Ah, snowboarding in powder. The stuff that dreams are made of.
Of course, snowboarders, especially new ones to the sport, are quick to find out that snowboarding in powder is a whole different ball game than carving turns on that sweet corduroy.
So while the technical aspects of snowboarding apply whether you are on a groomer or in powder, there are some subtle differences.
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How To Snowboard in Powder – Board Set Up
The only way to learn how to snowboard in powder, of course, is to do it. That being said, the only thing you can do to help yourself out a little is understand how to adjust your board setup for a powder day.
Most snowboarders, especially in their early days, only have one board. That’s fine and totally makes sense considering how expensive boards are these days. Additionally they take a ‘set it and forget it’ approach to their bindings.
And this is where a little effort the night before a powder day can make a big difference.
Adjusting Your Bindings for a Powder Day
When it comes to snowboarding in powder, the easiest thing you can do to help yourself out a little is setting your bindings back a bit.
There’s a good chance that your bindings were set up for all-around use, which makes sense for 90% of your riding, especially at the beginning. This set up is often more centered on the board making for easier turning and the ability to ride switch.
However, for snowboarding in powder, you want more nose and less tail. More nose means more float. More float means less effort to stay on top of the snow (and less time digging out). Less tail means your board will naturally sink back, almost popping a wheelie, helping to keep the nose up.
More float also means a day of dreamy, surfy turns that you have only imagined before.
By the way, this will all happen with less effort, thus saving your back leg from destruction.
The way to get more nose, and thus more float, out of your available board is to move the bindings back a bit. Just think of it as keeping the same spacing and angles that you are used to for everyday riding, just back on the board a couple of inches.
The available screw holes on your board will determine how much you can do this. And it doesn’t necessarily take much.
Trust me, if you set your bindings back an inch, you’ll notice the difference in how your board rides.
Sure, you’ve sacrificed some ability to ride switch, but enjoy the turns.
How To Snowboard in Powder – Stance
Once you get your board properly set up, all that is left is to adjust your stance a little. Again, there isn’t too much you can do here but subtle shifts in where you carry your center of gravity will make a big difference.
Essentially, you’re going to be leaning back a lot more than you are used to in normal conditions.
Your turns will feel a bit more driven by the back foot than normal and your weight will be back to. This puts your back thigh to the test, but hopefully adjusting the bindings will help this a little.
Snowboarding in powder is the dream of all riders, and there really isn’t much you can do ahead of time to get ready. But it is different and keeping these adjustments in mind can really help get the most of a powder day with your existing gear.
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