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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone! I always have trouble on those cat tracks and flats. I need a better way to move around on them than I already do. I try to get enough speed to clear the flat area, but I never can. I'm constantly hopping and skating, which tires me out quickly. I know this thing called 'penguin walking' exists, but I'm not the best snowboarder and not sure if I can do that. If anybody has some tips on...
1) riding with more speed while being in control
2) how to 'penguin walk'
3) other tips for flat areas
...I will gladly accept them. Flats have been my worst enemy as a snowboarder. :(
 

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You're probably talking about a very specific set of flats wherever you regularly ride, so I doubt anyone can comment on that. If you can't get up enough speed to cross the flats, it may be that it's just not possible. Do you see other snowboarders getting across successfully?

Penguin walk is great for getting across short distances, but it's more tiring and slower than skating, so it's probably not your best option. Snowboard Addiction has a video on how to penguin walk. If you find skating tiring, you might be trying too hard to get as much speed as possible. More time spent gliding and less time spent pushing takes a little longer but is a lot easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You're probably talking about a very specific set of flats wherever you regularly ride, so I doubt anyone can comment on that. If you can't get up enough speed to cross the flats, it may be that it's just not possible. Do you see other snowboarders getting across successfully?

Penguin walk is great for getting across short distances, but it's more tiring and slower than skating, so it's probably not your best option. Snowboard Addiction has a video on how to penguin walk. If you find skating tiring, you might be trying too hard to get as much speed as possible. More time spent gliding and less time spent pushing takes a little longer but is a lot easier.
There are indeed some specific flats I get stuck on, but I rarely get past any kind of flat area :\ I see some snowboarders get across, but many of us get stuck.

I will try out your tips next season and look into penguin walking. thanks! :D
 

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On the flats I think a good quality wax job is key, if your wax is worn off or the wrong wax for the conditions then any technique wont really help you.
Also you got the right idea with more speed and being in control. Flat basing will help immensely as any edge work will slow you down a little bit; try keeping your weight on your front foot or even a little bit ahead of it. It takes a lot of practice to get good at doing that.
Aerodynamics play an important role too, get as low as you can and hold your arms behind your back, this gets less important the slower you get.
If you got someone in front of you get in their draft, that is follow exactly behind them so they break the air for you.
Being heavier will help keep your momentum going longer as well, if you a scrawny guy I guess you can't do too much about it.
Follow all those above steps and you should be able to make it farther then someone leaning on an edge, standing straight up and not following someone. Maybe a little penguin shuffle at the end, who knows.
If your slow but not stopped yet ask a passing skier for a little help and you usually get a pole launch.
 

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On the flats I think a good quality wax job is key, if your wax is worn off or the wrong wax for the conditions then any technique wont really help you.
Also you got the right idea with more speed and being in control. Flat basing will help immensely as any edge work will slow you down a little bit; try keeping your weight on your front foot or even a little bit ahead of it. It takes a lot of practice to get good at doing that.
Aerodynamics play an important role too, get as low as you can and hold your arms behind your back, this gets less important the slower you get.
If you got someone in front of you get in their draft, that is follow exactly behind them so they break the air for you.
Being heavier will help keep your momentum going longer as well, if you a scrawny guy I guess you can't do too much about it.
Follow all those above steps and you should be able to make it farther then someone leaning on an edge, standing straight up and not following someone. Maybe a little penguin shuffle at the end, who knows.
If your slow but not stopped yet ask a passing skier for a little help and you usually get a pole launch.
Yep 100% agree with freshy, good fresh wax job is the key. I can burn heaps further across flats whilst others have to break out and skate. You need to be able to launch it super hard like an Exocet missile in the drop down and then keep off the edges, flat basing minimising any action that will wash off speed. Having the right board profile/size helps a great deal as well.
 

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Yep 100% agree with freshy, good fresh wax job is the key. I can burn heaps further across flats whilst others have to break out and skate. You need to be able to launch it super hard like an Exocet missile in the drop down and then keep off the edges, flat basing minimising any action that will wash off speed. Having the right board profile/size helps a great deal as well.
Exactly this, I feel I can flat base indefinitely with a decent wax and getting some speed up beforehand. Clearly not indefinitely as that breaks the laws of physics...
 

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The Swiss Miss
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What freshly said, plus
- while crouching down to reduce air brake and flatbasing, concentrate on putting weight on front foot (you're less likely to catch an edge)

- If there is one, stay in a track of a snowboarder who run before you; the flat track helps to keep speed

- in spring, get a stone grind structure on the base; this reduces the braking effect of wet snow which likes to accumulate on flats
 
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Also, because you mentioned you were getting into parks in the other post, resist the urge to attempt ground tricks like butters, spins, or combos thereof on flats. Unless you are Arthur Longo, in which case give us SHE 4 already.
 

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I like to tilt my pelvis forward when flatbasing. Keeping your knees bent is a big part of it, but the pelvic tilt stacks your weight much better than letting your butt stick out. It's a stable position that lets you plow through chunder at high speeds with confidence. @wrathfuldeity has a creepy basement video that explains what I'm trying to say better.
 

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I like to add a little nollie/ollie movement/hops if it looks like im not gonna clear the flats, i kinda shift front to back and throw small hops using momentum to get myself a few extra feet of glide, leaning back and taking all the weight off of the front works a little bit as well.
 

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The biggest thing not mentioned yet is understanding the fall line. Even on flats they're rarely actually flat. Remember even the slightest slope helps and that slope may not be going directly straight down the trail. your flat probably has a slight slope to the left or right, when you approach the flat stay on the high side of it, and then slowly work your way down the fall line across the path, pumping doing this helps keep up small amounts of momentum. Any little bumps or knolls you will want to pump down the backside of. Understanding fall line is probably the most undervalued and underthought about area of snowboarding for beginner to mid tier riders.
 

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I like to add a little nollie/ollie movement/hops if it looks like im not gonna clear the flats, i kinda shift front to back and throw small hops using momentum to get myself a few extra feet of glide, leaning back and taking all the weight off of the front works a little bit as well.
I wax wondering if I was imagining things, but maybe not. It always seems lilt a tail press helps me pick up a little speed. I guess the physics of it make sense. Now if I could get good enough at them to feel confident I won't have to dig an edge in to save myself would be a something...

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