Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 51

Thread: What nobody tells you about learning to carve...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
    Posts
    717

    What nobody tells you about learning to carve...

    Yeah, I know—it's a provocative title, but I swear I'm not trolling. I wanted to post about something I've been pondering for a few years...hopefully for the benefit of new carvers.

    There are many outstanding articles on carving technique by Jack Michaud, Tom Palka and others. I've read them all and learned a lot from them.

    But I've noticed there is one crucial aspect of carving that typically gets omitted from instructional articles. Maybe because people think it's obvious, or maybe because it's the most difficult thing to explain (in which case I'm gonna take a shot at it).

    DISCLAIMER: I'm not an instructor, but I do think a LOT about what I do and what other people do and why. If you find anything wrong with the following, then by all means correct me. What follows is what I've noticed about my own carving, as accurately as I can express it.

    -----
    No matter what technique you use, a fundamental element of carving is learning to balance lean angle with centripetal force in a turn. Assuming you're doing everything else correctly (which is a big assumption for some of us, LOL), you will not just automatically carve great turns.

    Every new carver has to go through the process of figuring out...
    How far you can lean at a given speed without falling, and
    Exactly how fast or slow you angulate—and to what degree you angulate—throughout the course of a turn to avoid falling

    There are a lot of detailed descriptions of proper stance, initiating turns, how to angulate, rotation, etc...and though all of these things absolutely have an impact on carving, you could do all of them perfectly and still not be able to carve until you figure out those two bullets I mention above.

    Regarding lean angle vs. speed: there is no way this can be taught, in my opinion. The only way each individual carver can learn this is by sheer practice, just doing lots and lots of turns. You have to figure it out for yourself, and it's different for everyone (depending on height, weight, weight distribution, board specs, etc.) It took me several seasons to feel like I'm starting to really get a handle on this.

    Regarding the extent and speed of angulation: what I mean by this is that even if you know how to angulate perfectly, you don't just instantly "snap an angulation" when you carve a turn and "snap back" when the turn is done. It's a process that happens over the length of the turn...where (in my experience) you begin to angulate at the start of the turn...and as the turn progresses, so does your angulation, until you are at maximum angulation at the apex of the turn...then you gradually back off as the turn finishes. Like lean angle, knowing how to time this can't be taught (again, in my opinion). You just have to go out and figure it out for yourself.

    -----
    I think it's important for new carvers to realize this. I believe many beginning carvers study all the articles on doing the Norm, on proper stance, on weight distribution, on looking through the turn, etc. but still get frustrated when the "big carve" doesn't happen. They might have technical problems with things that can be fixed by an instructor or someone more knowledgeable...but (to reiterate) they can do everything perfectly and still not make it happen.

    This is even more true of EC turns. Again, I think you can study proper body positioning 'til the cows come home...but you're still not gonna be able to lay out big EC turns until you've practiced for a few years and done a lot of turns (and fallen a lot).

    Like I said, some more experienced carvers might read all this and say "Well DUH!" Yeah, it might be obvious...but I think it's important that everyone teaching anyone else to carve say "I can show you stance and body positioning and some other things...but some of the most important things you'll have to learn on your own through trial-and-error, and you won't learn those things unless you stick with it and do it a lot!

    Scott
    Gravity tells me what to do. The slope is merely the plane of interaction on the way down. —carvedog

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    649
    Put me squarely in the "well duh" camp. It's like riding a bike... you pull more Gs and lean in harder when going faster than slower. I think this just patently obvious once you get the board to carve. This is why you don't see people EC'ing on green runs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
    Posts
    717
    But the problem is, carving isn't like riding a bike. I mean, it is in the sense that greater lean requires greater speed...but here's the difference:

    When someone learns to ride a bike for the first time, the continued learning progression from "timid, upright turns" to "fast, leaned-over turns" happens relatively quickly (aided by the fact that rubber tires stick pretty well to dry pavement).

    This is not the case with carving. Someone can struggle for an entire season (or longer) and never get past the "timid, upright turns" phase...because every time they pick it up a notch, they fall.

    A bicyclist doesn't have to worry about angulation, weight distribution over/along the edge, timing, snow conditions, etc. On a bike, you just do it.

    Not so in carving!

