Turning is one of the first things a snowboarder learns. Yet to understand its true essence takes much longer.
For me it took ages before I understood how big part of riding is how you turn. As I was just riding park and pipe I didn’t pay attention to it – I took turning for granted. But especially at the mountains you really have to focus on your turns.
When I began to ride backcountry, I was forced to think what kinds of turns I needed to do in different situations. At park you mainly just control your speed by turning, but especially at riding lines you do so much more.
Fluent riding is a vanishing virtue. Nowadays you see a lot of riders taking just couple of turns at the top of a park and go wait their turn at a jump. Unpredictability is disappearing as that can only happen if you ride all the way down without stopping. Of course we all are products of our environment, and it’s not easy to do things differently than others. If riding park in one way is what people do at your resort, it’s not easy to do something else. Many people use edges just to get from one place to another, not to execute turns. There’s a major difference right there.
Great turn can inspire in so many ways. It’s a small thing but difficult to do well, so in the end it’s a huge thing. To make the simplest thing look inspiring is extremely hard.
Years ago when I was riding around my local hill, the need to shred everywhere was irresistible. When I managed to get that feeling at backcountry, I felt very happy. In the end that’s the key that has opened so many doors in my snowboarding.
For that reason I say this. Expand your possibilities of riding. Do the basic stuff, too, and ride everything. As you learn to shred everything you get the stoke from everywhere, and most of all, you are having more fun.
That can also make you a better rider. You shouldn’t set too many boundaries. If you want to be a really good freerider, you can’t ride only backcountry. Or if you want be good at riding rails or jumps, you also need to ride something else. Otherwise you won’t see all your possibilities – and they are endless.
Next time you go riding, do something you don’t do every day. Go with mind open somewhere you have never been before – you’re day can be one of the best.