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Switch riding

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all, hope everyone is good and looking forward to the new season. I am just starting out on the new journey of switch riding and would appreciate any tips, advice, and drills etc. Also as a regular rider I usually get my hire board set as rear leg straight and my front leg offset, would it be better to get it set up "duck" and would that help? Thanks in advance
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Practice. Try to implement all the little things that help your regular riding. Duck stance also helps.
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Thanks Snow Hound. Guess it's always that way practice practice practice!!
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@kabby, Duck does help, but don't make the angles too wide, you can also place your bindings in a more central or neutral position on the board. Don't concentrate solely on riding switch, just chop and change as many times as feels comfortable and avoid getting fatigued, it will take time for both your physique and your mind to get settled with the changed input and effort.
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This is my big mission this winter as well. I've been trying to visualise riding switch along footpaths whilst walking the dog. I think it must be working as I sometimes, momentarily, can't think which way is regular!

I also have a new symmetric board that I've set up +15 -15, I'll be trying to use this one switch all the time but I'm not sure about the lifts! I have 2 months in one hit so hope to get quite proficient before moving on to the next skills.
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I say the opposite to @Masque...
Spend your time as if you have never snowboarded before.
Set up your board in duck.
Now learn to snowboard completely in switch. Everything... from getting up to going on lifts. (Maybe not drags though!!.... but gondolas are a real cinch wink )
After one and a half days you will be pretty much sorted.
Of course you can switch about from one to the other (see what I did there) but you will find yourself being very picky about when you ride switch... conditions, width, how busy things are etc..etc... which then means you wll bottle out of it more than committing to it.
Anyhoo... that's what I did and have recommended to many others which worked out well too!
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A centred, duck stance will definitely help a lot. I ride centred, 15 / -15 on my all-rounder / resort / park boards (15 / -15 with a set-back on my freeride boards).

Few people these days would recommend a 21 / 0 type stance (as you describe) for general riding anyway.

The best way to learn to ride switch is to really understand how you actually ride normally. If you "just do it" without much understanding of how, then you'll struggle to translate that to switch as you'll have to feel out all the movements all over again. If you understand the mechanics of making a board turn, you'll get there a lot quicker. Take a lesson or two if need be!

Common mistakes (from personal experience...) are riding with your legs much straighter and favouring one foot when riding switch. Focus on riding in a low, centred stance and go from there.

And commit to riding FULL runs switch. Don't pop it back to your usual stance for the tricky bits or the flat bits!
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Thank you. Both for your replies and advice, really appreciate it.
Masque thanks for the advice. I guess in the rental shop I can ask for the widths not to be set too much. However, it seems on rental boards, the bindings are where they are!! Lol
Last year I was riding switch on easy terrain in straight runs, then turning heel side back to regular in a kind of falling leaf shape. However toeside in switch was so odd weird lol
Il keep at it though
Starting next week in Kaprun

Boardiek
I'm sure with 2 months on the slopes your get the much more Quicker than me!!
Have a great winter both of you
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@stevomcd, thanks for the advice, been looking on YouTube. And getting all tips I can from there. Trying to really understand the mechanics of the whole thing, I think it would really improve my riding. Because I have only ridden regular from the beginning, I seem to have built up enough stamina to ride most of the Mountain all day without getting fatigued. However I feel I would I'm prove more by pushing my switch riding
Thanks for all the advice/info
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@flangesax, just saw and read your post with great interest thanks. General advice seems to be get out there and commit to riding switch as much as possible until it's second nature!!!
Lifts, steeps, moguls, etc

Gonna be hard but I'm gonna give it a damn good go!!!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Thanks also guys.
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I try to ride at least 1 morning in 5 completely in switch. The first one is hard, but setting your bindings to 15/15 will definitely help. Start on an easy blue or green for the first 30 minutes and then progress to harder pistes, then off piste or the park, if you do that.

