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  • Technique Thread

    I am curious about some of the finer points of everyone's skiboarding techniques. Being a small sport with no established teaching standard (that I know of), it seems like everyone has their own little style quirks and ways of skiboarding that may not be obvious to the rest of us. Please feel free to post anything regarding your approach or riding style!

    (BTW Wookie... I think I know this, but what's the definition of a "slarve"?)


    I'm actually pretty curious about stance. I keep hearing it stated that skiboarding uses a more upright stance than skiing, but maybe I'm doing it wrong? I ride less upright than skiers. I agree with being upright on steep slopes in deep powder, where I keep my upper body fairly vertical, then bend my knees up between turns and push my legs downward while twisting my boards to either side during the turns (what I call 'parachuting'). I suppose I stay pretty upright when cruising skiways, too.

    Most of the time, and especially when carving groomers or attacking moguls, I ride with my knees bent, butt out back, my torso folded forward from the hips, my lower back flexed and extended, and my arms hanging more or less down from the shoulders. The position is very similar to where you'd be at about halfway into a deadlift. This keeps my weight centered over my feet, and gives a lot of ability to soak up bumps with both the knees/quads and the back/hips. I lead turns by throwing a shoulder forward a little, not really using the arms. If I'm carving not-too-steep groomers (blue runs), I will hold my torso completely steady and just pivot my legs side-to-side from the hips down. You can really lean the boards hard on edge this way without losing balance. You do look like a bit of a gorilla, though.

    I've noticed that this riding position really cuts down on the quad-burn in powder and reduces sketching out on your tails when landing jumps. When I start riding upright, those become major factors, but they disappear when I go gorilla on it.

    Comments?
    Make Skiboarding Sexy Again

  • #2
    The slarve

    Originally posted by Steeps View Post

    (BTW Wookie... I think I know this, but what's the definition of a "slarve"?)
    This was a techinique that was rarely mentioned in the context on skiboarding until the Rockered Condor came about. It is the technique of combing a partial carve and slide at the same time. Practically it then comes down to swinging out the tail ends of the boards in the turn.

    Here is a thread that describes it really well: https://www.skiboardsonline.com/foru...ghlight=slarve
    '18 Spruce Crossbow 115 + Spruce Pro Prime risers (Tyrolia Attack 13 bindings) [goto]
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    '15 Spruce Osprey 130 + Ambition bindings + backcountry riser [touring]
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    Previous: Gaspo Hot Wax 84s, Mantrax 98s, Summit Nomad 99s, Salomon RS80 boots


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    • #3
      I've seen the wider, hunkered-down stance you are talking about directly referred to as 'gorilla stance'. Very stable, and absorbs bumps well - so good for 'attacking' a slope, or at high speed.

      On a nice, wide, clean groomer, I find myself with a very different stance. Standing basically straight upright, and only leaning very slightly from side to side to control the big easy turns. If the groomer flattens out, I often end up doing a very elongated skate technique, pushing out hard with the board at the apex of each carve to keep up speed.

      On "in between" runs, like glades or mellow moguls, I find I do a combination of the two - standing very straight on the wider, easier carves (and between turns) and then ducking down into a lower/wider stance for the tighter, trickier ones.

      I've never seen a video of myself skiboarding, so I have no idea how elegant / ridiculous it looks. I've been told it looks very different from skiing by experienced skiers (ex race instructors), and I seem to keep up okay.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hmm, I've never thought of it as a wider stance, as my feet stay together and pretty parallel for the most part.

        I think I know the skate-carve technique you're talking about, when it starts getting flat but still wide enough to carve. I sometimes lead my turns with one board on skiways (not that I'm turning much, but just to make the cruising more interesting or getting around human obstacles). I can't figure out sitting here which board I lead with; inside I think?

        If I'm easy cruising and not forward in attack mode, I tend to hold my hands behind my back, probably clasping one wrist in the other hand. Just a habit more than a technique I think, but good for wind resistance I suppose. On rough stuff where I'm getting air and bouncing around I end up "rolling up the windows" a fair bit, which I'm sure doesn't look elegant (one of those things that works better with poles).

