Ec Push-pull On A Skwal

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Postby Sam » 30 Sep 2003 10:14

Hi skwalling people,

Last winter I discovered the amazing movies and pictures on the <a href='' target='_blank'> website</a>. The EC team promotes a technic, they call push-pull. For explanation please look at this site and forum.
Last April I had the privilege to skwal in the carving paradise of the Tuxergletscher in Austria. Beautiful weather and good snow conditions. The slopes were changing from rockhard ice, to perfect, to water skiing. Everything from thrilling virgin slopes in the early morning to bumpy graveyards, when everybody was searching for his way to the apres ski.

Anyway, I tried to perform and practice this push pull technic with my Lacroix sk200. After a couple of runs, the feeling became familiar and the speed higher, the body lower and lower. My experiences with this technic:

1. On steep slopes I had much better control over my speed.
2. Despite the large radius of the SK200 (about 15m), my turns became smaller (I didn't have to use the complete slope to perform my turns)
3. Even in bumpy 'Puckelpiste' I could carve my way down(!), something I've never experienced before.
4. On icy slopes I hardly slipped away (mostly because of the more constant edge pressure)

- My legs burned like hell after each day!! It's not a chill-out-tourist-technik!

After my positive experiences I thought it might be interesting for this site and anybody who's interesting in skwalling.

Please reply if you have anything to add or a comment on this technic, or technic in general. There is never enough discussion about skwaltechnic...

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Postby pete » 30 Sep 2003 12:08

Hi sam...

First of all, you're right, there's never enough discussion about skwal. Unfortunately the english forum isnt as "populated" as the french one.

As for my self, i cant really talk about technique... i'm far from being an experienced skwaller. Less than a season riding a skwal;). But anyways, i also think that the push-pull technique is something we should experience on a skwal. IMO, it might be more instinctive than on a snowboard, simply because skwal isnt far from ski where the "push-pull" or some kinda technique close to it is used.

So all i can say, is i'll be able to tell you more during the season ;).
Also, Nils and I will try to meet sometime to exchange boards :) for a day. He wants to try skwal again and i'd love to ride the swoard at least once... It's likely i'll learn from him and mmaybe he'll learn from skwal (not from me ;))

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Postby Sam » 02 Oct 2003 13:39

HI everybody,

I've found this on the Bomberonline website:
<a href='' target='_blank'></a>

It descripes pretty much the push-pull technique (they call it cross-through). The same advantages he's writing, are what I feld with my skwal, practising the Push-Pull technique. :)

Jack Michauds article:

Cross-under is the technique of quickly sucking the knees up towards the body to relieve pressure from the carving edge. Strictly speaking, cross-under is the practice of letting the board move back and forth underneath you. For example, when you are making quick fall-line slalom type carves, your upper body stays mostly facing downhill, while your lower body swings back and forth from side to side. Your center of gravity doesn't move much in either the up and down or side to side directions. You are extended at the apex of each carve and compressed in the transitions.

You can practice this method on an easy slope by imagining that your head is traveling down the hill inside of a pipe, or that you are balancing a loaded lunch tray on your head and you make the carves happen as smoothly as possible from the waist down. Be careful not to allow your arms to swing from side to side across the board, and not to swivel excessively at the waist. This is wasted motion that compromises your balance. A quiet forward facing upper body is key. Cross-under is also important when attacking the moguls, where you want to keep your center of gravity steady and balanced, while your legs and knees do all the work.

Cross-through is important to consider, because it is real, useful, and different from the other two. Cross-through is a blend of cross-over and cross-under. The more cross-under you blend in, the faster the transition can happen. Part of the difference between cross-under and cross-through, is that cross-through is usually used in GS style carves, where the upper body stays aligned with the board, not the fall-line, and where our body travels in a rounder path, rather than straight down the hill.

In these high speed and/or high-g carves, we are usually compressed and low for maximum balance in the middle of each carve. Or if snow conditions permit, we may be fully laid out in a big eurocarve. At the transition, we have nowhere to go but up. But rather than standing all the way up, we want to only rise just enough to allow us to complete the rest of the transition by pulling the knees upward. Hence the blend of over and under. We then simply and quickly roll the knees over the board, rather than lugging our entire body across the board. Our eyes lead into the next turn, and our upper body faces the direction of travel. Very little swiveling occurs at the waist.

This allows us to execute the transition in a minimum amount of time and space. The unique thing about the carve transition is that we have practically no control over the snowboard at that point because neither edge is fully weighted, and we are simply careening along in the direction of the end of our last carve. By minimizing this time and distance, we maximize control. Carving round turns controls speed, gliding between carves does not. Using cross-through allows us to start the next carve as soon as possible, regaining control over both our direction and speed.

Cross-through keeps our center of gravity as quiet and level as possible, which maximizes balance. You can think of your center of gravity also as your center of balance. Minimizing the amount of up/down and left/right movement of your c.o.g. between carves will increase your balance and your confidence. This also allows us to stay closer to the board, therefore more stable on our feet, significantly reducing the chances of simply falling over when trying to start the next carve.

Another benefit of cross-through is the alignment of our center of gravity with the turn's "roll axis". The roll axis is the imaginary line about which your body rotates in the left-right plane when you lean from one side to the other. When you use crossover in a GS carve, the roll axis is down at the level of your board, and your whole body moves back and forth over it. By using cross-through we can perfectly match the roll axis to our center of gravity, which results in optimum balance, stability, and smoothness.

...and that's exactly what we are searching for, isn't it :P ;)

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