Freestyle snowboarding is one of the most popular styles of the sport. It is flashy and fun, making it the stuff that highlight videos and sponsored contracts are made of. It’s also relatively accessible for most riders.
I’ve been snowboarding most of my life and have been a certified instructor for the last ten years. I ride in all styles and have years of experience with freestyle snowboarding.
In this post, I’ll show you some of the essential things you should know about freestyle riding and how you can experience this amazing aspect of the sport.
Time to go big.
Freestyle snowboarding is an exciting expression of the sport. It’s very popular with riders and spectators alike because it involves amazing tricks and high-level skills that seem to defy gravity. But it’s also accessible for beginners.
At a basic level, you can think of freestyle riding as terrain-park-focused. Every single element of the terrain park is a freestyle feature. The jumps, the rails, the halfpipe – all of these were created to support freestyle riding.
Freestyle is a very creative and innovative style of the sport. These types of riders like to push the envelop as far as what can be achieved. New tricks are stomped and sometimes invented every single season.
However, you aren’t limited to the terrain park exclusively. It’s possible to do freestyle riding all over the mountain. If you go off a natural jump and before a trick or slide on a tree like it’s a rail, those are both freestyle elements.
Most of the most popular spectator events in the major snowboarding competitions are also classified as freestyle riding. The halfpipe Olympic event, one of my favorites, is one of the most popular freestyle events.
Freestyle riders are known for being brave and maybe a little crazy. I guess that could be said for just about every snowboarder, but freestylers are usually a different breed. It takes a certain mindset to launch yourself dozens of feet into the air.
Even though freestyle riding can be highly technical and challenging, you can still learn how to do it if you are a beginner. You can go off of a little jump or a small box, and even though you aren’t doing anything crazy, it’s still freestyle riding!
Most freestyle terrain is in the terrain park, but it can be found in other areas of the mountain as well. The terrain park is just like an entirely focused freestyle extravaganza. It’s specially catered to the style.
The halfpipe, rails, boxes, jumps of all sizes, and pretty much anything else you can find or imagine in the park are all elements of freestyle terrain. They are built to help you perfect your tricks and maneuvers.
Outside of the park, you’ll still find places you can freestyle ride. Any jump or feature you can go off of will still work for freestyle riding. Plenty of jumps occur naturally, and I’ve even encountered natural ditches and gulleys that work just like a halfpipe.
To focus on freestyle riding, you’ll want to make sure you have the right equipment to use to your advantage. Getting a freestyle board and boots will allow you to perfect freestyle maneuvers.
A freestyle snowboard will be twin-shaped, so you can easily ride in either direction. Riding switch is a big park of freestyle riding, and a twin shape is a must. These boards will also have a soft flex which helps you perform various tricks.
Freestyle boots and bindings will also be softer and less rigid. This helps you get extra flex and response when you catch air and come back down to earth. Getting good equipment is crucial if you want to expand your freestyle horizons.
You should also always wear a helmet when you are freestyle riding at any level. You should wear a helmet no matter what style of riding you are doing.
Here are a few quick answers to some common questions relating to freestyle snowboarding.
What is the difference between freeride and freestyle snowboarding?
Freestyle snowboarding has a focus on the terrain park. It involves performing tricks and hitting different features that are primarily manmade. Freeride snowboarding has a focus on outside-the-resort-style runs and terrains. Learn more about the differences between freestyle and freeride here.
Is a freestyle snowboard good for beginners?
A freestyle snowboard can be a great option for beginners. These boards have a softer flex that can be easier to manage for someone who is just learning the basics of the sport. A freestyle board is a little more forgiving than other types of boards as well.
Should I get a freestyle snowboard?
If you want to learn how to freestyle ride, then you should definitely get a freestyle snowboard. This type of board will allow you to dive into the terrain park and perform all sorts of tricks on all kinds of features. If you want all-over-the-mountain versatility, you might want another board.
What is freestyle vs all mountain?
Freestyle has a focus on hitting tricks, performing aerials, and going big in the terrain park. All-mountain doesn’t have one particular focus and instead lets you explore all over the mountain. You can do some freestyle elements with all-mountain riding.
Freestyle snowboarding is extremely fun and popular. This style is for you if you love catching air, riding rails, and exploring new horizons on a snowboard. Spend enough time perfecting your freestyle skills, and you might just become a famous rider!About Lorraine