Carving

Problems making turns? Riding switch? Looking to get air for the first time (on purpose)? Ask these and other questions here. If there's a more specific forum, please ask there.

Postby SteveH » Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:51 pm

Definitions are, by definition, arbitrary. Nonetheless, some are more elegant and intuitive than others.

I came to boarding from the skiing world where there are exactly two ways to turn: 1) carving or traveling parallel to the length of the ski; or 2) skidding or moving at some sideways vector to the length of the board. In practical terms, virtually all ski (and snowboard) turns involve some combination of the two elements since a given board can only make an absolutely pure arc of the radius determined by the sidecut. All good ski racers predominantly carve because it is dramatically more efficient, and therefore faster.

In snowboard parlance, carving is apparently defined as "a not-skidding turn at high speed and edge angles." Aside from the inartfulness of defining the superior technique as the negative of the inferior, the snowboard definition confuses the discussion by introducing the extraneous factors of speed and edge angle. Surely the predominant concept that needs to be clearly communicated is the direction of travel of the board across the snow because that is the element that dictates the level of control and allows the least effort to produce the desired result. Speed and edge angle are mere refinements of the core concept.

So, for the snowboard purists, I really don't try to carve all of my turns. I simply do my best to create not-skidded turns at all speeds and edge angles. :wink:
SteveH
 
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Postby John » Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:47 pm

SteveH wrote:Definitions are, by definition, arbitrary. Nonetheless, some are more elegant and intuitive than others.

Yes but they can also be aids to communication .... And sometimes hindrances!
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Postby Snowride » Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:16 pm

This is all very well said. I am not a skier, but I wouldn't consider myself a snowboard "purist" unless not skiing qualifies me for that title. What I have encountered is the fact that many people use the term "carving" when they are making any sort of dynamic turns. Perhaps they are carving part of the time and "skidding out" at the finish phase of the turn. You can see the thin line turn into a fat line at the transition from toe to heel (& heel to toe) if you look at their tracks. In theory, that person is not "carving" his/her turns. I think the last few entries here served to clarify and define what true carving is on a board. I am glad the forum is here for us to voice our conceptions, perceptions, discussions.
I'm a snowboarding grandma approaching 60. Got a place at Bear Valley California and would love to hang with others like me.
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Postby SteveH » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:56 pm

I'll probably regret asking, but what is a "dynamic" turn?
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reply to Steve

Postby Snowride » Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:31 am

Hi Steve
"Dynamic" is after you've mastered "basic". It builds upon and refines the movements of the basic turn. There are probably more active movements of flexion/extension and rotation of the body. There is an increase in activity. The path of the body would not follow the path of the board (It is often offset from the board.) We have Basic Skidded Turns, Dynamic Skidded Turns, Basic Carve, Dynamic Carve, Basic Switch, Dynamic Switch.
Why would you be sorry to ask? Just information I'm glad to share.
I'm a snowboarding grandma approaching 60. Got a place at Bear Valley California and would love to hang with others like me.
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Postby SteveH » Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:41 pm

Hi Snowride,

Thanks for the clarification. My tongue-in-cheek "regret" remark referenced the fact that I sometimes find snowboard instruction jargon counterintuitive. But that is probably due mostly to the fact that I make my living attempting to write unabiguous documents and attempting to interpret the writing of others that leaves much to the imagination.

Of course it is also much more difficult to convey movement concepts in written form than to simply demonstrate them on the mountain.

I do agree with you that this forum is an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas on what actually works best on the snow. Thinking about how to describe a particular action often leaves me with a better understanding of how it actually works.

Steve
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back to Steve

Postby Snowride » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:12 pm

Hi Steve
I actually love to analyse to death what I do in action (i.e. too heady). But the training I got from PSIA/AASI is very specific, no ambiguity, really, in what they expect in demonstration as well as in writing.
I'm a snowboarding grandma approaching 60. Got a place at Bear Valley California and would love to hang with others like me.
Snowride
 
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