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Old 05-27-2013, 12:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Turns on Narrow runs/slipways/run off slopes.

I'm not sure how it is elsewhere but the alpes have endless narrow runs down to the resorts, usually packed with skiers
I'm talking about the ones that are 5metres wide tops and usually only green or blue runs but with big-ass drops over the edge.

Now I'm probably an intermediate rider, can go anywhere on piste (greens-blacks) without much of a problem. However when I get onto these narrow runs I'm pretty sure I resort to 'back-leg' ruddering, sometimes I even just slide on one edge the whole way.
I wanna practice sorting this out in the off-season (in snowdomes) so next year I won't have this problem.

Can someone tell me what the aim/technique should be on runs like this? There's always a couple of boarders who manage to just bomb it down doing real dynamic turns.

I've tried searching the forum for similar threads but could so with it clarifying with some solid advice that I can practice.
Thanks in advance! I hate going from cruising down the open piste to crawling down to the resort.
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Haha, we have plenty of these narrow "badass drop" tracks some years ago, I hated them, especially in spring time. Hard ice in the mornings, nasty mogul parcours in the afternoon. Nowadays I love to ride ("bomb") them.

Not sure what you mean with back-leg ruddering and dynamic turns.

I don't use my upper body for turn initiation on these tracks. Actually, with all the skiers on them, there's not enough space left to do proper turns. So I got it centered and stable and the legs do the work. Depends on how narrow I want to stay and how fast I want to be and how steep the track is. The steeper, the more work is done by the back leg, nose points down, weight on front leg, back leg makes the edge to edge transition. With this, you can stay very narrow and won't gain too much speed in steeps.
If there's slightly more space, I do rather fast edge to edge transitions with both legs equally engaged. Again, not real turns. Both legs bent low, weight slightly on front leg, the moment the edge grips put pressure on the edge so knees will stretch slightly and before the board really turns you use the momentum, change edge, force especially front part of edge and bend knees deep for next "turn". The faster, the lower and more weight on front leg. Dont "ask" the board to turn, force it on edge. Maybe that's not what you wanted to know/do, but that's how I do and it's fun
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Old 05-27-2013, 12:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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To be fair, the only thing you should be worrying about here, but if you think you are an intermediate and can really cope with most runs, then it is more than likely just a confidence thing...

The more you ride them as you would any other run the more confident you will become...

If you are in front, then it is down to whoever is behind to be aware of you, not you being nervous because they are behind... Try to put others out of your thoughts and ride as normal...
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Haha, we have plenty of these narrow "badass drop" tracks some years ago, I hated them, especially in spring time. Hard ice in the mornings, nasty mogul parcours in the afternoon. Nowadays I love to ride ("bomb") them.

Not sure what you mean with back-leg ruddering and dynamic turns.

I don't use my upper body for turn initiation on these tracks. Actually, with all the skiers on them, there's not enough space left to do proper turns. So I got it centered and stable and the legs do the work. Depends on how narrow I want to stay and how fast I want to be and how steep the track is. The steeper, the more work is done by the back leg, nose points down, weight on front leg, back leg makes the edge to edge transition. With this, you can stay very narrow and won't gain too much speed in steeps.
If there's slightly more space, I do rather fast edge to edge transitions with both legs equally engaged. Again, not real turns. Both legs bent low, weight slightly on front leg, the moment the edge grips put pressure on the edge so knees will stretch slightly and before the board really turns you use the momentum, change edge, force especially front part of edge and bend knees deep for next "turn". The faster, the lower and more weight on front leg. Dont "ask" the board to turn, force it on edge. Maybe that's not what you wanted to know/do, but that's how I do and it's fun
Ha that does sound fun. Sounds like when it is reeaaly narrow there is an element of swinging the back leg then? I've always heard of back-leg ruddering as some evil technique that should never be used (or in the forums this seems to be the case). Maybe there's a place for it...
One day I will be that boarder that bombs through the middle of the weaving skiiers... one day
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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To be fair, the only thing you should be worrying about here, but if you think you are an intermediate and can really cope with most runs, then it is more than likely just a confidence thing...

