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"Rodeo hand" an apparently flailing trailing arm on heelside turns


SunSurfer
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Follows on from a short discussion of this in the Softboot carving worth watching thread.

Watching videos in slow motion of carvers I suspect what is called "rodeo arm" is due to effective separation of trunk and lower body during a heel side turn. That is the lower body is driving the board into the turn and down and across the fall line. The rider's trunk is staying relatively close to it's orientation in the earlier part of the turn. The rider's arm appears to "flail" as the rider's trunk catches up with the lower body as the turn progresses. Most obvious on heelside because the rider is turning away from the relaxed trunk direction imposed by their stance across the board. Less or not obvious on toeside because turn direction and stance direction align. Most obvious on riders with pronounced cross board stances, still present but much less on riders with more forward facing stances.

Interested to read others analysis and points of view.

Added 8th May: Interested in part because I've seen a similar but smaller movement in my own arm in video of my heelside turns.

Edited by SunSurfer
Embedded video so others don't have to go searching.
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It can be trailing or leading hand, but generally this is my interpretation too.  It's a result of missed upper/lower body alignment throughout the carve and transition.  It’s the release of twist between the two. Happens to everyone sometimes.  Usually seen in the transition from heel to toe, but I have seen it on the other side too.  Here you can see me getting some leading rodeo hand at 24 seconds:

https://photos.smugmug.com/Sports/Skiing-and-Snowboarding/Misc/i-qBFvqv8/0/95ade478/1920/IMG_0201-1920.mp4

(video taken at 3pm on March 30, so-so conditions)

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1 minute ago, west carven said:

howdy

just looked at some pgs races and looks like their in a parade waving at the crowds … not pretty … 

Yes on icy rutty courses it’s not pretty. You basically end up swimming down the course to survive. On better conditions it’s quite beautiful. 

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Racers at rough courses should be ignored. It's survival. 

I get the "hello" trailing hand heelside, with a lot of instructors, when I teach them carving. They are 99% on soft boots. We typically cure it by early opening hips and shoulders a bit into the carve, kind of facing the angle of the front foot, rather then parallel to the board and resting the back hand on the lap or knee. 

Edited by BlueB
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On 4/29/2022 at 12:53 AM, SunSurfer said:

Follows on from a short discussion of this in the Softboot carving worth watching thread.

Watching videos in slow motion of carvers I suspect what is called "rodeo arm" is due to effective separation of trunk and lower body during a heel side turn. ....

Interested to read others analysis and points of view.

I just found the original video in that thread and that is a very specific arm action. That's not just people riding fast and needing to wave their arms to maintain balance, it's a deliberate part of turns, and to some extent on both sides, in parts of the video at least.

It's entirely possible for people to make similar turns on similar looking gear without such movements, so I think it's not functional. Maybe it's a left-over from the rider cranking the board around by counter-rotating 
the upper body - the counter rotation's gone now, but the arm action remains? Who knows.

To me, people who posts videos of their riding on the internet (like me) do care to some extent what people think about it. My view is that waving arms like that may be harmless, but are unlikely to be functional.

I think he really needs to work on that.

 

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It's unnecessary motion - until it's not. If you need to do it when everything is in control, on good surfaces, every single turn, etc, then it's a personal quirk. 

If you're flailing because something isn't going well, then do it! 

It's handy to get feedback or video to try to tame down your own quirks. Riding while holding your jacket hem reveals a lot about your tendency for flailing arms. 

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On 5/4/2022 at 5:59 AM, philw said:

Maybe it's a left-over from the rider cranking the board around by counter-rotating 
the upper body - the counter rotation's gone now, but the arm action remains? Who knows.

IMO it's the release of twisting tension between the upper and lower body.

In the video in question, he does it on almost every turn when going from toeside to heelside.

Everyone does this sometimes.  But to do it that much means you're not in as good control or riding as efficiently as you could be.

Control and efficiency become more important as we get older, and when tackling more difficult terrain.

This guy has almost no rodeo hand.  I see one at 0:22.  This is better, cleaner riding.  It's how I feel when I feel like I've got it all together - like I'm doing nothing and the board is doing it all.

I submit these observations as something we can all learn from, not to judge these riders, @softbootsurfer.

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On 5/4/2022 at 3:17 PM, Jack M said:

This guy has almost no rodeo hand.  I see one at 0:22.  This is better, cleaner riding.  It's how I feel when I feel like I've got it all together - like I'm doing nothing and the board is doing it all.

@softbootsurfer.

Interestingly, he (This guy) makes the movement both times he loses the edge and becomes unbalanced. When looking at arm movements, I always consider two things, the momentum of the moving arm and the equal and opposite reaction (on the body's mass). I think he is swinging his rear arm backward to help move the torso forward (in relation to the lower body) to become more angulated to recover balance.

In the original video, the rider makes the arm movement as he begins to angulate for heel side turns. At 1.07 The arm movement is exaggerated to recover as he almost loses the edge. and at 1.23 he mistimes or overcooks the arm movement causing the board to auger in. Generally though for same reason as above, to help move the torso forward (in relation to the lower body) to become more angulated.

 

As Jack says, the counter rotation on the toe sides may be a factor, perhaps causing the late angulation on the heel sides.

