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Discussion Starter #1
Basically I'm interested in peoples opinions of the importance to either being familiar with riding switch or riding switch just as good as you're normal stance.

Obviously its essential for park rats. But I guess I'm refering to it being helpful in sketchy situations.

For example: you are in the trees and get forced into a switch stance and need to maneuver yourself thru a little ways before you can switch back. Unless you just stop and turn around.

I ride switch every time I ride and have my friends practice it as well even though they find it very uncomfortable.

I'd like input. NO opinion disregarded.

Thanks.
 

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I think it's only as important as you want it to be.

It really depends on who you are asking. Recreational riders? Instructors? Pros or people with career ambition? 4 year olds?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I think it's only as important as you want it to be.

It really depends on who you are asking. Recreational riders? Instructors? Pros or people with career ambition? 4 year olds?
I guess recreational riding seems the correct genre. Instructors and Pros are on another level I assume.

I just wanna see what people think about it. Even people just starting


Edit: I believe I read that wrong. I really am curious to hear all they're views.. Not just about "recreational riding"
 

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i think its really wherever you wanna take it and how far you want to progress.. its really up to the rider
 

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I would like to ride switch as good as I can ride regular. Sometimes I flip around and ride up to the lift switch. But I'm still not good at all.
 

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I find switch riding to be extremely helpful for developing symmetrical strength and reducing the impact that many riding consecutive riding days has on the body. Riding one way all the time develops strength, flexibility, and puts general wear on your body in some unexpected ways. Riding switch frequently helps to alleviate some of those effects.

As a personal example, I happened to visit a foot and ankle doctor recently for something unrelated, and after some x-rays he asked me if I leaned on my left foot a lot. Which, of course as a regular rider, I lean on my front foot constantly. It turns out that the bones in my left foot are now aligned differently than the bones in my right foot, solely from riding regular for so long.
 

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100% think you should at least be able to in a sketch situation. I tried learning this year, but in ice is for the birds. I'll wait for the fresh. :D
 

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if you are interested in park at all if you can't ride switch it really limits the amount of tricks you can do. Lots of them have you coming out riding switch.

I say after your 2nd season, of course depends on how many days you can get out. You should have switch on lock for green runs. I can ride our easy blacks, technically and I look a bit mechanical but I can ride them, but no way as comfortable as I can in my normal stance. Again some of our blacks are blue/greens else where :giggle:
I could never load/unload a chair switch.
So I think this is something that will benefit riders to know. Plus re-learning to ride switch can translate into becoming a better rider in your normal stance Reg or Goofy
 

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Recreational rider here. My reasons for being able to ride switch:
  1. Purely subjective, I guess... I get a lot of satisfaction out of riding anything switch just as well as I ride it regular. OTOH, I ride with buddies who think that switching it up is riding backwards, can throw 360s but not 180s. They have just as much fun as I do. Each to his own
  2. When my trail leg (powder) or lead leg tires, I just switch it up and keep on going. Just the act of switching out is like a rest in itself
  3. A couple of seasons ago, on a week-long trip to the Rockies, I got a severe case of toe bang on my right foot (goofy is my natural stance)... on the very first day :mad:. No worries, I just rode switch, almost 100% of the time, for the next six days. Long awaited boarding trip not ruined by stupid injury :yahoo:
The only time I don't switch up is getting on and off lifts.
 

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i moved from Florida to Colorado last Oct, snowboarded 4 days in total before the move...now i have quite a few....after about a month of riding pretty regularly i decided to learn switch....was tough at first but knowing how to already snowboard regular i just applied the same principles that i already knew and now i can ride switch pretty much the same as regular....i enjoyed learning it as i want to progress and i think naturally riding switch is a good start at progressing.

now for the 360s and the big jumps at A51...ahhh next season cant come soon enough!!:yahoo:
 

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Like others have suggested riding switch can be a life saver as far as consecutive days riding or even just those long days that you refuse to leave the mountain. It evens out the strain on just using one dominant leg. Also it can't hurt to know how to switch when in a pinch/sketchy situation. When I started learning to snowboard I rode switch from the beginning, maybe it wasn't intentional but by basically learning both ways simultaneously it never really was an issue which way I was riding, it always felt natural.
 

