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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Terrain Change Question

Any tips for changing your technique when you are going from soft snow to ice? I seem to have my most painful falls on days when I ride in soft bumps and change over to ice. Took a super hard hit to my knees recently right after an epic ride through bumps(intermediate at Solitude). Working on "oh sh%%" turns going to toe side by lowering my left hand as if lowering a bucket (I ride goofy) into the turn. It was really working for me and I was linking a lot of turns. I finish the run and ride the lift up and I discover that the snow has been totally blown off my next run. It was one of those groomed ridge run trails that falls off to the right side. I caught a toe edge and BAM hit the ice with my knees. Fortunately, no broken bones or MCL tear...just bad bruises which are almost healed.

Just wondering if there is anything I should think about next time I find myself in this kind of terrain change....besides just wishing I had skis instead of a board!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 10:02 PM
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keep better care of your edges so you can cut through it a little easier and be lighter on your edge when you hit ice.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by sloridr View Post
Any tips for changing your technique when you are going from soft snow to ice? I seem to have my most painful falls on days when I ride in soft bumps and change over to ice. Took a super hard hit to my knees recently right after an epic ride through bumps(intermediate at Solitude). Working on "oh sh%%" turns going to toe side by lowering my left hand as if lowering a bucket (I ride goofy) into the turn. It was really working for me and I was linking a lot of turns. I finish the run and ride the lift up and I discover that the snow has been totally blown off my next run. It was one of those groomed ridge run trails that falls off to the right side. I caught a toe edge and BAM hit the ice with my knees. Fortunately, no broken bones or MCL tear...just bad bruises which are almost healed.

Just wondering if there is anything I should think about next time I find myself in this kind of terrain change....besides just wishing I had skis instead of a board!
So when you lean over a lot, you are essentially committing your weight way across your board edge/center of gravity. When you are committed that much you can't un-weight the board and change edge until you've moved your body back to neutral.

To see what I might... try it now standing. Drop you lead hand down as if you were lowering a bucket to the point that you can slightly lift your back foot off the ground... now try to quickly hop onto your back leg... notice it takes a few moments.

Now try shifting all the weight to the ball of your front foot and lift your back foot slightly off the ground, but keeping your body upright... now try to hop onto your back foot... much quicker and easier right?

When you are riding where there might be patches of slippery ice, you should not lean your upper body over too much... that way if you board edge slips... you can shift your weight off the edge and bring yourself to flatbase or change edges... instead of slipping off your edge and losing control.

Here are some videos that might help

Pivot Turns on Steeps


Dynamic Unweighting
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 10:09 PM
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With ice, I generally change my technique to incorporate more bar stools and cold beers.

Fuck ice.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 10:11 PM
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the "oh shit" thought is what i think fucks up a lot of people because then they panic and drive their edges harder than they should on ice.

in addition to what others have said, i'd also train your eyes to look at the terrain ahead of you so you can anticipate any icy patches. from my experience, you can then go around them provided you find good snow to go through, or at least you avoid the "oh shit" moments because you already know what to expect. then just apply the techniques others pointed out and you'll be fine.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 10:29 PM
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Use edges gently on icy patches and try to head for soft patches or where scraped off snow has accumulated to slow yourself down with more of a skidded turn. As someone mentioned, work on correct form. It'll help a bunch
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 02:40 AM
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I think people over react to quickly on ice, and make too fast of corrections, then perish.

Get the edge down gently and feel it with your ankles. There will be edge to grab, and you might have to wait a little LONGER than you are used to, for it to grab.

I go into any blind terrain or new snow area with skepticism in my feet, my objective is my line, not the quality of snow/ice. If I focus on where i want to go, I can get past mixed conditions, or rocks.

As for the skiing comment, dude,if you even are thinking going Bi skier/snowboarder, just do it.

I could never ski, all ways on one plank and I never think about trying, nor ever have.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 04:00 AM
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Whenever it's patchy ice, and pockets of softer stuff, I find myself zigzagging instead of doing S-turns. I go straight through the icy parts, trying not to lean out over an edge, and turn on any soft patch I see... and I usually step down a difficulty level.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for tips and vids. Got what you said about not getting so far out over the board.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-18-2012, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Couldn't agree more. I remember right before I fell thinking I need to get back down to where the soft snow was. I am not too proud to ride easier terrain if that is where the good snow lies.
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