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Alpine technique in softies? / Mt. Snow, VT mini report


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Hi All,

Below is a pic of me on my soft setup with angles @ 27 and 19 (if I can remember correctly) - so nothing really steep (fyi, I'm goofy). I'm trying to apply alpine technique to softie riding. As you can see, it's much easier toeside. it seems impossible to not "sit in the toilet" heelside and still get high up on the edge if you do not have alpine like angles. Can someone confirm this? Also, I use somewhat exaggerated motions with unweighting, and my front dorisflexor (is this this bony part connected to your ankle that goes up your leg a bit) was killing me the next day! It must have been b/c I did not have the support of hardboots. Additionally, I'm sure you will notice the hands "in back" on my heelside b/c the angles were pretty mellow...so...this leads me to the following questions:

1. how much of a difference will riding plates on a freeride board make?

2. What angles are people riding plates on freeride boards?

==========================================================

MT. Snow report

Mt. Snow, VT was nothing to write home about Friday, lots of bare spots, but "hero" snow. Sat. ended up NUTS, as I was on the lift with 30-40 mph winds while raining. They shut the lift down, said lightning was nearby. I cranked up the old Skool Motley Crue (lol) and headed down the mtn- it was one of the most intense weather experiences I've had. Sunday was significantly better, and I finally broke out the Donek. Unfortuenatley I f'n T-boned some kid (i was going across, he was coming down) and chipped my brand new Donek at the nose! I was/am not happy about that. I'm bringing it in for pro repair but have been told it's just cosmetic. Monday they had at least a few inches of powder but b/c everyone was partying so damn much in the house, we didn't make it.

post-570-141842212376_thumb.jpg

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use those knees to point you in the right direction. It's the same with a hard set-up as a soft one.

That sounds like "point your knees forward, which is really hard to do on a setup lower than 45 degrees. Could you explain what you mean?

Also, how is it the same on softies and plates?

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That sounds like "point your knees forward, which is really hard to do on a setup lower than 45 degrees. Could you explain what you mean?

Also, how is it the same on softies and plates?

Phil

are you aware that you ask questions that are thinly veiled seemingly spiteful contradictions of what people say? I've never been able to figure out of you do it intentionally or not.

why not just say "actually, in my experience..." or something along those lines? of course, you don't have to do any of this stuff. I'm definitely not Thumper but...it's a recurring theme...

Mike

I have no idea what d b was using, what angles, or anything else. maybe he'll see this thread and chime in.

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Ok so when you stand in the neutral position with yourself all locked into the bindings, you will naturally have your knees in line with your toes (same thing for soft as hard). Your shoulders should also be in line with the knees and toes. Then to initiate a turn, you use your front knee and your upper body will naturally follow the movement of your lower body.

This is not the knees forward idea, just riding from the neutral position. When you rotate your upper body and don't control the turn with your knees, you will wash out your turns due to your COG being out of wack.

If you watch high-level racers and good free-riders, their upper bodies don't move, they use their knees to initiate turns.

-Gord

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Guest jschal01

To the original poster: you don't say what your boots and bindings are, but 27/19 is in fact pretty high. Perhaps try backing your front angle down to 21 or 18, and your back down to 12 or less -- on average these may work better for many people. You are indeed all counterrotated and in the back seat. That is not a function of the gear, and in fact if you search through photos on this site you'll see a lot of people with alpine gear with the same flaws in their riding.

Re: your front dorsiflexor [???] soreness, without seeing a series of photos or video of you riding it's impossible to tell whether that's due to unweighting of any sort, or some other cause, but again it is not a function of the gear. It actually sounds like you may be flexing your ankles, a good thing, to produce this soreness.

Honestly the best thing for you likely would be to take several lessons over a period of time with a game plan for refining your technique.

