Getting off 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.

Getting off the lift

Postby nineball81007 » Tue May 31, 2005 10:55 pm

I have been having problems getting off the lift, I turn my body at the top of the lift, put my board on the ground, and place my foot next to my rear binding on the inside, but then when i go down the offramp , my foot slides off the board, seems the board is real slick. Its a new board, a burton canyon 168, has the emblem inbetween the binding, do I have to place something there to avoid my foot from slipping? Any advice would be helpful.
THanks Todd
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Postby John » Wed Jun 01, 2005 1:18 pm

Todd,

Does your board have a stomp pad? If not, having one of those may help out some.

A stomp pad is a rubbery/plasticish piece of material that goes between the bindings. The idea is that it gives you a place to put your free foot, a place that is not quite as slick as the board itself.

(Perhaps this is what you are talking about when you mention that there's an "emblem inbetween the binding.")

I don't know if this will work for you, but I generally don't put my free foot right next to the open binding; I bring it in a little bit closer to my front foot. You'd think that having the free foot all the way back to the binding would promote greater stability since it gives a bigger stance, but it hasn't been true in my case.

Another thing that I have used this last season--and I'm pretty sure this is not necessarily the best form--is that I try to sit on the "opposite" side of the chair. I ride goofy, which means that I try to sit on the left side of the chair. When I dismount, I am more easily able to bring myself to a stop by dragging my free toe over the board. It's not the only way to stop, but knowing that his is possible gives me more confidence in dismounting.
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getting of lift

Postby nineball81007 » Wed Jun 01, 2005 8:12 pm

Well john i dont have a stomp pad, i really dont want to cover up the emblem on the top of the board (the emblem that is painted on the board). I have tryed moving my foot forward, I'll have to try that next time I go. Would love to go soon, but only one ski area left open, Araphoe basin off interstate 70 outta denver, but I dont think I'll make it up there. thanks for the reply.
THanks Todd
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2005 season

Postby nineball81007 » Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:00 pm

I hit loveland ski resort today, what a blast, I had better luck getting off the lift this time, i fell the first time up, then after that I was ok. Had a blast today, thats a nice mountain at loveland ski resort in colorado. have a nice day. Todd :D
THanks Todd
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Postby John » Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:56 am

Todd,

Glad to hear that you had a great day on the slopes! I wish I had such good terrain so close by!

I've been out three times now, and as far as getting off the lift, had some interesting experiences. Down at the base, I was in a clinic and we reviewed the really basic stuff, such as skating. For some reason, I skated across the snow much better than I've ever done before.

Perhaps this new skill carried over, because once I got fully dismounted from the lift, I took the rideout, with only one foot in the binding, quite a ways. It didn't take long until I started placing my free foot all the way back to the binding as I was riding away. From there, I put my free foot against the binding from the get-go, off the chair.

Go figure. Last season I preferred putting the free foot in the middle of the board; now I like to put it further back. But I think it's progress!

As for getting off the lift in general, make sure you're putting enough weight on your front foot. (Then again, don't overdo it, or you'll spin out.)
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chair lift panic

Postby shikshak » Fri Nov 25, 2005 7:28 am

The chair lift caused me a great deal of panic-until a guy from England also learning to snow board told me this piece of advice:
When coming up to the "dismount", get your board lined up, tip pointing up. I also put my foot on the stomp pad then (it's way back by the other binding). As the little hill approaches, I keep my back hand on the seat of the lift (right by my butt), put the board down, make sure my back foot is on the stomp pad, stand up with my hand on the seat. I let go of the seat after I stand up and feel balanced. It happens very quickly, but since then haven't fallen off. And also holler up to the lift operator to "slow down, please!" The operators on the beginners hills are very helpful and patient, especially at Pico. Or Snowshed at Killington, my personal favorite place to go--it's 3/4 of a mile of consistant terrain and slope angle, less time on the chair and more on the snow! And everyone is learning there-no one speeding by like maniacs! It's also an adult learning hill, the kids are somewhere else. Perfect for older people learning to ski or ride.
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Postby tominwi » Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:23 pm

I often latch into my bindings when I ride the chair, as long as I can sit on the right side. My problem is when I visit Granite Peak where they have a six passenger express lift. You often can't control where you will end up on the chair there. What makes it worse is when the chair comes in at the top it is coming in very fast and "launches" you (Poma brand lifts are installed this way).

Any advise for me what to do? John, you have been to Granite Peak...what do you do?
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Postby John » Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:55 pm

Ah, the joys of lifts. Like snowguns, they improve the riding experience by expanding the range of terrain that can be used for riding. And like snowguns, they can cause trouble as well. (Ever ride through a snowgun storm? Talk about "Made-for-TV-arctic special."

Anyway, I wonder why you prefer taking the lift from the right side. For several reasons, I find that the easiest way off a difficult lift is to sit on the left side and drag my back (left) foot over the toe edge while descending the lift. (For people who ride left-foot-forward, I suppose the analog would be to sit on the right side of the lift and drag the right toes over the board.)

Tom, as for Granite Peak, when I went there, I took my skis, not board. But I did take my board to Indianhead (in Michigan), and some of those chair landing areas are uncomfortably steep, at least if I'm not set in both bindings.

What sorts of trouble do you have at Granite? You could put both feet in the bindings while on the chair, to get more control. But you say that you already do that.

What happens if you ride with your back foot out? It might actually be better if you can use your free foot as a brake (stick just a portion of your toes or heel, whichever works best) over the edge and drag it in the snow.

