snowboarding Getting Air, Snowboard Dynamic Flex & Extend, Active Passive Absorption, Upper/Lower Body Separation, Basics For Freestyle Features & Snowboarding Moguls Learn to snowboard online with flowingfreeride.com, Take Placement Quiz, take a look at Our Blog for more free content, and learn to snowboard right!

Building up to Dolphin Turns takes some time. It’s a progression that may take you one run or all season to master. You’re using the board efficiently. The snowboard has camber and shape to it. The sidecut is the edge radius shape, usually 8-10 Meters in radius. Camber is the shape of the board from tail to tip. Depending on the type of camber (regular, hybrid, reverse) when you move fore and aft on your snowboard you can pop off the nose and tail creating ollies and nollies. It’s super fun once you’re timing is down. It leads into riding the whole mountain better. In freestyle it opens the door to pop off terrain features or on flat trails you pop more to start spinning. In Freeride you’ll be able to move for aft to absorb moguls and bumps that get you to Powder Fields and you cruise down the mountain faster. In Alpine riding you’ll be able to pop from edge to edge quicker to really help with the racecourse to improve speed and skill.

Start by making turns putting all your weight on your nose and then your tail. Feel the snowboard with your each leg by flexing on and extending the other so that they’re not doing the same thing. Think of them as independent. Next you’ll start lifting the nose and tail off the snow down the fall line and then across it. You should be feeling the board bending. Lift your leg off the snow. It’s an active movement taking strength and good balance. We’re bending the board like a bow and arrow. When you pull the bow back it bends and when you let go of the string it pops and shoot the arrow at high speeds and long distances. We’re bending our snowboard like a bow and creating that energy when we ollie and nollie off our boards! Now ollie down the fall line and then across it on both toeside and heelside edges. Now put those movements and timing into your turns developing good rhythm to pop from edge to edge!

Dolphin turns are fun to do and a good workout. These types of movements are required of snowboarders to be AASI Level 3 Full Certified. Practicing Dolphin Turns helped me develop efficient body movements to get my AASI L3 in Snowboarding. Moving fore and aft on your snowboard opens the door to so many options in your riding style. Get out on the slopes and rip it up doing Dolphin Turns! You can signup to get access to all of our snowboard lessons, study guides, text books, glossary, tests and direct feedback from your coach. Learn to snowboard online with flowingfreeride.com and take a look at our YouTube Page for more free content and learn to snowboard right!

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Advanced Snowboard Lesson On Safety Devices

 

This online snowboard lesson will go over Snowboard Safety Devices in Backcountry. The most important device is a way to track and find you. Bring a beacon, probe and shovel when going into the backcountry but your phone can be a survival tool as well. You’ll have access to all our snowboard tutorials when you signup that cover every step and feedback from your coach. We also have some free snowboard videos to prepare for ‘Snowboarding Backcountry’ on our YouTube Page. I recommend watching these snowboard videos; Snowboarding Moguls, Off Piste, Slope Faces, Snowboard Weather Patterns, Dropping Cliffs, Steep Chute Snowboarding, 5 Red Flags of Avalanches, Learning Snowboard Avalanche Conditions, & Heli Boarding.  Learn to snowboard online with flowingfreeride.com, Take Placement Quiz, take a look at Our Blog for more free content, and learn to snowboard right!

There are apps for your phone that can find phones within a couple of feet based off of GPS. I’ve thought about developing an app for this very purpose. That is how powerful our phones are becoming. They not only allow you to communicate for help but also find your riding partner. You need to have a shovel and probe. Using your board or hands to shovel could waste precious time and you need the probe to find where to dig. The beacon is used to send out a signal and to receive. You need to practice using this equipment. Go bury your beacon and then have your mates go out and use their tracking beacon to find and dig out the hidden beacon. Most resorts that have backcountry access, have a practice course to use your beacons.

