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My Introductory period on Alpine snowboarding (Need some tips)


Pew
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I started alpine snowboarding last week and today will be my 5th day riding alpine snowboard. I ride 6~7hrs a day.

Boots : upz rcr

Board F2 speedster WC 163

Stance : 49cm regular 

Angle : 53 48

1st day I couldn’t even make a basic turn. 
2nd day I was able to make basic turns and I tried to figure how press the board

3rd day started basic carving but I had a problem on heelside turn

4th day I figured out how to heelside turn and tried to press. I learned how to put my weight on my rear foot

Today I will work on controlling my speed, press and rotation(I keep looking at fall line when I make heelside turn not the nose of the board

My problems

I can’t slow down when I carve . I’m getting faster and faster so I have to stop every 4th turn. 

Every single turn is soooooo hard I have to rest at least 2min for every 10th turn.

 

 

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To control speed you need to cross the fall line more than going down hill. The more hill you give away with each turn the faster you go so you need to finish your turns off almost going up hill. Thats extreme but its something to think about. As fun as it is to link a ton of turns as you get tired you dont finish the turn as well and end up with down hill orientation at the end of turns. That causes you to pick up more speed than you might want. Take some time to make sure you can control the finish of each carve to help with speed check. Doing just a couple turns paying attention to how they finish is a great way to figure it out. 

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What they said
I would add that you could concentrate on just a single turn at a time and ensure that you end up stopping by going back up the mountain at the end of the turn.  Once you can do this at will, make 2 linked turns, controlling each and stopping at the end of the second. 
With your setup, if you don't learn this early it will only get harder to break the habit of accelerating with more linked turns, in the future.

And there is no harm in stopping after 4 turns and starting again.

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4 hours ago, Bobby Buggs said:

To control speed you need to cross the fall line more than going down hill. The more hill you give away with each turn the faster you go so you need to finish your turns off almost going up hill. Thats extreme but its something to think about. As fun as it is to link a ton of turns as you get tired you dont finish the turn as well and end up with down hill orientation at the end of turns. That causes you to pick up more speed than you might want. Take some time to make sure you can control the finish of each carve to help with speed check. Doing just a couple turns paying attention to how they finish is a great way to figure it out. 

Thank you for the tip
I tried to extend my turn and it works

I can link my turn from hellside to toe but not from toe to heel

I feel like I’m upside down when I start the heelside turn after extended toeside turn 

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4 hours ago, Eboot said:

What they said
I would add that you could concentrate on just a single turn at a time and ensure that you end up stopping by going back up the mountain at the end of the turn.  Once you can do this at will, make 2 linked turns, controlling each and stopping at the end of the second. 
With your setup, if you don't learn this early it will only get harder to break the habit of accelerating with more linked turns, in the future.

And there is no harm in stopping after 4 turns and starting again.

Our ski resort have a narrow slope sometimes I feel like I will hit the wall

what is your opinion about slipping little bit before turning 

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3 minutes ago, Pew said:

what is your opinion about slipping little bit before turning 

100% ok. There are some people than never carve a turn. It is really fun to carve a whole run top to bottom, but sometimes you just have to skid. 

The first goal on the slopes is to survive. My second goal is to have fun. Don't forget that priority! 

Stick with it! 

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Some things to try:

  • Build up a bit of speed on your toe side across the fall line before initiating the backside turn (you don’t need to have completed a turn to do this)
  • always look downslope towards your next before you initiate your turn: the neck rotation sets you up for your weight transfer onto your heels
  • an activity I practiced was keeping my hands in front of me, parallel to the ground, and moving them from the toe side of the board towards the heel side as part of your turn initiation.

Sliding to stay in control is always ok if you feel you are going to run out of runway, or if you feel you are going too fast.  Learning to carve is a process that requires practice before you internalize the muscle memory.  It sounds like you are doing really well for your first few days!

In a proper carve turn there’s I’ll be no slipping but you will learn to be able to reduce your turning radius using weight distribution and angulation to better manage narrow trails. 

One final comment: although riders behind you are responsible to stay out of your way, you have a responsibility to be aware of what is happening up sloe from you.  While you are learning your actions may be unpredictable to someone approaching you at speed, from behind.  This as much for your safety as theirs.

