Garland Turns are simply a series of uphill turns linked together – essentially half turns interlinked by traverses. I always recommend that people getting started snowboarding practice making these turns before they make turns downhill. During the Garland Turns you learn how to steer and control the board without having to worry about the board crossing the fall-line and picking up too much speed.
I would recommend that you watch the ‘Garland Turns’ video first as seeing it performed and explained will make it easier to understand.
Once you are comfortable traversing and sidesliding you should be able to make an uphill turn. Start by making just one turn and stop. On an easy slope, start traversing and when you are ready to turn, tilt the board slightly more on its uphill edge, have your weight over your downhill leg and use your upper body and rear leg to turn and direct the board up the hill and ride to a stop. Then point the board slightly towards the fall-line so that it gains some speed and make another uphill turn. When you feel that you are able to control your board and competently make these turns, try to link them together without stopping. Continue making a series of these uphill turns so that the pattern in the snow resembles a ‘Garland’ or a staircase.
Practice first making these Garland Turns toe side and then practice making them heel side.
- When making the ‘Garland’ pattern, as your board slows down when it is turning uphill, push your rear foot to turn the board into a traverse position to gain speed.
- While you are turning always keep the upper and lower parts of your body active as you steer and finish the turns.
- Practice altering your speed during the different traverses. At times traverse with your board on a shallow traverse (i.e., pointing across the hill) so that you ride slowly and other times traverse with the board closer to the fall-line so that you ride quicker.
- Be sure to hold your arms out to the side and use them to help steer the board.