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Thread: How to avoid excessive use of the back leg, especially to initiate heel-side turns? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-10-2013 10:39 AM
bigwinw That's what I was hoping someone would say. Headed to Breck in a week so I'll have some time to devote to practicing.
01-10-2013 10:15 AM
SnowOwl
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwinw View Post
Thanks for all the good advise. I learned snowboarding on my own and this will certainly change the way I ride.

I currently ride goofy even though I am right footed and I think it is because I use my back foot to steer. After reading this it looks like I have been riding wrong for 12 years. Should I try and ride regular now? Or just continue to ride goofy and try these techniques?

I look forward to your advise.
Continue to ride goofy, just tweak the errors. Dominate foot doesn't matter in snowboarding. Skaters who ride regular sometimes ride goofy and vice verse. Its about comfort so just fix the little things and fine tune yourself and you'll be
01-10-2013 09:51 AM
bigwinw Thanks for all the good advise. I learned snowboarding on my own and this will certainly change the way I ride.

I currently ride goofy even though I am right footed and I think it is because I use my back foot to steer. After reading this it looks like I have been riding wrong for 12 years. Should I try and ride regular now? Or just continue to ride goofy and try these techniques?

I look forward to your advise.
01-10-2013 07:53 AM
liner
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowolf View Post
Overall, a pretty decent post with mostly correct information and you`re getting really close on the other points. You have mostly correct ideas here but you're not quite there and have a few misconceptions.

One big one is that no you don't need to point the board down the hill to make an edge change. In fact, on steep terrain, you want early edge change with the board across the fall line so you can work the top of the turn. What the board has to be doing to make any safe edge change is be traveling straight tip to tail with no sideslip. The board does not care what direction it is pointing.

I think you are trying to describe board performance concepts which are actually Tilt, Twist, Pivot and Pressure. I am assuming when you say "rock" you are referring to tilt. As for twist, you should not be using any twist if you are truly carving; this is all about tilt.

If you are doing a dynamic skidded turn, twist is certainly not for just the initiation of the turn; you maintain twist throughout the entire turn.

So, we use different board performance concepts depending on the type of turn we want to perform.

Not dissing you or trashing your info, just adding a little bit of higher level information to the already good grasp you have here......cheers...
Thanks for the feedback! I teach snowboarding at my local mountain and the "stance, twist, rock" is the thing they teach so I guess it has rubbed off a bit. Hoping to get level 2 cert by the end of the season, so terminology is important. 90% of my students are under 10 years old, so its not so much telling them the right info, but getting them to do the right thing. And feel it.

Your absolutely correct on the board pointing downhill, I meant you have to come back to neutral before you can completely switch edges.

not being able to see the rider in question makes it a bit difficult doesnt it :/.

As far as carving, I had a instructor tell the twist carve thing and always just accepted it. Today when I go out Ill have to give a look at my mechanics. your right, that doesnt make sense....

Snow, you are an wealth of incredible informative goodness!!!


We werent talking about carving, I was just going off on a tangent.
01-10-2013 07:46 AM
jtg Yeah I'm confused now. I didn't think we were talking about carving.
01-09-2013 01:07 PM
liner
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinobiz19 View Post
Great tips guys! Quick question to liner or anyone else who wants to answer in reference to liner's post. What is happening with my back foot as the front foot is twisting? By stable, do you mean it's flat through the first part of the twist and as one works their way to the rocking stage, then the back foot follows to complete the carve?
Yes, in general

when just kinda free carving, I try and keep the back half of my board nice and flat and just engage my front edges, whichever one. For reference, my weight is still primarily hovering over my front foot(or maybe hanging just behind my front foot.) Keep your weight in unison with the board. You can still be a G and ride real far back if you want, but you still keep your weight as one with the board. Be one with the board haha. To me the hardest part of really perfecting carves(including the backfoot swing) is the weight. If you keep your weight balanced, and engage the turns correctly, as soon as you rock on your edge you can slow down, accelerate, turn, noseflip, 180, literally anything, all by flex in your feet, NOT your legs.

When you wanna do real quick carves in succession, you almost want the board to flex in a semi circle through the apex, how you achieve that would be a full on contour of the board you achieve from using say your front toe-side edge, and your back heelside edge, to initiate the turn lightning fast.

when all is said and done, if your ripping carves, your doing the "twist" for all of 1 second. Its a super fast technique that is soooo easily missed in the moment.

If you are familiar with a stick shift think clutch and gas, as in, give it a little toe action twist to start the turn then gradually follow with your back foot once the turn has been initiated.