What causes you the most trouble in this situation? Running into people? Keeping your balance? Going in a particular direction?
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Postby tominwi » Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:58 am

The problem I have at Granite Peak is each chair usually has 6 people in it and I often can get one of the sides. You come in very fast and are "launched" out of the chair at a very fast speed. With six people there is no where to drag a foot. To complicate maters you have people turning to the left or right just as you get off.

My problems mainly are lack of control with one foot in and then taking someone else out with me.
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Postby John » Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:30 am

When you descend the lift with one foot in, are you putting your back foot as far back (against the back binding) as you can? I have found that this makes a big difference. I also try to not to steer too much..
Last edited by John on Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby annouk » Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:08 pm

Hi, I'm new to the board, and this is my first post. Today was my first day out on the "tray", and this is my second season. Getting off, and sometimes on, the lift is still a challenge, even if I feel comfortable on blue and even some black runs!
I ride regular. When getting off, I aim the board straight ahead, put my back foot on the stomp pad, steady myself on the chair, and hope for the best. It goes ok if the ramp isn't too steep. If it is, I also slide my left foot forward, so that the toes drag on the snow, and I can usually make a good right hand turn. But, what I can't do is turn to the left, heel-side, without falling on my butt. Any advice?
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Postby John » Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:29 pm

Annouk,

First of all, thanks for putting up your first post. I hope some other folks will chime in with their thoughts, but I wanted to welcome you to the board. Congratulations, by the way, for making it to the second season. Too many people give up after one season.

You said that you slide you might slide your left foot foward and drag your toes on the snow. Good idea, I do that as well. (By the way, if you are riding regular, shouldn't it be your right foot that you drag in the snow? Your left ought to be secure in the binding and not able to move.)

I ride goofy, and my problem is the mirror image of yours--turning heelside, but in this case, to the right. One cop-out is to pick your position on the chair lift strategically, which means (in your case) on the right side of the chair. But when I'm sitting anywhere other than in my preferred spot, I find it useful to try to go straight and not worry about turning. Yes, easier said than done.

Here's my instant theory of why it's easier to use your toes than your heels in this situation: even if one foot is out of the binding, you can easily put some weight on your toeside. The binding isn't really necessary.

But in putting pressure on your heelside, out there on the hill you rely on the bindings to transfer weight to the edge. If you're un-bound, though, you are (by definition) not using the binding to do that--so trying to weight the heelside of the board with your back, FREE foot, is going to be awkward, and something you never do any other time on the board.

Again, in such situations I find it useful to try to not to steer too much.
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Re: Getting off the lift

Postby goofydatarave » Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:51 pm

Something I noticed a while back, especially when trying to make a heel-side turn while getting off the lift, is that my back foot's toes would simply lift off the board. That is the motion that would normally work fine if we were strapped in, but that isn't the case when comming off the lift. I also noticed that the natural thing to be doing while coming down the little hill when dismounting, is to have most of your weight on your back foot, therefore making it the one to initiate the turn. It might seem a little ackward at first, but if you are having trouble, try shifting your weight forward to your front foot, and using it to do the turning when dismounting. Your back foot should just be along for the ride. This may give you the control you are looking for.
A bad day on the board is better than a good day at the office.
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Postby annouk » Tue Dec 13, 2005 8:45 am

Thanks John,

For the nice welcome. Yes, you are right, my unstrapped foot is my right foot, not the the left! Looks like I can't tell my right from my left: that might the source of the problem! Ha ha.

My eldest daughter finds it to turn heelside getting off the lift difficult, as well. Her strategy is to strap in while on the chair before getting off. Sounds like a great idea that would help most people! Unfortunately, I am too short to reach over the chair safety bar to strap in the back foot. Too bad.

I am definitely looking forward to more snowboarding at Christmas. I have been chomping at the bit since the summer. My little escapade yesterday took care of any fears I had of not remembering how to ride!
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Postby Grizzled » Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:35 pm

After reading countless post about dismount problems I've decided to look into this and see if I can help. So here goes.....

Theres 2 issues here; 1 the dismount and 2 the unstrapped riding.

First the dismount. This is easy to explain.
1 Tell other on the chair yer intentions; straight left or right.
2 Keep yer board & body(as much as possible) pointed forward.
3 Place yer hands at yer sides on the edge of the chair.
4 Place yer back foot on the board.
5 Stand up & push off with yer hands at the same time.
6 Glide forward & lean into yer turn.

If you fall get up & out of the way, QUICKLY. And watch yer head for swinging chairs. Keep yer body pointed forward, if yer facing sideways your going to turn one way or the other. If the chair is crowded just go straight & stop.

Second the unstrapped riding.
I could go into great detail and give scientific step by step directions but it wouldn't matter. Everyone is different and has their own preferences. Some ride regular others goofy, some turn heelside easier other toeside. The only real advice to give is PRACTICE. Find a small slope, hill, driveway, bunny hill, etc.... And practice turning & stopping unstrapped.

Personally, I keep my back foot pointed forward up close to the front foot and lean into turns, if yer facing sideways your going to turn one way or the other. Stopping I swing out the rear foot heelside dig the edge in a lil bit then step back.

Recently at Mt. Holly (small Detroit area hill) I got so bored I devoted half the day to riding entirely fakie. Even to the point of unstrapping my front foot & riding the lifts fakie.

I found an outta the slope and practiced stopping until I was comfortable enough to try the lifts. After about 5 times of doing my normal lift routine in reverse I was pretty good at it, only 1 fall. Two hours of this greatly improved my fakie riding. It was amazing how awkward it was to skate and get around fakie, even after two decades of skateboarding & snowboarding.

Anyway practice makes perfect. With time you wont even think about it. And before long with enough practice riding unstrapped you'll be stomping one footed landing off the kickers.
Riding since '87
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