Riding Powder Lesson

by Fraser

I’m a big fan of the Snowboard Addiction instructional videos – they’re filmed to a high quality and the detail included is awesome. As such, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the “Riding Powder” video – it’s an area that doesn’t get much coverage in the snowboard-instruction world. (Check here for the definition of Powder Snowboarding).

Who’s it for?

Riders new to powder, or riders who have some experience, but would welcome tips to help them improve. If you’re comfortable cutting fresh lines and slashing the pow, you don’t need this.

What’s in it?

The Riding Powder video has some good pointers for snowboarding in fresh snow, covering some of the “basic techniques”:

  • Stance and body position
  • Board setup
  • Starting out – getting used to keeping the nose afloat
  • Turning (turn initiation, rhythm, leaning into turns)
  • Speed tips
  • Getting up in deep snow
  • Trees and obstacles
  • Slashes/faceshots
  • Powder landings

Is it any good?

When snowboarders start to ride powder for the first time, it can be a frustrating experience. Getting stuck often means you’re expending a lot of energy just getting back up on your feet. Plus, if you’re taking regular tumbles, your hat and goggles can get all full of snow – sometimes reducing your visibility. You might be asking yourself: “how are you supposed to ride the deeper snow”?

If you can ride well on packed snow with good technique – riding powder requires a few small adjustments followed by practice. There isn’t much additional technique to be taught. That’s probably why there aren’t many instructional videos out there.

In this way, SA do a good job of breaking down the differences, with some practical steps to follow and experiment with. There aren’t any silver bullets here though – it’s not like their Learn to Ride program that shows all the steps you need to get going with snowboarding. It’s more like “tips” than a complete program of instruction – and that’s reflected in the duration of the video, which is 10 minutes.


The instruction in the SA Powder video is good – but I’m not bowled over with it in the same way as I am with the Freestyle Program and the Learn to Ride series. It’s not that I think they’ve done a bad job – there’s simply less scope to make impressive instructional content when it comes to riding powder, less things to break down, which is what they’re so good at. The other two programs I’ve just mentioned are complete packages, this is more like an add-on.

I do still think it’s worth watching if you’re starting to try riding fresh snow, or want to improve your powder riding, I just wouldn’t buy it individually at $27.

How to get hold of it

As Snowboard Addiction release new material, like this Riding Powder video, they place it in their subscribers area. If you’ve got the subscription program, you get the video for free.

Sooner or later, the individual videos are added to one of the overall programs, usually the Freestyle Program. Seems as though I think the Freestyle Program represents good value for money, I’d recommend buying that. You get a 6 month free trial of the subscription program, which means you get the new videos like the Riding Powder video.

I’ve asked the guys at SA, and they say that they leave an overlap between adding a video to one of the overall packages and taking it out of the subscription area – so that no one misses out.

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