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Old 01-25-2012, 11:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Season 2 Questions, Tips & Critiques

A little background: As stated, this is my 2nd season boarding, and I'm goofy footed. I started skiing in the late 80s and continued thru the early 00s, but didn't get back on the mountain til last year and ditched the skis. Also I've skated for 25+ years and considering I only went 8 days last year, I'd say I made some pretty good progress (linking turns day 1, and cruising blues easily and some blacks by day 8). I want to keep progressing this season and spent 9 days over the holidays in Mammoth working on a lot things. I'm heading back there this weekend and am looking for some advice to keep improving my riding. I was hoping to have video from my buddy from my trip over the holidays but it's not gonna happen yet. I spend the majority of my time freeriding, and very little in the park. Probably a 90/10 split, and the only thing I have been doing in the park is jumps. No jibbing (at least not yet). Last year I really enjoyed riding trees and powder, and powder and trees, but no luck with that during trip 1 of this year. I know difficulty in colors can vary resort to resort, but at Mammoth I can bomb any blue, and can ride the blacks fairly well- still speed checking every few turns as I get more used to going faster. I have a personal goal to get 25+ days on the hill this year, and dramatically improve along the way. Now to some ?s


Carving / Dynamic Turns:
I spent a lot of time working on this, trying to remember everything the vids from snowolf, SA, and snowprofessor said. I tried to keep my range of motion in the 3-8 range, but it's hard to tell for sure without going to the videotape. I seemed to have toeside carves going fairly well. I could see that I had a nice thin 'c' shaped line as I looked at my tracks. But heelside- a different story, every single turn was a wider path, more of a skid- what can I do to improve this? It feels like my shoulders are lined up with the board properly, I'm bending my knees and keeping loose (at least it feels like it). I also have a hard time on my heelside when trying ride flat (as close to flat as I can- slight on edge)- my back foot tends to skew out from behind my front foot (back toes out farther than front toes if this makes sense). Are these two problems related?

I also noticed, while looking at my lines, that I had little to no track in the transition between heel and toe, and later realized while riding I kinda do a very small hop transition between edges. Is this the down-weighting / un-weighting I've been reading about? And also, I seen mention of fore and aft movements for carving turns. Can someone explain in a little more detail what is meant by this?

I get a sense that the up / down motion for dynamic turns is much like pumping a half pipe on a skate, but instead of using to transitions to gather speed on a pipe, you're using the carves to gather speed? Is this a proper analogy?


Jumps:
So I attempted and landed my first jumps of any kind over the holidays, and was pretty stoked to pull some off. I concentrated on mainly straight airs off park jumps (as very few side hits existed at the time). Getting used to popping off the lip was a lot of fun, and then I stepped it up by going switch... and landing it first try and the only landing switch. Pumped to say the least. I also attempted a few 1s but only landing two (1 FS and 1 BS). This was the last 3 days of my trip and my legs were pretty beat by then and I just didn't have the energy fully commit to it. Enter painful landings... haha. Anyway, I wanted to know when a good time is to start attempting grabs? Should I master 1s first? Get better at popping higher first?

I saw in another thread about flicking the hips for 1s more so then a wind up. I'll be trying this out soon. Makes a lot of sense.


Switch:
So for 3 days a friend that is regular footed started her first time snowboarding. She took lessons the first day, and my friends and I took turns helping her learn the next 2. Bonus for me being goofy is that it forced me to learn switch. By the end of her 3rd day, I could link my switch turns down the Schoolyard bunny slope, but definitely took some shots on the tailbone trying to learn (I always fall back). My problem is I seem to get tunnel vision riding switch, looking only at my nose, or legs, or one turn ahead. Then BAM! Edge caught and I'm flying. Is this normal? I guessing my vision will open up more with more time spent?


