You're zipping down the hill toward a crowd of friends who are watching your every move. The run is going well and you're tempted to show off a little, so you quickly shift your body to pull a sharp turn -- but your toes catch the snow. You topple head over foot and have to slink over to your friends hoping no one had a video camera running. Toe drag is common issue for snowboarders, but is simple to fix in a variety of ways.
Use a snowboard that is wide enough to correctly fit your boots. A common way to experience toe drag is to use a board that is too narrow, which results in the toes or heels of your boots hanging off the edge. If you use up to a size-6 boot, a narrow board is safe, but if your boots are size-6.5 or larger, use a regular board.
Adjust the position of your bindings if they contribute to boot overhang. Depending on your level of experience and areas of interest, many binding positions are worth considering. For beginners, a directional stance with the back binding square and the front binding turned out at about 15 degrees is ideal. In this stance, the front boot likely won't be in a position to create toe drag, but the back binding could. If so, turn the back binding a few degrees until the toe of your boot is safely inside the board's edge. Experienced riders often use a duck stance, in which each binding is turned outward. This stance can easily prevent toe drag.
Practice a correct snowboarding stance, in which you have your knees bent but aren't leaning toward your toes too much. One goal of any stance is to have as much of the base of the board touching the snow as possible. If you lean too far toward your toes, you'll not only risk toe drag, but you'll also elevate the back of the board, which will reduce your speed and make turning the board a challenge.
- Take several runs and turn at varying of degrees of sharpness to note how sharply you can turn before experiencing toe drag. Knowing how you can move before encountering the problem will help you avoid it when making runs.
- Always wear the proper safety equipment when snowboarding. Your safety gear should include a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads and knee pads.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.