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Hey ya'll, I've been snowboarding for about 5 seasons. I considered myself an intermediate rider.
I could go in the trees, ride powder, link turns without skidding, I don't do tricks but I can ride switch if I need to, I can go down steep terrain, avoid out of control skiers and snowboarders, ride a traditional camber without eating $%#@^&
About a year ago I started having some vertigo and tunnel vision from neurological Lyme disease and I feel like I am now regressing on my riding level instead of progressing, I feel like I am a newbie again and I forget things I was able to do before, I assume this is because of the loss of peripheral vision and sudden vertigo, although it could totally be just me getting bad at snowboarding.. I really don't know (not asking for medical advice here, just wanted to mention it)

The issue that annoys me the most is that I cannot seem to link my turns like I used to. I am very comfortable on my toe edge and I can turn with a perfect shape, but the transition from toe edge to heel edge is where the problem starts.
I can't turn towards my heels without almost completely stopping the board, sometimes is so bad I end up riding switch to be able to go to the other side or my toe edge.
I am aware of bending my knees, going in a straight line between toe edge and heel edge, keeping my center of gravity over my board, not over rotate, etc, or at least in my mind I am.

This is very frustrating because my riding isn't fluid anymore and stopping the board so much on my heel edge reduces my speed significantly and I can't keep up with my friends anymore.
The steeper the run, the more this happens.

Another thing that started happening right at the same time is the toe straps of both my bindings come very loose, on both my Burton Escapade & Lexa X bindings. Burton sent me many replacement straps but it doesn't help. I also tried other binding brands and the same happens, I am not sure if the heel edge issue and the binding issue are related or not, but I figured I'd mention it just in case.

Any suggestions on how to avoid this while transitioning from toe edge to heel edge would be very much appreciated.
I know this is 100% something I am doing, but if anyone thinks that something related to gear could be also adding to this issue I'd love to know too.

Thanks in advance

xx
 

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Destroying Worlds Since 2015
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First, as a general statement, feeling like you're regressing a couple of years in is not unusual. Some of it is just a matter of getting sloppy with techniques that you figure you've nailed. Some of it is psychological--higher expectations. Some of it is better perception of the things you've been doing wrong all along.

Regarding the toe-side thing, I had that problem, and didn't really notice it until several years in, when the rest of my riding was good enough to be held back by the bad heelside transition. Assuming there's nothing else going on, that's just a form problem. In my case, I would do nice sweeping carves to toeside, but when going heelside I'd essentially go into a braking skid. A lot of it was the sudden view of the slope and my perceived speed which caused a bit of a panic brake. Some was also not shifting my weight back on the board so that the rear would break free too easily. This also caused the dreaded heelside chatter. Solution was to concentrate on making my heelside transition as similar to my toeside as possible.

Regarding the toestraps, the only thing I can think of is that you're cranking them down to the point where the ladders start to slip, and the teeth get rounded. Bindings don't have to be as tight as people think. Especially if you're feeling insecure about your riding, you may be tightening them too much to make sure you have no play whatsoever (even if that's not your problem).

Regarding the vertigo, etc, see a doctor.
 

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Go to a reasonably wide blue run with few people on it. Toe side try to push your front knee down towards the toe edge nose corner of your board and hold that turning until you're 90 degrees to the run and slowing, then try to push your knee over towards the heel edge nose corner of your board and keep holding it there. You'll slowly start to then turn onto your heel, hold it there, falling into the turn as you pick up speed all the way until you're 90 degrees side on to the slope again and slowing. Just keep doing that over and over. It's a good way to just reset everything and bar an out of control skiier at warp speed taking you out, it's very safe.

How do you tighten your straps? Do you go over the toe and ankle strap multiple times? Move your boot about to make sure it's set in position then tighten again? Take your time to do it well and if you strap in whilst sitting, give another tighten once standing or rolling. If they are slipping you might need to adjust your binding strap length. Maybe go to a repair shop at the hill so they can check all is set up correctly.
 

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If you're missing some peripheral then it makes sense you are suddenly cautious getting to your heels. It's a semi-blind transition even for people with unimpaired vision. Depending on your goggles, get some new ones with a really big range of view (I can point you in a couple directions if needed). Even if they don't actually increase your peripheral since you have physical peripheral issues, feeling like they do may ease up the unconcious fear of your now blind zone. If you have been having issues with your toe straps coming loose, that isn't helping. You do have some power from the toe strap, especially at turn initiation. My first thought is that your aren't seated into the back of your binding all the way. You get strapped down, take a couple turns, your boot settles in, and now you're loose. Or it could be the shape of the toebox/toestrap. The Burton toe straps are good, as long as your toe isn't super round. Both of those have the helix ratchets so stripping them from tightening isn't likely the issue since the lockdown and ratchet are not on the same surface.

Get some big peripheral goggles if you don't already have some. Point your shoulders, trust your edges, and let the board do the work. Check your boot/binding fit. Make sure you are getting all the way back into the binding. If you are, take the setup into a good shop and let them know your toe strap is blowing off and see what they can see. Might just need to adjust something to get them to sit better. Keep riding and know that your body has been through some shit, give it a break, relax, and keep on turning.
 

