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Old 07-11-2012, 03:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advice on backfoot steering

Hey guys,

I've just started boarding for the season, only done it once before and I'm picking it up but I have identified a problem area in my riding.

Basically I have trouble initiating toeside turns every time. When I do manage to initiate the turn I tend to push my back foot out, and it is not a fluid movement at all.

I had a knee reconstruction on my leading (right) leg. I think I am not putting enough weight on the front, but I would appreciate advice on helping me with a smoother turn.

Also a question on binding adjustment, I went to +15 / -9 as I want to learn to ride switch (was 15/0), but I have found that is probably worse for my weight distribution and my tendency to lean back. Is it worth trying +18 / -9?

Any tips would be much appreciated!

Cheers all.
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi mate, try to keep a nice centered, flexed stance on your board. When initiating your turn concentrate on foot pedalling and initiating with the front foot before "copying" the movement with your back foot: so in your nice centered/balanced stance, gradually go on the ball of your front foot, as the board begins to turn copy the movement with your rear foot. A nice thing i find (particularly with switch) is tweaking the front knee out to help initiate.

There are a few other bits that may help eg fore/aft movement but try the above and perhaps try going back to falling leaf when you can to help smooth things out.

As for binding angles i tend to go for the 15/15 stance and work from there making adjustments, everyones's different so just have a play and work out what's best for you.
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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From the sounds of it you need to get forward.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Binding Angles: Ride what is comfortable for YOU/YOUR body. Someone that can ride switch well should be able to ride switch just the same with any angles (within reason). With having bad knees as you mentioned, I would suggest some pretty mellow angles. Sounds like you have a ton of work to do on your normal riding before getting into switch riding. Learn to walk before your run!

Ride with your weight fairly centered. Sometimes a bit more weight on the front and sometimes a bit more weight on the back... its all very situational... Best advice would be keep your weight centered for learning to turn. Let the board do the turning but stay in control and slightly slip your edge if you need to control speed. If your speed is comfortable.. just keep your board on its edges (railing the board) and it will naturally turn on its own and turn sharper with more edge pressure and technique.

my 2 cents.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucasdg View Post
Basically I have trouble initiating toeside turns every time. When I do manage to initiate the turn I tend to push my back foot out, and it is not a fluid movement at all.

I had a knee reconstruction on my leading (right) leg. I think I am not putting enough weight on the front, but I would appreciate advice on helping me with a smoother turn.
Not having your weight forward on the turn is probably 99% of the problem 99% of the time. If you're having problems with turns, it's the first thing you check.

When I was training myself out of the habit of ruddering, I found it helpful to conciously lean and twist slightly towards where I wanted to turn, i.e. when initiating a heelside turn I would deliberatly shift weight forward and twist (and lean) slightly heelside. It's not perfect form by any means, but it gets you used to the feeling of being forward, and the huge improvement in the turn motivates you to keep doing that.

As for your knee, don't know how bad it is, but maybe you should consider learning to ride switch as your normal stance. It'll be extra work, but it might save the knee.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Sounds like you are transferring weight to the back foot through your toe turn. This is a common mistake from people starting out. It begins with trying to initiate turns with your upper body instead of your feet. So a couple of drills to try and fix this:

1) body position, as bcasey said different situations will call for your weight being in different spots on the board. But for now put your weight over your front foot. When standing on your board your front leg should be flexed but straight up and down as your back leg will be angled (ex. | \ )

2) Literally grab your pant leg with your front arm just below your knee on your front leg. This will force your weight forward. Make sure you shift forward and bend at the knees to do this. Do not lean forward from the waist.

3) Make sure you split your turn into two tuns. Meaning turn from your heels to downhill then from down hill to your toes.

Remember it takes very little movement and weight transferring to get the board to do what you want. So if you feel you're putting in a lot of effort and not getting results...something is wrong.

Good Luck:]
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks guys, some great tips there that I can start applying.