    Scott

    PS - Geez, can you imagine how hellish learning to ride a bike would be if you had to angulate to do a fast turn? LOL
    Gravity tells me what to do. The slope is merely the plane of interaction on the way down. —carvedog

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    649
    LOL, ever try taking a hard turn on a bike with your inside pedal down? Weighting does make a difference!

    Weighting, countersteering.... I guess I'll concede it's more like riding a mountain bike out here in the desert (where angulation and weight balance makes a ton of difference).

    Stand, sit, balance countersteer.... or washout and crash. Same is true for roadies. I don't have time to go find a better pic, but criterium racers get all over the bike to get the fastest line through a tight course. Look at the riders below... why do the first and third riders have their knees out? Not for aero braking!



    Of course you are right that one can make leaned turns pretty quickly on a bike. But not super-dynamic turns in variable conditions. The relationship between the norm and dynamic carving on steep terrain is quite similar.
    Last edited by shawndoggy; March 2nd, 2009 at 02:30 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Vernon NJ
    Posts
    955
    By SWriverstone - Every new carver has to go through the process of figuring out...
    • How far you can lean at a given speed without falling, and
    • Exactly how fast or slow you angulate—and to what degree you angulate—throughout the course of a turn to avoid falling
    I think this can be calculated. The exact "lean" angle can be calculated using a given speed, angle of inclination, and raduis of curvature and given the fact the board actually holds an edge. Just like in the article " The physics of a carved turn" that is here on this site, a free body diagram can be analyzed with incremental speed and sidecut radii that produce possible lean angles throughout a carve. There is no doubt that this can be found but as you sort of stated, why would you want to know?

    First of all, who actually knows their own angle of inclination or angulation when riding. I have no idea what I even look like riding let alone the angle my body and board are at. I guess you could get some kind of jugdement by getting filmed and estimating the angles. You could possibly use the same tool people measure the degree of slopes.

    Secondly, isn't that the idea about discovering the carve and as Jack Michaud wrote in "The Norm", I think that is one of the funnest parts about learning to carve. A rider finds out his own lean angles through trial and error and it's fun. I don't think there should be a need to know them. Even if you did know them, how could you use that info.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
    Posts
    717
    You're right jtslalom, and I wasn't trying to prove anything in my original post...just point out that huge amounts of time on the slope is sort of the "white elephant in the room" when it comes to learning to carve.

    It doesn't get talked about much because most people think it doesn't even need to be said...but I think it does need to be said to newbies!

    Personally, I'd tell anyone just learning to carve, "It's fun and rewarding, but unless you hit the resort every single day your first season or two, it will take you a few years to really begin getting a handle on it." I think carving is unique in this regard...because with average freeride snowboarding and average skiing, people can get good enough in one season to skid down any slope in the world. But of course, nobody wants to ride a carving board like a freeride skidder...so there's a greater burden of mastery (and expectations) placed on the beginning carver than anyone else (even if we place that burden on ourselves!).

    Scott

    PS - Just looking at my avatar reminded me that carving is a lot like hang gliding in terms of time and commitment required just to be a solid intermediate. You can take a ride in a tandem hang glider, and anyone can fly a few feet off the ground at a sand dune or training hill...but to become a rated pilot flying solo from mountains and aerotowing will require a few years of hard commitment. (It's definitely not for the easily-discouraged.)

    I wonder if this is why we just don't see many carvers out there?
    Last edited by SWriverstone; March 2nd, 2009 at 02:40 PM.
    Gravity tells me what to do. The slope is merely the plane of interaction on the way down. —carvedog

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    201
    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    It doesn't get talked about much because most people think it doesn't even need to be said...but I think it does need to be said to newbies!

    Scott
    I could have told you all this stuff at SES but you never asked.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Berkeley, CA
    Posts
    885
    Personally, I'd tell anyone just learning to carve, "It's fun and rewarding, but unless you hit the resort every single day your first season or two, it will take you a few years to really begin getting a handle on it."
    I disagree.

    I think that obviously sidecut, speed, lean, angulation, etc. are all balanced each other, but I think that you are viewing it as something you absolutely need to get right, and if you're a tiny bit too leaned over or a tiny bit too slow or fast or angulated a little bit wrong that you will fail, and this is not the case.

