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Technique or equipment?


patmoore
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Here’s a subject that has probably been covered thoroughly in the past but I’ll raise it again if no one as any objections.

The past couple of years I’ve been trying to really lay out a Eurocarve like you guys do and have had no luck. I posted a note on extremecarving.com’s forum and one of the moderators (Jacques?) was kind enough to reply saying he wouldn’t be able to accomplish the carve on my board. I have a nice 168 cm Volkl RT GS board that I bought for racing and I’ve had some success with it . I suspect my lack of ability is more of a hindrance than the apparatus. My normal style is angulation as opposed to inclination whether on board or skis (see below) but when I do try to lay out a full body length turn I can’t seem to get low enough.

If a change in equipment would make a significant difference, what do you folks recommend? I’m 5’8” 165 lb and about to turn 58.

Also, I may have a hard time convincing the child bride (she’s only 52) that I need a new toy to go along with the GS board, slalom board, freestyle board, GS skis, slalom skis, all mountain skis, cross country skis, and back country skis…. Not to mention I just got a second unicycle for distance riding.

You folks are always great in dispensing sage guidance. Please share your thoughts on this topic.

Much obliged,

Pat

raceboardskismall.jpg

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Originally posted by patmoore

The past couple of years I’ve been trying to really lay out a Eurocarve like you guys do and have had no luck. ...

...My normal style is angulation as opposed to inclination whether on board or skis (see below) but when I do try to lay out a full body length turn I can’t seem to get low enough.

I think angulation and so-called 'Eurocarving' are antithetical to one another--and if you're angulating as the primary way you're tilting the board on edge, it may likely be the reason you're unable to lay it down as far as you'd like. I don't think it is an equipment issue.

Obviously, both techniques are useful and if you ride icy, hard-packed slopes regularly, it might explain why you're more practiced at angulating--it simply works better on ultra-hard snow.

Have you actually rode with someone who is turning as you'd like to? It seems to me that it would be the best way to see--and duplicate--the moves they make.

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Originally posted by Coldrider

Have you actually rode with someone who is turning as you'd like to?

I hooked up with a guy at Pico one day last year. He was from Burlington, VT and I think his name was Eric. He was executing some dazzling turns in less than optimal conditions. He was on a Burton board and was wearing ski boots with the the top two buckles loose (I use Raichles).

I've tried to abandon the angulated style and rotate the upper body in the direction of the turn but can't seem to pull it off. Obsviously I have a habit of sticking my arms out to the side.

Winter is still a ways off but I'd like improve my technique (and fun) on Okemo's groomed cruisers this year.

Pat.

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Originally posted by patmoore

I've tried to abandon the angulated style and rotate the upper body in the direction of the turn but can't seem to pull it off. Obsviously I have a habit of sticking my arms out to the side.

Winter is still a ways off but I'd like improve my technique (and fun) on Okemo's groomed cruisers this year.

Unless you have some type of physical limitation, you should be able to reprogram your muscle groups to perform the new movements. Of course it will take a little time and some patience.

One move that I've seen some instructors do is a 'break dance' move, where they finish a turn lying down on the snow. The object is to have fun, be goofy, and to make single turns to body slides. Perhaps this one-turn-at-a-time approach might help you to acquire the new movement patterns you seek.

There seems to be a healthy contingent of skilled carvers in Southern Vermont--many of whom frequent BOL. Bet you could find a competent coach on these pages to help you learn to lay 'em out.

2-TMOllieBasin.gif

FWIW, I wouldn't necessarily 'abandon the angulated style'. It's good technique and works in a wide variety of situations. Seems you're looking to add to it.

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ride with shaggy- he figured it out a few years ago.

My bet from looking at your photo is that you need to tilt your board far more aggressively and much earlier and let your body fall into the turn. It appears you are tipping your board from the bottom of your boots as opposed to driving from the cuffs.