Re: Phil's questions, he can speak for himself but to me it just sounds like instructor-ese, i.e. he is trying for precision of communication. For discussions of technique this can be both maddening and a good thing. Think of all the harm over the years caused by something as basic as "bend the knees," not because it was wrong but because without a context of where the rest of the body is and when and where the knees get bent it is easy, on either a board or skis, to simply end up with the backseat thigh-burner technique.

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Phil

are you aware that you ask questions that are thinly veiled seemingly spiteful contradictions of what people say? I've never been able to figure out of you do it intentionally or not.

why not just say "actually, in my experience..." or something along those lines?

I don't want to say "actually in my experience..." until the comments are clarified (like jschal01 said).

Gord has clarified what he meant and I agree with him. When he first said it, the way I understood it, I totally disagreed. If I had said "actually in my experience..." I would have been disagreeing with something that conceptually, gord and I apparently agree upon. The difference was in symantics. It is very hard to communicate this stuff on a forum. If Gord and I were riding, he would say - point with your knees like this - then he would show me and I would understand. We are not riding, we are writing.

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I don't want to say "actually in my experience..." until the comments are clarified (like jschal01 said).

Gord has clarified what he meant and I agree with him. When he first said it, the way I understood it, I totally disagreed. If I had said "actually in my experience..." I would have been disagreeing with something that conceptually, gord and I apparently agree upon. The difference was in symantics. It is very hard to communicate this stuff on a forum. If Gord and I were riding, he would say - point with your knees like this - then he would show me and I would understand. We are not riding, we are writing.

gotcha. just a matter of perception anyway.

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I find it helpful on softies (i ride 15 and 0) to consciously rotate my body in the direction fo the turn on heelside and bend mostly at the quads to reduce the butt out effect. I also focus on shifting my weight from front to back. It does put a strain on my knees but it works. Also try keeping the upper body quiet. :biggthump

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all, thx for the replies. i am aware i have major "sitting in toilet" syndrome in the pic. I will respectfully disagree about the binding angles, however: several BOLersn (usually newbs) have been running steeper angles on their soft setups, usually to help with the transition to hard. I know there has been prior discussion as to the angle at which effeciency /leverage is essentially lost, but i think the angles i was riding were not steep compared to the angles used by some hardbooters on softies. this leads me to the "plates on freeride boards" question, which no one has addressed...

i personally found it very hard to not have toilet seat syndrome with these lower angles. my bindings are rossi hc3000 and 32 lashed boots. I did not have the significant ankle soreness when riding in hardboots.

just FYI to other posters, Phil is a local rider and I took a recent lesson with him so we have a rapport (sp?) so I understand his posts.

dsub, who is "d b" and I thought that pic is you?

thx, for the advice all, keep it comin'

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Yeah, those angles aren't that high for softies. Conventional wisdom on this forum seems to indicate you lose the ability to pressure the toeside at about 45 degrees in softies. I personally ride 39/21 (and did so before even knowing what a hardboot snowboard was).

imo it is no surprise that it is difficult to get rid of toilet seat syndrome at flat angles. You can't overrotate your hips on your heelside or you will torsionally twist the board (back foot toes go down and your tail washes out) so you are forced to align your hips to roughly your binding angles. Angulating strongly at the hips while perpendicular to the board == sticking your ass out over the toilet. Not much choice it seems like to me.

I am not a super competent softie-carver, but I was finally able to put some fairly hard heelside carves on flat terrain on a very non-carve-friendly board (156 Khyber) by cranking the forward lean on my back foot and putting lots of heel lift on the back foot (I have Catek Freerides) in order to eliminate that torsional twist in the board, and rotating my hips forward on my heelsides like I do in hardboots. Pretty fun!

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Guest jschal01

Let me pose the technique versus gear question from another angle: can you do stomp pad riding easily, including turns, on angled tracks off of lifts? Can you 50/50 a funbox without the board sliding out or the tail coming around? Can you get airs in the pipe with clean edging, not skidding? Given your current technique I believe the answer to all of these questions is going to be "no," whether you are using softboots or hardboots. Because you're inot in good alingment.