    If I hop on a new board that I've never ridden before, and I don't know what the sidecut is, it's not like I have to spend time recalibrating exactly how far I can lean at a given speed or how much to angulate given the speed and lean, etc.. Maybe on the first turn I'll feel a little "whoa!" when it doesn't turn as much as I expect, but I will usually not fail to carve that first turn, and things are pretty natural after a dozen turns or so.

    I think the key thing in your riding to balance all these different variables is to make sure you make sure your body position is always in a place where you can be dynamic. Sure, if you flop into a carve from a cross-over transition with straight legs, maximum twist and angulation in your hips, and you lean over 70 degrees and are just hoping that the board's sidecut, your speed, and your lean is exactly right to hold your carve, you need to have everything dialed perfectly, because you don't have any leeway in your body position to make corrections with. But if you enter a turn with flexed legs, a more neutral body posture, and ride just a little more by feel, it is not that hard to compensate for different flexes in the board, different sidecut, different snow response, etc., just by feel.

    From your description of the feeling you have riding (and admittedly I've never seen you ride, so take it with a grain of salt), I think you could drastically improve your riding experience by simply bending your knees more. And relaxing.
    Ken

    Optimus Prime is a hardbooter
    So is Robocop

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    37
    I think you are absolutly right on with this post! I have become a carving addict. I really have a hard time admitting how much time and effort I have put into this sport. I am a 53 year old business man whose car smells like the YMCA locker room, with muddy boots, various knee braces, candy bar wrappers, Red Bull cans, and more than a few beer bottles.

    I admittedly have some age and physical limitations working against me but when it comes down to it, it is the fear of looking like a scared old man that drives me up to the hill every day.

    I understand about the lean/centrifical thing but for me it is really more about confidence and fitness. We have had unusually hard snow and poor visibility much of this season. Sometimes I wonder why I am putting myself through it on the tough days with the board clattering my back teeth out and my legs shaking with fatigue.

    Then I get a day like yesterday with few people, softer snow and good visibility and I know that it is all worth it with effortless edge changes deep fully controled carves on both sides and people just going nuts up in the chairs.

    I can't think of another sport where you are going to have 14-15 year old kids seeking you out for high fives and wanting to know what the secret is.......

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ketchum, Idaho
    Posts
    119

    time on our side

    I think the key to getting really proficient at alpine riding is spending a ton of time on the snow digging the heck out of this sport.
    One life is an absurdly small allowance.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Huntersville, NC
    Posts
    1,253
    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    Personally, I'd tell anyone just learning to carve, "It's fun and rewarding, but unless you hit the resort every single day your first season or two, it will take you a few years to really begin getting a handle on it."
    Rarely do I step into the "do this, not this" camp... however I have to disagree on this one.... in my opinion, the biggest boost to one’s own riding is not countless days on the snow, but rather hooking up for a day or two with a more experienced rider. Follow that rider, emulate that rider (assuming he or she knows what they are doing), have the rider follow you, let that rider bark out orders like; "rotate you fu*$%ng shoulders", bend your knees, relax.... you'll probably do more for your riding by doing that than you ever will reading articles and posting about what you should and should not do....

    just my 2-cents

    Carry on.....
    Rippin' with rednecks down in Possum's Pouch.... SkiNC

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Québec
    Posts
    101
    Quote Originally Posted by Mellow Yellow View Post
    Rarely do I step into the "do this, not this" camp... however I have to disagree on this one.... in my opinion, the biggest boost to one’s own riding is not countless days on the snow, but rather hooking up for a day or two with a more experienced rider. Follow that rider, emulate that rider (assuming he or she knows what they are doing), have the rider follow you, let that rider bark out orders like; "rotate you fu*$%ng shoulders", bend your knees, relax.... you'll probably do more for your riding by doing that than you ever will reading articles and posting about what you should and should not do....

    just my 2-cents

    Carry on.....
    Your 2 cents are worth a big CAD dollar !
    There's so many routes one can take ... spending a whole lot of snow days alone, trying to get it the best you can and repeating over and over, or having an experienced rider to tag along or even an official instructor if available in your corner. Live tips are of great value.

