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Initiating toe side turns - need help


kathy brower
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First I think I need more lessons - but anyway here goes - what I think I should be doing is driving my front knee in the direction of my turns (in addition to using my hips etc) - works well for me heel side but I struggle to drive my knee to lay down a toe side turn - I can do it but it feels unnatural like I have to force my knee over - I think it might be a binding set up problem.

I do not have this problem on softies (which I am currently at 36 / 30 although I think I like 33/ 27 better and am going to move back) which I can carve on when not too icy - the problem feels especially pronounced when switching from softies to carving set-up (something I do often ...)

My board may be too stiff also (Donek Marley - slalom board 154) with Catek bindings and Deeluxe Lemans currently at 60/ 57 with heel lift in the back more pronounced than the toe lift in front. I recently increased the front toe lift a little bit but now I feel like I need to widen my stance.

Any suggestions of things to try? I wonder if I need to widen my stance and have more toe lift or cant my foot - or is it just technique? Or what about bring my angles back some? 57 / 54 ?

Please do not respond if you are just guessing - It will only confuse me - I am looking for the expert opinion - Thanks!

EDIT: Bob has posted some pics see below

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Kathy,

Last year on toe side initiation I also began to focus on the back knee, and almost "opening" it up at initiation. Feel like you are going to "bow-legged" rather than "A-frame."

You will be amazed and suprised how this "hooks up" the edge into a significant carve. Hang on the first coulple of times, because we're usually not ready for the edge to engage and the board to carve that early in the turn.

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I tried that back knee goes out, weight onto the outside edge of the foot on toe sides; it works really well. pressure up the outside part of your shin into the side of the boot as well.

Can really hook through the turn and it ups the edge hold.

I think toe lift is not good; it is build into one set of bindings I have and not the other; but that should affect your heelside maybe more than your toeside anyway; you coudl try riding without it though; I like the idea of simple no cants just heel lift on the back foot and that's it.

Most people look to equipment first; but actually I think maybe you can think about whether you are breaknig at the waist, trying to keep nice upright upper body from hips up and not leaning in is important; also I like to ride with rotation and cross through but you will get some debate about that around here ;-)

I just spent a day riding on really really iced up slopes; one key is to commit and not look back; if you are scared of edge hold, then you tend to go into the turn not fully committed with some counterrotation and backing off a bit, and it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy. Commit and push yourself into it, but I like to think about staying light on the feet as well at the same time; not sure why but it works better.

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you could probably drop your angles just a bit, with a 28.5 boot on a board with a 18.8 waist I and riding with angles the same as yours

my toesides suffer at angles any higher than 55, for me when toesides are not coming out the way I want I try to put more pressure on the front(shin area) of my rear boot and pressure on my toes in the rear too

that helps me, not sure if it will do anyone else any good but sure does work for me

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that with stance width for most people having it narrow makes it much easier to start their turns, but it leads to all sorts of other problems in the middle and end of the turn

this is from the carvers almanac and is a great place to start, Take your pants inseam and multiply by (Phi × 3 / 8) = 0.607, which is taken from Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.

I would say that it would be better to use the actual length of your leg so measure from the floor to where your leg meets your crotch

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I think toe lift is not good

Whether you use toe lift or not is personal preference. I love it. It allows me to comfortably use a wider, more stable stance. Kathy, I think you should experiment with some cant. Try canting your back foot <i>out</i>. That is, toward the toeside edge by about a degree. You may find it helps you get that back knee out into the toeside turn, where it can be more <i>under</i> your c.o.g. for better support. There is a more detailed article on cant and lift here:

http://www.bomberonline.com/articles/canting.cfm

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First I think I need more lessons - but anyway here goes - what I think I should be doing is driving my front knee in the direction of my turns (in addition to using my hips etc) - works well for me heel side but I struggle to drive my knee to lay down a toe side turn - I can do it but it feels unnatural like I have to force my knee over - I think it might be a binding set up problem.

On toe side, try to drive your back knee into the snow. On heel side, try to do the same with your front knee.

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Try canting your back foot <i>out</i>. That is, toward the toeside edge by about a degree. You may find it helps you get that back knee out into the toeside turn, where it can be more <i>under</i> your c.o.g. for better support. There is a more detailed article on cant and lift here:

http://www.bomberonline.com/articles/canting.cfm

Jack, doesn't that suggestion help heelside more than toe? I have yet to try that (currently running pure lift, toe and heel), but plan to next time I ride.

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Jack, doesn't that suggestion help heelside more than toe? I have yet to try that (currently running pure lift, toe and heel), but plan to next time I ride.

