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Old 04-09-2012, 03:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
firstx1017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNWRider View Post
Hey folks,

I went up to Cypress Mountain on Sunday as planned. I decided to go for a multi-prong attack: 1) Extended the toe-ramp on my bindings, 2) Practice the slight shoulder rotation as SnowWolf said, 3) Lean even more forward, 4) Signed up for another private lesson. Here's how it went:

The Good:

1) Extended the toe-ramp

Wow, this made a *ton* of difference! The toe edge really engaged much sooner than last week. Granted, the conditions were also great with little ice, but there were still some icy patches that I experimented on and I was able to get the edge to dig in.

2) Shoulder rotation

This was tricky; the instructor actually advised me to imagine holding a hula hoop and turning it from side to side to initiate the turn. This sounded really shady because everything I've read from SnowWolf and SnowProfessor tells me that the shoulder movement should be subtle and not a swinging motion. Nevertheless, I tried the hula hoop thingie and as I fear, I almost caught the front edge a few times. I told the instructor that I'll pass on the hula hoop and practice the slight shoulder rotation and looking in the direction of the turn as SnowWolf suggested. Much better!

3) I asked the instructor how my posture looked in terms of a) weight centered/forward b) Right hand near the tail of the board and c) Counter-rotation of the shoulders

He kind of laughed at my holding my pant leg to keep my weight centered. That annoyed me. I told him that I had a problem with leaning back and this tip has helped me a lot. He said that my posture now was OK and I don't need to hold the pant leg. Nevertheless, I tried a steeper green later on and definitely needed to use this trick whenever I hit a steeper run. He said I didn't have "much counter rotation" and my rear hand was positioned correctly. I hope he was watching carefully and not just saying that.

4) New stuff

The instructor said I should start practicing flexion and extension even on the easy greens at this stage. I'm not sure if it's early for this and whether I should gain some speed confidence first, but I figured, I'm paying for this, might as well learn what I can. He had me do these drills while traversing in one direction and then the other. I'm fuzzy about the timing (when should I flex and when should I extended). I haven't paid much attention to this yet so I need to go back and read watch SnoWolf's video on dynamic riding.

He also had me do wider arcing turns to gain more speed and confidence. After a lunch break, we met up again and went on a steeper green (Collins at Cypress). I was quite pleased with my progress and was able to link turns on some of the steeper parts without kicking my back leg out. On the flats, he introduced the leaning technique that SnowWolf talks about on his Cat Track video. I found it harder to do this because I couldn't get the board to turn using the sidecut; there was always some skid. Also caught a couple of edges on the flats. I practiced some flatbasing on the flats to keep up speed.

The Bad:

1) My boots are definitely packing in. I can feel my heel lift even while walking now, and was worried I'd twist an ankle while on the runs. I kept retightening the stupid speed laces every run. Ordered size 9 and 9.5 K2 Maysis from REI when I got home. Will keep whichever fits properly (no more stock in store). Currently sporting size 10 Soloman Synapse Wide.

2) My right knee really starts to get sore from the flexion after a run or two. I might change the angle on my rear binding to point backwards a bit (is that a positive angle?) and see how that affects my knee in a couple of weeks

3) My feet burn like crazy on the toe-edge! I think I need to use my orthotic insoles in my inner boot. I have really flat feet (which is what contributed to the knee dislocation in the first place)

The Ugly:

By the time of the the third run down Collins, my knees and feet were completely fried and I kept falling and catching edges due to bad technique. I think it came from fatigue. I rested for half an hour and did one more run which went well and decided to end the day on a high note

Next Steps:

I'm travelling this weekend so there will be a two week gap. There are still some places open in the PNW so I'll keep trying to gain mileage and confidence with speed. Hopefully the new boots should help too.
Wow, I swear this report could have been written by me! I am working on all the same things you are!

I too have no clue as to the flex and extension and when or how to do that. Same with the unweight and upweight - I still have to figure out how to do what Snowolf suggests I work on with regards to unweighting. I read and read and read yet can't put that into doing. I am more visual and I have to see it and have it make sense before I can try it - if not, forget it - it doesn't sink in.

I too had problems with my toes on my toeside turns. When I am on longer runs, i.e. 10 minutes or so, my toes tend to fall asleep and they HURT like a mofo! If I am on shorter runs, i.e. 5 minutes or less, I don't have that problem. My boots feel comfortable, but I think it has to do with how much pressure I keep putting on my toes because I have problems engaging my toeside edge. I got a new board this past week and noticed that I don't have to press so much on my toes - so maybe when we go to Copper next year the long runs won't be a problem.

After these past three days my right knee is totally KILLING ME. I have iced it but still, it is very VERY swollen. But that's just age talking I'm sure!

Handscreate suggested the pant leg for me also so I'm going to try to keep my hands down next year as we are done for the season this year. I also need to work on bending my front leg and leaning forward into my turns on the steep terrain - which of course is scary for this old lady!

Keep up the good work - I know how frustrating it can be!

Vicki
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