How To Ride In Alignment On A Snowboard

For smooth controlled riding you want your upper body and lower body to be in line with one another because, it gives you better balance and stability over your snowboard one of the most common problems for intermediate riders is riding with a body position that is not aligned. I see a lot of snowboarders cruising with their upper body turned in this position facing forwards. It’s not very stable. If you hit a bump it’s likely you’ll get thrown off balance and may crash. Instead you want to be like this where your upper body and lower body are in line with your board. An aligned body will give you the strongest balance over your board. It’s common to see riders going down the mountain with forced turns. Constantly riding out of alignment and lots of arm swinging. This is called counter rotation where your upper body and lower body become disjointed not working in harmony and twisting against each other to make turns happen. This especially happens when doing turns on your toe edge. On this freeze-frame, you can see how the riders upper body is completely out of alignment with the lower body. If you can compare this with my riding, you’ll see that every time I make a turn my upper body and lower body are almost always turning in the same direction it looks smooth balanced and effortless as I flow through each turn. If you can get your riding to look like this then you’ll be more comfortable riding faster and learning new tricks. On flat ground this is what good alignment looks like. When I do a toe edge turn you’ll see my upper body helps initiate the turn. My leading shoulder, my hip, my knee, all go in the same direction. On a heel edge turn my upper body, turns my hip, turns my knees turn, all in the same direction. You probably don’t know whether you counter rotate your turns or ride facing forward until you get to see your own riding on video. If you do you’re going to want to break this habit, to increase the stability of your riding. Try grabbing your pants while practicing some turns, this will aid as a subtle reminder to keep your upper body and lower body moving together in the same direction through each turn. Imagine you have a pole that goes through your body and you’re holding on to the end of each pole. To turn your snowboard turn the pole through your hips turn this way for a heel edge turn, turn the pole this way and you initiate a toe edge turn. After you’ve got the idea, relax and try to make it look natural again. Riding with your upper body and lower body in better alignment. Another effective way to help straighten out your alignment is to do some switch runs, riding switch forces you to straighten out your upper and lower body. This technique is quite difficult for riders who are used to facing forwards while riding. Go to an easy run and force yourself to learn switch, your normal stance will love you for it and your balance and alignment will become much better. This is Nev Lapwood from Snowboard Addiction. Our Goal Is To Improve Your Riding.

80 thoughts on “How To Ride In Alignment On A Snowboard”

  1. I see that y’all film at Whistler pretty often; my wife and I will be there in December. Do y’all offer lessons? Our riding looks like what not to do ?

  2. I got back into snowboarding a few years ago and I do the wild arm swing/counter rotation turns sometimes. This especially happens on hard, packed snow that is bumpy. No matter how often I try to go back to alignment riding, my body just naturally goes into counter rotating to deal with steeper, narrow hard packed runs.

  3. thanks a lot! but i just don't understand how you guys can facing the hill so naturally, i mean if im not looking directly the way im going to, i will just be panic as hell.

  4. I don´t know about this.. sometimes you just ride better with your own style. there is no 100% correct what you should do. The others rode faster downhill.

  5. hi guys. i am french.
    i`ve learned snowbording by myself. if i have seen this video before maybe it will be better for my back.
    thks a lot.?

    sorry for my english?

  6. Once the season starts, I'll definitely have to try out the pants grab technique to really force myself to be properly aligned. I'm sure I'm riding incorrectly. Thanks for the videos!

  7. I'm snowboarding for more than 26 years. My technique maybe a lite old school, but my upper body is mostly facing the direction I'm headed in. I dont have any issues with stability and I rip down the mountain and its very seldom that I'm being overtaking by a skiër or snowboarder. Controle and stability mostly come down to how well you are able to keep pressure on your edge through a turn plus off course the correct movement of your hips. Back in the days there where turning methods where changes pressure on your board by moving your body up and down. Sound a bit silly but ok. The down side was that at some point in the turn your legs where more stretched out which reduced your ability to cope with changes in terain, resulting in los of edge pressure and thereby loosing grip.

