So im having lessons at the moment and i come to a block on my last boarding lesson while attempting linked turns. I wondered if anyone else has hit this slight snag whilst learning and can offer any advice. I ride regular and im trying to turn from toeside -> heelside passing through the fall line. The problem i am having is that my turn is getting stuck (and stopping) on the fall line itself, which is not good as in the time im trying to complete the turn im already travelling way to fast and abort. I have heard this is a common problem but have not been able to find any good advice on how to correct thi issue. My instructor said to practice which is great but this is clearly nothing practice will fix and appears to be an issue with the theory side.. practice will only make me fail repeatedly.. and it hurts
I'm not an instructor so I can't give you legit advice, but one of the key things to connecting smooth turns is that you need to be leaning forward, and you HAVE to commit fully to the turn. When you are first starting out, this is very hard to do because it feels like you are going to fall. and until you get smooth at it, it's going to feel like you are gaining way to much speed and becoming out of control. Once you start linking the turn your body will remember and it will become like second nature and you will start to feel much more in control at higher speeds.
Best advice I can give is to keep forcing yourself to make that turn and avoid trying to bail out early. It's crucial in snowboarding to commit to whatever you are doing, because bailing out at the last second can have greater consequences.
When I first started out on ski's, I picked it up really fast simply because I was able to commit to my turns and not bail out all the time.
a few points to keep in mind
1- the first and most important thing is to keep your weight centered, or even a little more on your front foot. This will help you stay over your board and control it better, which means you don't have to force anything.
Most beginners freak out when the board points down the fall line, and lean back. Its difficult to stand in that super-heavy-rear-foot kind of stance, much less make the board turn. So first thing is STAND OVER THE BOARD, you are riding it, not the other way around.
No matter how scary it may seem at first, standing over the board is the most natural position, and by far the easiest way to control it and keep from falling.
2- Turning should be pretty much effortless if you are standing properly on the board. An easy way to visualize toe-to heel turns is not in the feet, but your navel. When you are on your toes, your bellybutton should be pointing uphill. Just turn it downhill. If you are standing centered over the board, a small sustained twist in the direction you want to go is all you need.
You shouldn't have to twist unnaturally or forcefully, its just as if you are say, holding a tray of drinks on front of you, and twist your upper body to place the tray on a table beside you, without moving your feet.
(remember to quit twisting as soon as the turn is completed, and start linking the next turn, or else you may end up spinning a 360)
3- Timing. One more big problem beginners have is when to switch the edges. It is a very subtle movement that can be a bit difficult at first.
From your description, it seems like you can the the board to point down the fall line. Some people get excited because its here that you start to really pick up speed, and because its scary, they want to complete the turn as quickly as possible. So the end up cranking onto their heel edge to early or too much, and end up falling over.
If thats the case, go to a gentler slope to practice, where you don't pick up as much speed and can relax more thru the turn. Make your turns big, and edging slow and deliberate. Remember to edge with your heel as you try to get that bellybutton pointing downhill. If you do one without the other, is will be akward.
Hope that helps
Thanks ever so much for your replies i have found them most useful and can definatly apply some of these tips straight away on my next lesson. Use of the shoulders and making sure my weight is slightly on the front foot is what i shall concentrate on firstly. I can control the board well and the first part of the turn is immediate nose down to the fall line no problem, it just seems like their is an invisible barrier fighting against me to prevent following through. I can assure you i am certainly not bailing early im using pretty much all of the learning slope before i have to pull it back into an edge slip and safely stop. I know its something in my technique that is preventing me from doing this because its the same story every run hit the fall line cant push it through 180 to switch. The more i think about the technique i was using when at the fall line the more i feel confident that i just need to make sure weight is slightly forward and just apply a little shoulder or (naval twist as you put it) and i will be switching edges in no time. I know that if i can just get it to work for me once and feel what is the right combination to make the board push through the fall line i can repeat it no sweat. I tried explaining my situation to my instructor but the advice he delivered didnt work for me again and again so i just felt i had to ask..
Once again thanks for your feedback and tips i will apply it and let you know how i progress in 5 days time after my next lesson.
kind regards dave.
What may help for you (has helped for me):
Work the motions while standing on flat ground. Make sure you understand the posture and technique right down to the gut level. Then go onto a gentle slope and do the move while concentrating on the technique and not on what's happening to you and your board.
This sounds like trite advice to "just do it right", but it isn't. You are unconsciously reacting in some way to the turn and the slope and (probably) leaning back. So instead, go into the turn motion and concentrate on holding your weight on your forward foot and holding your shoulders rotated heelside. Forget about the board and the slope, forget about avoiding a crash. Forget about your goal being to complete the turn. Make your goal to keep your weight on your forward foot for a few seconds longer. Be a statue. Your technique will probably suck, but you very likely will complete the turn.
Thanks for your input guys, taking all your replies into account i just spent two hours switching from heel to toe and toe to heel.. on both the practice slope then on the main slope. Im nearly there now but my instructor didnt sign me off fully because i wasnt turning from the top of the hill, just need to relax and try not to think too hard about what im doing and just letting it happen. Its a shame i hit that block last week otherwise i would have completed everything today and been ready to go without instruction but the important thing is that i have made good progress this week where as last week i made very little.
Once again thanks for your tips they really helped me progress and gave me a positive attitude that i had the power of a little extra knowledge. Passed level 4 just need to do main slope ready lesson which is turning from the top of the main slope and not waiting till half way down hehe
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