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Air with hard boots.


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Or: "Jumping for adults".

I know how to jump with my snowboard. I mean, if there's a cliff or a pillow I'll ride over it with a bit of speed and then try to deal with the landing, mostly by ensuring there's at least 3m of powder where I'm heading. After that it's just a question of if I ride out of the crater or not. 

You can't really see it in the image below from today, but bottom right there's a small ramp. It's maybe a meter tall fashioned as a mellow "roller". It's "passive", in that it doesn't do anything to your balance should you hit it (there's no "kicker"). If a hard booter his it full speed there's just about enough space down there to put in a turn before the fence at the bottom. Soft booters generally spin just above the snow then crash or sideslip away - I've no desire to do that.

I'm trying to get straight in my head what the best technique is for hard booting a roller like this is. I can simply suck it up and take minimal air; I can hit it straight or hit it at an angle; or I can extend violently as I get to the lip.

I'm not really interested in tricks at all, but I am interested in the best technique for rollers, for I suppose (a) height; and (b) length of air, and maybe (c) maximum hard boot style [which has to be very different from spinny tricks]. Anyone got any tips?



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30 minutes ago, boardguru said:

.... Also nice Alta Snowboard Team sticker, where did you pick that up?

Snowbird - one of the lifties just gave it to me. I think it was because I was ripping the place up somewhat, and at least from what various regulars said, they obviously get a lot of learner snowboarders there. It's a good sticker though, the only one I have on there - if you know why it's funny then you can probably ride.

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Enter on your right edge, very mellow right carve, pop or ollie of the edge, change the edge and 15-20° of direction in the air, land on the new edge/turn. Bonus points for an EC on the left edge. 

Or a bit more monkey approach, but still HB style: Enter switch, on the right edge, tail roll a 180° of the lip, land on the left edge to finish the same turn hard. Works better for a goofy rider. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/21/2021 at 8:34 AM, philw said:

I'm trying to get straight in my head what the best technique is for hard booting a roller like this is. I can simply suck it up and take minimal air; I can hit it straight or hit it at an angle; or I can extend violently as I get to the lip.

I'm not really interested in tricks at all, but I am interested in the best technique for rollers, for I suppose (a) height; and (b) length of air, and maybe (c) maximum hard boot style [which has to be very different from spinny tricks]. Anyone got any tips?

The picture didn't come through for me. 😞 But, regarding your questions...

Sucking it up means less air, so don't do that. Unless you're in a hurry to get somewhere, or the landing is flat - flat landings are no fun.

Straight or at an angle doesn't make much difference IMO, just do what it takes to land where you want.

Extending violently or even aggressively can throw off your balance a bit, and the only way to get a perfect landing is to take off with perfect balance. So don't do that either. I mostly just think of it as keeping my legs firm. I'll give it a smooth push if that's what it takes to clear a flat spot and land where it's steep, but I try to let speed and terrain do all of the real work.

Most people take off with the base flat on the snow. I believe that's generally the right way to do it. But I have a pathological aversion to that approach... I almost always take off slightly on edge, unless I put conscious effort into taking off base-flat (which I sometimes do). So either way certainly does work. Ideally you should be comfortable both ways and make a habit of doing both base-flat and on-edge takeoffs. Otherwise you might end up like me, trying to unlearn a habit. 🙂

Style... I cannot do nose grabs. My boots and stance just won't allow it. Tail grabs work great though, and that's my default trick. Methods work, but it takes some effort to keep the nose up and keep the board beside me rather than behind me.

"Shifty" is pretty easy and hard boot friendly. Just rotate your lower body to get the board sideways. I'm left foot forward, and rotating the board counterclockwise 90 degrees comes naturally. The other direction is awkward. I keep forgetting I need to work on that.

180s are fun, and if you practice riding backward you'll probably find that 180 airs are not that hard. Especially over small bumps. Frontside 180s are easier because you can see where you're going the whole time. Backside 180s involve a moment of blindness, which is scary but adds to the satisfaction when you get it right. After takeoff, I look straight down to gauge my height and direction - I can't see where I'm going but looking down keeps me aware of what's happening. By the time I touch down, I've rotated enough to be able to look where I'm going again. Situational awareness is critical due that moment of blindness; before takeoff, make sure there's nobody ahead and nobody coming from behind.

Start small, work your way up.

If I may toot my own horn... click here.

And here.


Edited by NateW
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On 5/2/2021 at 5:02 PM, BlueB said:

Super clean, all of it! And a backside 360 to finish it off - respect! 

@daveo you didn't watch the 2nd video, to the end! Respect @NateW!!

Edit: Hmmmm, maybe time for new glasses. That was not a deliferate mistale!

Edited by SunSurfer
Daveo has gently shown me my error.
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That's pretty much answered that one - thanks. I'm thinking that I'm at the point where it's remarkable that I'm doing this stuff at all, never mind doing it with excessive style, so I think I'll start building gently. My drop there wasn't huge so carving out in the one feasible direction was straightforward.

I'm not much of a "grab" person in so much as it seems a bit affected, but maybe I'll give the tail grab and the shifty a shot. 

(In other news, it's still illegal to travel from here to the snow, but that may change this month, and there's still snow in Iceland and Greenland if you know a man with a helicopter, so all is not yet lost... )

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