When on a race board
- 59 Posts. Joined 1/2007
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When on a race board
You know in "A Few Good Men" where Jack Nicholson says to Tom Cruise "You can't handle the truth...?" It was sort of like that.
Let's call the alignment i'm about to describe your 'neutral' stance (i'll get to this later). Shoulders/hips perpendicular to the split of the angles of your bindings. So if you're running 65 deg. front and 45 deg. back the split would be around 55 deg. on the front foot. If you're more freestyle oriented and you have 15 deg. front and -9 deg. back foot the split would be around 3 deg. on the front foot. So the split is the point to align the shoulders/hips for the 'neutral' stance.
The reason i'm using the word 'neutral' is that this is a starting point or reference point for movement. You wouldn't ride this way all the time. For example, at the end or finish of turns when riding my hard boot set up, i rotate my shoulders (and hips to some degree) past 'neutral' in the direction of the turn. I'll move back to 'neutral' as i initiate the next turn and again rotate gradually past 'neutral' through the end of the turn. I do though stay more 'nuetral' in general when riding my freestyle set up (except in steeps or bumps).
So alignment is important, but it's not something that someone should be frozen in. People are sometimes encouraged to set up perpendicular to the front foot, but since we use both feet and legs it makes more sense to me to align w/ the split. Enjoy.
Have a look at this thread I wrote over at the Ec forum, I don't want to repost the whole thing here, but if you feel like answering here go for it mentioning the pictures from that thread, I'll respond any questions here too.
Watch out though - nearly two megs of pictures in the first post - so don't open on very slow internet connection
My take is that you upper body should never be rotated "over" your hips, because you need the possibility to (counter-)rotate with upper body to counteract eventualities caused by the slope. Hips should be rotated or left in natural position depending on what you wan't to achieve. In any case don't continue rotation/counter once initiated into the turn, in order to keep your stability.
For racing allways have hips and shoulders facing the same direction as your boots - "natural position". That's the optimum, but often conditions will require otherwise.