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Terrain:            Flats and Beginner slopes


Goal:                Introduction to area, equipment, straight glides to a stop and first basic turns to stop


Introduction to Area:


  • What are Green, Blue, and Black Slopes?

  • What is “Your Responsibility Code?”

  • Why you don’t sit in the middle of the hill


                        Equipment Check / Introduction / Help Correct Problems:


  • Boots (Laced?)

  • Bindings, Leash, how to put the board on

  • Tip / Tail

  • Stomp Pad

  • Toe Side / Heel Side

  • Regular / Goofy

  • Binding Set / Angles / Width


                        Flat Ground and Small Hill Demonstrations, Exercises & Progressions:


  • Stance-  “balanced, functional, efficient and powerful”, STABLE
    (flexed vs. tall, upper body aligned with lower body, looking forward (in the direction the rider is sliding), hands out slightly at side, fore aft balance 50-50).

  • Flat ground edging – Toe side, heel side, catching edges (SAFE FALLS)

  • Skating on the flats ( one foot attached - smaller pushes usually work better )

  • Skate and glide on the flats

  • X’s in the snow – introduce rotating or pivoting the board, show how to “scissor” your feet – front foot forward while the rear foot goes back, and vice-versa

  • Climbing or walking up the slope ( one foot attached )

  • Straight Glide with rear foot on stomp pad



  • Explain and demonstrate use of the rope tow (chair lift if appropriate).  Rear foot must be out of the binding, rear foot on stomp pad, maintain 50-50 balance

  • Maintain stance – basic flex, looking forward – correct problems

  • Clear the lift area promptly (skate away as needed or slide away if one falls)

  • It may be necessary to walk part way up the slope in first lessons


                        On the Hill (progressing to part way up beginner hill):



Straight Glide – use an area with an up slope or flat run where student does not need to actively stop.  Then introduce both feet in bindings.

Focus on correct stance

Gentle Twist Front of Board on Edge to start first turns (focus on front foot)

Gradually Increase Tilt or Edging to control turning of the board across fall line

Progressively Increasing direction down the hill (fan progression)

Toe Side / Heel Side – get one side down, then switch and work on other side

Progressively Increase skidding & rate of board pivot to stop more quickly


Grading: Students must be able to do either a toe or heel side turn to a stop for a green patch. Both are preferred but not necessary.


No Patch Lifts:  Rope tows

                                              YELLOW PATCH


Terrain:            Beginner slopes


Goal:                Basic skidded turns, crossing the fall line, connected by skidded traverses, alternating toe side and heel side




  • Review Stance, Turns to a Stop, Responsibility Code

  • Assist with equipment, get equipment problems corrected

  • Briefly explain basic skidded turns – yellow patch


  •                         Beginner Hill Demonstrations, Exercises & Progressions:


Skidded Traverse – to a turn uphill to stop; then downhill into the fall line; then stop

How much and how fast to tilt the board on edge – rate and amount (1 to 10 scale)

Variety – pick up or lift toes/heels; or lean/balance on heels/toes; or bend knees. Falling Leaf – beginner introduction of riding fakie / switch

Garlands (focus on the start of the turn or the end of the turn as needed)

1 turn to a stop – crossing the fall line, changing edges and direction

Side Slipping (toe side / heel side)

Toe Side / Heel Side

Alternating several turns – maintaining control and speed

Continue to focus on an aligned, balanced stance


Basic Turn


From a traverse, twist (torque) the snowboard by flattening the nose of the snowboard (front foot.)  As the edge is released/flattened, the nose of the snowboard will point more downhill, down into the fall line.  As the board moves down the hill, encourage students to maintain a balanced, flexed stance.

Gradually twist the front of the snowboard; increase tilt with the front foot, balancing onto the new inside edge.  As the board turns across the hill, out of the fall line, maintain balance with the body tilting / balanced progressively inside of the turn (uphill).  Tilt both feet to edge the board as needed to traverse in the opposite direction across the hill – balance with lessening uphill tilting through the traverse.

For a stop, as the board begins to turn more and slow, gradually reduce the edge angle and position the body on the board edge for static balance.  For continuing in a traverse, maintain light edging of the board, balanced evenly on both feet.  Rider should then be ready to begin the next turn in the opposite direction.

Small amounts of rotation of the board (“scissor” – front foot forward / rear foot back, & vice-versa) may be useful to start a pivot of the board down the hill; or out of the fall line and across the hill.  If used, rotation should be only part of the turn – edged board contact to the snow is critical to turn and stop.  Repeat as needed to ensure the students “get it”.  This is a place to practice and not rush to the next step.




  1. Skidded turns in both directions – heel / toe, toe / heel (skidded traverse o.k.)

  2. Balanced, flexed, aligned stance on the board during turns (and traverses)

  3. Completing sufficient turns to control speed on beginner slopes


Provide feedback.


Yellow Patch Lifts:       Mt. Holly: Grant’s chair (Yellow) #1; rope tows

                                                BROWN PATCH


Terrain:            Intermediate slopes


Goal:                Linked skidded turns showing rhythm and control.  No traverse heel side or toe side.  Flexing and extending movements; and progressive edging are used.




