Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums banner

1 - 20 of 76 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Good news: my life has enabled me to move from NC to Salt Lake City and I am now within 30 minutes of some of the best snowboarding on the planet. I have the IKON pass and I’ve spent my Saturdays/Holidays since December at Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude.
Bad news: I’m old. 50 yrs old to be exact. I start out well but my legs (and the rest of me for that matter) get tired pretty quickly. When I get tired, my form starts to go, I am hesitant to push myself as far as going faster, tackling steeper runs etc. Going from edge to edge gets sloppy with a lot of upper body movement. I know that most people that get hurt, do it when they are tired. I would think that riding at least once a week for the past 3 months would be getting me in better shape- it has to some extent but not nearly as quickly as I would have thought or I would like. Again, I’m 50 and conditioning comes at a lot slower pace I guess.

My question is this: I have been watching quite a few videos on youtube about carving. I am thinking that carving vs skidded turns would be much more efficient as far as physical effort and energy expended. Also from what I gather, steeper slopes and rougher snow are better handled with carving vs skidding. I would say I am at best an intermediate at this point and actually I feel like I used to be much better. I think I know what and how to do things but the execution is much harder due to physical limitations of age. My hope is that now that I have access to ride whenever I want, that with practice I can counter and maybe regain what I’ve lost physically. So regarding carving- am I getting ahead of myself thinking I need to learn this when I’m not yet performing that well with the more basic skidded turns? Am I correct about this being a more efficient way to go about it? I see a lot of people on the hill going fast and in control but 90% of them are skidding. I see very few people doing actual carves and I wonder why that is. To me it seems like there is more of an art to carving and it would be what most riders would be working to accomplish, but even the good snowboarders I see doing mainly skidded turns. Maybe they can carve but it's situational. Thanks in advance for your help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
Carving is a great way to turn, but isn't the only way. You certainly can't carve all the time in a typical resort. Also carving on steep terrain isn't really doable, it's normally a combination of many different types of turn. And bumpy terrain also requires lots of different techniques

In terms of energy usage, I find carving tires me out the most, but that's because I put more into it and am carving as hard and fast as I can. Skidding around can be done with less energy.

The best place to learn to carve is a wide empty freshly groomed slope, not too steep. That's usually in the morning and when you should have the most energy. When you can carve the whole thing in control, you can up the steepness

There are plenty on here older than 50, so don't let that hold you back. Keep going and you'll get there!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,243 Posts
Practicing carving will help alot with skidded turns as well. Changing edges and balance and all that. In bumpy terrain, you sometimes have to shut down speed however you can, but a good technique is to try and carve turns, and then just let up and skip across to the other end of the tracks and try again. Saves some energy at least. You can start trying to carve from the moment you learn snowboarding, and be much better off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
It is MUCH easier to control speed skidding as opposed to carving. Even if you can carve like a mofo, there are times when you need to slide as a braking mechanism. And don't think about efficiency. Like baz said, carving is work- and the better you get at it the harder you'll want to do it. Want to snowboard more, longer, safer? Hit the gym, or find some good leg exercises to do at home AND DO THEM. A bunch. I finally started to workout about a year ago, and I have better legs for riding now than I did 20 years ago riding twice as much.
 

·
Not quite reformed yet
Joined
·
8,360 Posts
I feel ya!!

Im 59. Started riding @ 50. I'm going to get this sticker for my boards. That should shut them the f*ck up! 😂😂😂

IMG_9991.PNG
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,082 Posts
I need that sticker!

OP, there are a lot of us over 50, and quite a few over 60, on this forum. You're not alone by any means.

Like you, I've been feeling the lack of conditioning this year. My issues fall into the following categories:

1. I'm old as fuck.
2. I'm overweight.
3. I haven't been paying enough attention to conditioning, i.e. going to the gym, running, cycling, etc.
4. My technique has gotten sloppy.

