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The Swiss Miss
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Two things are preying on my mind: forward riding style and board length. This will be more an essay than a post but I tried to pack all information/question/impression together. After many years of only being influenced by the pack I’m riding with, I only recently began to get input from other sides this season, discussed a lot with shop owners, joined this forum, but the more I learned, the more questions showed up.

1) I’m forward with both feet. Done my very first turns 21 years ago for one day on an alpine board, maybe I kept the +/+ stances from then… :dunno:. It was just self-evident that angles are +/+, I never questioned it. Many years with +30/+15, now reduced to +21/+3.

One thing that struck me were some statements from a former race pro (now riding duck with soft boots), while we discussed among other things pro/cons of forward vs. duck stances. When I mentioned my angles, he smiled and said: I bet, you’d call your front leg the “force” leg and hind leg the “steering” leg? Hind knee crooked while on the front side edge? - Yup, very true. Looking at pics of me riding, you see the prominent forward crooked hind leg.

He grinned and said, that this is the typical old school riding style of people into carving and bombing lines, who were never interested in playful riding. You get better performance for this kind of riding with forward angles. - I was very puzzled cause I’ve seen many (younger) guys riding very fast and secure with duck angles and wondered, if +/+ being truly better for carving, then why you see so many duck stances. His answer: People nowadays don’t learn to ride like that anymore. If you get lessons, beginners always start riding duck, cause it offers more options and cause boards are more forgiving now. You gain stability with duck cause both knees can easier be bent deeper – Me: Is my forward riding wrong? Should I change to duck? – He: You would almost have to learn from scratch and get across a deep performance valley. There’s no wrong or right, it’s just different for different purposes.

---> Those statements didn’t let me go. Is there really such a thing like “old school riding”? I’d be very curious to hear what you guys and gals(!) think of that. Who’s riding +/+ and why? Is it an historical or even regional thing? Who changed from +/+ to duck? Why? Where do you think you lost performance and where did you gain?


2) Other thing is the length/stiffness aspect. I’m 120lbs, 5’6… It was only this season I recognized, that I might be kind of a “weird outliner” (at least I was called like that here ;)) considering the boards/lengths I feel at home: my current (and favorite) board is a Jones Flagship 158. My first second-hand board in the early nineties was about 160. It wasn’t me choosing this size, the guy in the shop had as much knowledge as me (zero) and gave me this board size cause my skis had this length. It’s so long since, I hardly remember how riding was back then, but I remember that I found snowboarding to be a very difficult sport :laugh: Only got some minor days each season back then so I actually don’t count those years. Started snowboarding seriously 10 years ago (since then I get 30-40 days every season), when I dated a guy very into snowboarding, riding with a pack of guys, all of them riding since the early nineties. Compared to their abilities, I was/am a complete baby. They were/are into very fast riding, aggressive carving, as soon as there is pow, they’re off the groomers, and they always had rather long/stiff boards. I had to learn to keep up with them and adopted their preferences, was riding on old worn out camber board of this boyfriend (now husband) the first years. Only short board I ever had was a Custom X (about 145(?)), an easy ride on groomers but it didn’t fulfill two of my most important requirements: float in pow and stability at higher speeds. Thus I went back to a longer one, the Liberty Carbon 157. With this, riding finally began to be fun: very stable at high speeds, great to carve, better float in pow. At a demo day, I then ran into the Jones Flagship 158 and the stability and response this board offers amazed me. It was the best board I’ve ever ridden: “best” for me means most stability, most response, most float in pow, great grip. Cause it’s not the board you want to take into spring crud, I recently also got a “small” and “soft” Ride Farah 153. I really like the Farah, but I’m significantly slower with this board: I don’t trust it as much as the Flagship.

---> To make a long story short: This “knack” for long boards is a mixture of “just happened to be / why not” and disappointment (lack of edge hold, lack of float, chatter) by shorter ones. But this outlier thing makes me suspicious... :huh:
But my overall impression is that I lose not only float and edge hold but, most important, stability with shorter, and response with softer ones. Isn't that obvious? At least it's my impression from the ones I’ve owned and tested so far. Is this conclusion a quirk I adopted from the pack or reasonable/necessary? Or is it also an out-dated thing? Who has the same preference? Why?
 

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I still ride 30+ 15+ since the 1990's. I've tried duck when at an AASI training session.

My take is that you cannot get proper hip projection over your healside edge with duck. The turtle effect comes into play.

I agree that some young riders ride just as hard or fast duck, but I don't see them pencil lining turns. (for very long)
 

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All I know is that my, +\+, a-frame stance, canted back foot, shoulders 3/4 to the nose position has brought me nothing but pleasure for 29 yrs, and I hope others can find that no matter how they do it

The terms OldSchool, and Outlier have no negative connotations for me...more like badge of honor
 

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Interesting thoughts...

1. I'm an "old school" rider as well with 20+ seasons. I rode +/+ angles for a number of years but have gone to a duck stance over the last 8-10 years. I currently ride 21/-3 on my freeride boards and 18/-9 on anything all mountain or freestyle. I don't feel duck limits me much in carving but does add stability along with a wider stance and obviously allows for better switch riding. I still ride +/+ though for my freecarve board.

So in short, If you're comfortable with +/+ then there really isn't a need to change. I'd try duck and see how you like it if you're interested in switch riding and a more freestyle approach. I disagree with your friend that you'll be starting over. You have a lot of experience and won't have any problem with the transition.

