121 Creating lower body angles
As stated earlier, snowboarding is the act of maintaining a state of equilibrium on a slippery surface. At the outset, a beginning rider needs to balance against the ‘pull of gravity’, using the edge of the board on the snow and an upright posture. When a rider has developed skills to the extent that the snowboard begins to visibly bend, it is necessary to balance against gravity’s pull, as well as their own momentum.
A few relevant terms:
Speed is simply rate of travel/time.
Velocity differs from speed, in that velocity has both magnitude and direction.
Acceleration is defined as a change in velocity/change in time. Similarly, velocity is a change in displacement/change in time.
Momentum, in simple terms, is expressed as a mass multiplied by the velocity of said mass.
Force is expressed as a mass x velocity.
Anyhow, if an object traveling at a given speed makes a change in direction, the object has been accelerated. The force experienced is often expressed, mistakenly, as centrifugal force. Newton states that, ‘an oject in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force…’ This is referred to as the law of inertia. Simply stated, a rider on a snowboard will tend to move downhill following the path of least resistance. A snowboard, tipped on edge, (and bent into reverse camber) will create a banked turn, which will tend to alter the rider’s direction of travel. For each degree of direction change, a force must be exerted to overcome the rider’s tendency to continue moving in that previous direction. This tendency is simply momentum.
Long story short, a rider needs to balance against the apparent outward pull experienced in a dynamic turn. Dynamic, in this case, refers to the fact that energy has been stored in the board.
The most effective way to balance in this context is to move a few body parts to the inside of the arc of the turn. The greater the load on the rider, the further inside the turn the body must be. Consider a dog in the back of a pickup truck going around the curve of an on-ramp. The dog will lean to the inside of the turn, to balance the apparent outward pull on itself.
The rider in question is tilting the board to edge with their feet. This is an accurate way to engage the edge, but, alas, it will require some muscle to hold it there once the board begins to really bend. To remove the load from the muscles of the calf on a toe-side turn, gradually bring the knees into the turn once edge contact has been established. To the heel side, make sure that the binding high-backs are set properly, and then sit SLIGHTLY to the inside of the heel-side turn, once the heel-side edge has begun to bite. The effect of each of these movements will vary slightly in appearance based on stance angles and overall performance level of the equipment