In case anyone doesn't know the keyboard short cuts for Youtube.

j - 10 secs back

l - 10 secs forward

Arrow left = 5 secs back

Arrow right - 5 secs forward

Edited by BobD
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exactly.

tie to topic of harmonic motion -

quirk/wasted movement is a good way to put it.
Music/art/style beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

"Classic music" - Tchaikovsky - 1812 Overture  is pretty bad ass because it involved Cannons.  That's pretty damn rocking roll.

i love the contradiction/dichotomy of "Effortless aggression".  that extra movement disturb the flow.
Just like when we look at our track - do we preferred clean or jerky line?
As long as you are having fun/great time that's more important but for myself.  i like to dissect it like joke/frog.  must be German in me.

I do notice:  those who ride more compress tend to have cleaner hand motion.
Those who ride more up-right have more chance of "waving to the crowd".
Which make sense; longer travel meant more things can go wrong during transition. 


hey you "Relax harder"!!

 

 

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howdy

here is ernie again ... now i see what he is doing, here he does it with both arms, he is using the swing back of the arm then drives it foward thru the turn ... he has become my favorite to watch and learn from ... great style ... 

 

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I agree with the initial assessments of of @SunSurferand @Jack M.  Rodeo arm emerges unconsciously from quickly trying to rotate the hips and torso to be aligned where you want them to if they fall behind after quick transitions of the board into the next carve.  Usually it happens toe to heel because the torso often open sideways more in toe-side turn. 

Sever rodeo arm is when you actually use it to help swing the torso; mild rodeo arm is just the arm lagging behind to not slow down the rotation.  Using upper body and arms as counterweight to assist in swinging the lower body around is technique, not always bad form.  I use it consciously in powder and trees to assist in repositioning the board.

Carved turns shouldn't require a lot of forced board swinging, but sometimes still.  I notice myself do it when things get heated.  It's not good form, but it's not bad form either unless it's happening on every turn.  If it happens all the time, analyze why your upper body timing is off.  But if you lock your arms in place because you think it's bad form, you're just leaving a compensatory technique on the table when you might need it.

Edited by johnasmo
toe to heel
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i think it's called doing airplanes with only one wing, at high speeds, riding bomber style. it's an advanced technique for those still learning balance; not necessarily strict technique. as in golf, baseball, etc we must be the ball. same deal. seems to me there's just pure hyper focus on board control and nothing else. there are many programs in figure skating, each interpreted respectably. hockey players probably aren't very "correct" at figure skating either. this is snowboarding. the riding is mostly fluid none the less and beautiful to admire and interpret in your own way.

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My original interest, and starting the discussion, was because in video of my own riding I had noticed a much less pronounced but similar motion of my outside/rear arm on heelside turns and was interested in understanding what was producing it.

Thanks to all who have contributed so far, and to the poster of the original video. @west carven

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Leaving the arm behind means for a moment, you’re not needing to carry it forward with you. 
That moment is sped up. 
It may also have you on the new edge a bit more across the fall line, instead of in it, if you were to hold that lead or trailing arm forward. 
you might also see the lead or trailing arm in a more effective place if it’s coming from behind advancing to between the stance, instead of starting between the stance and moving forward of the front foot. 
I get it that the feeling of launching into the new turn is enhanced by leaving that arm behind… it accentuates the acceleration feeling. 
On the other “hand”, I’d want to be careful of developing a habit that you might take into freeriding steeps… it’s fine if your locking into a predictable carve right away, but if your edge is drifting and you try to pull your arm forward, it’ll slow your rotation, taking you longer to get to the fall line (and out of it) which wouldn’t be something you’d want in that scenario. 
This is probably one of those things that stress through a group of people trying very hard to copy one another… someone really good did it and now it’s moving out to the periphery where others don’t do it as well, inviting critique. 
In this arena (wide groomed slopes with no sliding) it’s fine and these riders probably don’t care what knock on effects it has in other terrain they don’t have. 

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On 5/8/2022 at 3:31 PM, Rob Stevens said:

I get it that the feeling of launching into the new turn is enhanced by leaving that arm behind… it accentuates the acceleration feeling.

Nice to hear from you Rob.  There's a difference between doing it on purpose and not.  Sometimes it happens as a recovery motion when you're off balance - especially rotationally off balance.  I don't believe the guy in the video in question is doing it on purpose.

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howdy

i believe he is doing it on porpose, i think it helps him fall back on heelside to get the board on edge faster. he is making some really tight fast turns on a wide board. it is not easy flipping a wide board and making fast smooth transitions...

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1 hour ago, west carven said:

howdy

i believe he is doing it on porpose, i think it helps him fall back on heelside to get the board on edge faster. he is making some really tight fast turns on a wide board. it is not easy flipping a wide board and making fast smooth transitions...

I think it looks like an involuntary reaction.  The other guy you posted is a much better rider and doesn't do it barely at all.

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On 5/6/2022 at 5:23 PM, west carven said:

here is ernie again ... now i see what he is doing, here he does it with both arms, he is using the swing back of the arm then drives it foward thru the turn ... he has become my favorite to watch and learn from ... great style .

Cool; I never thought about it that way.  There are a couple more people chimed in expressing similar conclusion but you are the first one.  👍

When I do it; usually it's sh@t hit/about to hit the fan.  Wonder if i can lean into it and use it as crotch/drill of sort to help with my riding.  

Thank you for sharing all these videos!

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