Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)


This entry is an effort to answer some recent inquiries we've had regarding sideslipping. The FAQs cover the following topics: 

  • What is sideslipping?
  • When should sideslipping be used?
  • When should sideslipping NOT be used?
  • Why extreme sideslipping?
  • Is this site making fun of me?

For details, read on by clicking the link below.

What is Sideslipping?

sideslip (v) - To slide on the uphill edge(s) with the board (or skiis) perpendicular to the direction of travel.*

*(Renowned skier Steve Shredberg informs us that the term "sideslipping" comes from skiing and that it would be better if we in the snowboarding world found a different name for it. While Shred's point may be a valid one, we have already purchased the domain name and are unlikely to change it unless he comes up with something really, really, good.) 

When Should Sideslipping be Used?

  • When you are learning to snowboard - New snowboarders learn to sideslip on their heel edge and their toe edge. It helps them to develop an understanding of how the edges work and how to stop. Eventually, however, they learn to turn from one edge to the next instead of always sliding on the same edge down the trail.  
  • When you are slipping a race course - Sideslipping is a great tool for grooming the ruts out of a race course.
  • To get out of a sticky situation - This is where the debate gets heated. If you find yourself on something you can't handle, then you might opt to sideslip to get down it. It begs the question, however, as to whether you should have gone there in the first place. Here are some opinions on the matter:

"If you have to sideslip to avoid hitting your head on a tree, well,
that's what you've gotta do." 
-Bryan Harder (who I met on the chairlift) 

"You can use sideslipping in an emergency but you don't want to be seen doing it."
-Gregg Davis (co-author of this site) 

When Should Sideslipping NOT Be Used?

  • On a powder field - Sideslipping should never be used on a powder field. If you can't turn on it, then don't go wreck up the powder for everybody else. Instead, try riding on the groomed trails until you are ready. Sideslipping pow is an aesthetic no-no. Below I have excerpted an interview with Gregg Davis to shed additional light on the matter:

Erica: Gregg, how does it make you feel when people sideslip a virgin powder line that you intended to claim? 
Gregg: It's ridiculous, you know. They pack down a swath of powder that four to five riders could use.
Erica: Use for what, Gregg?
Gregg: They could use it to make turns and have joyous snowboarding. But no, someone has sideslipped down the powder. It's as if five people went before me instead of one. And, they didn't even have any fun. They were just trying to survive.
Erica: Why is untracked powder preferable to sideslipped powder?
Gregg: It's just soft and more fun. It's fun to ride in the powder because it's more rare and the board feels different. It's more like surfing in the water.
Erica: Could you say that powder is "floaty goodness?"
Gregg: Yes, you could say that.
Erica: Do you see a market for people learning how to sideslip better? And what would you teach them?
Gregg: Turn [the microphone] off.

Why Extreme Sideslipping?

  • Pulling off sideslipping tricks--where you sideslip off a jump or onto a rail, for example--is actually quite technical. It's totally the stuff of which a new extreme sport is made.
  • Inventing sideslipping tricks makes you think outside the box about your riding and/or skiing.
  • Sideslipping tricks are funny.

Is This Site Making Fun of Me?

  • Yes - But fondly with love. 
  • No - Because now you are in on the joke too.  

Open Invitation to Readers:

As always we'd like to extend an open invitation to our readers to share their input on sideslipping--when TO do it, when NOT to do it, technical information, comments on the interviews, etc. Make your voice heard about this important issue. Leave a comment today.


Is extreme Sideslipping related to extreme pivot-slipping? Inquiring minds need to know!

I think I threw down some pretty awesome pivot slips over at Copper this season.

Yes, Glenna, you've hit the nail on the head. To change from a heelside sideslip to a toeside sideslip, pivoting is preferrable to turning. Keep up the good work!

Never side slip in the trees. As stated elsewhere about sideslipping in powder, if you can't ride the terrain, don't mess it up for the next guy. Improve your skills and come back when you can manage it properly.

You may not realize it, but where you sideslip is likely a perfect line to ride or ski for those with the skills.

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