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Old 12-29-2012, 12:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Steep chutes, blacks, double blacks. Question regarding technique.

Browsing YouTube and stumbled upon this video, and just wondering if this would be considered good technique going down steep stuff.

http://youtu.be/k5fWisJs4AI

I am asking because my confidence has grown, and I find myself attacking the steep stuff more and more. My technique is not 100% perfected, but correct me if I'm wrong, but it's almost impossible to initiate turns with the traditional "gas pedal" method on very steep stuff. It seems you have to jump in from heel to toe and vice versa.

How do you guys ride the steeps?
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Here's a quote from Snowolf, I guess I didn't search.

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This applies for both turns but especially so for the heelside turn. The reason you are washing out most likely is because you are most likely too stiff legged and are remaining too far forward at the end of the turn.

As you no doubt know, to initiate a good turn on steep terrain, you need to shift your weight forward over the front foot. The problem is that often we get so focused on this that we forget that there is a time to get aft on our board. In addition, we have learned to flex (get low) going into each turn and then gradually extend through the turn. What often happens though is we extend through the apex of the turn and then become static through turn completion. Both of these things allow the tail of our board to loose edge hold and skid out from under us.

To correct this, we need to alter our riding technique a little bit. First, let`s talk about this fore-aft movement. We start out with a forward shift to initiate the turn. As soon as we enter into the turn, we should be slowly shifting our weight rearward. As we approach the apex of the turn, we should be fully centered and slowly moving aft. After we pass apex and going through turn completion, we actually should have our weight shifted fully aft so that we feel most of our weight on the back foot.

This sounds totally counter to everything we have been taught about riding right? On the surface it is but when you start getting outside of the box for typical intermediate riding terrain, the techniques change. On this super steep terrain, edge hold becomes an issue. In order to maintain edge hold, the rider must keep maximum weight on the part of the edge that has the most lateral force (basically pulling to the outside of the turn) As we enter the turn completion phase, this is the tail of the board and by shifting our weight back, we are applying downward pressure to keep the tail locked in. Its like adding weight to the bed of a pickup truck on an icy road; it keeps the rear of the truck from skidding.

Now on to the flexing and extending and their timing. We flex low going into a turn so that we can gradually extend through the turn. This extension has the effect of increasing downward edge pressure which makes our turns more powerful and it locks the edge of the snowboard into the snow more effectively. Now, when we reach the apex of the turn and start to bring the board back toward us, we need to slowly retract our legs to help bring the board back up under us. If we remain static in our fully extended position, we are in essence fighting ourselves.

More importantly though, in the turn completion phase of the turn we have the most force trying to pull the tail to the outside of the turn. Our momentum down the slope, gravity and centrifugal force all want to rip the tail out from under us. Now, by flexing slowly, we can counteract these forces a little bit. The flexing through turn completion helps pull the tail back up hill towards slightly and can soften the tail chatter that happens just prior to the edge hold being lost.

So, to sum it up, shift forward on turn entry and slowly shift aft all the way through turn completion to move your weight down along your edge where the most force is acting upon it. Secondly, start low and extend through your turn to the apex and as you go through the apex of the turn, slowly start flexing low again.

Lastly, watch your rotary movements! While it is certainly okay to use rotary movements with dynamic riding, you can overdo it; especially on heelside. An over rotation can also increase that force that is trying to break the tail of the board free and start a skid.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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As far as the video goes its about the right way to get down, and I dont know the terrain and what the conditions were like, but it looked like a lot of arm flailing and every time he went to slow down he basically skidded to a stop and switched edges. I would have tried to keep more speed by having less of an edge angle and making more turns quicker so I could keep the speed under control without needing to pump the edge up so much im shaking and hoping down the run snowplowing skidding to a stop. Also when you get into steep and tight shit it is pretty impossible to do the traditional gas pedal turn initiation method as you would on a controlled run, just because it takes too dam long. Riding like that involves being very dynamic, as most good riders are. That involves controlled counter rotation movements with the upper body, lots of weight shifting, using that back foot to get the board around if you need to, and crossing under turns especially when its tight and narrow.

