The Pros snowboard with stability.
They look like they never fall.
“How can I snowboard like that?”
How can intermediate snowboarders gain riding-sense close to that of the pros?
This time, let's think about the body's intuition from a mechanical stand point.
Pro-Snowboarding is stability.
You probably understand it as having good total balance right?
In order to maintain balance, you need to have a good base as the foundation.
Your “footing” is your base for the majority of the time you are snowboarding.
Strong footing makes up for a good portion of this total balance.
Having good balance will come when your centre of gravity is in alignment with something else.
Having bad balance is when your centre of gravity is out of alignment with something else.
What is this “something else” you ask?
The answer is “External Force.”
"What is the External force in Snowboarding?"
It's probably hard to understand right?
External force changes while you are snowboarding.
For example, if you are standing level, “gravity” is the external force.
If you are turning, then “centrifical force” contributes to the external force.
External force is not unidirectional, but is a combination of other external forces that change the direction and strength of the pressures being exerted on your centre of gravity.
Depending on either of these situations, your centre of gravity changes position with respect to this external force.
When your centre of gravity is even and straight with respect to these external forces, then, you can say that balance is good.
However, if your footing is unstable when adjusting your balance, then it is easy to lose balance.
So, in what circumstances can you say that you have strong footing?
"How can we get a Strong Footing?"
To start, in order to control your balance as the external forces change, you need your feet firmly planted on the ground to provide a strong base to push against.
Often times snowboarders will still continue to crouch down as the jump pushes them upwards
What happens if the jump forces the snowboarder up even though they are continuing to crouch?
In this situation the rider will not be properly opposing the external force created by gravity and the rising of the terrain.
This will cause the rider to be pushed downward as they ride off the lip causing a loss of balance and improper air trajectory.
Even at the very least, since gravitational force is always pulling us downward, we must resist it.
That is the reason why the lower half of the body must always be firmly planted.
No resistance is created beneath the feet when you move in the same direction as gravity.
However, when you move in the opposite direction of gravity, then pressure is created beneath the feet.
This pressure if used correctly will allow the rider to stay balanced.
While turning, continuing to get low only causes pulling by centrifugal force.
This doesn't cause resistance beneath the feet.
However, while turning, you resist centrifugal force by keeping your feet planted and centre of gravity leaning in opposition, thus force is created beneath the feet keeping the rider in a balanced upright position.
This is a very important key in order to have solid footing.
Be sure to remember this!
With regard to external force, even if you are able to ride with a good centre of gravity, if you don't fine tune your body's position to oppose external force, you won't be able to maintain your balance.
The parts of the body that handle the adjustment of this balance is the upper body, head, and knees.
Since the upper body is in a higher position than the lower body, when it receives shock, it sways more than the lower body.
When adjustments aren't made, balance is lost.
All of the impact that the upper-body takes is in waves.
If these waves are in agreement, the shock becomes greater, but it is possible to counteract them.
In the ocean, waves are constantly moving together and nullifying each other.
It's the same thing with snowboarding.
In order to counteract these waves, you have to move in a way that counteracts them.
Relaxing makes this possible.
If you relax your muscles your body will move more easily to counteract changes in external force
The image you should have in mind is each bone of the spine moving like a wave.
It's just like a concrete building in an earthquake or a bar.
If your upper-body is stiff and tense while riding, your body will easily be thrown off balance
These are some key points that have been said in Japanese martial arts and probably should be applied in other sports as well.
With these 3 points, you can gain riding sense similar to that of the pros that you haven't been able to feel up until now at the intermediate level.
1. Align your body's centre of gravity with external force
2. Keep your feet planted to gain strong footing
3. Relax your upper body to keep balanced
Standing, walking, running, rotating the body.
In your own private life, by being conscious of these things in all situations, you will be able to see results in even in your snowboarding, so be sure to put them into practice in your everyday simple movements.
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