206 Turn Shape Variations

206 Turn shape variations

This is an extension of  #106, adapted for steeper terrain.

Assuming infinite trail width, the primary difference between flat and steeper terrain, as pertains to turns, is the duration and intensity of the movements involved.

Round skidded turn   Due to the incline, the angle of the board relative to the snow will be higher, during a part of each turn, without any action on the part of the rider.  In order to skid a turn at a high edge angle, a rider needs to have a better grasp of pressure distribution from one foot to the other.  Since the margin for error is smaller on steeper terrain, it is not enough to just stand more on the front foot to induce a skid.  Without some dexterity, such a move will cause the rider to simply spin out.

Railed turn    On steeper terrain, this move will require a lot of space, in particular, trail width.  It also requires proper timing.  If the board is tipped to edge too close to the fall line, the rider will be ‘high-sided’ out of the turn.  Beyond a certain pitch, there will be enough energy present in the system to effectively make the railed turn into a carved turn.

Carved turn    Trail width and timing are important.  Additionally, proper stacking of the bones is necessary to handle the higher dynamic loads associated with a carved turn on a steeper pitch.  In essence, you are converting linear movement down the fall-line into angular movement across the fall-line using a spring as an intermediary.  The steeper the pitch, and the tighter the turn radius, the more dynamic the spring becomes.  This can be a problem if the rider is not in tune with the elasticity of their board, and the need to let a board effectively unload.  It is vital that the new edge be engaged well before the fall line, effectively when the board is pointed across the trail.  Any later and either the rider, or the snow, will give way under the loads incurred, resulting in a whole bunch of chatter or a front flip.

Cross over   Cross over becomes less effective on steeper terrain simply due to the fact that it takes too much time to move the mass of the upper body across the board.  If the trail in question is sufficiently wide, and there are no foreign objects present, a cross over turn is possible, just not ideal.