Flowing FreeRide Teamed up with the Utah Avalanche Center to promote Avalanche Safety 5 Red Flags of Avalanches. It really helps if you go out and take an avalanche class to get experience digging snow pits to see the snow layers. You’ll see what type of snow will likely slide or faceted snow with variation in the temperature not bonding well and fails causing slides. You’ll get basic skills on how to survey the terrain in the backcountry, what makes good snow pack and dangers. You’ll study about slope faces or aspects and get your splitboard out to skin up the slopes.

Walkie-Talkies are a good way to communicate on the mountains to beat bad cell phone service. Have the right equipment when heading out of bounds or in the backcountry. You can signup to get access to all of our snowboard lessons, study guides, text books, glossary, tests and direct feedback from your coach. Learn to snowboard online with flowingfreeride.com and take a look at our YouTube Page for more free content and learn to snowboard right.

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Learn How To Snowboard Getting Big Air Step 1

This online snowboard lesson will go over Getting Big Air In Snowboarding Step 1. Your biggest key to getting big air is your speed. You’ll have access to all our snowboard tutorials when you signup that cover every step and feedback from your coach. We also have some free snowboard videos to prepare for ‘Big Air’ on our YouTube Page. I recommend watching these snowboard videos; Building Rhythm, Advanced Snowboarding Getting Air, Snowboard Dynamic Flex & Extend, Active Passive Absorption, Upper/Lower Body Separation, Basics For Freestyle Features & Snowboarding Moguls. Learn to snowboard online with flowingfreeride.com, Take Placement Quiz, take a look at Our Blog for more free content, and learn to Ride Right!

We want to break up the steps to going off jumps and features into four steps: The Approach, Take-Off, Maneuver & Landing-ATML. The first step is the most important part of hitting kickers and getting Big Air! Speed kills, don’t hesitate be confident with your acceleration. You need to be comfortable going straight and fast for at least 5-10 meters or 10-30 feet. An excellent drill to practice is the flat board drill. This is where you keep your board flat and straight. You’ll pick up a lot of momentum and then you do a quick stop/power stop. You practice two skills here. You’re carrying speed and you’re doing a freestyle movement using a lot of hip rotation to stop. Do your power stops on both toeside, heelside and fakie to improve your skill. Build up on your speed also going flat and straight for longer and longer distances going right down the fall line.

This drill is all about your approach to your feature. When you first start going off jumps you want your snowboard flat and straight, same with your landing. Jumps and kickers have ramps that go up the mountain so you need a lot of momentum just to get back up them. Most people make the mistake of going too slow and don’t even have enough speed to go off the kicker and get stuck. Practice these drills outside of the park first until you’re able to go straight and flat with lots of speed. Flat board drills build your confidence to carry speed and to be able to stop quickly. It’s a freestyle movement that’s used to make spinning tricks. Upper/Lower Body Separation shows you the type of movement you want to practice if you’re not quite getting how to stop quickly.

Step 1 to getting Big Air is to practice being flat and straight with lots of speed. Get out on some groomed wide terrain that doesn’t have a lot of traffic to build your confidence going fast. Go into the park and start on small jumps and progress up. If you’re not fast enough pull out of the park and practice more Flat Snowboard Drills outside and then go back in to get some Big Air! You can signup to get access to all of our snowboard lessons, study guides, text books, glossary, tests and direct feedback from your coach. Learn to snowboard online with flowingfreeride.com and take a look at our YouTube Page for more free content and learn to snowboard right.

