If your ankle of calves get sore from having your leg dangling on the lift then you need the hit the gym.
Hum...glad to hear you have legs of steel, but it's not my ankle or calves that get sore...it's mostly my upper thigh muscles that ache from having an 8 lb. weight unnecessarily pulling on my leg for 10 minutes (do I really need to explain this??). Surely I can't be the only one that finds it tiring...why else would they have invented the footrests? And while I'm older now, I'm still in great shape. I'm at lifts at 9am and ride non-stop til closing...lunch is usually stuffed in a pocket. I also workout 3 times a week and skate the local skateparks 2-3 a week.
Not all chairlifts have footrests on the safety bar
True. And obviously, I still ride plenty of lifts that don't have them...it's all about using the footrests whenever they're available (I never use a safety bar if it has no footrests...what's the point?). On lifts without footrests, I normally spread the weight by hanging the tail end of the board off my toe (like 90% of other boarders), or wrapping my back foot toe around the back of my front foot (again, like most other boarders). Still, not as good as a footrest, but works pretty well. But like I said, it's often impossible to use these techniques on a quad chair full of skiers without bashing their skis. That's when it's almost intolerable for me.
Let me ask you this-- Do you hang the tail end of your board on your toe when riding the lift? If so, why?
I'm now starting to wonder if there are people out there who've never even used footrests before with a snowboard...maybe they don't know what they are missing ??
You can't tell me it doesn't make a difference. I don't care how strong your legs are.