Why you should learn to ride switch this season

by: Hanna

Learning to ride switch (opposite leg forward) should be on your to do list this season. I can already hear the excuses…”I don’t care about freestyle,” “I already know how to snowboard and don’t want to learn again.” Learning to ride switch isn’t as hard as it sounds…if you can link turns in your normal stance, you will be able to do them switch. Here are a few reasons why you should put switch riding on your list.
It will make you a stronger rider. Learning to link smooth turns switch forces you to rethink the body movements that go into snowboarding. Chances are you may be at the point where you can go ride without thinking about what you’re doing. Breaking things down and learning to do it all switch gets you thinking about your movements again. After working on switch riding for a few runs, riding in your normal stance will feel a lot more solid.
Switch opens the door to freestyle riding. If you do have any interest in the freestyle arts…or maybe would just like to be able to spin a nice 180 here and there…switch riding is a prerequisite. Switch riding leads to flat spins…flat spins lead to 180’s in the air….you see where this is going.
Its fun. At some point riding the same trails can get stale…new challenges are always a good way to regain the stoke. Switch riding is a great way to keep things fun when riding with friends who are at a much lower level than you.
Take a break.  Riding switch can give sore muscles, especially those front quads, a much needed break!

Tips for switch success
Start Small.  Your best bet is to begin on easy terrain. Back to the greens! Slow down and think about your movements until they come naturally.
Weight Transfer.  When you first start riding switch you may find yourself leaning back on your “old front leg”. Shift that weight forward so you are centered over your board.
Flat Spin. To smooth it all out, practice linking 3 switch turns and then smoothly spinning a flat spin 180 to 3 regular turns. Doing this drill until its smooth really gets your weight transfer smoothed out. Once you have that down with flat spins you can up the ante to nose rolls or 180’s in the air.

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