Tucks are an important way to harness energy

A critical aspect of snowboarding is the harnessing and releasing of energy. For example pre-loading your body allows you to snap and quickly turn 180-degrees while brining yourself closer to your center of gravity will allow you to spin faster and further when in the air. Another really good example of storing and releasing energy when snowboarding is the Ollie.

Most of the time you do not need to think about how you are going to store and release kinetic energy since the details are masked by the steps to perform a trick. However there are times that you may wish to maximize your potential energy. One common need for stored energy is to increase your speed or to allow you to spin further than you normally would.

The most common way to achieve this is with a simple tuck. A tuck is when you are snowboarding and crouch down as low as you can go. This is a very simple thing and almost everyone knows it intuitively but not everyone makes the most of it.

The idea of a tuck is very simple. The closer you are to your center of gravity the less resistance there is on you and the easier it is to move on any axis. This means that if you are in the air and are perfectly tucked around your center of gravity you are in essence weightless as you can spin in any direction by simply twisting your body slightly. Of course you are limited my air friction and other factors.

The best way to learn to tuck properly is to practice on a hill that is fairly steep and bumpy. By going fast and over bumps you will quickly get the feel for your center of gravity. As you build up speed going down the hill begin to lower your bum towards the center point between your bindings. Your exact center of gravity will vary but this should be relatively close. You will also be able to feel when you are close to your center of gravity. When you are close to your center of gravity it will not be a problem to remain balanced. Continue to lower yourself until you are as close as you can get to the snowboard and still ride comfortably over the bumps on the hill. You should find that you will easily be able to maintain your balance and that if you wish to change your direction you can do so by using just the slightest amount of pressure on your toes or heels. This pressure can be created by either using your feet of by looking up or down.

As you can see being tucked is a powerful way to harness energy outside of a trick. Tucking is also a critical part of many tricks since it brings you closer to your center of gravity. By working of tucks and fine-tuning where your center of gravity is you will quickly become a much better snowboarder.

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