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Old 12-22-2011, 12:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Freeride tips

Just got back from my first trip of the season which was epic pow(Japan). For my first trip of the season I am pretty happy with my riding. This will be my fourth season.

I am looking to work on using my upper body more and more flexion and extension.

The conditions in the video were pretty heavy mogully pow at the end of my trip. Just can't bring myself to spend time fiddling with my camera and leapfrogging with my buddy when the pow is perfect.

If anyone (who knows what they are talking about) has any useful tips for me to improve my riding I am all ears.

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Old 12-22-2011, 12:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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your riding looks a little choppy, i don't know any other way to describe it. you have the motions right but you seem to be a little high and stiff legged.

focus on riding lower to the ground, letting your legs do the work rather than your upper body. I find i ride much more fluid and can soak up the bumps better when i do this. it almost feels like riding in a crouch but when the balance evens out you aren't you are just lower.

im not an expert a dynamics of snowboarding but i do know that most of the work is done with our legs and very little upper body. they are the biggest muscles in your body and work the best over time. your upper body stays relaxed and your legs are very flexed when riding straight then push out into the turns to work the board.

once you get it you will know because everything feels more fluid and less jerky.

you do it when riding the roug stuff but not on the groomed parts.

sweet tunes in the vid too

Last edited by Riley212; 12-22-2011 at 12:58 AM.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You are right... your upper body should be leading your turns. Currently, you front shoulder arm is dangling limply or madly flailing to keep your balance. Try to point/swing your arm (and thereby your shoulder) in the direction that you want your board to go in.

This is what you want to progress towards (realize that this is just an example, you will need a lot of lessons/practice to get to this level). Jump to 0:35 to see how an expert rides moguls and bumpy powder. Look at how he uses his arm and shoulder rotation to initiate his turn.


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Old 12-22-2011, 02:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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you were flailing your arms around all over the place (im sure you knew that though lol). i mean a few times your arms were almost spinning in circles. i have found that can be avoided by knowing very confidently what you are doing at the time. for instance, there is no reason to move your arms for stability after doing a little jump if you KNOW you are going to take off clean, and you are centered up to land clean, you can just focus on keeping your arms at a neutral position and stomping the landing clean. When i start riding like that i start thinking how im starting to get a bit sloppy and either slow it down a bit so you can react to all of the sudden changes better, or make more of my own turns. when its choppy like it was in some parts of the video when riding across all of those lines you are at the mercy of the chopped up terrain. if you initiate more of your own turns at least you know where you are turning, whats happening, and what the board is doing so you can tense up and relax for it, instead of just riding over the rough stuff and reacting late the unexpected movements. as stated before staying lower and being a bit more "aggressive" stance will help you react better to those sudden changes, and you wont need to flail your arms if your legs are taking the pounding and doing the reacting. i noticed a few times when you went on the side of the trail or changed terrain you didn't really prepare for where you were going, and the board almost got pushed up into you, instead of you bringing the board up yourself. crouching down a bit more there would probably help more there, allowing more travel of your legs (sort of like the suspension of a car) looking at some of your little jumps it almost looks like you are just waiting for the board to land and see what happens, instead of knowing how you are going to land clean, mostly you are hopping off, leaning back (or not leaning at all and landing how you took off, which will end up landing tail) and landing tail, which forces you to overcompensate forward to balance back out, which makes it looks a bit sloppy. i tried
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Last edited by IdahoFreshies; 12-22-2011 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I appreciate both responses. I know how to get low and flex my legs, I am mostly standing up taller on the piste to save my legs for the deeper steep stuff. This was my first outing of the season and the vids are from the end of the 3rd day. I needed to rest my legs by standing up taller when I could (on the piste).
Its a valid point, but I am really not worried about that I am getting low enough when I need to IMO.

I think lonerider has it which is that I need to initiate my turns with my upper body more effectively.
I am aware of this too and have been working on it and will continue to do so.

Flailing madly is a nice description (and accurate). It wasn't exactly a mogul field more irregular bumps and pretty steep. I was working hard to keep my balance for sure.

Hell of a lot of fun though.

Will post up more vids as the season progresses and I will be working on both these points.
Staying low all the while is just a matter of getting my legs back in condition.
I will be working on using my leading arm and shoulders more to lead my turns.

I am kind of looking for an instructor that I feel I want to learn from. Just anyone is no good for me. Ideally someone recommended by a friend.

Again thanks for the input and more from anyone else is welcome.

Just saw your response Idaho. Thanks and I like what you said about anticipating the landing on the jumps more.

Last edited by dreampow; 12-22-2011 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 12-22-2011, 03:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I would say as a snowboard instructor that the problem is not your arms, at least it's not the main problem.

The problem is your upper body leaning way over your toeside wich makes you very unbalanced and forcing your arms to flail around like crazy.

Try to think of a straight line along your shoulders, knees and feet. That means bending your knees to get a low position, NOT THE HIPS!

A lot of people make this mistake, trying to get down low by leaning their upper body over their toe-edge rather than bending the knees and showing off their Bodompodom domp =)

Look at the body position of this guy
Advanced Snowboarding Tips : How to Go Fast on a Snowboard - YouTube
That is kind of what you have to strive to achive, he is riding groomers but the same position is used for all terrain (of course a little more weight on your backleg in pow)

Good luck!
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Dreampow,

First off I am super jealous of such good powder. Meadows tonight was bulletproof ice again and no snow in the forecast.

