Best resort for Advanced snowboarding lessons?
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bawalker
January 25, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Which resort in the Mid-Atlantic region has in your alls opinion, the best advanced snowboarding lessons available? Right now I can handle greens like cake (that is when I'm not getting ran over to death there), blues are perfect... especially with small bumps and powder/slush. And I can handle blacks, but MUCH more cautiously and I'm still getting used to the steepness and pitch of some of the slopes. Sometimes if it's ice I can be mistaken for being a newbie to greens on there edging myself down.

What I want to learn are advanced things on handling myself in varied conditions, varied pitches of slopes, moguls etc.

Advice?
kennedy
January 25, 2005
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
I took an advance lesson at Snoeshoe and it was excellent. Becuase very few people take advanced lessons it was almost one on one. I took one at Whitetail too and it was pretty good. I guess it depends on what you want to aim for.

If it's getting more confidence on ice and steep pitches that comes with more experience I've found. The key to ice is sharp edges and don't be afraid to be reasonably aggressive on it. As long as it's not of the bulletproof variety you should be able to trust your board to bring you across it without mishaps.

I know it's unnerving at first but you will get used to it. A lot of it is getting more comfortable at speed and for that try getting a little more compressed, you also need to absorb more at speed so learn to be more supple. A key thing to get past is the kind of fishtailing technique everyone learns during the early stages of snowboarding to getting into true carving. When you really work the edge of the board your stable and you gain the ability to drive the board through turns at increased speed without feeling uncomfortable.

Eventually it feels more like you are letting the centrifugal force push you from one edge over to the other, but in a controlled manner. Next time you ride, when you have some room, try getting a good amount of speed and instead of steering with your back foot (what I call fishtailing) try just putting pressure on your heels by almost going into a sitting position, . What happens is the effective edge of the board digs in and you see the effect of the sidecut radius, the further over you lean the sharper you turn, it's no longer an effect of how far out you push you back foot.
fred
January 25, 2005
Member since 12/23/2004 🔗
59 posts
As you continue to progress as a snowboarder, you need to learn to use your feet and legs independently.

Examples: A twist of the board using you front foot will help you quickly engage the edge as you initiate the turn. It's also important to shape your turns ,rounder like a C instead of a J, in order to control your speed throughout the entire turn; One way is to pressure the back of the board with the back foot higher or ealier in the turn. Independent leg action ,legs like pistons, will also be helpful-especially in the bumps, varied terrain and on the big crazy whales on off the wall.

There are probably dozens of activities a knowledgeable instructor might show you at an intermmediate to upper level, but I bet whatever those activities are they will be encouraging more dynamic movements. A discussion of tactics is useful as well. Stance is always crucial to and is the building block at every level. If you are not stacked up and standing in a position that will allow the necessary range of motion then you are going to have difficulty as you start to explore more difficult terrain.

I also hear that snowboard intstructors appreciate tips.
bawalker
January 26, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Fred - I actually think I'm right at that level you described in that I've learned to allow my legs, hips, and body to act as a piston in a car. I.E. when I hit a small bump my knees absorb it while having my feet cut the turn to go towards the next bump or line I have in my mind. The one thing I do love and enjoy is letting centrifugal forces take over on heel side because it's like I am sitting in a chair while cutting a heelside edge.

I would say I'm a solid intermediate being able to handle about any blue under most any conditions just fine. For example Boulder Run at Wisp has a perfect spot that I love. After coming off Muskrat and making that sharp 180 U turn, the groomers seem to make a nice ledge there that has a bit of a drop to it. The other week the soft slush had been pushed into small moguls which was the first time I ever attmepted those conditions. Amazingly I loved them and flew through those riding up and carving on and around the small bumps with ease. Again I was letting the centrifugal forces hold me in place while I really leaned back or forward to carry myself through.

The one problem ... ok maybe two ... that I have is wanting to conquer the blacks without issue or falling leafing it if conditions aren't powder. The big thing for me is being able to switch from heel to toe side carves and back in a flash. I'm not sure if that is something that just requires controlled speed or what not. Second is managing ice. Last week most blues and blacks were bulletproof ice and when I tried to carve I started sliding out of control a bit till I leaned back towards the hill and edged it extremely hard with my board chattering till I slowed to a stop.
fred
January 26, 2005
Member since 12/23/2004 🔗
59 posts
Sounds like your having fun, and that's the most important measure. As far as what's giving you problems It's hard to say without seeing you ride. But I'll give it a shot - just based on your description.

I'm not sure what you mean by carve, but I think what your talking about is a high degree of tilt or edge angle. When you ride in bumps or ice it's a good idea to keep a relatively low edge ange or tilt. Sharp edges don't necessarily help because your carving but more likely because they grip the ice better.

In both the circumstances, bumps and ice, you want to keep your centermass over top of your board. You can still tilt the board a little but the more you tilt and lean out over your edges, eg. lean out towards the hill-away from the board, the more difficult it is to balance.

When boarders first discover carving and exploring edging the tendency is too lean out towards the snow-even to touch it. It's fun and feels cool being so close to the snow. But unless you are on a forgiving surface, eg powder, it's difficult to keep your balance. I bet this is why your having trouble changing edges while carving. If your leaning out way over your toes you have to move a considerable distance before you are above or leaning beyond your heels. But that's just a guess - a lot of things could be going on that would cause difficulty.

