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Leading with your lower body and feet make absolute sense. However, what we are trying to figure out is why abandon upper body movement altogether? Do you guys instruct against upper body movement in all situations (minus freestyle)?
 

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Leading with your lower body and feet make absolute sense. However, what we are trying to figure out is why abandon upper body movement altogether? Do you guys instruct against upper body movement in all situations (minus freestyle)?
when i use to teach beginners a lot i would have them always keep their shoulders stacked over the board until they became more comfortable riders to prevent them from learning any bad habits and once the kid has progressed enough we'd start messing around with different kinds of dynamic turns and such. shoulders have a lot less to do with turns then you might think but there are still situations where it is appropriate

also i dont necessarily teach them NOT to move their shoulders at all but more so to keep them generally above their board as to keep your weight over their board instead of over the snow throwing them off balance slightly in turns. no matter what your shoulders tend to follow through with the turn but that doesnt mean you cant keep then stacked over your board for better weight distribution or that its your shoulders thats initiating the turn.
 

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Okay, that's what I was wondering.

When I ride, I do keep my shoulders squared. However, when I'm on steeper terrains and need to make a quick and tight turn to avoid an obstacle that I saw too late, I do in fact use my upper body. Also, there are times where I will dig my fists into the snow for toe side turning, but that's more for fun than anything :laugh:

I also use my upper body in mogul fields. I use the method Snowolf posted some time ago, "hop turning". I do have to use my hips in that situation because I have to purposely lift the tail of my board and use my shoulders/hips to turn the board tightly.

But I totally understand why it is important that beginners learn to keep their shoulders squared and start with the feet.
 

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You guys are all granpa's

I steer my board using my psychic telekinesis and I avoid running into noobs bwith my clairvoyance and ESP.
 

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Nice explanation Snowolf (as always on these matters).

In my defense, I don't ever exclusively use my upper body even in moguls. Always lower body first, but I do put my upper body into play because either I don't know any better, or I just can't navigate moguls without the help of upper body.

On the deeper carving note, I'm going to pay close attention next season to my carving. I want to see if I'm using any upper body. I hope not after reading your post :p
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Hey thanks Snowolf.

Oops, didn't really think about what I was asking with the carving on steeps :)

Is the term "cross under" used in your lingo? The reason I ask, and one of the underlying reasons for the whole thread, is that I've seen some good "riding" instruction in dvd called Go Snowboard. It covers the foot steering approach, and in my opinion has some excellent exercises/drills for learning to carve...

Toward the end, they move onto the "cross under technique", which they advise for use on steep slopes, to control the riders speed. The board crosses under the riders body. You kinda need to see it, a text description won't work well, but the rider kind of dynamically pops to change to the next edge, and before the pop, they've carved the board around to a slight uphill direction.

(bad explanation, sorry)

I've tried the technique, and found it really hard.

In the video, I wouldn't say the terrain they're showing it on is that steep...

So what my question should have been, rather than asking to see someone carve on steep terrain, is:

- I'd like to see someone ride steep terrain with the correct technique -

You referred to "dynamic skidded terms" - I'd like to get better at that :)

thanks again for the input,

Gavin
 

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Crossunders have a bit of timing thing to coordinate, i.e., so at the extension...pushing out, at the apex then instead of rising your body you use the snap or recoil of the board and you suck your knees up/in to shift the the next edge. You should be comfortable at doing cross overs and going at good speed; having your shoulders aligned to the fall line and then just shifting your hips, suck your knees and extend your legs. There's not that much foot work except to fine tune or subtle to hold carves...like to get that extra bit of bite on heel edge, raise your toes in your boots.
 

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The only time I can think that I consciously twist the board (foot pedal?) is perhaps during very slow speeds to help initiate a skidded turn when I have no momentum going. It comes as a reflex thing once in a while too, if I'm going very slow and catch an edge. A twist / egde pickup releases the edge and saves a fall.

In general, turn initiation should come from the lower body. Snowolf talks about cross overs and cross unders. In use, cross overs IMO lend themselves more to open ended fall line carving on gentler runs, since they're too slow edge to edge for steeper runs unless you make full C-shapes carves and run them out across the fall line slow down across the transition, which isn't ideal or exactly elegant. Cross unders work better for full larger radius carves and higher speeds. Cross throughs, where you push off/extend just before the apex of the turn and suck in through the transition are more dynamic and give you more control at speed. They can also really give you some pop from edge to edge, when you're carving more down the fall line (less full "C"). Since your load the board so heavily and allow it to release quickly, you get a momentary weightless feel in the transition. It's not uncommon to get air time, too, and at times you have to watch not to vault yourself into the trees.

High edge angles (ie; inclination) provide more bite and less tendency to wash out a carve. Except in good snow, where you can use all board inclination and lay your body out in the snow (ala extreme carving), you'll angulate your body as well to keep your center of mass over the board. On slower runs, it's harder to get a high edge angle and your resulting angulation will come more from bending the knees since you just don't build the centifugal force to hold you up. At higher speeds, the anglulation moves up to your hips. These high edge angles at speed generate tremendous centrifugal force and can bend stiff boards with 15-16 m sidecuts into amazingly tight carves.

