Luckily not in a retrograde manner.
I’ve been to that snow dome thing again, sorry. Maybe there’s some music upcoming in my life, if that kicks off I promise to make some blog noise about that to try and spread the snowboarding rubbish out a little bit.
I’ve been meaning to get round to riding “switch” for some weeks, I’d penciled the task in for Wednesday morning gone. The plan was to get onto a lesson at level 4, but not owning up to the fact that I ride level 6+ normally and do the class entirely backwards.
“switch”, for the uninitiated, is the process of riding a snowboard with the ‘wrong’ foot forwards. It’s entirely symmetrical to riding normally but carries a far higher cognitive load from using a weak limb to be the controlling force.
I was able to do a long session today, booking in from 10-5. I only used 3-3.5 hrs in the end, but rests are a “good thing™”. I set myself the target of learning to ride backwards.
I’ve done it a few times for a couple of turns at a time, and been about half successful, but in order to master it it takes some dedication. It’s certainly coming to me far more slowly than the regular way round. I adopted riding the skilifts wrong footed, I didn’t actually fall off, but wow it was as wobbly as sin. I started riding switch from the top of the slope and got on with crashing. Alot.
I wrote the task off after a few abortive runs and the narrowly averted manslaughter of a skiing toddler, but the desire to “get it” didn’t leave and after a break I gave it a go from about 20m up the slope, I got two turns. After trying that 3 or 4 times, I graduated myself to 40m up the slope, and got three turns. Rinse and repeat that until you reach the top of the slope and I was able to do a few full runs of 160m with my mind on fire, my right knee burning from the newness of the muscle work BUT without falling over!
I think the real key to the process was getting on with riding the lifts the wrong way round. I found that the lifts are WAY hard to ride with the weight in the wrong place on the board, but that you get a nice constant speed ride with a metal pole to hang on to whilst you find the most confident place to put your weight. Once I’d got the lift working right, I knew where to stand on the board, and that got the downhill stuff under way.
Of course, soon after getting it all together, the fatigue got me and I became unable to ride anything in any direction. I’m sure I’ll have to start the whole sorry process again when I next go, but although this is gritted teeth rather than giggling fun, it’s the prelude to posts about 180s with tweaked grabs so it all needs doing.