Carving technique. Body counter-rotation

The phenomenon which becomes a part of the technique of riders who learned to carve turns on their own is characterized with twisting shoulders toward the turn.

And it is the most difficult to get rid of it for those who started carving after a long period of riding by kicking out their back foot.

Counter-twisting, in its positive is the essential attribute of sports slalom technique. In order to move along the shortest path from flag to flag it is necessary to cut the turn as much as possible and to break it up in the most convenient moment in timing. It is most convenient to control the board in such conditions with a fixed position of shoulders directed into the valley. In such position of the shoulders, the board moving in turns under a snowboarder makes him twist in hip joint and spine constantly. Needless to say, that such style of riding is good only in trace and an amateur rider do not need to torture themselves this way.

However, these benefits of counter-twists are used only by a handful of carvers. Mainly counter twisting occurs as parasitic movements that rooted in the early months of getting used to the hard snowboard. If the change for the hard staff is boosted and the rider isn’t really ready for it then the control of the board will not be clear intuitively for them. Therefore counter rotation appears as this is fairly efficient way to turn the board in the necessary direction. In the future they prevent the progress and we will see below why.


  • Counter twisting is too harsh, and destabilize the rider, even though it would seem reverse for snowboarder;

  • Shoulder position in counter twisting creates certain conditions for the early break of the turn before the perpendicular position. This leads to uncontrolled acceleration, broken timing and cycle of movements;

  • The basic position is upset and therefore an even distribution of weight between the legs no longer exists and as a consequence of this you get unsustainable load of the edge;

  • In the counter twisted position it is hard to assess adequately the weight distribution between the legs and to load nose or tail of the board quickly, evenly and sufficiently;

  • The futility of this technique of riding for amateurs. Typically this is a dead end road of progress which will not allow you to ride in fine and free manner. In particular moment you will have to determine your prior riding style and to develop counter rotations specifically.

Frontside turn

On the frontsde riders often have the front leg straightened, back one strongly bent, hips and shoulders turned down the slope, the leading hand is out of the turn somewhere near waist and the back hand often reaches out for the snow. Shoulders "aligned" with the horizon and head is directed down the slope.

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Backside turn

It is typical for backside that hips and shoulders are parallel to the board, back is strongly bent, dangling or outstretched hands. Head is turned to the leading shoulder. Knees are directed at right angle to the board. Due to the improper location of the rider on the board, the cohesion between the board and snow on the backside is extremely unreliable, and mostly at maximum speed any rider falls!


Methods of correction

You need to analyze your riding technique and to understand what you are doing wrong exactly and what makes you fall. If you notice that there is counter twisting in your riding do not despair, this can be fixed. First, you must force yourself to take one step back in riding in order to take two steps forward after that. The starting point for you is to learn to keep the basic position and to make inclinations. Check the position of your head, knees and arms. You reflexes will help you to control your body!