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. Read more and about the author, Chris Skinner, here.
…the board starts to twitch – flicking back and forth from edge to edge…. then suddenly without any warning you’re heading off the side of the slope or head first into the ice wall….
When riding the flats and cat tracks, keeping the board straight can be a nightmare. Those tight runs, a 50 meter drop off one side, people zooming past you, the skier snow ploughing at 2 miles an hour, ski poles like spears, ready to impale you should you get too close, or the snowboarder that wants to side slip the whole run on the heel edge. You know the feeling!
So, lets take 5 minutes out, rummage around, talk a little and find out the secret to making those fearful and usually ‘last runs of the day’ a little less daunting.
The Snowboard sidecut
Firstly lets talk a little bit about snowboards. They are not designed to go straight, or they would have straight edges and look like a big rectangle.
Snowboards have a side cut, and it’s there for a reason – to help us turn. This side cut dictates the shape and length of a turn the board will make. The length of a snowboard’s side cut differs from board to board.
This is an important factor to consider when buying a board as a longer side cut will lean towards a more responsive (twitchy) feeling edge to edge, while a shorter sidecut will feel more stable underfoot but take longer to complete a turn (the turn shape and arch will be longer).
One of the biggest problems I see with 360 rotations (more so with frontside off the heel edge) is slipping out or skidding on the lip just before take off. Be sure to check out last weeks post on 180’s as I refer to certain points made in it. read more
This weeks link is all about Greg Stevens – Graphic Designer, Web Designer, Photographer, Videographer, from ForwardLean.
Originally from London Greg bases himself out in Mayrohefen in the winter months and can generally be found in the Vans Penken Park with camera in hand as the official park photographer. Be sure to check out the photo/film showcase for some stunning pictures.
Greg has also put together a short video of some riding. If you like what you see in the video and wondering ‘what trick was that..?’ then check out his you tube channel where he lists what tricks are performed at certain points in the video. Just click on the time frame and jump straight to that section/trick.
Before you do though, sit back, make sure you’re comfortable, put you’re feet up, after all it is Friday, and check this video out.
Not sure about you, but makes me want to go and ride… now!
As mentioned last week, this week would be all about trying out some front flips. After some warming up, out came the mat (to save my face if I over rotated). A simple front flip with tucked knees was the plan and after about half an hour I was landing about read more
Another jam packed course this week and ‘another’ perfectly shaped park, sectioned off in the beginner areas all to ourselves.
As well as myself coaching and David Allen on hand with the video camera, we also had Nick Edmonds shadowing and helping out. Nick is a BASI qualified instructor and freestyle coach and coaches regularly at Hemel.
After a quick chat with the group and downing of that cup of tea, it was straight off out onto the slope. Half an hour later, after running through some basic stance and balance exercises, warming up and a few technical riding / equipment tweaks, we were off to the park.
Using the image to the right, we had everything in green. A nice flat down box at the top, the SCUK box at that bottom, one small and one medium sized kicker. Perfect for progression in all areas.
Recently I wrote a post about using our shin muscles and toes more to get edge tilt and grip, when riding the heel edge, rather than solely leaning/pushing back against the high-backs.
I go on to explain in the post, Struggling with toe edge turns on a snowboard? how staying off the highbacks and keeping a flexed ankle joint can help with the heel to toe turn, but here are some more good reasons why we should stay off them and use our shin muscles instead.
Enables fine tuning of the edge angle leading to greater control over where pressure is applied
Keeps you stacked and centred over your board more.
Allows you to keep a flexed ankle joint while still maintaining good edge angle (leading to better suspension and improved ability to traverse bumps etc).
Less likely to slip out and lose the edge when riding in icy conditions. The ‘carpet wiped out from under your feet feeling‘ comes to mind
So, could we ride without them?
It’s definitely something worth thinking about. I remember
Last week I was up at Hemel snow centre coaching for Definition Camps for their 1 day kicker freestyle session.
One particular trick that everyone wanted to get down was the frontside 180. We also covered how to be more stable in the air in reference to both 180 and 360s’. Later that evening in the bar, after staying for a ride, I was also asked by a friend how to prevent over rotation while in the air and this ties in nicely with the stability aspect.
This weeks Tips Monday is going to be about the set up and exit off the lip when doing a rotation (specific to frontside rotations off the heel edge, but can also be applied to the backside rotations) and how to feel more controlled in the air. read more
Now while I do the odd review here, if you’re looking for a wide range of reviews on snowboards out this season then check this site out. Shay does an excellent job of keeping up with the times and also has a free snowboard give away on up until the 31st of this month (see website for more details).
Fed up of trying to fold that piste map back into your pocket on a snowy day while your goggles fog up, only to find out you’ve left your goggle wipe back at the chalet. Well here’s a nifty little map/goggle wipe that will kill two birds with one stone. WipeOut make piste maps that double up as goggle wipes! They currently supply for resorts in Austria, Switzerland and France.