 

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Prevent Injuries With Workouts For Snowboarding

I like going to a gym with access to multiple types of workouts and equipment to be at my best for the snowboard season. I get my heart rate up by doing cardio for at least 30-60 minutes, then I do strengthening for 30-60 minutes. Some exercises I recommend are elliptical, stationary bike, swimming and yoga. My go to exercise is the elliptical machine. Elliptical is very minimal impact on your joints, you burn a lot of calories and it works your whole body. It’s great if you’ve had injuries because of the low impact to help heal your joints. It gets blood flowing through your whole body. Your back is straight so if you’ve had issues with your back the elliptical keeps your body in a natural position. The stationary bike is another good option and low impact but it only works your legs and you’re sitting so it’s not as good for your back. Swimming is excellent because while in water you float and no impact. A lot of physical therapist have you exercise in water first after injuries because you’re floating and no weight on your joints. Yoga can count as both cardio and strengthening plus it really helps with flexibility. You really want to be flexible as a snowboarder to Prevent Injury By Being Snowboard Fit. If you’re tight and stiff you just don’t move as well. If you fall while snowboarding you don’t want to fight the fall and spread it out. If you’re tense you’re more likely to fight the fall and absorb the impact on one area of your body.

For strengthening I use free weights if I can rather than machine weights. Don’t do the same workout every time. Alternate your workouts. Do lower body and legs one day. Squatting, deadlifts and calf raisers are exercises I do on leg days with weights. Glute Med Activation and Hip Abductions are exercises that really help snowboarders. This is the muscle that stabilizes your inward rotation of your knee. Upper body days include bench press, incline, decline, shoulder press and a multiple of dumbbell exercises. Core Workout days I use the cable pulley machine to do cable core rotations, cable chest press, cable rows etc., I do a lot balancing on one leg while exercising with the cable pulley machine to increase core strength. There are a variety of plank positions as well.

I recommend to workout 3-4 times a week to stay Snowboard Fit. Any sport that you’re on a board will really help your riding improve in the off season. Wakeboarding is an excellent activity in the off season because you’re on a board looking sideways, you have bindings just like snowboarding and your stance is almost identical to snowboarding. A lot of the body movements are similar so that helps with muscle memory. Skateboarding, Longboarding & Surfing you’re on a board sideways either left foot forward, regular stance or right foot forward, goofy stance just like snowboarding but with no bindings so it’s harder to stay on your board. Mountain biking is great exercise when going uphill and downhill has a lot of similarities and physics to snowboarding. Hiking is perfect because unless you get a lift up the mountain you’re hiking and you hike a lot when you’re in the backcountry snowboarding.

The most common injuries while snowboarding are upper body injuries especially the wrist. You’re balancing on your snowboard. If you lose your balance the first thing to hit the ground is usually your hand or shoulder. A closed fist is stronger than an opened one. Try to punch the snow rather than slapping it and spread your fall out like a baseball player sliding into home. Don’t absorb the fall with one arm or leg. If you’re out of control get low and if you can, fall up the mountain. Toeside edge would be my knees hit first, then stomach then arms. Heelside edge lift your arms up and let your butt hit, then back then arms. If you fall down the mountain gravity pushes and has more force. If you fall against gravity or uphill you’re balancing out that force more. Try to have your head up the mountain as well when you fall. In steeper terrain when you fall you keep going down and might hit obstacles if you don’t stop. If you fall you want to get your board perpendicular to the slope, rollover to your butt and your head uphill. This is called the Self Arrest Stop. You have two edges; heelside and toeside. You want to keep your weight on your uphill edge because if you put your weight on your downhill edge you’ll ‘catch your edge’ causing a forceful whipping action that can cause dangerous injuries. Some falls happen so fast that you just react but if you know these tips and practice these techniques it’s less likely you’ll get injured.

Skiers use poles and one ski on each foot. They face down the mountain and not sideways like a snowboarder. Unless you’ve done a board sport or a sport where you’re sideways like batting in baseball being sideways may feel awkward at first. Muscle memory is already there for skiers because their bodies are positioned just like walking or running. It’s easier for them to keep their balance with 2 skis and 2 poles. That’s why when snowboarders stop they usually go to their knees or butts. Like a bike when you’re stopped it’s difficult to balance without putting your foot down. You need momentum to keep your balance. Since skiers have 2 skis they do get crossed up and the common injury for skiers are their knees and legs.

