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I have a back seat problem

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I am in back seat when I make toe side turn.  On un-groomed steep, I usually jet out. Now I compensate it by sliding board edge while turning to scraping off speed. This helps me reduce speed greatly and it hides the problem.
 

Another symptom is my legs become fully extended. My toe side turn slide down the hill far faster than heel side turn. I always end up trying to catch up when this happen.
 

I did not use to think I was in back seat.  I have similar problem with skiing.  Now I have identified this problem and learn ways to improve it.   I realize I am in back seat while riding.  When I tried to keep my feet flexed, I slide down the hill very quickly. This goes back to why my feet end up fully extended. Different edge angles, upper body orientation do not make much difference. I made several attempt to force myself in front by putting my hand on the front knee all the time.  I am not comfortable with this maneuver because I caught edges a few times so I give up.  
 

Any suggestions are appreciated.

 

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

I figure out several things today.
 

In addition to extending my legs, my whole body also extends unnecessarily during toe side turn.
 

I can point the board at fall line and make heel side turn comfortably
 

I have limited edge angle on heel side. The only way I can have more angle is to lean toward the slope. I also have some heel lift. I observe this myself on the hill today.

It is probably the spring snow condition that causes me to catch edge.
 

I found a solution that works for me today. I compress myself fully before making the toe side turn (Can this be called a tight core?).  I only extend my leg and not my body. My board will still run away from me for a brief moment but it is never out of control. With the amount of compression, it is easy to keep the board under me. Sliding is reduced. I still jet out sometimes but I never feel I am trying to catch up. I will just make heel side turn when I feel uncomfortable with the toe side speed. It took me 4 hours to work this out and I use the rest of the day to verify this on everything that was open today. I am convinced it works. The spring snow condition helps too. It is the learning that make this fun too. Today is the best day I have this season.

post #3 of 15
Hellside,

I am having a hard time understanding what you are describing. However, these thoughts may help:
Finish your heelside turns in a low position, with both knees bent.
Start your toe side turn by pressing the toes of your front foot down, causing the board to twist.
Rise up, straightening both legs as the front foot reaches toe side first.
Your belly button should be moving over your toes as your legs straighten.
Continue moving your belly forward to create a small arch in your back.
As your belly moves forward and your back arches, your knees should start bending and you should begin sinking into a low position.
As your knees bend, your ankle joints should open as you stand hard on your toes (both feet) to create toe side edge angle.

Rise to start a turn, sink to finsh.
Start a turn with the front foot first, let the back foot go for a ride.

As long as your front leg is bent as least as much as your back leg, you won't be in the back seat. Make sure that this is the case at the end of your heel side turns, before you start your toe side turns. It's almost impossible to reset forward in the middle of a turn. The more you bend your legs, the easier it is to move your hips with the board to stay over the board instead of falling into the back seat.

If you hold your arms high and straight above your head with your palms facing the sky (bent at a 90 degree angle) while you make a toe side turn, you will find that you get into the back arched position automatically and toe side turns will be much easier to do.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

I agree with everything you said. I can do probably all of them on trails marked as black or advance comfortably.


Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post


Start a turn with the front foot first, let the back foot go for a ride.
 

This one I can't do on trails marked as Expert or skeleton. I can do hell side turn as you describe better but I can't with toe side. I have to twisted it to turn very quickly. I may have used a shuffle motion to be in back seat briefly. I am not saying that is correct but I find my comfort zone there now. My goal now is to improve my toe side turn so I am comfortable pointing the board down the fall line and do what you describe above. I used to ride down chute one turn at a time. Now I can ride down quickly in control without stopping. I enjoy my riding again. Like I mentioned earlier, spring crud snow probably help too.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

I saw a patrol dropping from a cliff and landed on steep across fall line. He was going very fast after landing; he made a beautiful turn before he reached a rock wall. I did not see him brake to slow down. He slows down by letting the momentum run its course and by turning. This inspired me and gave me confidence because I saw it done in a condition that is many times more difficult than what I encounter.

post #6 of 15
Can you do ankle turns? Find a flat cat trail and make narrow turns only by moving your ankles to stand taller and sink down. Your upper body should stay over the board. Opening your ankles should make the board go to toe side edge. Closing your ankles should make the board go to heel side. To the extent that you get the board on edge, it will turn. The more your body stays vertical over the board, the more you will feel the power of the ankles in making you turn.

No matter how you good you are, at some point a run will become too steep and too narrow to avoid being forced to pivot the board, especially on your weak side turns. You can pivot a snowboard either by scissoring your feet or by rotating them. If you scissor your feet, your feet will get out from underneath your upper body, which could lead to less stability. It's also a lot easier to be back foot dominant when you scissor. This could lead to getting in the back seat. Still, that's a lot better than crashing.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

I think I can do ankle turns. I’ll try it next time I ride. I can carve a on snowboard if it is what you are asking.