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Even the best riders on here still use a slide when needed. If you have to skid a bit in your transition then do it but analyze why its happening and try to figure out what you need to do to stop it.

Your gonna have to power that front hip open and do some rotation to get from toe to heal, at least thats my move. 

Edited by Bobby Buggs
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Once you're fully comfortable you'll be amazed at how little fore-and-aft movement is needed, but at this stage you may need to feel like you're stepping forward and up onto the front foot to get yourself off your heel side edge and into the new turn. I sometimes tell myself to pounce on that foot with the edge change, especially if I've carved way across and up into the hill to kill speed. That "upside-down" feeling is good, though - it means you're committing to the new turn very early and will ultimately lead to huge sweeping carves of more than 180°, which is where the fun is. Four turns is a LOT when you're just starting - don't be discouraged. If your toeside turns remain significantly stronger than heel side after a while, you could increase your stance angles a little at a time until you're evenly uncomfortable!

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I'm assuming with those angles that you are initiating turns by putting weight/pressure onto your toes and heels.

So, toeside turn will feel strong if you pressure the toes of your rear foot.

Heelside turn will work better if you can put the pressure onto the heel of your front foot. 

This weight distribution will keep your overall centre of mass relatively balanced between your bindings.

Try to "feel" the board with soles of your feet. Use your knees for shock absorption. Fatigue is common when your body is learning what to do. As you get better you'll turn with less effort.

If you have access to a suitable slope,  a gentle Green slope is the best place to practice carving to begin with. You don't build up frightening speed so quickly. You can concentrate more on technique.

How tall are you? Leg length in particular. Up to a point, a longer stance will make you more stable and able to maintain balance. I'm 182cm and ride @ 56cm just to give an example of proportions.

There are no real shortcuts to carving well, snow time and deliberate practice are the key. I'm enjoying reading about your progress, and gently jealous of your time on the snow as I sit in the Southern hemisphere summer.

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Many good tips above. 

Sticking to wider trails while you learn is advisable.  Not only to avoid the trees when you blow a transition, but to leave more room for others that will invariably want to pass regardless of how much of the run you are using.  Carving is safer if you can use less than the full run. 

My advice is to work on tightening your pattern on the wider runs.  Completing turns across the hill while keeping a relatively tight pattern means working on a speedy transition.  Stay fully committed to each turn until you are coming across the hill, then quickly bring the board under and start carving against that direction.  Completing turns across the hill is only part of the speed control story, another important part is starting the next turn earlier.  Learn to ignore the fall line and carve against your direction of travel, even if that's uphill. 

By all means scrape off speed when needed.  Time spent slarving is still time spent learning the feel of the board and how to control it while facing forward.  Get comfortable slarving.  Use slarving to set yourself up for the best carving spots on the runs.

The speed of your toe to heel transition may be the issue you are having.  If you delay the start of the heel side carve until your direction of travel is downhill again, you end up fighting the fall line.

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Once you get the basics down you will need to find others better than you to ride with to take your skills to the next level.  Find someone that is knowledgeable, not too nice, and able to actually coach.  @inkaholic shamed me into the rider I am today.  Without him I'd be refining my own bad habits rather than pursuing "proper" form.  Once the foundation is solid then you can develop "style."  Without a coach you are pretty much relying on your "feel" of the turn and the line left in your snow.  Its pretty hard to judge body positioning and motion without another set of eyes or video on you.

Also that setup is stupid stiff to learn on.  Sure you can learn to drive in an open-wheel racer, but its a hell of a lot easier in a clapped out Civic.  Look for a set of the soft UPZ tongues (red?) for those RCR boots.  If you have the gray tongues in then you will just be fighting them all day.  The stiffness of your gear is surely adding to your speed woes.

Good luck, make mistakes, fall, do science, maybe fall less next time.

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All good points above.  Link one turn at a time, carving back up the hill to control speed.  The transitions will come as your comfort zone expands.  Read and reference The Norm.

One thing to think about on transitions is to show the base of your board to the uphill riders during transitions.  This ensures you are on edge early and in better control as you cross the fall line.  The description above of "pouncing" on the turn is a great hint. This technique requires an amazing amount of faith that the board will catch you before you Face Plant (or Butt Plant).  But it will do wonders for controlling the run-away train that is your first carving experience.

