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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-11-2012 04:13 PM
Calibre 6
Originally Posted by Snowolf View Post
For the most part this sounds as if you are using decent angulation for more dynamic carving and that is good. What I think you are feeling and questioning is this "slowness" in turn transition. From your description I have a pretty good idea of where this issue is coming from.

It sounds as if you are hesitating a bit still when committing to your edge change. If you look at your track, I am willing to guess what you see is a nice pencil thin line in the snow throughout most of your turn, but a 5 to 10 foot area where there is clear evidence of skidding where you transition from edge to the next and more noticeably on the heel to toe transition?

Front foot steering and torsional twisting of the board is for all types of skidded turns included very dynamic skidded turns and is an absolutely correct way to ride. In carving however, we really do not want to use this front foot then back foot method because that causes momentary skidding. The edge change in any carved turn should be instantaneous with both feet.

Now here is the challenge of doing this. As intermediate and advanced riders working on good carving, we have been so "trained" to NEVER, EVER allow our "downhill" edge to catch that we totally fight (consciously or subconsciously) doing so when learning to carve or improve our carves.

I have a drill that I use for my intermediate and advanced students that really helps them out and builds confidence in making these two footed committed edge changes. The easiest and first one to try is the "leaper". For now, use an up unweight to get the feel and pick a gentle enough slope that you are totally comfortable straight lining. Point the board and ride solidly on your edge at all times with a fairly low edge angle so you "drift" more than actually turn. To switch edges, crouch down a bit (flex) and with both feet, pop up so that your board pops up off of the snow and while in the air, tilt it onto the new edge and land solidly on the new edge. Do this for an entire run and you will really get a feel for making this 100% two footed full committed edge change.

Next, play with the "edge change drill" Pick a really mellow run that is very well groomed and ride basically flt based. It is going to be very crucial to keep your hips and shoulders aligned with the board to prevent rotation because the edge change drill can lead to edge catches if you are not fairly precise. All you do for this drill is while flat basing with your board cruising straight tip to tail, is rock from flt to toe, back to flat to heel, back to flat, back to toe and so on. You have to be quick and you cannot spend much time on either edge or you will begin to turn too much.

Finally, you can play around with the "leaper" turn using a down unweight as opposed to the up unweight or pop. This will feel really weird and is more difficult, but if you keep working at it, you will not only feel the results from a down unweight but also how effective it becomes for making this quick edge transition. To down unweight, you begin the maneuver in a fairly extended position. What you will do to unweight your board is completely flex as rapidly as possible as though your legs suddenly went limp. A lot of people can understand this concept better to thing of it as "sucking their legs up" like they do going off of a jump. However it makes sense to you, the concept is the same. In this momentary semi weightless environment, you will make that positive two footed edge change to reweight your board solidly on the new edge.

When you have gotten confident in making these instant, two footed edge changes what you will see in your track is this pencil thin line come out of the turn with a very short (just over a board length) section of almost no track at all followed by another pencil thin line making a new turn. Keep in mind, that snow conditions do have to be right for these "perfect" carves to pan out. If it is too soft or too hard, you are always going to get a little skidding. While that perfect pencil thin line is the ideal goal, AASI for example allows the track to be up to a board width (no more) to still be considered a carve. Unless the conditions are really icy, it is pretty easy to maintain 1/2 board width through all phases of your turn....
Do you have a video or anything on those exercises? I'm having a hard time visualizing it in my head.
01-10-2012 12:57 PM
cocolulu Thanks snowolf, I think you diagnosed my problem accurately. I am certainly really cautious when switching edges, and I try not to drop my downhill edge too early. I did also notice that on edge changes, it's really easy to go into a skidded turn, so the only way I could prevent that was simply not to force the turn so sharply.

I'll try the drills you described. Thanks again!
01-08-2012 12:02 AM
rc_moe2000 sorry laptop went arry
01-07-2012 11:47 PM
duh I miss my PJs.

Carving boards got narrow real fast after the era of the PJ and lost the versatility that those early shapes had. I was racing at the time but enjoyed laying out nipple drags more than bashing gates. So when my boards got down to 160 in the waist I hung up my Megaflexs and rode softboots from there on out.

It took years, and magnetraction, for me to get that feeling of laying a board all the way out with reckless abandon again with softboots.
01-07-2012 11:44 PM
cocolulu I actually feel more comfortable on my heel edge than my toe edge... I just want to describe how I attempt to "carve" and see if it's ok or not, since everyone seems to have different ideas (keeping in mind, that I'm still sort of intermediate).

