First post: Nov 08, 2010
Total posts: 122
I made it out to Cairngorm yesterday and had an epic time, great for Scotland . Some of the off-piste was quite choppy though. Going fast, it bounced me up and out on my arse on the heel side. Extending my arms in front/bending knees more/loosening up seemed to help a lot - if that makes sense.
It seemed to work and I could take the chop faster, but is there any other good advice for this stuff?
First post: Mar 09, 2009
Total posts: 1919
Location: The port of Stock
it's all about keeping relaxed and using those legs as suspension under you. As soon as you stiffen up (or go straight-legged) then there's no suspension so the bumps will throw you about and spit you out. So keep on the edge of your comfort zone and try not to go mental straight away 'cos as soon as you're thinking "sh1t o sh1t o sh1t o sh1t" then you'll tense up and be spat out...
Make sure you're riding with your shoulders, hips and knees in line with the board - this will give you maximum movement. It's common to rotate the body around to face forward but this will limit the suspension (if you get me). Try it when strapped into your board, stand in line with it and bend down and up and try a little jump, now try with your torso twisted forward and notice there's not the same smooth movement.
To really help with the suspension ride a little lower than normal (if you're feeling the thigh-burn then you're doing well). This will not only give you a lower center of gravity and thus better stability but also allow for more up movement with the legs when you need to suck them in quickly.
lastly try to read the terrain. Spot the ups and downs before you get to them and try to ride you legs in the opposite movement (sucking in for bumps and pushing down for troughs). Ideally you want to try and keep you head and body level and bounce the legs around under you as much as you can.
To help with turns try to spot nice bumps after dips - turn in the dip so you use the side of the bump as a berm (if that's the word) riding up it a little as it acts as a platform under the board (like a banked corner).
and, like everything else, start slow and progress at your own pace. Start by traversing across the bumps getting used to them and then turn when you're happy. Gradually get used to turning sooner and sooner and point down the slope a little more to build up speed. If it's getting to the point that you're struggling then back off and traverse more...
Solid advice from DDR
In my experience, having taught loads of mates to ride and thinking back to when I learned, most beginners and even some intermediates think they are bending their knees enough. If only they could see themselves on video! Many beginners end up bending at the waist instead - especailly when the terrian gets rougher or their speed gets higher. This is NOT the way to do it but, as a beginner, it may feel like the way to do it. Try to remember to keep your back vertical, with no bending at the waist. All the bending should be done by your knees and ankles and try to relax. Imagine your legs are simply shock absorbers.
I agree with all the above comments - one little note of caution though. Make sure theres still plenty of white stuff off-piste between your board and the rocks that lie below. If you see any signs of rock or grass in chopped up areas, proceed with a bit more thought and a little less speed.
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