Absorption in the legs on bumpy snow

What do I mean by absorption in the legs when we are talking about snowboarding???

I know I have mentioned flexion and extension when snowboarding before but havent really talked about absorption in the legs, today I am going to dial in the true meaning of the point I am trying to get across.

Flexion and Extension are great for applying and releasing edge pressure from our snowboard, but real absorption comes from a more conscious view and understanding of the body and mind.

Although you should be aware of absorption while performing flexion and extension,( This happens naturally) most snowboarders don’t really think about what their legs (knees and feet) are doing on the micro level of movements.

This is generally why people tend to fall over when learning how to snowboard on Bumpy terrain, it is also why some people keep falling over when going off jumps in the terrain park!

They are solely relying on Flex and Extension to do the job….This should not be the case and its time you started to learn about next level absorption techniques!

Intermediate snowboarding tips and techniques

So what does absorption in the legs look like?

1) Great flexion and extension on the snowboard

2) Knowing what your full range of movement is within your lower body (without creating any bad habits in the upper)

3) Soft knees and ankles + Independent movement in both knees

4) Perfect balance and control!

Flexion and Extension:

This is where you are either extending up off the snowboard edge to release edge pressure or flex down into the snowboard edge to apply pressure.

changing edges across the fall line

It is extremely important that you are consistently using an up or down motion when riding, never try to be static (or still) in the legs! By staying static in the legs, your COM (centre of mass) can be thrown off balance quickly and you’ll end up face planting into the snow!

NOTE: I never ride with static legs, my lower body movements are my source to a solid foundation to maintain balance and control!

Range of movement:

range of movements on a snowboard

Your range of movement on the snowboard through the lower body?

How do you figure out what you complete range is?


When riding on your snowboard (on a green slope and on your heel edge) I want you to keep flexing down until you can’t go any further, without breaking at the waist.

This is your maximum heel flexion…

Now try it on your toes!It’s the Same principle, keep flexing down onto your toe edge until you can’t flex anymore, (remember to keep the pelvis strong and not break at the waist)

This is your toe edge range of movement, it won’t be as great as your heel side flexion but that’s fine, you just need to remember it and adjust our timing accordingly. (When flexing onto the toe edge)

Soft knees and Ankles + Independent Movement:

soft knees on a snowboard

What do I mean when I say ‘soft knees and ankles?’

I really want you to start thinking about becoming extremely light, flexible and super soft (like a feather) when riding your snowboard!

Your knees should be moving up or down with flexion and extension but this time I want you to think about each knee separately for a second.

Yours knees should be operating as individual joints but both complement each other at the same time…

Think about this for an analogy…

Imagine you are driving a car and your suspension is hard, stiff and welded together as one solid unit.

I’m  guessing you could imagine that it would be a very uncomfortable drive to where ever you would be going with a setup like that.

Same goes for your knees and ankles, you MUST be using flexion and extension (with correct timing) and be able to stay soft in each knee while absorbing various bumps and unseen situations together as a smooth unit.

It’s a combination of these four elements that will enable you to stay balanced and centred even when your snowboard slips out from under you…

You will ultimately have the balance to quickly realign your lower body before you fall.

NOTE: Want to learn how to stay balanced and controlled when Riding steeps on a snowboard? Simply download this bad habits cheat sheet to gain an unfair advantage on the hill. Learn what bad habits snowboarders make so you can AVOID them to progress faster and maintain balance and control easier…check it out now!

bad habits for snowboarding on steep terrain
Perfect balance and control!:

This is how you get perfect control and balance on any terrain or snow conditions on the mountain,

Please leave a comment and let me know what some of your main problems are when snowboarding down the hill!

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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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