#4 is the biggest problem. Actually, I'm not sure if it's 'gotten' sloppy, or if it's always been that way and it's just affecting me more as 1-3 become bigger issues. What I've finally figured out this year is that I'm doing my heelside turns wrong. My toesides are a nice smooth transition of the edges followed by a nice smooth curve as I make the turn. But when going to heelside, I transition the edges then immediately start what essentially amounts to a braking maneuver, rather than a nice smooth curve. It means that my heelside turn is never a carve, and I'm always starting the heelside turn sliding the board at an angle to the edges. This gets tiring after a while, and my legs start to feel it. It also causes heelside chattering a lot of the time. I've now started correcting this, and it's making a huge difference.

I'm also slightly too backseat on my turns, so a conscious attempt to keep the weight a little forward is taking some of the pressure off my back leg. The point is that there are points of technique that can result in you using either more or less energy for the same amount of vertical, depending on how you're doing it. Us old farts have to husband our resources more than the whippersnappers who can go all day, fall on their heads, and bounce.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,847 Posts
Just a note on the fitness side of things, once a week isn't enough. You need to be doing something else, even if it's only a 25 min bodyweight HIIT routine a couple of times a week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
857 Posts
Carving is work and people are lazy, thats why so many people just skid their life away. Carving has to be one of the best leg days you can do, and the more you do it, the longer you will be able to to go. You are absolutely correct about getting injured when you continue to push after you get fatigued, so keep going until youre exhausted then call it a day,before you know it, your leg muscles will catch up and you will be going all day! Now that you live close, if you can get out there every other day even for just a few hours, your progression should dramatically increase, shred on!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Von, that good news is awesome news - congrats! And that bad news is perception. Keanu Reeves is what, 54, and look how many people he can fight in a mere couple of hours (John Wick).

I will say one thing I feel about people flying all over the place, doing skidded turns, considering I know someone who'd yes, be classed as "advanced", who rides just like that: I get the feeling that a lot of people esp. weekend warriors, don't necessarily give a crap about technique - they're more interested in simply bombing the hill as fast and hard as they can, and comparing phone apps with their mates at the bottom of the run, to see who clocked the highest GPS speed.

I'm not saying that all riders who skid turns lack technique and ability, I simply can't reconcile, in my little head, the idea that if you CAN carve and if the run conditions (crowds, width etc) allow, that you'd skid turns as opposed to carving - to me, carving is simply way more fun.

That aside, I'd say not to worry about efficiency in the context of how tired you're getting - to ride a "weaker" way for the purpose of energy preservation, isn't worth it IMO. You MIGHT be getting ahead of yourself re: wanting to carve when you're yet to get on top of skidding turns in a controlled, save-your-ass-in-all-situations, second nature fashion, but I still wouldn't overthink it.

I'd opine that you're ripe for a few things: 1) get some lessons so as to hone your technique (hell, I've been riding for 25yrs this year, and I've put aside some funds for lessons, to refresh my technique); 2) Fitness/gym is of course to be encouraged, but in my experience as someone who's been heavily overweight/ terrible lower back pain last season/ collapsed arches in my feet, STRETCHING has been, almost single-handedly, THE main factor in my being able to go from riding a mere 2hrs a day, to a comfortable 6hrs a day, within the same season; 3) yes, practice getting comfortable with skidded turns at increasingly higher and higher speeds (from a safety perspective, it's rare that I'll carve a turn in order to avoid e.g. a skier approaching from a side run - it'll almost always be a hard skidded turn), but look at each run as something you want to milk for every single yard << meaning, if you want to get into carving, slow it right down, wait for traffic to pass, use as much of the run as possible, and enjoy getting familiar with carving at a MUCH slower, relaxing pace.

I've shifted my mindset in recent years, away from daily run counts and top speeds, to simply getting as much VALUE as I can out of each run. Often, that will mean e.g. only 15 runs in a day, but stretching them out so that they take 2-3 times as long as they would if I were bombing/skidding, carving up every bit of the run that I can, spending more time going across and back up the run than down it, and having huge fun with every turn. Yes, perhaps I am strange.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Carving is work and people are lazy, thats why so many people just skid their life away. Carving has to be one of the best leg days you can do, and the more you do it, the longer you will be able to to go. You are absolutely correct about getting injured when you continue to push after you get fatigued, so keep going until youre exhausted then call it a day,before you know it, your leg muscles will catch up and you will be going all day! Now that you live close, if you can get out there every other day even for just a few hours, your progression should dramatically increase, shred on!
Yep, this is all very, very true - so many rad dudes I used to see at Buller (used to, because I'm never going back to that shithole) ride like this - they're up there for just Saturday, they're driving 7hrs round trip from Melbourne, time is at a premium so why put work into slowing down and focusing on technique?? We need to bomb the shit out of as many runs as possible then hit the bar and smash 5 pints dammit! We gotta go go go!

