If you just ride "leaning back" you become very static; you cant really flex and extend as you need to for good turn initiation and completion.
Instead of leaning back to prevent a nose dive, pull the nose of the board up toward you which will cause you to bend your front ankle and knee. This is a retraction. I am sure you guys by now have done at least a few small jumps right? What do we do after take off? We suck our legs up to pull the board up toward us; this is a retraction often referred to as "raising the landing gear".
Now you don`t have to retract or extend both legs as a unit. You can retract just one leg kind of like we do when riding bumps or even doing an Ollie or a Nollie. Stay centered and pull the nose up out of the powder toward you. Granted, this is going to feel weird and it will take you a few tries to feel it but when you do, you will be able to ride powder without either setting your bindings all the way back or getting that intense back leg burn.
You will still get some of that burn but you will with a total set back stance as well. This keeps your board`s functionality at peak where it was designed to be. You don`t want to be dropping a 50 degree pitch even in deep powder with your bindings all of the way back. You are not going to have a great success at initiating your turns and as a result of the delay in doing so, the turn completion is going to go to hell as well.
Now, I am not saying there is not a time to shift aft. There certainly is, just dont stay back there the whole time. When we do these fore-aft shift, we return to neutral which is centered. In powder, shift aft as needed if you see that a front leg retraction will noe be enough to prevent the dive. After the condition passes, return to neutral.
What Snowolf was suggesting is a strong retraction at edge change. Meaning ride tall across the hill and suck your legs up to you to enable the edge change.
This is making sense now. I was trying to ride just leaning back and my turns felt very stiff and uncoordinated. And I actually was getting thrown off balance when making my turns from toe to heel, coming forward a bit off balance and nose diving. This was all in the knee deep pow on one particular run, which is probably 38 degrees. Although tomahawking is pow that deep is pretty fun too, I would like to just rips turns down. Other runs where it was ankle/calf deep, I wasn't focusing on leaning back while riding and had much smoother turns. I just assumed I should have moved my bindings back.
So a retraction of the front foot while initiating turns will help keep from nose diving, along with the normal dynamic riding is what you guys are telling me? I like the reference of jumping and one leg like an ollie, but instead of popping off like following through with it, I'm initiating my turn? How much is a rockered or a camber-rocker-camber hybrid going to help with this, compared to my current cambered board? I'm going to be demoing a few boards next week, so I'm curious what to expect. Although nature isn't going to help me with any pow.
And thanks for the help fellas
Here's what I was trying to conquer in the knee deep, riding down just about dead center - Dragon's Back at Mammoth
Photo thanks to Mammoth Snowman
, and is about 2 weeks after I was there.