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Hi all... newbie here!!!


Guest Oldsnwbrdr
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Guest Oldsnwbrdr

I'm a 39-year rider who is ready to make the switch to alpine riding! To that end, I'm going to Stratton Vermont early next month to (hopefully) pick up a Donek Freecarve. I'm spending a day with one of the guys training on rental equipment, buying the equipment that evening, and then riding on the new stuff the next day.

A couple of silly questions...

Since skidding isn't easy on alpine boards, how do you stop? Is it the same motion?

Since the feet face more forward on an alpine board, is stability an issue at slower speeds? My boot size will be 28 or 29 so I expect I'll face pretty much straight ahead...

Is getting off of the chairlift any easier/harder on a carving board?

Thanks all... I can't wait until December 8!!! :p

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Skidded turns are pretty easy on an alpine board, You can skid your turns if you are lazy, or you can rip them. Basically the same way as your soft setup, just with higher angles. Most groomed terrain is ok for carving, but when you get into trees and steep powder, you need to skid to check your speed. I even find that some trails are too narrow for my coiler PR so I have to skid them, the board wont turn fast enough while I am carving it. Anybody who says they never skid, is lying!

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Originally posted by Fleaman

Skidded turns are pretty easy on an alpine board, You can skid your turns if you are lazy, or you can rip them. Basically the same way as your soft setup, just with higher angles. Most groomed terrain is ok for carving, but when you get into trees and steep powder, you need to skid to check your speed. I even find that some trails are too narrow for my coiler PR so I have to skid them, the board wont turn fast enough while I am carving it. Anybody who says they never skid, is lying!

You glossed over the fact that it is a bit more difficult to smoothly skid an alpine *because* of the higher ankles. On a normal freeride setup, you can do this just by flexing/extending your ankles, on an alpine setup you don't have that much ankle leverage and so have to use your entire core body to swing the board over into a skid.

Stopping on an alpine boards is more like stopping on skis than stopping on a regular freeride board, because unlike a freeride setup, you feet and hips are pointed across the fall line instead of down the fall line. That's the key I found you have to think of it more like a hockey stop where you turn your shoulders/hips square to the hill... my original problem was that I was trying to turn the board horizontal, but kept my shoulder pointing down the fall line (will tweak your ankles).

To the original poster:

While it is a bit more difficult starting out... I don't think you will have much problem stopping... although I would suggest you stay out of the trees until you learn how to engage you hips and shoulders to provide the necessary force to move the longer, heaver, stiff alpine boards.

Stability isn't an issue because of your feet pointing forward, the issue will be that you will need to relearn your carving technique a little to engage the stronger muscles in your legs (thigh, hips instead of calf/ankles) to engage into turn, especially at lower speeds where you can't lean as much.

Getting off the chairlift is about the same provided you knew what you were doing in the first place.

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Originally posted by Fleaman

sometimes when I stand around in the lift line or just starting a run, I will fall down and flail like a beached whale for no reason.

Is it a problem if I do that w/o a snowboard? I mean while standing in line in street shows or something. Oops :)

Oldsnwbrdr - I find that because of the higher angles and stiffer boots, getting off of the lift is actually easer on one of these setups - especially on the heelside.

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Guest Oldsnwbrdr

Thanks everyone... I've just completed my first step, the 2003 closeout boots (Deeluxe Susukas) just arrived from Bomberonline and they passed the two finger test perfectly.

A little background... I've been snowboarding for about eight years. I learned how in Vail at the Delaney Adult Snowboarding Camp (which no longer exists).

My K2 Fatbob has been my able partner for most of that time.

On those rare occasions where I've watched really good alpine riders, it's like... poetry in motion I guess. It is truly one of the most graceful movements in all of athletics, and is just beautiful to watch. During my last trip out west I spent a lot of time on the Vail back bowls working on "The Norm." I got the hang of it pretty rapidly and was able to quickly link my turns, admiring the nice thin gouge I had left in the snow while passing over in the chairlift.

Another question, where can I get some good full-size alpine riding pictures to use as my Windows Wallpaper? Also, is there some good video to be found on the web?

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Originally posted by Oldsnwbrdr

Since skidding isn't easy on alpine boards, how do you stop? Is it the same motion?

<p>Skidding is a little harder on an alpine board, but it's basically the same motion. You can skid to a stop just as you do in soft boots.
Since the feet face more forward on an alpine board, is stability an issue at slower speeds?
<p>Slower speeds are a bit less stable and a bit less maneouverable. When I first started on hard boots I felt fine with wide open spaces and fast speeds, but always felt I was a bit of a danger to others when I got in among the crowd near the bottom of the lift.
Is getting off of the chairlift any easier/harder on a carving board?
<p>It's probably a little easier.

In general, don't worry too much - you'll be fine. You may find yourself reduced to beginner status for a while, but its all part of the fun.

My one tip would be to always try and keep your shoulders level (parallel) with the hill.

Like this:

<img src="http://www.bomberonline.com/images/photo_home_5.jpg">

Not like this:

<img src="http://bomber.smugmug.com/photos/4513884-M.jpg">

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Alpine snowboarding is not really a sideways board sport like freestyle or skateboarding or surfing. In freestyle snowboarding, there's a lot of pushing and maneuvering and steering the board around with your feet. Not so much with alpine. Especially when you're <i>carving</i>, then there is <i>no</i> steering involved. It's all about working in unison with your equipment. If you do what it wants you to do, it will do what you want it to do. If you try to kick the board around, you'll be sticking your butt out on heelside and bending over at the waist on toeside. Here are some pics of what I think are excellent examples of heelside and toeside turns.

Also check out the article on "the norm" for an introduction to carving in the Tech Articles section here.

Welcome and good luck!

-Jack

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Good wallpaper on Prior's website.

One warning about switching from soft to hard setup. You know on soft gear how you fall on your butt to rest or adjust your equipment? The first time I tried that in hard boots, I thought I had dislocated my knee. Because of the high angles, you need to drop down on your hip.

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its a little more narrow than I like but in a way that is good because after learning on that you will be able to ride just about everything as far as width goes

the downside to buying a donek is that other than Madd or a Coiler everthing else is a let down

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Guest Oldsnwbrdr

I'll either get the Axis or the Freecarve based upon the instructor / shopkeeper's recommendation. I want to make sure that I can take the thing on steeper slopes (e.g., east coast blacks) that are not very well-groomed. Powder is not really an issue, since after eight years of riding I've been on it once.

Any big performance difference with step-in bindings?

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