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Are Ice-coasters Better riders ?


Dave ESPI
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Ok, I'm going to get lots of Hate-mail for this question, but I'm curious of eastcoast riders are better than those from the west because of what we learn to ride in..... which is basicly the worst possible **** that we dare blast down without any concern.

Lastyear I was freeriding while not in lesson and chatted with some people from the midwest, and all they did was bitch about the conditions, and yet it actualy was one of the nicest days of conditions from lastyear.

Does this give us eastcoasters an advantage and make us better riders ?

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I've seen allot of east coast boys get to CO and go off the wall due to not having to worry about shattering bones when landing, one kid who was a alright rider at home went to CO for a week and by the end was having us tow him into a jump @ about 35 mph with a rather flat but deep landing, going huge

"I can do anything in this stuff because no matter how bad I **** it up I can't get hurt"

I'd say the point is arguable with alpine though, that said, on the bad days at steamboat I was fine when no one else could hack it, not a better rider really but I could handle conditions that the locals could not.

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[...] but I'm curious of eastcoast riders are better than those from the west because of what we learn to ride in..... which is basicly the worst possible **** that we dare blast down without any concern. [...]

Does this give us eastcoasters an advantage and make us better riders ?

I think it's the rider that matters, especially if you practice long enough. I ride with people from all over the place with all sorts of different backgrounds - they can all ride well, albeit with different styles.

That said, when I was heli-boarding in BC in the late 80s some of the locals asked me where I learned to ride "that well". I was quite happy to tell them that I learned in Manchester (England) on plastic snow. There are some dry slopes on the East Coast - Ipswich I think has one. But really it doesn't matter where the slope is as they're all basically the same. There are different types of artificial surface these days, and of course we've the indoor ice palaces like Cas Vegas and Xscape.

Does it give me an advantage? Well you need good basic technique to ride plastic: ride that and you can ride ice and snow trivially, plus crashing and burning on plastic is much more damaging than any snow crash.

I think the main advantage of learning on crappy slopes is that there's not a lot to distract you from technique if you've just got a little hill to play on. Let someone loose in snowbird and once they can ride a little bit they may go play before they've actually got good technique. It's all good though..

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Ice? I prefer the term "packed powder".

I ride with a couple of BC guys every winter and I have to explain ice to them. "It's like the stuff you put in drinks". One of them has never ridden east of the Rockies and can't believe we actually get that kind of condition.

My first ever trip out west was to Whistler in the 80s. We got a big dump and I couldn't believe how you could just fly through the bumps and over cornices without a care. In the East, there were many days that ended early for me with something broken - glasses, skiis, boots. Unforgiving is the word.

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Argh. Boilerplate, and that lovely blue field of "packed powder." Ah, the memories.

I learned to ride on those conditions. Proper technique is important. Which translates real well to west coast conditions.

I'd say that you learn good technique. Good technique makes for a better rider than bad technique and hero snow.

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i believe there is a saying in the racing world-- when the ice comes up the west goes down.

learning to ride in wisconsin provides a similar experience, and i especially like that blown snow that sits in about 2 or 3 degree cold for a few days...

i find that when i have a race in soft/fresh snow i cant hold up to the western riders, but as soon as the course hardens up i can usually hack it pretty well.

I like ice-- no suprises, always the same hard as rock surface to tear up.

PS: It's snowing in Tahoe right now... :biggthump

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most definately. Case in point, last year I had 2 free tix for sugarbush to use up.My buddy CJ and I ride 4 hours up and the mountain is GLAZED. I'm in my usual hardboots and PureCarve, nice and sharp.He's on a twintip, softies,dull edges.He bitches and bitches. Aspen 2 weeks earlier was powder, trees blab blah blah THIS SUCKS. I'm still having fun, kinda.

I'm waiting at the mid mt lift for CJ, watching him come down and he gets spun sideways on a slab of ice, hooks his toe side and SLAMS, SOOOO HARD, rapping the back of his head off some really hard "snow" with no helmet on.

Take my board off, run up the hill and he's almost puking, face down and breathing hard.(this guy is an ex Navy Seal, he's pretty tough)

Patrol shows up, head to toe, he's not in good shape, they say get the sled, he says no.It takes him awhile to get it together to ride down and says" I'm done" but it's like 10-11 am. You go ride, I'm taking a nap. C'mon tough guy, let's ride.

We drive over to the other side of Sugarbush and the snow is better, sun is coming out and he's willing to try it again.The whole time he's jabbering about Aspen, he's a soul rider and wants to ride in the woods and I'm just biting my lip.I ended up just "losing" him and his psycho babble. Ended up ripping around and actually making some fun turns on the east coast boilerplate on sharp edges.

