Simple Snowboard Box Tips to Make You Ride Like a Pro
So, you’ve been snowboarding for a while and finally feel like your feet found ground on your board. You know how to control the speed, where to look at, and probably have a few cool tricks up your sleeve. Now, you’re finally ready to take the next step and consider riding a snowboard box.
Although snowboard boxes and rails can be intimidating at first, they’re pretty easy to get a hang of once you know how to behave on your board. And if you’re even considering making them a part of your practice, you should already know the basics.
When Should You Consider Riding a Snowboard Box?
Before you attempt riding either a rail or a box, you must be able to control the speed with ease. Also, if your ollie isn’t smooth yet, don’t even try. You’ll need to be comfortable jumping your board off the ground completely if you attempt to get safely on the box.
Which Snowboard Box Should You Begin With?
If you’re just starting out, your best course of action would be to find a Progression Park, as opposed to a Terrain Park. Progression parks are easier and have more rail and box options for beginners. But if you cannot find a progression park near you, visit your regular terrain park. What you want to do is find the flattest box that exists. Also, if you can find a flat box that is completely set in the snow, go for that one. Even if your ollie is solid, you won’t want to have to do it while riding the box for the first time. Just find a smooth surface you can practice grip, balance and speed maintenance.
How to Begin
Now that you have an idea of what you need to know before you climb the box. You know what kind of surface to look for, and you’re all set to drop. Read on for some few simple snowboard box tips that will make you ride like a pro.
If you’ve set your eyes on the perfect box but it’s taken – great! Use that opportunity to find a nice place you can observe from while waiting your turn. Keep an eye on how they drop, and where they’re looking when jumping onto the box. But make sure to find a place further away from the feature. Snowboarders have to have enough space when riding the box. You should also make sure no one's around when you’re using the box, as this will only distract you and make it more dangerous.
Don’t Fear the Speed
Speed is one of the most important features when learning to ride the box. You’ll have to maintain a specific amount of speed when hitting the feature, so begin by watching others. The first thing you’ll be looking out for is how they maintain the speed when hitting the box. Try and get the feel of the speed with which they move. Unless you have a solid feel for the speed you’re going to work with, don’t attempt to ride it.
The biggest mistake most beginners make is hitting the features too slowly. You’ll actually need a lot of speed when landing on the box, and going smoothly through it. Pay very close attention to where everybody else drops. That way, before you even hit the feature, you’ll know your drop point. Fix your eyes straight on it before the hit, and keep them there through. That way, you can pump up the speed and be comfortably set into your board. Speed is your friend in this situation. Remember that even if you start feeling insecure. Slowing down won’t help you - it might only make you miss the hit.
Learn to Fall Properly
The greatest enemy of every snowboarder getting onto the box is fear. It can make them do all sorts of crazy things like slowing down, shaking their knees and doubt themselves.
The best way to get rid of our fears is by directly facing them. Even if you’re at the beginning of your snowboarding journey, you’ve fallen a few times. If you’re attempting to hit the box chances are your head is still on your shoulders. You can safely assume that will remain so even if you do happen to fall.
One of the techniques you absolutely must have down before hitting the snowboard box is how to fall safely. If you’re falling forward, you’re going to be using your knees and your forearms. You should land on your knees first and then, land the front of your body with forearms. It’s very unlikely for you to be falling backward while riding the box. But if it does happen, just make sure to position your bottom to hit the ground first, and press your head against your knees to avoid any damage to your head. Before you even attempt hitting the snowboard box, make sure you’re wearing appropriate gear and your head is protected.
How to Hit the Snowboard Box
When hitting the snowboard box, yes – you’ll need to have some speed. But how you actually move towards the box will depend on how deep the box is in the snow and whether your transition will be smooth or not. If you’ve managed to find a box that blends in smoothly with the snow, you’ll need to remember two things: Look at the edge of the feature, know your drop point, and don’t fear the speed. However, you don’t have to go too fast. As the box is glued to the snow, you will hit it smoothly, and won’t risk sticking that much.
If the box isn’t sticking to the snow smoothly and you have to overcome a bump, you’ll need to have a solid grip on your ollie. This is why you really need to have your jump off down before you attempt hitting the snowboard box, or a rail.
Body Posture for Hitting the Snowboard Box
Being in a stable and straight body position is crucial when mastering how to hit a snowboard box. Keep your body sideways and bend your knees as you approach the box. Remember to always keep your gaze fixed upon the edge of the feature, and don’t try to make any additional movements with your feet than you must.
Now you know some simple snowboard box tips that will help you level up your game. Remember: You don’t have to be a pro in order to hit the box. Just have your ollie down and know how to hold the speed. Have a solid grip on your board and know the techniques of safely falling both, forward and backward. And next time you see yourself flying towards that edge, keep your eyes fixed on it, your knees bent, and your mind already on the drop point. That way, you’ll manage to jump, sail, and land safely in your mind before your feet hit the drop point.