When I switch from the toe edge to heel edge, I tend to squat low, bending my knees, and then lift the front foot, followed quickly by the back foot, not rushing the turn until I feel the heel edge bite in. I then do lean back a bit, bend my ankles upwards (pull my toes towards my shins), and push out with my knees to drive my heel edge harder into the snow.

It seems to keep speed really well, and I feel this 'push' upwards like the board.

I want to know if this is right or wrong, or if there is any way I can improve this. Although I draw a nice thin "C" across the snow, I feel like the transition turn to turn is still kinda slow. Everytime I try to speed up the turns, I end up catching an edge

For some reason, I can't seem to get those tight, sharp turns on my toe edge as easily. I think its that I'm not comfy leaning into toeside turns.
01-07-2012 11:01 PM
AAA Snowolf, For the given edge angle, softboot setups typically need deeper knee bend/more angulation. Alpine deck lengths vary widely depending on the speed, intended carve radii, and conditions, from the mid 150's up, suited to the rider. No longer necessarily stiff, newer shapes and materials have made alpine decks much eaiser to carve...and more versatile and forgiving in the last 5 or so years. Deck length goes hand in hand with rider weight, sidecut, aggressiveness, speed, etc. Slalom radius decks usually start in the the 150's. GS decks commonly go to 185 or so. A rare few go to 200+. "Ice coast" freecarve decks seem to mostly range in the 160's and 170's. I'm fond of my 182, but have to rail a little harder in heavy crowds.

With the newer decambered nose/tail geometry, even a "long" board rides like much shorter board when skidded turns are needed because the nose and tail aren't set with a high enough edge angle to be engaged with bulk of the cambered body. When carving (using high edge angles), they are engaged, and help intitiate with hookup, guidance, and release, and provide the full running length for maximum edgehole. The "titanal" aluminum alloy now used in most high end decks also has an incredible dampening property, taking away significant chatter. The now-prevalent variable sidecut also has a dramatic impact on initiation, release, and overall variable turning radius. Of course, some models are "hold onto your @ss", rip down the fall line setups, but we've come a long way from the PJ, baby.

No wild technique specialization neccessary, beyond adapting to angles and performance.
01-07-2012 09:46 PM
AAA Snowolf, Yes, In that pic my lower body is inclined, which helps with a high board edge angle (bite) but has the upper body upright to prevent the center of mass from being too low and overpowering the edge with lateral pressure. In great ("hero") snow conditions, extreme carving (not this pic) can also be done with the upper body straightened against the snow and in-line with the legs (no angulation), which are extended at the apex of the carve down the fall line. The difference in the "degree" of inclination you see in the conventional carving pic, I suspect, probably stems from the capability of hard vs. soft gear. Softboot riders with that much board angle usually need even more knee bend and are maxed out on angulation for the edge to hold. There are some great hardcarving softboot vids on youtube, which show this. Again though, the pic is just intended to show the relationship of inclination and angulation.

On the flipside, it is sometimes problematic to thigh- or butt-out on heelside carves that have "too" much inclination though. That's where your thigh/butt gets too low to the snow and bears enough weight to unload the board edge. You're headed for a downhill spin in that case, like a toy top. Similar (and perhaps more problematic) is for the knees to bottom out on the snow in toeside carves (all with very angulated, non-extreme carving, which uses a very different technique).

01-07-2012 07:24 PM
AAA Haha, Yes, Hardboots with forward angles and an alpine deck definitely help, though the fundamentals are the same with any snowboard gear. That pic just demonstrates the text clearly.
01-07-2012 05:58 PM
Originally Posted by AAA View Post
Adding on to Snowolf's response... On heelside's, bend your knees and drive your hips towards the snow, while maintaining an upright body. Get the board high on edge. Higher edge angles have better edge hold. Try some drills where you change the angle of the board (mid-carve) solely by driving your hips uo and down, then solely by bending your ankles up and down. That works great to help you feel the relationship of each. Also, try setting your highbacks forward so your calves have something to brace against. Your heelsides should become much more powerful.

Nice angles on those bindings! That helps too
01-07-2012 05:15 PM
AAA Adding on to Snowolf's response... On heelside's, bend your knees and drive your hips towards the snow, while maintaining an upright body. Get the board high on edge. Higher edge angles have better edge hold. Try some drills where you change the angle of the board (mid-carve) solely by driving your hips uo and down, then solely by bending your ankles up and down. That works great to help you feel the relationship of each. Also, try setting your highbacks forward so your calves have something to brace against. Your heelsides should become much more powerful.

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