Do you know which phase in the turn is most difficult to control?
It's at the beginning.
While snowboard has edge angle, we can feel our base.
In the beginning phase, snowboard change the edges so there is the phase that board gets flat.
We can't get solid base of support with flat base on the hill.
For example, beginner snowboarders start edging in the middle of the turn.
Intermediate snowboarders start edging somewhere between the beginning and the middle of the turn.
And advanced rider is trying to avoid this flat phase as changing edges directly to the other edge in a moment at the beginning of the turn.
So as turning skill increase, flat phase decrease.
This is what we can do to develop the beginning phase and why advanced riders are stable on the varied terrain condition.
Pow, trees, moguls, and steeps, they require riders quick edge changes due to unstable riding condition.
Now let's find out how we can reduce the flat phase.
Which do you think better in the beginning of the turns to change edges?
Standing tall or low?
We want to reduce flat phase as much as possible because it's unstable.
So changing edge should happen earlier and quicker.
To change edges, our head and hips move from the one side to the other side.
Now once again, which do you think better in the beginning of the turns to change edges?
Standing tall or low?
Obviously standing low is quicker than standing high to change edges due to moving distance of head and hips, right?
Also standing low to change edges is much easier to control balance while moving head and hips.
So now you understand that we should be small in the beginning of the turns to change edges quicker and to keep balance.
You can learn "Down unweighting" which is the one of the turning skill we just talked.
Did you know that balance on the board and balance in the air is different.
Because our board is touching the ground while riding on the hill, so we have the base of support.
But once we leave the ground, we lose the base.
So how can we keep balance in the air?
Key is the hips.
Hips is connecting upper and lower body,
So if body axis is leaning like stick in the air, hips are also leaning.
But if you can bring hips back to straight you will get balance in the air.
For example, if your axis is leaning toe side in the air, bring back your feet under your head.
So your body axis is bent like 「く」.
And if you are leaning toward nose in the air, bring back you head above your back foot.
These move in the air helps hips coming back to flat so you can adjust balance in the air.
You need to hit so many jumps to learn balance adjustment skill on the hill.
But Trampoline allows you jumpping 100 times in few munites.
Which do you think smarter to learn balance adjustment skill in the air?
Find a trampoline facility and stay there like 30 minutes.
What is the trick beginner can learn first?
And which skill is used for all tricks?
Yes, it's "Jumping" skill!
Pop, Ollie, Nollie.
Coasting is the one of the Technic to take off the jump.
But coasting is just going through the lip without any action so I won't include it to jumping skill.
Pop is jumping on both feet which is very natural as human move.
So pop is easiest jumping skill to learn first so for beginner.
But pro riders still using it to generate spins.
Next skill riders can challenge is Ollie.
It's very common as skill of skateboarding which jump with only back leg.
This skill actually require good control on the toe to heel balance first before start learning the nose to tail balance as Ollie require.
As when beginner try Ollie, they typically land on toe or heel edge.
So this skill is for intermediate level to jump STRAIGHT.
If you want use Ollie to generate SPINs, its control will be much difficult so it's for advanced level to learn.
Nollie is to create more tricks so it's the hardest skill to jump.
It's mentally challenging skill because you shift your weight on nose and you might imagine when your nose catch the snow and fall hard.
So Nollie is absolutely for advanced level to learn.
Jumping skill is necessary to initiate any tricks.
Because board need to leave snow to be free from any pressure before put it into action.
So you can jump safely and make tricks easier!!
Until season start, try learning what the freestyle basics are.
What pro riders do can break down into all these basics.
1. Jumping (& Grab tricks)
3. Jibbing (Flat land tricks)
Turning skill is also one of the freestyle basics for approach phase.
So you must be good at turning first.
That's why beginner should stay focusing on turning.
If your skill is more than beginner, then start learning Freestyle basics.
Refining basics is the best way to improve!!
Keep being fit until your first day snowboarding on the hill!!
Stimulate your muscle 4 days a week.
You don't have to work such hard.
But you can try working on lower body exercise such as 15 times squat x 3 sets.
Lower body and core are key to control your balance over the board!!