126 Teaching intro to bumps
Before heading off for your favorite zipper-line, take a run on something relatively steep and groomed to gain perspective on what is in store for your client. The means by which most riders turn will be their undoing once the surface gets bumpy.
The following are helpful:
A posture that is truly relaxed.
The ability to initiate turns with the feet.
Approximate symmetry of posture on both heel and toe-side turns.
Balance independent of the hands and arms.
Shaping a turn using the design of the board rather than muscle.
An absence of ‘kick-foot’, when the going gets rough.
The ability to flex and extend the legs at least a little while in a turn, without disruption of the arc.
With these criteria in mind, the way to proceed in the bumps is to start with the concept of board/snow contact. Pick a section of fairly tight bumps, preferably on a shallower pitch, and ride across the hill, skipping from bump to bump, legs relaxed. Get accustomed to balancing off of the movement of the body rather than the surface of the snow. Initially, do not worry about the turn at the end of each traverse. Flip it around any way necessary. When the traversing becomes somewhat familiar, shape a medium turn by skipping across the tops of several bumps, allowing the edge to make the turn. You will use up a lot of downhill area, which is okay. The idea is to ignore the gaps between bumps, and get used to turning on an inconsistent surface. A relaxed centered posture is requisite. If the gear is not set up properly, it will become apparent fairly quickly. Repeat this mode of turning, gradually reducing the traverse.
For the most part, the torso will follow the board, which is to say, there is no need at this point to develop any separation of upper and lower body. (On a really short turn, this will change).