Thanks for reading all the gibberish above if you made it this far. Any advice is welcome, and I'll get some vids up as soon as I can. Thanks!!
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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For your heelside turns, you might be swinging your back foot out a little too quickly, which results in more of a plow than a carved turn. Get some speed up (nothing crazy), then slowly transfer your weight to your heels and bend your knees. Let your board "slice" through the snow and keep it on its edge, traversing rather than sliding down the hill. When I do it slowly like this, I can almost feel the board "take" me through the turn on its edge. You'll be going sideways, so eventually you'll run out of space and need to transition to toe, maybe even just stop at the end of the heelside carve and look at your track.

BTW, I'm not an instructor, just a fellow 2nd year guy who likes to get better every time I go out.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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which edge do you usually catch?

try constantly remind yourself to bend your knees and keeps your shoulders open and squared, this helped me a lot.

also commit to the turn put some good pressure on those edges.
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Old 01-27-2012, 04:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Zombaco View Post
Carving / Dynamic Turns:
I spent a lot of time working on this, trying to remember everything the vids from snowolf, SA, and snowprofessor said. I tried to keep my range of motion in the 3-8 range, but it's hard to tell for sure without going to the videotape. I seemed to have toeside carves going fairly well. I could see that I had a nice thin 'c' shaped line as I looked at my tracks. But heelside- a different story, every single turn was a wider path, more of a skid- what can I do to improve this? It feels like my shoulders are lined up with the board properly, I'm bending my knees and keeping loose (at least it feels like it). I also have a hard time on my heelside when trying ride flat (as close to flat as I can- slight on edge)- my back foot tends to skew out from behind my front foot (back toes out farther than front toes if this makes sense). Are these two problems related?

Your problems are not related most likely. For the skidded out heelside turn try these two exercises.
1. As you are turning on the heels remember to look across the fall line into the direction you are turning, Progressively raise your toes as you are turning(thinking like ratching your straps moving your toes up a click at a time). Remember to look across the hill and don't get stuck looking down it. Looking down it usually means you are park and riding and no longer actively moving.
2. Second try this small opposing movement. Like making a flutter kick while swimming push or let your front foot push down the mountain, with your back foot pull up the mountain and into the snow. First try this in just a traverse then in your turns after initiating the turn. This will for both heel and toeside turns. The amount of movement can be measure in milimeters.

As for riding flat terrain on your board being slightly on your heels, this could be caused by your shoulders and hips being open to the nose of your snowboard. when you loose pressure management with the snow your spine trys to unwind causing your board to pivot on the snow and becoming perpindicular to the direction you are trying to ride. This can cause a "catch" feeling with the board edge. try not to ride quite as open and with some more knee and ankle bend(flex) so that you manage changes in terrain by keeping your baord in contact and your spine straight without any built up twist.

I also noticed, while looking at my lines, that I had little to no track in the transition between heel and toe, and later realized while riding I kinda do a very small hop transition between edges. Is this the down-weighting / un-weighting I've been reading about? And also, I seen mention of fore and aft movements for carving turns. Can someone explain in a little more detail what is meant by this?

This is a method of up-unweighting. Your cm moves up away from the snow.

Fore/Aft movement means moving toward the nose(Fore) and or toward the Tail(aft). Starting into a turn with your weight more over the front foot and moving back toward the rear foot through the control phase allows you to manage pressure more effectively where it is needed during the phases of the turn (Initiation, Control(apex), and finish). If your try this movement try not to let your weight shift all the way back to the tail but instead feel like it is starting over the front foot and moving back to slightly back of center toward the rear foot on the board. Exercise to practice this movement or nose/tail stands, nose/tail manuals, pendulming, and riding nose heavy and then tail heavy while still trying to do s-turns.

I get a sense that the up / down motion for dynamic turns is much like pumping a half pipe on a skate, but instead of using to transitions to gather speed on a pipe, you're using the carves to gather speed? Is this a proper analogy?

It is a good way to think about it. The following describes first the CM is doing at the begining or initiation of a turn and then through the control phase of the turn( the round part of a C)/
Up-unweighting - the riders CM moves up and away from the snow. During the turn the rider leg Flex increases(lowering CM toward the board), at the finish of the turn the rider extends up moving CM away from the snow.
Down-unweighting - the riders CM move down toward the snow. During the the turn the riders legs Extend(pushes) causing the CM of mass to move away from the board. At finish of turn the rider lowers back down towards the snow.
Retraction - The rider pulls the board up toward their CM. CM keeps the same distance from the snow. At intiation the riders legs pull the board up toward the riders CM.


