Snowboard Blog Page

Welcome to KeyAspectsCoaching

A snowboard blog designed to develop snowboarders snowboarding skills and technical understanding through means of written and pictorial bio-mechanical articles, weekly snowboarding tips and freestyle trick how tos.

Unfortunately this blog is no longer update regularly – checkout SnowboardCoachNews for news on my work

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Trampolining and snowboarding – Wk5

Week 5:

Background:The fifth week and final week of trampoline training to see how trampolining skills can transfer to freestyle snowboarding by improving my level of proprioception

Location: Tolworth Recreation Centre.

Times and Dates: Wednesday evenings at Tolworth Recreational Centre 8.30 – 10.00.
More information: Tolworth Recreation Website

The Session and what was covered:

For those following each week, Apologies for the absence of a write up last week but unfortunately I had to skip the session due to a bad case of hay-fever and an ear infection….! But back this week and firing on all cylinders.

As mentioned in previous weeks, I was keen to try out some back flips and this was the main focus last night. read more

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Definition Camps 16/17th April Hemel Snow Center

Another weekend at Hemel with Definition and another good snowboard freestyle course with massive amounts of progression.

A smaller than usual group but the riding and vibe were still at their usual high standard. I’m sure that had nothing to do with the relentless drink breaks…. (you know who you are!)

Check out the Definition Camps website for future courses – and the calendar on this site for when I’m coaching next.

Off to Milton Keynes this weekend for another 2 day freestyle course, so if you’re keen for some freestyle coaching then head on over to the website for further info.

Definition camps snowboard course hemel

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How to carve with confidence on a snowboard

…the reason why tilt is so important in carving is that it allows room for the board to be flexed. The more tilt, the greater the board can be flexed, therefore tightening up the turn. However, if we lose the tilt it doesn’t matter how much pressure you now apply, you won’t tighten that turn any more…

This week I am going to talk about how tilting your snowboard can help you tackle steeper slopes / improve your carving and tighten your turns.

Before we start, lets cover a sometimes grey area in snowboarding.

Carving vs skidding

how to carve on a snowboardCarving is where you use the side cut of the board to dictate the shape of the turn – leaving a single, thin track/line in the snow.

This can be done by simply rocking the board onto its edge and leaving it there to dictate the turn. You might have seen snowboarders do this while riding the flats or cat tracks. Want to know how to do that? Read the following post to find out. Make riding a cat track on a snowboard effortless.

However, a common misconception is that when people talk about carving their turns, they are in fact actually skidding or sliding. Is there snow being sprayed out after each turn when you ride? If so then you are most likely skidding. Another clue is in the sound – if you’re making a whole lot of noise when riding then you are probably skidding or sliding.

Listen when you ride and / or look back at your tracks.

How tilt can help your carving

As mentioned above, we use the side cut of our board when carving. To first use the side cut we must first tilt the board onto an edge. click here for more info about the sidecut of our board

Think about a knife and cutting up some tomatoes. I did exactly this the other day while making my pack lunch in preparation for a day trip to the coast!

The knife was my board. When I went to cut into the tomato, I first had to tilt the knife onto the cutting edge – otherwise I would just end up with squashed tomatoes (not sure about you, but I’m not a fan of squashed tomatoes!). Only then could I apply pressure to the knife in order to cut through the tomato.

tomatoes and snowboard carving(1) tomatoes and snowboard carving(2)

read more

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Tips Monday: Where to position the toe strap

Check out my new toe strap!

Last week I touched on the subject of snowboard bindings and in particular, the ankle strap and it’s position around the boot. (read Tips Mondays – 4 things you should know about your snowboard bindings)

This week I will be discussing the importance of a well positioned toe strap.

Have you got the new fancy toe straps yet that cup around the ends of your boots? They are all the rage these days, but are they just for show, a new gimic to boost sales or do they actually improve your snowboarding….?

Snowboard binding toe strapFirst we have to think about why we have toe straps, have you every tried snowboarding without them? Do you think you could? Why are they there?

If we don’t use something, then we can usually do without it. The same goes for the toe strap, if you don’t use them – yes you could ride without them.

If you’re wondering where and when you would specifically use your toe straps then read Struggling with the heel to toe edge turn on a snowboard? Then stay off your high backs and use your toes instead

How strong are you?

In short, we use our toes when we read more

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Link Friday: Snow Park Guide

Link Friday this week is about guides for snow parks.

