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First day on hardboots?


twelsch42
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I've got my pass, I've got my board (older prior 4x4 169), and soon I'll have a new pair of boots.

Last year I rode +24 / +9 on a noodlely 162 (old stock 04, new burton custom) with stiffer Salomon boots, and some burton cartel bindings. The bindings have alot of forward lean, even set at zero.

Last year was my first year snowboarding (I've never skied). I put in over 55 days riding the hell out of copper mountain. I have executed concepts behind 'the norm' and good at carving my downhill edge, and ankle based carves. I would guess I ride a more carving style than most other soft-booters.

I can tell that because of my forward lean, I was riding with a more sitting back stance, than a standing tall stance, even with my shallow angles.

If I tried to bring my back foot up past +15, I felt like I had no control. Now that I have had a summer to imagine myself in hardboots it seems like applying force to your edge with high angles is more of a lateral pressure (side of your leg/ankle). Where soft-boot / and shallow angles is more of a fore / aft pressure, being applied through your heels and toes. Does this sound right? This seems like one of the downfalls to soft boots, you can only apply so much pressure going right through our very flexable ankle.

Any hints or insight on what to expect my first day on hardboots? Are there some bad habbits I should watch out for that I'll try to carry over from softbooting? What things can I practice to get my board angle steeper? This was one thing I don't think I ever did in softboots, was get a good angle on my board.

What was your transition like? Were you riding softboots for a long time? How long was it untill you were feeling some G's? What board did you first put plates on?

thanks for your insight

twelsch

edit: asking a few more questions

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If I tried to bring my back foot up past +15, I felt like I had no control. Now that I have had a summer to imagine myself in hardboots it seems like applying force to your edge with high angles is more of a lateral pressure (side of your leg/ankle). Where soft-boot / and shallow angles is more of a fore / aft pressure, being applied through your heels and toes. Does this sound right?

Yes.

This seems like one of the downfalls to soft boots, you can only apply so much pressure going right through our very flexable ankle.

It is.

Any hints or insight on what to expect my first day on hardboots? Are there some bad habbits I should watch out for that I'll try to carry over from softbooting? What things can I practice to get my board angle steeper? This was one thing I don't think I ever did in softboots, was get a good angle on my board.

thanks for your insight

twelsch

One thing I would really try to watch out for is the dreaded "front hand swing". That's when shortly after starting a heelside carve, your front hand swings across the nose of the board and ends up somewhere over your front foot toe. For regulars, this is your hand swinging from left to right.

This is one of two bad things. 1, it can be a subconscious effort on your part to wrench the board around with rotary momentum. Or 2, it can be the result of unbalanced rotary momentum in your body (board turns left, upper body doesn't, upper body has to "catch up").

Concentrate on turning as one unit with your board. Don't fight the equipment. Let it do what it is built to do.

Furthermore, isolate one skill at a time and work on just that for a number of runs or even a whole day. And do it on a slope easy enough that you don't have to be too concerned about speed control. You can't learn in self-defense mode.

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If you're in summit county you need to meet up with all the carvers there and stop by Bomber in Silverthorne and have a chat with Fin. Go to Keystone on Wednesday nights and meet all the carvers there and they will give you a ton of good advice.

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What was your transition like? Were you riding softboots for a long time? How long was it untill you were feeling some G's? What board did you first put plates on?

I rode softboots for about 5-6 years, I think, at 39/21 angles. I first felt real G's in softboots actually - at softboot angles it's pretty easy to hold toeside carves by bending the crap out of your knees and keeping your back straight or even arched backwards towards the heelside edge. I first put plates on my freeride board, which was a fairly stiff 161 Never Summer Premiere.

My transition experience was:

1) when skidding a heelside turn (e.g. trying to bleed speed because hey, it's your first time on hardboots and you can't carve all the way down your first time), face the nose of the board instead of the toeside edge like you are used to, or your rear knee will complain a lot)

2) Heelsides will feel OK at first but the toeside will scare the crap out of you - it will feel like your ankles are in concrete and your toeside edge further down than you are used to.

3) Always bend your knees more.

4) The bad habit almost everybody brings in is counterrotation (swinging the upper body towards the toeside when turning heelside and vice versa). There is some disagreement whether you should always face the nose, always face the toes, or overrotate, but almost everybody agrees that counterrotation is bad.

What things can I practice to get my board angle steeper?

To lean the board over a lot you need to trust that the edge will hold and that you won't skid out and smash your butt/face on the snow. I found the gut, visceral fear of eating crap was greatly reduced when I entered turns with my knees bent a ton, so that I was closer to the snow (and thus had a shorter distance to fall). Also, knees bent are always good anyways.

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Also, we can hook you up with a good instructor to help you out if you like. Just come by and say hello.

I may or may not go looking for an instructor. I atleast want to have a few days on plates so my riding muscles are back in some shape.

I plan on buying my boots and some bindings from your shop - when do you think you'll have your stock in for the season?

thanks

twelsch

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Everything should be here by November, depending on delivery dates from the manufacturers. However, I anticipate by early November to have all in stock (Boards, boots, bindings, BTS, etc etc). That's pretty much true for every year - we get out stock in November and then sell through the season. People always want things in March, and wonder why there is nothing available. This is why, so buy early!

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