I tried it, it definitley increased toeside power... my toeside is my stronger turn anyway and I wound making some violently hard toesides and feeling weaker on heelside so I undid it after giving it an honest half day try. It took some getting used to that much toeside power... it was so much fun on steeper sections, but I was over-dong it and crashing on the flatter sections.

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No one has mentioned hips. I'm goofy so switch this if you are regular. On toeside turns, I drive my left (rear) hip forward and into the turn (in other words towards a 10 O'clock position w/ respect to the tip of the board). This is very helpful in maintaining balance, edge pressure and proper rotation. If you do this, your knee will have to follow. Its just like starting your turn in golf, you start it with your hlps. Except in this case, I'd say there's a slight delay between turn initiation and hip drive.

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Ursle- I have a few issues with your post. First off, it wouldn't matter what type of snow she was located on, technique should be the same across the board. Second, leaning your boots farther forward is a matter of personal preference, and will have to be experimented with. I know I keep my boots fairly upright but adjust my angles, lift and cant accordingly so I can have good movement. I find that by flexing my back foot too much I can't get any leverage to pressure my toesides.

Thirdly, the last thing she wants to do right now is increase binding angle. If anything she should lower them. And rotating towards the front of the board isn't going to help much. It will have her counterrotated. Ideally the shoulders should be in line with the bindings.

And leaning into a turn won't help one bit rght now. She should stay stacked over her board for maximum pressure to the edge.

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I learned a valuable lesson riding on a broken ankle--that ankles really do count. I couldn't for the life of me really lean in for a good toeside carve after my Canyons trip last year.

I agree that you have to have some lateral foreword foot action for a carve despite the fact your rear leg really decambers the board-make your forward foot angle less steep, IMHO.....

Plus, the most helpful advice I have received from a pro-lean into your turn like riding a bike. Yes, stay stacked over the board but lean over in a unit to really get the edge

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It's probably not a set-up issue. 99% of the time it's a technique issue not an equipment one. I've seen riders spend an entire season tweaking thier set-ups and get no where. You never said how wide you stance is, but everything else about the stance you listed seems normal.

To carve a snowboard is extremely simple, most people over complicate it. All you need to do is tilt the board on edge and balance. It is up to you to figure out how to get the board on edge with out tipping over and with out causeing input to make the board skid. Your body only moves in certain ways. My advice would be to find a wide slope you feel confident on and go back to the basics. Do one toeside at a time focusing on different movement to get your board on edge. Do a turn using you hips to tilt the board. Then do a turn trying to balance on your tippy toes. Do a turn driving you knees into the turn. Do one driving your front knee into the turn. Do one using your rear knee. Do one thinking about pushing both knees straight down to the toes of your boots. Play around with your riding more and your stance less.

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Guest owaysys
Play around with your riding more and your stance less.

Well said, Phil. Each of us could spend hours telling a person how to turn, what stance to use, etc., and at the end of the day, we would probably not be any better off. Just find a stance that doesn't make your body hurt, find a nice wide hill with gradual slope, get some speed, and lay it over. Out of all of the really good riders I've ever come in contact with, not one of them rides the same stance as the next. Just some food for thought.

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Thank you again everybody for your thoughtful answers...

Thursday at Sunapee did go better - Partly from using my back knee more to drive the turn and partly from following Bob, Geoff and Eric ripping down the hill. Also working on using my hips more.

Phil - 100% agree with you and if anything I tend to err on the ride and ride some more side of things - generally not a fiddler - I am on day 37 or 39 - this season (not all on carving board) and the only change I made so far was slight increase on toe lift in front (big step for me).

However I kept feeling like there was something unnatural going on with my front knee - and techniqe may well have been a big part but if setup changes can help too then I'm all for a little fiddling.

AND you hit the nail on the head - with help from Bob and Geoff - my stance is way too narrow and I am widening to 19" (would have tried that Friday - but my super sweet husband who tunes my boards at least once a week forgot I said no locktight and put some in the center bolt on my Cateks so I need to scrub it off before I can get the bindings back together - todays chore)

I have some good drills to try from Bob Jenney and from what he has said I am leading with my head and not keeping my upper body upright enough - so will work on that too.

Also I am going to take a lesson ? next week

Keep the tips coming - I will try what I can!