$.02

________

FORD VERSAILLES

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My $.02--based on your picture alone the angulation of the board looks good, don't abandon it as I think it's very important, especially on the conditions you and I ride. The one thing I noticed from the picture is your right hand is trailing. If you bring that trailing hand more forward, almost like you're going to reach forward and grab the opposing edge, this I think will draw your hips/weight more forward/down and give you more of the drive that Mr. Gilmour was talking about. In addition, for a toe side turns, I've found that bending more at the knees (almost like kneeling at the altar for the Catholics out there), rotating at the hips earlier in the turn will give a similar drive of the hips to get you lower. I've found it really fun a couple a years ago to really arch my back when going from toe to heel side turns, it's a pretty unique popping into the next turn. Probably terrible technique, but still fun. That trailing hand in my opinion is the first thing to work on to see if that makes a difference...I'd bet my $.02 it will help a great deal.

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Great suggestions as always. The "breakdance move" sounds like a great learning tool - I just need to try it somewhere remote.... "Driving from the cuffs" makes sense. My widespread arms is a tough habit to break. I tend to do the same thing on the unicycle. Carving with someone more experienced would be a big help. I can't wait for snow to try out these ideas!

I definitely won't totally abandon angulation. It works well for racing. I just want to have the capability to occasionally layout a full Eurocarve.

And no, I have no physical limitations. Even at this advanced age I stay pretty active. I'm a former competitive gymnast and did my last standing back flip on my 50th birthday. The handstand shot below was taken a tad too early - I had the chair up on two legs a moment later.

HANDSTND.JPG

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Guest Ghostrider

While some of it may be equipment...I wouldnt say it is totally. I have been laid out on my 168 RTGS so its not un-possible. But if you really want to lay em out and connect them, a SL board at least will make your life much easier and help with the learning.

In your pic there, one thing that stands out to me is your torso positioning. Especially on a heelside like that. It looks to me like you should

a) turn your head into the turn and focus on looking uphill. To get a good laid out turn, you want to basically make a sharp turn to get the forces working like they should. And the body will go where the head is pointed. Like if you are on your unicycle and you want to do a quick 180 turn, when you turn your head the cycle leans over and you turn to correct the balance. same idea.

b) a tip I was once given that really helped me nail the heelside was to think about driving my toeside shoulder into my heelside knee. For you, being a regular footed person, try to touch your right shoulder to your left knee while doing a heelside. That will really get the weight over the board and you will feel your body dive down and the board hook up. Once you get used to an aggressive turn like that, start to straighten your body and see if you can keep the same ideas, without hunching over.

Also, im sure you've already read the tech articles especially at extremecarving.com but they are excellent sources for linked laid turns.

http://www.extremecarving.com/tech/tech.html

And even though its the off season, visualization can be huge. Just picture the body movements you will be doing. You can still get used to the feel of the movements so when the snow falls, you can work out the details of converting it to snow instead of figuring out how to do it completely.

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Guest AlpentalRider
Originally posted by Ghostrider

But if you really want to lay em out and connect them, a SL board at least will make your life much easier and help with the learning.

If by SL you mean a slalom board, that will make it much harder for him to learn EC carving. An optimal board for EC casrving is one with a sidecut radius of around 13 meters. Slalom sidecuts cut too sharp, have too slow of a speed envelop, and put too much centrifical force in the turn when attempting to EC. All this is documented under the extremecarving site.

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Guest Ghostrider

I actually like the characteristics of the slalom cuts. Maybe it has caused me to develop a different style of EC, but especially in the mid-west here where vertical is not in abundance and trail width certainly is not either, the slower speeds but snappy turning performance of the board lets me cram more turns per run without waiting for a full clearing of people so i can cut across the whole hill (which can be deadly..you never know when an untrained hoosier will race out of control...sleeveless NASCAR shirts and Carhartt coveralls must work like GS suits cuz you'd be amazed the kind of top speeds these people can get on a set of rentals... ).

Then again, I have never had a chance to strap on a Swoard or comprable EC specific board so my style has had to adapt to the equipment available.

Where in the EC .com site do they talk about board types and radius? I've only seen topics like length, stiffness, dampening and edge care.

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Guest AlpentalRider

go to the forums under "on Piste" and you will find specific threads regarding the topic by the EC guys. It is also mentioned at http://www.alpinecarving.com.

If you still doubt me, you can always post a thread there and they will explain in detail why a larger radius board is much better for EC turns (i.e. laid out turns).

