What are the main tips on getting to linked turns?!
Im headin to the mountain tomorrow and i havent had a lot of time to ride this season since winter never showed. This will be maybe my 6th time riding and I really want to get my linked turns technique down. What are the biggest things I need to concentrate on when trying to get to linked turns?
Also, when initiating a toeside turn, do you want to drive your front knee down toward the snow as well as doing the hump motion? after this you would put pressure on your front toe edge with your leading foot and then follow with the other once you cross the fall line? Is this about right?
Ideally, to link turns you need to be transitioning from edge to edge. There *can* be a limited amount of skid involved, but as far as I'm concerned less is more. You want to ensure you are properly engaging your edges and riding through the motion. This can be delayed into long drawn out carves, or shorter skidded carves to bleed off some speed. The slope usually determines my tactics.
To properly link turns you should focus on a few things.
First and foremost, edging. Commit to your carves/scarves and ride through them. If you bleed too much speed off, you're going to struggle more with balance. That's not to say you should be flying down the hill, but if you're on a steep blue and are uncomfortable, it will make the process more difficult.
Find a nice and easy green run and take some long dramatic carves. Try and space yourself out so you can really use the run. Having people around will get in your head if you don't feel comfortable.
Secondly, Line up your body over the board. Make sure your shoulders and hips stay parallel to the board *most* of the time. I only say most because some people prefer to use their shoulders to help initiate turns. Turn your neck/head to be looking straight down your shoulder. By lining everything up, you'll have a more refined center of gravity and bending your knees/lowering your body will only make things better. You don't want to be riding standing straight up. Sometimes adding some forward lean to your bindings can help ensure proper form.
Third, The 3 C's. Cool, Calm, and Collected. Don't get overworked and criticize yourself. Take a deep breath and keep trying. When you get frustrated and tense, it increases the chance you'll lock up at the wrong time. You want to be like a coiled spring. There are times you need to absorb impact, and you can't do that if you panic.
As for your Toeside turns, I do those two steps in the opposite order. As I transition from heel to toe, I start by driving my toes downward to start initiating the edge, then I follow through with my knees and hips. This way I know my board is tracking before I start altering my center of gravity. You'll know when it starts to initiate. Note: I have a noodle of a board, so this method may not be recommended based on what you ride. My EVO is really soft and is easy to torsionally flex into an edge hold.
Best of luck!
seems like my biggest problem is trying to get the edge to engage. I press my front toe down and its like nothing really happens? is this because i am leaning back too much?
Wow, thanks snowolf. i know you probably get asked that a gajillion times a season but it was so concise and clear, your tips really helped me yesterday on the hill. I really got a good feel for the torsional steering aspect of it, as well as just the whole looking where you want to go which is surprsingly a gigantic help. also got a good feel for my loose athletic stance, and what it feels like to actually be riding correctly as opposed to sideslipping all over the place.
it was a pretty good day, even despite a crack/warp in my tail end.
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