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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Grinds for Beginner Snowboarders

So you’ve made it through your first days on the board. You’re carving back and forth just fine, and you gave jumping a try when you could, and learned how to do a few grabs, but there is more to the terrain park than just ramps and air. You might have noticed the large boxes and rails sticking out into the air, so make use of them. More technical tricks might not be as attention grabbing to those watching from afar, but they show skill and give you a way to connect your runs through the terrain park together. Here are three grinds to try your first time that will get you started:

50/50 Grind
According to, this is one of the easiest grings to learn on a snowboard. Named for the skateboard trick that is executed in a similar way, this is typically one of the first grinds snowboarders learn. Approach the rail as you head downhill and jump up onto it. Keep the board parallel to the rail and land on it (this may be just a transition from snow to rail, not actually a jump, depending on height and other variables). Balance as you slide forward and keep your eyes looking at where you are going, toward the end of the rail. As you approach the end, jump again or transition back into the powder.

snowboard beginner grind
Backside Boardslide
This can be done by approaching from the side or straight on. If approaching from the side, you should have the rail on your backside. As you get to it, jump and bring your front foot over the rail and rotate your board a little so you are perpendicular to the rail. Slide with your board balanced and a foot on each side of the rail. Your body should be facing down hill. As you get to the bottom, shift the board back so that you will be heading down hill normally again. If you approached from straight on, you just have to rotate the full 90-degrees at the start

Frontside Boardslide
This is the most advanced of the three, but very similar to the backside boardslide. The difference here is that instead of your body facing down hill, you should approach from (or rotate to) the other side. When you rotate this time, face your body uphill and look back over your shoulder at where you are heading. As you approach the end, be sure to rotate back around and land properly.

General Tips
As you start grinding on your board, begin with low rails. Anything higher is that much more difficult. Plus, if you end up falling, you want to be close to the ground until you know what you are doing a little more. If you get onto the rail and think you are going to lose your balance completely, find a way to head off the rail and back to the snow. The ground will be much softer than the metal rail or wooden box with metal edges. There are usually portions of the terrain park set up for beginners, so stick to those sections and learn before you take on bigger obstacles.

Have fun and ride on!