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Old 11-13-2013, 11:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Seeking some advice with heel side carving.

I hope this is in the right section and I apologize if it goes in the other one. Anyway, I first started snowboarding in grade 9. Since then I can't really say I was committed. There were seasons where I just won't go all together. Money was a huge issue as a kid, but it's different now since I have a car, and can go to local hills a lot easier, and more frequently. I am serious about snowboarding and would love to hit up mountains soon.

Last year I bought my own equipment. I plan on switching in a couple of years if I get better so naturally I didn't spend a lot. I got everything at Sportchek (Canada) but did my research in terms of board size and boot fitting and what not. I am a very short girl 5 ft. and weighs about 80 pounds.

It was nostalgic going back to the hill every week, doing those c-turns and what not. I really want to learn how to carve, and I feel my toe side carving is pretty good, I can manage that. But for my heel side, every time I try to do anything that involves my heel, I would lose balance and fall backwards, every single time. I work out, and do squats, I figured the balance would be similar to doing a squat and I just can't get it right. I watched a dozen instructional YouTube videos but no help.

I don't have a lot of friends who are committed to snowboarding--they are just too busy. So I figured it was worth a shot asking people from an online community to see if I can get some helpful pointers in learning how to carve.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Just a couple ideas from the top of my head.

1. Keep your upper body on top of the board. You want to maintain proper squat posture, so your knees do not move past your toes. It helps to imagine lines coming straight up from the heel and toe edges, and you don't want your butt sticking out past the heel edge, or your head/torso sticking out past the toe edge. This keeps your weight on top of the board, so that it is less likely to slip from under you.

2. Remember to initiate the first half of each turn with your front foot, and follow through on the last half with your back foot.

3. Adding some forward lean in your highbacks, or physically moving your bindings toward your heel edge, will give you more leverage and increase the level of control you have in your heel side turns.

Remember to actually carve, the board needs to be tilted up on its edge and it will feel like your speed is increasing. It will feel very smooth like gliding while ice skating, and less like scraping or skidding down the hill, which is a skidded turn. You can look at your tracks in the snow on a groomed trail, and if the trail you make is thin and only a few cm wide, you were carving. If it is wider and your hear scraping during the turn, it is not a true carved turn.

Last edited by BigmountainVMD; 11-13-2013 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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sounds like you may just be going to hard into it and leaning too far off your board if you are washing out uphill(?) every time. you need quite a bit of speed for a proper carve, especially the heel because you don't have that flexibilty of the toes. at your weight i hope too that it is a pretty soft board you have...
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BigmountainVMD View Post
Just a couple ideas from the top of my head.

1. Keep your upper body on top of the board. You want to maintain proper squat posture, so your knees do not move past your toes. It helps to imagine lines coming straight up from the heel and toe edges, and you don't want your butt sticking out past the heel edge, or your head/torso sticking out past the toe edge. This keeps your weight on top of the board, so that it is less likely to slip from under you.

2. Remember to initiate the first half of each turn with your front foot, and follow through on the last half with your back foot.

3. Adding some forward lean in your highbacks, or physically moving your bindings toward your heel edge, will give you more leverage and increase the level of control you have in your heel side turns.

Remember to actually carve, the board needs to be tilted up on its edge and it will feel like your speed is increasing. It will feel very smooth like gliding while ice skating, and less like scraping or skidding down the hill, which is a skidded turn. You can look at your tracks in the snow on a groomed trail, and if the trail you make is thin and only a few cm wide, you were carving. If it is wider and your hear scraping during the turn, it is not a true carved turn.
Thanks, I will keep all of this in mind. Is there actually a way to practice how it feels posture wise to do a heel side carve? For example: I think snowprofessors had a video that said a good way is to just hold onto a railing and kind of just sit back?

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sounds like you may just be going to hard into it and leaning too far off your board if you are washing out uphill(?) every time. you need quite a bit of speed for a proper carve, especially the heel because you don't have that flexibilty of the toes. at your weight i hope too that it is a pretty soft board you have...
Yes I suspect this to be true also. To be specific, I had to buy a junior's board. It's a Firefly Junior's 137cm. I just can't seem to shop adult and Sportchek is the only local that stocked a decent priced board for a beginner's price range. With that said I am not entirely sure if it's a light board or not.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MCPY View Post
Thanks, I will keep all of this in mind. Is there actually a way to practice how it feels posture wise to do a heel side carve? For example: I think snowprofessors had a video that said a good way is to just hold onto a railing and kind of just sit back?

Yes I suspect this to be true also. To be specific, I had to buy a junior's board. It's a Firefly Junior's 137cm. I just can't seem to shop adult and Sportchek is the only local that stocked a decent priced board for a beginner's price range.
At 80 lbs, it is surely a good thing you went junior sized.