    With the general trend that everybody wants to stand duck although they dont know how to ride forward, let alone backwards, described body position may make sense for that particular stands.

  8. Great video guys, hands down the best youtube channel out there. Have you shown this to Kevin from snowboard pro camp? He could take a lesson or two from you

  9. alignment ok . I was taught to turn 'feet first' and the kness, hips and shoulders follow. Never to generate a turn with the shoulders. this is slightly different – will try.

  10. One from best basic snb videos on YouTube , many people here in comments say something about style and knapton, if you ride like this (beginner) you can add style and play with vertical weight etc. later, but every time you want to learn how to ride , you need to be able to manage this kind of ride first .

  11. how does Ryan Knapton stay so balanced, he doesn't seem to follow to principle and is able to carve like crazy and pull off spin moves

  12. Riding in alignment is essential but this statue shit is dogshit. You guys have a good channel and a big following you have a responsibility to not put this garbage out. There are beginners who will see this and all the other statues on the mountain and think this is how you’re meant to ride.

    Go to Ryan Knaptons page and look at the how to really really carve videos, best videos for progressing your riding on the web.

  13. I was trying this a lot last winter, but I found that when coming out of toe turns, my board would carry on turning and actually heading up hill, or further than I wanted. Then the back foot would slip out the other way, I actually fell quite a few times, as couldn’t really nail it, even though it was all quite slow speed. Enjoyed riding aligned while it lasted however!

  14. Not completely true. An intermediate rider on a narrow trails will have to counter rotate in many situations. That trail is quadruple the size I learned on…you can't just traverse…alot of ppl

  15. Tough on bumpy choppy icy north east conditions. Plus the runs aren't wide enough on busy days. Counter rotating can save some energy from deep crouched quick turns

  16. After reading all the comments here, it sounds like more people are bagging on this video than in support of it. I can tell you that after snowboarding for 8 years…you can't really carve if you're counter-rotated. You also won't be in a position to eat the bumps if your weight isn't evenly distributed…which is what ISNT happening if you're counter-rotated. I counter-rotate in the trees and other situations (park speed checks, etc)…but if I'm going down the mountain it's better to be in alignment with board for stability.

  17. I'm noob and I went snowboarding like the first guy. All my friends thought I was cool because of all the flashy movements and powder around me… I soon realize I wasn't doing it right… It's like breaking every 2 seconds, not a real cruise

  18. This video is bollocks. Reminds me of all the kiwi/Aussie snowboard instructors in the States who rode a bit back home, but never enough to gain a well rounded understanding of edge technique before ski school brainwashed them. Riding out of alignment isn’t the issue. It’s actually a good thing when you’re really smoking down a hill. That’s why downhill boarder racers twist their bodies front on (their bindings might be on 45 degrees or more but their bodies still aren’t fully aligned). Counter rotation is the real issue as it prevents ‘edge setting’.

  19. Its not wrong, its just different technique. There are Plus (+) and Minus(-) Techniques, and they both work great.

  20. Fuck otta here trying to tell people carve back n forth taking up the entire path. Go fuck yourself that's some fucking skiier shit

  21. This is the best instructional video for turning on YouTube.

    Don't believe me? Watch ANY snowboard instructor ride on the mountain next you're out. EVERY SINGLE ONE rides in alignment. Or even better: take a lesson and get direct feedback.

    Turns on a snowboard are initiated by:
    (1) bending your knees,
    (2) shifting your weight towards the front of your board to drive your edge into the snow,
    (3) using your front foot to torsionally flex the board in the direction you want to turn,
    (4) pushing your hips forward (toeside),
    (5) centering your weight between your feet and even onto your backfoot once you are traversing before shifting your weight back towards your front foot to initiate the next turn.

    Carving God Ryan Knapton uses all of these techniques, but it's harder to see because he's mostly Eurocarving. Watch his videos in slow motion and see for yourself.

