How To: Carve

Snowboard Coach Photo
Mark Godwin

Carving is fast and fun! When you get it right you feel like you are cutting the mountain in half. In this tutorial we will help you improve the edge angle on your snowboard so your carves come around sharp and fast! There are two key areas we need to focus on 1. inclination - leaning into the turn and .2 Angulation (flexing your lower leg joints). Get these right and you will be euro carving like a pro in no time.

Heelside Carving
Heelside Carving
  • When we carve we want to increase our edge angle. To do this we need to incline our body towards the inside of our turn. Shift your center of mass over your board toward the inside of your turn. This will feel like you are leaning forward on your toes or back on your heels.
Heelside Carving - Inclination & Angulation
Heelside Carving - Increased inclination & angulation
  • Inclination is great but relying solely on this means we can easily lose our balance. As you incline your body, you will feel the edge of your board bite the snow. The ‘bite’ is when the board suddenly feels like it is cutting into the snow under your feet. Start to flex down at your knees and ankles.  If you find your board chatters, flex with the knees and ankles more.
Toeside Carving
Toeside Carving
  • Your edge angle will now increase while your balance improves due to a lower center of mass. With a lot of edge angle you are going to generate a lot more speed. The sidecut of your board will now do the work and, it is this, that is actually causing you to turn.
Toeside Carving - Inclination & Angulation
Toeside Carving - Increased inclination & angulation
  • Repeat the process for both toe turns and heel turns. On your toe edge you will feel stronger due to flexing at the ankle joint. When you carve on your heels, you lose the impact of this joint, so try to pull your toes up towards your shin. Doing this whilst you flex down through your knees and hips will help to achieve the same benefit.
NINJA TIP: Challenge yourself to incline and flex earlier in the turn and don’t be afraid of speed!
Improve your riding on a Ninja Academy snowboard improvement package holiday!