Snowboarding: How To Ride Switch
Learn how to ride switch when snowboarding, because it is a good ability to have in a number of situations. To ride switch is riding with the leg that is usually in the back leading the way Wether you are landing from a kicker and something goes funny, or the cliff you just dropped from is taller than seemed, or you are cruising down a groomy run and suddenly someone comes across, you can´t afford to be surprised by the situation and take an embarrassing and painful fall. It´s possible to train yourself to ride switch, you just have to commit to use any easy slope to try it. It´ll be common to take a few surprisingly fast falls in your first few tries, but don´t give up; it comes naturally after a while.
What you need to ride switch is:
- A gentle slope, not too crowded and preferably groomed.
- A shorter snowboard than the one you are used to. This will make the learning process smoother.
- The bindings have to be in a square angle, this means perpendicular to the board´s axis, to reduce the feeling of going backwards.
- Wristguards, as you´ll definitely take a number of falls when attempting to ride switch for the first few times.
- A helmet that will reduce the "slash effect" in your neck on the event of a heavy backwards fall.
To ride switch, you need to:
- Ride like you are used to, but try to stay most of the time evenly standing on the full bottom of the board. If you catch too much speed, try a more gentle slope.
- Once you´re riding on the bottom with some comfort, begin some turns trying to keep the board with the most surface on the snow.
- When you can complete your turns like that, try making full loops. This means going up the hill at the end of the loop.
- If you could make this full loops, then try cutting them when you are looking upwards. Naturally, you will start going downhill with your rear foot forward.
- Turn your head to look over your former back and now front shoulder. Do not turn your chest or hips or arms, just twist your neck and stay with your belly button and lower back inside the vertical axis of the snowboard.
- Make turns the same way you use to, but remember to stay aligned. Naturally you will tend to lay backwards. Fight that by staying in the middle.
- As you get more comfortable, try different slopes and surfaces, but avoid crowded runs, as you will have some problems with tight and sudden turns at first.
- In a later stage, attempt switch jump landings, which are the leading step to jumping tricks.
Have fun, and be safe.