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Freestyle in hard boots?


quest4powder
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While I know the equipment is not specifically designed for freestyle tricks, does anyone here rock the park or pipe in hard boots?

<B>Grabs?</B> Anyone grabbing anything other than Tail/Tindy? (Rail grabs on carves are cool, but don't count).

<B>Spins?</B> FS/BS 3's? More?

<B>Rails?</B> Are Boardslides possible in hard boots?

<B> Inverts? </B> Never seen this (yet).

Please post images, if you got 'em.

Thanks!

________

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<I>Why?</I>

How 'bout challenge and fun.

I'm nowhere near as skilled as some of the hardbooters I've seen who rip freestyle moves as well as arcs. It's inspiring to ride with 'em!

I can Five-O rails in hard boots, but wary of boardslides due to high stance angles (high 60s). Can throw occasional BS 3's, carve switch, and grab tail. I'm stoked to learn more.

Threw an invert one time, unintentionally, riding off a catwalk in Japan. Wound up hanging upside down in a tree. Downclimbed before the gal with the camera showed up.

I'd try one off a backcountry kicker in deep powder.

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I don't quite rock the pipe yet but I can jazz it, with frontside and backside airs a few feet over the lip. No real tricks, just a couple of different grabs - mostly indy or method when backside, and tail or stale grabs when frontside.

Grabs: indy, method, tail/stale. I can't reach the nose very well. :)

Spins: I have frontside 180s very consistent over just about anything, landing switch. I can take off switch almost as well as landing switch, just not quite as big.

I am too chicken for the X-games-sized jumps, so I spend all of my time on the next tier below that - jumps around 8-10 feet tall with tables up to about 12-15 feet long. And I'm lousy at measuring stuff without a tape measure so that's a very rough estimate. The parks in my area mostly come in three sizes: small for little kids, medium for 90% of the people, and huge for the few with the fortitude to risk their lives. I ride the bigger jumps in the medium zone. I have no idea if that's typical for other mountain's terrain parks but I hope it gives you some idea.

I can do backside 360s fairly consistently over tabletops (and did a few under the lip of the pipe last season but I'm not sure if that counts yet). I did a switch 360 last season, but it was supposed to be switch-540-land-forward and I didn't make the last 180. It came out really smooth, but it was pure luck. Still haven't landed a 540. Will try to do some switch 3's on purpose next season.

I can do backside 180s over the smaller tabletops, but even then I'm not consistent at them.

Rails and inverts frighten me, I don't go there. I see no reason that inverts would be any harder with an alpine setup, but rails might be... but that's just speculation.

I had Coiler start with an all-mountain 169 and extend the noise a little bit and extended the tail a little bit more so now it's a 174 that goes backward with no worries. 13m radius. I have been thinking that the extended nose and tail probably don't matter in the terrain park so I might try a standard-profile all-mountain board soon. Boots = Raichle 324, bindings = TD-1 step-ins.

I used to ride soft boots, many years ago, but I'm not willing to give up the control I get with hard boots just so I can reach the nose when I get air. Plus I feel a lot more confident with a 13m radius than I did with a 10m radius. At the speeds required for big air, I'd much rather be carving than skidding. I'm surprised more softbooters aren't using larger sidecuts, I wonder if they know what they're missing.

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Originally posted by NateW

I am too chicken for the X-games-sized jumps, so I spend all of my time on the next tier below that - jumps around 8-10 feet tall with tables up to about 12-15 feet long. And I'm lousy at measuring stuff without a tape measure so that's a very rough estimate. The parks in my area mostly come in three sizes: small for little kids, medium for 90% of the people, and huge for the few with the fortitude to risk their lives. I ride the bigger jumps in the medium zone. I have no idea if that's typical for other mountain's terrain parks but I hope it gives you some idea.

I used to ride soft boots, many years ago, but I'm not willing to give up the control I get with hard boots just so I can reach the nose when I get air. Plus I feel a lot more confident with a 13m radius than I did with a 10m radius. At the speeds required for big air, I'd much rather be carving than skidding. I'm surprised more softbooters aren't using larger sidecuts, I wonder if they know what they're missing.

For once, someone who underestimates the air that they get. :D I'm sure you are getting more air than you think NateW.

A small table usually like 12-15 feet, a regular table is usually like 20-30 feet (from lip to lip) and a larger kickers (with an actual ramp) tend to be 30-45 feet. Very large jumps can be 50-70 feet. Big Air events tend to have 40-60 feet gap with varying kickers sizes (some throw you up really high up into the air).

My opinion is that sidecut won't really matter much on big air since you are running pretty much flat for last, high speed half of the approach. Maybe you have something in mind that I have never thought of, how do you envision it being used? Like when would be a good time to carve?

