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Ever since i started snow boarding lessons i've always found going on my heel edge (even when slip sliding) the most difficult to manage. i've now made it onto the main indoor slope - i can link my toe to heel edge turn really easily, but i'm having trouble linking my heel to toe edge turn. Do you have any tips which will help me improve my heel to toe edge turn, or is it just something that will get easier with practice?
 

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bend your knees and put your weight on your front foot when you initiate the heelside to toe side turn.
So you're leaning down the hill you want to get your body perpendicular to the slope
 

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Ever since i started snow boarding lessons i've always found going on my heel edge (even when slip sliding) the most difficult to manage. i've now made it onto the main indoor slope - i can link my toe to heel edge turn really easily, but i'm having trouble linking my heel to toe edge turn. Do you have any tips which will help me improve my heel to toe edge turn, or is it just something that will get easier with practice?
Toeside turns are mostly difficult because you're likely trying to look downhill and only committing to the toeside turn with part of your body. It's a common problem because a lot of people try to keep their upper body/head looking downhill while their lower body is trying to turn toeside and you end up fighting against your own turn.

That's why toe to heelside turns tend to be easier because you naturally want to look downhill, whereas with your heelside to toeside turns you don't.

Here's a blog I did that should help you out: Why Your Toeside Turns Require More Work Than Heelside & How To Fix It

Basically a huge part of making toeside turns as easy as heelside turns is just making sure you turn with your whole body and not just your lower half.
 

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Awesome, let us know how it goes!
So.. i had my lesson, and bearing all your advice and tips in mind, i managed to do some really good heel to toe edge turns! :yahoo: Jed i found the over exaggerating helped alot :thumbsup: By the end of my lesson i was doing big and small turns and got up quite a speed... well to me it was fast! haha.
 

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So.. i had my lesson, and bearing all your advice and tips in mind, i managed to do some really good heel to toe edge turns! :yahoo: Jed i found the over exaggerating helped alot :thumbsup: By the end of my lesson i was doing big and small turns and got up quite a speed... well to me it was fast! haha.
That's awesome man, glad it worked out.
 

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Toeside turns are mostly difficult because you're likely trying to look downhill and only committing to the toeside turn with part of your body.
Interestingly, I have entirely different problems with toeside and heelside turns. With toeside, I have trouble getting the upper body to commit on a steep slope -- but once I've got it going the turn is sweet and flawless. With heelside, I have never had problems getting the turn started on even the steepest blacks, but as soon as I come around I have a tendency to swing into a braking skid. Both probably from scaredy-cat reactions to the OMG steepness. IMO the important thing is to know you're doing it wrong and to know what you need to do to fix it.
 

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Yeah, steep slopes usually screw people's technique up when they stop committing to their turns because most people don't want to dip their upper body down to match the steepness of the slope as they turn and that brings all of those problems.

In instructing one of the techniques we use is to tell people to 'teapot' when they turn on steep slopes.

So their front hand because the funnel of a teapot and they have to pour water out every time they turn and that basically forces people to match their upper to the angle of the slope every time they turn.
 

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Overcoming that fear and actually WEIGHTING your front foot on the steeps....thats where fun will blow your mind....its the best thing ever.....
 

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Can anyone simplify the principle of linking turns, for the exceptionally hard-of-thinking newcomer like me?
I can make my way down the mountain on either heel or toe (toe is very strenuous on my insteps for some reason), but linking the two is counterintuitive to the most fundamental lesson I've learned: NEVER let the downhill edge bite.
I can just about link on a very gentle slope, staying very close to the fall-line - but cannot see how a turn when trimming across the slope can possibly happen without engaging the fatal downhill edge . . .
Ive read all about twisting the board, and biting with the front edge first - but still can't see how this can avoid tripping over that edge. Is there a simple explanation? In words of one syllable? : )
 

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Can anyone simplify the principle of linking turns, for the exceptionally hard-of-thinking newcomer like me?
I can make my way down the mountain on either heel or toe (toe is very strenuous on my insteps for some reason), but linking the two is counterintuitive to the most fundamental lesson I've learned: NEVER let the downhill edge bite.
I can just about link on a very gentle slope, staying very close to the fall-line - but cannot see how a turn when trimming across the slope can happen without engaging the fatal downhill edge . . .
I think the issue may be that you're connecting "Never let the downhill edge bite" with "Never pressure your downhill edge", but in reality you can still pressure the downhill edge without making it bite and catch on the snow.

You only catch your downhill edge when you pressure it at the wrong time AND with the wrong weight distribution.