It's still possible to tilt your board, achieve a high edge angles and use your edges while staying balanced. When your on edge try to make sure your centermass is above your feet and pushing down directly through your edge towards the snow. If your broken at the waist or leaning out towards the hill this is and indicator that you need to bring your centermass back overtop of your feet and direct your mass directly down towards the edge you are engaging.

But none the less a relatively flat board is definetly going to be easier to ride in the bumps and ice. Use twist and pressure more than tilt in these circumstances. This is particularly important when riding on boiler plate, ice. Unless your an olympic snowbaorder or a serious racer you really don't want to carve turns on ice because your simply going to pick up speed and hall ass. Instead try to skid or scarve, a combination of skidding and carving, to maneuvor on ice. Use as little tilt as possible. It is also extremely important to skid at the top of the turn on ice, using your back foot. Don't dump all your speed at the bottom of the turn or your going to chadder or have to use a high edge angle at the bottom of the turn(most likely causing you to loose balance or break rhythm). It's like driving on ice. You don't speed through a turn and break at the end. You break slowly as you enter the turn and steer throughout.

One reason powder is so easy to ride is that it doesn't hurt when you fall. But another reason is whenever you ride deep powder no matter how much you tilt the board, for the most part, it is flat on the surface of the snow. You are creating a flat surface as you ride through the powder. Next time you ride deep powder, stop and admire your tracks. You should be able to see a flat baord track even when you are tilting. That's why we can get away with leaning out and putting our entire bodies down on the snow when halling ass in deep powder. My favorite turns - steep terrain, 25 yard radius, knee deep powder, 40 miles per hour, laying on the snow, 15 foot rooster tail, primal scream toe-side turns. I've only pulled one off on the east coast. 2 years ago on the 41 inch day on off the wall.
kennedy
January 26, 2005
Member since 12/8/2001 🔗
792 posts
Fred you have it down mate. I have not mastered the twisting techniques or gas pedal as I've heard it called. I need to try that out.
Murphy
January 26, 2005
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Fred,

You should consider becoming an instructor. I usually find it hard to take instruction without seeing it done but your description of maintaining an edge without moving your center of mass past your edges was pretty good.

You also said:
Quote:

Unless your an olympic snowbaorder or a serious racer you really don't want to carve turns on ice because your simply going to pick up speed and hall ass. Instead try to skid or scarve, a combination of skidding and carving, to maneuvor on ice. Use as little tilt as possible. It is also extremely important to skid at the top of the turn on ice, using your back foot.




I'm probably of a similar skill level as Bawalker. I think I could handle most non-moguled mid-atlantic blacks by using that technique but I'm always tentative to do so because I know some skier is going to accuse me of scraping all the snow off the mountain. Any suggestions for limiting this with out breaking the sound barrier down the hill?
bawalker
January 26, 2005
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Fred - THANKS for the instructions. I'm gonna practice that alot this weekend and also work on doing what someone else said. Getting used to more speed on steeper pitches. Honestly for me it's not so much the speed that I dislike, but after having caught a few edges in my time when first learning and getting the wind knocked out of me, I'm still hestitant at times to rocket off like I could because of having those ingrained fears of catching an edge and flipping myself over and slamming down on the ice... AGAIN.

My goal by the end of this season is to try and manage OTW succesfully in terms of... not falling and managing speed.
fred
January 27, 2005
Member since 12/23/2004 🔗
59 posts
Murphy- That is just the best way to get rid of speed. Starting at the top of the turn and pressuring throughout with your rear foot on a board, with both feet on skis, and with your inside foot with telemark turns. Try to push the snow to the side or even up hill. Most Pickers who scrape snow are killing all thier speed at the bottom of the turn or simply just side slipping.

If you are slowing speed down you have to push the snow around, unless ice. Your speed has to go somewhere-its transfered to the snow. Simple physics.

Don't be ashamed simply because you are using a piece of sliding equipment that some misuse as a snowplow. Skiers want to make their skis do the exact same thing when controlling speed. And everthing I said about turn shape and controlling speed can be applied to alpine, telemark, blades, and snowboard. As you refine your movements you can learn to throw less snow while still maintaing speed control.

Bawalker- Here's an exercise to get used to the speed that is inherently involved when commiting to the fall line on steep terrain. Practice going fast on moderate terrain: Find a single fall line moderate pitched run and point the board straight down the fall line. Ride, no turns, until you are uncomfortable with the speed -then ride a few board lengths further then stop. Repeat this and increase the speed and your speed threshold until you are a little more comfortable halling ass. Then take that new speed threshold to the steeps.
Murphy
January 27, 2005
Member since 09/13/2004 🔗
618 posts
Fred,

I've realized before that I don't put enough pressure on my back foot. That was made abundantly clear recently (with emphasis from some 13 year old on the lift above) when I plowed into a stash of powder with too much weight on my front foot . I'll also have to pay more attention to my turn shape. I'll practice both those thing if and when I ever get out there again.

Thanks
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