Once you have done your morning, you will be in and out of switch for the rest of your time and you can quickly be almost as good in switch as you can in regular. I can be as good on piste, but landing jumps or very fast runs are when it goes wrong for me... so I just ollie back into regular.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
18/-18 and wide enough that it looks like I'm straddling a horse Smile

Also try to remember (under standard piste conditions) to lead with the upper body into the turns, don't lead with the board and follow with the upper body. I find bad habits are exaggerated in switch so its a great opportunity to nail them.
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I'm a goofy rider and, a few years ago, went on a trip where a beginner was with us, although she rode with a regular stance. After her lessons in the morning, I spent a bit of time riding with her, so that she could follow me, but in order to do that, I had to ride switch (for her to fully see what I was doing). This meant that I was doing everything in switch, as @flangesax, suggests. I was ok with switch before that, but ironically boarding with a beginner made me a better switch rider than riding with my mates, as I was doing it full time, rather than just in small patches.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I found it reasonably natural to ride switch from the start and have always tried to make myself able to do either. As I've progressed, ertainly when I'm finding it more difficult, I'm finding switch harder (or my normal side has got easier) but I'm determined this next holiday to bring my switch back up to par - preferably just by alternating long sections of a run rather than specifically spending the whole run or day riding only one way.
On drag lifts I have to be able to do them either way, else my legs tear off (riding about +/- 6 in stiff Flows doesn't seem to help).
Switch does definitely show up your faults - but then again you rarely ride the same each side (everybody has stiffer and looser sides, joints etc - just as in 2 planking) so sometimes you actually do have to think or ride a bit differently (well, I do).

To the OP - just do it and practice (in an equal stance on a true twin preferably).
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What are the advantages of riding switch (apart from freestyle) as opposed to concentrating on becoming better riding natural? Surfers don't bother and in MTBing, having a preferred leading foot is accepted as the norm and no one worries.

I'm rubbish switch but the only time I have thought it would be a benefit for me is on long backside traverses.
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leggyblonde wrote:
What are the advantages of riding switch (apart from freestyle) as opposed to concentrating on becoming better riding natural?


I find myself exaggerating in switch what I do without thinking when riding regular. This makes me think about it all more and makes me spot my bad habits in regular more easily. My regular riding is definitely at it's best, when my switch riding is also good. You need your technique to be nailed, to ride smoothly in switch.
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@leggyblonde, I surf a fair bit (six times in the last 4 days) and have a mate who works the charter boat trips around the mentawai islands. His trick is to take off into a barrel riding regular and reappear riding goofy. I've tried surfing switch and it's harder than you think.

On my last trip when conditions weren't epic I tried to learn to ride switch, just about cracking it on reds and blues. I found it really hard, so next trip i'll devote a day or two to it.
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Quote:

I've tried surfing switch and it's harder than you think.

Me too! Failed spectacularly each time. Perhaps working a bit more on switch snowboarding will help that too...

My plan is to also try and ride switch when the conditions aren't great and/or when riding with less experienced people this winter. If it will help overall I'll try and be a bit more dedicated!
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@leggyblonde, being able to switch your lead foot in mountain biking is actually a very useful skill. Really helps with cornering.
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Thank you all so much for taking the time to post advice,really appreciate it.read all the posts and have taken on board all the advice. Dunno why I have a zig in my head about it..... Been riding in a regular stance from the beginning,indeed was taught that way from the get go!! And as a result rarely get tired or fatigued, and can get around all of the mountain. Last trip started to do little bits in switch and was enjoying it,and also noticed a lot of people riding in the duck stance,and bussed it would make it a bit easier.anyhoo I'll find out in zell/Kaprun this weekend!!!!!
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Bussed?? Guessed lol
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Practice practice practice, my switch improved the more I wakeboarded as I found it easier to ride switch etc as been pulled along by a cable at a constant speed
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Try watching this guys channel her has loads of videos about basic riding so apply those to your switch, also has this video of switch riding


http://youtube.com/v/jPQ46n3rTLA
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Quote:

My plan is to also try and ride switch when the conditions aren't great and/or when riding with less experienced people this winter. If it will help overall I'll try and be a bit more dedicated!


This is how I built my switch riding. On a week long holiday with the mrs who was riding somewhat slower than me. My riding switch we levelled things. So much fun when you're learning new things again and taking the time to perfect technique. After a few days you'll have it nailed.

