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Old 01-25-2015, 11:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Types of Turns on a Snowboard

I'm trying to progress my snowboarding basics. I'm looking for official, or as close to official as possible, names of types of turns on a snowboard. I'm hoping having the correct terminology will allow me to ask the right questions and have bullet points to work toward.

The three main styles I'm aware of are:
  • skidded turns
  • carves
  • jumping or hopping turns

Even those may not have the correct names. My understanding of skidded turns are any turn where your edge is not cutting into the snow and your tail is skidding across the snow's surface. A carve probably has many different forms, which I'd love to hear about, but would be where your board's edge cuts into the snow and you're riding on that edge in as much a track as possible. Hopping, which I'm sure has some other name, is where you start with the board about parallel to the fall line, carve turn on an edge until you're approximately perpendicular to the fall line, "hop" the snowboard out and twist yourself so you land on the opposite edge with the board once again parallel to the fall line, rinse and repeat.

Are my names and interpretations correct? Are there any other types of turns I'm missing?
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Old 01-26-2015, 02:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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"Official" jargon really isn't important unless you're doing certification exams. That said, I am preparing for one, so enjoy the wall of text.

Your understanding of skidded vs. carved turns seems correct. Carved turns are when the nose and the tail follow the same path through the snow. The board's sidecut is pressed into the snow and the board tracks along the edge. Carves are quiet, and leave a narrow line in the snow. Skidded turns offer more speed control, make more noise, and leave a wider line in the snow. The nose and tail take slightly different paths. They are not inferior to carved turns. I think hop turns are kind of a cheat, and show up when you can't pick a real line, but shit happens. Use them only when necessary.

Once your basic turns (whether skidded or carved) are round, consistent, and effortless, you can start to get dynamic. What I mean by this is that you can add extra movements to get more performance from the board.

The first dynamic movement I usually teach is moving your center of mass up and down relative to board to create extra pressure through the turn and unweight for the edge change. There are two ways to do this. You can "up unweight" by extending the legs and changing edges during that moment of weightlessness. You can even jump and try to land on your new edge (this is not the same as a hop turn, as you're not actually turning in the air -- just changing edges). Then when you're in the new turn, you can progressively flex the legs to create more pressure throughout the turn. Gradually get smaller and smaller until you complete the turn and are ready to extend and change edges again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyvfWVEPfwU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsa6dkQLpp4

Notice the pronounced up and down motion of the rider's center of mass. The extension and flexion of the legs is subtle. If I were to demonstrate the technique to you in person, I would use a more exaggerated range of motion so it's more visually obvious, but you can get the idea from this.

The other option is to unweight by quickly flexing the legs at the edge change and progressively extending through the turn. The timing is a little trickier to get with this variation. You want to get the feeling of extending your legs against the G forces you're creating in your turn, and the retraction is more of a quick relaxation move. When you do it while carving aggressively, it will feel like the board "snaps" from one carve to the next.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63GZN-aKSOU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFcmqITrcaU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLcZccoobTI

You can see the rider's legs are flexing at the edge change, allowing the board to pass under the his body without his center of gravity moving vertically. There is much less of an up and down motion in the rider's center of mass with this technique. The videos might give the impression that one technique is good for small turns, and the other is good for big turns, but either is good for any size turn. Just experiment with the timing, intensity, and duration (TID) of the movements to fit your goals.

Next, you can also use fore and aft movements to make higher performance turns. To get the new edge to really engage firmly, it helps to have more weight on the front foot as you twist the board and begin the new turn. As you enter the fall line, your weight is centered, and as you finish the turn, your weight is more on the back foot. I like to have students make a few turns as far forward as they can (bonus if you nosepress) and feel the quick initiation and washy, sloppy finish. Then I have them try to make some turns way in the backseat (make sure you have some room on the slope as these can get a little wild) to feel the really slow initiation and grippy, responsive finish. Finally, we combine the two for a high performance turn the whole way through. Again, I like to use really exaggerated ranges of motion and then dial it back to something more practical.

Finally, we can add dynamic pivot moves to our turns. I'm getting tired of typing, so here's a video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TQRUG1vbHA

Having trouble on some nasty, scraped off, hard pack crap snow? Practice these. Note the rider's quiet upper body (avoid flailing counter rotational movements to make this pivot happen), and how he's positioned directly over the board at all phases of the exercise (the key to riding bad snow). After you isolate the pivot move, you can reintroduce some actual rounded turn shape into your riding and maybe start making ice your bitch.

Is that what you were looking for? Did it all make sense? Will you go with a pro? To address your original question, these dynamic movements aren't really "types" or "styles" of turns, but rather tools that you can use or not use within any turn. Change up the TID of the movements for different conditions, terrain, and riding tasks. Get creative and combine them however you like to define your personal riding style.

Last edited by stillz; 01-26-2015 at 02:36 AM. Reason: added more links.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Excellent post stillz! As stillz pointed out, it's really important to remember that those video demonstrations aren't "how you are supposed to ride" but think of them more as presets on the radio. By varying what movement you make and their TID, you can effectively "change the station" to something more your style.

