Let’s look at what happens after you assume a correct position during your toe-side turn. Les’s continue what we started in Anatomy of Snowboard Carving Turn 1.
The rider is quite happy carving around. He can remain in this position indefinitely… well, until he runs out of speed. But what if he’d like to change the edge and carve the other way. Let’s have a look:
The inside arm (left) that was driving the rotation and helped to assume the position is beginning to retract. You can see the elbow starting to bend.
The whole arm is moving up and this causes the shoulders and the whole upper body to level and ‘move away‘ from the snow.
The inside arm continues to go up. The upper body is also beginning to straighten. It’s worth to note, that the knees remain flexed and the board angle is the same all the time.
The rider is in an obviously unbalanced position. The board is inclined all the time at roughly the same angle, but the rider is not there to balance out all the forces in the turn. This causes the upper body of the rider to be thrown out of the turn by so-called centrifugal force ( more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centrifugal_force). Just like someone standing outside the turn (to the right) was pulling him by the jacket. The idea is to keep calm and let all unbalanced the forces do the work.
The things start to happen quite quickly now. The whole body is basically being thrown over the board to the other side.
The rider is still unbalanced. The snowboarder is like a giant pendulum pivoted where the snowboard meets the snow. Once the pendulum is in motion it cannot be stopped until it gets to the other side – the next turn.
Note that the rider’s head is already looking towards the next turn.
Almost there. Keeping the knees flexed at this time helps to absorb the energy from the snowboard. During the carve the snowboard was flexed and now, as you can see on the picture, the board is almost flat. There is some amount of energy released when a snowboard comes back to it’s normal shape – just like when you release a stretched rubber band. Depending on the board design parameter – pop, some boards will deliver a lot of energy (a lot of pop, lively, springy boards) others will release the energy gently (small pop, damp boards).
And the edge change takes place. Now it looks pretty well balanced.
Quite often this way of riding is referred to as cross-over. It is called cross-over, because the body of the rider crosses over the snowboard, or as we saw above, the body is pulled over and above the snowboard into the next turn by unbalanced forces in the turn. Just like a giant pendulum.
Part 3 is here: Anatomy of Snowboard Carving Turn 3