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Dusty Bottle

Now What?

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Behind the carving boards, pows and freestyles, in the nether regions of the basement, I have a a dust covered Thias Easy Jungle 165 ("I'll ride it someday!") taking up space and thought it might help infuse some life into this thread, by getting some first-day-ever tips (for anyone interested) from some of the more experienced skwallers.  I know the Easy Jungle is supposedly "easy", but we're talking skwals vs carving boards, not college girlfriends.  Here are a few thoughts and questions, which may bring input from others who're interested:

Tuning - Edge and base angle suggestions?

Boots - To flex or not to flex, that is the question.  Currently riding Deluxe 325's @ 25mp with BTS and Fintec's. 

Poles vs No Poles - Haven't skied in 15 yrs, so why would I?

Day One - The bunny hill would probably invoke less laughter from onlookers and it's about 200yds, good drop a the top, but a molasses slow lift, but then again...

Learning Curve Expectations - Easy progression or back to the carvers?

Board Feel - Currently riding 18cm waist boards, with TD3 angles of 63*/63*, so will maxing the stock Thias bindings to 10* still feel like walking a tightrope?

Skwal Experience - I'm banned from skwalling in the den, based on last years failed attempt (I still say the dog broke it).  Seriously though, a few years back I rode with and watched Ace rip one at A-Basin and I ride with MonoDude almost every weekend (on some new mono-skwal oddity), but I'm still not sure how to approach taking mine out for the first day.  And before someone says, "Point it down under chair 6 and hold on!" I should remind you, I'm the poster child over at the Concussions R Us Clinic!  :freak3:

Thanks in advance for any advice!  :biggthump

 

later...

James

 

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Somewhere there's a video of me and Riceball on our first runs on some Skwal USA boards. I took to the 'drowning man' hand motions very naturally. 

About 1/2-way down something just clicked and I was dragging hips. Tip it and rip it. I still can't sideslip the thing for more than a few feet without falling, but it sure carves nice. I bought it after a few more runs. 

Only change to my boots from my carving setup is unlocking my rear foot forward lean. 

Pro tip: put the male parts down between the legs. Otherwise you can have, umm, unpleasant feelings when you have to absorb bumps with your knees hitting your chest. 

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Ride it the way you would lean a motorcycle into a turn and you'll soon be ripping. A little bit of outward canting and front foot toe lift and rear foot heel lift will allow longer stances, better balance, and preserve your "potency".

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I borrowed a easy jungle for the first time last year, I'm a life long skier but man did I enjoy learning to ride a skwal. I started off using poles, but that's probably because of my skiing background (looks pretty cool though). I started out on quite a steep slope, and I believe that is the way to go, speed is control on a skwal. Biggest issue I had with learning was fully committing to a turn, but within 2 days I was decent enough to tackle all slopes on the mountain.

 

P.S. If you don't like it, and are looking to sell, Pm me ;)

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Speed is your friend but also your enemy psychologically speaking. Slightly offset stance was key for me to avoid cramping. Poles helpful from looking stupid from falling over at slow speeds. Like falling over on a 10 speed with foot locked in pedals ! But you will eventually find them not necessary. I leave rear foot in bindings and remove front when loading chair. I find it easier to lock in front binding rather than rear. Toe bale on rear harder to reach all bent over. Easy jungle is a rather unforgiving stiff glass board if this turns out to be "Your Thing" you will absolutely want a new titinal constructed board. It's lonely out there especially when loading on chair people will abandon you in the loading gate because your considered an alpine freak. You will get over it eventually !

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18 minutes ago, lowrider said:

Easy jungle is a rather unforgiving stiff glass board

I found it to be a flexible noodle when I was ~210 lbs.  

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I was an intermediate carver when I took maybe 5-10 runs on an Easy Jungle and I found it pretty easy to pick up. It hurt my knees like hell so I had to get rid of it, but I don't think you'll find it too hard / different from carving. Personally I would say no poles, unlocked back boot as suggested above is a good idea, and start with at least as much splay as you usually have on a carving deck if your setup permits it. 

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3 hours ago, Dan said:

I was an intermediate carver when I took maybe 5-10 runs on an Easy Jungle and I found it pretty easy to pick up. It hurt my knees like hell so I had to get rid of it, but I don't think you'll find it too hard / different from carving. Personally I would say no poles, unlocked back boot as suggested above is a good idea, and start with at least as much splay as you usually have on a carving deck if your setup permits it. 

If you don't run some outward canting on your bindings of course it's going to hurt your knees. Flat bindings and a skwal stance are not natural for normal legs.

 

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Commit an entire day to it! If you are coming from Alpine you probably want to setup your board with a wide stance. IMHO this is far more stable and doesn't jam up the knees. Forward angles actually are what help make the skwal work so well so don't be afraid of that. I would say to start with no poles. The Thias Easy Jungle can be an aggressive board that turns wicked sharp. That being said keep your speed down at first. The 8m single sidecut can turn faster than you can it seems and will launch you over the handle bars. These boards love to be ridden with pressure right between the bindings. No need to nose load. Standard tuning is advised, escpecially for Colorado. I run .5 off the base edge and 2 on the sides for my Easy Jungle with no detune. I like to keep my front foot clipped in when skating and on the lift. If you are coming from Alpine you are probably used to this and should stick to it. Go out with Don if possible as I am sure some hands on advice would help too. Wish I could join you guys! Still trying to put something together for this year...

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Ace: I think your local-ish to MA.  Any chance for a demo?  I have boots, but no bindings / skwal.

PM if this is a possibility.

Mitch

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