Jump to content
Note to New Members ×

Return of the noob... What the heck's wrong with my back foot?


Recommended Posts

Well, I had the opportunity to work from the "alpine office" today. Went to Sugar Bowl to try out the board I just got from eBay.

I now have as far as set up goes:

Oxygen kr72

UPZ RC10 boots

SnowPro Race bindings

After spending the first three runs spending a lot of time on my butt and questioning this whole decision I sorta got the hang of it.

Ended up being able to link some weak carves on shallow slopes.

However, one thing that I had a heck of a time figuring out is that when I'm on heel side, just initiating the turn, it seems that the board wants to pivot around my left/lead foot. That is the tail wants to come around. Not a "skid" feeling but the tail seems to want to come around in a lot longer arc that it "should" vs. the front.

On shallow slopes I could control it by really concentrating on leaning on the heel edge, but as soon as the slope got steeper the same thing happenend.

I totally understand that as I learn I'll figure out how to deal with this stuff, but I'm wondering if there's anything I can do setup-wise to mitigate this issue?

My rear foot is about 5deg shallower than my front. Could increasing the angle theoretically force my hips to be more square and thus get rid of this rotation?

My stance is as wide as the board's inserts will allow and I can't really move it forward or back on the board.

Any suggestions?

I've tried searching for "rotation" as I figure it's gotta be a pretty common issue, but there's so many threads that are not quite like how this feels. Like I said, it's not a skid feeling or a washout feeling... Ever ride those rip-sticks? Kinda feels like that...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try and turn your board with all your weight on your front foot, with your back foot only there for balance. Then try putting all your weight on your back foot and turning, with your front being there for balance. My experience with carving boards is that they like someone who rides aggressively, with their weight forward. This might negate the feeling you have of your back foot on a different line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't quite picture the problem so I don't know. Unless you're a giant you probably don't need the bindings set at maximum width though: just use the default stance marked on the board and work with that until you know better.

Moving your weight forward and back.... well experimenting is ok, but actually you want to ride balanced, not forward or back. There's a subtle fore-aft weight shift you'll learn later, but for now, you should be centred. However a lot of people think they're centred when they're actually back, so you may need to feel like you're pushing forward (on your centred stance) if you see what I mean. That's more likely to be a problem on steeper slopes.

You want your front boot set up so when you push forward, it pushes the edge in, and that kind of stops you getting too far forward, if you see what I mean. The same doesn't work with getting too far back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, a video would help, but basic drills are:

- flex your knees, start the turn in a low body position

- look where you want to go and

- rotate your upper body in the same direction

- stay centered on the board

- do not do any sudden moves, try to flow with the board and follow it where it wants to go

- apply a little push during the turn, so you'll have a more grippy feeling of the edge

- gradually tilt the board, do not drop your hips immediately down to the ground when doing backsides as you'll end up losing edge. As you progress, it'll come and you'll be able to jump into a fully laid backside, but don't want to start with that

If it washes out gently, then there was not enough pressure on the edge and the board was not tilted enough or weight was completely on your front foot. If it chatters then most probably the board was tilted enough, but body position was incorrect.

But one look and advice from someone who can carve will help you much more then any forum advice...

I think this is a great sequence from the Extremecarving guys, you can see rotation and push in an exaggerated manner, so it might be easier for you to visualize what you have to do.


More here: http://www.extremecarving.com/movies/movies.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try and turn your board with all your weight on your front foot, with your back foot only there for balance. Then try putting all your weight on your back foot and turning, with your front being there for balance.

To expand on this, I think I read somewhere on these forums (or tech article?) of someone advocating doing, to an extent, the former on heelside and the latter on toeside, reason being that your front heel is most capable of exerting pressure near the center of the plank on heelside, and rear toes on toeside, due to their locations at relevant times throughout carves.

This isn't really advice, but maybe some constructive thought and experimentation will result from it :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to second the earlier thought that unless you have rather long legs or the inserts are on that board are very narrow having such a wide stance may cause just the feeling you describe. This season I switched to softer boots which allowed my stance to widen significantly, as I adjusted it I had a similar feeling when I went too wide. For a beginner I would suggest having your stance centered on the inserts and set at a width where you feel little pressure in, or fighting between, your boot cuff while standing flat, in other words you should try to set your stance so when you stand relaxed you are not twisting or flexing the board but rather feel you are pressuring your boot cuffs equally, such as feeling your weight in both boot tongues or the nose side of both your boots rather than feeling pressure in the nose side of one boot and the tail side of the other.

This may be expressed more eloquently by someone else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to eliminate the potentially obvious, was the board tuned before you took it out?

Yup... Base grind, edge sharpened fresh (fast!) wax, etc.

I'll have to give all of these a try next time I go up.

Thanks so much for the help. At least I have soem idea what to do (North +/- 70 degrees is better than my random shooting in the dark! :) )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A wider stance works better for me with lower angles. When I ride a skateboard, if I ride transition (bowls and such) I ride with back foot around 0 and front moving from -5 to 15 or so, and a very wide stance (22" wheelbase board lets me do this!). Something like 26" c-c. I guess this is to give stability; you know when you're going to turn and plan way ahead for it so quick response isn't such a big issue. And you've got the curvature of the terrain working with you. When I ride on flat or hills I ride with forward angles, maybe more like 20-40 degrees, and a much narrower stance. There's probably a good reason for this, but I'm not sure what it is. To get used to the forward angles/narrow stance I adjusted gradually. (By the standards of alpine riding, what I'm calling "narrow" is wide, maybe 19".).

Some boards don't flex well with a wide stance. There's a big difference on one of my boards between the reference stance and having the back foot one hole forward (that's only about 20 mm, not enough for my body to notice). So it's not just the biomechanics; it can be the board mechanics as well.

A wider stance than given angles allow can be workable with some cant adjustment (more inward). The kicktail on my skateboard serves this purpose. I've seen things like this on surfboards, maybe for the same reason.

A wider stance probably increases your tendency to twist the board. I think heel lift helps counteract this.

That's more than everything I have to say about the subject!!! Just to explain, I'm sitting here forced to WAIT to get out on the snow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To me is sounds like it could be an alignment issue. You made mention about squaring your hips up......Well if your hips are not in proper alignment with your stance angles then it can lead to your boards pivioting into a heelside turn. Especially when moving to steeper terrain, while riding with mellow edge angles (since you are new at this, I'm assuming that you are riding with mellow edge angles and not fully tipping the board high on edge. Sorry if I assumed wrong here.)

Don't be so focused on riding square with the nose of the board. Just stand natural on the board.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...