How to Independently Bridge the Beginner to Intermediate Gap in Snowboarding.

From the first day many of us set foot on the slopes, we dream of riding the chairlift for the first time, reaching the summit, and snowboarding down with ease.

We understand that mastering snowboarding takes dedication and hours on the mountain.

Transitioning from a novice snowboarder to an intermediate level can feel daunting and inaccessible. It's a challenging stage where independence in snow sports seems elusive without significant guidance.


Snowboarding in India can be exclusive and costly. Snowboard parks do not exist here. The closest we have is the Church Slope in Gulmarg, 


For skiers, click here to read How to Bridge the Beginner to Intermediate Gap in Skiing.


Goal #1: Enhancing Dynamic Snowboarding

Why: In snowboarding instruction, we say, "There's no such thing as a good or bad turn, just more or less efficient ones." Can we find joy in less efficient movements? Absolutely. But if you yearn for that exhilarating feeling of gracefully maneuvering through turns on all types of terrain like slopes, moguls, woods, or narrow trails, then dynamic snowboarding is what you need. Dynamic turns offer precision and control on challenging slopes and can even deepen your love for snowboarding.

What dynamic snowboarding looks like: Your lower body should lead down the slope, with your head and shoulders remaining stable while your legs do the work. How does it feel? Less braking on the edges and more consistent speed throughout the descent.

Try this: Make turns that are as wide as two tracks, bending your knees deeply (almost like a squat) while moving across the slope. Hold this position for about two seconds before flattening the snowboard downhill to transition to the new edge. Once on the new edge, stand up from the squat position. Repeat this rhythm, gradually making smaller turns while maintaining significant knee bend during edge changes.


Pro tip: A common issue is feeling uneasy as turns become smaller, causing the front knee to move towards the center and reducing pressure on the front of the snowboard. To correct this, focus on pushing the front knee outward towards the little toe during turns on the slope side, and allow the front hip or buttock to lean into the turn before any other part of the body during turns on the heel side.


Goal #2: Building Confidence on Steep Terrain

Why: You've conquered green circles and blue squares and are hungry for more challenges, or perhaps you inadvertently ventured onto a black diamond (which you think should actually be labeled as a double black) and never want to feel unprepared again. By mastering upper and lower body separation, executing small turns becomes easier, enabling you to navigate steep slopes without gathering excessive speed.

What upper and lower body separation looks like: Your leading shoulder should point downhill throughout the run, while you move the snowboard from edge to edge underneath you so that the snowboard and hips complete each turn pointing across the slope—opposite to the direction your leading shoulder is pointing. What does it feel like? It's like building and releasing tension in your spine as you twist your lower spine via hips to move the snowboard.

Try this: Begin by standing at the top of a steep or moderately steep slope on your heelside edge. Twist your upper spine and shoulders so that your leading shoulder points towards the slope's bottom. Keep your shoulders in this direction as much as possible as you start moving the snowboard underneath you. Your aim now is to twist your hips and lower spine to pivot the snowboard from the heel edge to the toe edge and vice versa until you grow weary of this exercise. Eventually, you will make fewer pivoting movements and more intentional small turns.

Pro tip: The more you flex your knees and the closer you are to the snow, the easier it will be to execute this movement. Additionally, greater knee and ankle bend will provide you with more control.


Goal #3: Mastering Switch Snowboarding

Why: Learning to ride switch is essential if you plan to progress to snowboard park riding, particularly if you intend to perform rotational maneuvers. You should be comfortable snowboarding towards or away from features, depending on your freestyle aspirations. Learning to snowboard switch also adds a humbling challenge to your journey.

Try this: Another common teaching saying is "up a skill, down a slope." When practicing switch snowboarding, return to an easy green slope. Begin by making "garlands" across the slope on each edge, where you practice flattening the snowboard downhill and then applying pressure back onto the same edge, mimicking the turn as you would two weeks ago. Practice this on both edges until the initial discomfort diminishes. (I can't promise it will ever feel "good," only that it will eventually feel less awkward.)

Pro tip: Switch snowboarding can evoke the same unease as snowboarding on steep terrain. Therefore, the advice is similar. Maintaining flexion in your leading knee without letting it give in will yield the greatest success. Focus on pushing it towards the front little toe and allow the lower body to move downhill before the upper body.



In conclusion, snowboarding in India should bring joy. Manage frustration by being kind to yourself, taking breaks, and switching tasks when challenges outweigh enjoyment.

If feasible, invest in a course. 

IISM Gulmarg does not provide relevant snowboarding training. 

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