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Old 12-17-2011, 12:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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TJ, you're going to have a blast riding at Meadows with Snowolf. I know I did. You'll also come out a better rider for it.
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:18 PM   #12 (permalink)
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damn Snowolf,you need to come to Montanalike the OP's issue,i have the same issue.its my second season and its the steeps(especially if its chopped up)is my worse enemy.picking lines and COMMITING to my toe side is scary.i'm practicing the lean forward then turn toeside while lower to the board technique.its easier when its groomed but when its like mogul type terrain,different story.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:13 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Billings,eastern Montana. thanks for the tip.i do find my hand already up front to stop eating snow when i commit to the turn.i hope someday i can film myself and see WTF!thanks again.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Sno, what is the proper form then for riding the steep?
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:33 AM   #15 (permalink)
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if you want to ride steep shit with 'proper' form then you need to be able to ride as fast as you can on pretty much the entire mountain while staying in control.

you have to be able to transition from edge to edge while you are riding at top speed otherwise you'll just turn the whole way down the face to slow yourself down, crossing the entire slope on each turn, looking like a pussy. not a critique on you, just a fact. a lot of people say they can 'ride blacks and double blacks all day' but they aren't even going down the fall line, they're just swishing back and forth.

so ride as fast as you can without crashing into shit and other people - all the time. especially when the snow is softer and risking injury is lower.


the nest thing to do is to learn to look down the hill and recognize which features you should suck up with your knees, and which features you should air off of. flying off of a little bump at high speed will get you a fair ways down the mountain, and depending on where it lands you is a great way to 'skip' parts of the hill you might now want to turn down - saves your legs.

cliffs and drops come next, and if you want to learn that shit at meadows i'll fucks wit ya too.... i might even beat 'ol Wolfie down the hill
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:20 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Where in Montana? I grew up in Stevensville about 20 miles south of Missoula.

I will throw something out there in the event that it may help. You specifically mentioned toeside on steeps was a problem. I battled with this for so many years. I had good flexion-extension, fore-aft movements, etc. I could not figure it out. I mean I was able to drop 50 degree plus pitches, but my toeside turns just were not fluid like my heelside.

Rode with my friend Grizz on this forum and I asked for his help when we rode the steeps. He spotted my issue first run of the day. Something I was doing but totally not aware of was that while my riding form was really solid everywhere else, in steep terrain, when going into my toe side turn, I would move my rear hand forward out in front of me in a purely defensive position (to catch my fall if I ate shit) Even though my front shoulder alignment was generally pretty good, this movement with the rear hand totally sabotaged good toe side entry. It never showed up until I was on terrain where every movement became super critical.

This is why steeps is often so difficult for even very solid riders. Any small little "bad habit" that you can get away with everywhere else, rears its ugly head when you get on 45 plus degree pitches.

Anyway, may not be an issue for you, but next time you hit the steeps, try this experiment. As you commit to initiating your toeside turn on the steeps, Actually, "throw" your back hand back behind you. Now, this is not a proper way to ride, but it is a way for you to actually experience the effect this has on how your board dives into that turn. Try it a few times to see if it helps. Don`t ride this way for sure, but this test will help you determine if that is what may be happening. If so, start really making an effort to keep that back hand behind you.

We all see people riding down the hill with that back hand out in front of them. We call it the "mystery date" Some people are so horrible about this that you can spot if from the chairlift even on easy green runs. Most of us who are advanced riders, shit like this does not usually show up until we get on terrain that really challenges us.
Thanks for the great advise Snowolf!
I find myself with the same difficulty...

Just wanted to let you know that I have been recommending your YouTube videos with all my buddies. I live in Miami but am originally from Mendoza, Argentina. Have you been there?
My riding friends fly from Argentina to CO once a year and that's when my wife looses track of me for a week
So I must warn you, you have several fans down in the Southern hemisphere!!
Thanks again!
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TJFunk View Post
I have been snowboarding for about 10 years now (only regularly for the last couple years.) I have little confidence in myself when attempting more difficult runs.

I have had issues with really steep runs especially. I turn in toeside fine but I freak when it comes time to lean downhill...

Anybody else have this problem?

I want to at least conquer a small cliff or two before I die (preferably not from 'conquering' a cliff).
Option A: Start downhill mountain biking (snowboarding steeps is easier) You can stop your board completely on a double black slope, once you head down on a bike, you're committed! with exception to a journey over the handlebars :P

P.s. Putting yourself in situations where you're forced to commit your nose downhill will teach you that it isn't a death sentence. Eg: Do more tree riding. Sometimes there's no room to speed check, let alone stop :P

Option B: Go back to the easy peasy runs and go MACH 1. This gets you used to the speed that you'll accumulate very quickly on the advanced runs. You have to learn that it's okay to 'let yourself go'.

Option C: Which should be included along with option a and/or b - Start telling yourself that you're confident man! (Terje Haaksonen didn't actually know he could shred that Alaskan mountain on Descent, but he did). Hint: I tell myself I can do a buttered pretzel off a rail or box by the end of the season. I believe it and I'll do it. Simple as that. Contrary to popular thought, 'Seeing is not believing'. Every great athlete in any sport visualizes the task at hand and is already an expert before the first attempt.

Option D: Expert riding buddy. (After option C, this is the bread earner for progression)

I went from falling on my arse at the start of my first season to riding double blacks at the end of that season because my buddy is an expert skier and literally refused to go down any blue runs, with exception to the warm up on first chair of the day. I got pissed off at him on numerous occasions, my ass literally turned purple the first couple sessions, I was exhausted and bloody cold from making out with the snow.
You simply can't make up for the value in learning and being forced to progress by a great skier/boarder. The above highlights in part the 'pain' I went through going down these lines. There's nothing stopping you from doing more advanced runs, but you. Funny part was one day when I told my buddy that I was going to do that double black run before the end of the season. His response, lets do it - what are you waiting for. Lol, so I did it about two months sooner than planned. Actually, that's not true, I already did it in my head :P

Need an example from the public eye. Tiger woods just now managed to win his first tourney since his wife and caddy went buh-bye. Is his physical form the same? You betcha - only difference was that he was probably telling himself that he was undeserving to win or that he couldn't because he had already lost the biggest battle of his life, his wife. None of us here can help you with self confidence. If you don't have it - then at least fake it and say it out loud. I'm gonna do that run!

The power of self belief and an expert pushing you = success.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:32 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Shred`s method works but us old guys can`t quite take the pounding like that without paying for it the next day...

Different methods are required for different snow conditions. If you are riding down a 45 degree pitch in powder, you will ride it differently than if that same pitch was firm or icy. With soft snow and powder, you can use short radius dynamic skidded turns that take you down the fall line fairly straight. If the surface is firm or icy, you will be making larger radius turns that are more of a dynamic carved turn.

I tend to ride a bit slower and more deliberate in the steeps. Being very dynamic and being flexed as low as you can go and as forward as you can go to initiate your turns is key regardless of the turn type you employ. Rising up through each turn and shifting aft really maintains control and drives your board through the turn very assertively.

On a steep pitch, speed can be problematic so you want to spend as little time as possible with your board pointing down the fall line. Using turn shape ( completing your turns ) is key to this and this where the fore-aft movement really helps. Making that edge change early before the board crosses the fall line is also key. It sets your edge early and allows you the best control through your turn.

Good flexion at all times is important on the steeps and using down unweighting to make your edge changes is ultra important. When riding a steep pitch, if you are riding too stiff legged, you get bounced around and away from the mountain. Every time this happens, you loose edge hold and then have to regain it. This tends to start that "kachunk kachunk kachunk" skidding thing. By keeping the legs loose, you absorb these bumps and keep your board locked into the hill.

Down unweighting.... Most riders tend to up unweight when making an edge change. We come out of a turn and pop up a little and switch edges. It is a fun way to ride and is very intuitive. Not necessarily anything wrong with that, but it can get us in trouble on steep terrain where you never really want to throw yourself away from the mountain. A down unweight is done exactly the opposite. Instead of a pop up, it is a sudden, relaxation of the legs to allow your upper body to drop down toward your board. Some prefer to think of this as sucking your legs up toward you like you might do after the pop on a jump. Either way of thinking is essentially correct as it accomplishes the same thing.

The thing that is a bit different is you come out of each turn at your maximum extension and then drop to switch edges. This sudden drop, momentarily unweights your board and that is the moment you make this positive edge switch. Now, instead of pushing yourself away from the mountain, you actually have dropped towards it and kept your board solidly in contact with it the entire time.

As Shred pointed out he likes to actually air off of things and deliberately throw himself away from the mountain. As a result he "skips" sections. The real reason people do this is we like those little moments of actually being out of control. but only riders who have the skills to regain that control should ever try this. Neither he nor I would do this on an icy day because once airborne like this, we would never get our edge reset once we landed on a steep pitch. In these conditions and for newer steeps riders, your goal is try to never let your edge leave the snow.

Have you ever noticed that when trying steep terrain, it always seems to be that point right after you initiate a turn that you loos edge hold and start skidding down the hill? This is almost always the result of up unweighting to turn and then having your board off of the snow in a free fall back onto it and trying to reset your edge. This is particularly bad for the heelside turn when we naturally are a little stiffer. If you start trying this down unweighting movement, you will find that you eliminate most of this issue.
Damn, it sounds as if you watched a video of me you described my steeps to a T.

At the end of last season on an SL I was very confident and was (unknowingly) doing that down unweighting you describe and was flying down the mountain pretty fast. Fast for me at least.

This year on an Evo and not being on a board all year I was very very hesitant. And just like you said on my heel side turn I would lose my edge and skid a little. Also due to the slope was pushed around a bit bumping me around.

I know the Evo isn't the best board to try and learn steeps but it's all I got so I'm not looking to mach the steep, just go about it not looking like a falling leaf
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:00 AM   #19 (permalink)
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haha i wondered what the "un weighting" was actually called. i started doing that last year. just cruising down normal open/clear black runs was boring, so i started "jumping" into turns. i would be riding toe, and pop up a little and land heel side facing down the hill going the other way. i thought it looked a bit "steezy"

and im not sure if i jump off things to "skip" parts of the mountain, more just to add variety and intensity and style to the line. because just riding down the mountain is not as fun, i look to jump off/over/on just about everything, and whether it works or not or if it looks good, well i find that out after i land it.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:22 AM   #20 (permalink)
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i look to jump off/over/on just about everything, and whether it works or not or if it looks good, well i find that out after i land it.
i'm talking about 50-60mph...
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