It's a slippery slope, once you put a name to a visual, it can create forms(ie that visual is the only thing that can be that name..for example referring to the video as a carved turn implies that is the only way to carve). This is what happened to ski instruction with their wedges, stem christies, etc. They put names to certain visuals and over the years it became regimented(ie a ski wedge has to have the skiis at angle "X", etc). That is something snowboarding can do without.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillz View Post
"
Is that what you were looking for? Did it all make sense? Will you go with a pro? To address your original question, these dynamic movements aren't really "types" or "styles" of turns, but rather tools that you can use or not use within any turn. Change up the TID of the movements for different conditions, terrain, and riding tasks. Get creative and combine them however you like to define your personal riding style.
Nicely done on the AASI slogan!
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I really enjoyed your write up stillz! Thanks for taking the time to do so...I've been finding myself really feeling that fore and aft movement, especially on my heelside. My toeside needs a little more practice to get that flow going. And I need to get more aggressive with getting up on that edge and trusting my board/balance. Thanks for all that great info!
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillz View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TQRUG1vbHA

Having trouble on some nasty, scraped off, hard pack crap snow? Practice these. Note the rider's quiet upper body (avoid flailing counter rotational movements to make this pivot happen), and how he's positioned directly over the board at all phases of the exercise (the key to riding bad snow). After you isolate the pivot move, you can reintroduce some actual rounded turn shape into your riding and maybe start making ice your bitch.
That is one goofy way to do it. I've never seen anybody doing this.
It's like you just switching sides to slide straight down.
I think the only time I use this is when something is suddenly in my way and I have to hit the brakes like like.
My carved turns are kind of a combination of cross-over and cross-under turns. I mean I suck up my legs when I switch edges but I also lay my weight over the edges after switching depending if I am carving big turns or small ones.

Last edited by speedjason; 01-26-2015 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 01-26-2015, 01:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The intent of that drill is to isolate the pivot move and keep a quiet upper body. Most riders pivot around the front foot instead of from a point between the bindings as shown in the video. For a turn on steep, junky terrain, you would then layer for-aft moves and other things on top of it.
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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@stillz: Great post, exactly what I needed and more. Loved the youtube links. This is pretty much an answered thread, at this point.

Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillz View Post
"Official" jargon really isn't important unless you're doing certification exams. That said, I am preparing for one, so enjoy the wall of text.

Your understanding of skidded vs. carved turns seems correct. Carved turns are when the nose and the tail follow the same path through the snow. The board's sidecut is pressed into the snow and the board tracks along the edge. Carves are quiet, and leave a narrow line in the snow. Skidded turns offer more speed control, make more noise, and leave a wider line in the snow. The nose and tail take slightly different paths. They are not inferior to carved turns. I think hop turns are kind of a cheat, and show up when you can't pick a real line, but shit happens. Use them only when necessary.

Once your basic turns (whether skidded or carved) are round, consistent, and effortless, you can start to get dynamic. What I mean by this is that you can add extra movements to get more performance from the board.

The first dynamic movement I usually teach is moving your center of mass up and down relative to board to create extra pressure through the turn and unweight for the edge change. There are two ways to do this. You can "up unweight" by extending the legs and changing edges during that moment of weightlessness. You can even jump and try to land on your new edge (this is not the same as a hop turn, as you're not actually turning in the air -- just changing edges). Then when you're in the new turn, you can progressively flex the legs to create more pressure throughout the turn. Gradually get smaller and smaller until you complete the turn and are ready to extend and change edges again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyvfWVEPfwU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsa6dkQLpp4

Notice the pronounced up and down motion of the rider's center of mass. The extension and flexion of the legs is subtle. If I were to demonstrate the technique to you in person, I would use a more exaggerated range of motion so it's more visually obvious, but you can get the idea from this.

The other option is to unweight by quickly flexing the legs at the edge change and progressively extending through the turn. The timing is a little trickier to get with this variation. You want to get the feeling of extending your legs against the G forces you're creating in your turn, and the retraction is more of a quick relaxation move. When you do it while carving aggressively, it will feel like the board "snaps" from one carve to the next.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63GZN-aKSOU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFcmqITrcaU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLcZccoobTI

You can see the rider's legs are flexing at the edge change, allowing the board to pass under the his body without his center of gravity moving vertically. There is much less of an up and down motion in the rider's center of mass with this technique. The videos might give the impression that one technique is good for small turns, and the other is good for big turns, but either is good for any size turn. Just experiment with the timing, intensity, and duration (TID) of the movements to fit your goals.

Next, you can also use fore and aft movements to make higher performance turns. To get the new edge to really engage firmly, it helps to have more weight on the front foot as you twist the board and begin the new turn. As you enter the fall line, your weight is centered, and as you finish the turn, your weight is more on the back foot. I like to have students make a few turns as far forward as they can (bonus if you nosepress) and feel the quick initiation and washy, sloppy finish. Then I have them try to make some turns way in the backseat (make sure you have some room on the slope as these can get a little wild) to feel the really slow initiation and grippy, responsive finish. Finally, we combine the two for a high performance turn the whole way through. Again, I like to use really exaggerated ranges of motion and then dial it back to something more practical.

Finally, we can add dynamic pivot moves to our turns. I'm getting tired of typing, so here's a video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TQRUG1vbHA

Having trouble on some nasty, scraped off, hard pack crap snow? Practice these. Note the rider's quiet upper body (avoid flailing counter rotational movements to make this pivot happen), and how he's positioned directly over the board at all phases of the exercise (the key to riding bad snow). After you isolate the pivot move, you can reintroduce some actual rounded turn shape into your riding and maybe start making ice your bitch.

Is that what you were looking for? Did it all make sense? Will you go with a pro? To address your original question, these dynamic movements aren't really "types" or "styles" of turns, but rather tools that you can use or not use within any turn. Change up the TID of the movements for different conditions, terrain, and riding tasks. Get creative and combine them however you like to define your personal riding style.
This is literally the best summary I've ever seen. Thanks!
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Old 01-27-2015, 09:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhHeSpQ3vrQ

See the pivot move?
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