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Issue Date: December 2010


How to Snowboard


Amber Matheson
Phillip Howell is the poster child for late entry to snowboarding. A skier since the age of 16, he didn't start snowboarding until his mid 30s. Now 49, he's been a snowboard instructor for 12 seasons at Boston Mills Brandywine. He gave us some tips that'll keep you on track.
  • Get your feet right. "Typically, people have one leg that's stronger than another," Howell explains. Think about soccer: The foot you kick with goes in the back of the board, and your plant foot goes in front (the lead foot).
  • Pretend it's a skateboard. On flat ground, leave your back foot loose, and use it as the engine to move around in a circle. "They're learning to slide with that board underneath them," Howell says. "This is where you'll practice balancing."
  • Take a nice long glide. While still on a flat area, step on the board with your back foot, press it on the board, and slide in a straight line.
  • Get a little edgy. Move beyond a straight line by pressing on the edge of the board with your toes and heels to engage the edge, Howell says. "When they do that, the board will start to turn." Turning is key. Link your turns, and you're almost there.
  • Master stop motion. When your foot's out of the binding, you can drag it like a brake. When it's locked in and you're heading down the hill, turn sideways, until you're almost headed back uphill, to stop yourself.

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