    Proper technique involves your feet, knees, and hips.

  22. I know what you mean, but it also depends on how much space you have and on how steep the slope is. If there are many other people on the piste or if it is too steep, you may need to ride down counter-rotating.

  23. Hmmm I'm very much a newbie but I tried riding like this and it feels seriously unstable. Keeping my body facing direction of travel and counter-rotating to turn is much much more bump-immune and gives far fewer slams into the ground. That said, maybe I pick up bad habits from kitesurfing?

  24. Very nice vidéo as usual ! Is it possible to have your bindings setups (stance width, angles, size of your snowboard, and your height) ?

  25. Imho you're over simplifying – this technique IS extremely important BUT at some point the advantage of being aligned like this is not enough to compensate for the disadvantage of essentially riding at warp speed into an area on the slope you can't see enough into… That's when you rotate out of alignment on a backside carve a bit which also helps you extend your hands into the turn and move your center of gravity closer to the edge etc – notice the distinction made here and how this silver olympic medalist is riding essentially front not side down – do you think his technique is bad? do we have footage of guys using the "aligned" technique at this speed or when say extreme carving etc?

  26. As a beginner having gone snowboarding once. I can say that watching these videos ahead of snowboarding for the first time gave me a clear advantage over my friends that didn’t watch or “pay attention “ to the videos. I went last week and going again this week! Im so hooked, I think about snowboarding more than fishing now. Crazy Talk

  27. "Try to get your body to lookblike mine"… horse shite.
    Understand that such a large portion of snowboarders starting skating first. When you skate, your shoulders face where you go. This is also how you "load up" for spinning tricks, 180s, 360s and such , but getting your weight/ shoulders moving first, and legs following after.

  28. As I'm flailing down the mountain uncontrollably there are no doubt brief moments in between the flailing when my body is perfectly aligned.

  29. There are two schools of thought here and neither is wrong. Sometimes this style works. But for some riders in some situations, a silent upper body facing the direction you are going works as well. The most important points are having fun and riding within your ability.

  30. There are two schools of thought here and neither is wrong. Sometimes this style works. But for some riders in some situations, a silent upper body facing the direction you are going works as well. The most important points are having fun and riding within your ability.

  31. only works with a setup like this…other binding/foot angle and it doesnt work anymore. what would you tell someone who rides alpin style? why would you not look in front of you??? thats a fking dangerous tip imo.

  32. The way this guy rides looks so dumb no one should ride like this, I ride the “incorrect way” I guess but in my opinion it look smoother and more stylish riding with your whole body aligned makes you look like a stick moving down the mountain even though it gives more balance to ride aligned I think it looks super stupid and it makes you look like a true beginner

  33. IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR BEGINNERS!! Counter rotation/disjointed body alignment DOES have its own advantage in certain places. it's for quick turning and "speed check", under slower speed with large crowds of people.
    check out these vidoes, especially the second one at 1:17.

  34. I must agree with slimeone, as I recently did a triple 360 cartwheel down a diamond run and everything went into slow motion. It was by the third cartwheel when I felt perfectly aligned. I was upside down on my head looking at the sun in the sky and I entered into trance and had a zen moment. ?

  35. Nev, eher is the true? You say upper and lower body must be aligned. But some other very good snowboarders say the opposite. I consider myself intermediate to advance rider. In general I agree with you but I don't think alignment is appropriate for tree riding. Thank you very much for doing snowboard addiction

  36. A lot of people in these comments are confused between aligned (as in riding with a bladed stance) and counter rotation. You can ride with your whole body facing down hill and still not use counter rotation while turning, that's the point. He rides slowly in the video so you can see the idea, but watch any pro snowboarder and they ride just like this, stale riding slope to trice riding giant AK lines. Speed checking using counter rotation should be used as a last resort as it's unstable, you can control your speed without counter rotating almost all the time.

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