I think it is easier to practice the transition from toe to heel, rather than just practice the heel stance. Keeping the things in mind I previously mentioned, on toe side you have your hips rocked forward as in a pelvic thrust sort of motion. This stacks your hips and knees over your toes for maximum toe control. When you make the transition to heel, rock your hips back so your butt is just over your heel edge. You don't want to go into a full sitting position, because this puts you ass past the heel edge, effectively taking weight off the edge and making it slip easier.

So if you want to practice, just practice stacking your hips and knees over your toes while standing on your toes, then moving your hips back over your heel edge while balancing on your heels/lifting your toes. Many people tend to sit too much and that can make your edge slip out from under you.
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You need to carve some bacon and get some weight on.

Also I'd imagine you are not going fast enough and getting too much across/perpendicular to the fall line/hill...point it more...you want to not get it more than 45 degress off the fall line. Nice elongated shallow flowing S carves/turns/line...pay attention on how you move your hips/pelvis fore, aft and across the mid-line of the board

Then once you get a good feel for the flowing S carves, you and start tightening them up...sharper turns while going at a good rate of speed...railing your turns. Then after getting down how to rail turns, the next is to start popping from edge to edge...doing mellowish cross under turns...then tightening them up so that you can hot-rod around groomers and packed.
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wrathfuldeity View Post
You need to carve some bacon and get some weight on.

Also I'd imagine you are not going fast enough and getting too much across/perpendicular to the fall line/hill...point it more...you want to not get it more than 45 degress off the fall line. Nice elongated shallow flowing S carves/turns/line.
Yeah for slower speed carving, you really need more of an S shape to the turns than a full on C shape. The C shaped carves are easier at higher speeds.

I'm also wondering if the junior board the OP is riding has up-turned edges like a learn-to-ride board? Not sure. That would prevent edge catching but increase edge slipping.
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BigmountainVMD View Post
At 80 lbs, it is surely a good thing you went junior sized.

I think it is easier to practice the transition from toe to heel, rather than just practice the heel stance. Keeping the things in mind I previously mentioned, on toe side you have your hips rocked forward as in a pelvic thrust sort of motion. This stacks your hips and knees over your toes for maximum toe control. When you make the transition to heel, rock your hips back so your butt is just over your heel edge. You don't want to go into a full sitting position, because this puts you ass past the heel edge, effectively taking weight off the edge and making it slip easier.

So if you want to practice, just practice stacking your hips and knees over your toes while standing on your toes, then moving your hips back over your heel edge while balancing on your heels/lifting your toes. Many people tend to sit too much and that can make your edge slip out from under you.
So I should practice with more speed? I had beginner lessons with a friend who at that time was pretty intermediate so I had no formal instructions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrathfuldeity View Post
You need to carve some bacon and get some weight on.

Also I'd imagine you are not going fast enough and getting too much across/perpendicular to the fall line/hill...point it more...you want to not get it more than 45 degress off the fall line. Nice elongated shallow flowing S carves/turns/line...pay attention on how you move your hips/pelvis fore, aft and across the mid-line of the board

Then once you get a good feel for the flowing S carves, you and start tightening them up...sharper turns while going at a good rate of speed...railing your turns. Then after getting down how to rail turns, the next is to start popping from edge to edge...doing mellowish cross under turns...then tightening them up so that you can hot-rod around groomers and packed.
Thanks! I will keep that in mind also, everything except the bacon part. I don't seem to gain weight from eating a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigmountainVMD View Post
Yeah for slower speed carving, you really need more of an S shape to the turns than a full on C shape. The C shaped carves are easier at higher speeds.

I'm also wondering if the junior board the OP is riding has up-turned edges like a learn-to-ride board? Not sure. That would prevent edge catching but increase edge slipping.
Hmm, I can't seem to find my board any more since it is now a couple of years old since release, but it is the exact same thing as this one:

Firefly Whoop Snowboard Junior Girls 2012/13 - SportChek.ca

Last edited by MCPY; 11-13-2013 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I learned to do heel side carves by sinking down on my front foot, throwing my shoulders as hard as i could through the turn, and leaning hard and stomping on my back foot while pulling up on my front.
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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A formal lesson will help you a bunch. As much as it is nice to trust your friends, instructors (especially those who have done it for a few years) are much better at diagnosing problems and coming up with simple solutions to better your riding.

Yes, increasing speed within reason will help you hold on to a carve. If you are going too slow down a green run, tilting your board on edge will just make you fall over. Even after snowboarding for 10 years and instructing for a couple of those, I still can get caught off guard when teaching carving on slow snow or green runs. You go to show them a proper carve and without the speed, you just tilt right over.

As for your board, I'm not sure from looking at the website if it has "no catch" edges. I want to say no though.
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