I  examined my max edge angle on the slope.  Heel side has more leverage because the high back so I can get higher angle. Toe side has less angle plus the heel lift does not help. This is my 3rd pair of boots and I feel it is the right size.

 

post #8 of 15
Ankle turns are different than carving, although they will be snaky like short radius carved turns. Arching your back and opening your ankles are the two keys for achieving high edge angles on toe side turns.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
You mean the chest arching forward when you say arching your back on toe side, right?

I can try the ankle thing statically at home, right?
post #10 of 15
How much heel lift are you getting?  No technique is going to compensate for 3 inches of heel lift.  Your ankle straps should hold your foot down with minimal lift.  Are you not strapping in tight enough?

Arching your back and standing too tall will not allow you to balance well and absorb chatter on your toe side.  Instead of trying to arch your back, think of pushing your knees down over your toes.  You should not be able to see your toes when you look down.  When you think you can't push any more, push a bit further.  It will always feel like you're bending your ankles too much at first, but you really aren't.  Your upper body should remain straight and balanced at all times.  Your hips and knees should flex to absorb bumps and move your upper body around for balance.

Another tip is to push both knees towards the nose of the board while you ride.  This will keep your weight forward and allow you to properly initiate both toeside and heelside turns.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sth1d View Post

How much heel lift are you getting?  No technique is going to compensate for 3 inches of heel lift.  Your ankle straps should hold your foot down with minimal lift.  Are you not strapping in tight enough?

Arching your back and standing too tall will not allow you to balance well and absorb chatter on your toe side.  Instead of trying to arch your back, think of pushing your knees down over your toes.  You should not be able to see your toes when you look down.  When you think you can't push any more, push a bit further.  It will always feel like you're bending your ankles too much at first, but you really aren't.  Your upper body should remain straight and balanced at all times.  Your hips and knees should flex to absorb bumps and move your upper body around for balance.

Another tip is to push both knees towards the nose of the board while you ride.  This will keep your weight forward and allow you to properly initiate both toeside and heelside turns.

Welcome to Epic!

It seems the red text contradicts to Rusty’s suggestion. He suggests opening the ankle for  toe side turn. I think it is the right direction.

I am not sure how much heel lift I have, maybe 1/2 inch. My ankle strap is very tight

I have looked at many videos. Even for professionals, there is a bias toward one side. They usually stay on one side much longer than the other on steep. 
post #12 of 15
What arching your back does is center your weight over your toe edge.  However, arching too much, with hips straight actually removes that element in the chain from helping you absorb bumps and ruts.

My point was that while you do need to arch a small bit, your knees and hips still need to be forward of your upper body to absorb bumps.  I'm not talking about bending so much that you're sitting on the toilet, instead you push your knees far enough forward that you don't lock your hips and your torso. Your knees and hips together are much better at absorbing large shocks than your ankles.  You need all 3 joints working together for shock absorbing while maintaining a consistent edge.  If you arch 100% forward, your hips can't bend and it removes a major link in the chain.

If you watch videos of pro riders, you'll see that their knees will almost scrape the snow on toeside turns, while still getting the board well up on edge.

You can arch as much as you want on hero groom and it won't matter, but on any kind of chop you'll get thrown off.  It's a great exercise to get you centered on your toe edge and get used to the balance of it, and you should definitely practice it and experience the limitations it imposes for yourself.
post #13 of 15
 Yeah well kinda sorta.

Arching your back gives you the ability to dial down your toe side edge if you go to far over. As you get better, you'll need less of it, but you'll still need it in choppy conditions because when you are bent forward at the waist instead of back arched you've got no muscles to pull yourself back upright if the snow snakes decide to grab you. If you don't arch your back, you'll quickly learn through negative feedback not to get on high toe side edge angles because it's too risky. Then you will never learn to ride at high performance levels.

You do need to move your weight to be over the edge you are riding on. Covering your toes with your knees is also needed for toe side turns. This does not mean that you can not also open your ankles. You can feel what I'm talking about sitting in an office chair. Roll the chair forward so that your knees are over your toes and your feet are flat on the floor, then lift your heels up. This is why heel lift (the heel losing contact with the boot sole on toe side turns is bad -> the board needs to be changing edge angle with the changing edge angle of the foot. 1/2 inch of lift is ridable, but should be fixed, especially if you want to get better.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have tried the ankle turns. I feel my back ankle affect turning more because there is no heel lift on back foot.  It seems that I can change turn shape by the difference of ankle movements between front and back. I do open and close ankle during normal riding. I am also pretty sure I initiate turn using front foot. It is just a brief moment that I feel I am in the back. I plan to get a lesson and have an instructor look at my riding in this specific area.

I also think I figure out why my toe to heel side turn is faster. My upper body usually on a strong pre-winding position that helps turns the board. I think this is called counter in ski. I have learned a lot about how shoulder and upper body position affect board direction during the past month.

Rusty, you are a very good instructor. I wish I had met you while I started.
post #15 of 15
 Thank you. I'm not really that good. I just steal from the best.
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