Snowboarding How To: Falling

Snowboarding:  How To brings you the bad news…you are going to fall!

But, Snowboarding:  How To also brings you the good news…it doesn’t have to hurt!

Do you remember doing a forward or backward roll as a kid?  You were fine, it didn’t hurt.

Snowboarding How To
Snowboarding How To Fall photo by serrechevalier

So now, even though you are a little older and you are snowboarding you are going to be fine!  You will be wearing a helmet, wrist guards, gloves, kneepads, a butt protector, a thick coat and pants and you won’t even be going fast.  If you fall and do a forward roll, will it hurt?  Probably not.

The key is that as you feel yourself falling you welcome the fall.  Instead of putting your hands out and trying to stop yourself you tuck and roll instead.

When you fall you should immediately start to roll.  The act of rolling dissipates the energy of the fall without injuring you.  Imagine driving a car with failed brakes, ahead of you is a tree that can stop you or a field that you can slow you down.  If you crash into the tree the car will stop suddenly as the energy is absorbed by the tree.  If you drive into the field the car will gradually stop as the energy and speed is gradually bled off.    When you convert a fall into a roll you are allowing the energy to dissipate slowly.  If you just fall the energy is absorbed suddenly (and painfully) by your body.

The best place to learn to roll is at a gym where they have mattresses for gymnastics or martial arts.  Thirty minutes of instruction from a gymnastics or martial arts teacher is a great investment.  But, even without an instructor it is pretty straightforward.

  • Falling Forwards.  As you fall forwards, tuck your head and shoulder in so that you are moving onto your back.  Roll diagonally from one shoulder to the opposite hip.  Do a complete roll so that you end sitting down.
  • Falling backwards.  As you fall backwards, bend your knees, tuck your head down and roll from one hip to the opposite shoulder.  Do a complete roll so that you end on your knees.

The worst fall in snowboarding is when a beginner, or especially a skier-turned-snowboarder, catches an edge.  Future posts on Snowboarding:  How To will show you how to avoid catching an edge and avoid falling. 

Other ways to avoid falling are as follows:

  • Choose terrain that is within your skill level so that you are in control.
  • Learn to turn on the training hill, before exploring the rest of the mountain.  Turning is the key to speed control.

The awesome thing about snowboarding is that both feet are attached to your board and so you don’t have to worry about the knee injuries that are common when a skier falls.

Do you have comments or questions on Snowboarding How To Fall?  We’d love to hear your comments, feedback rocks!

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