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Hi there! Beginner/Intermediate boarder here seeking for advice how to get a better relaxed body position while boarding.
I know these pro kids were born in the mountains, but I was just wondering if any experience boarder can give some tips in how to practice to achieve a more relaxed and smother ride.
For instance, I recently came across Dusty Henricksen on Burton Open 2020 and this kid has soooo much style IMO.
Check it out his instagram on: @DustyHenricksen

For me it looks like he is so relaxed with a quite straight legs which contradicts to what I have been instructed to do. But definitely his body position is really smooth and he is in total control.

Anyway, check it out and let me know if you can share any tips.

Thanks
 

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Good form is about knowing when you can stand tall and when you need to bend those legs. You can bet Dusty doesn't stand straight when going through a mogul field.

And you don't develop relaxed form by pushing yourself to your limit, i.e. going down blacks when you're barely an intermediate. You get a relaxed form by riding on runs where you feel comfortable enough to relax. Then once you have the good habits, start extending them to harder runs.
 

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Relax form normally comes in time on how much/how often do you ride a season,progression and type of terrain you're familiar with. Donutz made a great point about habits, i'm sure you have seen some do's and don't on learning to ride videos on youtube to practice, apply them when you get to the mountain until you it feels natural to you. It might take a season or two to get it down but once you got it,you can add flare/style with it that makes you feel relax and having fun riding.
 

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All about practice. This isn't blanket, but most experienced riders will be fairly relaxed when riding runs "beneath" their ability. Turn the wick up though, and you'll see bent legs, focus and commitment in their body language.

"Relaxed" also speaks to second nature, so the more you can learn from experienced riders on the hill, or lessons, or snowboard camp, the more you start adding to your ability to flow down a run, having fun, playing around and injecting some flair, and looking good whilst doing it.

If you're at an early stage, I would suggest slowing things down and focusing on technique, talk to yourself, if you can get a friend to film you then awesome - you can go back and pick out what you're doing that you don't like the look of, and go straight back out and address that.

Damn, I remember the days of having to have a coach tow around a camcorder, during camp. Now, your mate can simply whip out his phone -- review footage on the chairlift, and start working on stuff the very next run.
 

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Great advise so far. There's no substitute for building technique and practice. Learning how to stack your weight over the edges properly lets you ride without much effort or concern. A lot of that is body posture. Most beginners have their butts sticking out with their pelvis tilted the wrong direction- you need to tilt your hips forward to get your weight casually stacked over the toe edge. That's more important than keeping your knees bent all the time.
 

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You should adjust your body position for what you are doing. Usually if it's flat and smooth and I am not turning much, I can stand tall. If I am in the park and hitting jumps, I notice bending my knees helps executing tricks much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great advise so far. There's no substitute for building technique and practice. Learning how to stack your weight over the edges properly lets you ride without much effort or concern. A lot of that is body posture. Most beginners have their butts sticking out with their pelvis tilted the wrong direction- you need to tilt your hips forward to get your weight casually stacked over the toe edge. That's more important than keeping your knees bent all the time.
You should adjust your body position for what you are doing. Usually if it's flat and smooth and I am not turning much, I can stand tall. If I am in the park and hitting jumps, I notice bending my knees helps executing tricks much easier.
Interesting...Does ZERO forward lean helps to get to that relaxed position? Do you guys ride with any forward lean?

Thanks again!
 

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I don't ride with any forward lean. I usually just match it up to my boot's built in forward lean. I like to ride dynamically when I need to and to be able to chill when I don't. Forward lean is personal preference.
 

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I ride with a lot of forward lean. As far a achieving that relaxed position/ "standing tall" on your board, I suggest you forget about it. I can do it, I see lots of instructors who can do it; it's just something that comes with time. Furthermore, I wouldn't really call it proper posture, it's just something that more experienced riders get away with because we can.

If it's really something you want to learn, you just need to practice at it, but it's probably going to result in taking some falls. Basically, you'll be turning with just your ankles. The problem with riding tall is that you lose the flex in your knees and waist and if something goes wrong and/or you're not good at sucking up your board, you'll end up taking a fall or loosing control. IMHO, one of the biggest mistakes I see from instructors is that they stand tall on their boards, so their students don't understand how important it is to stay low on the board.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I ride with a lot of forward lean. As far a achieving that relaxed position/ "standing tall" on your board, I suggest you forget about it. I can do it, I see lots of instructors who can do it; it's just something that comes with time. Furthermore, I wouldn't really call it proper posture, it's just something that more experienced riders get away with because we can.

