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-   -   Heelside Carves (http://www.snowboardingforum.com/tips-tricks-snowboard-coaching/45093-heelside-carves.html)

WolfSnow 01-06-2012 09:06 PM

Heelside Carves
 
First of all, I did use the search function, and I couldn't find anything related to this topic, so either I'm really bad at using it or the topic titles are really mis-guiding.

I'm having some trouble with heelside carves. I can do toeside just fine, but whenever I go heelside I find the snow keeps falling away from under my edge and I have to re catch it (if you know what I mean), which just ruins everything. It's as if my heelside edge won't dig in as efficiently as my toeside edge.
It's frustrating because I really enjoy carving and its a shame going from a powerful toeside carve into a shaky heelside.
Any thoughts?

Additional info:
Female rider, groomed trails with ice underneath a small layer of snow (thanks east coast), duck stance @18.

Bayoh 01-06-2012 10:44 PM

When I started getting into intermediate skill level I had a similar problem. Toe edge carves were nice and smooth, but heel edge felt shaky.

What I noticed I was doing when I went into toe edge carves my body naturally tended to lean forward downhill through the carve keeping even weight across the board. When transitioning to heel edge I had a tendency to lean back a bit without thinking about it. This backseating would cause my board to slide out from under me through the carve which is what I think is happening to you?

After focusing on keeping even weight distribution by leaning forward a tad through the transition the problem for me disappeared.

AAA 01-07-2012 05:15 PM

Adding on to Snowolf's response... On heelside's, bend your knees and drive your hips towards the snow, while maintaining an upright body. Get the board high on edge. Higher edge angles have better edge hold. Try some drills where you change the angle of the board (mid-carve) solely by driving your hips uo and down, then solely by bending your ankles up and down. That works great to help you feel the relationship of each. Also, try setting your highbacks forward so your calves have something to brace against. Your heelsides should become much more powerful.

http://i704.photobucket.com/albums/w...n/Heelside.jpg

KIRKRIDER 01-07-2012 05:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AAA (Post 463123)
Adding on to Snowolf's response... On heelside's, bend your knees and drive your hips towards the snow, while maintaining an upright body. Get the board high on edge. Higher edge angles have better edge hold. Try some drills where you change the angle of the board (mid-carve) solely by driving your hips uo and down, then solely by bending your ankles up and down. That works great to help you feel the relationship of each. Also, try setting your highbacks forward so your calves have something to brace against. Your heelsides should become much more powerful.

http://i704.photobucket.com/albums/w...n/Heelside.jpg

Nice angles on those bindings! That helps too ;)

AAA 01-07-2012 07:24 PM

Haha, Yes, Hardboots with forward angles and an alpine deck definitely help, though the fundamentals are the same with any snowboard gear. :D That pic just demonstrates the text clearly.

AAA 01-07-2012 09:46 PM

Snowolf, Yes, In that pic my lower body is inclined, which helps with a high board edge angle (bite) but has the upper body upright to prevent the center of mass from being too low and overpowering the edge with lateral pressure. In great ("hero") snow conditions, extreme carving (not this pic) can also be done with the upper body straightened against the snow and in-line with the legs (no angulation), which are extended at the apex of the carve down the fall line. The difference in the "degree" of inclination you see in the conventional carving pic, I suspect, probably stems from the capability of hard vs. soft gear. Softboot riders with that much board angle usually need even more knee bend and are maxed out on angulation for the edge to hold. There are some great hardcarving softboot vids on youtube, which show this. Again though, the pic is just intended to show the relationship of inclination and angulation.

On the flipside, it is sometimes problematic to thigh- or butt-out on heelside carves that have "too" much inclination though. That's where your thigh/butt gets too low to the snow and bears enough weight to unload the board edge. You're headed for a downhill spin in that case, like a toy top. Similar (and perhaps more problematic) is for the knees to bottom out on the snow in toeside carves (all with very angulated, non-extreme carving, which uses a very different technique).

http://i704.photobucket.com/albums/w.../Heelside2.jpg

http://i704.photobucket.com/albums/w.../Heelside3.jpg

AAA 01-07-2012 11:01 PM

Snowolf, For the given edge angle, softboot setups typically need deeper knee bend/more angulation. Alpine deck lengths vary widely depending on the speed, intended carve radii, and conditions, from the mid 150's up, suited to the rider. No longer necessarily stiff, newer shapes and materials have made alpine decks much eaiser to carve...and more versatile and forgiving in the last 5 or so years. Deck length goes hand in hand with rider weight, sidecut, aggressiveness, speed, etc. Slalom radius decks usually start in the the 150's. GS decks commonly go to 185 or so. A rare few go to 200+. "Ice coast" freecarve decks seem to mostly range in the 160's and 170's. I'm fond of my 182, but have to rail a little harder in heavy crowds. :D

With the newer decambered nose/tail geometry, even a "long" board rides like much shorter board when skidded turns are needed because the nose and tail aren't set with a high enough edge angle to be engaged with bulk of the cambered body. When carving (using high edge angles), they are engaged, and help intitiate with hookup, guidance, and release, and provide the full running length for maximum edgehole. The "titanal" aluminum alloy now used in most high end decks also has an incredible dampening property, taking away significant chatter. The now-prevalent variable sidecut also has a dramatic impact on initiation, release, and overall variable turning radius. Of course, some models are "hold onto your @ss", rip down the fall line setups, but we've come a long way from the PJ, baby. :thumbsup:

No wild technique specialization neccessary, beyond adapting to angles and performance.

cocolulu 01-07-2012 11:44 PM

I actually feel more comfortable on my heel edge than my toe edge... I just want to describe how I attempt to "carve" and see if it's ok or not, since everyone seems to have different ideas (keeping in mind, that I'm still sort of intermediate).

When I switch from the toe edge to heel edge, I tend to squat low, bending my knees, and then lift the front foot, followed quickly by the back foot, not rushing the turn until I feel the heel edge bite in. I then do lean back a bit, bend my ankles upwards (pull my toes towards my shins), and push out with my knees to drive my heel edge harder into the snow.

It seems to keep speed really well, and I feel this 'push' upwards like the board.

I want to know if this is right or wrong, or if there is any way I can improve this. Although I draw a nice thin "C" across the snow, I feel like the transition turn to turn is still kinda slow. Everytime I try to speed up the turns, I end up catching an edge :(

For some reason, I can't seem to get those tight, sharp turns on my toe edge as easily. I think its that I'm not comfy leaning into toeside turns.

duh 01-07-2012 11:47 PM

I miss my PJs.

Carving boards got narrow real fast after the era of the PJ and lost the versatility that those early shapes had. I was racing at the time but enjoyed laying out nipple drags more than bashing gates. So when my boards got down to 160 in the waist I hung up my Megaflexs and rode softboots from there on out.

It took years, and magnetraction, for me to get that feeling of laying a board all the way out with reckless abandon again with softboots.

rc_moe2000 01-08-2012 12:02 AM

sorry laptop went arry


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