Stance Width and Steeps

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Stance Width and Steeps

Postby kelvin o » Monday 19 December 2005, 1:38

Hi Guys...
Second day on the Swoard brought up some questions that I'd like to air here on the forum...

1. I tried a slightly (about 3/4" or 2 cm) narrower stance than my standard freeride board stance and found that it was fine except on steeper slopes. I couldn't get a good transition from heel-toe or toe-heel because it just felt too slow (to transition). On easier slopes since I wasn't traveling as fast and didn't need the quickness of transition it was ok. It might have been that fear had just taken over and I couldn't throw my body from one side of the board to other like I do on easier pitches. I think I'm going to try a wider stance next time out but I was wondering what the stance width experience of folks with Swoards are (would be great to know your weight in relation to the Swoard type).

2. This is related to the first item but I was wondering if there are any specific suggestions to riding the Swoard and using the "extreme" pre-rotation technique on relatively steeper pistes.

Thanks for any discussion on this topic.
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kelvin :)

Postby nils » Monday 19 December 2005, 9:19

well actually there is no rule on stance.. its just the way you feel it... I haven't noticed any difference on edge changes while i tested different stances... the main change was tip to tail balance which can change using different stances ( the swoard requires riding on both feet equally)

As for the "extreme" rotation. It is indeed linked to the edge to edge change, since the rotation is actually making the edge transistion ( tilt of the board) If you see the slow motion parts of the movies, you will notice the board moves quite slowly on its edge compare to a racing board, mainly not because the legs do not make the board tilt, but because the rider is laid further on the snow.... Board is more the extension of the legs and upper body than in normal riding where the torso remains still and legs move below it.

I'd advise to really train that rotation " egyptian style" with the push-pull in mind, then it should lead you to really feel that edge change as a result of the turn, not as an independant thing.

Hope this helps!
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Postby harald » Monday 19 December 2005, 9:24

Hi,
This topic has been discussed a lot of times before. See for example http://www.extremecarving.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1025&highlight=stance. Personally I use 49 cm between the bindings with 54/47 angles being 178 cm and riding Swoard 168 H. Also take a look at the clever formulas in the above thread. They can be a good guide.
With respect to your question 2, I am not certain what you mean but seeing J&P both live and on videos as well as the pictures made by VKrouverk (use the search device), you will see they start each turn with a strong rotation of the upper body.
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Postby kelvin o » Monday 19 December 2005, 15:13

Thanks for the link I should have remembered that one!

One item is that it seems to me that the stance width is clearly determined by your body but that the width will also affect the performance of the board as well. There was some discussion on that link but most of the dimensional discussion was independent of the size of the board.

In regards to the edge changes on steeper slopes I think I might have to set the bindings a bit more forward in order to quicken up the transition, I feel I need to allow the board to slip a bit in order to control the speed. I'll be going to CO for a week and will test all possible setups for all possible conditions.

It just seems that in order to turn the board in the conditions that I normally ride in I need more input into the board than I have available (i.e., weight :) ). I might need to go to a 161... But I will persist with the 168 through CO (mid January) at least.

Thanks again...
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Postby vkrouverk » Monday 19 December 2005, 21:19

Couple of suggestions (though I'm probably not the best person to teach here, as I have problems with steeps as well, but here are things that work for me)
In steeps you really have to commit for turns and make edge transition and cranking up high to other edge as fast as possible, otherwise you'll spend considerable time in downhill direction and build more speed than manageable by carving. Be sure to use push-pull (cross-through in bomber parlance) technique, as it is faster and more effective than ordinary "pull-push" technique (it doesn't require much COG shifting). Slope width permitting you can ride little bit uphill for reducing speed.
I'd keep stance in center, as moving it forward will make riding in soft snow (CO dump :P) much harder: you have to lean backward then in order to avoid nose digging. At least for me center stance seems to work best.
I do not think that board is problem, I'm in almost same weight as you and have 168M.
And I noticed that "lifted deconstruction" pics, to which Harald referred, are now in extremecarving gallery available as well:
http://www.swoard.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=1 (11 pics there)
If you have possibility, then tape your riding and compare it to these images, it will show what you're doing differently.
HTH,
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Postby kelvin o » Monday 19 December 2005, 23:07

Vahur, Thanks for the instructive remarks! The techniques specific to a large radius carving board are very new. The techniques I have under my belt are for smaller radius boards that don't necessarily work on the Swoard so this info is great.

vkrouverk wrote:In steeps you really have to commit for turns and make edge transition and cranking up high to other edge as fast as possible, otherwise you'll spend considerable time in downhill direction and build more speed than manageable by carving.