You can also think of a roller coaster going through a turn, the front car leads, and the back car follows. after the turn the coaster has to flatten out before it can really enter the next turn.
01-09-2013 12:55 PM
chinobiz19 Great tips guys! Quick question to liner or anyone else who wants to answer in reference to liner's post. What is happening with my back foot as the front foot is twisting? By stable, do you mean it's flat through the first part of the twist and as one works their way to the rocking stage, then the back foot follows to complete the carve?
01-09-2013 12:18 PM
liner One of the best things you can do as a intermediate rider, is hands down go relearn the fundamentals. For reference I classify an intermediate rider as someone who can tackle anything, but uses more "safety" turns(ie back foot rudder, falling leaf etc) to get down

I think its worthwhile to mention that the back foot rudder is simply not ideal technique. However, it gets you from A to B safely and effectively, so Ive always said its fine, just something you dont want to get in the habit of all the time.

That said, In snowboarding, we can break down the fundamentals into 3 things, stance, twist, and rock.

For stance, we want a nice low athletic stance, knees bent, centered over your feet, shoulders lined up with the board. The lower we get, the more stabilit and leverage we have over our edges.

Twist is JUST THE INITIATION OF THE TURN!!! when your board goes downhill to about a 40 degree angle across the mountain, you then rock, but...

For Twist, think of your board of having 4 separate edge "quadrants". your front toe-side, front heel-side, back toe-side, back heel-side. turn engage each turn, we want to set our front edge(heel or toe) independently to initiate the turn. This is also where the back foot needs to be stable so you really get the contour flex of the board. When I teach the twist, I focus on the front foot more than the back foot. For heel side, slowly start to point your big toe to the sky, or for toeside, try and push your big toe into the snow under the board(for toe side, also you can put your hand about 3" in front of your front knee and bend your knee to touch your hand, insta-toe-side). Try not to open/close your shoulders to much to engage the turns, stay low and even... Now for the rock.

Rocking back on our toes and heels is to follow through and solidify the carve. Try standin on your tippy toes in a toeside carve and you can really grip through the carve. Heel-side for me was always more unnatural, and really digging in those heels took some miles.

Now all that said, people get mega hung up all over the twist thing. Full on twist(as in one toe up, one toe down) is pretty much reserved for high speed quick carves to pop from edge to edge. NOT just cruisin. For all intents and purposes, through a turn you should be nice and stanced, engage your front edge and follow through with a rock and stabilize with your back foot.

Some notes:

The twist idea, helps immensely when you want small, minute, and accurate pressure point to engage a very specific turn, also when on catwalks, slight pressure change in your toes will create a nice "holds" in the snow and keep you straight and youll be able to track the fall line better on the straights. Also this whole twist idea is how you steer with one foot. We've all tried to carve with one foot to the lift at some point and most often times you do the flat 360 and eat it.

to link turns, you NEED to point the board downhill and flatten out before you can dedicate to your new edge. so... nice stance, engage to the turn, rock to hold that edge

Stance should be even and comfortable between your feet, not neccisarily centered, back or forward. a good dynamic rider will be shift weight everywhere depending on terrain, but you'll notice their feet are steering, and their body chug's along in unison. But the board defines direction, not which way you swing your arms.

All this said, steer with your feet, and stay nice and even on the board, absorbing, extending and compressing with the trail, and the back foot swing will lose its appeal.
01-07-2013 06:54 PM
jtg
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowolf View Post
Just don't do it.....

The back foot rudder habit usually develops as a rider enters their intermediate stage. They have been so focused on getting forward with the weight that they often forget to ride centered. Sure, getting forward is great for turn initiation but not so good for turn completion as the tail tends to wash out. The rider feels this and automatically pushes the tail around. A couple of things to try that may help you out here:

Since heelside is what you said gives you the biggest problem, squat into it more than you are probably doing. This will give you much better edge control without shifting your center of mass way to the inside of the turn.

Go ahead and do a foot to foot weight shift toward the nose, but try to remember to shift back to a centered stance as you reach the apex of the turn. As you go into the bottom of the turn, actually move slightly toward the tail of the board to increase edge pressure under the rear foot. If you are just a tad heavier on the rear foot, the tail is less likely to skid so so much and it becomes more difficult for you to rudder it.

Play around with this a bit and let us know how it felt to you.....
Interesting, I've been struggling with that as well. I only recently realized that your back foot is not actually supposed to be a rudder and your post describes my habits. Especially after focusing intently on "stay forward on the board". Frustrating not being able to maintain any momentum on moderately steep runs due to the "rudder" skidding out...I'll give this a try. Though toe-side is more of an issue for me, the same principles should apply.
01-03-2013 01:03 PM
SnowOwl
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daggs View Post
So let me get this right...

Squat
Put more weight on the front foot as I start the turn
Center
Towards the end of the turn, put more weight on the back foot


I'll try to get a video of me riding the next time I go out. But thanks a lot for the advice.
My EASY ADVICE: Think of flexing your toes up when initiating a heel side turn. It forces you to keep your weight on the front foot, and gives you a mental map of how go about distributing your weight correctly
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