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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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Too late to correct bad form?

I first picked up a snowboard in 1997 as a 18yr old, and basically tought myself to board. No lessons, and back then, no youtube to go to for advice. My technique for turning involved longitudinal 'twisting' of the board; lift my toes on the front foot to increase the angle of edge, while simultaneously dropping my toes on the rear, to initiate a heelside turn and vice versa. Looking at it now, this forced me to use my hips to make the board twist, so perhaps not all that bad, but i know now it isnt how people learn.

Until 2011 I had only done at most 15 days on the snow, but considered myself intermediate - no problems going down most runs, quick turns, slow turns, switch riding, flat ground 180 jumps and straight airs off 5-10ft kickers.

Since 2011, i have been doing about 10-15 days a year. Still a weekend boarder, and still living 3+hrs from the snow, but its a lot cheaper to do a weekend trip here in Japan

I now think of myself as fairly advanced in snowboarding - black runs are no problems, I can absorb all sorts of choppy terrain and i will jump off whatever cornice/feature i can find. In the park i can hit 30 foot straight airs, and 360s on smaller jumps, and tried my first backflip off a natural feature the other day (landed on my face, but it felt awesome).

The problem is, when looking at snowboarding videos of myself, i find it embarrassing to look at. Invisible girlfriend arm and shoulders right open. I am pretty sure i rudder most of my turns too.
I know this is wrong, and i keep trying to get my arm down by my side, and shoulders aligned. I know how to, and can easily do front foot initiated turns, stay centered and lay down carving lines when needed... But it all has to be a conscious effort. As soon as i stop thinking about it, i am back with the open shoulders and bad turning technique, which is all so second-nature to me now.

TLDR; version: Can i correct bad technique that has been cemented in over 15+ years and 50+ days of riding? Is there any success stories of people fixing their technique like mine?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by tokyo_dom View Post
Can i correct bad technique that has been cemented in over 15+ years and 50+ days of riding?
Why ask us this question? Who are we to say you can or cannot do something? The answer is up to you...

I do believe in my opinion if you can learn proper technique and take the time to commit it to muscle memory, it should override your poor technique pretty darn quickly. Good riding habits feel more natural and give you a more rewarding experience when you ride with them. I can't imagine any poor technique would be able live up to that...

Wouldn't hurt to take out an instructor, if only for positive reinforcement and to learn some drills. I occasionally do a garland or some J-turns once in a while when I'm out practicing a new technique, even if I'm not with an instructor. Learning some drills to use by yourself is a good tactic to progress.

Best of luck to you.

Last edited by Eat Sleep Shred; 02-21-2014 at 03:14 AM.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Of course i know the rest is up to me. Its frustrating, because i thought i was at a fairly high level, especially with the park stuff... Only to realise i need to go all the way back to basics again.

I guess i was looking to hear how others got out of using bad techniques. I have book marked a few threads and other pages on line. I will be doing what i can. The instructor idea is a good idea. I will ask about this on Sunday when i go out next.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 03:54 AM
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On 1 hand...whatever works

On the other hand...if what has been working and is now not working...why not change?

It seems there is no wrong way...its just if that way becomes a hinderence; got to do something else. Such as the invisable gf or arms flying around is a big hinderence to doing alot of tight agile things...being compact is much more efficient and doing moguls. Its a progression....the first step in changing us usually becoming aware that its not working. Second step is trying to learn, then doing and later reaping the benefits from learning something new.

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Last edited by wrathfuldeity; 02-21-2014 at 03:56 AM.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 04:13 AM
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When I was a kid skating I always pushed mongo style. Once I got older and better I forced myself to change. It was hard but I did it because I really wanted to.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 07:34 AM
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I had the title of "Low Intermediate" conferred on me by forum members only last year, so my advice/opinions for and intermediate/advanced rider are obviously suspect. But,... I did post a question about Good riders, Bad form a while back.

Basically, I was questioning my observation that many, many riders I see around the resorts here, can shred the fuck out of the hill! Bombing the groomers at mach speed, ( far as I could see, in complete control btw!) Hitting jumps and features, Stomping 180's, 360's 5's etc. Nailing just about any flatland trick I saw them attempt, etc etc. All while exhibiting the same type of Quote "Bad Form" Un-quote you are talking about!! Shoulders completely facing forward, 90˚ to their boards, Arms akimbo, etc.

I wondered how this was possible for them to ride so well considering all the advice and discussion around learning proper technique I had read here.

The one answer that really stuck with me came from BA with his usual penchant for distilling things down to the very essence with his verbal brevity,...

Originally Posted by BurtonAvenger View Post
Personal Style > Robot Teaching Techniques!
There were a lot of good responses from other people for learning good technique and they were pretty much on point, but it's still hard to argue with BA's comment when I see people tearing it up, using every bad habit I have been taught NOT to use!

If it really bothers you, I'm sure with a LOT of diligent work and effort you can correct and progress beyond those things that you feel are embarrassing.

But then again, as Wrath said, If it works,.......?

Good luck!

Btw, If you're interested in reading the entire discussion of good vs. bad form,.. Here's the link to my thread.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 08:00 AM
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just ride whatever is comfortable for you really. even pros dont have the perfect form either.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 08:58 AM
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Is it bad technique to lift the toes up on your front foot and press down on the toes on your back foot for turning? I do that for my heel side turn too.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 09:32 AM
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I would say that you can reverse those years of muscle memory. I started riding in 1987ish and never had lessons. Back in the day (and still!) the guy I looked up to the most was Craig Kelly. I'd watch videos of his style and try to emulate it. As a result, I developed a very open upper body position riding (narrow and forward binding angles didn't help either!). After years and years of doing this, it worked for me 90% of the time. But there were also times when it was a big disadvantage - having your upper body rotated downhill kinda hurts you when you're learning to ride boxes/rails or when doing jumps. Again, I had been riding so long I could compensate for it but it was still "bad form" technically.

About three years ago I decided to correct my form. I worked every day out making sure my shoulders were parallel to my board instead of open downhill. I'd do dumb little things while riding to force my shoulders parallel like grab the seam of my pants, or put my front arm across my belly and back arm behind my back. It was awkward and uncomfortable at first but eventually new muscle memory kicked in. Honestly I feel I ride better today than I ever have. I still don't think I have it 100% licked... at the end of the day when I'm tired, I will realize I've reverted to opening my shoulders up.

So yes, anyone can unlearn bad habits and learn new ones. It just takes a concentrated, sustained effort over time.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-21-2014, 11:31 AM
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Oh boy... got the new cam packed for this weekend. I fear the first vid open shoulders and gf arm ring a bell

Props to those who manage to overcome long time bad habits. I've one while horseriding (20y without lessons, 10y with) - left hand is not where it should be (thumb over withers). Bad thing if bit off balance on a high jump and land with all your weight on that thumb. It pops. Again and again. Joint is a mess meanwhile, many ligaments broken. Trainer still needs to remind me each lesson to watch my hand. I manage to conciously avoid it most of the time but if it gets hairy and pure unconcious reaction... nope. It's only a week ago I again dislocated that joint... I'll never learn it

I really thought quicksand was going to be a much bigger issue in my life when I was little
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