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Knees together or apart?


JJFluff
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Ok, I realize an article has been written, and therefore it is. But does anyone else out there ride with the knees together. The main reason I question it myself, is because I do everything exactly the opposite of what the article called "Separate Zee Knees: A Whole New Carving Stance" says to do. Note the pics. My knees couldn't be any closer together, I rotate the upper body and lower body into each turn, almost simutaneously, and really try to move all momentum through the turn following the radius I am traveling.

The article states you should seperate the knees, and to keep your shoulders parralle to the slope. I''ve noticed that that is the preferred riding style of most on these forums. It seems to me that it moves pressure away from the edge, versus onto the edge like most claim.

I say, keep those knees together, and drive through the turn. Granted, I know I am going to be out numbered on this one. But I do know, when I ride I feel extremely comfortable and balanced on top of my snowboard. And I really think I have something going here. I'm not angulated, but I'm not stretching out completely inclinated either. I just maintain a well balanced, athletic stance. When done well, the board will do anything you want it to. Its not EC, but just a powerful, strong stance. Every part of the body working together. When maintaining parallel shoulders, your hips go in on direction, and the upper body in the other. Thats what I would consider a counter rotation. And unless your running a GS course, counter-productive.

annnddd discuss.

P.S. The article I am referring to is the following.

http://www.bomberonline.com//articles/seperate_zee_knees.cfm

JonsHeelside.jpgMe1.jpg

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physiology/mechanics theory aside, in the 10 years I've been riding with high angles on race boards, there's one thing I have noticed.

The closer your knees are, the faster you go and the harder you'll turn.

It's not that black and white though.

The thing to keep in mind is you and your gear. Naturally, there is a sweet spot for everyone's setup on a given day, and if your gear is tuned too extreme or too conservatively for your body, conditions, and riding style, then obviously your natural tendency will be to fight your settings to achieve optimal feel with your board. So you could find yourself pushing in or out with your knees depending on how you are tuned vs. how fast you think you should be going.

If you have strong legs and a need for speed, you might find yourself squeezing your knees on conservative settings to get every ounce of performance out of your board. What you may need to do is ride at higher angles with a rear foot cant on a narrower board, and you won't find yourself squeezing your knees all day. Conversely, if you ride your angles too high and you want a slower ride with more leasurely, thoughtful turns (or if you're in powder and you need to ride your rear foot a bit more), you may find yourself trying to pull your rear knee out for more control and a more stable stance.

Tight knees are good on groomers and ice and you'll ride like greased lightning, but wide knees are better for powder, and freestyle (and beginners) because as Crave points out, the mechanics favor control.

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The bad news is that you are actually shortening the effective edge length (and contact) by flexing the board in a C shape.

Actually, knees together doesn't flex the board. Camber and side cut create the shape of the flex. By allowing yours knees to move together, you don't fight the natural flex of the board. When you try to hold your knees apart,you do.

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The knees together approach restricts full movement and angulation and although it is easy to "pivot" the board with the knees you are giving up the ability for "independent" steering and pressuring.

There certainly isn't any pivoting taking place when I ride. Did you misword this statement?

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Dude, ride how you feel most comfortable. If you can lay down turns on just about any surface with your style and you are happy with it, then continue to rock it. I would only seek a change if you had difficulties on certain snow conditions or terrain as a result of your technique.

Have fun and ride the style that got you there.

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The article states you should seperate the knees, and to keep your shoulders parralle to the slope. I''ve noticed that that is the preferred riding style of most on these forums. It seems to me that it moves pressure away from the edge, versus onto the edge like most claim.

JJ, try this: get on your bathroom scale. Put your knees together. Take them apart. Tilt your shoulders one way. Then keep them level. Do you weigh more in one position than another? No, you do not. One position does not pressure the edge any more than another. (different positions can pressure different <i>parts</i> of the edge, but that's another discussion) It is all a matter of balance, and what position gives you the most balance. If you feel most balanced in a certain position, then rock on brother. However it is simply a fact of body mechanics that you will have better balance with independent knees, and without tilting your shoulders into the turn. On hero cord, it doesn't really matter. It is only when conditions get choppy or icy or otherwise non-ideal that you'd benefit from a more balanced position.