Jumps:
So I attempted and landed my first jumps of any kind over the holidays, and was pretty stoked to pull some off. I concentrated on mainly straight airs off park jumps (as very few side hits existed at the time). Getting used to popping off the lip was a lot of fun, and then I stepped it up by going switch... and landing it first try and the only landing switch. Pumped to say the least. I also attempted a few 1s but only landing two (1 FS and 1 BS). This was the last 3 days of my trip and my legs were pretty beat by then and I just didn't have the energy fully commit to it. Enter painful landings... haha. Anyway, I wanted to know when a good time is to start attempting grabs? Should I master 1s first? Get better at popping higher first?

You can start trying grabs as soon as you start straight airs. Remember when grabbing the board you bring the board uptoward you not bend down and grab the board. That later movement can through you off axis in the air.

I saw in another thread about flicking the hips for 1s more so then a wind up. I'll be trying this out soon. Makes a lot of sense.


Switch:
So for 3 days a friend that is regular footed started her first time snowboarding. She took lessons the first day, and my friends and I took turns helping her learn the next 2. Bonus for me being goofy is that it forced me to learn switch. By the end of her 3rd day, I could link my switch turns down the Schoolyard bunny slope, but definitely took some shots on the tailbone trying to learn (I always fall back). My problem is I seem to get tunnel vision riding switch, looking only at my nose, or legs, or one turn ahead. Then BAM! Edge caught and I'm flying. Is this normal? I guessing my vision will open up more with more time spent?

Yes, when people are concentrating on riding switch they tend to look down at their feet to make sure they are making the movements and forget all about where they are going. To fix this seperate the movements you want to make into 4 reference parts 1 - across the hill, 2- diagonal down the hill 3 - Straight down the hill, 4 - Diagonal down the hill: This can also be used as reference for where to look and where the nose of your board should be pointing: see pic
SnowBoarding Forum - S-turn_Look_directions - Powered by PhotoPost
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Last edited by gjsnowboarder; 01-27-2012 at 04:47 PM. Reason: eh
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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which edge do you usually catch?

try constantly remind yourself to bend your knees and keeps your shoulders open and squared, this helped me a lot.

also commit to the turn put some good pressure on those edges.
ahhh u want your shoulders closed...that is parallel...nose to tail with the board
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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ahhh u want your shoulders closed...that is parallel...nose to tail with the board
by open shoulders i mean this

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Old 01-27-2012, 07:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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In boarding closed shoulders mean exactly what wrathfuldeity stated:

Another way to think about is your board is a doorway and your shoulder and hips are the door. The door is open when from left to right side of your body is not inline with the nose and tail of the snowboard. For example: I ride with regular stance(left foot forward). So my door is closed when my left should is pointed in the same direction as the nose of my snowboard and my right should is pointed in the same direction as the tail of my snowboard. This is the easy way to determine if I'm in the proper stance. Because my angle of binding on my left foot is a positive 18 degree my shoulders will vary 18 degrees from the nose of the snowboard when I am riding closed(i.e. snowboarding reference alignement Shoulder, hips, and knees are perpindicular to the front foot). When my shoulders move from this alignment my door is opening or closing in the direction of a certain edge toe or heel side. Typically when we say open the lead shoulder may be aimed at a higher angle then my lead foot. In this case my shoulder's would be open if I pass the 18 degree alignment meaning the front of my body is aimed more to the nose then to the toeside of the board.

The picture you posted deals with posture or bend in the spine. Being hunched over could have an effect on which edge is being pressured(i.e. another reference alighment : Weight between the feet and over the working edge), but most likely in this case is not a main cause of the board kicking out. The board kicking out probably means there is a pivot effect on the boards interaction with the snow. A twist in the spine could cause a rotationary force with lack of pressure which can cause unattended pivot in the board.

