The Ultimate Carving on a snowboard Technique

snowboard carving technique

Transitioning from an average snowboarder who can make basic skidded turns into someone who can demonstrate the perfect carving snowboard technique, can be extremely frustrating if you don’t have a specific progression plan in place to achieve that goal!

…and This where I find a lot of intermediate snowboarders go wrong!

In most cases, carving with correct edge pressure on your snowboard will be difficult to achieve if you don’t have a solid understanding of that specific technique that is required to hit your target!

So what does it take to achieve a strong carving snowboard technique?

First of all, we need to address some basic issues that will make your carving progression hard and slow.

Your basic stance on a snowboard!

This must be in good shape or otherwise you will not create the correct edge pressure required to create a strong carving edge in the snow!’

Let have a look at what a basic stance looks like?

  Basic Stance when Carving on your Snowboard

Carving snowboard stance

  • Knees and feet relaxed and flexed
  • Hips in alignment with your snowboard
  • Straight back
  • Arms out to the side and relaxed
  • Head looking in the direction of travel
  • Even weight on both feet

It is also important to note in order to get the most out of your carving lesson, you should practice these carving techniques in a wide, blue/green open terrain trail.

We must be able to wash away speed if need be. (and it must be easy to do so)

Here’s what the Carving snowboard technique looks like.

Creating a stronger snowboard Carving technique

stronger carving edge pressure

It is vital you learn how to create a correctly pressured edge, rather than a basic skidded one.

The main difference between these two is that one (The basic skidded turn) is not designed to manage high amounts of speed or pressure control.

This is why it is extremely important to have a solid basic stance before you commence down this craving pathway.

With that being said, how exactly do you create a stronger edge when carving?

One way we can do this is by using timing techniques within the carving progression.

You should be familiar with timing, but if you’re not, let’s have a quick refresher on what I mean.

When you are snowboarding you should be using flexion and Extension continuously!

You should never be static or still!

The reason for this is so that you can absorb the different contours of the snow conditions and maintain a Strong Snowboarding balance.

When you are performing these flexion and extension techniques, the best time for us to make our turn is when we are extended, thus releasing all unwanted edge pressure and enabling the snowboard to steer easier into and through the turn.

RELATED: Snowboarding Techniques

Once we have changed onto the new edge, this is when we would apply pressure by flexion down into the snowboard edge.

Discover how to carve on your snowboard with a style most snowboarders wish they had!

Learn how to create the perfect carving edge and maintain a controlled Balance at the same time… This elite training will put you light years ahead of your competition and teach you how to carve in any snow conditions.

Grab a copy of our ‘Carving like a pro’ Snowboard execution plan and start making smooth carving lines in the snow everywhere you go!

Carving snowboard tutorials

So that’s our basic skidded turn right!

You still with me?

When we are learning how to carve on a snowboard, we are basically fine tuning this technique by adding some timing and other carving techniques to help exaggerate every movement on our board.

Instead of just changing edges and flexing down, this time we are going to be counting in our head 1, 2, 3 down and then 1, 2, 3 up while extending.

This will help control edge pressure to the snowboard edge and maintain a smooth balance through  the entire snowboard carving turn!

The key here is tempo, if you are or have to make smaller carving turns, increase your tempo in your head to match the turn shape, same goes for larger turns, slow the counting down to match the turn.

You ideally should be about half way through the traverse of the turn before you start extending up to release the edge pressure.

Creating a Stronger Edge When Carving

stronger carving edge technique

Another point I want to talk about when learning correct carving techniques is to start focusing on the smaller body parts to help add an extra boost of edge pressure in the snow.

What am I talking about you ask?

I’m talking about, becoming more consciously aware of what your ankles are doing?

Are you just standing there not really focusing on them when you are turning or are you trying to lift your toes to the sky when changing onto your toe edge?

Same goes for your heel edge, are you pushing down on your toes as hard as you can to help create extra edge pressure?

All these small micro movements come into play when learning how to carve on a snowboard with efficient technique and style!

