August 12, 2009: Carvin’

Mt. Hutt, New Zealand – Despite gale force winds, flat light and a very slow moving chairlift, I had an amazing day of training! The top of the mountain was closed so we had to train in the flatter section of the mountain. Which was a perfect confidence builder.

For the runs in gates I really wanted to focus on what I was working on yesterday: clean initiation of the turn without sliding my back foot out. Two things needed to happen: 1) Be patient before starting my turn (i.e. wait until at the panel), and 2) Be forward before starting each turn (i.e. push my front foot against the boot in the direction of the new turn.

And it worked! And felt so good! My first few runs felt clean and I had good speed. I even felt my board generate speed on the toesides. My heelsides weren’t as slidey as normal. Yay! I just focused on either driving forward or being round (couldn’t focus on both at the same time) and it helped considerably. On one of the runs I really loaded up the nose on a toeside and it shot me out into a rough part of the rut and I blew out of the course. But I was really going for it. On the runs I was taking a really round line, sometimes coming no where near the stubbies but Coach Mark said that it was a lot cleaner and it’s easier to bring the line in than out.

So overall it was a great day! I really felt what it’s like to carve turns. Finally! Granted the slope wasn’t steep but at least I can do it. The only difference in steeps is aggression. At the end of the day Coach Mark said that I was carving more than he had ever seen, and another coach Nate said that I had more good turns than not good turns. My time was about 2 seconds off the fastest girl which I can lessen with a tighter line and a better pull-out at the start (we didn’t have a good start gate to burst out of).

So tomorrow I’m just going to keep focusing on the same thing: Patience before starting the turn (when I’m at the panel), and driving the front leg forward before initiating the turn.

I just fnished watching video and had a good talk with Coach Mark. He said I need to focus on driving forward, forward, forward. He said there was some good stuff happening in my riding, but I have a tendency to bottom turn out of my heelside turn (too high of an angle at the bottom of the turn when my board should be going to flat) and the cause is because I’m not setting the top of the turn correctly so I’m having to compensate by turning way at the bottom. Coming out of the heelside I need to drive forward and get over the board. Even if it takes a split second longer on my flat edge so I can get forward, I need to take it. I need to get forward and work on the initial part of the turn and then everything else will fall into place.

We also talked about overall general times and I need to get about 3.5 seconds faster by the end of this camp to get to where I need to go (need to be within 10% of the top male rider here). He’s confident I can get there but I really need to work hard and drive to get there. I need to really power the board and get speed out of it. And I need to be confident.

So more work to do! But I truly am enjoying it.

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