2012-02-12 Improving - Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums
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I am not a pro boarder. In fact I am a very late fan of the sport. This is more a diary than anything else, although comments and suggestions are appreciated. I'm going to try to keep track of how I do (and what I do) from season to season; what works and what fails; and how I improve over time.
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2012-02-12 Improving

Posted 02-13-2012 at 02:21 PM by Donutz

Went up yesterday (Sunday) on my own, as wife is still feeling like crap. The freezing level was obviously right at resort level as the precip kept shifting between rain and snow. Oh, and fog like pea soup too. I was very alarmed though to see how badly the recent warm temps and rain had eroded the snow base. There were bare patches on Chuck's, the Towerline saplings were all almost completely bare, and rocks showing through the bowl at the bottom of Velvet Gully. To make matters worse, the crew had run the cat over everything, basically squishing snowcone snow into a big flat iceball. First couple of runs were pretty sketchy, especially Pete's Run because A) the snowcat always leaves that rut down the middle, and B) the cat gouged instead of flattening the snow in a couple of places, resulting in some unexpected death cookies.

I went down Unicorn once. It wasn't as bad as I expected -- they hadn't groomed it so it was basically loose snowcone snow. Had some trouble with the first part of Unicorn (more on that later) and there wasn't enough coverage to brave a lot of the side hits that I normally like, so that was it for Unicorn.

On Saturday I'd finally gotten around to building a pole-cam. $10 for a cheap-ass hockey stick, $1 for some nuts & bolts, et voila! I took a fair number of vids, and learned some stuff from them, so it's already paid off. Unfortunately the pole is about 6" short, I think. Couldn't frame myself from head to board.

What I learned from the pole cam is this -- I don't use my edges worth shit. I think it's like speed on jumps and boxes -- you have to do it more than you think you do. So I'm going to adjust my highbacks to give myself a little more lean, and I'm going to make a point of really digging those bastards in.

I also realized yesterday that I have the same old stance problem, going into the back seat all the time and standing up too straight. When I started to make a point of correcting that, things went much better. That, it turns out, is why Unicorn is giving me more problems than it should. So, stance and edges. That's the mantra for the rest of the season.

I spent most of the day on Mushroom and Lodge, doing the roller/boxes/sidehit route. First and best news: I've got the 180s nailed on the rollers. By the end of the day I was hitting them properly every time. 180, cab 180, jump. The jump wasn't so great because the snow was getting kind of slow, but it still helps me to desensitize. Doing well on the boxes, and I actually shiftied a couple of times. Still hesitant about trying a boardslide though because of my tailbone. I had sat down innocently enough early in the day and got a stab of pain for my trouble, so it's obvious I'm not completely healed. Wow. I did one really impressive fail on the flat-down box too. Came off heelside and tried to push off the lip before I was really on the lip. Did a full splat! Fortunately the snow was nice soft slush by that point.

I also pretty much have the 180s off the side hit down Chuck's. Again, one spectacular fail early in the day. I still don't know exactly what happened, but I remember that I knew even before I launched that it was going to end badly

Biggest problem with the day though, was gapers. (I've decided that a gaper is anyone who moves obliviously without realizing they're getting in other people's way). And holy shit did I have a problem with that! A major part of that was ski/board schools of course, but even above that there are a lot of people who must really think they're the only people on the slopes. Anyway, no damage, so no biggie, but I sounded like my wife there with the cursing for a while.

One very nice thing is that it was not busy at all for the whole day. I guess people took one look at the weather (raining downside) and said fukit. And the fog cleared after a while, and it started snowing.

All in all, this was a much more satisfying day than I really expected it to be. I'm now firmly in new territory for this season, with half of the season (hopefully the good half) still ahead of me.
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