If you are reading this, you probably are someone who recently started learning how to snowboard or you are on the verge of starting to learn it. Learning the falling leaf snowboarding is a very important skill to master, it shows you how to shift your weight on your board and is the stepping stone for your first turns.
In this article, we will discuss how to learn falling leaf snowboarding, and how this is going to improve your riding. Let’s get right into it!
Why the falling leaf snowboarding skill matters
Before you start doing the falling leaf, you will have to become knowledgeable about why this skill matters. The falling leaf teaches you how to initiate turns with your shoulders, it shows you how to turn using your entire body from top to bottom.
The falling leaf is the first step before doing skidded turns, that’s why it’s very important to learn it if you want to learn the right technique. About 90% of riders I see riding groomers use the wrong technique when riding, they use the so-called wiper “technique”. In order to learn it the right way, please pay attention to what I am going to explain.
How to do the falling leaf snowboarding
The first step before doing a falling leaf is to learn how to do a J-stop. Doing this will help you understand the movement you are going to require for doing the falling leaf and eventually, the skidded turns.
The J-stop starts in the fall line, so you need to figure out where the fall line is and head there. You can figure out where the fall line is by thinking about where would my board glide to if I wouldn’t be strapped into my bindings. You start in the fall line gliding on your flat base, until you get some speed and then you shift your knee outwards towards where you want to go.
Doing this will initiate the J-stop. Now the rest of your body has to follow your board, so start from your feet to your head by following the direction your board is heading in until you stop. If you didn’t fall, try again multiple times until you feel comfortable enough to start practicing the falling leaf snowboarding.
Now you are confident enough to try the falling leaf snowboarding, go a little higher up the slope, and stand on the backside of your board. Now you want to do exactly what you did to initiate the J-stops, you will feel that you start moving out of the fall towards where you shifted your body weight. Try this both to the left and to the right until you feel comfortable doing it on your heelside.
Now that you feel comfortable doing the falling leaf snowboarding on your heelside, it’s time for the front side. This may be scarier as you can’t look downhill. That’s why it is advisable to ask a buddy to help you with your first falling leaves on your front side. Once you feel ready to do them by yourself, try it on a soft slope, which makes falling less painful and you should do this for all the exercises by the way. If you want to learn how to fall snowboarding, check out our article HERE.
Summary of the falling leaf snowboarding
Trying out new things when snowboarding can be scary but we are certain that this article will improve your riding. If you need something more visual to exactly understand how to do the falling leaf, check out this video HERE. Good luck trying this out!