Lifts: How to balance the board while on the lift?

While lifts simplify our snowboarding lives by taking us up the mountain, using them can be a challenge. Talk about chair lifts, t-bars, and other lifts in this forum.

Lifts: How to balance the board while on the lift?

Postby PamelaDare » Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:57 pm

With all of the knee troubles (see MCL post) and long standing ankle weakness (managing by tightening the boot as much as I can), I realized one of my other great troubles once on the lift is keeping the board from pulling my my knee while it ascends. So far, not all of the hills I have visited have a bar that is suitable to riders transporting boards; it is still a 'skiers paradise' or so it seems.

I ride right foot forward and unfortunately all of my problems are on the right side. (This is one of the reasons for my previous posting in changing ones stance).

It is this HANGING/DANGLING/PULLING feeling from the board as I ride that adds fatique and probably contributes to my unsteadiness/unbalanced posture everytime as I prepare to disembark.

I can't stand the T'bar but so far that's all I've been able to safely manage on my own....

Any comments on how to alleviate this problem?
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Postby John » Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:19 am

The best thing I can think of is to place your board on top of your free foot. That way you distribute the weight of the board across both feet.
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Postby Guest » Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:52 pm

This is what I have been doing, for the most part. Still, I find it quite a bit tiring.

At times, I do envy the skiers. :wink:
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LIft riding -goofy foot (RIGHT FT FORWARD)

Postby Pat at Mammoth » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:26 am

I always try to get on the LEFT side if the chair, and then hook my left toe under the board to support all or most of the weight of the board. By sitting on the far left, the board can go sideways to the chair and stick out to the left and not crowd the others on the lift. This allows your knees to stay straight, and not twist. This also makes it easier to exit the lift, as no one is on your left side and you can curve gently to the left on your toe edge.

Regular riders would do the reverse.

I never let the weight dangle from one foot.
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Postby John » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:29 am

That's pretty much what I try to do, too. (I'm also a goofy rider.) When I ride locally, though, the kids (who make up most of the clientele) don't believe in riding with an old man, so I end up sitting wherever I want.
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Postby bernwern » Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:56 am

OK, here is some great advice, if I do say so myself. Another one of the small tricks you learn when you have been riding for a long time....

Most everyone has this weight balancing issue when riding the lift. The majority naturally like to spread the weight out by resting the board on their free foot, but that is wrong. 1) doing this subjects your boot to the metal edge, slowly beating it to a pulp and rendering them useless prematurely. 2) your free foot is below your strapped foot, incorrectly distributing the weight.

The solution: Place your free foot's toe under the heel-cup of the free binding. This spreads the weight more equally, plus it saves your boot some wear and tear.

This is not the only solution. Depending on who you ride with (skier, goofy or regular boarder) you could end up with some discomfort. I like to simply wrap my free foot behind my other leg with my toe coming around the bottom of my calf. This spreads the weight a little bit, but is not perfect.

Some people swear by sitting on one side over another on the chair lift, but I disagree. It shouldn't matter except for when you ride with somebody set up opposite of you (goofy vs. regular). I like riding with goofy footers, because if I take the right side and they take the left, the noses of the boards come together, and this allows for much easier balancing during the chair ride. It also depends how long your legs are compared to your chair partner; being 6'2" with long legs makes it easy for me to balance mine several different ways underneath my chair partner's board.

Lastly, complications can result from your stance, or your board. Try being me with a 200cm board strapped to your foot....no matter what you do, you have issues riding a chair with anyone. If your angles are extreme, or your riding partner's are, this can also cause issues. Use my ideas above and figure what works for the situation.

Hope this helps!

-B
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Postby Bwhip » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:32 pm

I drop the highback on my Flows and stuff my foot under the power strap. I suppose you can re-connect the toe strap on a regular binding, forming a loop, and hook your toe under it.
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Postby John » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:02 pm

Ya know what's weird? I use Flow bindings. I know I can do what you describe with the power strap. But usually I don't. I've gotten used to setting my board on my free foot. Maybe that's because it sometimes feels, when I do put my foot in the powerstrap with the highback released, that the board is going to slip away from me. It doesn't, but it feels like it could.
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Postby Bwhip » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:55 am

My son snaps his highback up while he's on the lift, so he can take off as soon as he dismounts the chair. He suggested I try it. So there I was, up in the air scrabbling for my highback latch, doubled up over the side of the chair, when I got a cramp in my hamstring. I guess falling from the lift wouldn't be as embarassing as hanging upside down and naked from it, like that skier guy did at Vail this year.
Needless to say, I only tried that once.
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Postby John » Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:49 pm

I've done that before, but only once or twice. I think I don't do it more because it gives me an awkward feel when I'm on the chair once I've got it done. Probably habit more than anything else.
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Postby bernwern » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:05 pm

I've never tried strapping in on the lift. Partially since I use traditional bindings, so it might be a bit hard...mostly because I would lose my comfort zone. There are usually too many asstards hanging out at the top of the lifts, plus they are flat which makes it easy to lose speed and have to shuffle or unstrap. Also, anyone ever get a board caught under another board or skiis when dismounting? I have, and without a free foot, things would really suck....and they would likely have to stop the lift when you can't scramble away quick enough. It's just not worth the risk to be "that guy" and make a lift stop for everyone else on it. If you can do it and not have issues, more power to you....but it's not for me.

-B
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Re: Lifts: How to balance the board while on the lift?

Postby PamelaDare » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:57 pm

'That guy"?

I was 'that girl' at Whistler awhile back....what a mess. :oops: At least people weren't too vocal about having the lift stop while I tried to free myself and scoot away.

The speed (of the lifts) and volume (of snowrevellers) do intimidate sometimes; I suspect this is one of the reasons some of us are rather anxious when getting on and off of the thing.

I just hope I can become one of those 'cool, graceful' people who exits the lift without even stopping (unless it is required).

:)
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Re: Lifts: How to balance the board while on the lift?

Postby heelturn » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:49 pm

Us patent 6457746
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Re: Lifts: How to balance the board while on the lift?

Postby heelturn » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:50 pm

The above patent shows away to strap on while in a chair.
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