There’s nothing worse than heading away, for a weeks shred time aimed specifically at riding park / pipe, to find that the park is half built (Home Simpson style) or riding around the mountain for days to find it’s non-existent.

So what’s out there to help us?

First up is a well rounded site listing a lot (but not all) of snow parks in Europe.

Clicking on a resort name brings up a stack load of useful information, pictures, opening times etc.

I selected Davos as a resort as I had been riding there in March this season. From the pictures, the layout looked very similar to how I remember the park being. Obviously there had been some changes / additions since I left but the general layout was still there.

There’s also a link which brings up a sketch of the park layout.

snowparkguide davosDavos:

Park length: 350m
Park width: 80m
Hillside situation: NW
Height park entrance: 2300m
Lift length: 350m
Shape crew: 3 shapers
Shape frequency: 2x a day

I like the fact that the site is updated on a regular basis and would trust it if I was heading away and needed to check the status / layout of a snow park in Europe.

Second is a similar site in regards to featuring snow parks. It seams to hold a stronger presence for resorts in the USA and Canada, which is good, considering snowparkguide is more tailored to European resorts.

You can sign up and create your very own profile which I think is a really good idea. However, when I went to sign up I couldn’t get past the CAPTCHA security check, otherwise I would have

read more

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Changing edge on a snowboard

Snowboard like a Weeble

This week I’m going to talk about crossing over from one edge, onto the next. That middle ground where the board goes flat for a second or two before we feel the next edge bite.

Weebles wobble snowboarders!Last week I went in search for a couple of weeble toys from the 70’s that like to wobble. If you’ve never heard of them before then have a read here.

Why, I hear you ask, would you want to go and buy a couple of those….? Well they would be good snowboarders if they tried!

As they move from side to side, they represent a good position in regards to alignment.

Whenever they are wobbling they are nicely stacked and in line (I know that they are held together with bits a plastic but bear with me on this one).

This is the type of strong position that we want to think about when going from edge to edge. an excellent way to think of tackling those cat tracks (read How to ride a cat track on a snowboard ).

Stay solid and strong, cross over as one

when transferring from one edge to the next, think about moving as a weeble, in one fluid motion.

Think about moving the board, body, hips, head etc together.

read more

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Tips Monday: 4 things to know about your bindings

Do you know everything about your snowboard bindings? Can you adjust and fully customise them? Do you know what those extra screw holes are for? or haven’t you changed them since the day you had them set them up in the shop?

Making changes

If you don’t make changes to your kit, how will you ever know if you have the best set up? Even if it feels good, there could be something else out there that feels even better!

I’m not talking about going out and buying a whole new set-up, but just making small changes to the kit you currently have.

The key is to play around with your kit. As you ride more, your kit will tend to soften up, just like our shoes, and you may need to change things around to keep the same feelings. Ever heard someone say ‘… after a seasons riding, they felt great.. I just needed to wear them in and allow time for them to soften up…’

Well, lets do that. Over the next couple of weeks in my Tips-Mondays I’ll be looking at trying to re-create that feeling by adjusting our kit so that everything is working well together with no pressure points or unexpected movements going on.
read more

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2 things you must consider when buying a snowboard

Snowboard size guide chartLooking at getting a new board? Then read this!

A response I gave to a question on the post, Buying a Snowboard – Basic Guide, that I wrote back in December, is definitely worth considering next time you’re buying a snowboard.

Length / Size of Side Cut

It’s something that most people tend to forget to look at. I’ve know seasonal riders to choose their board solely on if they fit into the weight range and by the length it.

… no way, I don’t go below a 159. I always get either a 160 or 163. That’s my range and I don’t buy anything else.

Yes, I agree that we must apply a certain degree of logic and experience to what size board we choose, but do we sometimes

read more

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Link Friday: Afterbang, Sweets Blog & Al Pugh

This week I have 3 links definitely worth taking a look at:

First up is Afterbang. A snowboard Blog all about one mans love for snowboarding, Gavin Hope.

What I particularly like about the site as a whole, is that it’s buzzing all year round, keeping you interested in shredding 365 days of the year. Gavin does this with up to date reviews, articles and tips to help snowboarders, also adding in a dose of his personal snowboarding experiences along the way. A great blend which makes the site unique.

One post which I really like, is about using a balance board to improve your rail/box tricks, “How to use a balance rail to improve your snowboarding”. Something which I plan to build for this summer.
read more

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