Do your friends like to jib but you don’t know where to start? Try learning how to ride switch. Have you ever heard the term (or actually tried) to throw a baseball with your non-dominant hand? Well, I have and it’s a lot like learning to ride switch. Your muscles are accustom to a certain motion when you are snowboarding, but when you switch around you basically need to re-learn to snowboard.
If you want to do 180’s, 540’s or just become a more versatile rider overall, just follow these tips and you will cruising switch in no time.
1. PUT YOUR WEIGHT ON YOUR FRONT FOOT. Leaning back will make it much harder to gain and maintain control, so if anything lean slightly downhill.
2. LOOK and point to where you want to go. This will help initiate the turn for you. Remember that speed is your friend.
3. Once the turn is initiated, KEEP YOUR CHEST AND EYES UP, shoulders should stay directly over the hips, and heals. Your tendency will be to look at the ground, and you will end up leaning over and falling.
4. Ride switch at least half of each run for the first day or two. By the end of the day you will be comfortable linking turns switch!
5. Now that you can turn switch, you can start your 180’s on flats, small rollers and piles of snow. For a front side 180, ride on your toe edge, and jump a half spin landing on your toe edge again. You will open be spinning towards downhill. Only you will now be landing switch. Swing your arms from one side of your body to the other for extra momentum. Practice this often, and make sure you ride away switch.
6. After you are comfortable popping off your toes in a frontside 180, it’s time to try the backside 180. This time you will be spinning toward uphill. The most challenging part about spinning backside is that you land blind, so KNOW WHAT YOUR LANDING LOOKS LIKE. It’s best to learn these on small piles of snow, rollers, and hits on the side of the trails. You will start to notice them everywhere. Ride up on your toe edge, and bend your knees. As you push off and leave the ground, swing your arms across your body and rotate your shoulders but DO NOT ROTATE YOUR HEAD! Trust your feet to catch you. You should land looking up hill. These take a while to get comfortable with, but keep trying! Before you know it you too will be jibbing everywhere!