The more you ride them as you would any other run the more confident you will become...

If you are in front, then it is down to whoever is behind to be aware of you, not you being nervous because they are behind... Try to put others out of your thoughts and ride as normal...
True... there is an element of me freaking out when I see the edge. And imagining diving off the side in a dramatic accident, taking several skiers out with me.
OR... maybe it just makes me hyper-aware of my technique, whereas I don't think about it as much on a wide open stretch
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Old 05-27-2013, 03:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Do you mean the type of run that is this kind of width...???

About 2 mins in, not before...



That is what we have for a green at my local slope, it can be a little intimidating for sure, but once you have a little confidence on it, then you soon understand that you won't have the problems you think you will...

The young lad in the video, is 7, his 1st trip down there last year was hilarious, he was really worried, and actually crashed head 1st into the rocks the other side... Hehe

His season edit shows more about how he copes now, and the difference is huge, which i honestly believe comes down to confidence, i know everyone is different, and our levels are different, but we are all capable of what we put our minds too, it just takes a little longer for some to overcome our fear of what concerns us...

Don't worry though, you are not alone, we ALL have that at some stage, and once through it, it makes the next step in our learning all the more enjoyable...
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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OP, I know what you mean. Usually these narrow runs are fairly flat pitches where you'll need to go straight to maintain speed, but from time to time you'll run into a moderate pitch. 2 big things are confidence and not target-fixating on the edge. Keep your eyes ahead and not peeking over at the edge constantly. As we all know with snowboarding your body follows your head. If you want to practice just find a wider run and try to maintain a straight path with turns instead of turning across the hill.

I ran into this in colorado this past march, the run below was narrow at the top but a fairly decent pitch up until 30 seconds then it flattened out. Mostly bothered me as I have a mild fear of heights, it's odd because we rode the slope to the right of the edge but still was a weird feeling riding along the ridge. It looks wider due to the gopro wide angle lens. Since you said you sometimes slide on one edge the whole way it mostly sounds like a confidence issue.

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Old 05-27-2013, 04:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kevin137 View Post

The young lad in the video, is 7, his 1st trip down there last year was hilarious, he was really worried, and actually crashed head 1st into the rocks the other side... Hehe

Don't worry though, you are not alone, we ALL have that at some stage, and once through it, it makes the next step in our learning all the more enjoyable...
Little legend!!! Yeah that is about the size of most of our bloody slopes at many of the NZ ski fields, haha.

I am assuming the OP means a little smaller? Either way, no shame in using some back leg ruddering in the narrows, full on turns with traffic just isn't feasible on some runs. Just my opinion, I'm no expert...
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
I ran into this in colorado this past march.
That does look a little narrower than what he was riding for sure, but for a 6 or 7 year old everything is frightening... Hence he went head 1st the other side... Hehe

Quote:
Little legend!!!
He is getting there that is for sure, we are very proud of him, he only got about 24 hours on the snow his 1st season, but his 2nd, this past season he has been really focused, tried really hard and pushed himself hard, he has had some great support from a few of the local pros, Stian Sivertzen has been amazing with him, and always takes time to push him that little harder...

We started a fb page for him in March, and he has nearly a 1000 likes on it already, and we post his videos there, you can see many more, including his 1st attempt at a slush pool, with hilarious results, but he went at it with the aim of succeeding even though he knew he would probably not...

If anyone else wants to follow him or just see more of his videos, www.sneakysnowboarder.com takes you straight there... The more the merrier, he loves that people see what he does, he thinks it's really cool... So much so, he raided his savings to buy his own action camera even though we already had 2 in the house, purely because then it is his, and not mine... So cool...
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Just spot a good line and ride it. Sorry, I suck at giving advice.

Bend your knees a lot and dig in to stay stable, you can turn quick to avoid people in your way. I think it's more of mental block for you. Try them early in the day over and over when it's not crowded.
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