Carving, or the lack there of, is the main thing I notice in new school, even decent riders. I'd say it's just less of a focus than stance as a limiting factor.


2. For board length and stiffness I've been all over the map, from 153 to 183. My traditional setup was 165 to 170 but I've found that the 158-163 range in a stiffer all mountain doesn't limit me much in most areas. I like the agility of a little bit shorter board with a decent effective edge. I still feel I get the best performance from camber but I'm probably in the minority.

Flex and dampening can make up for some loss in length. Thats debatble in powder as slope and riding style matter more to me. That said I'd rather have a bit longer board with camber/taper than a shorter rocker board for the deeper days.

My custom x was very stable at speed but it was a 164 so I think the 12-13cm difference (145-157) is very significant when it comes to your interpretation of stability.

Overall though I think you should ride what works best for you and not worry too much about what others are doing. I've tried all the rocker types and none works as welll for me as camber. The industry has focused on the skate rider for the last few years and that can make a traditional rider more of a outlier.
 

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All I know is that my, +\+, a-frame stance, canted back foot, shoulders 3/4 to the nose position has brought me nothing but pleasure for 29 yrs, and I hope others can find that no matter how they do it

The terms OldSchool, and Outlier have no negative connotations for me...more like badge of honor
"badge of honor" couldnt have said it better, I ride about +18 front and 0 back w/cant beds and crooked knees, watch some old videos of Craig Kelly, Craig along with some of the other locals at BAKER, got us all riding with cant beds and have ever since, carving groomers kicks ass (long live camber)
 

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Reformed Creep-o-saurus
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Neni, there's nothing wrong with what you're doing, as long as you're having fun and it's not hurting you!

1) I used to ride with a forward stance in the early 90's, and now I tend to ride symmetrical duck (-9/+9 or so) but that's what works for me (and yes, I do try to carve HARD lines with that setup). Some of the best riders in the world ride with forward stances, and still others use duck. No right or wrong.

2) I learned on a stiffer 153 length board, went to a 159, then a 160, and recently tried riding a 156 again and it felt sketchy. If you like it long, nothing wrong with that! :yahoo:
 

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you guys might be interested to know that i've had this exact conversation in a bar about skateboarding styles...



it really is only indicative of a preferred riding style. i came from street skateboarding, and love to ride switch... my favorite tricks are backside 180s and switch backside 180s, so i HAVE to ride a mirrored duck stance.

if you're into pencil line carves and hauling ass, it definitely makes sense to ride +/+!!!

i've ridden with some back country bombers who love to ride fast and lean deep, and while i may be able to keep up sometimes, i can't turn like they do.

if it feels good, it's the right way to ride!
 

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but my argument is this:
skiers hit everything switch, all cocked with their feet pointing the wrong way.

I can ride switch with 30+ 15+ better than anyone I know. Mostly because I'm used to it and I understand upper and lower body separation. Being cocked, on switch tricks feels better to me, as does being able to drop my ass into a heal side turn.

Personal preference - yes, but it might just be worth giving it a try.
 

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my argument is this... you feel good riding switch that way, i feel good riding -12/+12

not really an argument is there?
 

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had my best switch season ever this year at +24/+12...there comes a moment where you don't feel like you are riding backward, just riding..so you are looking over your shoulder a few more degress, w/e

tried duck this season too, but after 2 runs, and it was such a great snow day i was like, fukkit, lol

from what i see there does seem to be much less emphasis now on carving by the young'uns..that is so ok, evolution of the sport and emphasis on new disciplies, like park and street are frikkn awesome. love watching street now, reminds of the stupid lil kickers and stuff we would build in the sideyard, ha, now at an amazing level...love seeing the onefooted stuff too, a huge madonna over a gap or hip will always be epic

added bonus...if everyone is down riding the park and the dino-chair, the rest of the mountain stays fluffy that much longer!

(nice pic Stan!)
 

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anyone on here into multiple stances? i mean, i am not trying to be harsh, baconzoo- i just know that i have tried a few stance options, and a mirrored -12/+12 is beyond comfortable for me.

i'd not want to start from scratch, but would be willing to try a +/+ for a few days if someone can vouch for perhaps riding different stances for different boards/conditions?
 

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wonder what stance DCP rides....

Dont know who DCP is, but if he's riding THAT?!!
...I'd say anything that allows for dropping a Load in his drawers!!! :blink: :blink: :blink: :laugh: (...I know that's what I'd need!) :D
 

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i can see from here that he's a +/+....lol

DCP is short for a very long french name...one of the top freeriders in the world


(sorry neni for the sidetrack! i'll stop)
 

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older school rider here as well I guess...prefer 0 in the back, but I am perfectly comfortable riding +/+. I don't ride my older 168 Premier much anymore, but I have that setup +27/+12. I have tried duck, but it just does not work for me.
 

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I recall that Craig Kelly rode some serious +/+ angles as well. I always like his riding style.
 

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The Swiss Miss
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Discussion Starter #20
I'd try duck and see how you like it if you're interested in switch riding and a more freestyle approach. I disagree with your friend that you'll be starting over. You have a lot of experience and won't have any problem with the transition.
big grin here. I wished it would be that easy... but I'm not very talented and I'm not very patient neither

exactly THIS vvv (after 1 run :D)!

tried duck this season too, but after 2 runs, and it was such a great snow day i was like, fukkit, lol
I'll give it another try next year, then for a full day and with the Farah. To learn switch is on my "to do" list. IF we get a cloudy day and IF there's nothing fresh to ride :)
 
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