Since we are talking about freestyle, it is really hard to bone or tweak a grab which is kind of important for "style points." Of course you could scoff at style... but there is a tiny bit to be said in looking nice while spinning through the area. Olympic freestyle aerials is very precise and impressive... but has more in common with with the technical excellence of gymnastics than the creative grace pf snowboard freestyle aerials (again just the way I see it).

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Interesting Subject and question .

I actually use my Hardboots o my Burton Custom because I got funny ankles and I have found that I can get lots of speed and stability with the Hardies rather than more conventional snowboarding boots.

Sure raises some eyebrows when ya carve a 7 - 8 meter turn just about layin down .

Works for my riding all over the mountain , but I can't say I ever seen anyone rideing the pipe in hardies.

Mozz

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I think I remember an article from a 1991 or 92 issue of Transworld Snowboarding which interviewed Damien Sanders and his use of hardboots in freestyle. Its probably somewhere in my mom's basement but the next time I head over there, I'll try and dig it out.

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On size: I'll take your word for it. I do tabletops, but not gaps (too scary), so maybe that puts me in the 30-foot-plus range. I'll have to ask around and see if I can find out how big the jumps are around here, it'd be nice to know just for the sake of communications.

On sidecut: there's three things I like about having a large radius in the park:

I'm usually flat on the base when going up the face of a jump, but for 360s I use the edge a little bit, pushing aginst it to get some spin. I have no idea how I would do that with a sidecut that wanted to turn twice as sharp... I'd probably have to skid, but I feel a lot safer having the edge carving rather than sliding, it's just one less variable to get wrong.

When riding between jumps, I can carve from place to place without losing much speed. That means there are a couple of lines that I can take, fast, that people on soft boots can't, and that includes one softbooter who is better than me in just about every way. I mean, he could follow me from jump A to jump B, but he'd lose so much speed in between them it woudn't be worth the trouble. There's places at my home hill with two sets of jumps and sometimes the most air can be had by landing, carving into a traverse and hitting something in the 'other' set.

And even for cases where soft boots and freeride boards can do it with sufficient speed, a larger sidecut does more confidence. It's more stable, and it gives me the confidence to push myself a little more. That's partly psychological, but psychology counts. :) Look at it this way - racers use large sidecuts because they provide more control at higher speeds. Freestyle people need high speeds to get big air, so why NOT use a sidecut that provides more control when lining up for a jump?

On tweaking airs: I agree, having flexy ankles makes it possible to do more grabs, and to strike better poses. I'm sure it looks better, and it probably adds a little bit to the fun, but I don't think it adds as much fun as riding faster and more confidently and getting more air. Not for me anyhow. There's lots of room for personal preferences here though. I have to admit that the most beautiful 360s I've seen were nose-grabs, and I wish I could do the same.

Funny thing is, they were done by Damian Sanders. His boots must have been flexier than mine... I can reach the nose, but I can't tweak out near as much as did.

On Damien Sanders: he's still my hero. I gotta find a copy of critical condition, that would be fun to watch.

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Originally posted by D-Sub

remember his part in "Critical Condition"?

that was some STYLE. in hardboots, of course

Yep sure do. Some dude--forgot his name, last name's P-something, he was jibbin' some rock and landed on his head. -OUCH!- Not sure if this video's the one with Steve Graham who busted his femur riding steeps and hittin' a tree ?

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Nick Perata

That was one of three major injuries in the flick.

Steve Graham broke his leg makin turns in the back country at big mountain

I think it might have been Noah Salasnek that hit the tree launching a rock...

but...Nick Perata...that was ****ing scary.

wonder what ever happened to that cat

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Critical Condition rocked, I just saw my tape the other day while cleaning out an old box of stuff...the best is the Nick Perate (I think it was him) interview while driving his car, after/during the footage of him hitting the rock pile...I still cringe just thinking of that scene...

"stiches, here (points to forehead(, stiches here (points to back of head), stiches here (points to top of head), broken teeth, etc..., then he pauses looks at the camera and says "memory loss..."(in "wasted stoner sounding" voice)"

Steve Graham's leg break on that tree looked like it hurt too...

If I have time, maybe I'll get some of those scenes onto my computer and post them out on the web for you all...

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My base is sacred territory that is to be touched only by the snow.

And AIR! Snow and Air!!!

I still ride beater boards over rails, stumps and blow-downs, and sometimes mud. In spring I skim every puddle I can find. Call me crazy, but it's kind of fun.