    In the mean time, at the root of it, instructor or not, carving buddy or not, one has to find the sweet spot like SWriverstone said. Gotta cleanly risk it at some point or another. Not under fatigue or stress though. If you accept to fall, it may help too

    Good thread

    Regards
    This post and my riding technique are licensed under a Creative Commons Licence

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Pacific Northwest/ Portland Metro Area
    Posts
    7,132
    I TOLD YOU !!! TWICE!!! You just didn't listen

    I TELL EVERYONE EVERYTHING THEY EVER NEEDED TO KNOW>

    NEED ME TO TELL YOU AGAIN??



    Just a few {Pearls}

    Get with an experienced rider.
    Use a good stomp pad.
    Start at the beginner area.
    Get familiar with your gear BEFORE you get to the ski area.
    Use a shorter, softer, wider, turnier board than what you are likely to eventually use.
    Pad your ass, knees , wear a well fitting helmut.
    Move to Colorado.
    Fill out your Damn CP!!
    Read, watch, search BEFORE you ask questions.
    Clean your headlights off when you fill up.
    Don't tailgate.
    Never refuse a mint.
    Oooops, getting carried away a bit.
    Last edited by www.oldsnowboards.com; March 2nd, 2009 at 07:27 PM.
    Personal Messaging is NOT working. Please post your email to make contact.
    SEARCHING TIP: go to GOOGLE and add this to the end of your search terms- site:bomberonline.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Spanish Fork, Utah and Osburn, Idaho
    Posts
    1,846

    Wink Nobody tells you...

    that chicks dig the way hardboots lift our butts.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    2,619
    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    a fundamental element of carving is learning to balance lean angle with centripetal force in a turn.
    A fundamental element of riding a snowboard is learning to balance lean angle with centripetal force in a turn.

    Or running around a corner
    Or riding a motorcycle
    You could go on and on...

    Scott I am not sure exactly what it is you are looking for here. There is no magic pill to understand the subtlety and nuance of carving.

    You are seeking understanding through words. For some that works, for others all the explanations in the world won't help as much as following someone for two runs.

    On some boards there are larger and smaller sweet spots to be able to find the carve zone.

    One thing you mentioned is body "positioning".
    What I am constantly working on in my riding and in my students, is to think about groups of movements that work together, instead of body positions.

    Subtle shift, but I wanted to mention it. Move, move, move and keep moving.
    Quote Originally Posted by eajracing View Post
    ....just dont let it intimidate you..... long boards with big scr's smell fear and will hand you your ass if you let them.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Albany NY
    Posts
    1,347
    Step 1: stand up
    Step 2: Point board down a hill
    Step 3: go fast
    Step 4: Lean
    Step 5: fall
    Step 6: repete step 1-3 and adjust 4 untill you can delete 5.
    Step 7: Replace step 5 with "stand back up and lean other way".

    This is all you will need to know.



    Focus on step 3
    If there isn't snow, It is still Ski season... JETSKI SEASON ! Carving on the unfrozen :)

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Denva via the lower east section of new jersey
    Posts
    1,604
    Ride with others
    ride blacks
    or just over your head
    ride, don't over analyze
    own it
    mario
    I'm all about the subtlety

    (\__/)
    (>'.'<)
    (")_(")

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    ophir co.
    Posts
    151

    Feel

    For me it is a very tough thing to verbalize to a beginner carver. But we do talk about it to a small degree. They do, as we did, have to feel it and work it out by experience.
    My experience is that unless you are teaching someone who is very cerebral it is a waste of time to verbalize this to any depth.
    However there is a drill that I have them do that seems to help and makes this thing which is hard to verbalize very obvious through feel.
    I pick a spot for us to stop and I have them carve to a stop. I tell them to get the board as far away from themselves as possible and up on edge as high as they can and then to end up LAYING on the snow with no intention of standing up. I then demo it and have them follow. I have them do this both toe and heelside. It does a few things: It teaches them what a deep carve feels like, it teaches them what it feels like to go beyond the point of no return in a carve and consequently a close approximation as to when to back off into the next turn. It seems to condense the learning curve considerably and it usually brings out a lot of laughter.
    I'll usually do this on the first day. Getting this through feel seems to work well, then we can start talking about it and have understanding in our words.
    indian

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
    Posts
    717
    Carvedog, I'm not *looking* for anything...simply relating what I've learned in my own experience.

    I've reached expertise in many sports (not carving, not yet anyway)...and one thing they all have in common is this: people who are good at it have all but forgotten what it was like when they first started. It comes so naturally for an expert that it takes extraordinary empathy (which is rare) to truly be able to put one's self back in the beginner's shoes.

