Scooting is to snowboarding as walking is to life, or beer is to a night out, or football is to Wayne Rooney… whichever way you look at it, without scooting we’d all look pretty silly stuck on a cat track like a bunch of lemmings shot by a stun gun. The better you are at scooting, the faster you can get past that bit of flat and into the good stuff; it sounds harsh but there is real pleasure to be had in using a superior scooting technique to fly past another snowboarder – and maybe even nick that fresh powder line in the process. Here are some tips so you can do just that.
• The most fundamental mistake people make when scooting is not to get enough board edge into the snow. So much energy and speed are lost if your edge is just washing out all the time - you end up going more sideways than forward.
• It might not sound that cool, but a stomp pad or something similar is a massive help. How many times have you gone to slap your back foot onto the topsheet and ended up doing some kind of John Travolta splits on to your arse? Maybe it’s just me then... Da Kine, Burton and other companies do subtle, cool looking stomp pads now so they are well worth checking out.
•There are two main ways of scooting; one using your heel edge, the other using your toe edge. It’s pretty useful to be good at both, because as the terrain changes you’ll want to switch edge. The same fundamental technique applies to both of them.
• With your front foot strapped in, start by tilting your board and putting a little pressure on your toe edge. Keep this slight pressure on your toe edge and push off your back foot, propelling you forward.
• As soon as you’ve got this forward momentum, flatten your board out and place your back foot smack in front of your rear binding – lock it in there.
• The body position you’re aiming for is both knees bent together and shoulders parallel with the edge of your board. Your arms should be slightly out over the nose and tail of your board and your eyes looking forward. This will help you stay in a straight line – any twisting of the upper body will immediately throw you off.
• As your momentum slows, take your back foot off and at the time get some pressure back on your toe edge by titling the board – this will prevent your edge washing out, keep you in a straight line and maintain your speed. The more you push against that toe edge, the more speed you can create before hopping back on.
• Getting the hang of using your edges when scooting may take a few goes but is well worth it in the end. You’ll be amazed at how much more speed you can create and how many people you’ll be overtaking.