        I hand-dab more than I'd like in rough conditions (big moguls, when not-quite-landing jumps), and I get a little concerned about hand or wrist injuries. I smashed my hand into a rock this season and sometimes think I should be riding with gauntlets.

        Originally posted by ysb33r View Post
        This was a techinique that was rarely mentioned in the context on skiboarding until the Rockered Condor came about. It is the technique of combing a partial carve and slide at the same time. Practically it then comes down to swinging out the tail ends of the boards in the turn.

        Here is a thread that describes it really well: https://www.skiboardsonline.com/foru...ghlight=slarve
        Great description in that thread, thanks for posting it! It makes rockered boards sound more fun than I would have thought.
        Make Skiboarding Sexy Again

        Comment


        • #5
          Its worth remembering how the shorter length of skiboards affects technique compared to skis. On the plus side, skiboards are extremely easy to pivot, especially with a centered stance, and even more especially on the zero cambered boards. This ability to quickly turn our boards gives us a huge advantage in tight trees and bumps. Of course the trade off here is a less fore/aft stability, which translates into "hard work".

          A lot of ski technique is based on a forward leaning stance that pressures the tips of the skis. Whilst you can adopt this style on skiboards, but beware of catching your tips and face planting. Common techniques that work well on both skis and skiboards are "up" moves to unweight for turn initiation, lightening and tipping the inside foot for carved turns (PMTS), and flexing to release in the style of ski racers.

          The twin tip park riders have adopted a laid back, relaxed, two footed, narrow stanced, centered, style of skiing that adopts itself well to skiboards. Not surprising as their equipment and terrain goals most closely matches skiboarders.

          But, maybe the best aspect of skiboarding, is that if you really don't have any classic technique, and have to get by with home made turns, you can still conquer the mountain with little skill and lots of attitude. Like me . Unlike Skribbler, I have seen video of myself skiboarding, and it's truly cringeworthy, but I go places on my skiboards most skiers don't dare to go, and I have a blast doing it.
          Just these, nothing else !

          Comment


          • #6
            I never learned much formal ski technique, and it's been decades since I've been on long planks, so as far as I'm concerned it's all make it up as you go along. That's why it's interesting to hear what everyone else is doing, and maybe glean a few tips.

            However my stance varies, the key seems to be keeping your weight centred and having a good sense of balance. I think my ankles might play a bigger role in how the board is weighted fore/aft than bulk weight shifts, and also adds up to a lot less hard work. Keeping the tips tilting up or down with the ankles is better for the balance and doesn't require as much exertion in holding yourself up.

            I do end up weight-shifting backwards in powder and mixed conditions, but that's also when I end up sketching out my tails and falling on my arse. When I stay centred and work on lifting the tips from my boots instead of leaning back, there's more control and virtually no quad burn.

            So far, the new DLPs are a lot more work than my Spliffs, but mostly because I've been trying to ride them in powder, which does require shifting back, quad-burn and all the rest. I'd set the bindings further back if they were my only set, but that's what the Spliffs are for.
            Make Skiboarding Sexy Again

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            • #7
              One of my joys from riding modern skiboards is that I've been able to experiment a lot with technique. I come from old school straight stick skiing background that I learned before carvers became the norm. I prefer a narrow stance with the boards usually touching each other as evidenced by nicks all along the inside edges and top sheets of all my boards. To me this not only makes the boards more responsive in unison but I find the ride much less tiring because my weight doesn't shift between the two legs as much and as often as if I were to ride with a wider stance. The effect has similarities to riding mono-skis but without their drawbacks. I rarely experience quad burn these days even after multiple days of powder or slush. I do agree skiboards have strong similarities to twin tip park skis. I sold two of my all mountain skis this year after realizing that I'm just not that interested in doing slalom runs anymore. I can go shorter without sacrificing performance at least to the degree that I can push these sticks. One area where my technique has really changed is in using pressure at my ankles and feet. In the past I would use those muscles to turn or twist the boards in the direction I wanted them in and shift my upper body forward or backward to create pressure on the tips or tails. But I now like to use my feet and legs to kick the boards forward and up to create pressure on the tails to add a second degree of motion - like an ollie. This is fun when combined with a slarve to kick and twist the boards to complete the turn on the tails.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Steeps View Post
                I am curious about some of the finer points of everyone's skiboarding techniques.....