Snowboarding and skiing aggressively burns about 1,000 calories/hour and is very healthy. It’s so much fun that it doesn’t seem like work. Snowboarders leg muscles increase especially quads and butt muscles. As a beginner you use a ton of upper body because you’re getting up a lot and may not know how to strap in your back foot while standing up. Once you get better you’ll be using more efficient movements and will be able to go on more difficult trails. When there hasn’t been much snow Snowboarding Moguls will give you more of a workout than just riding flat groomers. Bumpy terrain causes you to use much more movement in your legs. You’re Active Versus Passive Absorption. You’re legs are absorbing independently. Your front leg may be bent/flexed while your back leg is extended. You’re more active moving fore and aft on your snowboard. Racing gates is another great way to snowboard more aggressive and burn more calories. Not every resort has a race course setup and it usually is an extra fee but you’ll feel the burn when racing. When you snowboard powder there are less bumps but you’re moving a lot more snow which is a lot more work. You may hike to get to the good Pow or splitboard up the mountain which is an excellent workout. My legs burn after a day of powder snowboarding or hiking. You don’t always get powder conditions so if you’re looking to get more of a workout while snowboarding hit the bumps, race course or hike.

We collaborated with Winter Olympians, Winter Athletes & Pros in this  article on how to get in shape for the snowboard season by MakeItBetter. You can signup to get access to all of our snowboard lessons, study guides, text books, glossary, tests and direct feedback from your coach. Learn to snowboard online with flowingfreeride.com and take a look at our YouTube Page for more free content and learn to snowboard right.

 

 

 

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Learn How To Develop Dynamic Snowboard Movements & Rhythm

A great way to Develop Dynamic Snowboard Movements & Rhythm is to listen to music while you’re riding. When listening to music you’re Flowing down the mountain. I like to use music to move to the beat and as you get better you can turn to the beat. Go out with and try different headphones to see what you like to snowboard with. I like to use earbuds but I only put one in so my other ear hears what’s going on around me. You can have noise canceling headphones and let them just be around your neck because you need to be able to hear other snowboarders/skiers for safety. I recommend watching and mastering these snowboard videos to help develop the right movements to be more dynamic; Beginner Snowboard Lesson on Steering, Toeside Heelside Stance, How to Snowboard: Balance Twist,  Beginner Snowboard Stance, Active Passive Absorption, How To Snowboard Moguls & Off Piste.

We’re focusing on rhythm while we snowboard. It’s really going to help us develop our
cross under movements & dynamic turns. I like to do is have people stand on their boards statically in a place where the boards aren’t moving in a  flat area. Then I have them start thinking about a piece of music that they know or even better listen to some music that way you can start getting a beat. Then I have them move up and down flex and extend to a beat that way they can start
getting into a better rhythm because they’re listening to something. Then I build on that bouncing to the beat as we’re riding. Riding around up and down to the rhythm. After I feel like the students or student has developed a bit of rhythm, I start building up onto it to progress.

After I’ve been riding a little bit and I’m going up and down, I’ll try to have them turn to every three or four beats, then two or three beats, then every other beat and finally to turn at every beat. I want the students to develop rhythm where they’re actually turning to the beat. So I build up. At
first start statically start getting some rhythm and moving up and down and then I start riding, still thinking about that beat and developing rhythm. When I feel like they’ve got that rhythm down I have them start turning to the beat.
When you’re out riding if you have some type of music you can be listening to it but you don’t want to be putting music in both ears so you can still hear or maybe have speakers around your neck that way you can still hear everything that’s going on around you. You can be having fun using this
drill to develop some rhythm and also being safe by not having both of your ears covered with music.

You can signup to get access to all of our snowboard lessons, study guides, text books, glossary, tests and direct feedback from your coach. Learn to snowboard online with flowingfreeride.com and take a look at our YouTube Page for more free content and learn to snowboard right.

