Freestyle Skiboarding Techniques

Three techniques to get you started in the freestyle of Skiboarding.
[By: Photojournalist, Barry-Scott Hall]

1. Mastering Carves
Remember that last ski lesson your instructor told you to push your hips forward and get out of the back seat? Well, nothing will teach you to stay centered quicker than a run on a pair of skiboards: sit back and you will be sitting down, literally, right on your butt. Nothing is more important on skiboards than maintaining a centered stance. Once you get the weight adjustment down, the basics of carving are the same as skiing and inline skating: It is all about pressure applications. Keep your hands in front for balance, bend your knees and pressure the edge under foot on your outside ski. The only difference is that on skiboards you can weight both skis almost evenly, creating a whip-quick carved turn.

2. Turning backward
There is nothing more alien to most skiers than skiing backward, which is exactly why it's so much fun. The easiest forward-to-backward transition is to turn uphill until you completely change directions, slow to a halt and start sliding in reverse. However, to maintain forward speed, you need to learn the sliding turn. This turn is driven primarily from the hips: By twisting them in the direction you want to turn, they'll steer your skis smoothly and swiftely. Do not focus on twisting your feet: you will be more likely to catch an edge. As your body begins to rotate, try to keep your head motionless and facing downhill. When you've turned 180 degrees, your shoulders will be perpendicular with the fall line and your head turned uphill. With your knees bent, use a scissors stance (skis staggered with one foot ahead of the other) for greater stability. To turn, while in reverse, concentrate on pressuring the downhill skis: the uphill one will follow. Again, using your hips to steer the turn back to forward position will guarantee smooth execution.

3. Getting air
Skiboards arc so light and maneuverable that they almost beg to be lifted off the snow. The basics for getting air apply, but here's one skiboard-specific tip: stagger your feet for a more stable landing and use your knees to absorb the impact like a pair of pistons.