Learn how to get better at snowboarding by training your balance. My guide to balance and cross training for snowboarding.

balancetrainingsnowboarding
photo credit: specialolympicsusa D4S_2788 via photopin (license)

 

Balance training is a great way to improve and hone your snowboarding skills when you can not snowboard whether you are a complete beginner or at an advanced level.

 

How balance training can improve your snowboarding performance.

 

The simple explanation is that balance training will improve your coordination i.e. the ability to control your body and your agility i.e. your capacity to quickly react while controlling your body,  improving these skills will help to improve your overall performance in snowboarding or any other sports you may do.

The seconded way balance training can improve your snowboarding skills is by combining balance training with repetition training.

Repetition training is when you practice certain movements patterns (such as those used for a trick) over and over again in a safe controlled environment.  

Doing this will improve your body awareness, mobility, and balance skills while making the movement pattern you have been practicing become second nature to you, this will allow you to be able to pull off a move or trick without actually thinking about what you are doing.

 

 

What are the skills to master to become good at snowboarding?

I put together this guide by looking at the different types of skills that are needed to develop to become good at snowboarding and looking for ways you can improve those skills by snowboarding cross training.

I realize that there are many different styles or types of snowboarding you can do, so it is up to you to pick what skills you want to develop.

Types of skills snowboarding skills to develop.

  • General balance- Doing any types of balance training with or without any particular equipment will help make improvements to your coordination, agility, and mobility that will transfer to your snowboarding.
  • Carving / Edging - is an essential skill to learn to control a snowboard. Learning how to stay balanced while applying heel and toe pressure to control the snowboard is something that you can practice at home with the right equipment.
  • Jibing- learning how to stay balanced on a snowboard sliding down the top of rails, benches or any other object.
  • Rotations and spins- Is a typical movement pattern used while riding and during aerial tricks.
  • Buttering- requires you to shift your weight or stance in ways you may not be familiar with to do tricks.
  • Ollies- are another important skill to master that repetition training combined with balance training can be used to help speed up the process
  • Aerials- Balance training can help you stick landing while repetition training and tramp training can help you learn the movement patterns needed for certain tricks.

 

Getting started with snowboarding balance training by using bodyweight exercises and yoga.

 

Bodyweight balance training is the cheapest and safest way to get into balance training.  

Bodyweight balance training would benefit beginner snowboarder the most but intermediate and advanced level snowboarders could take advantage of the improved mobility you will get from practicing doing standing balance poses.

There are a bunch of standing balance yoga poses that range from simple to challenging that can be practiced to help improve your balance as well as improve your mobility.

I put together a playlist of how to videos of all the standing balance yoga poses they can be found HERE.

One way to get started is to go through the playlist I made and pick a few moves to work on, once you have masted those poses progress onto a more challenging move.

Another option would be to follow along with an snowboarding inspired yoga flow. You can find a bunch of free snowboarding yoga flows on you tube here is a good example.

 

Once you get to a point where you can do these movements without much effort, you will need to start using specialized equipment to continue to challenge yourself and make improvements to your balance

 

Balance training with equipment to improve performance in snowboarding

 

The vew-do board for snowboarders.

A snowboarder invented Vew-do boards with a snowboarders needs in mind.

Vew-do boards have a track that is mounted to the bottom of the deck that sits in a groove cut into the center of the roller; this allows you to ride the board on angles by applying heel or toe pressure simulating craving and edging on a snowboard.

The Vew-do flow or zippy board will enable you to train the widest variety of snowboarding skills.

 These boards allow you to combine repetition training and balance training so you can practice spins, rotations, ollies and buttering tricks.

 

 

What is the difference between the flow and zippy?

These boards decks are almost the same, the main differences are found in the rollers.

The flow roller is more challenging to use because it reacts quicker and will allow you to ride the board at a steeper angle.

The zippy rollers are better for beginners the nubs on the ends of the rollers kind of act like training wheels and do not allow you to ride the board at too steep of an angle.

Vew-do does sell the rollers on their own so if you find the board you bought is too challenging or not challenging enough you can but the appropriate roller.

 

Types of tricks that you can do with vew-do board.

You can practice ollies with a vew-do board, but it can be tough to stick the landing because you have to get the track on the bottom of the board to line up with the groove on the roller correctly.

 

In the video below you can see how applying heel and toe pressure allows you to ride the board at a steep angle to simulate the carving and edging.  You can also see how the design of this board makes it easy to practice spinning moves and rotations.

 

 

 

Looking for a safer way to balance train?

 

The vew-do pickle or butter is another product made by vew-do that can be used to improve your performance in snowboarding.

This product does not use a roller but has nubs on the bottom of that board will allow you to work on your heel to toe balance.

Also, the curve of the board makes it easy to practice spins and rotations.

You can also practice ollies with this board without the worry of trying to successfully land on a roller like with the vew-do flow or indy.