And it's amazing how even a few consecutive days on snow, of simply carving as much as you can every day (until it's time to tap out), has you feeling stronger and fitter, with increasing stamina and most importantly - increasing appeal to the ladies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
I need that sticker!

OP, there are a lot of us over 50, and quite a few over 60, on this forum. You're not alone by any means.

Like you, I've been feeling the lack of conditioning this year. My issues fall into the following categories:

1. I'm old as fuck.
2. I'm overweight.
3. I haven't been paying enough attention to conditioning, i.e. going to the gym, running, cycling, etc.
4. My technique has gotten sloppy.

#4 is the biggest problem. Actually, I'm not sure if it's 'gotten' sloppy, or if it's always been that way and it's just affecting me more as 1-3 become bigger issues. What I've finally figured out this year is that I'm doing my heelside turns wrong. My toesides are a nice smooth transition of the edges followed by a nice smooth curve as I make the turn. But when going to heelside, I transition the edges then immediately start what essentially amounts to a braking maneuver, rather than a nice smooth curve. It means that my heelside turn is never a carve, and I'm always starting the heelside turn sliding the board at an angle to the edges. This gets tiring after a while, and my legs start to feel it. It also causes heelside chattering a lot of the time. I've now started correcting this, and it's making a huge difference.

I'm also slightly too backseat on my turns, so a conscious attempt to keep the weight a little forward is taking some of the pressure off my back leg. The point is that there are points of technique that can result in you using either more or less energy for the same amount of vertical, depending on how you're doing it. Us old farts have to husband our resources more than the whippersnappers who can go all day, fall on their heads, and bounce.
Is this a common scenario because when I read this I immediately thought this is exactly what I do. I was going to have a lesson next trip to see how I best correct it as it has been a long time since a) I've had a lesson and b) since I've ridden with others that are experienced and can throw pointers.

Now I'm spending time riding with my daughter I find myself not as disciplined in the progression or learning side of riding, I don't really practice or challenge myself with exercises, just cruise which is why i think I may benefit from a lesson and more focus on technique. The riding always feels much better when I transfer that weight to the front leg consiously rather than the laconic upright tail slide down the mountain.

One good thing about not being close to a mountain is that I do get plenty of time going to the gym and exercising which has been awesome, but I'd take a mountain over a gym any day of the week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Von, that good news is awesome news - congrats! And that bad news is perception. Keanu Reeves is what, 54, and look how many people he can fight in a mere couple of hours (John Wick).

I will say one thing I feel about people flying all over the place, doing skidded turns, considering I know someone who'd yes, be classed as "advanced", who rides just like that: I get the feeling that a lot of people esp. weekend warriors, don't necessarily give a crap about technique - they're more interested in simply bombing the hill as fast and hard as they can, and comparing phone apps with their mates at the bottom of the run, to see who clocked the highest GPS speed.

I'm not saying that all riders who skid turns lack technique and ability, I simply can't reconcile, in my little head, the idea that if you CAN carve and if the run conditions (crowds, width etc) allow, that you'd skid turns as opposed to carving - to me, carving is simply way more fun.

That aside, I'd say not to worry about efficiency in the context of how tired you're getting - to ride a "weaker" way for the purpose of energy preservation, isn't worth it IMO. You MIGHT be getting ahead of yourself re: wanting to carve when you're yet to get on top of skidding turns in a controlled, save-your-ass-in-all-situations, second nature fashion, but I still wouldn't overthink it.

