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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With about a foot of fresh snowfall, yesterday was my first powder. Everyone always talk about being stoked on pow but i don't really get it because i was an awkward mess. Sadly, the good thing about it was the falling down on painless snow.

The board was twitchy laterally like there was a bowling ball under it and i am not getting enough speed no matter how i point the nose down and once i fall it was hard to gain that momentum and composure to control the board.

My setup is 15/-15', 23" stance, medium flex flat camber twin board 54". I am 5'7" at 165lbs.
 

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Yeah, a lot has to do with slope pitch, speed, the boards ability to float. There are a lot of variables that could have held you back.
 

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If you are riding pow, just be sure to have speed from the beginning, once you maintain your speed, you'll be fine. Just don't break untill a complete standstill because then it will be hard to get going.
 

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The board was twitchy laterally like there was a bowling ball under it
That's exactly right. What you need to realize is that riding powder is very different (more like surfing). You don't have an edge to push against something. In normal riding you push/balance against your edge. In powder it's more against the middle of the board. If you try to push your edge in powder, you will loose your balance and/or over-steer. Over-steering/tight turns = massive speed drop.

You need to focus on balance and very subtle steering movements.

Don't put too much weight on the tail - that will slow you down. The nose doesn't have to ride above the surface.

A normal twin camber board isn't ideal for powder. My directional camber board that has taper (nose wider than tail) and a fair amount of setback rides like a submarine in powder. In comparison, my symmetrical twin tip hybrid rocker/camber board skims like a speed boat across the surface (not quite, but you get the idea...).
 

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Setting the bindings all the way back helped me float better and "get" the pow riding. The board will ride more surfy, but it should float better too...until you get more experienced ;)
 

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Setting the bindings all the way back helped me float better and "get" the pow riding. The board will ride more surfy, but it should float better too...until you get more experienced ;)
Awesome way to start learning in pow. Speed is your friend, you cant get too out of control on blues on a pow day. A genreal rule is everything is one level easier on a pow day for a beginner; (blacks become blues, blues become greens, etc) due to the ease of slowing down, difficulty to accelerate rapidly, forgiveness when falling :)

I had some terrible pow days in my first 2-3 years of snowboarding...its difficult as you are just getting used to groom/chop and then it changes drastically! you'll fall in love with pow eventually!
 

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Being from the east coast I had similar problems during my first trip out west. In deep pow keep your speed up, don't stop unless you absolutely have to or you know you can start moving again. Put more weight over your back leg to keep the nose up. If you've skateboarded or surfed you should be fairly comfortable with the type of turns you can do in powder.
 

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Point it. that simple. No matter how fast your going, stopping in pow will be easy. Also, a small twin deck is hell in pow unless on a steep pitch. I find that riding pow only on steep areas or staying on groomers. Or go on a groomed run and get speed, then turn into pow, do a couple of slashed and back on groomers. Repeat.
 

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With about a foot of fresh snowfall, yesterday was my first powder. Everyone always talk about being stoked on pow but i don't really get it because i was an awkward mess. Sadly, the good thing about it was the falling down on painless snow.
How experienced are you at regular boarding? Pure fresh powder is a dream, but once it's got some tracks in it it's more technical than riding groomers, but oh so fun!

Have you ever wakeboarded?
 

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Point it. that simple. No matter how fast your going, stopping in pow will be easy. Also, a small twin deck is hell in pow unless on a steep pitch. I find that riding pow only on steep areas or staying on groomers. Or go on a groomed run and get speed, then turn into pow, do a couple of slashed and back on groomers. Repeat.
^This...

This is my first season and the first couple of powder days were rough. Stick to the groomers and just hit the powder on the side for a couple of turns, then back on the groomer. Once you are comfortable doing this for longer stretches pick a run that you wouldn't usually do (steeper than usual) and go for it.

I pointing it down steep blues with trees in thigh to waist deep powder 2 weeks ago. It was the shit! :D

Edit: Oh and I forgot to mention that unless you have a more powder friendly board you are gonna get a some rear leg burn from shifting your weight more to the tail to keep the nose up in the deep stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. I will be going back tommorow and try them all out. It is still snowing non-stop for the past two days and will go on for another day so it's powder everywhere even the groomers. The in and out from groomers to powder at the treelines would have been a great idea.

One thing that i probably did wrong was apply what i usually do when learning new stuff, I did my first powder day on the tame runs instead of going steeper. My setup is not ideal for pow and i have no other choice but just deal with it for now.

I definitely was too serious and will try charging and giggling, maybe it's the secret to successfully riding pow.
 

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You already have some good advice, with practice you will start to love powder.

It does take time and relearning cause its quite different than riding hard snow.

Even different types of powder need some adjustments in stance.

Its like riding a magic carpet:D.
 

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Joe - we are having the same problems here in Mammoth today. We've never ridden powder. It is snowing and powder is all over the groomed runs. First few runs were okay, but we were shocked at how much slower we were going. They were tracked out by 10:00 and now I know what the one poster said about it being more technical once it's tracked out. Plus, getting lost on the mountain doesn't help. Spent over an hour trying to get back to where we thought we were. Knees are so sore from bending in the tracked out crud we had to go thru we couldn't wait to get back to our room.
 

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Definitely agree with steeper runs. Also try tail turns in powder where you have about 60 percent of your weight to the tail of your board and 40 percent to the nose. Think of riding powder like driving a boat in water....make rounded out turns rather than sharp turns. When you make these rounded turns, focus on extending your legs to un-weight the board during the finish/start of your turn and flex your legs during the middle of your turn.

regarding the tracked out powder...learn to use your legs independently. Meaning one leg may be flexed whereas the other will be extended. this helps keep the board on the snow. Don't be ridged; be dynamic in your riding by flexing and extending your legs while you ride.
 

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My first time riding pow, I had a board very similar to yours and we are the same weight and height. First thing that could make it easier is your board. Like others have said, set your stance all the way back. ALso, reverse camber boards make it easier to ride powder. Unlike groomed runs where a beginner will put weight on the front foot to turn. You will put weight on your back foot and turn. Turns are definitely harder to initiate but you will feel it when you get it.

Second, don't get discouraged. I did not like powder my first time either. I was at Vail with waist deep powder. This of this riding as learning all over again. Trust us, when you get, you will understand why so many people love it.
 

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I found speed to be my best friend the first time I rode powder. And like someone else mentioned, more arc like turns and less pointy sharp ones. I did lean back a bit, but it was only to pull the nose of my board up just a bit to keep from submarining. Once the runs get tracked though, I hope you are willing to ride bumpy stuff.
 

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Modesto......Were you at China Peak today?

We headed up today as well. This is my first year, and it has been hellish. I have had 3 lessons and many days up there and just could not seem to get it. I have been on the bunny hill all season. Today I just said screw it and headed up to do my first real run. The powder made my landings far less painful, and something finally clicked. My husband looked at me and said "I think you can offically say you snowboard". I really do not look forward to when it all gets icy again. We are heading back up on Saturday.
 
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