Stick with it.  There is no shame in throwing in the odd "Slarve", even the best do it occasionally.  Just know when to stop and begin again if the run turns into too many slarves in a row.

Always, always, always, take a look up the hill before you begin and during any toe-side carve.  Straight-liners can appear out of nowhere...

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lots of really good info here, try not to let it blow the top of your head off.

I will add 2 things, and keep it simple:

Soft legs, keep your knees slightly bent to act as shock absorbers, and get your center of gravity closer to the edge of the board, rely on your musculature for support and not your skeleton

Exaggerate your movements, there has been many a time where I am thinking i am moving up and down like a piston in a stroker, only to see myself on video and i am barely bending my knees

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On 11/29/2021 at 2:27 AM, Pew said:

Today I will work on controlling my speed, press and rotation(I keep looking at fall line when I make heelside turn not the nose of the board.

 

 

Look at where you want the turn to go. Almost magically your body will start to make the board follow the direction of your eyes. It's just one of the tips from this playlist Sean Martin of Donek Snowboards created.

 

Edited by SunSurfer
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I really appreciate for tips!! I didn’t know this many people will help me

I wish I can ride with other hardboot snowboarder or get lessons. But I live in GA and I go snowboarding in Tennessee and North Carolina. I’m the only one who ride a alpine snowboard(people ask me about my snowboard at least 15times a day). My goal is participating in NASTAR racing in January  with my hardboots not softboots

I did better on my 5th day. I figured out how to bend my rear knee to put my weight evenly. I practiced making one extended turn(J turn, uphill). And I was able to slow down. But still having a rotation issue with my heel turn. I will change my binding angles to 55 50 next time to see if it can help my heel turn.

When you turn do you press towards the snow, edge, or board?

I didn’t change the cant setting for my Upz boots should I change it?

I had to press waaaaaay too much to make a sharper turn. Is this normal?

I tightened my boot as tight as I can and my feet are still numb🥲. I went to my local skishop to get my boot fitted but they said they can’t do it bc they don’t have knowledge about it. But they said they can heat mold Intuition liners if I bring it. Which Intuition liners will be fit for me? Prowarp and SBS looks good

 

 

 

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On 11/28/2021 at 6:03 PM, SunSurfer said:

I'm assuming with those angles that you are initiating turns by putting weight/pressure onto your toes and heels.

So, toeside turn will feel strong if you pressure the toes of your rear foot.

Heelside turn will work better if you can put the pressure onto the heel of your front foot. 

This weight distribution will keep your overall centre of mass relatively balanced between your bindings.

Try to "feel" the board with soles of your feet. Use your knees for shock absorption. Fatigue is common when your body is learning what to do. As you get better you'll turn with less effort.

If you have access to a suitable slope,  a gentle Green slope is the best place to practice carving to begin with. You don't build up frightening speed so quickly. You can concentrate more on technique.

How tall are you? Leg length in particular. Up to a point, a longer stance will make you more stable and able to maintain balance. I'm 182cm and ride @ 56cm just to give an example of proportions.

 

I am 179cm. Do you think 49cm is too narrow? Recommended stance of the board was 50cm

How do you think about my binding angles?

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42 minutes ago, Pew said:

 

I had to press waaaaaay too much to make a sharper turn. Is this normal?

 

Stiff board.  Check this review by Jack.   

He refers to the flex as perfect for him and he is a multi-decade expert ripper with some racing experience.  It will take more time and effort to grow into that board.

34 minutes ago, Pew said:

I am 179cm. Do you think 49cm is too narrow? Recommended stance of the board was 50cm

How do you think about my binding angles?

I am the same height and I ride 52-54cm so you aren't that far off.  Those angles look good.  You shouldn't have a problem with boot-out at first.  Slowly dial your angles up as you are able to tip the board over further if you are having a problem with boot-out.

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7 hours ago, Pew said:

When you turn do you press towards the snow, edge, or board?

When you are on the toeside edge, push your back knee towards the snow.  When you are on the heelside edge, push your front knee towards the snow.  These motions will help drive the edge into the snow.  I believe that video I linked to shows some of that action.