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Intermediate Snowboard Equipment- Boots & Bindings

You’re flowing to your snowboard freestyle rhythm, carving, spinning, Flowingfreeride.com, Snowboardclass.com and you’re an Level 2 RIDER. Flowingfreeride is here to take you further than an intermediate snowboarder. It’s time to buy your equipment. Look at our previous article on the intermediate snowboard:
http://flowingfreeride.com/intermediate-snowboarder-equipment-the-snowboard/

 

Boots

Snowboard boots need to be comfortable and as an intermediate snowboarder you’ve tried some different makes and models of boots. They need to be the right size. Your heel should not move much when you stand on your toes. I like the laceless system. You don’t have to deal with tying and you get a better fit but check out snowboard reviews and go with what you like. There are many snowboard companies out there so it’s nice to go to the shop and try them on. Go with what feels best to you. If you like a medium flex you might want a soft boot. Stiff boots usually last longer but take a longer time to break in and don’t allow for as much forgiveness. The snowboard boot is the first piece of equipment you should get. Snowboard boots like most shoes start molding to your foot and are custom. Renting a board and bindings is simple. Boots are more unique to every person. A lot of people like foot beds. The shape of your foot varies from snowboarder to rider. Some feet are arched and others flat or a mixture. Boots are easy to transport as well. As an intermediate snowboarder you should have your own boots.

Bindings

Stepping it up as an intermediate snowboarder you purchase your bindings. Most bindings will be fine to put on any board. There is a base plate that will need to be used. Burton makes their boards with two or three holes instead of four with other boards. This makes different pattern base plates to fit the the bindings onto the board. I prefer the standard four holes base plate. I feel that my binding is more secure to the board and I don’t have to tighten the screws. I like the ratchet system with a toe strap and ankle strap. There are binding systems that click you in or something similar but I highly caution these systems due to safety flaws or you have to wear only a certain boot. These systems can get jammed up with snow and powder so they can release on accident and cause just that a crash. Try different setups out by visiting a demo center where you can rent high end equipment and there’s the option to put the rent towards buying the deck. The highback is on the heelside and should be able to adjust the angle of lean. Make sure you get the right size of snowboard binding that matches your boot size.

You can signup to get access to all of our snowboard lessons, study guides, text books, glossary, tests and direct feedback from your coach. Learn to snowboard online with flowingfreeride.com and take a look at our YouTube Page for more free content and learn to snowboard right.

 

 

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Safety for A Beginner Snowboarder Equipment

There are some really good technologies out there to protect our bodies. The snowboarder is a large lever so when the if you “catch an edge” your body is whipped. Depending on the rider especially beginner snowboarders, it’s a good idea to have knee pads, wrist guards, spine guard/body pads and impact shorts. I strongly recommend a helmet for everyone. You’ll want a beginner snowboard with technology and design that will help you learn to snowboard better. (Soft flex, flat or reverse camber, bevel edges, etc.,) The snow conditions can be very soft or very icy. If the snow is really hard and icy then plan on harder falls. It’s easier to learn how to snowboard with soft snow. You’ll want to get equipment that is more function than fashion.

Beginner snowboarders can rent a lot of this equipment and most resorts have “Learn to Snowboard” packages. Check out beginner snowboard deals in your area. You may want to rent at first to test the equipment and see what you like. If you go out and buy all your equipment it might not be what you like and renting can save some money for you.
Some gloves come with the option to have wrist guards. If you have any worry about your wrists then wear guards. Snowboard pants have pads in some clothing lines or you can get your own. If you feel like you might fall or perhaps your balance is off then get a ‘butt’ pad or impact shorts. It’s what hockey players wear on the ice. As a beginner snowboarder your first day out you’ll be skating a lot and might shed layers but once you start moving down the slope you’ll want to put the armor on.