I'd opine that you're ripe for a few things: 1) get some lessons so as to hone your technique (hell, I've been riding for 25yrs this year, and I've put aside some funds for lessons, to refresh my technique); 2) Fitness/gym is of course to be encouraged, but in my experience as someone who's been heavily overweight/ terrible lower back pain last season/ collapsed arches in my feet, STRETCHING has been, almost single-handedly, THE main factor in my being able to go from riding a mere 2hrs a day, to a comfortable 6hrs a day, within the same season; 3) yes, practice getting comfortable with skidded turns at increasingly higher and higher speeds (from a safety perspective, it's rare that I'll carve a turn in order to avoid e.g. a skier approaching from a side run - it'll almost always be a hard skidded turn), but look at each run as something you want to milk for every single yard << meaning, if you want to get into carving, slow it right down, wait for traffic to pass, use as much of the run as possible, and enjoy getting familiar with carving at a MUCH slower, relaxing pace.

I've shifted my mindset in recent years, away from daily run counts and top speeds, to simply getting as much VALUE as I can out of each run. Often, that will mean e.g. only 15 runs in a day, but stretching them out so that they take 2-3 times as long as they would if I were bombing/skidding, carving up every bit of the run that I can, spending more time going across and back up the run than down it, and having huge fun with every turn. Yes, perhaps I am strange.
I agree and I think the most important things you can do when trianing or learning something new is to give yourself a task and see it through, sounds simple but sometimes many of the learnings we make are actually in the mistakes and corrections made.

I run certification training courses for drone licences and I see it all the time where students will grab a drone and say they are going to fly it to point A and once the drone starts to fly to point B they forget about the first destination and rather than make the corrections neeed to get to the original objective, they just follow through with the move and pat themselves on the back when getting to point B. Discipline is really important along with following through the exercise until the end. I struggle a bit here becuase I don't have the luxury of hitting the mountain every week, weekend or month so when I do hit the mountain I usually get caught up in the moment and just ride. I know I really need to set aside time for lessons and practice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,071 Posts
You'll be okay. The pain you feel will be your quads and calf's working overtime and they will toughen up after a few weeks. Just keep powering hard till the lactic acid makes you drop, rest for a few seconds and keep on charging. 50 years of age you're only a baby mate. 🤓
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
820 Posts
Never go for “one more run” be done when you’re done! Being a hero at the end of the day is never worth it. For the most part everyone is right about carving being a drain on the legs however there is that mellow wide front leg carve where you just pitch toe and heel side and kind of unweight the edge from the middle of the board back - I find energy saving at the end of the day. (I don’t mean skidding) Only works in flattish terrain at slow speeds...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Discipline is really important along with following through the exercise until the end.
You just described the exact opposite of me in terms of how I approach life! haha. I get where you're coming from re: limited time on the mountain + wanting to just smash it. I'd highly recommend picking one day to just get it out of your system in the morning, then slow it RIGHT down after lunch, the focus being extracting as much pure VALUE from each run as possible - technique practice, repeating something so as to increase muscle memory, whatever.

You might be pleasantly surprised - some of the best days I've had with my father at Perisher, we might have only done 12 runs.... but we're high-fiving on the way back to the car, slapping each other on the back saying "that was fkcing AWESOME!!!!", whilst others are in the lift line, checking their run count on their phone, looking agitated and anxious that they might not hit their goal of 75 runs today.

50 years of age you're only a baby mate. 🤓
Damn straight. OP if you ever go to Japan and see some of the skiers there who aren't Olympians but are still having fun and looking pretty happy with things, you'll see that you've still got 30+ years to go. That's not optimism and encouragement - with decent health and care, it's FACT.

Never go for “one more run” be done when you’re done! Being a hero at the end of the day is never worth it.
Yep! Had my share of concussions this way, and I know someone who is so precious about their time on the hill that literally, they'll keep pushing until they cramp up and have to kneel in pain on the snow for 10 minutes, before being able to walk back to the car. It's a source of pride for him, although I'm not sure why.
 

·
Not quite reformed yet
Joined
·
8,360 Posts
I was only recently lamenting the fact that only 5-6 short years ago, I could go from first to last chair! (...that's 9am-9pm here in the Midwest). But after my arthritis getting worse, 2 spine surgeries and a couple of cardiac procedures...?