                (BTW Wookie... I think I know this, but what's the definition of a "slarve"?).....
                Originally posted by ysb33r View Post
                This was a techinique that was rarely mentioned in the context on skiboarding until the Rockered Condor came about. It is the technique of combing a partial carve and slide at the same time. Practically it then comes down to swinging out the tail ends of the boards in the turn.

                Here is a thread that describes it really well: https://www.skiboardsonline.com/foru...ghlight=slarve
                Nothing to add on the definition of "Slarve" .... I would have said the same and pointed the same thread

                For my technique I differ from some other riders as I was never much of a skier. Long sticks always frustrated me but I was a very good ice skater and skiboards fit my skating style. So I choose skiboarding because it worked for me not because it was something different. As such my riding style started out as very upright while cruising and low & wide when getting aggressive. Over the years I have developed a "skiers technique" that has led to a pair of long twin tips being added to my quiver but I find the ski require me to think while the skiboards work with a more natural "muscle memory" stance.

                My kids note that most of the time my legs are nearly straight, I am centered over the board, and my skiboards are close together -- cruising mode. When my body gets lower and boards get wider apart they know I have switched to -- pursuit mode -- I am usually trying for a speed run or chasing down one of my kids/friends.

                But in general skiboards are much more forgiving on general technique. While the still require more balance than skis the ability to steer, skate, slarve, ... them is what makes them so fun.

                Going back to slarve while this isn't exactly technique or posture I should note that my skating background, particularly as an ice hockey goalie, lets me be more comfortable with sliding or a soft edge. In the East you either need to have great edges to lock into the ice or be comfortable with a drift car style slide (and less control). Outside my posture/technique I am always just drifting across the ice.
                Boards:
                2016 Spruce tuned Head Jr. Caddys - 131cm
                2013 Spruce "CTS" 120s
                2010 Spruce "Yellow/Red" 120s
                2018 Spruce "CTS" Crossbows - 115cm
                2016 RVL8 Spliffs - 109cm
                2008 RVL8 Revolt "City" - 105cm
                2017 RVL8 Sticky Icky Icky - 104cm
                2011 Defiance Blades - 101cm

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Fun Machine View Post
                  But I now like to use my feet and legs to kick the boards forward and up to create pressure on the tails to add a second degree of motion - like an ollie. This is fun when combined with a slarve to kick and twist the boards to complete the turn on the tails.
                  That's one thing I really like about cambered boards... you have a huge degree of control on how much you want to pop over bumps and especially in the whoop-de-doos seen on narrow runouts and traverses. Between tail pops and raising my knees to hover when desired (easy with short and lightweight boards), I can either hold my torso at a near-constant level through a set of whoops or pop and gap smoothly through by taking them two at a time. It adds a vertical dimension to the ride more than big heavy boards could achieve.


                  Originally posted by Wookie View Post
                  Nothing to add on the definition of "Slarve" .... I would have said the same and pointed the same thread.
                  ---
                  Going back to slarve while this isn't exactly technique or posture I should note that my skating background, particularly as an ice hockey goalie, lets me be more comfortable with sliding or a soft edge. In the East you either need to have great edges to lock into the ice or be comfortable with a drift car style slide (and less control). Outside my posture/technique I am always just drifting across the ice.
                  I think I've seen you use it more than most people, hence the specific request...

                  Hmm, I think I've been anti-slarve biased because of starting on skis and having the idea that carving was always the ideal to aim for hammered into my head.

                  But I strongly agree with you on skiboards allowing you to react directly to the hill without having to think about every turn. It's one of the biggest things I comment on when I'm talking to skiers about why I ride what I do... I don't have to think about making turns. Also, without dragging along long tips and tails, you're reacting to what's immediately underfoot, not what's a couple of feet in front or behind you. Pure being, most of the time!
                  Make Skiboarding Sexy Again

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