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Old 09-08-2010, 05:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Foot Steering / Foot Peddling vs Shoulder Steering

Hey there,

In the UK at the moment, "foot steering" is used as the preferred technique for correct turns. Back in the day, a lot of people (me included) were taught using "shoulder steering", which has pretty much been dropped now.

I was just wondering if these are terms used in the U.S and Canada? And also if there's been a similar move away from shoulder steering, towards foot steering/foot peddling?

Cheers, Gavin
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I think I kind of understand what you are trying to say. Foot peddling is not familiar to me. Could you explain that? I understand the shoulder thing though.

With the shoulder technique, I really don't think that you should abandon that. Shoulder steering is important for many situations especially if you are doing freestyle. Spins, butters, and jibbing requires you to turn your hips and shoulders to perform these maneuvers. Also, while you are carving, I don't see how it would be possible to do deep and tight carves without the use of your hips and shoulders. For normal skidded turns and just general cruising I can understand just using your feet. That's how I ride when I'm going mellow. I rock my board from toe edge to heel edge with my feet while still going straight. Is that what you are talking about?
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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upper body works on steeps with retraction of the lower body.

Foot steering is nice, but I feel the "key" is upper and lower body seperation.
  • Upper body stays balanced in the direction of travel
  • Lower body flexes and extends to handle the what the board is doing
and leading stems from the eyes (where are you going) to the upper body getting balanced to the lower body absorbing the dynamics of the sidecut and reaction to the snow. So for ME I work from the top down not the other way around. But I never passed my instructor exams even though I can always school the schoolers. What do I really know, is just what works for me.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I should start by saying that I'm not an instructor

My first intro to foot steering was a DVD call Go Snowboard. It has some pretty good instruction for turning, from beginner to advanced, all based around using the feet to control the board. Which I'm assuming is what people have collectively called "foot steering".

They highlight 3 elements:
- pressure control
- edge control
- steering

The steering part is where the term "peddling" comes from - as they liken it to one foot pushing down, as if on a peddle, while the other foot lifts up, in opposition.

I always thought their introduction for beginners was quite "technical", but the advice for intermediate and advanced turning is excellent.

I later found that this method seems to be the approach adopted by British instructors, which is where the interest leading to this post came from.

It's a while ago now, but I wrote a review of the DVD if you're interested:
Go Snowboard Instructional DVD

Cheers, Gavin
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburban Blend View Post
upper body works on steeps with retraction of the lower body.

Foot steering is nice, but I feel the "key" is upper and lower body seperation.
  • Upper body stays balanced in the direction of travel
  • Lower body flexes and extends to handle the what the board is doing
and leading stems from the eyes (where are you going) to the upper body getting balanced to the lower body absorbing the dynamics of the sidecut and reaction to the snow. So for ME I work from the top down not the other way around. But I never passed my instructor exams even though I can always school the schoolers. What do I really know, is just what works for me.
Totally agree with this post.

I just don't understand why instructors over there are making you abandon upper body steering.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo View Post
Totally agree with this post.

I just don't understand why instructors over there are making you abandon upper body steering.
x2

It seems a lot of instructors are lazy or something. Turns should be initiated by your core (hips) and your shoulders. Teaching students to scrub off speed and steer with their feet will get them down the hill faster the first time, but as they progress, they'll have to relearn everything or be f-ed. All your balance and body control comes from your core, so if you ignore that as your speed increases, you'll be headed for Smashyville.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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YES, driving that center of mass down the fall line is all I "think about" when riding.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Your hips and shoulders are what make snowboarding fun when you get good. By being able to manipulate both body segments and throw your whole weight in the right direction at the right time, you can achieve huge carves, powder slashes, freestyle moves. I can understand maybe for the beginner to stick to foot steering, but if you try and not use your shoulders I think your only going to cripple your riding.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Actually, in my experience, most movement originates in the hips. Then the legs/shoulders follow from this.

Try a little experiment next time you are out riding to see if its true. With a centered stance, try turning using your 'core', your hips and abs. Then try turning focusing just on your legs, and try turning focusing just on your upper body.

Really, the upper body/lower body thing is not that important. Its all one movement, it shouldn't be broken up. Its good to focus on specific things like shoulders and knees to see how they affect turning, but in the end, its just one body moving at adapt to snow, terrain, and equipment.

As for pedaling, i never learned that as a beginner practice, it takes a fair bit of balance to do it well. I use it for introducing light carving.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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To be honest, I couldn't explain how I ride all that well. It just comes naturally you know?
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