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There does not seem to be much to worry about for your base on the rails. I have been riding rails for years without base damage. The only exception is on rails with sharp kinks. I usually try to avoid the sharp kinks. You have to worry more about your edges. You really should not be riding your edges on rails, but if you ride rails, you will eventually find that your edges inadvertently touch them and pay the price. Steel on steel wears fast. Look at someone's base who rides a lot of flat rails or rails with smooth arcs (roller coaster, rainbow, etc.) and you will find that it does minimal base wear. As far as edge wear, that is a different story and a good excuse to stick to 50-50's. I figure that as long as I boardslide at the same place on the board, I will only be wearing a small part of the edge away. There is still plenty of edge to work with for the carves. If you don't believe that, read the saying below.

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Guest Ghostrider

For freecarving, then sure base damage isnt too much of a deal and you can live with some damage as long as you eventually repair it. But for us racers with tackle boxes full of different waxes who spend hours brushing and rubbing with fibertex hunting down those microscopic burrs, it goes against our beliefs. Do microscopic burrs make a difference? Well...I've won a race by .01 sec before so I think I'll keep my Rockwell steel and sintered graphite off the rails.

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well, you certainly wouldnt take your race quiver out and ride rails would you?

I used to slide trees on my PJ. all the jibbers thought it was hilarious (they were my friends, but still insisted on giving me ****) but...even sliding trees I never saw any damage really. minor scrapes, but...nothin big

I dunno...Id love to see some more all around freecarvers...imagine a dude ripping through the park, carving perfect turns between hits, etc...

too much separation sometimes

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Originally posted by NateW

for 360s I use the edge a little bit, pushing aginst it to get some spin.

When you spin, you don't really use your "edge" to push against, you "weight" base near the edge to gain a little friction. Kind of like "scooting" you board forward to pick up speed. There is a tiny bit of skidding involved, but that's not where you are getting the "push" from. This base "weighting" is a subtle and somewhat unconscious thing that you do (happens more with the ollie).
I have no idea how I would do that with a sidecut that wanted to turn twice as sharp... I'd probably have to skid, but I feel a lot safer having the edge carving rather than sliding, it's just one less variable to get wrong.
Clearly all pro/advanced freestyle riders can spin with ~7.5m sidecut boards. As said above, I don't believe you are suppose to carve on a spin. Of course this is all "traditional" freestyle technique, which assumes that you are using a relatively short, flexible board with a deep sidecut (all compared to an all-mountain board like yours). So it might be different when riding with a 13m sidecut and you could get away with holding a tiny very very wide carve on a spin. I think that some of your experiences are adaptations due to trying to ride freestyle on an alpine setup (and bringing the alpine mentality to it).

You say skidding is one less variable to get wrong. I view "drifting" as one more minor skill that you can use. Obviously, if done improperly, drifting can cause you to crash, but carving improperly is no different. I borrowed the term "drifting" from car drifting because I want to invoke that sense of highly controlled, artistic grace to what I'm suggesting. There is also a nice correlation between where alpine riders and NASCAR and F1 racers who would shudder at the thought of intentional causing their wheels to slide out in the middle of the race (because it would be bad/dangerous for racing. Even if it might be fun just screwing around).

Obviously skidding has a negative connotation for most alpine enthusiasts because it is unwanted when carving turns, but it is a "skill" that can be useful in certain situations. It's harder to skid "nicely" on an alpine setup so hardbooters avoid it. Most hardbooters avoid freestyle on their boards as well for the similar reason... but you are bolder than most :D My point is that learning how to "drift" is fundamentally no different than carving... learning how to manipulate the board to make it do what you want it to do.

And even for cases where soft boots and freeride boards can do it with sufficient speed, a larger sidecut does more confidence. It's more stable, and it gives me the confidence to push myself a little more. That's partly psychological, but psychology counts. :)
Yes, but I see this as a negative... that you have become "psychologically" dependent on the preceived benefit of a particular type of equipment... making you unnecessarily afraid of certain situation without it. It would be like owning a 250 hp, 4WD, Traction Control SUV as a one person highway commuter car *.
Look at it this way - racers use large sidecuts because they provide more control at higher speeds. Freestyle people need high speeds to get big air, so why NOT use a sidecut that provides more control when lining up for a jump?

Your argument is missing one big thing... racers use large sidecuts because they provide more control when turning at higher speeds. For the most part, a freestyle rider is going straight and flat towards a jump. So again the large sidecut is irrelevant (in my opinion).