    I don't diminish or devalue the benefit of a great instructor at all. But neither do I believe that all the world-class instruction in the world will make someone a great carver (or great anything) without committing to a huge amount of time in the sport.

    I don't say this defensively at all—I get the impression that some folks think this whole thread resulted from me feeling deficient in some way and whining about how hard carving is...and that my problem is that I haven't spent enough time around great carvers or taking lessons from a great instructor.

    This isn't the case at all. I don't think there's a single advanced/expert carver on this forum who hasn't spent huge amounts of time on their own...falling, getting up, falling, getting up...thinking hard about what they did wrong...thinking hard about changes to make on the next run...then falling again, getting up, doing it better, then falling again...etc.

    My point all along has been nothing more—nor nothing less—than saying instruction and hanging with expert carvers aren't magic bullets that will have you starring in EC videos in one or two seasons. Much of the carving wisdom everyone here carries around in their heads wasn't planted there by someone else, but discovered through trial-and-error.

    Finally, though I admit I've typed a lot of words ()...I'm not trying to over-analyze this or make it cerebral. On the contrary, I'm saying exactly what big mario and others said—to learn to carve you've just gotta get out on the slope and try, try, try. Eventually you'll start really feeling it.

    Scott
    Gravity tells me what to do. The slope is merely the plane of interaction on the way down. —carvedog

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Frederick, Maryland
    Posts
    115

    Analyze this

    This my second season in hardboots. I read The Norm 1 and 2 and it worked for me. I have not made progress yet to the blues, but that is my goal for next season. Now it's just a matter of me - putting to practice what I've read. Bomber's....good!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVy9Y_R1B98

    Keep it simple

    +1 with melloyellow, having someone more experience point out your faults as you ride. It doesn't work for everyone but for me...it did, props 2 "Chris eco". You have to be like the grasshopper and listen to the master. I can't wait till next season to get here because this season is almost over.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    2,619
    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    My point all along has been nothing more—nor nothing less—than saying instruction and hanging with expert carvers aren't magic bullets
    Oh, ok.
    Quote Originally Posted by eajracing View Post
    ....just dont let it intimidate you..... long boards with big scr's smell fear and will hand you your ass if you let them.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Vancouver BC
    Posts
    773
    The secret that nobody told me about learning to carve was how much leg and butt strength was going to be required in order to keep my beginning carving form from falling apart.

    After the first "lightbulb" turns where things would come together during a turn, I spent around 2-3 seasons where my the shape and speed of my carved turns were woefully inconsistent.

    Things only started to improve after I started dedicating more than 12-15 days a season on the hill- and they REALLY started coming together when I combined 30plus days on the hill a season with off season training that built up my leg strength and endurance.

    Road cycling, rock climbing, alpine climbing and plyometrics were the off season choices that elevated my carving game.

    George
    Last edited by crucible; March 2nd, 2009 at 10:34 PM.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    New West / Vancouver, BC, above U.S.A.
    Posts
    658
    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    Much of the carving wisdom everyone here carries around in their heads wasn't planted there by someone else, but discovered through trial-and-error.

    To learn to carve you've just gotta get out on the slope and try, try, try. Eventually you'll start really feeling it.

    Scott
    I would say that in the past tailing better riders had a lot to do with me improving my riding. But..................... I have listened to veterans / racers etc. and ended up regretting it. Everyones' body is totally unique, and you must find a stance, style that works for you. If someone suggests' something, mull it over, and maybe try it, maybe not.

    You are spot on with the trial and error statement. Once you get your basic stance and style worked out, try as many boards as you can possibly get your hands on, until you find one you really like, then you're laughing.

    later,

    Dave R.


    "Alcohol. The cause and solution to all of lifes' problems." Homer J. Simpson


  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    New West / Vancouver, BC, above U.S.A.
    Posts
    658
    Quote Originally Posted by crucible View Post
    The secret that nobody told me about learning to carve was how much leg and butt strength was going to be required.

    George
    Amen brother,

    I got into an argument a long time ago with a guy who was a hardcore halfpipe smoker, and thought that alpine racers were pussies and that he had way stonger legs. I have no desire to ride half pipe, but will not deny that it requires considerable leg strength, to resist the G's carving up and down the transitions.