Here’s the basic equipment list I recommend: Waterproof snowboard jacket, snowboard pants, gloves, Under Armor material that will stretch to tuck in so you don’t get snow up your back or worse down your pants, good comfortable tight boots, board and bindings non cotton socks, good goggles that fit around a helmet and a helmet. The helmet protects the most important organ you have and keeps your head warm. Layer up clothing so you can stay warm or cool. Most snowboard clothing lines have vents to cool you off if needed.

You can signup to get access to all of our snowboard lessons, study guides, text books, glossary, tests and direct feedback from your coach. Learn to snowboard online with flowingfreeride.com and take a look at our YouTube Page for more free content and learn to snowboard right.

 

 

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How Beginner Snowboarders Can Ride For Free

Many times beginner snowboarders buy a full price lift ticket and stay on the bunny slope all day. However, I’m going to give you a little tip that may help your pocketbook if you are at a low skill level or a beginner snowboarder and looking for a practice spot…

Most resorts have a lift or two that is open to the public for free. Of course, this is not generally advertised in this way. However, there are many reasons why these lifts are free. For instance, Ski in/Ski out lodging must run a lift so that people can board/ski over to the ticket office then use the lift to get them home. Other reasons include carrying employees and guests back to their cars. There are other reasons these lifts run for free—but no matter the reason, most of the terrain accessible by these lifts are easy green level slopes, which is great for first timers, beginner kids, or lower skilled riders to practice basic riding in these areas for free.

If you’re teaching kids they might not last long. It’s great to have a mellow slope to practice with beginner kid snowboarders. Children get tired, hungry, cold, thirsty, and need to use the toilet all the time. These lifts are usually by all the facilities that beginner kid snowboarders need. They are also near the base near parking/transports so you can leave quickly. Your girlfriend or boyfriend will like this too if they’re beginner snowboarders so the more advanced riders can often times leave them to practice while they take a few fun runs. Then, they can meetup, practice together, and have money in the pocket to eat at one of the resort restaurants.

How To Find “Free” Lifts?
Generally, these lifts are located at the bottom of the resort and function for some other purpose, such as the reasons mentioned above. Simply look at the resort map online before you choose your destination. Also, do your research on when these lifts open and close since they may vary from other hours of operation. Lastly, if it’s early or late season, make sure the lift is running before heading over.

So remember, if you’re just looking for a practice area, are a low skill level or a beginner snowboarder, & easy on your pocketbook you can get away with using an available free lift for a while. And, although it’s fine to use these lifts to access practice terrain, resorts have all kinds of shops and restaurants, so patronize them, they help their local economies and are there as a business. Then once your basic skills improve, purchase a lift ticket and get out on the rest of the mountain where the real green, blue and black slopes are.

You can signup to get access to all of our snowboard lessons, study guides, text books, glossary, tests and direct feedback from your coach. Learn to snowboard online with flowingfreeride.com and take a look at our YouTube Page for more free content and learn to snowboard right.

 

 

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Fox News Interviews Blake on Avalanche Piece In Prep For Utah’s Big Winter Storm

[content1]
 Hey Guys, it's still avalanche season. Fox News recently interviewed Blake in response to the 5 Red Flags video he just collaborated on with Utah’s Avalanche Center’s forecaster, Crhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRDKO5VqxNIaig Gordon and executive director, Paul Diegel. Continue reading

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Find Safe Freshies! Watch The 5 Red Flags Of Avalanche Danger

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Be safe out there by knowing the Five Red Flags Of Avalanche Danger.

Just a reminder riders, there's just no excuse for endangering yourself or others in your conquest to find freshies (ahem… Christian Mares). No doubt this season is on track to be one of the most deadly in terms of avalanches. (Just check out snowbrains.com avalanche feed for proof.) While not every accident can be prevented, many sketchy situations can be avoided when exploring the backcountry IF you know the basics of how to survey your terrain and pick a safe line. Continue reading