5 Secrets to Learning to Ride Switch
Riding switch is one of those elusive snowboard skills that everyone wants, but almost no one has - because who wants to waste a snowboard trip on the bunny hill??
Riding switch a skill that can open up a whole new world of possibilities on the mountain, but is so intimidating to try to learn it on the mountain. That's where the Summerboard comes in.
The Summerboard allows you to learn to ride switch in the comfort of your own neighborhood, and the comfort of learning at your own pace. In about ten 30-minute training sessions, you can master the switch stance and feel confident when you hit the mountain. Imagine showing up to the mountain and being able to ride perfectly in a switch stance - it's a game changer!
Here are 5 secrets to learning to ride switch this year on the Summerboard:
Secret 1: Keep the speed set at 5mph
Learning to snowboard is mostly learning to harnass the power of a mountain slope - and this is even more intimidating when learning switch. Your butt is on the line every time you head down the slope!
With a Summerboard, you don't have this problem since you can learn on flat ground. Even more, you can control your speed and learn to ride switch as low as 5mph - like a brisk walk. And if you feel uncomfortable, just step or jump off the board and try again - this means you can actually learn to ride switch without ever falling!
This speed is perfect, as it is just enough speed to allow you enough momentum to slide and learn, while also being slow enough that it is easy to jump off.
Mental comfort is everything when learning switch, and keeping the speed on cruise control at 5mph makes learning SUPER comfy.
"You can control your speed and learn to ride switch as low as 5mph"
Secret 2: It happens faster than you think
Learning to ride switch is intimidating because it feels SO impossible in the beginning - and even after 5 minutes of practice, it still feels incredibly hard.
But if you stick with it, then you will be shocked at how fast you start getting comfortable in a switch stance. You'll start getting that first feeling of being more comfortable after only 20-30 minutes. That first 20 minutes feels like an eternity, but just push through it and the reward is massive.
Break your practice sessions into 20-30 minute intervals. Put on a timer, or 8 songs, and force yourself to ONLY ride switch. Then you'll learn in 10 sessions or less!
Secret 3: Focus on your 'new' back foot
Seasoned snowboarders use their back leg A LOT more during riding, and thus a lot of focus goes on your back foot. And Summerboarders know that shifting weight to your back foot stabilizes the ride.
When riding switch, your usual front foot is now your back foot, and this can really twist your brain. I found myself constantly moving weight forward instead of back to my new back foot in switch.
However, I had some BIG breakthroughs in my switch riding when I really focused on my back foot in switch and remembering to keep my weight back. I was also surprised at how quickly this became second nature.
So keep a strong focus on your back foot and putting more weight there for stability during the learning process.
Secret 4: Prioritize learning to ride centers
Learning to ride your Summerboard only on the two center wheels (like a motorcycle) is one of those skills that just helps with everything - turning, sliding, etc.
To learn to ride centers in switch, you must REALLY focus on your back foot. Start by going straight at 5mph. Then put 80% of your weight on your back foot, and balance on the center of the board as if you are on a tightrope. It takes some guts at first, but your mind will be blown as soon as you find that balance pocket and it becomes easy!
Once you get this down, you'll notice that everything else is instantly a whole lot easier.
Secret 5: Use the Foamies
Most riders find using the pro footholds are too intimidating to use when learning switch. This is exactly why we developed the foamies - they provide the grip on the board like footholds, but make it super easy to jump off anytime!
If you don't have the foamies, then just ride without any footholds at all. This does make riding the board more difficult, but also may help you mentally adjust to the switch stance. Another option is to simply attach the mounting brackets without the foot covers to have something to press your foot against while riding.
STICK WITH IT!!
This is the most important secret of all - if you just stick with it for ten 30-min sessions, then you'll be shredding in switch.
I can't tell you how rewarding it was to show up on the slopes this season just ripping in switch after putting in the work last summer. Riding in switch is literally twice the fun! So get out there on your Summerboard, learn switch, and always feel free to contact us for free personal training and advice!
Check out our full Switch Riding Training Series to learn to ride switch in 10 sessions or less!