    When I was living in Whistler, riding alpine every day, I could have squatted 250 lbs on my shoulders, 10 reps without breaking a sweat. (Not anymore dammit). The older I get the better I was. Carving is also a lot of cardio, when you carve low in the turns with lots of knee flexion.

    later,

    Dave R.


    "Alcohol. The cause and solution to all of lifes' problems." Homer J. Simpson


  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Berkeley, CA
    Posts
    885
    Every new carver has to go through the process of figuring out...
    • How far you can lean at a given speed without falling, and
    • Exactly how fast or slow you angulate—and to what degree you angulate—throughout the course of a turn to avoid falling
    ...
    I don't think there's a single advanced/expert carver on this forum who hasn't spent huge amounts of time on their own...falling, getting up, falling, getting up...thinking hard about what they did wrong...thinking hard about changes to make on the next run...then falling again, getting up, doing it better, then falling again...etc.
    Scott, you're killing me. At the risk of sounding like a bad movie cliche, I honestly think you are your own worst enemy, by convincing yourself that certain things are possible or not. Just looking at your posts, you seem intent on putting boundaries and restrictions on yourself: you'll never ride blacks, OK you'll ride blacks but only if they're pristine, you'll never ride fast, are you a hula carver or an ec hero, what are the exact best angles to ride with, etc..

    Yes, of course those first few years I had some falls, but it's not like it was hundreds of days of brutal beatdowns. Anybody who can straightline a green run can put the most basic of carves in, by simply straightlining while slightly up on one edge. From there, doing like a 5-10 degree leaned over carve on a green run is not a big deal. And yet, even on a 5-10 degree leaned over carve, the speed and the sidecut and the lean have to be "perfectly matched", and yet it's simply not that hard to just ride by feel and get it together without teetering on the razor edge of flying over the handlebars or falling to the inside of the turn. By definition, such a rider is already "getting the hang of it", and they may not have even fallen once in hardboots, and spent only a day or two at it, not devoted 2 years of pain and suffering trying to master this godawful sport.

    If you just go out onto a blue run you're not comfortable with and flop yourself over 70 degrees over and over again hoping you're getting everything right, of course you will end up with weeks of brutal beatings and endless failure. If you pick a green run and gently lean the board back and forth and slowly work your way up to harder and harder terrain and harder carves, I think it's easily possible to become a perfectly good green or green/blue carver in a year without broken teeth. If you are just barely comfortable carving a green/blue run, you can retreat to a green run, and practice and experiment with all sorts of stuff (weight on front leg, weight on back, rotation or not, face the nose or face the bindings, bend knees or not, higher or lower stance angles, faster or slower speed, more or less angulation, etc.), and tell what is working better, all the while having nice, cruisey, glidey fun all over the mountain.

    It honestly doesn't have to be hard work and suffering; otherwise nobody would have gotten good at it. Have fun, try stuff out, see what works, and see what doesn't. Play with the mountain.
    Ken

    Optimus Prime is a hardbooter
    So is Robocop

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    28

    Talking yummy is only a word to me until I really have a bite.

    I just realized how important "upper body twist" is. still excited about that.
    my understanding is like this
    1. glide
    2. reach my front heel with my butt
    3. lean and twist and stand up
    4. enjoy the Gs

    not bad for a 1st season hardbooter, huh? I am so happy that I can DO it though you old carvers have TOLD a thousand times.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
    Posts
    717
    Sorry Ken...(and that's not said sarcastically)...I try to communicate what I'm thinking. I must have done a lousy job of it, because I think you misconstrued my posts. I definitely don't think certain things are possible or not, and I'm an eternal optimist and go-getter—that's why I've gotten good at so many sports, precisely because I don't believe in limits!

    I've eaten crow on my "I'll never ride blacks" post. In hindsight, that was stupid. But other than that, all I do is write what I'm thinking. In forums like this, I guess that's not typical. I might say few people around here do much thinking based on the many 1-2 sentence posts. LOL But I know that's not the case...I suspect most people here think as much as I do, but they just don't verbalize it in forum posts.

    Internet forums usually have two types of posters:
    20% - people who put themselves out there and are the first to express opinions, start conversations, etc.
    80% - people who are "the peanut gallery" and just react to the first 20 percent's posts.