What I like most about these board is the safety factor of not having a roller.  These boards would be best for total beginners, older people who are afraid of sustaining and injury using a balance board with a roller, or people looking to get their kids into the sport of snowboarding.

The main differences between the two boards are the butter is slightly smaller and less challenging to use than the pickle board.

 

The snowboard addiction system for balance and cross training

The Snowboard addiction company has put together an excellent balance training and cross training system that is well reviewed and helped many people get better at people snowboarding.

The system they have put together is 3 or 4 different pieces of equipment that work with each other are used for working on different types of snowboarding skills.

 They have two custom practice snowboard decks, one is used for trampoline cross training, and another board is used for balance and repetition training with their balance bar product. They also sell special bindings that you can with both these boards.

I think this system would be good for an intermediate to advanced level snowboarder because this system focuses on improving higher level skills like aerials and slides.

 

The Snowboard Addiction balance bar.

 

The balance bar is a block of plastic that is 40 inches (101 Cm) long, 8 inches (20.cm) wide and 5 inches (13 cm) tall that also comes with another block that snaps into the top to add challenge to your balance and simulates rail slides.

The balance bars primary use is for repetition training to practice the movement patterns needed to perform slides, but it will also help to improve your balance, especially when used with the bar that snaps on the top.

The balance bar can be used with your snowboard and snowboard bindings, but it will be more awkward and uncomfortable compared to using the balance bar with their custom board and bindings.

 

Snowboard Addiction Balance Bar
SA Snowboard Addiction Inc.

 

 

The Snowboard addiction Jib board

The jib boards dimensions are 39 inches (99.5)  long and 9 1/2 inches (24.6 cm) wide with the stance settings between18-24 inches (45-61cm) additionally the bottom of the boards has a P-tex base similar to a real snowboard to reduce friction.

 The p-tex will help recreate the feel of sliding down a rail or box when practicing with the balance bar.

The benefit of using snowboard addictions Jib board over your regular board.

  •   You will put less wear and tear on your board.
  •  The Jib board is made to be used indoors so it has rounded corners and soft side walls to help prevent damage to your home
  • The smaller size will be less awkward to use indoors.

 

This board can be used with your universal snowboard binding or with their custom bindings.

Snowboard Addiction Jib Training Board
Snowboard Addiction Inc.

The Snowboard Addiction Tramp Board

 

 What is a tramp board and trampoline training?

Trampoline training is practicing the aerial tricks that are common in snowboarding on a trampoline using a unique snowboard shaped board that will not damage the trampoline. This will allow you to practice the same tricks over and over in controlled, safe environment until you have mastered the body awareness and movement patterns needed to pull off the trick.

Snowboard addictions tramp board is the same dimensions as their jib board.

The difference between the boards is that the tramp board is coated with a thin layer of foam to help protect the trampoline from getting damaged and the board has a bit more flex to it.

The tramp board can also be used with their balance bar, but it will not be as challenging because the bottom of the board is coated in foam

You can also you this board your universal bindings or their custom bindings.

 

Snowboard Addiction Tramp Training Board
SA Snowboard Addiction Inc.

 

The Snowboard Addictions Bindings

 

I think anyone who is going to be using the snowboard addictions products often should eventually buy these bindings because it will be much more comfortable to use when training indoors than with real snowboard bindings.

These bindings are also a better choice when trampoline training because they were designed not to damage trampolines.

Freeboard the skate snowboard cross trainer

 

The freeboard is similar to a longboard skateboard but has some extra parts to help make it feel similar to snowboarding.

This board was invented be used at snowboarding cross training tool, but at some point, it started to become its own sport.

 

I could classifieds this board as a high-risk high reward snowboarding cross training tool.

 It does have the potential to significantly improved your snowboarding, but there is also great chance you will take a hard fall that may lead to an injury that could put you out of work or snowboarding while you recover.

With that being said their way to help minimize the risk of injury such as by wearing safety gear like helmets and pads and sticking to riding it on mellow hills.

 I think intermediate to advance level snowboarders who might already have some skateboarding experience would find this board most beneficial.

 But for older people, it might not be worth the risk of sustaining an injury that could put you out of work or family obligations.

You can buy the free board at their site HERE

 

Still confused about how to get started balance training?

First I would start with bodyweight training and once you find those movements easy move onto using cross training tools.

The vew-do pickle would be the best choice for children or older people that are afraid of taking a fall from a balance board.

The vew-do flow or zippy board allow for the greatest amount of snowboarding skills to be trained with a single piece of equipment.

 Keep in mind that vew-do sells a few different rollers for their boards so if you find the board you got is not challenging enough or feel it is too dangerous you can buy the appropriate roller on its own.

The snowboard addiction equipment is best for people who already have some experience snowboarding and are looking to improve their performance in jibing/slides or aerials.

The freeboard would be best for an intermediate to advanced snowboarder that is willing to take the risk of sustaining an injury while using this board.

 


 

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If you have improved your snowboarding skills by balance training or any cross training, please post your experience below I would love to hear from you.