or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Rotating your ankles and knees?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi guys! 

I've gotten more on-snow days and would love to benefit from more of your wisdom... 

Is turning from the ankles and knees good for higher end boarding? I noticed it really brings the board around (though it didn't work at all when I was a beginner). It seems diametrically opposed to carving, which I suppose is OK when the terrain's beyond your carving ability. The big downside is it hurts my knees and ankles, similar to how skiing does. (get out the violins...) 

If it is good situational technique, what's an appropriate time to introduce this to a beginner? I imagine it's good to introduce before they're too ingrained with steering from the upper body.  

Lastly, any good drills for this? I've adapted some of the ski drills (hands on knees, actively push to one side, then push to the other) but not sure if there's a proper drill. 

post #2 of 4

There are no limits to drills. I've mentioned before the 4 fundamental ways a snowboard can be turned (edging, pressure, rotary and twisting the board). I teach all 4 ways to first timers. I start teaching movements from the ground up. So I won't teach riders to do rotary movements with their knees until they have learned to turn with their feet. There are two types of rotary movements you can make: rotation about the axis of the legs (e.g. turning the feet) and scissoring the feet (e.g. pushing one foot forward while pulling the other back).

I explained the Jack in the Box drill in another thread. This drill facilitates rotation of the lower body. So it is a good first drill to do. Turning your foot while riding on the chair lift is a great way to feel pressure against the side of the boot causing the board to rotate. Flat spins are a great drill for rotation. Heel side garlands will let you feel front foot steering to start turns.

Shifties are great drill for feeling pivot rotation, but they are very hard. A shiftie is where you start in a side slip, then quickly rotate the board 90 degrees without changing edges, then rotate back. You'll pick up a ton of speed and the urge to change edges is brutal. The trick for this is you have to change weight from 50-50 to 99-1 (you should be able to figure out which foot gets all the weight easy enough). The foot that does not have the weight needs to be long and straight, the foot that does needs to be short and bent. My favorite drill for pivot rotation is pivoting the back foot down hill (to the inside of the new turn) to start a turn. Many inexperienced riders pivot their back foot to the outside of a the new turn to start a new turn. This drill does the opposite of that. The idea is to throw the brakes on, stall out (but don't come to a complete stop), then come out of the stall by standing hard on the front foot and twisting the nose of the board into the new turn. This makes it easy for the back foot to follow the front foot through the turn instead of trying to do the driving.

Lower body rotation is commonly used to change the direction of a flat board or help guide the board into the new turn . But it also can be used to add torque to the board to tighten a turn radius. That's a concept for more advanced riders to play with.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Very cool! Thank you. I think the concept I was missing initially is that your board will rotate when you pivot your ankles if you allow your back foot to come around too. If your back foot is locked in place, your board will be stuck in place. 

I'll keep drilling as recommended. You know, the great thing about your posts, Rusty, is that the more I practice and then come back to re-read them, the more I get out of them. 

Take care!
post #4 of 4
 You're welcome. Enjoy. Pay it forward: share the love!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: