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Old 03-10-2011, 04:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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As Snowolf notes "Bombing these runs on ice like this is 90% lack of fear and 10% skill really."

Imho, its the other way around...you have to REALLY like/enjoy speed. And the skill is like driving on ice...you have to drive and look waaaaaaaay ahead, use subtle...feather-like touch...no hard turns, just big arching turns and no hard/quick stops/breaking...its like downshifting/or going through phases to slow down...and you don't worry about the bumps and imperfections....cause they happened 1 second ago and 50-75 feet back....you float over them....let your loose body absorb the minor things. Its kind of a different mind/body set...you got to be loose...but quiet...and percise with a feather touch...and totally focused on the big picture and let your cat-like (no mind) intititutive instincts take care of the little things.

I ride with a couple of tuck and point skiiers who love ice...they clock 70+ mph on this one run...me hitting 50 mph. But toward the bottom of the run it gets narrower and the turns get tighter so have to start downshifting way before getting to that area. Part of the control is knowing the run well enough to do things like pre-ollie before the top of the rollers so that you don't get tooo launched....and while airbone...remaining compact, relaxed and quiet....no flapping.
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ice was always one of my biggest fears to ride when starting out because I always ended up eating it. Even though my skills progress after starting out, I was always hestitant to ride on ice. I would avoid trails with ice or ride down it very slowly. One day, I just said f it and rode it with "no fear" and I completely surprised myself on how well I did. You do have to have some skills obviously to ride through ice, but I think fear is a big factor for a lot of people that I talked to, including myself. A lot of people can enjoy riding at high speeds, like on pow or groomers, but it's usually a different story on ice as it was for me. I'm no where as tense/nervous about riding on ice I use to be so my body now is a lot more loose and I feel much more comfortable as well as in control when riding on ice, while occasionally bombing it.

I recently upgraded my board to a LibTech with magnetraction earlier this season and I have to say, it makes a huge difference when riding on ice.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gravityhomer View Post
Thanks for the replies and advice everyone. I really appreciate it. And realize I need to not be so hard on myself with the ice. Today started out like a nightmare, no control, no confidence, braking all the time, afraid I was going to take another bad fall like I did earlier in the week so I sat in the lodge mopping for an hour. Than smacked myself out of it and forced myself to go back out there. Basically I just wanted to get back to the bottom of the half pipe so I could watch some more runs, made it there eventually, not happy. After all the sessions were done, and getting ready to leave I start talking with this older guy on a snowboard who was apparently one of the officials. He asked me how things were and I told him horrible, but that I'm a beginner, so I'm not handling the ice well. He offered me a piece of advice, not having seen me ride at all. Told me to really sit into it more. Keep the upper body straight and just sit my butt down more toward the board, knees bent. Even told me to do it, just standing there. Had me compare my ankle mobility while standing up straight vs a knees bent sit down position more, and yeah, it is way easier to move my ankles when I am sitting down into it. I was kind of amazed, because here was a guy that didn't know me at all, and in the matter of a few minutes he gave me some advice and had me try movements that demonstrated the advice. He was an older guy who has been snowboarding for 25 years.

So my wife and I went for two more runs and even though it was still the same ice out there, I actually felt more comfortable trying to do what the guy said. It made a huge difference. On the steep parts I had to brake mostly anyway, but I went from 90% of the time breaking, to 50% of the time breaking, this is a huge change of speed. I'm sure I knew about this proper form before and did it, but I don't think I was really aware of it.

Definitely because of the ice I was tensing up and standing to tall and not bending the knees to absorb. And I've never heard about the sitting into the board, that is a great way to think about it. And really it looks like what most of the people just riding straight are doing. I still find it tough to ride mostly straight while switching edges. But thinking about this form, I can at least imagine it happening now.

Hellude, I'll take your advice on the lean, that will hopefully help with keeping my knees bent.

Snowolf, you're right, I am really hard on myself. I guess part of me just feels, that because I'm older, I'm so behind on the sport and I just want to get better so much faster.

Hobomaster, just to give you an idea of scale, I didn't want to go all out on the icy trails. Just ride a normal pace, basically not be a hazard skidding sideways for everyone to try to avoid.
3 things helped me best in icy conditions, besides avoiding them altogether.


My padded shorts cp2500 My protective gloves:level-super-pipe-pro

And following the "flow" on icy slopes...riding that patch instead of turning on it, and look for spots in the sun where the base would be softer.

Protections will give you more confidence, and being able to bounce your azz over ice instead of suffering for 2 minutes after a washout, makes a big difference.
WE use our hands as tools, instead of poles, a bit of protection for your hands is a smart thing, considering how many bones you can break in your wrist.
All that and more riding should do it.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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So today was interesting. Went from ice the last 3 days to thick heavy snow this morning. About a 6-12 inches it seemed like on most trails and more falling all morning. At first I was having just as much trouble. My nose was diving straight in and then I would bite. The changing conditions were so confusing. Eventually I worked it out and I was able to work on getting use to some speed in a forgiving environment. The whole time I thought about slicing the snow and not spreading, that and my knees being bent the whole time really made it easier to keep some speed going. Had to lean back a little too. After the first run, I did decide to switch from my camber board which I was using for the ice, over to the rocker board I just got. That made a huge difference in staying above the powder. Although I feel i should be able to do just fine on my camber board, most other people had them. But another good learning experience.

Of course the snow switched over to sleet and freezing rain at noon and that kept up all afternoon, ruining the nice powder. It will rain all night and into tomorrow. Oh well. hopefully the sky will be all rained out by sat.
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