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Extreme Carving (extremecarving)

Extremecarving is a word invented for this Web site. It identifies the style and the technique developed by Jacques Rilliet and Patrice Fivat from 1995 to 2001 on the carving basis. Invented by alpine snowboarding in the nineties, carving consists simply in riding on the edge. The word "extreme" suggests that the turns are fully laid. The real challenge is to link these turns, frontside and backside, armpit to armpit.
Jacques and Patrice got inspiration from surfing and skateboarding, making rotation of hips and shoulder as taught in the Swiss snowboard school, especially on frontside: they don't face the tip of their board all the time like the racers. They use wide alpine boards (which they had to develop), flat bindings with lower angles and modified hard boots (softer). They also created the word "push-pull" to explain their leg movements whose timing is the opposite of the one in a slalom. Thus their gear and setup are really different from what can usually be seen in alpine snowboarding.
The abbreviation EC is sometimes a source of confusion with "eurocarving", which is an obsolete word from the nineties: during the golden age of alpine snowboarding in Europe, the riders could accomplish very inclinated turns, despite gears with less performance. In extremecarving discipline, the board is sliding, placed vertically on the edge without skipping, and the rider is brushing the snow with his whole body and the armpit. This should not be confused with the "Vitelli turn", which is a figure from the nineties: it's only one turn laid on the front side in counter-rotation.

If you master the basic technique explained on the "Turns" page, you are ready to assimilate the following.

Laid turn

The push-pull turn pushed to the limit !

The frontside turn:

It's the easiest one. During the piste crossing on the backside edge, flex down your knees the most you can taking speed and aim at the side of the piste. Your must be positioned perpendiculary to the slope, it's very important! Then, suddenly, engage a rotation with you body putting the board brutaly on the frontside edge and then, push it progressively away from you to furthermost position. This will put you flat on your stomach, with a strong push under the frontside edge. When the board is far from you as possible, you are straightened, the board is in vertical position, placed on its frontside edge. It is bent in the same curve as the turn, and the nose is facing the downhill direction of the slope. Your arms should be positioned like a karateka ready to fight: your front arm straightened forward touches the snow to feel where the surface lies and to protect your head, and your back arm, tucked up over your head, also touches the snow in the same purpose of head protection.

At this step, your are in the middle of the turn.
Flex your legs under your body and, at the same time, set yourself upright again in the way to stand, your knees flexed, your chest turned in rotation toward the top of the slope and your look over your front shoulder. Your are sliding toward the opposite side of the slope, ready to dive into the backside laid turn!

Frontside laid turn movie (Windows Media Player 285KB)

Frontside laid turn movie (QuickTime 250KB)

Slow motion frontside laid turn movie (Windows Media Player 754KB)

Slow motion frontside laid turn movie (QuickTime 744KB)

The backside turn:
It is the same process but:

  • Instead of the "flat on the stomach" position, you will lie on the side of the front shoulder.
  • Instead of having karate position, straighten your arm, the palm to the snow to feel where lies the surface and protect your head. Keep your back arm next to your body.
  • At the end of the turn, the chest is positioned three quarters toward the nose (be carefull not to turn yourself toward the nose!), or even parallel to the board for the low feet angulation setups. The head looks over the front shoulder.

Backside laid turn movie (Windows media Player 285KB)

Backside laid turn movie (QuickTime 248KB)

Slow motion backside laid turn movie (Windows media Player 748KB)

Slow motion backside laid turn movie (QuickTime 755KB)

To link the laid turns:
Suppress the crossing step: go directly from the turn's leaving to the next turn!
To link successfuly, it is essential to go out of the previous turn perfectly positionned: The rotation must have been perfectly done and the body must be steady over the board (neither on the back, nor leaning forward).
It is also vital to keep a maximum of speed during the turn. In that purpose, The slope must be steep and the sliding friction between body and snow, reduced to the maximum by avoiding to lean too strongly and wearing sliding clothes.

If these conditions are respected, it is easy to do a whole downhill laying down every turn.

Laid turns movie, Patrice Fivat's style (Windows Media Player 3.1MB)

Laid turns movie, Patrice Fivat's style (QuickTime 3MB)

Laid turns movie (slow motion), Jacques Rilliet's style (QuickTime 3MB)


Extreme Carving

In summary





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