Steps: Pressure and Powder Riding


Two parts to powder.

The rhythm of powder riding comes from sinking into and rising out of the snow¿sort of a controlled bounce¿from turn to turn. For a natural flow, it’s important to recognize two parts to the powder turn: applying pressure and releasing pressure. It’s these parts that cause you to sink and rise by taking advantage of the properties of both the snow and your snowboard.

When pressure is applied to your board, it bends in the middle, bringing the nose to the surface, and creating an arc in the snow (a turn). As pressure is removed, the board will snap back to its original flat (cambered) shape, ending the turn.

How to: At the top (or beginning) of a turn, start to apply pressure to your board by extending your legs gradually. You’ll be sinking in, turning, and slowing down from the resistance of the deep snow. While you’ve still got some speed left, bend your legs, bringing them up toward your chest to release the pressure on your board. The board will come to the surface of the snow and allow you to float across the top, down the hill, and build up speed for the next turn.


Time the release of pressure right and you’ll be shot out of the turn like a cork.

(1) Apply pressure progressively from the beginning of a turn, sinking in. (2) Release your board from the turn by bringing your legs up. Coast and build speed. (3) Gradually extend, putting pressure on again for the new turn.

(middle sequence pull caption)

Drift across the top of the snow in the transition between turns.