If you have the time and money, I strongly recommend you attend the Montucky Clear Cut event at the end of January.  You would be able to attend clinics, maybe try out some boards that are more appropriate for your skill level, ride with people who can help you out in person.  It was just announced that an experienced boot fitter will be there to help people out, sounds like you could use his advice.

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11 hours ago, Pew said:

I am 179cm. Do you think 49cm is too narrow? Recommended stance of the board was 50cm

How do you think about my binding angles?

I started out at 50cm stance and have gradually lengthened it.

Binding angles. You are in the transition zone for riding technique. Below 50 degrees riders generally put the board on edge using their heels and toes. 60 degrees and above they're much more likely to feel like they're using the sides of their feet and lateral boot pressure to do that. It's a simple matter of geometry.

Speaking of geometry, there is a complex interplay of your binding angles, stance distance, and leg & pelvis size that changes the amount of binding toe/heel lift and lateral tilt (cant) that will help you be comfortable and effective as a rider. I put this video together to explain that inter-relationship. Other riders here have different ways of thinking about lift and cant and are likely to react to this post with explanations of their own.

For the record I run 65 degrees front, 60 rear, with 6 degrees of lift, and no canting. I have ridden NASTAR on my boards at Platinum level, as have many other riders here.

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A compendium of good info on alpine carving!!!

Every one of these thoughts goes through my mind every time I ride. 
Applying these concepts are all I need in my old age to help keep my mind working. These are my mental exercises!

Also something very important to know as you embark on this adventure is that zero skid alpine carving is EXTREMELY terrain AND condition specific. I thought I was a pretty good carver back in 2000 when I attended a SES in Aspen and, at the top, Finn said follow me. The slope was only a little steeper than what I was used to and my carving skills went out the window. That was last time I saw Finn. I couldn’t begin to keep up with him let alone carve with him and I slarved every turn just to get down the hill. I was very pissed to understate the situation. That combined with NEVER being able to get any of my skiing buddies to want to learn what what I thought was the coolest way to get down a mountain led me to go back to skiing for the next 15 years. I again took up alpine carving in about 2005 and am working my way back much more slowly than I did 22 years ago but having a ton of fun with the challenge. 

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If you have to put lots of pressure to turn try moving your front binding forward a 1/4". Whenever I get on a new to me board I set the bindings to the recommended setting take a few runs, then move the front binding forward 1/4" take a few more runs to see if it turns better/faster, Then move it forward 1/4" to see how it feels when it turns too quick or doesn't feel as good I move it back 1/4" or to where it felt best.  Try moving only one thing at a time so you know what made it better/worst 

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My 6th and 7th day went so well

I went to boot fitter before snowboarding and now I can press 2times harder than beforE


The snow was so forgiving I tried a lots of things

I found my own BBP I think I was not bending my rear knee much before.

I can make sharp turns and slowdown now. I really appreciate to people who l told me to press my front foot heel when I make heel turn.

I got used to the stiffness of my board and boots. 

Now I feel like I’m controlling my board not my board controls me🤣

On 11/29/2021 at 7:38 PM, big mario said:

lots of really good info here, try not to let it blow the top of your head off.

I will add 2 things, and keep it simple:

Soft legs, keep your knees slightly bent to act as shock absorbers, and get your center of gravity closer to the edge of the board, rely on your musculature for support and not your skeleton

Exaggerate your movements, there has been many a time where I am thinking i am moving up and down like a piston in a stroker, only to see myself on video and i am barely bending my knees

I exaggerated my movement at the point I thought I was flapping my wings  but this allowed me to have a better rebound, edge change, and press. I was to excited and I got too much rebound and I had an unexpected jumps between turns.

I had a big crash on my night snowboarding. A snowboarder hit my back right after I changed my edge. I was fast but he was faster. I end up face landed and I was not able to breathe for 20sec. My helmet saved my life.

Even though I have a SL snowboard I have to make a big a big curve on stiffer slopes but most of the slopes in East are narrow so I have to use the whole width. I usually let people pass me when they are faster than me. But most of people don’t make any turns and just go straight down the fall line (they are too fast). I wish there is no passing rule for some slopes🥲
 

My whole body is in pain so I will skip next week snowboarding(I also have finals)

I will try Intuition SBC next week thanks to @Eboot I hoop this liners can help my heel lift problem

 

 

 

 

 

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