The real benefit I find is that you stop being conscious of a preferred direction. In any difficult situation you have more options. The only thing I still find too unnatural is chair lifts with the other foot in. Not worth it.
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Adam123 wrote:
... The real benefit I find is that you stop being conscious of a preferred direction. In any difficult situation you have more options. ...

I think that's because some people have a weak side. Just fix that and it's not an issue. You very rarely see people ride switch in powder. Traverses: either side is easy with enough practice.
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Adam123 wrote:
The only thing I still find too unnatural is chair lifts with the other foot in. Not worth it.


Totally agree, a recipe for disaster for me.

I managed an afternoon last week, riding switch, whilst my missus had a ski lesson. A couple of minor stacks, but all good fun.
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You know it makes sense.
Quote:

You very rarely see people ride switch in powder.


Been made to do that a few times as an exercise. My opinion:

1. It's hard.
2. It feels minging.
3. What a (Oh dear, I'm rather losing my cool - I think I might have wee-weed myself a little bit :oops:) waste of powder! Sad

Good drill though I guess, soon has you sorting out your weight distribution.
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Having the skill to do it can be the difference between sink and swim Very Happy especially if you're of a mind to mix things up with a rotation here or there
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Powder is for enjoying to the max. Riding it in switch is sacrilege.

I cannot think of any reason why you would do that. Shocked
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Hi All,

I started boarding 7-8 years ago but my actual hours of real boarding can virtually be counted with my 2 hands Crying or Very sad I managed half a day in Austria a few weeks ago and will be going to France hopefully in 2 weeks and should get complete slope time for 6 days and I want to see if I can ride switch too but I have an issue which I only figured out while teaching my son to board, I ride goofy but I am right handed which dawned on me was the reason I was always trying to go wrong lead leg down a slope.

Now I have had this realization will it be easier or harder to ride switch? Or am I just kak handed weirdo Laughing I also figured out where my body and feet should be and my normal riding will have a vast improvement on my next trip so hopefully it will help
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Quote:


Hi All,

I started boarding 7-8 years ago but my actual hours of real boarding can virtually be counted with my 2 hands I managed half a day in Austria a few weeks ago and will be going to France hopefully in 2 weeks and should get complete slope time for 6 days and I want to see if I can ride switch too but I have an issue which I only figured out while teaching my son to board, I ride goofy but I am right handed which dawned on me was the reason I was always trying to go wrong lead leg down a slope.

Now I have had this realization will it be easier or harder to ride switch? Or am I just kak handed weirdo I also figured out where my body and feet should be and my normal riding will have a vast improvement on my next trip so hopefully it will help

_________________



I'm right handed and also ride goofy, its interesting you mention that you try to lead with your wrong leg as (on another thread) I mentioned a similar thing that occurred to me 2 weeks ago, I was trying to steer with my back foot (riding goofy, so left leg in this case).

I've had a few pointers on the other thread, so will see how they work out later this month, but perhaps a dumb question...but why do you think riding goofy and being right handed cause that to happen?
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I think because my right hand naturally wants to lead with the rhs of my body but then I am wrong footed as such if that makes sense. I alway step with my left foot and was taught to use that on my board.
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But if your right hand is leading is that not normal for riding goofy (maybe I'm misunderstanding here)?
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OK maybe me too as I always thought left foot forward is goofy right foot forward is normal.
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Ah, thats the confusion Happy

Right foot forward is goofy, left foot forward is 'normal' or regular.
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OK even a guy in a rental shop said left forward is goofy Puzzled and I think even my instructor in mk snow dome
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With all due respect I think you must have misheard, no instructor should ever have said that and I'd be very surprised if a rental shop guy didn't know correct terms.

https://onboardmag.com/features/infographic-goofy-vs-regular.html#XYktrTmMvd4XHVTQ.97
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I have been trying to picture how I ride and this is the issue in my mind I should be left foot forward but after thinking how I was riding in Austria I was right foot forward "goofy" then but every part of me wants it to be opposite so I really need to learn switch because if I do get it it will be natural both ways for me (wishful thinking)
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