Tips for Snowboarding in Powder

All around the world, snowboarders and skiers monitor the weather to find the perfect day to go to the slopes. After a long night of snowfall, the entire mountain top and its slopes and trails are covered in fresh powder. Fresh powder should never be wasted. Every time fresh snow falls, snowboarders of all ages and skill levels jump onto the ski lift to enjoy a wonderful day of snowboarding. But what is the difference between regular snow and fresh powder, and does it affect how a snowboarder rides the snow? I will answer these questions in my quick and easy guide on handling snowboarding and the different types of fresh powder.

What Is Powder?

men with snowboards in powder

Powder or pow is a nickname for powdery snow, which is fresh and made up of tiny ice crystals. This is the best kind of powder for snowboarders because it is extremely soft and lessens the impact if you crash or fall. Flat powder means that only a small amount of fresh snow has fallen, so your board is more likely to slip and slide than make actual terms. Deep snow means that several inches to several feet of snow have fallen, so you may sink into the snow while you are out on the slopes. Also, deep snow can hide rocks and other obstacles underneath it, which is extremely dangerous.

Before learning How To Snowboard In Powder

There are a few tips a beginning snowboarder must learn how to ride a snowboard in powder. First, check the weather conditions so you can see how cold and windy it will be. If you’re going out because the forecast is showing that there will be powdery snow, the snow will likely fall as you are snowboarding. But with the fresh snow also comes fog and wind, so you must wear the correct layers of clothing in order to keep you warm.

Another tip to know is to stretch before your snowboarding session. Even though you are standing and connected to a board, that doesn’t mean you won’t use your muscles. If you don’t stretch before snowboarding, you could injure your muscles because they are tense and are not ready to contract and bend. Plus, stretching will decrease your warm-up time so you can head to the more advanced trails sooner.

For many people, reading about snowboarding techniques is not enough. Watching someone snowboard will help you understand what your body needs to do. Many people opt to hire a snowboarding teacher who can teach you how to snowboard in powder.

How To Turn Snowboard In Powder

Making left and right turns in power is not much different than making turns in regular snow. There are a few small differences, but you should master these changes quickly in powdered snow. One important difference between powder snow and regular snow is that you need to crouch with the foot you are not steering with so that the powder comes out from beneath your snowboard when you turn to the left or the right. When turning to the right, your back leg should be crouched, and your knees should be bent. When turning to the left, your right knee should be crouched, and your knee should be bent. If you want to go faster while you turn, lift your snowboard nose up by pressing down on your back foot. As you press on your back foot, you will also kick the snow out from underneath your snowboard and spray it into the air. But whatever you do, don’t lean your body back, or you may fall over from the imbalance.

How To Snowboard In Flat Powder

Snowboarding in fresh powder is a wonderful experience, but not if that powder turns out to be flat powder. When a person snowboards in flat powder, they get stuck often, and they cannot gain a good amount of speed to perform certain techniques and tricks. Do your best to avoid any flat powder and warn other snowboarders who are about to go in a flat powder spot area.

How To Snowboard In Deep Powder

woman with snowboard in deep powder

If you want to know how to ride snowboard in deep powder, build up your leg muscles. Even though snowboarders already have strong muscles, you have to rely on your back leg if you are riding in deep powder. So you can lean back with your back leg and lift the front of your snowboard above the powdery snow. By doing this, you will keep your snowboard from digging into the powder and then stalling and burying itself. Also, snowboarding in powdery snow means you can bury yourself in a waist-deep snow ditch, so you’ll have to pull yourself out. 

Conclusion

Snowboarding in powdery snow is a wonderful experience, and every snowboarder should experience a powder day at least once per season. When traveling to a ski resort, call up the front desk or concierge, and see what weeks are likely to have heavy snowfall. If you plan on snowboarding off-piste during a powder day, take a friend with you to be safe or at least tell someone who cares about you where you will be and what time you should be back. This way, if you are in trouble, someone will know that you have not returned back safely, so they will send out a search and rescue for you.


Harry Sowers

Harry has been skiing and snowboarding since he was a boy growing up outside of Denver Colorado. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college a UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.