October 26, 2009: Back to the Basics

Arapahoe Basin, Colorado – Well I think I jinxed myself with raving about my new liners because today they felt off. Or rather I felt off and I’m blaming it on the liners.

It was a really cold day; someone said it was 8 degrees when they were driving up to the mountain. With the resort being so high in elevation, I’m sure it was colder than that. The saving grace was there was no wind and as soon as the sun came out (after about a half hour of riding), it instantly warmed up about 10 degrees. But it was a picture perfect blue sky day and you can’t beat that. Makes the cold temps worth it. Plus a second run was open which helped dissipate the large crowd that formed almost immediately.

My first few runs felt weird. Even though it’s the coldest it’s been since I’ve been riding, the boots almost felt like they were softer. I had the buckles cranked down like I had previously but my heel still seemed to lift up a bit making for weird transitions. It didn’t make sense because it was a lot colder so the boots and liners should stiffen up a bit more and hug my feet more solidly. I tried to just go with it but had a few near edge-catching crashes so I tightened them up to the point where I could barely click down the buckles.

I’m sure it also had to do with the snow. It was firm and fast, very different from the previous days, and I was flying slightly out of control. It felt like the snow was too firm to get my edge in so I was sliding into the top of the turn, but sliding pretty fast. At first I was trying to focus on bending the nose of the board since that seemed to work well last time, but since there wasn’t any soft snow to dig into my board would slide so fast that it was throwing me in the backseat. Hence the lack of control. So then I just focused on getting forward and that helped a lot. I was able to get a better turn shape and control the speed a bit. At the end of the morning my runs had gotten a little bit better but I still couldn’t figure out what was going on with my boots.

So today’s lesson was back to the basics: stay forward, stay forward, stay forward.

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