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I had the pleasure of a lesson with @Eric Brammer aka PSR on Sunday. He spent a couple of hours working on my technique, developed originally in Switzerland in the 90s. Plug for Eric - he is a great teacher, technical and able to focus on fine detail and impart insights and suggestions that are meaningful and helpful. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to improve their carving skills. After the lesson I documented as much of what I could remember from the lesson as possible as working notes and a reference for the future. At risk of opening a technique debate I thought that I would share here in case anyone else would find this helpful. Any errors below are mine not Eric's. Brian General Initiate turns moving shoulders in a gentle arc left and forward, back and center, right and forward (in practice imagine a tray across the hands with glasses on that should stay stable) Upper body relaxed Moving shoulders across the board pulls the hips across, moving board onto edge In a tight turn if the nose hooks compensate by dropping the shoulder outside of the turn Each turn is divided into 3 arcs: Initiation, compression, transition In transitions lift and lead with the front foot Use 'counting' (or metronome like tempo) to pace your turn’s arcs, so that you can 'play with' the fall-line by how far you arc a turn Body posture: for relaxed riding, body is higher, allowing for easier recovery in times of need; for intense riding body is crouched, less room for error - aim for a point in between. When it's steeper: lower + looser usually wins the day (ie, the more relaxed you can be) Initiation phase: toeside turn Move shoulders forward and outside the toeside Push down with front toes Move from knee forward and over second toe ·Look over toeside shoulder to check nobody approaching then look to point where you want to end the turn Compression phase: toeside Push down with back toes Move back knee down towards the snow Move center of weight backwards between feet Push away from the board with both feet evenly To tighten the carve push back knee towards front knee decambering the board (but, by the time you are coming 'across' the hill, the rear knee should be 'levered' such that it's over the Center toe, so don't 'get stuck' with knees too close to each other) Transition phase: toeside Move shoulders back and to center of board Lift front toes and twist foot towards heel Move front knee over little toe Unweight board by lifting both knees towards your body Initiation phase: heelside turn Move shoulders forward and outside the heelside Lift front toes and push toes towards heelside Move back knee forward and over big toe (but be 'lifting' the toes, too) Look up to check nobody approaching then look to point where you want to end the turn Compression phase: heelside Push down with front heel Move back knee down towards the snow (front knee may also contribute in this motion, but is a 'soft' move, usually) Move center of weight backwards between feet Push away from the board with both feet evenly To tighten the carve lift toes and push back knee towards front knee decambering the board Transition phase: heelside Move shoulders back and to center of board Start lifting front foot Move back knee over little toe (Briefly! Don't get 'behind' the board) Unweight board by lifting both knees towards your body
Hi all, hope I'm not going to bore the community by starting a thread logging the progress of yet another beginner in hard-boots. Just wanted to track my progress from zero to hero from the perspective of a softboot veteran. Regardless... the fact that there are so many noobs posting to bomber online now must be positive for the sport, right? Bear with me on this, and any feedback is appreciated ME: ---- So about me... I posted this info in another thread where I was begging for help in finding the right snowboard to learn on: 6ft 1in, ~approx 190lb and living in Norway (Kongsberg, typically hardpack to icy). I started with alpine skis (~5 years) and the memories of my freezing/cramping feet have probably stopped me from trying hardboot snowboarding earlier. I've clocked in 25 years on soft boots and my riding style is probably best described as aggressive all-mountain. While I haven't yet gone on the hunt for the perfect carve, I do carve a bit in softboots and understand the mechanics of "the norm". I made the decision to switch to hard boots a couple of weeks back when I came to grips that I'm now spending the vast majority of my time on-piste. It just seems to be the sensible thing given the local conditions. All of the little details that play into perfecting the various carving techniques also gets my inner engineer all bouncy and now that I've finally gotten all of my gear assembled I have to admit I haven't been this stoked in years! NOOB Gear: ----------------- Hardbooting seems a pretty small sport and Norway is a pretty small country (at least population wise). Add the two together and it means that there is very little chance of buying gear locally, much less demoing anything. For me buying gear has basically been an informed leap of faith: read reviews and tips, talk to anybody I can and cross my fingers! *Boots: UPZ RC10 (2014/2015) I had decided that boots were going to be the biggest investment for me. Without a great fitting boot things will