Know your ‘J Turn’ from your ‘Powerslide’: Mountainboard Stopping

One of the most important skills you need to learn is how best to stop!  Take a look at various ways to turn, slide and generally bring your board to a halt…

Let’s look at the two main ways of stopping a mountainboard safely; stopping by turning, and stopping by sliding. It’s useful to know and practice a few different techniques to find out which is best for your situation.

Turns to stop

By turning across or up the hill you will run out of momentum and slow to a stop. This can require quite a bit of space to complete the turn, and is often called a J-turn.

Toe-side J Turns to stop

To complete a toe-side turn to stop, get some speed, push your hips out over your toes, lean to balance and hold the toe-side turn until the board heads up-hill and comes to a complete stop. This is one of the easier stopping techniques although you’ll need to commit to the turn and hold it till you stop.

Heel-side J Turns to stop

Completing a heel-side turn to stop is very similar to toe-side, but keep confidence as you’ll be leaning back into the hill. From speed, push your hips out over your heels, toes down, balance and hold it till the board comes to a complete stop. These are worth practising until you can do them in a small space by crouching low to the board as it’ll prepare you for stopping by sliding.

Slides to stop

If you ever need to stop quickly because you´re approaching the end of the riding slope or about to ride into an obstacle, powerslides are probably the best way to do it. All powerslide manoeuvres require the board to be moving at some speed in order to work and with some trial and error you’ll learn to judge how much speed is necessary. There are four main types of slide that can be used to stop, and after you’ve had a go at them you can choose which one feel easiest for you.

1. Double-handed grabbed Heelside Powerslide to stop

Get some speed, bend down low, grab the deck on the toe-side with both hands between your feet, pull up on the deck and learn back. The board will turn sharply and you´ll sit down on the ground and come to a stop. Be careful of sitting on the ground while the board is going too fast or if you’re riding over anything hard or rough.

One-hand-grabbed Heelside Powerslide to stop

Get some speed, bend down low, grab the board with your rear hand and pull up on the deck. As the board turns you can then let your front hand down on the ground as a pivot point around which the board will rotate. The weight is now off the board so the tyres will lose traction and begin to slide. As the board slides to being across the slope, use your feet to stop the rotation and keep the slide in a straight line. An advantage of using this techniques rather than the two handed powerslide is that you can keep from sitting on the ground by holding yourself up whilst sliding. Beware of putting your hand down with too much force, and make sure you’re wearing your wristguards.

A variation on the one-handed slide is to reach around the rear knee with your rear hand to grab the deck just in front of your rear foot. This pushes your rear knee forward and helps to un-weight the rear wheels and makes initiating the slide easier.

No-handed Heelside Powerslide to stop

Get some speed, bend down low and lean back, place both hands on the ground to the heel-side of the board, and push the rear of the board around with your rear foot. You can control your slide by pushing or pulling your feet to give the sliding tyres more or less traction. This method of stopping by sliding is particularly good for older, less supple, riders who it difficult to bend down low enough to grab the deck.

No-handed Toeside Powerslide to stop (aka fs standing slide)

From speed, initiate a small turn one way then force the turn the other way like a mega scrub, pushing your trailing leg out; Remain balanced while standing and force the tyres into the surface with weight back on heels. Think “Stick it!” and stick it.

Toe-side Powerslide to stop

From speed, bend down low and lean out on your toe-side to initiate a hard toeside turn. Place both your hands on the ground to un-weight your heelside wheels and initiate the slide. Control the slide by pushing or pulling your feet and make sure you´re wearing your wristguards.

 For more info about basics skills and getting into mountainboarding check our beginners page.