Flat runs. We’ve all been there. You’re destroying the mountain, carving up the piste, feeling the wind in your face, and then… it flattens out.
Suddenly, you’re not cruising anymore. You’re just trying not to stall, and you’re praying you won’t have to unstrap and walk.
Now, let’s get one thing straight. No one – and I mean no one – looks particularly cool walking in snowboard boots and carrying a snowboard.
So, let’s conquer these flats, shall we? Let’s talk about how to snowboard on flat runs!
1. Keep Your Speed
The key to conquering flat runs is maintaining momentum. When you see a flat section approaching, it’s time to pick up some speed.
Don’t be shy; embrace the downhill, and let that momentum carry you. Think of it as storing energy for the journey ahead.
Of course… you need to do so safely. Bomb with caution.
2. Position is Everything
On flatter sections, it’s all about weight distribution.
Keep most of your weight on your front foot. It’ll help you stay in a straight line and keep moving.
And, for the love of snow, resist the urge to sit down! It might seem tempting, especially after a long run, but sitting down kills your momentum.
3. The Art of Skating
Sometimes, even with the best intentions, you’ll lose momentum. In such situations, skating is your best friend.
Unstrap your back foot and use it to push, similar to how skateboarders do. Skating can get you out of many sticky, or should I say “slushy”, situations.
4. Avoid the Sticky Snow
Speaking of slushy situations, try to avoid areas where the snow looks wet or overly powdery (hard to resist, I know).
These spots will slow you down faster than you can say “wipeout”. Stick to the well-trodden path, where the snow is packed and offers less resistance.
5. Wax Your Board!
I’ve spotted some of you out there with boards drier than the Sahara desert. You know who you are!
One often overlooked strategy for acing flat runs is ensuring your board is properly waxed. Wax decreases friction between your board and the snow, allowing for a smoother glide, especially on those pesky flat sections.
Depending on the snow conditions and temperature, there are different types of waxes to consider. If in doubt, go with an all-temp option…
Regular waxing not only improves your performance on flats but also extends the life of your snowboard. Snowboarding with an unwaxed board is a recipe for long walks and the early demise of your beloved steed.
6. Look Ahead
This might sound obvious, but always look in the direction you want to go. Your body follows your gaze. Spot your exit or the continuation of your run, and aim for that.
By being aware of where you’re headed, you can hopefully anticipated those dread flats before they arrive.
And if you’re stuck in the flat, you’ll often spot your escape sooner than you think.
This not only helps with direction but also with maintaining a positive mindset. Yes, snowboarding is as much a mental game as a physical one!
7. Practice Makes Perfect
Like all things snowboarding, mastering flat runs comes down to practice. The more you encounter and navigate these terrains, the better you’ll get at it.
Soon, you’ll be crossing those flat sections without a care in the world (*user results may vary).
Lesson Summary: How to Snowboard On Flat Sections
To successfully snowboard on flat runs, maintain momentum, distribute weight on the front foot, master skating techniques, avoid sticky snow patches, focus ahead, and regularly wax your board to reduce friction.
If you don’t have time (or can’t be bothered) to wax your board, grab some rub-on snowboard wax and slap it on in the morning.
Let's Watch Some Footage
If you’re bored of listening to me drone on (I don’t blame you), here’s a great video from Malcolm Moore. His soothing British accent makes riding flat sections sound appealing (almost).
I thought I’d drop a couple of bonus tips for surviving flat sections on your snowboard. These are your last resort when all else fails!
Use Poles: Steal an unsuspecting skiers poles and use them to propel yourself forward (obviously don’t actually steal them).
- Hitchhike on a Skier: Flat sections are one of the few times that I’m jealous of skiers. In the unlikely circumstance that you happen to be friends with one (joking)(ish) then ask them to pull you along with their poles. Sort of like a tow rope.
Positive Affirmations: Tell yourself, “I am fast. I am the wind!” Even if you’re stuck, boosting your ego can’t hurt!
Blame The Snowboard: When all else fails, give your board “the look” and say, “Really? We trained for this!
In conclusion, while flat runs can be daunting (and honestly, a bit frustrating), they’re just another part of the mountain to master.
With the right techniques and a bit of persistence, you’ll glide over them in no time.
So the next time you see that flat stretch ahead, don’t dread it; tackle it head-on and show it who’s boss!