Hope this clears up the statement of "open shoulders".
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice and input everyone. Looks like a nice homework list to work on this weekend .

I'll have to be more conscious of my shoulder alignment heelside. It may be a combo not being inline over my board and hunching over in the shoulders. I know I catch myself in bad posture (hunching over in my shoulders) at work and not sitting with a straight back. It could be I'm unknowingly doing that while riding too, and I've got a feeling I'm probably opening my shoulder up past my nose- this opening referring to actual twist in my spine. I'm riding at +15/-12 so I know I shouldn't be opening too much, but probably why I'm not getting the thinner carve lines heelside. I'll definitely give the fore / aft movements a go and try the different unweighting techniques

gjsnowboarder- thanks for your detailed instructions. Maybe a stupid question, but what is "CM" in your explainations? Centered mass? I get the gist of what you said, but unsure of this term. And thanks for the switch diagram, makes a lot of sense.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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by open shoulders i mean this

fwiw...this would be straight back or humpy back. Straight back would be preferred so as not to promote bending over at the waist and taking it in the arse...better to hump
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice and input everyone. Looks like a nice homework list to work on this weekend .

I'll have to be more conscious of my shoulder alignment heelside. It may be a combo not being inline over my board and hunching over in the shoulders. I know I catch myself in bad posture (hunching over in my shoulders) at work and not sitting with a straight back. It could be I'm unknowingly doing that while riding too, and I've got a feeling I'm probably opening my shoulder up past my nose- this opening referring to actual twist in my spine. I'm riding at +15/-12 so I know I shouldn't be opening too much, but probably why I'm not getting the thinner carve lines heelside. I'll definitely give the fore / aft movements a go and try the different unweighting techniques

gjsnowboarder- thanks for your detailed instructions. Maybe a stupid question, but what is "CM" in your explainations? Centered mass? I get the gist of what you said, but unsure of this term. And thanks for the switch diagram, makes a lot of sense.
Yep CM = Center of Mass. basically it is in relation to the pull of gravity or centripetal force takes you. i.e. your core on a person typically. Silly me not writing out what an acronym means. it can move vertically or horizontally.

As for the hunched back where the bend might be the worse. Typically its at the waist/hip level not necessarily at the shoulder level that causes issues. Your back is supposed to have a natural curvature. When you try to correct this it is possible to over straighten or hold your back to tight. In a heel side turn this could cause you to full body lean up the mountain and use your arms as a counter balance( arms come out voer your toeside to counter balance the leaning or departure of the CM from the heelside to over the snow). The other misalignement in the other direction is called breaking at the waist. This is represented by the back coming over the toeside of the board but the butt hanging out past the heelside edge. Due to the butt shifting the lower half weight of the person over the snow and counter movement of the upper body weight is then need to keep the CM over the heel edge. Both of these moves can be cause improper alignment and ineffective/ineffecient riding.

Using your hips for alignment and focusing on them might be the real fix. Free up the hips by scooping the butt underneath the upper body can be a very usefull movement. On heelside think of pinching your butt cheeks together lightly. On toeside turns think of pressing your hips forward. a way to practive this is to grab an exercise ball and back up to a wall. Place the ball into the small of the back, now do squats, and feel your back form to the curvature of the ball. Notice as you drop down how your knees may flare out over the pinky toes to be able to get lower. Remember to keep your weight on you heels. Now use that movement and alignment in your heelside turns on a snowboard. For the toesides, use the ball again. turn around to face the wall with the ball inbetween. press your hips forward into the ball and try moving up and down this time focusing keeping your hips foward. Remember the ankles will come into play here and you will want to keep your weight on your toes to mimic riding your toeside. If there is a mirror handy you will be able to critque yourself and feel the movements necessary to create any weird back alignment you might experience.

Hope this wasn't to wordy, seems I have typeria tonight.

Last edited by gjsnowboarder; 01-27-2012 at 08:54 PM. Reason: some misspelling.
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