As far as literally jumping from heel to toe and vice versa to turn, I find myself doing that every now and then when I am riding steeper terrain but that is mainly because I am playing around and adding in steeze points haha. Or if its a big open area with nice soft snow for predictable edge control. But if its really technical or tight riding you want that turn to be your speed control, and literally jumping edge to edge won't give you that brake check like a full edge turn will. I dont usually jump edge to edge, its more of a faster skidded turn with a whole lot of flexing and extension.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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As Snowwolf says, there's no reason not to make controlled turns when it gets steep and narrow(45deg/3m in this case). But it's definitely easier on perfect snow.

I would love to ride where the vid was shot though
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Not the "right" way to handle steep terrain, but it is certainly a way to manage it in "survival mode". Basically, all he was doing was sideslipping the whole way down. He would side slip on the heel edge, pop 180 and side slip on the toe edge. Not really making any turns. At the entrance to the chute, totally understandable, but when it opened up, there was no reason not to make decent turns; that pitch wasnt that bad and the snow conditions looked pretty good. Not dissing the guy`s riding, but a more advanced rider used to steep terrain could have made some good turns on most of that.
I have to ask, WHY is that guy riding that terrain? It seems almost straight down. I can only imagine that the only way that would be enjoyable would be if there was about 3' of powder to ride through lol. Otherwise, maybe to say "hey I went down that" but ...didja really? One might as well take their board off and slide down with an icepick in one hand...just saying.

This goes back to an earlier post of mine. Riding down nice powder covered blacks, only to have them turn into a mogul field 2 hour laters because, people that have NO right on being on those steeps create those moguls from making very sharp dynamic turns on skis to avoid the speed. Well, then why not ski blues and leave the terrain at least somewhat rideable, or at least make wide turns!

Sigh
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sincraft View Post
I have to ask, WHY is that guy riding that terrain? It seems almost straight down. I can only imagine that the only way that would be enjoyable would be if there was about 3' of powder to ride through lol. Otherwise, maybe to say "hey I went down that" but ...didja really? One might as well take their board off and slide down with an icepick in one hand...just saying.

This goes back to an earlier post of mine. Riding down nice powder covered blacks, only to have them turn into a mogul field 2 hour laters because, people that have NO right on being on those steeps create those moguls from making very sharp dynamic turns on skis to avoid the speed. Well, then why not ski blues and leave the terrain at least somewhat rideable, or at least make wide turns!

Sigh
i don't understand?, seems like a perfectly fine mellow little chute line with nice little controlled carves, idk about the run out...but easily doable straight line if you got a good runout. But if it would be me, i'd try to wall ride as high as possible....there doesn't look like there are any bumps or throats...so pretty clean blast
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wrathfuldeity View Post
i don't understand?, seems like a perfectly fine mellow little chute line with nice little controlled carves, idk about the run out...but easily doable straight line if you got a good runout. But if it would be me, i'd try to wall ride as high as possible....there doesn't look like there are any bumps or throats...so pretty clean blast
No, it's definitely not a mellow chute. Camera tends to visually flatten terrain. But yeah, this guy is not riding it as much as trying to stay upright.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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No, it's definitely not a mellow chute. Camera tends to visually flatten terrain. But yeah, this guy is not riding it as much as trying to stay upright.
yup pics flatten things out. heres a chute i want to do this winter

[img]pinterest.com/pin/13088655136964246/[/img]
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Noreaster View Post
No, it's definitely not a mellow chute. Camera tends to visually flatten terrain. But yeah, this guy is not riding it as much as trying to stay upright.
yup pics flatten things out. a chute i want to do this winter....no turning

random debris / Gunsight, my favorite run at Mt. Baker.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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THe most important is to be stoked, whatever you ride or however you ride.

Forget the confidence thing, work on being a more competent rider. At first it's difficult to handle speed so people spend a lot of their ride controlling/shaving off speed. But as you're able to handle more speed, you can make better carves because your attack angle is not against the terrain (you are riding down the hill, not across). Also with rocks in the way, you need to plan your line before you drop so you don't have to work slowly down the hill. You examine the line, see where are the danger points are, where you can flat out and where you need to do a big carve to get rid of speed.
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