With the extra leverage from hardboots, you no doubt can carve much better, but I also imagine you still suffer from "toilet seat" syndrome there as well. If you're having fun and riding what you want to ride terrain and performance wise, then there may be no need to change, of course, the whole technique thing only becomes relevant if there's something more you want to do with your riding.

For the binding angles, for those boots/bindings I also would say those angles are still pretty high, but I could be full of it, it's a personal thing. I'd just say you may want to experiment with a few different settings if you havne't yet.

Enjoy!

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can you explain the reasoning for the "those are high angles" for that equipment comment. I honestly don't know why you said that and I'm just curious.

for the other questions, i'm very unexperienced freestyle, have never even been in the pipe (although I will hopefully take a FS later this year).

i had a heelside counter rotation that snowperf pointed out and i admit, i have to consciously think "drive with knees into turn" when going heelside, but i did a pretty decent job squashing that problem when I received instruction with Phil in dec.

Basically it comes down to this for me: how can one get high on heelside edge on softies with "mid range" angles and non stick butt out? I could ride just bending my knees a little, but I don't really wanna do that. and I do think that equipment angles def. makes a difference in all this stuff. rider technique does too, but adjusting highbacks certainly seems to.

Barry

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Guest jschal01

"can you explain the reasoning for the "those are high angles" for that equipment comment. I honestly don't know why you said that and I'm just curious."

You are in what I would call supportive but still soft boots and bindings. It's not clear whether it's an Incline or another DOnek, or another board altogether that you're trying to drive with them, but even if it's a soft board you're going imo to be running out of leverage, both toeside and heelside, by the time you get as forward as you're running, even if you adjust your highback. You might try 18, 9 or even 18, 6 or 15, 6 and just see how it feels after a couple runs, it may be better it may be worse for your preferences.

The funbox stuff doesn't necessarily have value by itself, it's just one way of getting feedback on what your upper body is up to. ANother thing to do is simply pay attention to whether your front leg gets strained standing in liftlines, if it does try "neutralizing" your alignment to relax the strain.

You're doing the right thing by wanting to get the high edge angles, at least when you want to, and you're also right not to want to ride stiff-legged. And you don't need to ride stiff-legged, it's death in softboots just as with hardboots. It sounds as if you're in great hands taking lessons from Phil, I'd recommend basically scheduling at least one a month if possible and continually "shaving down" your technique to get to where you want to go. Really powerful edging is beautiful and elegant, if it were easy and fast to get there everyone would be doing it :)

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Hey Barry: Just an observation in regard to your second photo (heelside): One of the most helpful pieces of advice I've ever gotten is to not allow your forward hand to cross the nose - particularly on your heelside. I think that this is especially true when riding lower angles. Keeping your hands/arms in an "outrigger" position on either side of the board forces you into better body alignment and makes you initiate and drive your turns through your knees. It also prevents counter-rotation, keeps your upper body quiet, cures body odor, attracts hot chicks, and keeps you nice and stable on the icy stuff. BTW, by "outrigger" I don't mean sticking your arms out - just make sure that your forward hand stays on it's own side.

If I remember correctly, I heard this same advice on an old freeriding video featuring Jasey Jay.

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Barry- I`m riding plates on a freeride board.

A Rad Air LSD. My angles are currently 42/39. I bought it specifically because it can support either soft or Hardboots. This is my first year in Hardboots.

I also use Rossi hc2000 on my soft board and my Tanker for powder, I run them at 33/27. For no other reason than I get horrible boot out if I try to turn at lower angles.

I find that at low speeds I can carve just as well in my softies(feeling but not technique wise), but as soon as I get going at higher speeds it just gets all out of control in softies, where as with Hardboots I haven`t found the upper speed limit of the LSD, (Yes, I`ve really tried). The Tanker and my other soft board definately have top end speed limits (for me), it`s just about 50% faster in Hardboots.

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