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Riding on the flat--------WTF?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Its pretty rare a cattrack has no off-camber or is billard flat and is straight as a die, so i cant see why you would run a base flat?
The only time I run a base flat is on long flats where the last bit is up hill and I am running out of steam. Running a base flat on a hardpack cattrack, you have ABSOLUTELY no control. (did someone mention tesco trolly?)

I ride on one edge. I can actually turn both ways on my toe edge when rattling down them full tilt as long as the bends are slight by flexing the board. You dont need a super flexi-board for this. It does not slow you down.

The main thing is to keep your shoulders inline with the board and your weight dead center. Squat slightly to give yourself some suspension and pressure the edge just enough to take back control from the contours. If you have to turn on to heel, roll it slowly with the board DEAD straight. Heel edge is hard, especially for long tracks as the muscle you use is smaller. It is best to try and learn to turn the board both ways using just one edge.

Cat tracks used to scare the hell out of me when learning and they still are a bit dodgy when they get really HARD ICED (like after rain). TBH they are best avoided then.

You can also detune the edges about 1 inch from the max width to avoid catching edges. This does however negate any ability to carve on the open piste.

Tux
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
tuxpoo, each to their own, but it is relaxing to leave the board flat (unless a 10 degree camber prevents). One always has control, one just doesn't need to exert it until necessary. Just as when cycling without hands, one may not appear to be in full control, but one can still make many adjustments via leaning (pressure) and grab the bars if necessary (dig in an edge).

I use both a carving board and a powder board, and appreciate that it is inadvisable for a beginner to think a flat board is 'locked in the groove', but riding flat on the flat is something to look forward to doing with confidence rather than trepidation. Some guys even become practised at doing it backwards. You just know instinctively how to react to every bump, dink, ridge, etc. And we all know what smacking the front or back of the head with a paving slab feels like, so your body learns pretty quick. wink
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I remember my first week on a board - cat tracks scared the crêpe out of me. I was happiest on my toe edge, and slammed on the brakes as soon as I got up any speed.
Second week, I started switching edges on them, but was still afraid to pick up any speed as I wasn't confident in my ability to control the speed or stop, and riding on a flat base ended up with the paving slab/head event occurring.
Week three it all suddenly clicked - I discovered I could ride on a flat base and stop pretty quickly. If I see a very long flat (as you get in some places in Austria?) I'll try to crouch down and ride flat, but otherwise I shift from edge to edge.
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This scares many people which mAkes them tense up and stand up, which makes a face plant more inevitable. Relax, get your CoG low and get your weight ahead of centre. This will make the board follow your lead foot and because the back foot is light on the board any edge catch will just twist the board around, rather than lock in and spit you out.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
bar shaker wrote:
Relax, get your CoG low


Bit a contradiction in terms as to get your CoG low that involves squatting/bending the knees which isn't really relaxing.
Stand upright or stand in a low squat position for 3 minutes and tell me which is more relaxing.

I find just standing naturally upright on the board in the most comfortable natural position far better and more relaxing, and therefere more natural for flats, as opposed trying to force down my CoG.

In fact I only find myself lowering my CoG when I really pick up speed on the flat beyond my comfort zone, but then then I find I am actually tensing rather than relaxing and it's not as natural.

You are right though, relaxing is key to doing the flats.
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i'm not sure of the advice on here is correct. Putting the board flat on the snow takes practice and doing it confidently at high speed takes a while to get used to. But riding the board flat on the snow is by far the fastest way of riding your board.

when you put it on an edge your pushing energy out to that edge and dispelling it, riding it flat on a properly prepared waxed base as opposed to a friction generating edge will generate sooooo much more speed.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
cantridepete wrote:
i'm not sure of the advice on here is correct. Putting the board flat on the snow takes practice and doing it confidently at high speed takes a while to get used to. But riding the board flat on the snow is by far the fastest way of riding your board.

when you put it on an edge your pushing energy out to that edge and dispelling it, riding it flat on a properly prepared waxed base as opposed to a friction generating edge will generate sooooo much more speed.


Couldn't agree more mate.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
jeeze! Some basic physics needed here. A waxed base presents far more surface area and hence more friction than an edge. Might wonder how ice skaters go so fast. If you skid on the edge, then yes it will slow you down.

The defacto method for riding long boiler plate cat tracks is to pressure one edge lightly keeping the board in line with the edge.
It may give the appearnce that Im riding flat, but im on one edge.

yux
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
tuxpoo, have you tried snowboarding on an ice rink? Ice skaters use blades for manoeuvrability and control, not to minimise friction.

If on an ice rink you put 100Kg on a pair of ice skates and 100Kg on a waxed snowboard, then you may find that the ice skates slow down sooner whereas the board goes on a tad further.

Friction is also dependent on pressure.

Pressuring an edge can certainly aid control on a cat track, but it doesn't reduce friction.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
The ice skater analogy isn't really relevant as the surface is hard enough to resist deforming under the pressure of his weight. Until you pass this deformation point, small is good.

To put it into perspective though, how fast would our ice skater be on a piste?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I had a mess about at the speed camera "stop zone" above courchevel 1650.

It's a shortish, flatish section of piste, taped off, so there is a run in zone with a speed camera at the end. The idea being you go as quick as you can and have to stop in the "stop zone" (the theory being if you can;t you are riding too fast for your ability/control levels).

