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Get small in the steeps


Bobby Buggs
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While I was in Vail this past week it was mostly a free ride event because it snowed most of the time. I got to do some technical carving on the last day with Jeff and Larry. I noticed during a steep section at the bottom of a trail I really had to make my self small or as the carve father would say get in the Fetal position to get the tight carve I wanted. Problem I had was the G force was strong and it made the transitions difficult. Because I ride on the Ice coast I use more angulation than Inclination or EC style. How do I get the transitions better.

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Buggs, I would suggest blending more cross-under into your cross-through. This will help get the transition completed as quickly as possible, minimizing time off-edge. The whole idea of cross-through is to displace your c.o.g. as little as possible. That maximizes balance and stability. Think of making the board move relative to you, rather than making yourself move relative to the board.

I would also say that you should avoid the fetal position if that means hunching over with your back and shoulders. No need, it hurts balance and will fatigue you faster.

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Think of making the board move relative to you, rather than making yourself move relative to the board.

Jack, Great way to make it Visual. The hard part is I dont get those types of steeps with any kind of snow on them here :mad: So working on that style is so hard to replicate on a consistant basis.

Thanks for responding as usuall

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this fetal position you speak of, is it all the time or just in the bottom of each turn? I notice, especially when carving on my soft setup, that on steep terrain that I really have to drive down into the board to hold a carve. If I bottom out (get to fetal position) before I finish the turn I will lose an edge. the steeper the terrain the more up and down my movement gets.

Any comments from the jack would be appreciated as well. I know for me I sometimes have trouble translating what I read here into actual action and I have a hard time describing what it feels like when I am doing it.

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Dr D - use your knees as shock absorbers, not just to "get low". In other words, tip the board up on edge first, and apply knee action as needed to absorb terrain. Many people's first action on each carve is to bend their knees and get real low. This will flame out your quads in a hurry, and it greatly reduces your range of motion (suspension travel).

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I guess thats what I am doing although maybe to the extreme. ITs more the act of going low than being low though. I really drop into my turns on the steep stuff. As long as I am dropping I maintain good control. If I get to the bottom of my range of motion before the turn ends I lose that control of the edge. So it becomes a factor of managing how fast I drop into the turn. IS this making sense? I run out of suspension travel if I hit bottom to fast. Ideally I hit the bottom just in time to pop up for the transition. I don't ride this way all the time It just seems to work on the steep stuff. It feels like some of the old down up an around ski lingo they tried to teach me way back when

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Ride as low as you can get every time you ride. On steep slopes and on hard conditions at the end of my turns my knees are hitting my chest but and my c.o.g is over my back binding. In transition I extend a little and bring my c.o.g as far forward over my front binding as possible. As the turn progresses and I drive my knees into the turn I sink back down again and end up in a crunched position again.

Good Luck

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...I really had to make my self small...
<p>I think of it as keeping myself small rather than making myself small. Basically, at the apex of the turn, when the force is great, I'm compressed/small. But as I come out of the turn and try and transition to the next, I try and keep myself small, ie, only stand up the absolute minimum to give me the room for the rebound of the board to drive my knees up to my chest.

I can't say I always get it right - sometimes my knees get driven into my chest which throws me off balance, and sometimes the rebound of the board seems to propel it too far, too quickly, to the other side of my body, throwing me into a laid-out turn that I never intended and am usually unable to recover from.

But it sure is fun putting so much energy into the board and trying to control the energy I get back in the split second before the trees at the side of hill loom too large, or my speed gets out of control.

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