Here's some carving on varied pitches, starting with black, then blue, then green. In one of the beginning clips, you can see the edge snap or "pop" during the edge to edge transition. You can get an idea on edge angles and angulation as well. In the ending clips, the board just can't get going fast enough on the green runs to really open up and perform at it's best. In the second video, you can see the extreme pop you can get if you load the board a little "too" much. ;)

YouTube - Carving
YouTube - Snowboard Vault
 

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Snowolf, Is the board twist (called pedal?) something currently being taught by AASI? With the exception of a couple of recent training sessions with coaches, I haven't had a formal lesson in 20 years. I still try to keep my pulse on the latest technique, but don't recall it being taught then, nor in the last few years with my wife and kid's lessons. Seems like an intro stepping stone, perhaps, but unnecessary as speed develops and momentum carries you through the (skidded) turn.

But, you're right. I've always been a freecarver at heart and generally don't ride skidded turns unless conditions warrant, even back in the day in my softie Burton Comps. :D
 

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Snowolf, OK, so it sounds like AASI stresses that on the intro level. I get that since it helps the nose to bite/engage when there's no real speed going "to get you going". That's kind of long gone out the window though at full tilt boogie, though.

Skip, Those guys look like they're having fun and killing it. I don't think their technique is so much about a bent waist than it is about maintaining a low center of gravity and being forced to really drive the knees (toe edge) and drop the hips (heel) in order to get the board on high edge since their soft boots have so much fore/aft play before they translate well to the board. (ie; They have to really work it to tilt the board so much higher than during general skidded turns or "light" carving. Nice riding, and good to see the soft booters digging trenches.
 

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While in the topic of steering/carving, I would like to ask what Snowolf and others think about this carving technique.
I think they look like they're having a blast. And I think winter needs to get here quicker.
 

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@Snowwolf, AAA, Donutz: So if you're riding dynamically like that, it's fine for the shoulder not to be parallel with the board/front foot?

and yeah, they look like they're having so much fun and killin it diggin those deep trenches. Actually this is my favorite type of riding after powder just because I don't see make a real nice good carve and it feels good :)
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Wow, thanks Snowolf for all that info, and thanks for the videos also, together, I totally understand what you're saying :)

I'd love to be able to show you one of the examples from the Go Snowboard dvd. It's quite unique. I've not been able to find any clips on youtube though...

Thanks again!
Gavin
 

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@Snowwolf, AAA, Donutz: So if you're riding dynamically like that, it's fine for the shoulder not to be parallel with the board/front foot?
Hey, I'm a relative newb, so I defer to Snowolf on questions of form. However, I took a private lesson last season (after about a season of self-taught boarding) and got myself corrected on a couple of bad habits, including a habit of turning to face down the slope instead of keeping my shoulders parallel to the board. Correcting that made a big difference.
 

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@Snowwolf, AAA, Donutz: So if you're riding dynamically like that, it's fine for the shoulder not to be parallel with the board/front foot?
Sorry, i'm gonna jump in here.

Shoulder placement depends on your stance.

When you are riding straight (neutral stance), the best, most natural stance is usually centered, with your belly button pointing out at an angle pretty much in the middle of the the angle your feet are pointing.

When your knees and belly button are pointing in the same direction as your toes, its very easy to bend your knees naturally, which allows for free movement and MAXIMUM POWER. ha.

Most freestylers ride duck, so in that case the belly button will be almost smack dab in the middle, pointing out 90 degrees from your board. Which means that your shoulders will also be lined up with the board, parallel.

But if you are riding a more alpine-style stance, your feet and knees and bellybutton would be pointing forward, and your shoulders also would NOT be parallel to the board.

When you turn, you initiate from the waist. Of course, that means your upper body leads a bit and your shoulders won't be parallel. Thats fine. Its just natural riding.

While people do this just fine on their heelside turns, they usually don't turn their waist enough on their toeside, and they keep their shoulders open, facing down the board while their knees get all twisted up. Not really a bad thing, but not that practical either.

Did any of that make any sense?
 

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"When you turn, you initiate from the waist. Of course, that means your upper body leads a bit and your shoulders won't be parallel. Thats fine. Its just natural riding." Does this include duck stance or are you referring to the forward stance example (the waist iniatiation)?

So you're saying that when changing from heel to toe because the shoulders have opened up they tend not to close up as much?

For me personally, I'm more comfortable if my shoulders are perpendicular to my front foot (or just a bit less) instead of totally parallel with the board.
 

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"When you turn, you initiate from the waist. Of course, that means your upper body leads a bit and your shoulders won't be parallel. Thats fine. Its just natural riding." Does this include duck stance or are you referring to the forward stance example (the waist iniatiation)?
In general, it refers to any stance. When your turn your hips, the upper body turns with it (The part about your shoulders being parallel with the board is specifically about duck tho)


So you're saying that when changing from heel to toe because the shoulders have opened up they tend not to close up as much?
No, i think that people are just more comfortable facing downhill, and get into that habit, even if its a bit counter-productive. Just like when beginners want to lean on their back foot when riding.

For me personally, I'm more comfortable if my shoulders are perpendicular to my front foot (or just a bit less) instead of totally parallel with the board.
Its not that bad of a habit, every one does it to an extent. But it does compromise a bit of extra power from your legs, as well as make it a little awkward to initiate FS turns when you are already facing that way.
 

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I guess you're right but I ride with +15, -9 so it's not really an extreme angle where you totally face downhill.

I have another question to ask, with any rocker board I heard people say ride your board more centered. So that means there's no this weight towards the nose at initiation at the turn and gradually more pressure on the back foot at the end?
 
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