Tutor – Counter Rotation – What not to do
When does this Occur?
Sadly, you will see counter-rotation as the technique most used for turning by about 70% of the people who snowboard today. It occurs for any one of the following reasons :
It is an easy way to turn!
Giving that extra flick to the back leg to get you to turn!
Adding that extra twist to get the board round
You can spray snow when you turn!
Basic physics tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and that is what happens in counter-rotation: The body turns in one direction and the snowboard turns in the other. Not only does it result in a very ugly style, but it is also limiting in that it prohibits progress to more advanced movements (both alpine and freestyle)
All snowboard movements, from the elementary alpline turn up to advanced rotational jumps require in general that the snowboarder anticipates the movement of the board either by rotating ahead of (pre-rotation), or together with (in the same direction!) the board. This is illustrated below: Notice how the upper body leads and the lower body (legs and surf) follow through.
How to stop counter-rotation
For the novice snowboarder it is important to learn the Elementary Turn correctly.
This will generally stop counter rotation in any subsequent maneuvres. For the advanced snowboarder try using the hands to guide and direct the turns (i.e. the hands / elbows / shoulders should always face the direction of the turn).