This is definitely the issue... The speed build up... I notice when carving easier slopes I CAN get the board WAY on edge and turn tight. I think it is because I can get on over to the other side of the board easier. I think the problem on the steeps is a simple issue of real estate (the amount of room I have to be able to carve a bit up the slope then having the room to turn again). I hope the room I'll have in the Rockies will enable me to get around a bit and maybe be able to tighten the turn up before I come home to the east.

vkrouverk wrote:Be sure to use push-pull (cross-through in bomber parlance) technique, as it is faster and more effective than ordinary "pull-push" technique (it doesn't require much COG shifting). Slope width permitting you can ride little bit uphill for reducing speed.

This is a strange one for me. So "cross-through" is basically "EC" (because it's a body aligned with the board and not the fall line style) and "cross-under" is basically what people here call "Bomber style" (because it's essentially a face forward style with the body aligned with the fall line)? I can do the different movements but sometimes get what they're all called confused... :oops: . Would what you call "pull-push" be cross-under?

When I look at the J&P vids it looks like they are pulling (compressing) before entering the turn, pushing (extending) at the apex, then pulling (compressing) on the exit. If this sequence is push pull what would the sequence for "pull-push" be? Again I get how to do it I'm just a bit confused why it's named what it is.

vkrouverk wrote:I'd keep stance in center, as moving it forward will make riding in soft snow (CO dump :P) much harder: you have to lean backward then in order to avoid nose digging. At least for me center stance seems to work best.

I'm just going to widen my stance a bit to get a bit more control on the board for now. I might experiment going forward or back on one afternoon just to see what happens with the Swoard (I've done a LOT of experimentation on my Incline with the bindings all over the board :wink: )

vkrouverk wrote:I do not think that board is problem, I'm in almost same weight as you and have 168M.

I hope so. But I think with helpful comments like yours Ill be able to figure it all out. Thanks Again!! :)
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Postby vkrouverk » Tuesday 20 December 2005, 11:07

kelvin o wrote:This is a strange one for me. So "cross-through" is basically "EC" (because it's a body aligned with the board and not the fall line style) and "cross-under" is basically what people here call "Bomber style" (because it's essentially a face forward style with the body aligned with the fall line)? I can do the different movements but sometimes get what they're all called confused... Embarassed . Would what you call "pull-push" be cross-under?

I meant COG position by using these EC/cross-through/push-pull (or retraction turn, as L. Hart puts it in his book) terms, it's like you described:

kelvin o wrote:When I look at the J&P vids it looks like they are pulling (compressing) before entering the turn, pushing (extending) at the apex, then pulling (compressing) on the exit.

By pull-push (or cross-over by bomber terminology) I meant opposite technique (which most of riders seem to use): standing up during edge change and bending legs during turn apex. Pull-push term is not used very much, but IMO it describes very well opposite nature of push-pull style.
And to name third one, cross-under is somewhat similar to French style
As I understand, Bomber technique could be described as racing technique: keeping weight over the edge, shoulders level, raising uphill hand (it's aimed for best balance and edge control) and does not dictate how transitions are done (J.Michaud suggests in his Riding the Norm articles cross-over, as it's easiest to learn, but Bomber technique could be used with cross-through or even cross-under as well), so it's more matter of style. Norm Bomber style suggests aligning body with bindings.
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Adapting to Swoard / TD Bindings

Postby utzel » Friday 30 December 2005, 10:49

Hello Guys,

my head is hurting from push-pull-push-french-whatever. Without a teacher or an observer I find it hard to even judge what I´m doing on the board.

I just spend a week with my new Swoard and new TD2 Bindings. Coming from a narrower Raceboard I started to duplicate binding settings from Fivat.

Results were a day owith a lot crashes and a feeling like: why did I buy this board. I felt like a total beginner on a Snowboard.

Back in the hotel I found this thread and checked my bindings. Also compared to my other board 55/52degree seemed to be not much angled, strange.

So I put the bindings to a angles that seemed to feel and look good. Just not to have the boots stand too much over the board.

Funny is: my bindings now indicate angles like 30/35 !!!??? Also reversing the mountingplate of the TD´s don´t change it ?

However, with these settings and riding with bent knees instead of the strechted standing style I was used to, I know feel comfortable on the swoard. So I was able to do the same things like with my old board.

The Bopards are still on the carroof but I will add a picture of the bindings next time.
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Stance Update

Postby kelvin o » Monday 23 January 2006, 18:22

Wow what a great experience with "EC" once you get the settings figured out! Was out in the Rockies and had time to experiment with settings and widths.

