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Old 01-09-2013, 12:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
liner
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One of the best things you can do as a intermediate rider, is hands down go relearn the fundamentals. For reference I classify an intermediate rider as someone who can tackle anything, but uses more "safety" turns(ie back foot rudder, falling leaf etc) to get down

I think its worthwhile to mention that the back foot rudder is simply not ideal technique. However, it gets you from A to B safely and effectively, so Ive always said its fine, just something you dont want to get in the habit of all the time.

That said, In snowboarding, we can break down the fundamentals into 3 things, stance, twist, and rock.

For stance, we want a nice low athletic stance, knees bent, centered over your feet, shoulders lined up with the board. The lower we get, the more stabilit and leverage we have over our edges.

Twist is JUST THE INITIATION OF THE TURN!!! when your board goes downhill to about a 40 degree angle across the mountain, you then rock, but...

For Twist, think of your board of having 4 separate edge "quadrants". your front toe-side, front heel-side, back toe-side, back heel-side. turn engage each turn, we want to set our front edge(heel or toe) independently to initiate the turn. This is also where the back foot needs to be stable so you really get the contour flex of the board. When I teach the twist, I focus on the front foot more than the back foot. For heel side, slowly start to point your big toe to the sky, or for toeside, try and push your big toe into the snow under the board(for toe side, also you can put your hand about 3" in front of your front knee and bend your knee to touch your hand, insta-toe-side). Try not to open/close your shoulders to much to engage the turns, stay low and even... Now for the rock.

Rocking back on our toes and heels is to follow through and solidify the carve. Try standin on your tippy toes in a toeside carve and you can really grip through the carve. Heel-side for me was always more unnatural, and really digging in those heels took some miles.

Now all that said, people get mega hung up all over the twist thing. Full on twist(as in one toe up, one toe down) is pretty much reserved for high speed quick carves to pop from edge to edge. NOT just cruisin. For all intents and purposes, through a turn you should be nice and stanced, engage your front edge and follow through with a rock and stabilize with your back foot.

Some notes:

The twist idea, helps immensely when you want small, minute, and accurate pressure point to engage a very specific turn, also when on catwalks, slight pressure change in your toes will create a nice "holds" in the snow and keep you straight and youll be able to track the fall line better on the straights. Also this whole twist idea is how you steer with one foot. We've all tried to carve with one foot to the lift at some point and most often times you do the flat 360 and eat it.

to link turns, you NEED to point the board downhill and flatten out before you can dedicate to your new edge. so... nice stance, engage to the turn, rock to hold that edge

Stance should be even and comfortable between your feet, not neccisarily centered, back or forward. a good dynamic rider will be shift weight everywhere depending on terrain, but you'll notice their feet are steering, and their body chug's along in unison. But the board defines direction, not which way you swing your arms.

All this said, steer with your feet, and stay nice and even on the board, absorbing, extending and compressing with the trail, and the back foot swing will lose its appeal.

Last edited by liner; 01-09-2013 at 12:22 PM.
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