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Folks hit the peripheral stuff, I’ll give you my two quick form check hacks, try these on a green or mellow blue

1. pretend you are a cowboy and have a huge belt buckle bend the knees and hold the belt buckle with both hands as you rock between turns

if this feels right then your shoulders should be square properly

next step

2. Grab the front of your pants just above the knee and make some turns, this will get you to the right knee bend and encourage your to stack your weight evenly across the edge

These two quick tricks typically remind my body what the right form feels like, if I’m still off my game I imagine my feet working pedals in opposite directions, front foot to presses down for toe edge while rear slightly goes to heel and reverse for heel edge. Final trick for me is pretending I’m squeezing a ball between my knees, squeeze for toe, release for heel

any who I’m just some kook so wtf do I know but the goofy visualizations help me not only form check but also relax and remember this is just a silly fun hobby where we slide down hills on planks

final thought, lessons aren’t just for newbies, I’ve been riding 25 years and get 1 a season for a tune up or to work on new things, one of my favorite hacks is to get a group lesson 9/10 times there aren’t enough people of your skill level for a group so you end up getting a private lesson at group costs as the mountains set lessons by skill levels

Edit: you may want to check around your area for who offers adaptive lessons, my mountain helps folks with physical and visual impairments get out there and shred, one of these programs might be able to help with your vision limitations
 

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As Nivek said re: vision. Transition from toe to heel is tough visually. Loss of peripheral vision will set you back. But if things stabilize you should be able to adapt. I would start by over emphasizing the head and shoulder turn at the beginning of transition.


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To address the medical aspect (I work in medicine), I would see someone in a vertigo clinic, they are usually attached to ENT clinics (ear nose and throat). If you have some permanent damage to the central nervous system they can help you retrain your body to do the things you've been doing all your life. It is not unusual that you are having these problems. I pulled this quote below from the interwebs (to give you the precise meaning that I'm going for)..... but in summary, your vestibular system..... which is your balance etc gives your body the ability to know where it is at in space.....i.e that feeling when you are going from edge to edge and how your body interprets that movement and finally what your body does after it interprets that movement.....

"The vestibular system is a special proprioception system responsible for the proper maintenance of posture, orientation and balance of the head and trunk, and position of the eyes in relation to head position or movement. In addition this system coordinates activity with portions of the cerebellum. Neuroanatomically and functionally, the vestibular system can be divided into peripheral and central components"

I won't go into further boring details, but essentially you have to retrain your brain to think about what movement your body is doing. In doing so you are essentially re-learning how to snowboard. (some people have to relearn how to walk etc).

I hope this helps and is not too cerebral. By no means is this meant as medical advice, just what I know from my experience and how I try to explain it to people.
 

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...The issue that annoys me the most is that I cannot seem to link my turns like I used to. I am very comfortable on my toe edge and I can turn with a perfect shape, but the transition from toe edge to heel edge is where the problem starts.
I can't turn towards my heels without almost completely stopping the board, sometimes is so bad I end up riding switch to be able to go to the other side or my toe edge.
I am aware of bending my knees, going in a straight line between toe edge and heel edge, keeping my center of gravity over my board, not over rotate, etc, or at least in my mind I am....
Thanks in advance
xx
Ime at the intermediate level the transition from toe to heel is often a common issue. Like noted above, its because you are turning into your blind side and carrying more speed. Its basically a confidence and trusting thing...of your skills and board. For me at that stage, the trick was to stop, map out my general lines...especially where I might be making heel side turns and wait for the gap in traffic; so that you generally knew there was nobody or terrain thing to mess you up. It took awhile and its still something to be vaguely aware of (by doing a quick visual check)...somebody coming up on your blindside. However now, I'm fairly confident in being able to check/avoid a collision at speed in real time via speeding up/slowing down and general awareness of other folks on the hill.
 

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Folks hit the peripheral stuff, I’ll give you my two quick form check hacks, try these on a green or mellow blue

1. pretend you are a cowboy and have a huge belt buckle bend the knees and hold the belt buckle with both hands as you rock between turns

if this feels right then your shoulders should be square properly

next step

2. Grab the front of your pants just above the knee and make some turns, this will get you to the right knee bend and encourage your to stack your weight evenly across the edge

These two quick tricks typically remind my body what the right form feels like, if I’m still off my game I imagine my feet working pedals in opposite directions, front foot to presses down for toe edge while rear slightly goes to heel and reverse for heel edge. Final trick for me is pretending I’m squeezing a ball between my knees, squeeze for toe, release for heel

any who I’m just some kook so wtf do I know but the goofy visualizations help me not only form check but also relax and remember this is just a silly fun hobby where we slide down hills on planks

final thought, lessons aren’t just for newbies, I’ve been riding 25 years and get 1 a season for a tune up or to work on new things, one of my favorite hacks is to get a group lesson 9/10 times there aren’t enough people of your skill level for a group so you end up getting a private lesson at group costs as the mountains set lessons by skill levels

Edit: you may want to check around your area for who offers adaptive lessons, my mountain helps folks with physical and visual impairments get out there and shred, one of these programs might be able to help with your vision limitations
thanks for this advice, Im going to work on this early season this year.
 
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