A Simple Snowboard Freeride tutorial.

This may be the very first snowboard freeride tutorial on the Internet. 

The question what is freeride snowboarding gets thrown around a lot and today you’re going to discover what it is, the difference between freeride and all mountain.

snowboard freeride tutorial

And as an added bonus, I’m going to throw in my 2 cents of technical knowledge for how to improve your riding style, so keep reading if you want to get the most out of this snowboard freeride tutorial.

Let’s start at the definitions first…

 

What’s the Difference between Freeride Snowboarding and All Mountain Snowboarding?

What is Freeride snowboarding?

In my personal opinion, Freeride snowboarding is generally off piste snowboarding on the mountain, Not only will you be snowboarding off piste (and some on piste) but you must have the skill set to actually ride the hill with complete freedom.

This means being able to go from one snow condition to another, and quickly adapt your style of snowboarding to stay balanced and controlled.

Here’s an example:

Imagine yourself riding on groomed trails, You decide to go exploring….You look left and start heading towards the tree line, it looks like soft snow.

Once you’re there, you quickly realise the soft snow is actually semi hard tracked out bumpy ice hills …Too late, your committed. 

No going back now, It’s at this stage you should be going slower but you can’t slow down without putting your body in a seriously dangerous position, the only option is too keep charging on….

 

Pro Tip for Snowboarding in Bumpy Snow Conditions.

Bumpy terrain snowboarding

Focus on relaxing the knees, becoming super soft in the legs…This will help with absorption. In these types of situations, you MUST NOT be static on  your snowboard. 

Remember your Timing exercises with edge pressure? If not go here LINK to master the turns.

If you need to slow down, try and choose an area where you think you could do it safely, if that means picking up a wee bit extra speed to get there, it might be worth considering if you think you have the skills to pull it off.

Slowing down on crap snow conditions when you are freeriding can be challenging sometimes, ride the lightning and choose your control points wisley.

On with the freeride snowboarding story (tutorial)

Once you have safely made it through the crappy snow field, you hit the tree line, you imagine yourself making smooth, floating turns like you see in the movies and can’t wait to get amongst it.

You quickly discover that making smooth, floating, hypnotising freeride snowboard turns is a lot harder than what you think…

The trees seem to be getting closer and you find yourself in a situation where it becomes extremely hard to slow down, let alone make a turn. 

Not only is the hill gradient getting steeper but your tree line is becoming more and more intertwined together.

There is no room for error, you heart is pumping, your muscles are tired and in overdrive, you still can’t see a good tree line to get you out of trouble?

 

Pro Tip for Snowboarding in Trees

riding trees on a snowboard

In these situations, you must naturally become more aggressive within your freeriding style, there is no room for pussy footing around trees, they do hurt if you hit them and they can kill you!

As long as you have a strong basic stance, focus on using exaggerated movements. Increase your anticipation into each and every turn, help your lower body make the movements (turns)  by increasing the rotational twist through your upper body!

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intermediate snowboarding tutorials

 

It is extremely important to start slowing down, start changing your tree line so you are steering you snowboard across the hill, rather than down. Make sure you are really using your head to look in the direction of travel…

Consciously LOOK to where you want to go, not down at the snow or down the hill! In the direction of travel, across the hill!

You made it….you can see an opening out of this tree field, you choose your line and go, you see a rolling hill drop off and know your close to safety.

Finally you can stop and have a rest..

Only to discover you have somehow found your way to a triple black diamond cliff face?

There is only 2 options here, you can try and walk out but that would take at least 2 hours, or you can try to keep going….

You drop in to some of the steepest terrain you have ever ridden in your life, Your legs are shaking and your nevis about not making a Turn.

Your in…

It’s soft, you’ve discovered an untracked powder field of the white fluffy stuff. Sick, you come this far and found your pot of gold, it’s time to lay some phat turns down!

 

Pro Tip For Snowboarding in Powder:

soft knees on a snowboard

Let’s get serious, fresh untacked powder… Slowly shift your weight back so the nose of snowboard stays just above the powder…don’t lean back too far, otherwise you’ll burn you back leg out quickly.

Focus on good timing with pressure, smooth motions and super relaxed in the legs. This is very important.

You must learn how to ride blind in some sense, you cant see whats under the snow so you must stay soft in the legs to absorb the different terrain.

Once again, open the front shoulder into each turn and look to where you want to go with correct head posture.

You just made some of the best turns in your life, down some of  the steepest runs you’ll ever make, and in the years to come, you will look back with fond memories of just how much fun it really was.

This is Freeriding! 

RELATED: Snowboard Turns Tutorial

 

What is All Mountain Snowboarding?

All mountain snowboarding is very similar but in a certain sense, it’s a bit more relaxed.

All mountain snowboarders enjoy aspects of the freeride style, but also like to cruise around on groomed trails and have lots of fun with their friends and family.

As well as riding the upper mountain and all the challenges that go with that.

Is saying that, this is what I think the real difference is between the two styles…

Snowboard setup!

Depending on what style you prefer for the day, should determine what snowboard you are going to ride.

Here’s a great link to help you out choosing the right Snowboard

 

What is Freestyle Snowboarding?

This is a very familiar topic for me, for years I was chasing the dream of being a Pro snowboarder.

Freestyle snowboarding is a self expression of style and control of different features all across the mountain,

This could be park? Big Mountain, natural terrain features like banks and Hips, it can even mean launching yourself off cliffs.

Freestyle snowboarding can be very challenging to learn but the rewards that come from the time and dedication are in a dimension of their own.

It’s all good to become a very competent big mountain snowboarder but unless you have learnt the discipline of spinning and performing aerial tricks, your snowboarding style is not yet complete.

Being able to perform certain tricks on the snowboard is great and very rewarding might I say, but being able to perform aerial tricks and spin in the back country is a whole other level.

This is what i consider to be True Freestyle snowboarding!, Taking all those hard earned snowboard tricks and transferring them into a playground where everything is just MASSIVE!

Riding powder is one thing, but being able to ride powder and spin a smooth frontside 540 off a natural terrain feature with speed is something completely different.

It’s absolutely exhilarating.

Well, I hope you found this somewhat freeride snowboard tutorial helpful, please leave a comment if you need some advice in any area of your freeriding style.

 

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!

Still Have another question about our snowboard freeride tutorial?

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Logan
Logan

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

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