Quote:
maybe you should consider learning to ride switch as your normal stance. It'll be extra work, but it might save the knee.
I thought about it but at the end of the day I am comfortable as goofy, and the knee is not hurting it's just that I have subconsciously learned to put more weight on my left leg over the years, and it's a process to trust the leg.

Quote:
Sounds like you have a ton of work to do on your normal riding before getting into switch riding. Learn to walk before your run!
Indeed, but I want to get a switch-friendly stance so that I can begin incorporating it when I need to. I'm not riding much switch at the moment but eventually want to freestyle a bit better.

just to clarify most of the time I can turn 'successfully' but I am concerned about my movements because occasionally I will catch an edge or be unable to turn when I want to, or have to try too hard to initiate the turn. I don't want to pick up the ruddering habit any more than I have so I have to take one step back to take two steps forward!

It also doesn't help that there's plenty of ice around so I'm being punished instantly if my weight isn't forward enough!

I guess beyond all these tips it really is just a case of needing some more miles on the clock!

Cheers
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucasdg View Post
occasionally I will catch an edge or be unable to turn when I want to
I used to get that when I was learning too. You can save yourself when this happens by getting forward. I say your weight needs to come forward, you will stop eating shit so much and you can learn to stop ruddering once you arent living in fear of being locked in and unable to turn
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Big improvement today by concentrating on some of the tips. Thanks guys!
I also noticed that I am definitely not forward enough sometimes, but I start out well and end up getting worse through the day, I don't even notice it unless I'm looking for it. So I was very strict on myself all day and made sure my arms were by their side (no helicopter arms to turn) and that I Was well forward, and not using my backfoot too much to lurch down the mountain.

However, with more acute control of my front foot came another problem, and that is my ankle. My right (leading) ankle feels like it's being rolled inwards constantly when I am on my toes. I can feel a bit of heel lift but I'm not sure if this is entirely responsible. It got progressively worse all day and at the end I felt like I should leave to prevent strain or injury. I tightened up my boots but it didn't seem to affect it too much.

Thanks guys for your tips
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for your feedback Snowolf

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Originally Posted by Snowolf View Post
if your right knee is weaker and has limited range of motion and keeping more weight on it causes pain, tweak your equipment a little to give you an advantage. Move both bindings forward 1 insert hole and go ride and see if you notice a difference. This will shift your weight forward without you having to put the extra strain on that knee. Understand though this is a double edged sword and when you get into powder or sticky snow, you are going to have to really shift your weight back onto your left leg.
It is certainly weaker, range of motion is 95% that of the left leg and there is not much pain. The main issue is subconsciously taking weight off it due to fatigue (due to less strength). I will do as you suggest and go to +18 / -9...I was thinking of doing this anyway.

Quote:
One thing that has helped her and it will help you too is to start working on your basic cross over carved turns. These are very basic carved turns that can be done without any knee bend at all as you are no longer using front foot steering and board twist. You are simply inclining your entire body over each edge to use tilt alone to initiate your turns by letting the sidecut do all of the work.
I looked this up, and I believe I have been doing these turns without even realising it. Quite often on a steeper run I will do these turns and carve C's down the mountain, sometimes I will initiate a little bit with ankles but take over with body position over the edge. When I have the strength I do more S's with heavy use of my ankles.

Quote:
Here are some other things that can help with knee pain like this; depending on your particular situation. Canted footbeds on the bindings often help. I get MCL fatigue and these have helped. Softer footbeds on the binding like the K2 Harshmellow or even softer footbeds for the boot. Both options help reduce impact energy travelling from the foot up through the leg to the knee. In addition, stance angles and widths can play a major role.
Sweet, I will look into these, I particularly have in mind something like shred soles (boot footbed) which I saw online so boot sole will be my first port of call I think when I'm in a shop next, particularly because I mentioned slight movement in the shoe.

On the stance width, I was set up by a shop. Setback is dead centre and stance is middle of the road. Is there anything I should consider here?

Cheers mate
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