Heliboarding: How to Position yourself on the Board and Control your Speed

selecting the proper skiing gearsHeliboarding is not for snowboarding newbies. Terrain and conditions widely vary — from glaciers with slight pitches and wide-open bowls, to narrow trees and steep inclines. While snow conditions could range from wind-pressed crust to chest-deep, fine powder. That said, if you’re an experienced snowboarder, here are some tips for your first heliboarding adventure.

Basic Heliboard Position and Speed Control

Your positioning while heliboarding is pretty much the same as your snowboarding position, but significantly more exaggerated, notes an expert from Valdez Heli-Ski Guides. You must look down the hill while your shoulders are parallel to your snowboard, with bent knees, centered weight (unless you’re in powder), and your body generally level with the hill. However, this is tougher to do than on shallower terrain where you naturally sit back. If this happens, you will lose control and speed up so it’s crucial to maintain ample forward lean.

When you’ve gotten the position right, you must then practice how to control your speed. Pivot turns are excellent for controlling speed. Simply move your weight over your front leg to try and dig your edge, and then swing round the rear end. You could begin practicing at home prior to your heliboard trip in Alaska by standing on a slippery surface, with your rear leg over a towel. Shift your weight forward after every turn, making sure that you practice pivoting your rear leg around — unweight while you begin turning and finish heavy.

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You could likewise control your speed by carving your turns, but this is more difficult to master since you have to do it at consistently high speeds. You maintain your speed by finishing your turn slightly up the hill prior to starting the next turn. This is great for powdery conditions and going down steeper slopes.

Final Note

In the majority of instances, you won’t have issues with body position and speed control if you’re an experienced snowboarder. Just make sure that you exaggerate your movements and master body positioning instead of being timid and just going down the easy slopes.

Heliboarding is not for snowboarding newbies. Terrain and conditions widely vary — from glaciers with slight pitches and wide-open bowls, to narrow trees and steep inclines. While snow conditions could range from wind-pressed crust to chest-deep, fine powder. That said, if you’re an experienced snowboarder, here are some tips for your first heliboarding adventure.