Moral of the story, always wear a helmet and don't pretend you're in Aspen when you're really on a hockey rink with vertical.

ICE COAST ! REPRESENT !

this is CJ on the water, much safer. :biggthump he was jumping OVER the 20' Yamaha jetboat ! SICK !

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Thread drift warning...

I'm waiting at the mid mt lift for CJ, watching him come down and he gets spun sideways on a slab of ice, hooks his toe side and SLAMS, SOOOO HARD, rapping the back of his head off some really hard "snow" with no helmet on.

I did something similar, but at Snowbird in Utah on reasonable snow. Knocked myself out briefly. Came to and saw ski patrol looking down at me. They went through some diagnosis and pronounced me fit.

Went to the bottom and into the first shop I saw and bought a helmet. Been riding with one ever since. Oh, this happened in '95.

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Out here in the West, we can always tell who cut their chops on East Coast "packed powder", even before they strap on their boards.

On a good dump day, the East Coast ice riders are the only ones exhibiting any kind of control on the drive up to Whistler.....

Why? Because they drive in snow and slushy conditions all winter- they know how to drive in this **** - lower speeds, easy throttle and braking and look ahead for the black ice.

When it turns slushy then icy, with limited visibility, the local weekend warriors and tourists wimp out after two or three hours, then retire to the bar....

EC rippers are loving it - boosting down runs and rollers like it's no biggie, especiallly if they're from Quebec.

Of course I'm a little bit biased, even though I think of myself as a local, having lived and snowboarded out West for the past 20 years, I cut my teeth on a Burton Performer in Wildcat Mountain NH, in 1985.

George

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Well, I definitely think East coasters are better riders on hard stuff. I grew up in NY, and rode a little hill an hour from my house, and was stoked to do it. Come early season out here, and the snow's still better than back east and everyone bitches and moans, while I'm just stoked to getout on the hill.

Now when it comes to powder, things are a bit different. Same with trees. None of that stuff back east, for the most part. I had to relearn everything when I got out here in terms of not pressuring too hard in soft snow, or how to navigate and predict pow.

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no trees in the east?

I've not found any inbounds glades in the west that I thought were tight, at steamboat I'd just rip through the woods at a decent clip with no problems, you can try it in the east but it's a bitch

stowe and Jay have some of my favorite trees anywhere

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I learned in wisconsin but lived in Portland since 1992. I would have to say that the NW cascades experience frequent freeze thaw conditions and can produce boiler plate rivaling any east coast area. Now most just dont ride when its bad here but it is "fun" or challenging to practice riding and it really lets you know how good/bad your technique is. Anyone that comes for late spring/summer riding at tline can tell you about the morning ice warming to perfect carving conditions then to slush.

Jim

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Guest kennyusmc

your question was if east coasters were better ridders , but some answered if they were better ice riders...

I would look at this way take a look at who are the best in the sport and where they ride.

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I learned in wisconsin but lived in Portland since 1992. I would have to say that the NW cascades experience frequent freeze thaw conditions and can produce boiler plate rivaling any east coast area. Now most just dont ride when its bad here but it is "fun" or challenging to practice riding and it really lets you know how good/bad your technique is. Anyone that comes for late spring/summer riding at tline can tell you about the morning ice warming to perfect carving conditions then to slush.

Jim

The best is the frozen cord with inch-deep ridges. Tricky in its own way - like when your boardds wants to fopllow the corduroy and not the arc you want it to follow!

I recall a few April mronings at Tahoe that were pretty dramn icy too. But the difference is, it softens up out here where back east you might have that for weeks on end.

If you get a sunny and cold 2 weeks, the Outback runs at Bachelor wind up boilerplate. They grrom right after closing, and then the wind flattens the cord and packs it down nice. I make it a point to spend some time over there for practice, so I don't get schooled as bad if I ever go back east!

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as soon as all my schooling is done i'm heading to Utah:cool:

Good choice! But BEWARE: Based on what I'm reading, your newly acquired east-coast carving skills will be lost, GONE...after repeated exposure to all this wimpy snow out here :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

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East coast = good technique but I will go one up on that. The most northern east coast resorts aren't that bad as far as ice, it's when you go below the vermont boarder that it gets really bad. All in all I have never ridden with any one from the west except Eric J and he rips. I would have to say that in general it is hard to ride consistently good in the east but as far as better riders, we should have a contest to see.

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