  • Equipment check

  • Review Basic Skidded Turns (Yellow Patch), stance, and Responsibility Code

  • Briefly explain Dynamic Skidded Turns – Brown Patch

                        Intermediate Demonstrations, Exercises & Progressions:


Flexing and Extending – ankles and knees

Quiet Upper Body – legs and board dynamically away from the body during the middle of the turn

Edge Angle – is generally greater as the board moves farther out from the body

Upper Body – aligned with the feet; moving forward, down the hill, to initiate new turns

Release – the board edge at the transition between turns allowing the start of the new turn and change to the new inside edge

How much and how fast to tilt the board on edge – rate and amount (1 to 10 scale)


Path of the Board

Path of the Rider

Variety – try different ways of communicating ideas – feel, think, see, do

Toe Side / Heel Side

Fan exercise – work one turn at a time, gradually increase rate and amount

Garlands – focus on the start of the turn or the end of the turn as needed; or work on progressively reducing traverse length

Rhythm Turns – count: 1, 2, 3--- 3, 2, 1--- flex, 2, 1, turn, 2, 1, …; … (variety - what works)

Traversing and Sideslipping – alternate for edge control, releasing and engaging

Board in lanes / corridor – to help vary turn size, shape, and timing

Follow a partner / instructor – try to follow the leader’s track – maintain a safe distance.  Try to ride inside of or outside of the leader’s track.

Continue to focus on a flexed, balanced stance


Putting it together – dynamic skidded turns


Work toward having a smooth transition from turn to turn and maintaining balance.  Remember to keep the legs flexible – focus on allowing the legs to stretch and extend as the snowboard goes out to the side away from the body; and to bend and flex as the board comes back under the body.  Discourage “up” and “down” vertical movement of the body.




< >Dynamic, rhythmic skidded turns in both directions – heel, toe, heel, toe
(no traverse)Balanced, flexed, stance on the board during turns – upper body quietCompleting sufficient linked turns to demonstrate control and maintaining speed on intermediate slopes


Provide feedback.


Brown Patch Lifts:        Mt. Holly: Chairs 1 – 4, including Mach I; rope tows

                                                 ORANGE PATCH

Terrain: Terrain Park

Goal: Understanding of Park SMART, introduction to features terminology
• Equipment check: HELMET MANDATORY
• Introduction of SMART


On Hill Demonstrations, Exercises & Progressions:

Start Small
Make a Plan
Always look
Respect the Terrain and Other skiers
Take it Easy
Introduction to Basic Switch


Medium Terrain, after warm up, have boarder start switch riding. Based on level of
ability, exercise from brown and yellow can be done to help improve switch:


Start with simple 360 flat spins, then introduction to features:

Putting it all together –
Focus and watch students behaviour in park. Reinforce good habits, including but
not limited to: Riding Tow Rope with equal space, looking uphill if not starting,
clearing feature after finish, etc.


This is more a safety course based on student’s maturity. If you feel safe next to
them in the park, they most likely pass.
Provide feedback.


ORANGE Patch Lifts: Terrain Park                    




                                         BLACK PATCH


Terrain:            Entire area


Goal:                Dynamic, linked, rhythmic carved turns of varying radii under complete control with no traverse between the turns and a very quiet upper body





  • Equipment check

  • Review Dynamic Skidded Turns (Brown Patch), Responsibility Code

  • Briefly explain Dynamic Carved Turns – Black Patch

                        On Hill Demonstrations, Exercises & Progressions:


Path of the Board

Path of the Rider


Medium radius


Edge Angle – begins early in turn – is progressively greater as the board is farther out from the body.  Smooth and progressive edging movements assist with carving.

Extending – forward down the slope and initiating the next turn

Flexing – in the ankles and knees to absorb increasing pressure near the end of the turn as the board turns back in under the body

Upper Body – quiet; legs and board dynamically away from the body during the middle of the turn; “bamboo level across shoulders”; moving forward down the hill to initiate turns (crossover)

Crossover versus Crossunder – board, feet, and legs moving under the quiet upper body – smooth continuous movement of the upper body forward down the hill

Release – the board edge at the transition between turns allowing the start of the new turn and change to the new inside edge

How much and how fast  – smooth movements – explore changes in amount, rate, and timing of edging – explore changes in rate, amount, and timing of flexing

Carved traverses – minimize slipping – create one sharp track on the hill

Fan exercise – work one turn at a time – gradually increase rate and amount

J - turns – from the fall line, with no skidding, finishing uphill to a stop.  Balance leaning farther & farther inside each new, tighter J turn.

Toe Side / Heel Side – progress to full toe <-> heel direction changes carving 1 turn

Garlands (focus on quickness, and start of the turn, or end of the turn as needed)

Use previous exercises as appropriate: Rhythm Turns / Timing, Board in lanes, …

Continue to focus on a flexed, balanced stance


Path of the Board

Path of the Rider


Short radius


Putting it all together – dynamic carved turns


Work from easier intermediate terrain into more difficult intermediate or into advanced terrain.  Work toward having a smooth transition from turn to turn, maintaining balance, and controlling pressure.  Focus on balancing to maintain the pressure on the carving edge ( toe / heel ).  Listen for the difference between a carved and a skidded turn.  Focus attention down the hill.




< >Linked carved turns in both directions – heel, toe, heel, toe, …  Grade short and medium radius  (little or no skidding – adjust some for equipment if needed)Balanced (flexing and extending) stance on the board during turns; quiet upper bodyCompleting sufficient turns to maintain speed and demonstrate excellent control


Provide feedback.


Black Patch Lifts:         All

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