Crossing the Deck

posted in: Snowboard Articles | 0

This time I’ll look at some theory behind snowboarding. I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible. In Mac Endo – Anatomy of a Turn 1 and following articles I described what happens during the snowboard turn. It is just one possible style of carving. There are other various combinations of flexing extension of the knees, upper body position, rotation and timing that also work well on a snowboard, while some  won’t work at all.

All of the styles have something in common. There are 2 parts to each turn: the transition – when we change the edge and assume the correct position, and the static part – when we hold the position and carve around, before we begin with the next transition.

In this article I’ll look closer at the transition. If you read Mac Endo – Anatomy of a Turn 2, at the beginning I showed the position that the rider can hold indefinitely and carve around as long as his speed lasts. On the next picture the transition begins.

If you mounted a camera in front of the snowboarder, and you watched him through this camera, you’d see the rider leaning into the turn, changing position and leaning into the next turn. The transition is actually a rotation of the whole rider and looks something like this:

Carver the Bear is going to help me explain the different possible transitions. You can see Carver riding the backside carve, then he rotates over his board and carves on the frontside edge.

If there is rotation present, that means that there also is a pivot. Pivot is the center of the rotation – the rider rotates around the pivot.

Depending on the location of the pivot there are 3 types of transitions.


Cross-over is when Carver’s whole body crosses over the board. It’s the body that moves over to the other side of the board. It corresponds to the pivot located near the feet/board.

When you are riding cross-over, you should feel like your feet are roughly in the same spot and you need to push your whole body across to the other side


Cross-Under is when Carver lets the board to pass underneath him to the other side. So the pivot is the head.

When riding, there is a distinctive feeling that your head remains in one place during the transition.


Cross-Through is the mixture of both Cross-Under and Cross-through. Carver the Bear is basically trying to push his body over to the other side of the board while letting his board pass underneath. The pivot should be located close to the center of mass – somewhere in the abdomen.

When riding you should have the feeling of your hips/stomach being still while both the top of your body and your board swap sides.

In the next articles. I’ll tackle each transition separately, telling more about advantages and disadvantages of each and showing real life examples.

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