After you’ve performed the basic turning maneuver for awhile, you might find the noise and sloppiness inherent in skidded turns may not quite be to your more refined taste. This is where carved turns come in to the picture. Carving with a snowboard is an advanced art form which takes time to master so make sure you are proficient with basic skidded turns first before attempting to carve. The idea behind carving is that by tipping the board on its edge sufficiently, you can exploit your board’s side-cut and flex to provide the turning power while you control the edging and weight shifts.
This is an example of a extreme carved turn. In this photo the snowboarder has taken the carve to the extreme. You may ask why?? Because there is a great sense of control and fun when you can link a set of carved turns.
Traversing Without Skidding
The first step towards carving is to practice traversing on both toe-side and heel-side edges with the board rocked up higher on its edge and your knees and ankles flexed more. Hold the board on its edge as it rails across the slope without skidding.
Once you are comfortable with traversing on your edge without skidding, turn the board slightly down the hill and carve your way back up the hill while remaining on its edge. Do this by ensuring that the tip and tail of your board pass through the same point in the snow so that the board’s side-cut causes it to turn. Examine the track you have created in the snow. If it is a thin line which has sliced through the snow, then you’ve got it right. If Snowboarding it is a messy and sloppy track caused by too much skidding, then you’ll need to keep working on it. As you gain in confidence, increase the angle with which you point your board down the fall line until you can eventually point it straight down and carve back up. Keep practicing until you can confidently carve on both edges. Experiment with different degrees of edging where you’ll find that tilting your board higher will give you a sharper turn.
Linking Carved Turns
Now you’ll be ready to link carved turns. Once you have carved your way back up, roll your board onto its downhill edge. Yes, it’s downhill edge. In most cases, this would cause a wipeout but with carving, the board’s side-cut will pull you into a carved turn. To link turns smoothly together, adjust the amount you turn up the slope and use the shape of the turn to control your speed. As always, practice on progressively steeper slopes as your confidence and ability increases. With higher speeds, make sure you that you are in an open area away from any obstacles or peoples who may get in your way while you are carving.