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Old 11-07-2013, 09:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Beginner advice needed. Realistic ambitions?

Hi all

New to the forum and to boarding but after two trips i'm officially hooked! Only downfall is living in Ireland so only really get the opportunity for one or two trips a year! I've been away twice already once for a week and then for a 3 day trip bit I'm heading away at Christmas for 2 weeks and literally can't wait to get back up the mountain! Aiming for a season in Canada next year too!

I've a few questions for all of you with more experience then myself so any input would be great!

I'm at the stage now where i can go down most runs (all except black) in complete control and with a fair bit of speed and really enjoying myself. Main problem is my quad on my back leg gets so tired so quick, is this normal and will it get easier considering im only getting a week or 2 on the mountain? I workout regularly and incorporate heavy squats, lunges, leg presses and have just added box jumps to my leg workouts each week so hoping my legs will tolerate a bit more this year?

My aim for my two weeks at xmas is to learn how to ride switch and do butters? Is this setting my goals too high for more then likely 10 days riding? I thought i was doing well on my last trip but took a bad spill trying to do a jump on the last day of the trip which shook me up a bit so my thinking was learning to ride switch before learning how to do jumps would help me to land as i'd be a lot more in control of the board?

Thanks in advance for anyone with any advice!

Last edited by DBoy; 11-07-2013 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Great that you're enjoying riding!

As far as a tired back leg, it sounds like you might be sitting in the backseat too much and/or skid turning, where you use your back leg like a rudder. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it will tire your back leg out quicker. Try balancing out your weight and driving through turns with your front leg. You should also take a lesson to learn proper carving technique. As you gain more confidence, your skid turns should subside, but again - proper lessons will expedite the process.

You should absolutely practice switch riding. Its the one regret I have when I first started - I didn't do enough switch riding. Because you're learning the basic mechanics for your dominant foot-forward, it will be easier to translate to switch. It will make you a better rider all-around. Pick a run or two each day and do the whole run switch. It requires discipline, so stick with it.

Butters are fun! Practice with the board at a standstill, and slowly work up to moving butters. IMO butters should come secondary to working on the above stuff, but hey - have fun and do what you want.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply!

Yeah now that you mention it that's exactly what I've been doing! Every time i commit to a turn i push the board around with my back leg and eventually find my leg is so sore and tired! Balancing out my weight is something i'll have to work on while I'm away and I've already been thinking about getting another lesson, although i was thinking mainly to help me ride switch but maybe i need to focus on my carving first!
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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From what I've seen there's some respectable ski areas in Scotland. Nothing like the Alps or the Rockies in North America, but still it would maybe be easier to get there a few times a winter (and probably cheaper, too).
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi David

Yeah Scotland can get some decent snow at times, however it's so unpredictable that you really need to be able to go at the drop of a hat and seeing as id still have to take a flight to get over it's not as easy as you might think as i don't know if i could get off work on such short notice, Eastern Europe is where i usually head as it's cheap and nearly always has decent snowfall!
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Just try to put about 60% of your weight on your front leg, the gradient of the hill make it more 50/50.

Yeah, you should definitely check out some Scottish resorts if your in Scotland, but the Alps are only a flight away and Scottish conditions can be pretty flooky.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm in Ireland so it's a flight either way!
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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always set your goals high, nothing wrong with that. it's all incremental progress, which comes in plateaus for most...swing for the fences at all times

working on switch and butters will be good, and work on going faster,and learn how to fall/tumble, and jump (you will eat shit many times, there is no way around that, it's how you know you are pushing yourself...
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you're back leg is getting sore, it could be your technique. Have you taken lessons? Sore back leg on powder is normal, but on groomed runs is a sign of poor technique.

If you're riding more powder, you can setback your bindings a bit on the board to alleviate the back leg issue.

Not that I think learning switch is a bad idea, but if you are riding "in the backseat" then you need to fix that before worrying about switch, butters, etc. It's likely holding you back.

You also mentioned falling and spooking yourself. This is a sign that you may be hesitant to really get over the front end of your board. I say take a lesson or two in the first couple days of your trip, and go from there! Hopefully you get a good instructor...
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Good idea to ride switch. Do it now. The problem is you double your learning time (roughly) but it's much easier now than later.

You're riding in the back, and fighting the hill and turning with your back leg. All lead to fatigue. Once you get the technique down you let the hill do the work and you just guide it.

It's tough at first but try leaning forward. Don't worry, when you lean forward usually you're just evening out since you started so far back. Lead forward. Your turns become more confident.

Try this exercise. Find a green hill, something you're really comfortable with. Take your back foot out of the binding and ride it like you ride off a lift. Get a stomp pad it might help. Now go down the hill. You can't rudder with the back foot now so you are forced to steer with the front. Get that leg used to steering. You also get the benefit of reducing or eliminating edge catches
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