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Deep carving, Kijima method

142996 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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Woah Thanks!
? So question, focusing on your leading shoulder as the top of the joy stick in the triangle, does it move in the usual 3 axis, fore/aft, toe/heelside and up/down? Or does is the movement more of two axis of toe/heelside and fore/aft...and for the up/down axis, is that the leaning over? Just trying to visualize or am I completely off base?
Abit late...started this reply in the middle of sleeping today....


(I dont particularly like the hand dragging.... but everything they're doing is beauty).
These folks don't hand drag as much

And these folks only briefly touch the snow.

Watching these vids, it seems that in the first vid, stances are more forward and the use of their hands are reminiscent of Craig Kelly. Verses the second vid it looks abit duck and more RK style. Which brings me to another question about stance angles of ++ or +/ be a factor of technique and style. Idk but OP's initial post seems to be perhaps more geared to forward ++ angles.
My current softboot quiver:

Rad Air Tanker 172
Oxess BX 159/10
Swoard Dual 168
SG Soul 159 XT
Dupraz D1 6+ (178cm)
Do hardboots?
^ Atomic Backland non-carbon boots to use with Phantom, Amplid creamer 163 split. But also picked up 2 old alpine race boards from TT and will use a set of race plates on one and spark dyno dh on the other. First season and really loving the backlands, fitting better than my 32 focus boas and significantly better performance riding down.
Damm, wish I didn't have this house project...cause otherwise I be out there trying abunch of this right meow.
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Yesterday I put in about 2 hours work on the long board playing with knee rolls.
What I learned is a further simplification of thought procecess for making a turn.. I love simplification lol.

So what I worked out is this. For a heel turn I think about all my power running down my front leg and out through the bone just behind my little toe.
100% weight on the outside of my front foot.

For a toe turn I simply roll my front foot until all my power is running down my leg and out through the ball of my foot.

I'm just flipping my front foot from side to side and my longboard is automatically turning.

I ordered a DJI ronin sc pro to make some vids but it's taking a while to get here.

So are you swinging/rolling your lead knee forward toward the nose for heelside and then bring it aft and driving the knee to go toeside...just trying to visualize?
Knee roll vid is live

Nice vid of showing the knee roll while moving verses just standing in the creepy basement vid...I think we are talking (more or less) about the same thing however you are rolling the knee more and I like your squeezing it out. The creepy is more for newbs and your's is for advanced folks.

I have never seen that before but it seems we agree on a lot, I would love to chat with the man.

I would like everyone to know that I dont think I invented anything here, and I have no need for ego stroking. All the information is available to everyone, too much of it in fact.
All I did was sort and refine until I had nothing left but the bare essentials and tried to deliver it in a simple, easy to understand manner. The video was my first edited video ever lol, I will get better and I will update the video this season ON SNOW :D

Thanks to everyone sharing good vibes ?
^Likewise, did the vid for a person that had a below the knee amp and had some ROM issues (was my first and only SB vid). I'm self-taught, during my initial schooling, had alot of difficulty understanding basic concepts and moves. A large part of the difficulty, was watching others on hill you couldn't see what was actually happening under the baggy clothes and they were moving too fast. So in the vid just covering some basic gems that folks graciously bestowed on me over the years. The vid is basic conceptual stuff I wish someone would have done in a simple easy package. wrath
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We need close up footy of the hip movement...well maybe not :O
Long version - I think this means drive the board into the heelside turn. Try and avoid just setting your heel edge then letting the board wrap around the arc of the turn while you are a static passenger on top and skidding along. 99% of riders. Instead place your body where it needs to be on your toeside to drive the board on edge into the heelside, then trim the heelside line so you carve and drive all the way through. 1% of riders.