    I'm in the 20% category.

    Scott
    Gravity tells me what to do. The slope is merely the plane of interaction on the way down. —carvedog

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    649
    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    I might say few people around here do much thinking based on the many 1-2 sentence posts. LOL But I know that's not the case...I suspect most people here think as much as I do, but they just don't verbalize it in forum posts.
    Growing up in the age of the Apple ][+, I was scarred for life by the command "maximum verbosity" in Zork....

    Honestly, how long does it take to perform a nicely executed, laid out heelside (or purecarve rail grab or "Bomber-style" heelside or...) on steep, narrow terrain? Half a second? A second, max? I really think it's not possible to try to remember to execute a 1500 word essay during that half a second. It's all about baby steps. One thing at a time. That's why people keep it simple with stuff like "reach the boot cuff," and then "pinch the pencil," etc.

    If you haven't, watching yourself on video is likely to be a revelation in itself.

    But you are right about one thing... it DOES take work and practice to master the skill.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    near Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Posts
    1,719
    I don't think the difficulty level of carving affects participation. Think of something like street skateboarding - you spend a LOT of time trying to learn how to ollie without rolling. Then you try it while rolling. Then you try kickflips, etc. etc. The learning curve is much harsher for that because frankly it's not as much fun as sliding down a hill, even partially in control. But yet there are hundreds of thousands of people that will be trying to master their kickflips after school (or work) today, some in a basement because of the snow outside. They have to be strongly internally motivated to stick with it to learn the basics.

    Another point: Ever read a snowboarding magazine article on how to do a trick? An example that stands out in my mind was for how to do a 540 spin. It was basically:
    1. Find a jump
    2. Go off the jump while starting to spin
    3. Spin 1 and 1/2 times in the air
    4. Spot your landing
    5. Land centered and ride out

    That's a ludicrous simplification of a quite difficult thing, but they leave out the finer details that can't be expressed without a coach seeing what you're doing wrong.

    The articles here are similar, they give you a good basic foundation but the fine details need to be pounded out by each rider. Mostly because one rider is going to have a grossly different set of issues than the next, but partially because to describe every little aspect of a carved turn would result in a novel that no one (except for Scott and myself ) would want to read.

    If you want to read a really good book about sports psychology, check out the "Inner Game of Tennis". (I think it's by Tim Galleway, no idea how the name is actually spelled.) I don't even play tennis, but it has helped me immensely in both car racing and snowboarding. He talks a whole bunch about relying on your muscles and nervous system to figure out the finer details of a given skill, and how getting your big clumsy brain (and consequently your ego) involved is actually a slower and more error-prone process. He actually recommends distracting the brain from the activity a bit to let the body and central nervous system give it a shot on autopilot.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
    Posts
    717
    One anecdote, one "hearsay factoid" without actual confirmation...

    First, when I was actively training and racing in whitewater slalom, the (then) U.S. team coach's mantra—and standard response to just about anything—was simply, "Time in the boat." (Bill Endicott.)

    Someone would ask a question about conditioning, and he'd respond (smiling) "Time in the boat." Someone would comment on changing river levels affecting a course, and he'd respond (smiling) "Time in the boat."

    He believed the best way to learn was just by showing up at the river every day and paddling gates, period. That's not to say he didn't offer some analytics, but he always felt anything he could say was secondary to "Time in the boat." I think a large part of this is because whitewater slalom is an intensely technical sport...made even more difficult because (like surfing or sailing) the "playing field" is incredibly dynamic and always changing from one second to the next.

    As an aside, the greatest American slalom racer to date (and one of the greatest in the world) Jon Lugbill spent more time in the boat than anyone else. When others would be weight training or studying videos or having analytical discussions, Lugbill would be out there paddling...and it showed.

    ----------

    The "hearsay factoid" is that I once heard (from a physical therapist) that it takes at least 10,000 repetitions for a particular set of muscle moves to become engrained in memory to the point where they are second-nature and happen automatically.

    Think about that: 10,000 repetitions. That's a LOT of turns on the mountain! (I'm guessing many more than anyone would ever do in a season, even carving every day.)

    "Time in the boat."


    Scott
    Gravity tells me what to do. The slope is merely the plane of interaction on the way down. —carvedog

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •