Wednesday, February 24, 2010

snowboarding notes

Notes to self:

I made some changes to the snowboard setup the other day. I've never been sure about my stance width, binding angles, or high back tilt. Over the years I've tried some different things but was never sure regarding if the changes made any difference, or if was snow conditions, my own conditioning or my own skill levels at the time.

For a while, my angles have been +25 on front and +9 on rear. Stance width was 19.something I've wanted to try a narrow stance width but my board only allows a certain width due to the hole patterns. My bindings are Rome 390s which include some additional lee way for narrowing width, but unfortunately the board is limiting. An interesting note is that the board is a 146 but the stance range on the next size up actually allows for a narrower minimum width.

The positive angles on both the front and rear foot create a more forward facing stance and supposedly are recommended for more free riding where there isn't so much switch riding. I've always had poor shoulder/neck flexibility so the constant neck rotation created when you are in a sideways position (as in snowboarding and skateboarding) has always been an issue. I've wondered if my limited flexibility range in neck rotation made heel side turning harder because they say to look over your shoulder to help initiate heel turns.

But the forward angles on both feet is an inherently unstable position. Just jump in the air a few times, and see how your feet land. Or do some squats and feel the difference between angling both feet forward vs standing in a more natural 'duck' stance with both feet angled outwards.

This last weekend I change to a +15 on front and a -6 or -9 (can't remember) on the rear. It felt pretty good. but again I was feeling good that day fatigue and muscular, the snow was decent, and I've had more board time than in the past. But 'sitting down' in heelside turns felt a little better, and I felt more stable overall and more balanced.

I still have a limited speed threshold and when I get scared I'll dig in that rear foot on heel turns. It would be so much smoother if I'd just turn faster and not wait so long on one edge. The waiting is when I start digging in and then end up sliding out or blowing an edge out.

Friday, February 12, 2010

interesting snowboarding instructional site

I'm doing a little snowboarding this winter. It's a fun activity, but also very very challenging for me and hence also rewarding. In some ways I think I've hit a little plateau in improving and some bad habits. Flailing rear arm and using twisting the upper body (ala windmilling) to get turns to initiate faster are two. The last time I rode, the snow was choppy and some small moguls were appearing, and it was easy to fall into the trap when tired of twisting the upper body hard the opposite way of needing to turn.

One tip I've seen and read about is holding your arms clasped behind your back or grasping the sides of your pants to help ingrain the right movements.

Here's a site I came across that has some of the best content. Looks like a lot of work went into these including some admitted hokie scripts.