As for your riding, generally, very solid and you have some good foundational skills. Some things I noticed doing some MA here.

1) Breaking at the waist. In most of your riding you are really bent over. Try to maintain a more upright upper body.

2) Arms all over the place. Generally, this is a result of something not happening as well as it should with the lower body and the rider needs these large movements to regain balance. Anytime the back hand goes out in front, it creates rotational force that is usually country to what the rider wants. Try to keep the arms more quiet and down lower.

3) Not seeing much upper/lower body separation. Some of the riding is very dynamic, but you tend to to keep the upper body in line with the snowboard. For more dynamic riding in this type of terrain, allow your lower body to move with the snowboard while maintaining your upper body more with the front shoulder pointing down the fall line. Dynamic skidded or cross under turns are the key for better control in this type of terrain.

4) Up unweighting. very often, you are popping up to switch edges and this as adding to the getting thrown around effect we are seeing. Dropping down toward the board to unweight it and switch edges will help here. With an up unweight or pop, you are throwing yourself up and away from the hill then having to land and reset your edge. try using down unweighting more.

5) No fore aft movements. We generally think that in powder we need to ride in the back seat. Not entirely true not all of the time. When you are bombing these runs, you appear to be out of control a lot of the time. Along with down unweighting and good flexion/extension, fore aft movements are a huge help. Start each turn fully flexed (after the down unweight) and also with your body weight shifted toward the nose. As you are about halfway through the turn, shift your board ahead with your legs and end up with your weight on your back foot. This action drives the board through turn completion and really gets it pointed across the fall line, even slightly uphill and this helps you to really ride this terrain in a more fluid, graceful manner.

6) Flexion and extension. I am seeing pretty good range of motion here for the most part. The thing I am also seeing is that your timing is often off. You flex at points where you should be extending and vice versa.

Overall, very solid intermediate to advanced riding, but you are still getting worked by the terrain more than I think you really want. Try working on fore-aft movements and down unweighting on mellow terrain and get it dialed in, then try it on stuff like this.

lots to work on here, much appreciated.
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Shifting your base

Lot's of good, spot on advice already given but I wanted to add one thing. To accomplish more of a down unweighted transition and really start to kill it in the crud you need to shift your base of support.
Right now, for the most part, you are moving your body around, relative to the board to ride. In order to really kill it in uneven terrain, and in my opinion make the transition to more advanced rider, you need to start moving the board around relative to your body, namely your core. Stiffen and flex your core and focus on using your legs to manipulate the board rather than your weight/body. In the example of up unweighting vs. down unweighting, in up unweighting you extend your legs to move your body upward from the board to unweight it. The board roughly stays weight it is and the body/core moves away from the board. In down unweighting, you contract your legs quickly such that the core/body stays where it is and to board moves upward to become unweighted(this is part of the reason I dislike the term down unweighting as i find it misleading, but that's another thread).
Watch the CASI Level 4 video that Lonerider posted and you'll see what I am talking about. Their upperbody/core barely moves while the board is in constant motion, almost always moving relative to the riders core.
Understanding this, IMO, is the key to getting the advice above.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks a lot guys, really happy with all the helpful advice. I know some of these things will improve a lot as I get into boarding condition, especially bending at the hip. Here is a shot of me last Feb in mid season which is more my usual stance.



I know I do bend at the hip sometimes especially on challenging terrain and I will be working on that as well as the other points.

Keeping my arms calmer is something I really want to work on, again this comes out more on challenging terrain.

I will definitely take some lessons and will do some research into that today.

This trip puts me at 55 days on a snowboard, not that much so I think I can still change my form quite easily.

This unweighting concept is something I am just starting to understand (mentally).

I learned the basics from a friend and have never had a lesson.

This year I bought a season pass for this mountain and I hope to get many more days on the snow.

I really do appreciate the advice and think this is one of the best parts of our forum.

Its a shame some of the threads turn into ego battles because I think most people on here just want some useful advice and help.

Still I realize its pointless to tell people to be more respectful to others.

I will definitely post up more vids here as the season goes on and I look forward to more advice and help.

If any of you have the means get over here for a trip.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreampow View Post
I know I do bend at the hip sometimes especially on challenging terrain and I will be working on that as well as the other points.

Keeping my arms calmer is something I really want to work on, again this comes out more on challenging terrain.

I will definitely take some lessons and will do some research into that today.

This trip puts me at 55 days on a snowboard, not that much so I think I can still change my form quite easily.

I really do appreciate the advice and think this is one of the best parts of our forum.

Its a shame some of the threads turn into ego battles because I think most people on here just want some useful advice and help.

Still I realize its pointless to tell people to be more respectful to others.

I will definitely post up more vids here as the season goes on and I look forward to more advice and help.
Cool, good luck and definitely post more videos as you progress. You have the proper attitude for getting better.

Too many people just want to hate since they can't post "video responses" since they suck at riding and just like getting their LULZ on the interwebz.
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