On tweaking airs: ... I don't think it adds as much fun as riding faster and more confidently and getting more air. Not for me anyhow. There's lots of room for personal preferences here though.
Heh, I have had the same opinion, which was probably a good indicator that I would become a hardbooter, but yes... it's really a personal preference, but turning the mirror on ourselves... maybe we prefer things that we are good at? I mean I have cleared "X-Games sized jumps" as you put it but can't do a decently boned indy grab.
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Just wanted to say I started in softies and learned the pipe, jumps, rails etc. Now I ride hard boots even on my freestyle board and still ride the pipe, jumps and rails. In the pipe I actually find it easier to get more boost because I can hold my edge on the landing and through the tranny, flat, other tranny, and right up the other wall a lot easier. However, I have also noticed that there is a lot less room for error when landing because I don't have as much slop in my ankles to "take up" mistakes with. Rails don't seem any different, but I also ride with lower angles on my freestyle board. Basically my point is that you can ride any equipment as long as you get used to it and pratice until you're proficient with it. Sometimes I'll even take my GS board in the pipe when people tell me it can't be done or just for fun and it really boosts because of the extra camber and stiffness, but its also pretty easy to dig the nose in or catch the flat tail if I'm not being careful.

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I know I'm carving into 360s because I leave arcs on the face of the jump. :) Maybe that means I'm doing it wrong, but the idea of getting spin from board that isn't on edge really does not sit well with me. I guess I should try it sometime, see if I can do backside 180s using that sort of takeoff, and try 360s later if the 180s work out OK.

> I think that some of your experiences

> are adaptations due to trying to ride

> freestyle on an alpine setup (and

> bringing the alpine mentality to it).

I'm sure that's true. I really have no problem with skidding, by the way, it's just not something I want to do in the last moment before getting airborne. Part of the problem is that I have nightmares of catching my heel edge at that point. Spinning from a carve, I know that's not going to happen. Spinning with the base flat, I'd worry.

> For the most part, a freestyle rider is

> going straight and flat towards a

> jump. So again the large sidecut is

> irrelevant (in my opinion).

It's relevant to the way I ride... Being able to turn without losing speed means having more options about which jumps I hit, and losing less speed in between jumps that aren't laid out in a straight line. And if the jumps are in a straight line, it gives me something fun to do in between them. :)

Like strider was saying, large sidecuts seem like an advantage in the pipe. Seems to me that it should allow us to carry more speed from one side of the pipe to the other, too. I wonder if the difference would let a pro get more airs per run, or at least get bigger airs.

Do you think there are any advantages to tight sidecuts?

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Originally posted by NateW

I know I'm carving into 360s because I leave arcs on the face of the jump. :) Maybe that means I'm doing it wrong, but the idea of getting spin from board that isn't on edge really does not sit

well with me.

... Part of the problem is that I have nightmares of catching my heel edge at that point. Spinning from a carve, I know that's not going to happen. Spinning with the base flat, I'd worry.

Like you said, the majority of the people are afraid of catching their heel edge on backside spins and so overcompensate by digging their toe edge in, like driving on the shoulder of the road because you are afraid of oncoming traffic.

I was always taught to not to try and carve hard off the jump when trying spin because it's inefficient techique and doesn't look smooth. Anyways, it's all good if that's what you like (doesn't really matter what everyone else thinks). However, it obviously does tear up the approach of the jump, making it worse for everyone over time (as you observed yourself). No worries though... pretty much everyone messed up the jumps anyway.

Like strider was saying, large sidecuts seem like an advantage in the pipe. Seems to me that it should allow us to carry more speed from one side of the pipe to the other, too. I wonder if the difference would let a pro get more airs per run, or at least get bigger airs.

Do you think there are any advantages to tight sidecuts?

Tighter sidecut lets you do quick, tight adjustments to your line without needing to swing your weight into a deeper carve (because you need to have your weight over your board when you ride up the wall). Common sense seems to tell me that if what you say is true (~13m sidecuts are unquestionably better for halfpipe) someone would have already done it.

I'm not sure if you do this as well. I was taught to carve through the pipe wall (using the downhill edge on the wall, but the uphill edge relative to the mountain) which always seems like a great way to catch your edge to me, but I've found that it really keeps your speed up and boosts you off the next wall. If you are wondering where I learned all this stuff I keep repeating. I went to High Cascade Snowboard Camp High Cascade Snowboard Camp for a couple of year and was taught many things by James Jackson.

This is just what I've been taught, what I "think" the pros do, and what seems to work for me. But there are many ways to name/do a backflip as they say (last I counted there were like 4 names for different subtle variation on backflip).

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I'm not sure if you do this as well. I was taught to carve through the pipe wall (using the downhill edge on the wall, but the uphill edge relative to the mountain) which always seems like a great way to catch your edge to me, but I've found that it really keeps your speed up and boosts you off the next wall.

That is actually what I was talking about when I posted. I'm not sure the sidecut radius has anything to do with this. I just find it easier to set that edge when I'm wearing hardboots whether its on my freestyle board or gs board. The main reason I get more boost from my race board isn't due to the sidecut, its due to the stiffness and extra camber the board has. When you decamber the racce board and let it snap back it gives a much larger "boost" up the wall than my freestyle board does.

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