When you first take to a snowboard, the only thing you care about is staying upright, making it down the mountain, and not looking like a complete amateur. As you get more experience, you start thinking about riding switch.
You’re literally looking to switch things up, and while it can be tricky at first, it gets easy with practice.
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What Does it Mean to Ride Switch?
Riding switch means that you ride the snowboard in the opposite direction to what you’re used to.
You basically change your front foot. If you usually ride with your left foot forward, use your right. If you already use your right, switch to your left.
How Do You Ride Switch?
Ready to switch up your normal stance and try something new? The following tips will help you to start riding switch like the pros:
Get a True Twin Snowboard
True Twin snowboards are perfectly symmetrical, which means they will feel the same whether you’re riding normal or switch. If you want the best possible snowboard to help you learn, look for a True Twin.
If you’re not wearing your best snowboard jackpot, boots, and pads, now’s the time to get them. You’re going to be falling like a complete novice, so you need to be dressed like one as well.
Not only will it protect you, but it’ll also give you the confidence you need to ride freely. The more cautious and restrained that you are, the longer the learning curve will be.
Check Your Snowboard Bindings
Your bindings should be mounted near the center of your snowboard to provide you with balance in both directions. The angle of the bindings should also be fairly neutral, as that should make it easier to ride switch.
Strap one foot into the snowboard and walk with the other. It will feel a little odd and even a little stupid to begin with, but it will help you get used to the switch position. It means that your first experience doesn’t come when you’re getting off the lift or racing down the slope.
Ride Switch on a Chairlift
Now it’s time to hop on a chairlift and put your switch skills to the test. Ideally, you should wait until the lift is empty, as there’s a good chance, you’ll end up flat on your butt.
Just slip into the switch position and then get off the lift like that.
Practice on Powder
Once you have gotten the basics out of the way, you’re ready to start riding.
To make life easy on you, stick with powder snow where possible. The best snow will be a little more forgiving and it’s perfect for those early practice sessions.
Try To Enjoy Yourself
The less that you enjoy yourself, the more of a chore it will be and the harder it will be to learn. If you’re a relatively accomplished snowboarder who now feels like a novice, you’re probably not going to be having much fun.
If so, take a friend with you and set yourself challenges. Alternatively, slip on a pair of earbuds and listen to music.
Keep Going and Be Patient
Every time you hit the slopes; you should try to ride switch. You don’t need to go all-out, but you should devote at least a quarter of your session to practicing switch.
How Can I Improve My Snowboarding Switch?
If you’re struggling to ride switch and you’ve been trying for a while, consider getting some advice from an instructor or an accomplished friend.
Make sure you’re not putting too much weight on your leading foot and are keeping even weight between them. This can be difficult for first-time switch riders, and it could be one of the issues holding you back.
Generally speaking, however, it’s just one of those things that you need to practice. All the same principles that apply to your normal stance will also apply to your switch stance, and while it can feel strange mirroring them, that’s really all you need to do.
FAQs About Riding Switch
Learning switch riding can be challenging, but as long as you’re armed with the right information, you’ll get there before you know it.
Take a look at the following FAQs for more information on riding switch.
What is Switch Riding Snowboarding?
Riding switch means that you “switch” your stance by changing your lead foot.
How Long Does it Take to Ride Switch on a Snowboard?
It depends on your current skill level and how much time you devote to practicing. However, if you’re out there every day, you should be able to master switch riding within a week.
Is Riding Switch on a Snowboard Hard?
In a way, yes, riding switch is hard. It’s like going back and learning the basics all over again. However, if you’re already pretty adept at snowboarding and you’re willing to invest time into practicing this new move, it shouldn’t take too long.
When Should I Learn to Ride Switch?
If you ask accomplished snowboarders about riding switch, many will tell you that they wished they had learned earlier. The longer they ignore it, the weirder it feels.
It’s never too late to learn how to ride switch and everyone can do it, but if you want to make the fastest progress in the shortest time, you should consider learning as soon as you’re comfortable in your normal stance.
Is Riding Switch Important?
It’s very important to learn switch riding on a snowboard. Not only is it a cool trick to learn, and one that could come in very useful, but there are also safety elements.
If you’re riding along the edge of a mountain, you want to be facing toward it and not away from it. If you only know how to ride one stance, there’s a chance you won’t be able to do that.
What Are the Best Snowboards for Riding Switch?
True Twins are the best snowboards for this purpose. They are symmetrical, helping you to move between stances and get a smooth and balanced ride with a regular stance and a goofy stance.