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Hi Pat

Very interesting post.

I am really impressed by your handstand picture and race results. Seems to me you are 58 going on 28, I find guys like you inspiring!

Are you having trouble getting low on both heel side and toe side turns? Or is it mostly the heel side, as your picture suggests?

Here is the EC thread that discusses sidecut radius.

http://www.extremecarving.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9

Rob

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Thanks for the kind words RCrobar. I try to stay in shape. I did 12 miles on the unicycle yesterday in high heat and humidity. It's great for the quads and I hope to reduce a bit of the quad burn this season. I resumed skiing at age 50 after a 34 year layoff and tried snowboarding a year later. I bought my first alpine board about five years ago and still have it although I spend far more time on the Volkl. I refer to it as my slalom board because of it's length (154 cm) but I have no idea if it really is designed for slalom. It's a 1997 Hot Shine. I also have a K2 Zeppelin that I used for my first halfpipe competition last year. I'm thinking I might be a tad too old for that. We did the 18 foot superpipe at Okemo and I had to wait on the second run because the guy ahead of me broke his arm in five places. My run consisted of little pop turns at the lip. Too tentative to be competitive....

To answer your question, I get about the same amount of lean on toe side and heelside. The shot was taken at Telluride last February in perfect snow. When conditions are worse I struggle even more.

Thanks to all who have made suggestions. I'll print them out and try to put them in effect this season. Hope to hook up with some of you to learn firsthand!

Pat

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Hi Pat

Here are a few thoughts, to add to tips given so far, that have helped me to make lower turns.

-The line that your board draws in the snow should be a completely rounded "C."

-Avoid partially finished turns that draw a ")" shape in the snow

You also mentioned that you were playing with the rotation style of turning, the next thoughts apply to the heel side turn - rotation style.

At the end of the rotation, your body should be in the following position:

-the shoulders and hips are parallel to each other

-the shoulders and hips are perpendicular to the tip of the board

-your chin, belly button, and the center of the board’s waist width form a relatively straight line

I also got the impression your goal was to add more to your bag of tricks. Rather than buying new gear, maybe try setting up one of your boards with stance angles recommended by the EC guys. (Flat - back 45-48 - front 50-54)

It’s easy to experiment with binding angles for a while, much easier than trying to convince your child bride you need more gear :)

As always take these tips, from one weekend warrior to another, with a grain of salt.

Hope this helps

Rob

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Guest Tim Tuthill

Pat: Another thing that I find is real good, is to hook up with guys that are way better than I am. Follow them down the hill. We don't have many instructors in carving. Monkey see monkey do. Look at pictures. Visualize and practice. Pick up the case of beer on your left and put it down on your right. Then, extend your hold and reach out in a exagerated position. Don't worry about the way you think you look. Watch the Extreme guys movies till your sick of them. It will all fall into place. Good turns. Tim (61 years old)

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for me are much harder to layout with a longer board my weighting does not have to be so perfect

the drawback is I have to go a lot faster on my 190 than a 175

its possible that I am just more comfy on the big gun and feel better about it mentaly lots of things are just in your head like the voices

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I spent some time last season exploring the whole laying out thing. I am by no means an expert, but I did ride a whole lot of boards last season, and here's what I found. BTW I weigh about 195.

10 - 11 m sidecuts: couldn't do it unless it was here snow on the soft side. (In other words, cheater conditions). Otherwise, I had to keep myself more angulated and my upper body more upright to avoid losing my balance and falling rather than carving.

13.2 m (Coiler PR 184) I could lay out when I tried to, easiest on steeper intermediate runs where the board would pick up speed due to the pitch.

15 m (Donek 186 CMC) Could lay it out without thinking on shallower intermediate slopes. It held enough speed without having to be on a steep run and had the stability to make it all fun and not the least bit scary. All of this in spite of limited technique ;) This one was a bit much for me to handle when it got steeper, though - I found myself carving back uphill to a stop too often.

17 m (Donek 210 CMC) Only got a few runs on it, but I really can't imagine myself layout out on this board unless I was on a really wide trail and knew I was the only person on it.

Draw your own conclusions, this was just my personal experience, keep in mind I'm still an apprentice not a master :)

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