Thanks,

Kathy

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Thank you Bob! - The pics will definately help - I have a very clear idea now of what I am doing and what I want to be doing

It is amazing when confronted with reality how different it can be from perception.. (although I was prepared for this phenom having seen videos of myself skiing and windsurfing)

Ursle - not ignoring your thoughts - appreciate them (although I confess I did not understand everthing you said) - I have been told by others last year that forward lean would increase my power and worked on increasing it - I just got the Deeluxes last year and learned about forward lean then - initially I did not like it and had my boots fairly upright - now I have them about halfway (set on 3) and will try your suggestion to increase that

Also planning on trying lower angles (boots are 23 and width of board is 18.5cm so I have room to play around), and more and less toe lift and canting my back foot out...

But - I got some good advice to try one thing at a time - so I am starting with a big increase in my stance width - I finally got all the locktite out of my Kingpin and my bindings back together so will try tomorrow.

Thanks once again everybody!

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For your right hand, try not reach for the snow. This could quite possibly be the reason you are not able to get the hip down. Try to raise the right hand.

The funny thing is that even when I think I'm raising my inside hand/shoulder a lot, the camera indicates that I'm not. In the turn captured in my avatar I remember trying to exaggerate the "raise inner hand/shoulder" move to a ridiculous degree, and yet it doesn't look exaggerated at all. At the time I thought my inside hand was pointing straight up at the sky.

So my point is - don't be afraid to really exaggerate things.

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Nice topic,

Bob made the points very clearly with the pictures. I had the same problem with my toeside. When I just corrected my upperbody, the problem was gone.

Just align your upperbody to the length of the board and things will work out fine. I just changed my settings too. No more lift and cant. Had to adjust myself about three days, but I like it a lot now. May be some pictues and movies will help:http://www.extremecarving.com/tech/tech.html

Keep on going more girls carve like this :biggthump

Greets, Hans.

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Kathy

so far those are the best pics of a female recreational carver I have seen. I'll leave what's "missing" to others...you're already aware...

but, I have to say...it definitely looks like your angles are way steeper than necessary, AND that something is driving your rear knee inwards in the "from the top" pic.

really lookin good though!

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I read a little further back about driving your back knee into the direction of the turn.

This, combined with the high angle in your back foot could get you pushing your knee towards the tip of your board, which won't edge at all (which it appears you're doing).

Setup: While I agree with that Philfella about not tweaking the setup too much, I think you need to do the following... Try backing your rear foot angle off until you have your shell ends over the edges, when viewed from above. You may even want a touch of overhang (a couple of mm's).

The Move: Combine the level shoulders-thing and keeping a hand for each side (solid advice) with a knee move TO THE INSIDE of your turn, 90 degrees to your toeside edge. You'll feel pressure on the cuff of your boot to the SIDE of the tongue, not into the tongue. Your hip will not go in as much as the edge angle will be established to a large degree with your leg.

Look at pictures where riders seem to have their knees actively away from each other. This is caused by the drive to the inside with the rear knee, kind of like a moto road racer. (see the one guys avatar on the playground pony)

One last note on the toeside: Just because you're concentrating on sending the rear knee inside, doesn't mean you should feel all of your weight on the back foot. Try to weight both feet as much as is comfortable.

The heel turn is nice. With a stronger core you could run a bit more internal rotation, or "pelvic tilt". Allowing yourself to get "stacked" a bit more, from head to feet.

The Move: Feel like your lower abs are firing and your lower glutes are trying to curl up under your hip bones. This is a difficult position to stay in if you don't have strong abs. The benefit here is that if you hit uneven snow, you're aligned vertically and balanced. If you hit a bump overly folded at the waist, you'll huck-buckle.

I will take solid stance and pressure control over edge angle any day.

I'd worry about that last stuff later, as your heel turn is quite on right now.

Thank you for allowing me an outlet for this stuff. Hardly any recreational riders want high-end instruction around here.

Latre.

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Just wanted to concur with others to try to get your shoulders more level and hands forward, but looking pretty good, nice heelside.

I also agree that your angles are more forward than they have to be on that board. You've certainly got room to lower your angles, might be a thing to try if you have some time to fiddle around.

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Looking good, Kathy!

A couple of things that have really worked for me :

1. The stance width. I was told at camp to narrow it down, which I did, but it just didn't feel right. I'm a lot happier with a stance of about 19 1/2", which I know is REALLY wide, but that's where I feel I work the board the best, and have a good balance point. So don't be afraid to try the wider stance, it does work for some.

2. Don't do the "park and ride". I always felt that my toeside was my stronger turn, apparently not! as I tend to get the board over there and then get my weight in the back seat, letting the board run away and pick up speed on me. From the pic on here, you might be doing the same thing on your heelside, which is going to make it really hard to get the weight back across for the transition. When I learned to get my centre before the turn, and then lay on the edge early, it made a huge difference to both the transition and the turn.

Happy trails!

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