111 Developing an Active Inside Leg

111 Developing an active inside leg

Simultaneous v. sequential edging movements

The goal is to effectively tilt the board from one edge to the other standing more or less equally weighted, using both feet at the same time.

1.    Eliminate twist

2.    Stand in the right place.

An assumption is often made that a turn is begun with the front foot and leg, simply because that leg is leading.  A problem that arises from this assumption is that such a movement can lead to inappropriate pressure distribution, and a tendency to twist the board lengthwise.  This is particularly true on the initiation of a heelside turn.

Due in part to the way most bindings are set on most boards, it is easier to roll across the feet than from toe to heel to begin a heelside turn.  This results in too much pressure being applied to the tip of the board, before the board has been tilted much.  Depending on stance angle, the idea is to rock from toe to heel without moving along the length of the board.  In other words, balance on the sweet spot of the board flex, and tip it.

The appropriate foot movements can be practiced by balancing on the toe edge of the board (without going anywhere), and gradually lowering the heels until the board releases and begins to slip.  Do this a few times, and understand that, for the most part, the initiation of a heelside turn is simply the absence of whatever is maintaining the toeside turn.  Make sure that at the release of the toeside turn, contact is last felt under the toes of the rear foot.  This ensures that the rider is finishing the old turn off the tail of the board.  Without moving towards the tip of the board, roll off the toe edge and feel for the heel edge under the heel of the rear foot.  The odds are reasonably good that if this occurs, both heels will actually drop at the same time.

The release of the heelside turn should conclude with pressure felt under the heel of the rear foot.  (If it feels like the rear foot is moving down the hill away from the rider, and more weight is on the front foot, it is likely that the rider initiated the heelside turn with a movement of the hip rather than a movement of the feet).  Feel for edge contact with the balls of both feet, and, once edge contact has been established, bring both knees into the turn slightly.  Again, depending on stance angles, it may be advantageous to initiate the toeside turn with the rear foot rather than the front.