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I ride quite often so I ride switch as easily as I can ride goofy in most situations, but I also like to switch up my stance for loading/unloading every now and then which I am not very good at. I can get thru the line well enough and unload fine, but when I start trying to push with my switch foot is when it gets tricky.

I think if you consider yourself anything more then someone who goes a few times a year then learning to ride switch is a must. Opens up a whole world of progression.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
There are quite a few points people have made that honestly have never crossed my mind. Building muscle memory on select muscles rather then evenly from both angles. Sharing muscle fatigue rather then burning out the directional muscles used. And I definitely agree with it improving your overall skill level and versatility.

Awesome food for thought. Thanks
 

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I think it's important, but I also don't practice it as much as I used to. When I started snowboarding I was just a little worse switch than my norm, but as I progressed I got more into bombing and worked less and less on riding switch.

I am actually planning on riding switch more often this season. I want to get comfortable again with it. I think it is an important tool if you get in a bind or if you're just trying to give your muscles a break.
 

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New thread old topic

Considering what Cro said, for how much I ride I practice switch 99.9% not enough.

I use the excuse that from surfing being my dominant boardsport for the last 25 years ...

Since snowboarding has taken over I'm trying to make up for lost time but the mental discipline is really hard for me.
 

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I'd say I ride switch about 30-40% of the time, I feel pretty confident riding switch, even at speeds in the trees. I never cared about it until I got interested in doing more tricks a few years ago.

It's really uncomfortable for awhile, then it just eventually clicks all the sudden.
 

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Meeeh... I heavily suck riding switch :laugh:. Whenever I tried it (maybe 5 times) and linked some insecure turns with stiff knees and akwardly twisted upper body, feeling like a complete idiot, I gave up, turned and charged it the "right" direction. It feels SO WRONG! Too unpatient :laugh:. I know I should just try longer... I guess if you learn it right from the beginning it's easy to pick up and one should practise early. My muscle memory is heavily fixated on riding one direction 20y and I guess, the +30/+15 stances didn't help to make it easier to change. I reduced the angles step by step last season and feel comfortable with +21/0 now and to exercise switch is high on my to do list for next season.
Funny though, I picked up kitesurfing this summer and first was concerned cos you HAVE to ride switch 50%, but it turned out that I ride the "wrong" direction with ease on the kiteboard (duck stances). So there's hope :giggle:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
+21/0. Oh my. I bet switch feels like something out of a nightmare. But I bet railing some turns at top speed in your normal stance feels like taking a nap. I commend you on even trying switch with those #s. I have not experienced that myself and could only imagine the difficulty.
 

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i think its really wherever you wanna take it and how far you want to progress.. its really up to the rider
+1

I'll only add its only natural to try and get good when your spending time on the hill, its another way to ride..

What usually happens to the few days a year rider, is once you start getting the hang of things switch becomes boring as your not able to take it at your usual speed or confidently decent on more difficult terrain, your days on the hill are few so maximizing fun means riding more natural.

If your riding many days a year I don't see why you don't or wouldnt want to ride switch, or at least putting the effort to improve. If your pushing the limits and taking chances (park, backcountry, woods) its essential to be a competent rider.
 

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Something I have learned from teaching is that people's bad habits are not obvious to them, even when you tell them. Simply repeating 'your weight is too far back' for example doesn't really help and isn't a great way to teach.

You have to create situations that allow them to realize it their own.

As you progress into being an intermediate rider, you will have a few bad habits, but it can be harder to notice. Many riders at this stage have a lot of confidence and have grown quite a bit. This 'confidence' can sometimes mean their progression slows as they stop/slow their learning.

So, now you try switch. Holy crap it's like you can't board anymore. But you still have all the knowledge from before. You will discover a whole bunch of new stuff. Refine your control of the board, be more aware of your body position. I think this is because you don't have the fear and anxiety you had as a beginner. So you realize things you didn't the first time around.

Switch is just another tool to riding. You don't need it, but it makes things better and more fun.

I see a lot of riders who are also all 'park' or 'no park'. Always seems strange to me. I am more freeride, but I love the park. I have grown a ton from doing laps in the park. Maybe your not hitting big jumps or rails. But even 50-50 a box and a small jump every now and then is good experience and will make you a better rider outside the park.
 
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