Day 61 – Riding GNU Board with Magnum Traction and Reverse Camber (Feb 21, 2009)

Morning Lesson

It’s a beautiful sunny day at Grouse Mountain today.  I taught a drop in lesson this morning for level 4’s.  The 3 kids told me that they are comfortable turning on blues and blacks so we decided to head over to Centennial on our first run.  Turned out they were having trouble side slipping down an easy blue run.  The snow was still a bit hard-packed from last night (it usually soften up by noon).  Since the students were having so much trouble side slipping, I decided to work on their balance first.  We started with a few exercises of keeping their weight centered then moved on to turning on mellow terrain at the mid way point of Centennial.  My snowboard is set at 21 & 9 degrees Goofy stance for aggressive carving.  I demonstrated how to turn switch since all my students are regular stance.  after a few turns I hit an icy patch and I fell and tumbled quite a few times down the hill.  Both my helmet and goggles fell out like you see on bails in snowboard videos.  I looked up at the kids and they all looked really frightened.  If an instructor with 10 years experience is falling down on a mellow blue run, what is going to happen to snowboarders that have only snowboarded for 10 days?  I then had to tell them to slide towards me and we’ll try it again.  This time is was a genuine fall, not the intentional bail that I talked about a few months ago.  After finding out their ability are not quite up to par yet for the blue run, we went over to paper trail to practice some turns, and this time, I made sure I was riding goofy again.

Riding GNU’s Altered Genetics

GNU Altered Genetics

In the afternoon, there were no lessons scheduled so most of the instructors just chilled at the hut, chatting and trying to get a goggle tan.  After finding out I could go home from my supervisor, my friend Eric lend me his GNU Altered Genetics board with Reverse Camber and Magne-Traction to try out.  The minute I put it on, it felt really wobbly.  My freeride board is so stiff and heavy, this board is the complete opposite.  I could actually feel the bumps on the snow underneath the snowboard, I felt like if I twist hard enough, the board could actually snap in half.  At first it was really hard to turn because the reverse camber felt so weird.  I then tried doing butter: I was able to lift the board up so much higher than my own board and spin with more control.  I then tried an Ollie and it didn’t take too much effort to get lots of air.  Eric then told me to try carving.  The snow was quite soft and slushy by this time so I figure I’ll try it.  After my first carving turn I looked back at my track and was amazed by the deep trenches the Magne-traction made.  For the second and third turn, I went really fast and carve up hills making 3/4 of a circle on snow.  I was able to grip on the snow even when the snowboard was carving up hills.  For going fast, however, I find the board a bit too wobbly, it chatters quite a lot because the board is quite soft.  The tech guy at Boardroom said that getting a magne-traction board with camber will be better for going fast and through steep icy conditions.

I have not taken the board into the park because it’s my friend’s board and I dont’ want to wreck it so I cannot tell you how it is on rails or jumps.  Another friend Snap his Skate-Banana in half going off a 40 foot jump and landing on the tail of his board.  For boardercross or racing, I would still get a stiff carving board with hard boots because you would be able to make sure the edges are sharp enough to grip on the ice and to go fast.


Iocn from sent me this link on the discussion of Reverse Camber :

Day 19 – Carving Turns

This morning we got 11 cm of new snow and was -3 Celsius, which is quite warm considering how cold it was a week ago.  We got to the top and found out that there were so much fresh stuff to ride on.  I got my first level 4 lesson today for this season.  I was excited at first because level 4 means blue runs and powder!! but it turned out my student wanted to learn how to carve.  I was the only CASI 2 instructor there so I had to take the lesson and skip the powder.  My student was an experienced skier from Philadelphia.  He said that the mountain he skis on during the winter are all man-made snow at about 5 degrees Celsius.  The man-made snow he skis on are usually pretty icy so he got really good at carving on skis, and today he wanted to learn how to carve with his snowboard.  Since I had my bindings set to the back to ride the amazing powder condition, I had to spend a few minutes readjusting my bindings back to equal distance from the center so I can show a proper carving technique.  Man, is it tough to adjust bindings when I couldn’t even feel my fingers, let alone trying to fit the screws into the holes on my board.

We started the day off with “pee” and “poo”, an exercise to keep the back vertical while getting on edge with the board.  That reminded me of what was taught in my evaluator’s precourse last year about different terms to use for different students.  I would definitely phrase the exercise differently if I was teaching kids, and in another way if I was teaching teenagers.   The fog became really dense half way through so it was hard for me to demonstrate so I had him followed behind me while giving him tips after every few turns.

My second lesson was with a student from Switzerland who speaks Italian.  It was interesting because a few days ago I just hung out with 2 girls from Switzerland that spoke only Swiss German.  My student tried snowboarding once 10 years ago and has been skiing ever since.  On her first run down the hill on a snowboard in 10 years she was already turning both on her heelside and toeside without falling down.  We only had to work on a few minor issues with her posture before she was riding with confidence again.  There was a city-wide power outage so we had to end our lesson early.

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