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Old 02-08-2012, 03:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New member from Iowa: Seeking answers on Linking & Carving

Hi everyone, I joined this forum in hope of improving my snowboarding knowledge and translating that to the slopes. I recently became very interesting in snowboarding and I've been making the 2 hr drive to the slopes for a couple of weeks now.

I have several questions regarding the proper steps in linking turns, and carving. I've watched through all of Snowolf's videos and also the videos by snowprofessor on youtube. I am definitely a beginner, having snowboarded 4 times now. I can link turns consistently. This Friday I hope to get some more mileage tightening up links and also beginning to learn Carving. The post is long, and thanks in advance for those who are able to share their knowledge with me.

I'm the sort of guy that tries to learn first by doing research on proper techniques and trying to understand the details before I hit the slopes. I have 2 main questions I'd like to ask the snowboarding experts here which I was not able to conclusively determine after reviewing videos on youtube.

1. Linking Turns Form
a. Is linked turns the same as skidded turns, is that pretty interchangeable? I understand linking turns in just the process of putting your heel and toe change of direction together, while skidded turn is a specific type of turn in which the snow is dragged by the board in a broad S shape where tail is not in the same path as the toe, but the beginning videos talk about linking your turns after garlands and is that the same as making skidded turns?

b. I wanted to ask you guys if my linking is following proper techniques form

First and foremost, am I correct in linked turns that the backfoot is lagging or half a step behind the front foot. My current process is as follows (i ride regular):
my current mechanical process of linking are as follows: head turn-slight front shoulder dip, front toe, once board starts imitating turn, back toe, front knee comes in a little; transition from toe to heel is, head turn to look at where i want to turn, shoulder drip, drop front toe back flat to board, then drop back toe flat to board, front heel flexion, then back heel flexion, front knee opens up a little.

2. Carving
Can someone tell me what the steps are on carving? I know with carving the edge of the board is on the snow, are both of my feet suppose to initiate toe side at the same time and then both to heel side at same time? or does the front foot still initiate, just like linking but I'm just on my edge more. Snowolf's videos doesn't go into too much detail about how to carve.

I think someone on the forum mentioned that after linking is carving, and after carving is dynamic skidded turn

3. Dynamic Skidded
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Snowolf View Post
Yes, a basic linked turn will very much be a skidded turn. These basic linked turns are typically done with the board at low edge angles at a relatively slow speed. Not all skidded turns are basic however. As you advance your riding, you will begin to use more of a dynamic skidded turn by using more aggressive edge angles and body movements but this a little down the line for you.

You technique is spot on but don`t think of this foot movement as just the toes. It is more of a whole foot movement that originates with the ankle joint; either opening or closing it. The idea is to use this foot movement to twist the board in order to engage the side cut. Related to this torsional twisting concept is edge pressure. This is what the back foot really does as you use it it in a basic linked skidded turn. The front foot starts the process and then the back foot plays a supporting role by pressuring the same edge through turn completion.

As for carving, I suggest that you hold of on a bit before trying to carve. You really need to be comfortable and confident with speed before carving because you need speed to carve and you need to be confident with your edge control before attempting carving. You should be totally comfortable riding steep blue runs making short radius skidded turns within a corridor no wider than one grooming cat at speed. I would say able to maintain 20-25 MPH while doing it before starting to actually carve.

When you start carving, you do not use the front foot first, twist the board method. This is a simple act of tilting the board onto its edge with both feet simultaneously. Your first carved turns will be very basic cross over turns where you incline your entire body over each edge to tilt the board. We call these cross over turns because your entire body crosses over the top of the board much like an upside down pendulum.

You need to have experience and confidence with edge awareness and the ability to fell through your feet whether the board is tracking true or if it is skidding before you carve because in carving, you will transition onto your downhill edge at speed before while the board is perpendicular to the fall line. If the board has any skid when you attempt this, you will catch that edge and eat shit. Work on your skidded turns and edge control a bit before even worrying about carving.

A dynamic turn simply means that you are moving your body a lot and often independently from other body parts. To start making your skidded turns dynamic, at first focus just on lower body movements. Lots and lots of leg flexion and extension. The best drill to get in the habit of this is to flex really low at turn initiation and extend through turn completion, drop low again to initiate the next turns and repeat the process. This is a great first step towards making every turn a dynamic turn...
snowolf appreciate your pointers. I remember a year ago during my 2nd time snowboarding, i was trying to figure out why my links were not going well, your video talked about shoulder drop, and that made a huge difference. This winter, I became a lot more dedicated and commitment to snowboarding so I rewatched all your videos beginner and intermediate videos - they were very helpful. However, I'd like to suggest that you break down your instructions a little more, as in to link your turns, do this first, then this, then this so forth.

Based on what you talked about, I would say I am starting to get into dynamic turns, i started doing it last friday down the blue. I wanted to tighten the corridor, I noticed body was lower to the ground, when going onto my toe side, I'm almost kicking back my two feet fast my torso like a pendulum, and when i transition to heel slide, i'm sweeping my hips and lower legs more forcefully underneath my body and through to heel. I would say my leg position were more in pendulum path in which my leg were not directly underneath my torso. I assume based on what you described, that's dynamic skidding, at that time I didn't know what i was doing, i was doing it naturally because I hated skidding across the mountain and I wanted to traverse down the mountain at a faster speed and in a tighter corridor. I think I will definitely work on it more and get more practice being more dynamic in my skids. I just thought carving was before dynamic skidding. So with dynamic skidding it's skidding but with more lower body legs and foot motion and faster motion as well? I find myself catching more when trying to be more dynamic, I'm not sure what's causing it, i'll have to break it down once i hit the slops friday.

Another thing i wanted to ask you, you mentioned in your video that when going to toe side, you should thrust your hips out almost like an arch, but in your videos it doesn't seem like you're actually doing it down the slop you're not doing it to the extreme as you talked about. Should i be thrusting my hips and arching my body when going to toe side?

Last edited by bigbadwanger; 02-08-2012 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey man, where are you at in Iowa? I'm from the Iowa City area and I drive the 2 hours to Chestnut or Sundown almost every weekend. I'm no expert (intermediate), but if those are the parks you frequent I could definitely watch your riding and help you out some time.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Vaughanabe13 View Post
Hey man, where are you at in Iowa? I'm from the Iowa City area and I drive the 2 hours to Chestnut or Sundown almost every weekend. I'm no expert (intermediate), but if those are the parks you frequent I could definitely watch your riding and help you out some time.
Currently I'm in the quad cities/davenport, I went to UofI there before moving for my current job. I'll be boarding this Friday at Chestnut, hit me up on PM if you want meet up.
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