Let’s briefly remind ourselves of what we went over last time.
When snowboarding, we are going sideways. However people walk straight.
This causes your upper body to slight face forward while you’re snowboarding.
And it is the cause of not being able to initiate a toe side turn.
First, let’s understand the mechanism for initiating turns.
(You have 2 ways of changing your direction while snowboarding.)
- Horizontal Rotation
Simply put, a spin, where you switch the position of the nose and tail of your board.
- Changing your edge
For example, changing your edge from the right side to the left.
Combining these 2 movements will initiate a turn.
So now let’s think about why you can’t initiate a toe side turn while your torso is facing forwards.
So this time let’s think about why you can’t initiate a toe side turn when switching from edge to edge!
The sides of snowboards are rounded, thus allowing you to make nice round turns when you make an edge angle.
For example, Racers and people who like carving turns focus on making a more edge angle instead of rotating the board horizontally.
The more of an edge angle you make the more you’ll be able to efficiently use these rounded sides, and as you improve you’ll be able to make an edge angle quicker and stronger.
But, if you can’t make the edge angle well enough then you can’t really initiate a good turn.
In short, if you’re an intermediate rider that is struggling in initiating a toe side turn then that means you aren’t making your edge angle well enough.
Why can’t you make an edge angle to start a toe side turn?
Because you’re scared of leaning downhill with your chest?
That’s one of the many entirely plausible reasons.
But this time I’d like to tackle it from a more technical standpoint.
Tilting the board as you change the edge from heel side to toe side without rotating the snowboard horizontally is basically moving your center of gravity from heel side to toe side.
Initiating turns by moving your weight from one side to other side needs special actions.
However intermediate riders tend to keep their bent posture on heel side turns when initiating a toe side turn, meaning they move their head over the board to the opposite side first and their center of gravity (the hips) follow after.
This is unstable and will cause you to have bad balance, and because moving your head first will cause the rest of your body, and your board, to take a while to catch up, making an edge angle won’t start as soon as you’d expect it to.
Doing this on a steep slope will scare you more and it makes everything even more difficult.
So then, how do advanced riders move their center of gravity?
By actually using the lower half of their body!
Advanced riders want to make their edge angle stronger and quicker, so they use the parts of their bodies that are close to the board itself which allow the board react quickly.
In other words, they start moving from…
Now let me explain what movements come from using these two options.
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