226 Intermediate Bumps/Line, Rotational Stability, Flow

226 Riding intermediate bumps-line, rotational stability, movement flow

Most people identify bump skiing and riding with the quick, fall line turn.  I.e, don’t bother trying to ski the bumps until you can hammer out a series of perfectly accurate tiny turns.  In truth, while a good line can be a godsend, it really doesn’t have to matter that much.

Perhaps the most important thing about choosing a line is to set up for success by making the first one or two turns of good quality.  If it is easier to move from heel-side to toe-side on steep groomed terrain, then the bump run should begin with the same turn sequence.

Realize that turn size doesn’t matter that much.  As long as speed is adequately controlled, it is more important that the turns are  made consistently, than that they are consistently sized.  If it is not possible to make the next turn a short one, skip across the next two bumps on a longer radius.

Understand that speed control is a matter of averaging.  Do not try to reduce speed drastically on any one turn; gradually lower your rate of descent via several turns.

Most riders are effective in making a turn in one direction moreso than in the other direction.  We all stand somewhat sideways on the snowboard, so go figure.  This creates a small problem in that a drift across the hill may occur, as the board comes around faster on one edge than the other.  This is an instance where some separation in the torso can come in handy, simply because the torso can be used as a rotational brake by selectively loosening and tightening the appropriate muscles.  In this way, the drift can be attenuated somewhat.

It is important to note that rotationally derived movements are not appropriate in the bumps, simply because the base of support changes so frequently, and is so inconsistent.  On the other hand, counter-rotation can be very effective, as the upper body mass can be used as an inverted ‘base’ of support, as in the previous example.

Finally, fluidity of movement is somewhat crucial.  Think of riding bumps sort of like driving through a series of curves while in cruise control, without touching the brakes.  It may feel a little disconcerting, due to the fact that the speed is higher than normal.  However, if you slow too much at each turn, the next turn will be more difficult to start.  Similarly, try to avoid bringing the board too far across the fall-line.