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Deep carving, Kijima method

142994 Views 1362 Replies 72 Participants Last post by  powaranoia
Ok guys here goes. I offer this purely as a demonstration of how I get this job done, and a bit of an insight into how I think about snowboarding itself. I will try to upload pics and video in time.
My stats are 40 years old, 191cm, 84kg, US10 burton boot, Rome Katana bindings and my own hand made snowboard which is 142cm, 30.5cm waist, 1m edge, 12m radius

My focus in this post will be body movements not board actions.
When I think about my snowboard I ride poorly, when I think of body positions I ride with much more fluidity and start progressing quickly.
To me carving is like dancing, when you get it right you find your body doing a funny little dance, focusing and perfecting this dance until your muscles learn the rhythm is key. This leaves our mind free, free to identify mistakes and make the appropriate corrections, the body works on autopilot, it is our mind that will get us there.

Unlearning bad muscle memory is a huge part of learning to lay it down, the way I unlearned my bad muscle memories was by getting very dynamic with short turns, hundreds of them every day. I can hear the sound in my head as I type, woosh, woosh, woosh, woosh as my board wraps itself around my body with newfound effortlessness. In short time your muscles learn the new memories, the new dance.
I call mine the dolphin dance, cause I kinda feel like a mix between a dolphin and a surfer duck diving a wave as I do it. One thing that my dolphin dance does for me is it automatically gets me bending my knees at the right time. That natural curve that a dolphin swims with is how I visualize my body movements, its an up and down rhythm. When we add up and down rhythm to our turn we become dynamic. You can call yours anything you like, but learn yourself a carving dance, I can practice carving in my living room simply by doing my little dolphin dance. Enough said on that lol.
edit. Most competent snowboarders think they can skip this step but they are the ones you see hunched over at the waist reaching for the snow.

Now that we have mastered the dynamic body movements, its time to start trying to lay it down. Now we will run into lots of problems, identifying the problems we run into and dealing with them pronto is how we will progress. It is critical that we use methods we understand clearly, there is no room for confusion here.
Following are some things that my experience has proven to be true, I‘m not interested in arguing these points, to me they are simply true.

1. Think of a triangle between your two feet and your front shoulder, a constantly variable triangle, weight distribution from front to back over your board can be controlled by manipulating this triangle. Your front shoulder is all you need to move to manipulate this triangle. I like to imagine a grid, my shoulder fills one square in the grid, if I feel chatter at the front of my edge I move my shoulder one grid position forward and the chatter is eliminated, likewise for the back edge. Get to know your chatter points by seeking them out and correcting them.

2. A snowboarder is a joy stick. The snowboarders front shoulder is the ball on top of the joy stick. If you want to get lower to the snow, the joy stick must be tilted over. Moving your front shoulder is how you lean it over. Give power to your shoulder as you practice, let your body recognize its importance. I push things around, open doors etc, basically do random shit with my shoulder all the time when I am not snowboarding. Its like my body respects my shoulder as an important part of my body now. This helps my snowboarding immensely .

3. A turn is simply a by product of upper body rotation.

So we now have 3 things to think about as per my previous list.
Number one is all about simplification of front to back weighting of the edges.
Number two is all about simplification of leaning it over.
Number three is all about simplification of both turn initiation and completion and it also plays a critical role in in the heel side lay down carve which I will talk about later.

So we learned our muscle memory and now we have only 3 things to think about, our shoulder, our shoulder and our shoulders lol. This is getting easy now.

Lets talk toe side lay down turns. For me it starts with identifying a nice piece of snow to do the carve on, I like a slight berm or slightly concave terrain as this eases the amount of flex required of the board, effectively making your turn bigger and longer.
I am travelling directly across the hill as I start and finish this turn.
So the main difference between Ryans method and my method is that Ryan finishes his heel turn fully squatted, flips to the toe edge and extends out his body where as I finish my heel turn by straightening my legs completely and popping up, by popping up I harness the stored energy in the board and get a little bit of air as I shift to the toe edge.
Now the straight legs that I just stood up with are the straight legs that will carry me through the turn, no extension is necessary. Because muscle memory will carry me effortlessly through the turn, and that from this beautifully set up position my board has no option but to race around my body as I fall forward with straight legs. By the time my face approaches the snow the board is already pointing down hill, my shoulder quickly drops back a few grid positions to avoid folding the nose of the board over. My two gloves effortlessly touch the snow unlike Ryans one forearm, ITS PARTY TIME, and ever so quickly its over as I bend my knees which lets the board come under me and picks me up, if I‘m good I can straighten my legs and get some air as I exit the turn.

When I tried Ryans method my heel turns felt very undynamic staying crouched the whole time and not popping out of the turns. My heel turns lost efficiency and caused me to lose momentum into the lay down carve which really hurts your confidence.

Now lets talk heel side lay down turns.
The heel side lay down turn feels so much better than the toe side turn for some reason and looks way cooler IMO.
So the heel turn starts with over exaggerated shoulder rotation as you finish your toe turn.
Find a chair, sit down in it, now stand up and down a few times, noting where your butt automatically goes to. Now stand up again and rotate your shoulders simulating the end of a toe side turn, try to sit back in your chair with your shoulders still rotated, your butt moved huh? This is the secret.
I start my heel turn travelling across the slope with my shoulders still fully rotated from the toe turn, the pop from the toe turn exit unweights the board, whilst the board is in the air I shoulder my body weight across to the heel side and begin to sit down on the snow. Once my butt touches the snow it is super easy to bring both gloves down onto the snow and enjoy heel side Party Time. To exit the turn simply bend your knees and the board will pick you up.
When you learn this you will actually sit on the snow a lot but as you get better you can finesse the joystick action with your shoulder to keep your butt just off the snow.

