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post #24 of (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 02:37 PM
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If the first instinct for a beginner is to put too much weight on the rear leg, then the second instinct is to swing the board around with their rear leg to transfer edges. This is known as a pivot turn: you put weight on your front foot and swing your rear leg like a windshield wiper, and the board pivots on your front foot. If you add a sideslip in between each pivot, you're doing pivot slips.

These are quick maneuvers that allows you to change directions quickly, and as such, are appropriate for navigating snow conditions where there's limited space and time for you to maneuver. This often occurs on moguls, or if you're on a slope that's above your level.

However, it's not graceful or economical technique. You're essentially forcing the board to move the way you want it to with your leg strength (and possibly by swinging your arms, a big no-no). The general idea with snowboarding is to use the board's edge and the sidecut to do the bulk of the work in a turn. If you're constantly throwing the board around with pivot turns, you are tiring yourself out unnecessarily.

It's really important as a beginner to learn how to turn properly, and the way to turn properly at first is the skidded turn. Skidded turns are initiated by your front foot. Let's say you're riding along on your heel edge, which means your weight is balanced on both heels. To transfer to your toe edge, you put more pressure on your front foot's toe while keeping your back foot's weight on the heel. The two opposing forces cancel each other out: your board flattens out, which causes the board to point down the hill and pick up some speed. As this occurs, finish the turn by finally transferring weight on your rear foot from the heel to the toe. Now your weight is only on your toes, which causes the board to go on the toe edge, which causes it to turn in a new direction.

I really recommend taking a look at Snowolf's and Snow Professor's videos on garland turns. They are the perfect drill for learning how to use your front foot to initiate turns, and you'll have a much more natural feel for how your weight distribution on your front foot will change the direction of the board.
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