Alpine Steps: Balance and Power

Outside arm down. The “outside arm down (that’s your trailing armon heelside turns, your lead arm on toesides) and over the edge of the board” is a technique derived fromsurfers attempting to complete bottom turns on big or heavy waves. The concept is that the arm movementlevels your shoulders and puts your body in a balanced position over the board, applying force downwardon the rail as opposed to over the snow, and keeping the edge from sliding out (skidding). Ideal snowconditions like packed-powder groomers allow riders to lean into a turn and lay over as much as theywant-edge hold is easy. But the harder or more variable the snow conditions, the more important it is tohave balanced, downwar

d edge pressure. How to: To initiate the move, punch your outside arm out whenyou switch edges. Imagine reaching for, or past, the exposed (non-turning) edge of your board during themiddle of the turn. You’ll quickly notice the balanced feeling and be more comfortable charging on hard orimperfect snow, even ice. -M.F.

For added effect, raise the inside arm. Reach toward the rail of the board.Your butt and hand do not carve, keep weight off of them. Focus pressure here for maximum edge grip.Photos: Richard Cheski