If it's really something you want to learn, you just need to practice at it, but it's probably going to result in taking some falls. Basically, you'll be turning with just your ankles. The problem with riding tall is that you lose the flex in your knees and waist and if something goes wrong and/or you're not good at sucking up your board, you'll end up taking a fall or loosing control. IMHO, one of the biggest mistakes I see from instructors is that they stand tall on their boards, so their students don't understand how important it is to stay low on the board.
Hmm I got it... but I bet that by being able to stand tall eventually you can save on your legs as well right? I feel like I get much more fatigue by staying low with bent legs during the day... that is why I thought maybe I need to learn how to get more comfortable in an upright body position.
 

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Hmm I got it... but I bet that by being able to stand tall eventually you can save on your legs as well right? I feel like I get much more fatigue by staying low with bent legs during the day... that is why I thought maybe I need to learn how to get more comfortable in an upright body position.
Maybe. As you improve, you'll tackle harder terrian, so that will wear you out instead. Work on your cardio - lots of biking in the summer and you'll have your legs all day long.
 

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Hmm I got it... but I bet that by being able to stand tall eventually you can save on your legs as well right? I feel like I get much more fatigue by staying low with bent legs during the day... that is why I thought maybe I need to learn how to get more comfortable in an upright body position.
Interestingly, as you go lower, the strain shifts from your quads to your butt and hips. If you can ride in either position, you'll find that shifting from one to the other (low to high) as you get tired gives those muscles a break.
 

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marijuana helps
Up to a point.

If you're high enough that you completely forget you're snowboarding as you go down the run, and then "wake up" thinking "oh shit, I'm snowboarding! WTF? Have I been remembering to breathe? When was the last time I exhaled? I'd better do that now. Exhale. Ok now what? Oh FUCK I'm snowboarding!"

Your technique suffers at that point.
 

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Up to a point.

If you're high enough that you completely forget you're snowboarding as you go down the run, and then "wake up" thinking "oh shit, I'm snowboarding! WTF? Have I been remembering to breathe? When was the last time I exhaled? I'd better do that now. Exhale. Ok now what? Oh FUCK I'm snowboarding!"

Your technique suffers at that point.
Is that from experience??? :p
 

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Is that from experience??? :p
It was. I had an edible in the parking lot in the morning and I had a whole one instead of half like I normally would do. Three hours later...nothing. So we grabbed lunch and I ate some greasy food and had a cider.

On the way up the lift it all hit me at once. I had to sit down to strap in and remind myself to breathe in and out. I'm normally the fastest in my group by far, but apparently that all changed. You know those mafia movies where a guy gets knocked out and they wake him up with water in his face or something and he's being held over the side of a building? It was like that for the entire run; I'd forget where I was and every 5-10 seconds become aware of the fact I was snowboarding and think "Oh shit, don't fall!" then my mind would wander again.

I got to the bottom, bought a coffee and sat by the fire and watched the snow fall. That was really nice, especially after the most terrifying blue/green run of my life.
 

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It was. I had an edible in the parking lot in the morning and I had a whole one instead of half like I normally would do. Three hours later...nothing. So we grabbed lunch and I ate some greasy food and had a cider.

On the way up the lift it all hit me at once. I had to sit down to strap in and remind myself to breathe in and out. I'm normally the fastest in my group by far, but apparently that all changed. You know those mafia movies where a guy gets knocked out and they wake him up with water in his face or something and he's being held over the side of a building? It was like that for the entire run; I'd forget where I was and every 5-10 seconds become aware of the fact I was snowboarding and think "Oh shit, don't fall!" then my mind would wander again.

I got to the bottom, bought a coffee and sat by the fire and watched the snow fall. That was really nice, especially after the most terrifying blue/green run of my life.
I've had a few times where edibles hit me going up the lift and getting off the lift turns into the most terrifying thing ever! Haha

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