Short version - Use your body to build your toeside momentum and transfer that power to your heelside.
WUT? Is this like doing a cross under carve?
Interesting stuff ya'll...still trying to absorb it. But I'm wondering about the hands/arms (btw reminds me of Craig Kelly's use of his hands and more of a short board surfing style). I get that it adds to the flow and adds to the body positioning. The but, with extended arms, it also slow you down especially when you are in terrain where need to do the "low cross overs" or where you do cross under carves/turns where the more compact you are, the better. Over the years, I've tried to become more compact because I can get a faster reaction out of the board. Then again it could very likely be...because I don't ride/nor have wide open perfect groomers to blast. Its fairly rare to wide open groomers that are groomed well and without folks. Just wondering about flying arms and if you can do the movements without the arms.

This year have been working on carving without my hands/arms by "holding onto the cowboy buckle", getting low and then feathering the edges by pulling or extending my toes in the boots.
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Is that a parachute pack? And I remember those crazy boards you were pressing...outstanding!
You can see the epic flex Im getting with the 2.0 board. This flex is what makes it feel like a carving snowboard, its causing a really nice progressive rake change to the truck angles which really changes the feel of the turns.
Stiff decks cannot get close to the feeling.
The only problem Im having is actually bottoming out the deck on the road if I turn too hard so v3.0 is getting a big camber section between the feet. That should stop the bottom outs and hopefully add more pop as a bonus.
I want the flex to happen between the feet and the trucks rather than in the middle of the board.
View attachment 153955 View attachment 153956
I'm putting in an order for the v3.0 deck...please pm me an invoice. Thanks!
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I gotta make it work first boys!

But seriously, thanks for the vibes.
I'm a believer! Seriously, I want in the production line. Years ago, my lame ass hack at a bamboo battling ram from scraps. A turning radius of at least 15 meters, bottom out, adjustable deck elevation and weighed 10 If it got away, it would do serious damage...kill pedestrians, dogs and cats. Gave it away to some kid with the stern warning it would hurt somebody.
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Ill be throwing up a website in the next few days.
I have been selling snowboards locally but this funny looking skatey will be the first product I stock and sell like a regular shop.

Its exciting for me after 5 years of basically zero income lol.

Im talking with a US distributor you all know well, so that should mean I can keep some stock in Colorado for easy shipping throughout North America.
I have a distributor in Australia also.

Fingers crossed we can even ship this stuff atm.
Pleading, give us a heads up, kickstarter or preferably do a pre-order with the US distributor. Also sending a pm, meow
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@Kijima Yesterday did a tad of adjustment of stance angles, to +18, 0. It was great! Had smoother engagement of both heel and toeside and much improved mogul riding. Noticed that if I got too transverse in the shoulders to the fall line I would have to do 45-90 degrees hop/flick to save myself...and had to make a slight adjustment to riding flats. Anyway love it, plan to stick with the +18, 0 for 1 more day and then give ++ a go.
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This has become my powder stance. FF 24/9, It's not too aggressive, offers enough heel side mobility for nice pow turns without making too much work out of toe turns.
With greater angles in pow I found it too much work squaring up my hips for toe turns, but on groomers I need more rotation so I run more angle.
@Kijima couple of ?'s Are you running different angles on groomed/packed vs the pow angles? Stance width, just slippers on the floor, at my 23" width duck trying the FF angles, my hips were doing crazy things and felt like a locked/limited range (not in a good way). Where as FF with width about 19-20" felt comfortable easy to move my hips around and with good range. So wondering if that is the case of going FF and significantly narrowing the stance with? Thanks! Going to try FF tomorrow woohoo!
Yes I run less angle on my pow board now. FF 24 9 and my stance width is 60cm.
A narrow stance makes it difficult to squat down low for the heel turn, hard booters run narrow stance to induce decambering.
I use a wide stance and induce decambering with my knee in knee out method.
Knapton uses a wide stance too which helps him squat.

I think you should go as wide as you can whilst maintaining maximum upper body rotation, and don't forget to put effort into your front hip for toe turns
With a stance width of 60cm, what is your inseam...leg?
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