Snowboard newbie
13 posts
4 users
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vesty
February 3, 2005
Member since 02/28/2004
48 posts
I have been skiing for a couple of years and recently decided to make the switch to snowboarding. I am a 45 year old mother of 3 sons and am enjoying learning along with them. So far so good.
I am in the process of learning to link turns. Can anyone help me better understand the idea of "twisting the board" to make it turn. One analogy I read said to think of my lead foot in terms of driving a car. Toes down to start a toe edge turn and toes up to start a heel side turn.
Can some on help me understand what is going on with the back foot. Thanks.
therusty
February 9, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
Hello Vesty,

When you make a turn from heel edge to toe edge, if you move both feet at the same time, the board goes from heels to flat to toes. When you twist the board to initiate turns, there's a delay in the movement between the front foot and the back foot. So if you think about standing on the front foot first, the front of the board goes from heels to flat to toes before the back of the board gets off the heels. Then the back foot follows from heel to toe and the board untwists.

Most of the time, the delay between the feet is very slight and the amount of twist is very small. If you have a flexible board, you can actually twist it hard enough to really be on one edge in front and the opposite edge in the back for a brief moment. On comfortable terrain, you cna actually play with this move by talking to yourself by saying and doing "front foot first" pause "then" pause "the back foot". During the "pause then pause" you are actively resisting the back foot following the front foot in order to create the board twist. This is one of the things I do in lessons to let my students see what board twist looks like. You can do the same in order to get a better feel for what twist is.

The key point is to introduce delay between the feet when changing edges.
vesty
February 9, 2005
Member since 02/28/2004
48 posts
Rusty,
Thanks. That makes so much sense. I took a 2 hour private lesson at WG and did notice that it is really a very suttle move that initiates the turn.
I am now able to link a couple of turns (mostly moving my lead hip forward and repeating to myself heel-heel-heel, then flat-flat then toe-toe-toe)
I sound weird to anyone passing by but that is want it takes for me to turn.
Right now, my turns are very wide, what hints can you give me on getting from one edge to the other quicker for a smoother, narrower track? Thanks in advance.
therusty
February 9, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
Vesty,

I'd have to see you to know what you are doing in order to give you specific advice. In general there are 4 stages of breakthroughs for learning how to carve:
1) locking in the fundamentals
2) blending the skills together
3) pressuring the edge more
4) using the ankles more

If I had to guess, I'd say that you would probably find it easier to turn by getting more up and down movement in your riding. Finish your turns with your knees bent more. Start your turns with a rising motion, then finish *after you start going straight down the hill) with a sinking (bending the knees as opposed to bending from the waist) motion. This will help you get ready to carve, which leaves those thin tracks in the snow.
cjf242
February 9, 2005
Member since 11/10/2003
30 posts
Hey Rusty--

Great info on turning.
I have been snowboarding for a while now and was thinking about taking a lesson. The thing is I am not sure what defines the various levels like in skiing. I can link turns with no problem, have no issue on any of the greens around here. I can also do little jumps and the like. I guess I am wondering what level I should look at for a lesson. Thanx in advance for any info and insight you have.
therusty
February 9, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
cjf242,

It sounds like you are in the 3-4 range. At Whitetail, if you show up for a lesson, we will ask you questions (e.g. are you linking turns, where are you riding, what do you want to do) that will help determine your level. But most of the time, level 3 or higher lessons go out with 2-3 people at most. Most of the time that means it does not matter what level you say you are. You'll get a lesson geared to wherever you're at. The key thing is that you need to tell us what you want to learn. Do you want to focus on carving, going faster, going steeper, riding switch, the 1/2 pipe, the terrain park, etc.?

At Whitetail, our snowboard levels are mostly based on the terrain.
Level 1 = First time
Level 2 = Working on turning and stopping
Levels 1-2 stay on easy beginner terrain

Level 3 = Can link turns on easy beginner terrain
Level 4 = Can ride advanced beginner terrain, starting to carve
Levels 3-4 start on easy beginner terrain. Level 3 may move to advanced beginner terrain (Snowpark) depending on the group. Level 4 speeds down easy beginner terrain to warm up/make sure of level, then goes to advanced beginner terrain (1/2 way between green and blue)

Level 5=Some carving. Can ride advanced beginner comfortably. Has ridden internediate terrain.
Level 6=Rides intermediate terrain (e.g. Angel Drop)
Level 5 may start on Snowpark. Otherwise levels 5 and 6 ride off the top of the mountain.

Level 7=Starting to ride expert terrain
Level 8=Riding expert terrain comfortably (including bumps)
Level 9=Working on riding expert terrain under all conditions and at speed

Levels 4-6 are appropriate for introduction to terrain park lessons. Level 7 and 8 also apply to coaching for advanced riding in the 1/2 pipe and terrain park. Please note that Whitetail is now requiring a special lesson ticket if you want a 1/2 pipe or terrain park lesson and that a helmet is required for these lessons.

Pretty much the only time we ever have more than one person in a level 5 or higher class is when friends come together.
vesty
February 10, 2005
Member since 02/28/2004
48 posts
Thanks Rusty
The info on the different levels was good too. I definitely believe in taking lessons. Private lessons are more expensive but I do get a lot more out of them.
Here's another question...I realize that there is a difference in "C" and "S" turns. Where do you start the turn/edge change for each?
I saw a boarder last weekend who did not look like they were making much of a turn at all, yet was very much under control moving her body left then right to move the back of the board. Is this an advanced move?
therusty
February 10, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
An "S" turn is merely two "C" turns stuck together (normal C on top and backwards C on bottom). Some people say one turn starts at the point when you going across the hill (90 degrees away from straight downhill). Others say it helps to think about a turn starting from straight down the hill. I use the former def.

Pushing out the back of the board is not an advanced move, but it is an effective speed control move that is easy to do. Many beginners use this technique to let them ride more advanced slopes. Since many many riders never take lessons beyond the first one, that's all they ever use when they ride. This method of turning relies totally on the quad muscles for speed control instead of letting gravity and the board do a lot of the speed control work for you when you do C/S chaped turns. This takes more skill, but less energy. Since many people have plenty of energy to burn, they enjoy kicking their back foot out. However, they are missing out on the wicked high one gets when they are carving their board.
warren
February 11, 2005
Member since 07/31/2003
485 posts
Rusty,
Although I'm not a boarder, I can completely relate to you comment about the effort vs finesse. When skiing, you can use a lot of ugly brute force to control speed/survive down the hill or you can let the skis hook on edge and carve the turns. The latter is a LOT more fun (sometimes feels like they're not even touching the snow! ) and a LOT less effort.

-Warren-
therusty
February 11, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
Warren,

In skking we call the brute force method "Z" turning.
warren
February 11, 2005
Member since 07/31/2003
485 posts
Rusty,
If by that you mean skidding the tails hard while all the weight is on the inside edge of the outside (downhill) ski, then flipping around to repeat on the other side, then I can visualize what you mean.

-Warren-
therusty
February 11, 2005
Member since 01/17/2005
422 posts
Warren,
It's not so much skidding the tails or weight on the inside ski as it is the shape of the turn. The turn shape is like the letter "Z" (or a sideways "V") as opposed to the letter "C". The portion of the turn spent with the skis going straight down the hill is minimized. When the skis are abruptly yanked from going one way across the hill to the other way either the tails or the whole ski will skid and the weight can be on either or both feet.
warren
February 14, 2005
Member since 07/31/2003
485 posts
Rusty,
OK, now I can see it.....

-Warren-
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