Correct Angulation body angles for your New snowboard Carving technique

What do I mean when I start talking about correct angulation on the snowboard?

Angulation is in reference to our body position and the snow.

Most snowboarders mistake leaning as good angulation, not realising that they are limiting how much edge pressure you can actually apply to the snowboard.

This poor bad habit also creates an illusion of progress, but as soon as you hit an icy patch in the snow, you will be quickly thrown off balance and lose control.

More than likely, 9 times out of 10 you will fall and hit the deck!

Snowboard carving technique angulation

When you have your body in alignment and with correct angulation, you are able to rebalance quickly with any unforeseen situations that arise on the mountain.

Even when you hit Ice, you can quickly recover like a ninja, because your COM (center of mass)  is still over the snowboard edge, not the snow….

This is the major difference between correct angulation and poor technique when learning how to carve on your snowboard.

what does correct angulation look like?

Your basic stance has to be in alignment for one!

As we become more confident and skilled, we can start playing around with a different setup in the upper body but for the time being, let’s just focus on this basic carving technique!

Once you are certain your Basic carving stance is good, we now need to start thinking about where our COM (Center of mass) is on the snowboard?

On the edge? on the snow? at the back? in the front?

We are standing up with flexed knees, straight back and only flex to our range of movement that our body allows us too!

We are also centered when Carving and this helps us keep pressure over the edge of our snowboard evenly…

So, in order for us to make a stronger carve in the snow, we need to start creating a stronger edge angle, and one way we can do this is by flexing down through our legs…

Range of Movement when Snowboarding

The key here is to know your range of movement.

range of movement when snowboarding


Standing in a stationary position,  holding onto a friend, post or something that is solid.

I want you to flex down while you are on your toe edge, this is the full range of movement from extended to flexed.

When you are flexing down, keep your basic stance strong, and don’t break at the waist!

This will throw your weight off the snowboard edge and onto the snow!

You can also use this concept for your jumping technique on a snowboard as well…

“This is a Bad Habit”

Now try the same technique, except this time, try it on your heel edge.

You should be able to flex down a lot more than when you tried it on your toes!

The reason for this is your skeletal structure, So with that said, you will get a lot more of a range of movement on your heel edge.

What does this mean to us?

It means we have to adjust our timing depending on what edge we are on!

When making big open carving turns on your toe edge, your tempo is a little slower than when on our heels, simply because our range of movement isn’t as great!

Discover how to carve on your snowboard with a style most snowboarders wish they had!

Learn how to create the perfect carving edge and maintain a controlled Balance at the same time… This elite training will put you light years ahead of your competition and teach you how to carve in any snow conditions.

Grab a copy of our ‘Carving like a pro’ Snowboard execution plan and start making smooth carving lines in the snow everywhere you go!

Carving snowboard tutorials

Remember this carving technique when making turns and strong edge pressure will come naturally for you.

Don’t lean into the turn, use proper flexion and extension techniques to create good edge angle, good body angulation and a strong snowboard carving technique!

Maintaining Caving balance at edge change

This is also another common problem for the intermediate snowboarders who are trying to learn how to carve on the snowboard.

Sometime the culprit can be not enough speed and other times it can be a case of leaning instead of creating edge angle through our lower body with  good flexion and extension.

If you suspect it is speed that is causing this problem, try changing up the location on the mountain to something a little steeper,  or point your snowboard down the hill a little more so your turn becomes a lot more open.

Speed can help us create the balance at edge change that is sometimes needed for less experienced snowboarders.

Leaning when carving is another bad habit, watch your angulation on the board, make sure you are not leaning more than is necessary!

Another point I must mention is changing edges before the fall line!

You don’t have to change edges down the fall line?

In order to do this correctly you need speed, combined with a solid basic stance.

This is more of an advanced carving technique and I will write another post dedicated to it later.

In the meantime, check this out…

Download our Free Carving Progression Roadmap

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Logan is the founder of Online Snowboard coach and has been coaching people how to snowboard for over 12 years...

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