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Thread: Tips on Riding Switch? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-11-2012 08:42 AM
Death I don't know how much I can help (not the best teacher) but my switch riding is nearly as strong as my regular, I've recently been doing some cab 7s.

Basically what I did to learn switch riding well was practice. We always ride 95% park, but whenever we did runs, I rode whatever it was switch the whole way. Everytime I wasn't in the park I was riding switch. Then just bring all those carving skills you do regular and apply them to switch. It will feel weird at first throwing your weight the other way but it comes quite quickly if your regular riding is already solid.

Sorry if that doesn't help, like I said, not the best teacher
02-11-2012 08:12 AM
Raines one thing that helped me a lot is look forward instead of looking down to the board
02-11-2012 07:13 AM
Originally Posted by Snowolf View Post
I am not a fan of the "ride everything all day switch" approach personally. While this *may* work for some people, it will not for the majority. One thing to remember when learning anything new is the main reason that we snowboard and that is because it is fun. It is well established fact that all people learn better when they are having fun while learning. Sorry, but switching your bindings around, skating, riding the chairlift and doing everything all day switch is just not going to be a fun day for most.

In my experience, the number one reason people are not proficient at switch riding is because they are having way more fun riding in their primary stance and so really never get around to learning to ride switch. What needs to change that dynamic is to make the switch riding fun. A major ingredient to this fun is safety. When someone feels safe, they are willing to take on new challenges and actually have doing it. If the person is slamming every time they try to make a turn they are going to get frustrated at the least or injured at the worst.

So, first and foremost when learning anything new, dial back the terrain. Do not try to ride switch on the terrain you are having fun on riding primary. Sorry guys, but this DOES mean turning off the ego and heading over to the bunny hill. Just like when you first learned to ride, you really should go through all of the tasks staring with your J turns to stop then progressing to Garland turns. Finally, complete turns to a stop before fully linking large radius basic skidded switch turns. You will have to pay attention to all of your fundamental movements just like when you first learned. The good news though is you already have a good understanding of what works and what doesn't and how it SHOULD feel to you so your learning curve will be faster; much faster.

With that said, you do have to understand that for MOST people, riding switch will probably never feel equal to your primary stance. Some people are fortunate in that they are totally ambidextrous in this area, but most are not. Another consideration is your equipment. Any board can be ridden switch; period. It is just that your twins, directional twins will handle almost identical either way while directional boards with directional flex and sidecuts are going to handle different ridden switch.

Once you take about an hour or two getting your very basic switch turns down on the bunny hill, you should be "good enough" to begin to incorporate switch riding into your every day riding. The ting to do is to have fun riding the terrain you like to ride and in those sections that are super easy and mellow, spin that board and ride those sections switch. When the terrain reaches your limit, switch back to primary. Make this fun not torture! Do not over think it or brow beat yourself about your switch riding, but do it every day and every run at least for some distance in an area that you can. If you do this consistently, over the course of a season, you will riding a lot more terrain switch comfortably than you would have imagined you would be and at faster speeds.

A terrific "task" you can do to help you move into more switch riding and also happens to be fun to do is the Flat Spin 360 or "helicopter". This movement teaches you really good edge control and timing for switch and primary. In every flat spin 360 as you spin your way down the run, you are spending half of your time riding switch. This maneuver teaches you turn entry and completion every revolution and turn entry is generally the most difficult thing for the new switch rider to deal with. Spend some time doing these flat spin 360`s in both directions and the try to ride an easy green switch and I suspect you will notice it feels easier to you.

Above everything else such as good (new) front foot steering and weight distribution, make this something that is fun to do!
Great advice as always. I took the fun idea a step further, after a few basic J turns switch, and I felt almost ready to link turns, I started doing 1s into switch road switch for a few turns 180 out. It made it easier to want to stay on the bunnies and practice.
02-11-2012 02:57 AM
jdang307 I tried it last time I was up. I was showing someone how to link turns, and they were goofy. I said fuck it, let me show them their way, and went switch the whole way down. Just doing J turns mostly. Then spinning 360's on the snow.

For me it's the confidence. When gaining speed switch, I get nervous like I used to when learning the first time. I tell myself. It's 1/10 the speed you go normally. So don't panic, steer with the front foot and bleed off speed when making a toe side turn. It helped me at least. Still not good at it, but gaining confidence.
02-10-2012 08:16 PM
onefutui2e not sure if this was mentioned, but this is what an instructor gave as a tip that helped me get used to the transition. i passed it to my friend and he said it helped him a lot too.

if you know how to do circles on your board (regular -> heel -> goofy -> toe -> regular), try going across the slope on an edge, then when you transition back across the other way, do a circle so that you're again on the same edge going in the opposite direction. practice this both on your heels and toes. it really helps you get used to the feel of manipulating your board.

hope it helps!
02-10-2012 07:54 PM
nickwarrenn I've been improving my switch recently, and I find that I am leaning into the back seat a lot. On mellower pitches, it doesn't really affect my riding much, but then as soon as I hit something steeper, it kills me unless I actively balance my weight center (which feels like I'm hanging over a cliff..)

One other thing I can note is do drills where you only do heelside(or toeside) turns, which involves half switch and half normal, and changing the two with 180's. Toeside is fine for me, but the heelside is the hard one.

Semi related, but I find when I'm doing flatland 180's, I pop off an edge and generally land 170 or so on an edge. I can ride it out, but it doesn't feel/look clean. Any tips?
02-10-2012 07:04 PM
grafta Some more here >
02-10-2012 06:51 PM
HiddenPerson It turns out that my board wasn't meant for riding switch. It's not in possible on this board, it's just harder.

I still want to learn though. I'm going to blue mountain tomorrow!
01-31-2012 03:08 PM
HiddenPerson I'll use all this advice! It's such a nice today, so I'm going to strengthen my right foot, by doing certain stretches. Let's hope I can go boarding soon.
01-31-2012 02:23 AM
sb60 I started working on learning switch a few weeks ago. Go somewhere easy. Practice heel side turns and toe side turns separately switch to get the feel of it. I practiced garlands switch before trying to link turns. Looking over my shoulder helps me turn. Also leaning my boot on the front of my front binding to push the weight forward. I was surprised to link turns and now I'm practicing on a little steeper (easy) stuff. I'm doing a lot of the bad stuff I did learning to ride but I figure it will smooth out.
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