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as I tell my students when I teach, there is not right or wrong way to snowboard, just more or les efficient techniques. I say if you feel stable pulling your back kne to your front go with it. and there is actually some pivot going on in your turns, especially when pulling the back knee towards the front, but it is slight, as there is obviously less pivot when carving as opposed to skidding, but it is still there.

this knees together techniques was popular back in the day because less twist was used to control the board and more pivot. but snowboarding isnt about all this, it's about getting down the mountain in as fun a way as possible and if that involves tucking the back knee, then more power to ya.

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Hey Jack, very nice pictures (especially the upper one)!

When I first read that article I thought that this is bull**** (much years ago). One year before I started carving, and the best suggestion was riding with knees together.

Fortunately I tried discovering new things and found that the article is very good. Riding with knees apart gives stability in rough terrain and better maneuverability.

From my experience turns are easier with back knee forced inside the turn what is knees apart for frontside turns and knees together for backside ones. But you should force the knees together independently, that means you dont stick them together only keep them close.

As for shoulders parallel to the slope it is very important for keeping weight on the edges. Shoulders square (like yours) means that you push the edges away from you what causes in case of extreme board angles scraping the snow. Shoulders parallel means you push the edges directly into the snow. Last year I've seen a ski instructor to demonstrate this on horizontal terrain. Going C shape you can go low and still maintain balance on one edge (weight straight down the slope), but if you stay erect weighing only one edge produces falling down.

What you do is nice but only a little piece of carving. Try things out and you will be amazed how much you can develop.

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As for shoulders parallel to the slope it is very important for keeping weight on the edges. Shoulders square (like yours) means that you push the edges away from you what causes in case of extreme board angles scraping the snow. Shoulders parallel means you push the edges directly into the snow.

I think when you say "like yours", you are referring to JJFluff, and when you say "square" you mean tilted into the turn, yes?

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I think I tend to ride with the knees pretty close, but not locked up. You need independant action. One of the things that works for me when conditions are harder is to drive the back knee to the snow on toesides, and move the front knee towards the snow on heelsides. When doing this, the knees become more seperated and I can see where this style is more effective on the racecourse and if you get consistently hard conditions like in the east.

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One thing I can say is:

If you ride with your knees TOGETHER, rear tucked in. and you binding/boot setup is so that this is the neutral (not influencing flex) position. You may loose the ability to flex the board the too tighten the carve. In a race, if you are in a carve around a gate, and you look like you are going to overshoot it, you can bring your knees together to tighten up the carve and cut the gate closer. You may still be able to do this with a knees together style, I don't know for sure.

That being said. I just ride, I am thinking a little to much right now..........

If I try to think about it while riding, I fall.:D

Never mind, I guess I am wrong...........

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Sorry mud, this one just frustrates me to no end. If you think about it for 10 seconds, you'll understand why this concept is simply wrong. The only thing you *might* accomplish by jamming your knees together is to put a kink in the board between your feet, which is not what you want.

timinor - LOL!

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Sorry mud, this one just frustrates me to no end. If you think about it for 10 seconds, you'll understand why this concept is simply wrong. The only thing you *might* accomplish by jamming your knees together is to put a kink in the board between your feet, which is not what you want.

timinor - LOL!

Don't worry about it, I just need to stay out of technique discussions.

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JJ... How's the Der, Bro?

Anyway, I look at your pictures and can see that you look like you're TRYING to hold your knees together.

Instead of TRYING to make your knees separate, why don't you just relax your adductors (the inside of your thighs) and see what happens? Where do your knees NATURALLY want to sit in relation to one another?

If you're not knock-kneed genetically, they'll probably want to have at least a fist width betwen them. This will add more control on uneven and icy surfaces.

A more active style of making your knees go in varying directions can come later... In the meantime, see what basic RELAXATION of the adductors can do for you.

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I always took it for granted knees together was how you rode an alpine board.

I did notice removing cant gave me a lot more control of my board. Then a friend videoed me on my race board in rutted choppy conditions. Looking at the video in slow mo latter I was shocked at how far apart my knees were at times! I like my board to bend in the turn, hence a tight stance width when i drop my knees inward the board responds and thats enough for me. I think everyones right. knees together knees apart they both work fine.

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Hey Jack, very nice pictures (especially the upper one)!

As for shoulders parallel to the slope it is very important for keeping weight on the edges. Shoulders square (like yours) means that you push the edges away from you what causes in case of extreme board angles scraping the snow. Shoulders parallel means you push the edges directly into the snow.

Does shoulders parallel to the slope mean that, if your body is facing longitudinally down your board, and you're traversing, a bar balanced on your shoulders would be parallel to the slope? That seems to be what I'm getting from the photos, but I'm still not totally sure.

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