First thing... as advertised, staying centered on the board is key! So getting the stance width right is important because it enables one to find the center easier. A narrow stance makes finding center harder through the turn because there is not as much leverage to get forward or back as necessary to find the center. A wider stance helps because it's easier to stay centered. So my conclusion is, in the beginning, try a wider stance and narrowing as necessary as one gets a better feel for where center is. I think after a few more days on the board I will try narrowing the stance as I get the know the board and the technique better.

The prerotation and flexed legs are "extreme"ly important in order to EC. I can see how it can be the only way of laying out completely on the heelside and doing it smoothly on toeside. With proper conditioning I can see that the EC technique can be as versatile as the angulated style. One just has to be really quick with both the rotation and strong with the legs.

After looking at a rather poor video of me on the board I decided to change my angles from about 55f40b to 60f48b because my back knee was sticking out too much and it just looked like I was forcing the board to the side on toe side. The large splay (around 15*) is personal and is necessary for me because my feet are naturally splayed so reflect my natural stance.

The 168m is just fine for me. If I want to turn tighter I just get lower and push harder into the turn at the apex which does two things, turn tighter and slow me down.

The only thing I'm not getting is actually touching down on the snow. I think I am getting very close though maybe 5-10* from fully laying out. I have a feeling it might be one (or both?) of two things. My boot angles or my flexibility don't allow me rotate as much as required on heelside or I'm just too hesitant to committing to the layout. I can't wait to try again!!

Anyway the setup is important but it also seems just believing and doing what is described here in the tech sections really does lead to something! Will continue updates!

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touching

Postby nils » Monday 23 January 2006, 19:18

kelvin

I suggest you try the following ( frontside): have the board go uphill ( needs speed). While its still uphill, begin your descent with arms and upper body, and at same time tilt board on other edge and push it away from you. Train by really getting all the way to the snow, touching it with torso... This will help you feel the way the board is, and how the pressure is distributed, and understand the way things work. Then you can apply it to normal EC, and balance the amount of body drag :)

Good luck!
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Re: touching

Postby kelvin o » Monday 23 January 2006, 21:48

nils wrote:I suggest you try the following ( frontside): have the board go uphill ( needs speed). While its still uphill, begin your descent with arms and upper body, and at same time tilt board on other edge and push it away from you. Train by really getting all the way to the snow, touching it with torso...

Nils,
Do you mean to say that I should try to reach down for the snow and kind of lean over onto the snow? I've been kind of trying to avoid the reaching down to the snow syndrome but I can understand if you might think that this is a necessary step to allow for the next development (the body slide). My tendency is to arch the back in order not to bend down and touch but to try to allow the surface to come to me by just getting down lower. I will try the bending down motion with the caveat that this is merely a development step and not something I should get into the habit of. Now would the same be said of the backside? Any suggestions on that side as well? Thanks!
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yes

Postby nils » Monday 23 January 2006, 22:38

well the idea is to avoid bending at the waist, so this is why you have to reach down AND extend: try to think of getting the backhand raise up, as if to reach something a bit too far from reach: it will force your body to extend, and not bend. Imagine the hand leaves a mark with a much smaller radius: actually, the board makes a radius, and the hand a parabola.., and its only in apex area that both hand and board makes a parralel radius

A drawing would be nicer, I'll try to fix that tomorrow!

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Re: Stance Update

Postby gdboytyler » Tuesday 24 January 2006, 19:37

kelvin o wrote: My boot angles or my flexibility don't allow me rotate as much as required on heelside or I'm just too hesitant to committing to the layout.

Can you get in the laid-out heelside posture when you are just laying down on the snow? If you can't do it when you're stationary, you won't be able to do it while moving.

With my TD2 bindings, the bindings were too stiff and I couldn't get in the laid out heelside position. So when I did a heelside turn, I could drag my hip, but not get completely laid-out. You could have the same problem with your Cateks.

I switched to Proflex bindings and the extra flexibility really helped to improve my heelside carve.

The other option is to loosen up the toe-lever on your back foot. That will allow your boot to roll and give some additional rotation. But be careful not to loosen it up so much that the binding can pop open.

You could also loosen up your boot straps. But I found that if I loosen up the boot straps to help the heelside carve, the toeside response gets too slow.
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Postby kelvin o » Tuesday 24 January 2006, 20:02

I'll try my titanflex's on the Swoard next time out. I think the "twist" on my heel side just has to be more emphatic and committed. My 224's are already pretty flexible laterally and does allow me to "turn" in my boots and flex my ankle but I'll try the alternative bindings. It's interesting the whole thing has to work together but one can get each move bit by bit until you finally get the collection of moves together that'll allow for the ultimate "extreme"...
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