The other variation of this is the fully flat on your back style which I am working on at the moment but this comes with much higher risk of injury so I am rocking a back protector now for it.
For the lay flat you simply don’t bring your hands to the front and lay down on your back, its an easy position to get into but it is much harder to stand up from and I am tending to 180 out of it which I can obviously fix by moving my shoulder back a grid position or two.

If you have questions fire away.
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I do have a question: You are a big guy. What advantages does a tiny board such as yours offer? My kid weighs less than 45 kg and her board has about the same effective edge.
A video showing that move in the wild, i.e. on an actual snowboard, would be great. The skateboard video looks pretty much like standard EC moves as propagated by the Swoard and Pureboarding guys.
I just ordered one of these cant plates for my rear binding thinking it might deliver more power to the rear heel.
They would have told you that at any Pureboarding camp in the last twelve years or so. (Although they might have added it's not worth bothering with moving parts, just get the 6° wedge and be done with it.)
Doesn't Joerg and his crew ride flat ?
You're probably thinking of the Swoard guys. They're very big on riding flat.
I'll be curious to know how the heel block works out for you.
To whom it may concern:
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I found that all I need for carving is board width, my 1m of effective edge has far more edge hold than my body can deal with at the moment so I have no reason to go longer.
So short edges work well for soft conditions and high speed riding but when it's really firm more edge and less width is beneficial for sure
I have a feeling that, like a nice carve at the flat end of a run, this thread might just come full circle.
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So taking too much edge to a piste that is providing a healthy dose of traction is unnecessary, kind of like chopping an onion with a machete, its over kill and you might just cut your finger in the process.
Not sure if I understand you correctly. But it looks to me like you are saying: "If your technique is good enough for difficult conditions, you should get another board for easier conditions, because your technique is probably not good enough for those."
Oh come on.
Have a good think about your reasons
Entertainment, mostly. Two years ago, when this thread started and the "extremely short wide board" was presented as the surprising solution to carving (along with body movements which were rather hard to explain), I was wondering if
a) everybody else had missed something important in the last twenty years or so
or b) you would revise your opinion, and if that, how long it would take.
Turns out that “b)” and “two years”.
I was also wondering when you would treat us to your good self putting your theories to the test (as in actually carving, on actual video, in actual non-perfect conditions).
Answer: maybe later, because, oh crap, all those pesky powder days.
People come in here to talk about or think about abstract ideas related to carving,
Truer words were never written.
Quit it with the negative vibes please Aracan.
I thought this was a discussion, not an agreeing contest. I believe you said (at least you couldn't be bothered to enlighten me otherwise, instead choosing to chastize me about the quality of my “energy”) that one should get a special board for those rare days when conditions are nice enough that anyone halfway competent could carve on their toilet door. In case I haven’t made myself clear:
That's bullshit. If you can carve on hardpack but aren't able to carve leisurely on grippy snow there is something wrong with your technique, not with your board.
I think of it as more “bring the right board for the conditions.”
If your first board is a GS board with an 18 cm waist, then by all means get another board for those mellower days. If your first board is a modern slalom board, or an all-around alpine board, or anything meant to be ridden in softboots, chances are it is plenty mellow. And if anyone still insists that you need a “mellow” board, you might justifiably ask yourself why. Especially if it involves a faulty comparison with edged weapons.
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Whatever rocks your boat. As long as you don't tell me that it's somehow dangerous ("might cut your finger") to ride a more capable board in conditions that don't demand it …
See above. If you feel a quiver adds to your fun, then by all means build a quiver. Just don't tell me I need a mellow board because I might cut myself with a more capable board. Especially not if you are in the business of selling those mellow boards for $ 1,000 apiece.
I think you’d cut yourself with any board.
It has happened, although not while carving. That must be why Hula-Hoops are the new weapon of choice. Much safer all around.
If you managed to cut yourself on a Hula Hoop you obviously have found the secret that this thread is about. More power to you.
Some people find more splay (angle difference between front and rear) facilitates a strong toeside turn. So if +30 +15 suits you, it's worth trying if +35 or even +40 and +15 (if your binding supports that) might suit you even better.
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Do you think it's more splay or a more square rear foot that adds power to toe turns?
Like creating that same splay by reducing the rear angle instead would probably make more people feel a stronger toe turn.
In a nutshell, both. But my rear angle is a given resulting from boot size and board width. With my boards I cannot go lower than 40° and still avoid overhang. I have been told by experienced riders with smaller feet that an even lower angle is beneficial.
However, I know from experience that increasing splay by increasing the front angle will also improve the toeside turn. There seems to be an upper limit. Personally, I don't really feel comfortable on a 24 cm board with an angle noticeable higher than, say, 65°.
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When you do a toe turn with rotated upper body your hips are at 90 degrees to the board instead of parallel, and this allows you to get weight over the toe edge in a new way and I'm finding it to be very effective.
I may be picturing this wrong, but it sounds like you are advocating the advantages of counter-rotation for toeside turns.
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