suck, imho. Control and comfort is rooted in the interface between your board and your body. From what I've read, and from a friend's recommendation, I went with the UPZ RC10 boots. I followed the guide for measuring the Mondo Point size as described on upzboots.com and ordered them. For me, the boots fit really well and I've got pretty wide feet. They are firm and tight, but not painful and I haven't felt any scary pressure points yet; granted I've only worn them watching tv or in bed so far. *Board: F2 Silberpfeil (2012/2013) Here I didn't get what I was initially looking for, but I got an offer that I couldn't refuse. I was really hoping for a Silberpfeil Vantage since I figured the wider board with lower binding angles would be an easier first step. I couldn't find any Vantages at my price point, but I was offered an unwrapped 2012/2013 Silberpfeil for just a hair over 200 euros. From what I read it's a good board but maybe not as sexy as a Swoard or Pureboarding board. The potential downside is that it is narrow so I will be running with 58/55 on my bindings from day 1. *Bindings: F2 Race Titanium Again here I wanted something competent, but not necessarily the best of the best. I don't mind forgoing the customization of the higher end bindings in return for reducing the total number of variables that will effect (and maybe screw up) my ride. I was able to locate a pair of new bindings for around 130 euros. Everything else is just my old snowboard gear. Luckily my wife used to race downhill so we've already got tons of tuning gear to keep everything in tiptop share. One thing that I noted is that it is important to find a helmet with a big enough arch in the back to allow you to bend low at the hips but but still look up without your neck pushing the front of the helmet down into your eyes/goggles. Setup -------- I still haven't had my first ride on hardboots yet, but I've tried to adjust the stance on my board to something that feels right. My goal for this is to acheive: 1.) Wide stance . This is loosely based on many recommendations here on BO. Wide-->longitudinal stability and more precise modulation of your forward/backward weight distribution. Here I've wound up with a width of about 51cm. 2.)A stance that is symmetric about he middle of the fore/aft bolt patterns. From what I understand this should put the bindings symmetric about the effective edge's apex. 3.)Very little boot-out. So I'm at 58/55 binding angles. The binding angles will reduce boot-out but not eliminate it. The boots aren't completely inside the board (I've got MP29 boots), but I think they look reasonable, and I really didn't want higher angles yet. As boot out becomes an issue I'll either look for a wider board or increase the angles. 4.)Neutral stance when flat on the board. This is my big one. Given the above width and angle settings I wanted to adjust everything else (binding cant/lift, boot cant/lean) to make my stance as neutral and stress-free as possible. With the board a flat on the floor I want my body to naturally stand in a 50/50 weight distribution. I also want to eliminate (or reduce) any shear/torsion stresses in my hip/knee/ankle joints when standing in a "relaxed" position. Finally I want the natural tendency for my hips to point in the direction of my bindings. Given that my bindings are rotated over 45 degrees I focused on toe-lift (front) and heel lift (back) to clean up my stance, as opposed to cant. What seems to work for me are a few adjustments: 1)zero-cant on my front foot, 2) "standard" toe lift on the front binding by removing both front foot cant wedges and stacking them both into just the front toe platform 3) the default 5 degrees cant on my back binding 4)Heel lift on my back binding using the lift kit that comes with the F2 bindings. I still feel a little bit wide in my stance, but otherwise it feels natural and relaxed. Standing on the board I feel comfortable and I'm not having to use any extra force to clean up my posture. When I leaning my shins into the boots and bend forward at the hips it feels like I keep my CG lined up over the board and splits my weight about 55/45 on my fore/aft foot. I can definitely feel that the transitions between toe/heel/toe requires a different mechanic that I use on my softboot board. It feels like it will take more effort from my hips and that maybe it will transition more slowly, which is a bit of a worry. One of the big reasons I hate rocker boards is that the transitions feel sluggish and mushy (admittedly I've only tried one). Compared to my current softboot ride: Mental Preparation ------------------------- There is almost too much good stuff to read in these forums, and I'll never remember 5% of it for my first ride. So I've just decided to focus primarily on one piece of advice given in this thread: and concentrate on keeping my butt over my board. Other than that I'll take what I know from softbooting: balance and dynamic riding and try to wedge that into my hardboots. After my first day I'll regroup and evaluate what I need to improve. I'm planning on continuing posting to this thread to either brag about how easy the transition is (yeah, right) or to most likely beg for help from all of you awesome people. I'm really hoping to get up to the hill this weekend. Can't wait to see if I survive the transition or if I come running back like a whipped dog. Cheers!