Despite being fairly flat you can get 40-50kmh through the speed camera. Anyway I tried several times in different positions, on edge, on flat, squatting low to minimise wind reistance, etc. The quickest I could get was board flat, standing up naturally in as natural and relaxed position as possible. Squatting low I found as I picked up speed I was bit more unstable and changing edge pressure much more, which seemed to slow me down more than the reduced wind resistance gained. I found it slower on edge.

So there you have it. Very scientific.

EDIT: for the avoidance of doubt I was on a snowboard, not ice skates Laughing


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Fri 11-12-09 9:01; edited 1 time in total
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Guys - go get some snow Wink
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
rayscoops wrote:
Guys - go get some snow Wink


Found the vid wink
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
flat is best for practicing butters and 180s Laughing but its taken wayy too long to get to that stage, i used to dread flat sections so much when i was younger, some advice, buy some dakine padded shorts, they saved my back bottom (literally) and were well worth the money!

i ride on my edges on flat ever so slightly and i tend to 'pump' through any dips or bumps to maintain my speed, once you get the hang of it the days of unstrapping and skating are no more, besides i just rob one of my dads ski poles and make do with that haha, has anyone seen that binding plate which you can buy for your front foot which actually allows you to point your front foot straight forward for skating (to avoid the feeling of snapping your ankles) pretty clever!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
One of the best threads i've read . I was on hardpack the other day and it was definately scary after the great conditions preceeding it , applied the theory and experimented a bit , has really helped my riding . Going to detune my edges though as was nearly thrown a couple of times but no problems going straight for a change . Thanks to all posters !!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
dulcamara wrote:
I even got fired into a concrete wall (anyone who knows the ahorn abfahrt in mayrhofen may know the one)


Oh my god I took a huge chunk out of my board and my elbow on exactly the same wall! The camber of the run just sucks you in!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
hit it hard and fast and run your board flat, if you don't have a set that clank when you walk you can ride with a slight edge and change this depending on how long your leg muscles last before they ache

I like running with my flat, its relaxing
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

Some basic physics needed here


Basic physics actually tells you that friction has nothing to do with surface area.

The actual formula for frictional force is Ff = Fn x Cf

Where Ff = Frictional drag force, Fn = Normal contact force (i.e. weight bearing down on a flat surface) and Cf = the coefficient of friction between the two materials involved. As you can see, there's no reference to area in that formula. Counter intuitive, but there you go.

Snow, of course, is complicated because as others have said it deforms and, in some ways, acts more like a liquid than a solid.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
The key to understanding friction with respect to snow and ice is that under pressure and/or friction it melts and thus lubricates (the area/points of contact). It's not like wool carpet and glass. It's wacky! The conditions have to be just right too, i.e. around zero degrees and normal atmospheric pressure.

Last I heard, the lowest friction contact known to man was dry ice on dry ice (CO2), and I guess that's because dry ice sublimates rather than melts (contact lubricated by gas rather than liquid).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Just come back from les arcs and stand by my method completely.

I go much faster with a slight pressure on one edge on cat tracks than flat.
TBH going flat really does kill the speed off in current conditions in les arcs (great snow).

I wonder if those that are going flat really are flat. Several times I looked back at my tracks when tea-traying it down a cat track and can clearly see one edge is still more pressured. I also notice alot more snow kicked up from the back edges of the board when flat.

Tux
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It's weird, I wouldn't consider myself anything above a good intermediate boarder, but even when I used to ski (spit!) I had a knack of being able to glide and that seems to have transferred to snowboarding. I just don't tend to think about flat bits and I cannot ever remember being remotely close to catching an edge or wiping out. I just relax and belt along as fast as I can because I don't want to have to unstrap and push! I occasionally move from edge to edge, but I have consciously used flat board on several occasions with no trouble either. I think it must be in the mind! Learn to let the board run in a straight line end to end and I don't see how you can catch an edge!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
To be honest the only solution is to keep doing it. You can not teach experience. I tremember going back bottom over so many times in the first two weeks I never thoiught I was going to conquer long flats with people zooming in all directions and me with my front leg shaking, my calves or feet screaming as I try to hold the edge with no control of my speed,. If I tried to sloiw down to avoid a collision I would stop and wind up walking. In fact the hardest part of everything wa trying to control my speed, it was easy to cane it down a hill but I would get nevous every twenty yards or so and just stop. So often I would be flying down a dip,I would get nervous and slow down and not quite make it up the other side so would up walking again.

I have not caught an edge for 6-7 years now, i generally wipe out a few times through trying to be clever but i seem to do it all subconciously now. After two weeks I bought my own board and went to the xscape snowzone and did around 10-12 two hours sessions in one year where I just cut turns over and over until I had total control over my speed. On my next trip my mates were stunned at how much I had improved as I was keeping up with them, I was determned to put the hours in and that what it takes at the end of the day.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Had to do a shocker of a T-Bar in St ANton, I cried before getting on so my goggles were a bit foggy too. Would have been fine if Big Steve hadnt fallen off just at the top and left the rest of us on the steepest bit waggling around like muppets. Apparently he was hit in the face my a mountain eagle rolling eyes I suspect many of the men on that Tbar are still locating their balls, the jolt was almighty.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Nadenoodlee, is that the one at the top of the cable car thingy that goes up the Valuga ? A few years ago I went up the cable car and rode down a piste only to be confronted by the option of a cliff or a drag, and having done less cliffs than drags at the time (3 drags, zero cliffs Very Happy ) I had no option but to do the drag, and yes some one fell off and I was left hanging on for my life too Laughing It was not a shocker though Very Happy so maybe a different one .
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