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
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 locnguyen.com sent me this link on the discussion of Reverse Camber : http://www.bomberonline.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=24000
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