I just can't push like that anymore. Not without risking bigger injuries.

But I still take my vacations and ride several hours, 6-7-8+ days in a row.

I get up for 1st chair, ride till noon, 1 O'clock etc. I Take a break, get a nap, and hit the slopes again under the lights for another hour or two. 😎😁🏂

Granted,... there's a lot of Advil & occasionally even some stronger pharmaceutical pain management involved from time to time.

...but I rest when Im tired, I ride when Im rested! 😁👍🏻

(...28 days so far this shit snow season!)

-edit-
Oh,... and I could really use 2-3 days vacation after my vacation to recuperate! Lol
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,051 Posts
Once a week is not enough to develop those muscles. It will happen, but it will happen by the time the season is over.

I wouldn't push yourself if you're going to get hurt. I would push to get more days on the mountain, especially consecutive days or every-other-day where you ride until you're tired enough that you have that anxious "maybe I might hurt myself on that last run" feeling.

ALSO, riding aggressively and hard with proper technique is wayyyy easier on the muscles than skidding around everywhere. My riding buddies used to shake their heads at my stamina and how I could do that while also going so fast, but I'd tell them no, it's way less effort to ride like this. Then they got better and saw the light.

Keeping your legs loose and dynamic riding over bumps is hard, yes, but not half as hard as skidding around every bump and constantly slowing yourself down because you're scared.

So you'll get there, it just takes intelligent practice. Take a break and have a drink when you're tired, then go out and do some more. You'll ride way longer that way then if you try to push through until you're exhausted. Ride as many days as you can, even if it's only for an hour or two.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
964 Posts
Yep! Had my share of concussions this way, and I know someone who is so precious about their time on the hill that literally, they'll keep pushing until they cramp up and have to kneel in pain on the snow for 10 minutes, before being able to walk back to the car. It's a source of pride for him, although I'm not sure why.

I'm a bit like that guy, i'll be 52 in a couple of months and a weekend warrior. I always carve on my first couple of runs to warm up my joints then explore the mountain. Ride down on bumps,trees chutes then go back to the easy runs then carve some more. Carving from side to side on a steeper runs is a lot of work, holding your edge and try not to skid really burns my calves and quads that i do get cramps so i stop and rest. I carry a small bottle of gatorade on my side pants pocket and sit on the side and watch other riders/skiers go by.

Although i only live about an hour away from the mountain,riding is like my workout since i do not go the gym at all so i ride hard as much all day. then the last hour before closing,i go to some green runs to cool down my riding. At that time my legs are pretty much shot but i still carve, just more of a mellow.riding. It is a good thing i drive an automatic:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Yes, definitely need to hit the gym, not only for snowboarding of course. Each weekday morning, I’ve been doing free squats, bridges, lunges- only bodyweight exercises. Not 25 minutes worth, maybe 15. I’m sure it helps but most likely working out with weights would be much better. I’m also thinking plyobox jumps would help a lot- any sort of burst jump exercise I think would mimic snowboarding somewhat. The weird thing about it is I have always had much more lower body strength relative to upper body. When I do work out, I can squat more than most people comparatively but I’m way below average with pull-ups, bench etc. About 5 years ago I was snowboarding a lot and at that time I could go all day. My legs were the last thing to give out. Circumstances dictated that I’ve gone about 5 years not riding whatsoever and it surprises me the endurance I’ve lost. Donutz- I do the same thing as your #4. For me I think it might be a way of scrubbing speed either consciously or unconsciously trying to stay in control. The more tired I am the more I do it. Especially on a steeper slope, I need to be quicker edge to edge to control my speed but my legs just wont cooperate. I am considering taking some lessons, which is part of why I am asking these questions, I think I understand the fundamentals of skid turns and can do them, also I understand the idea of carving, just haven’t been able to execute- but I ride alone mostly and I cant see myself and what flaws I might have, so lessons would be good. Chomps1211- a good place to get ibuprofen is the dollar store- I was surprised they had it but I’m using a lot of it these days. 40 200mg tablets for $1. Off brand of course but it works. Thanks to everyone for your input and advice.
 
1 - 20 of 76 Posts
Top