Boardercross Basics Lines And Tactics Boardercross is fast becoming snowboarding’s most popularcompetitive discipline, its freeriding appeal is something almost every rider can relate to. But boardercrosscourses are cluttered with features that freeriders don’t commonly encounter: banks and berms, harsh doubleand triple jumps, and whoop-de-dos all create unique challenges for the rider at speed. Ultimately, thedifference between many riders is not how well they ride, but how well they interpret this unfamiliar terrain,choosing a fast, smooth line. This is especially valuable during qualifying time-trials, when riders race theclock one at a time.

Consider the path of least resistance. Examine the banks and berms with this in mind. Aninside line is direct, but requires aggressive edging (read friction and braking). Riding high on a bank issmooth and easy, but causes you to travel a greater distance. In most cases, the fastest route will be straightdown the middle. When five other riders are added to the mix, choosing a fast line takes a back seat (unlessyou’re in front), and adapting to the line your dealt is all that matters.

Basically, even the most contrived tactics are thrown out the window, and your skill on a board is all you’ll have goin’ for you. Passing isn’t easyin the narrow confines of a boardercross course, and usually requires significant risk taking. Keep in mindthat momentum carries riders to the outside of the turns, so passing on the inside is a good practice-you’llhave a better chance of staying on course.

Also, try to pass riders on their heel side, it’s harder for them tosee you coming, and they’ll have less of a chance to interfere with your riding by grabbing or pushing you.When it comes down to it, the stars have to seriously line up in your favor in order for you to float to the topof the boardercross soup, but by picking a good line, and applying some basic tactics, you’ll be poised foropportunity’s knock. -K.H.