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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all

New to the forum and to boarding but after two trips i'm officially hooked! Only downfall is living in Ireland so only really get the opportunity for one or two trips a year! I've been away twice already once for a week and then for a 3 day trip bit I'm heading away at Christmas for 2 weeks and literally can't wait to get back up the mountain! Aiming for a season in Canada next year too!

I've a few questions for all of you with more experience then myself so any input would be great!

I'm at the stage now where i can go down most runs (all except black) in complete control and with a fair bit of speed and really enjoying myself. Main problem is my quad on my back leg gets so tired so quick, is this normal and will it get easier considering im only getting a week or 2 on the mountain? I workout regularly and incorporate heavy squats, lunges, leg presses and have just added box jumps to my leg workouts each week so hoping my legs will tolerate a bit more this year?

My aim for my two weeks at xmas is to learn how to ride switch and do butters? Is this setting my goals too high for more then likely 10 days riding? I thought i was doing well on my last trip but took a bad spill trying to do a jump on the last day of the trip which shook me up a bit so my thinking was learning to ride switch before learning how to do jumps would help me to land as i'd be a lot more in control of the board?

Thanks in advance for anyone with any advice! :)
 

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Great that you're enjoying riding!

As far as a tired back leg, it sounds like you might be sitting in the backseat too much and/or skid turning, where you use your back leg like a rudder. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it will tire your back leg out quicker. Try balancing out your weight and driving through turns with your front leg. You should also take a lesson to learn proper carving technique. As you gain more confidence, your skid turns should subside, but again - proper lessons will expedite the process.

You should absolutely practice switch riding. Its the one regret I have when I first started - I didn't do enough switch riding. Because you're learning the basic mechanics for your dominant foot-forward, it will be easier to translate to switch. It will make you a better rider all-around. Pick a run or two each day and do the whole run switch. It requires discipline, so stick with it.

Butters are fun! Practice with the board at a standstill, and slowly work up to moving butters. IMO butters should come secondary to working on the above stuff, but hey - have fun and do what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply!

Yeah now that you mention it that's exactly what I've been doing! Every time i commit to a turn i push the board around with my back leg and eventually find my leg is so sore and tired! Balancing out my weight is something i'll have to work on while I'm away and I've already been thinking about getting another lesson, although i was thinking mainly to help me ride switch but maybe i need to focus on my carving first!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi David

Yeah Scotland can get some decent snow at times, however it's so unpredictable that you really need to be able to go at the drop of a hat and seeing as id still have to take a flight to get over it's not as easy as you might think as i don't know if i could get off work on such short notice, Eastern Europe is where i usually head as it's cheap and nearly always has decent snowfall!
 

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Just try to put about 60% of your weight on your front leg, the gradient of the hill make it more 50/50.

Yeah, you should definitely check out some Scottish resorts if your in Scotland, but the Alps are only a flight away ;) and Scottish conditions can be pretty flooky.
 

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always set your goals high, nothing wrong with that. it's all incremental progress, which comes in plateaus for most...swing for the fences at all times

working on switch and butters will be good, and work on going faster,and learn how to fall/tumble, and jump (you will eat shit many times, there is no way around that, it's how you know you are pushing yourself...
 

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If you're back leg is getting sore, it could be your technique. Have you taken lessons? Sore back leg on powder is normal, but on groomed runs is a sign of poor technique.

If you're riding more powder, you can setback your bindings a bit on the board to alleviate the back leg issue.

Not that I think learning switch is a bad idea, but if you are riding "in the backseat" then you need to fix that before worrying about switch, butters, etc. It's likely holding you back.

You also mentioned falling and spooking yourself. This is a sign that you may be hesitant to really get over the front end of your board. I say take a lesson or two in the first couple days of your trip, and go from there! Hopefully you get a good instructor...
 

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Good idea to ride switch. Do it now. The problem is you double your learning time (roughly) but it's much easier now than later.

You're riding in the back, and fighting the hill and turning with your back leg. All lead to fatigue. Once you get the technique down you let the hill do the work and you just guide it. :laugh:

It's tough at first but try leaning forward. Don't worry, when you lean forward usually you're just evening out since you started so far back. Lead forward. Your turns become more confident.

Try this exercise. Find a green hill, something you're really comfortable with. Take your back foot out of the binding and ride it like you ride off a lift. Get a stomp pad it might help. Now go down the hill. You can't rudder with the back foot now so you are forced to steer with the front. Get that leg used to steering. You also get the benefit of reducing or eliminating edge catches
 

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Buy knee pads, wrist guards, elbow pads, maybe butt pads and a helmet.... I fell so many times when i was learning and one bad fall will kill your day/week. If you can fall and not feel a thing you'll just keep getting back up until you get it.
 

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I agree with this advice, it also allows you to have a more aggressive stance as you progress.

"It's tough at first but try leaning forward. Don't worry, when you lean forward usually you're just evening out since you started so far back. Lead forward. Your turns become more confident."- yeah, i forgot to quote
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks a lot for all the replies! Very helpful bunch and i appreciate it!

I took a days lesson on my first trip but was so eager to join my friends that i only took the one so maybe you are all right, maybe i do need another lesson! I'll look at that when i get to Slovakia and see what the prices are as i really do want to have good technique and correct any bad habbits im obviously already falling into!

I've already got ass guard shorts and wrist protectors as i have a bad wrist anyway so was prepared for that ha!

I think what most of you are saying is right though if so may of you are saying the same thing then clearly i'm not leaning forward enough so this is something i'll have to address asap!

Really can't wait to get back up on the slopes!
 

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yep.....once you start leaning forward alittle more and getting all that
stress off your back leg,....you're gonna feel a lot of relief.
keep your shoulders closed and parallel w/your board. Lean just slightly towards the front of the board and let the hill do most of the work.
when you start getting speed,....you're gonna be tempted to start leaning back again,..don't .. just use your eyes and shoulders to guide yourself into the transitions, staying relatively parallel w/the board, but not like a stick...stay relaxed as possible. Your backleg/foot should come along for the ride and complete the transitions as you pendulum your shoulders to intitiate toeside/heelside and back again.
the backleg/foot isn't the active area for initiating transitions.....
the front foot,....particularly the part of the board, right before where the nose curves up is, but it's very easy for beginners to get into the bad habit of powering the board around with the back leg. It is bad technique.
watch videos of really good riders and how their shoulders stay quiet and relatively parallel w/the board as they ride. very telling.
hope this helps and gives you something to work towards!:)
 

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Since you mentioned wanting to ride swtch, I will chime in with my frequently posted 2¢ on the subject, Take a lesson for riding switch rather than just trying to learn to ride in reverse. A good instructor can help with this.

I took mine early amd I can ride switch pretty decent. You can read about all the long time experienced riders here who admit they don't like to ride switch or don't do it very well. )...not talking about landing a trick switch, but being able to bomb a blue or black, top to bottom while switch!)

It's worth learning early while you are still learning everything else! Good luck!
 

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Beaver Creek Ski Resort groomers roll out the corduroy - YouTube

here's a quick clip of someone keeping their shoulders nice and quiet while riding.....a habit you WANT to get into.
unless you're making a really drastic turn, or initiating a rotation,.....your shoulders should stay quiet.
what does this have to do with your back leg hurting????
well, because if you get alittle more forward on your board,.....you will be initiating your transitions with the front of your board which is assisted
mainly by small changes in head and shoulder movement .
I'm sure other people might contest this because some learn from the bottom up.....but I personally think the top down method is more sound, teaches better form and is, in the long run, more stylish.
but that's just me.....:)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
By keeping your shoulders quiet do you mean that i shouldnt be rotating them when i turn? just watching that clip it seems that whoever was boarding was using their hips more then anything to turn and their shoulders almost stayed stationary?
 

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By keeping your shoulders quiet do you mean that i shouldnt be rotating them when i turn? just watching that clip it seems that whoever was boarding was using their hips more then anything to turn and their shoulders almost stayed stationary?
if you are going relatively slow,....you may need to actively change the position of your shoulder to initiate.....the energy will travel down your body and into your board a split second later......the faster you are going,...the less drastic these movements need to be because of centripetal/centrifugal forces.

the slower you go....the more you want to actively turn your HEAD to look in the direction you want to go.....your shoulders will follow but these are not drastic movements.....they should just be little nudges to get your board to change direction.

the reason the person in the vid looked like they were using their hips more is because the the speed they were travelling. The faster you go,....the more you can use your edge and drive the forces down and through your body and into the board. you will feel this more and more as you progress.

anyone else wanna chime in on this?.....I'm no expert, and don't claim to be...sometimes my explanations might be alittle off,....but I am a strong rider and my technique is very much like the person in the vid.
 

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the thing is.....when you're learning you're in a catch 22....
you have to go slow so you don't fall in order to build some muscle memory and progress......but you need some speed in order to feel what it's like to engage your edges and how your body times the movement.
when you go slow,.....this is harder to do,...because snowboarding is an activity that speed and physics actually makes easier.......but in order to understand what you need to do.....you have to learn how to keep from falling long enough for your brain to understand what's going on......lol
catch 22

but deffinately,....an awareness of trying to stay forward on the board a bit and trying to keep the shoulders quiet and not whipping all over the place is a really good thing to shoot for and keep in mind. as you get better,..it will all start to make sense why.....lol
 

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By keeping your shoulders quiet do you mean that i shouldnt be rotating them when i turn? just watching that clip it seems that whoever was boarding was using their hips more then anything to turn and their shoulders almost stayed stationary?
it "looks" like the person in the vid is using their hips to turn the board.....
but what you're actually seeing is the energy being translated down and through the body and into the snowboard and ultimately, to the snowboard's
edge.

cool hey?

I loooove physics:eusa_clap:
 
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