I actually have a free video series on linking turns if you're having trouble visualizing what you need to do (sorry it's not in HD and requires an email opt-in, I'm working on re-doing them now in HD and removing any opt in requirements in the next update of my member's area): Beginner Snowboard Lessons
 

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Initiating the turn?

Thanks for that super quick reply.
I've seen lots of video on the subject of linking turns - but they all make it look easy without clarifying what's happening under your feet. I suspect the good guys have forgotten how baffling some things are when you're learning.
I'm still left guessing: do you (almost) flatten out your front foot, releasing the edge at the front and intiating a downhill SLIDE - drifting the front end downhill BEFORE you can engage the new edge?
Is THAT what I'm seeing?
 

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Thanks for that super quick reply.
I've seen lots of video on the subject of linking turns - but they all make it look easy without clarifying what's happening under your feet. I suspect the good guys have forgotten how baffling some things are when you're learning.
I'm still left guessing: do you (almost) flatten out your front foot, releasing the edge at the front and intiating a downhill SLIDE - drifting the front end downhill BEFORE you can engage the new edge?
Is THAT what I'm seeing?
Okay, from your description it seems you're trying to avoid completely engagement the downhill edge still, which is the problem. As I said earlier, it's not about avoiding engaging the downhill edge, but rather about engagement it properly.

You actually WANT to engage the downhill edge in this case.

So to put it in your words it's not:

"do you (almost) flatten out your front foot, releasing the edge at the front and intiating a downhill SLIDE - drifting the front end downhill BEFORE you can engage the new edge?"

But rather you should be doing this:

Your front foot swaps to the other edge (toe to heel or heel to toe), followed immediately by your back foot.

You didn't mention anything about how your body turns as well, which is possibly where you're going wrong because as long as your body is working with your feet correctly, you shouldn't be catching an edge.

In simple speak you would be turning like this if you were changing turns:

- Head turns a looks where you want to turn
- Shoulders and upper body follow head
- Hips follow shoulders and upper body
- Knees and ankles follow hips

(if your instructor is US and not Canadian, he'd teach you to turn from bottom up instead of top to bottom, but either method is fine)

Honestly if you can I'd highly recommend taking an on-hill lesson. It sounds a lot like you're trying to learn this by yourself, but it will speed up this early learning process 10 times when you have an instructor walking you through the steps.
 

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Can anyone simplify the principle of linking turns, for the exceptionally hard-of-thinking newcomer like me?
I can make my way down the mountain on either heel or toe (toe is very strenuous on my insteps for some reason), but linking the two is counterintuitive to the most fundamental lesson I've learned: NEVER let the downhill edge bite.
I can just about link on a very gentle slope, staying very close to the fall-line - but cannot see how a turn when trimming across the slope can possibly happen without engaging the fatal downhill edge . . .
Ive read all about twisting the board, and biting with the front edge first - but still can't see how this can avoid tripping over that edge. Is there a simple explanation? In words of one syllable? : )
oh man, when you switching edges, you also want to stack your weight to that edge at the same time. think of pivoting your body at the bottom of your board.
DO NOT switching edges when your weight is stacked over the other edge.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX-5rpqaLd8
 

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"I'd highly recommend taking an on-hill lesson"
That's exactly what I did (in Czech Republic) but to my dismay - instead of taking us up the mountain - we got our lesson on a kiddie slope with virtually no slope - and even less snow, and learnt to do all the stuff I already knew and nothing more. It's difficult to tell your instructor 'tell me something I don't know' - even when he does speak English. Communication barrier!
Thanks for the help anyway, guys. Is a certain amount of speed essential to the technique? Is it possible to go too slow to pull off a complete turn, btw?
 

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"I'd highly recommend taking an on-hill lesson"
That's exactly what I did (in Czech Republic) but to my dismay - instead of taking us up the mountain - we got our lesson on a kiddie slope with virtually no slope - and even less snow, and learnt to do all the stuff I already knew and nothing more. It's difficult to tell your instructor 'tell me something I don't know' - even when he does speak English. Communication barrier!
Thanks for the help anyway, guys. Is a certain amount of speed essential to the technique? Is it possible to go too slow to pull off a complete turn, btw?
Ah, that's too bad about the lesson. I'd say a tiny bit of speed is useful, but you don't really need more than that to get used to linking turns.

Mainly concentrate on linking up your body like I described and also the making sure you don't ride back foot so you don't end up using your board like a rudder but use the whole board instead (putting your weight a little forward-ish or balanced in the middle of your board is helpful for initiating each turn).
 
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