wave text by Italo Calvino
The sea is barely wrinkled, and little waves strike the sandy shore. Mr Palomar is standing on the shore, looking at a wave. Not that he is lost in contemplation of the waves. He is not lost, because he is quite aware of what he is doing: he wants to look at a wave and he is looking at it. He is not contemplating, because for contemplation you need the right temperament, the right mood, and the right combination of exterior circumstances: and though Mr Palomar has nothing against contemplation in principle, none of these three conditions applies to him. Finally, it is not ‘the waves’ that he means to look at, but just one individual wave: in his desire to avoid vague sensations, he establishes for his every action a limited and precise object.
Images: Katsushika Hokusai
Mr Palomar sees a wave rise in the distance, grow, approach, change form and colour, fold over itself, break, vanish and flow again. At this point he could convince himself that he has concluded the operation he had set out to achieve, and he could go away. But it is very difficult to isolate one wave, separating it from the wave immediately following it, which seems to push it and at times overtakes it and sweeps it away; just as it is difficult to separate that one wave from the wave that precedes it and seems to drag it toward the shore, unless it turns against its follower as if to arrest it. Then if you consider the breadth of the wave, parallel to the shore, it is hard to decide where the advancing front extends regularly and where it is separated and segmented into independent waves, distinguished by their speed, shape, force, direction. In other words, you cannot observe a wave without bearing in mind the complex “features that concur in shaping it and the other equally complex ones that the wave : itself originates. These aspects vary constantly, so each wave is different from another ; wave, even if not immediately adjacent or successive; in other words there are some forms and sequences that are repeated, though irregularly distributed in space and time. Since what Mr Palomar means to do at this moment is simply see a wave, that is, to perceive all its simultaneous components without overlook-
ing any of them, his gaze will dwell on the movement of the wave that strikes the shore, until it can record aspects not previously perceived; as soon as he notices that the images are being repeated, he will know he has seen everything he wanted to and he will be able to stop. A nervous man who lives in a frenzied and congested world, Mr. Palomar tends to reduce his relations with the outside world; and to defend himself against the general neurasthenia he tries to keep his sensations in control insofar as possible. The hump of the advancing wave rises more at one point than any other and it is here that it becomes hemmed in white. If this occurs at some distance from the shore, there’s time for the foam to fold over and upon itself and vanish again, as if swallowed, and at the same moment invade the whole, but this time emerging again from below, like a white carpet rising from the bank to welcome the wave that is arriving. But just when you expect a wave to roll over the carpet, you realise that is no longer wave but only carpet, and this also rapidly disappears, to become a glinting of wet sand that quickly withdraws, as if driven back by the expansion of the dry opaque sand that moves its jagged edge forward. At the same time the indentations in the brow of the wave must be considered, where it splits
into two wings, one stretching toward the shore from right to left and the other from left to right, and the departure point or the destination of their convergence in the negative tip, which follows the advance of the wings but if always held back, ...subject to their alternate overlapping until another wave stronger still, which resolves •the knot by shattering it. Taking the pattern of the waves as a model, the beach thrusts into the water some faintly-hinted points, prolonged in submerged sandy shoals, shaped and destroyed by the currents at every tide. Mr Palomar has chosen one of the low tongues of sand as his observation point, because the waves strike it on either side, obliquely, and overrunning the half- submerged surface, they meet their opposites. So to understand the composition of a wave, you have to consider these opposing thrusts, which to some extent are counter-balanced and to some extent are added together, to produce a general shattering of thrusts and counter-thrusts in the usual spreading of foam. Mr Palomar now tries to limit his field of observation; if he bears in mind a square zone of, say, ten metres of shore by ten metres of sea, he can carry out an inventory of the wave-movements that are repeated with varying frequency within a given time interval. The hard thing is to fix the boundaries of this zone, because if for example, he considers as the farthest from him the outstanding line of an advancing wave, as the line approaches him and rises it hides from his eyes everything behind it; and thus the space under examination is overturned and at the same time crushed. In any case Mr Palomar does not lose heart and at each moment he thinks he has managed to see everything to be seen from his observation point, but then something always crops up that he had not borne in mind. If it were not for his impatience to reach a complete, definitive conclusion of his visual operation, looking at waves would be very restful exercise for him and could save him from neurasthenia, heart attack and gastric ulcer. And it could perhaps be the key to mastering the world’s complexity by reducing it to the simplest mechanism. But every attempt to define the model must take into account a long wave that is arriving in a direction perpendicular to the breakers and parallel to the shore, creating a flow of constant, barely surfacing crest. The shifts of the waves that ruffle toward the shore do not disturb the steady impulse of this compact crest that slices them at a right angle; and there is no knowing where it comes from or where it then goes. Perhaps it is a breath of east wind that stirs the sea’s surface against the deep drive that comes from the mass of water far out at sea, but this wave is born of the air, in passing receives also the oblique thrusts from the water’s depth and redirects them, straightening them in its own direction and bearing them along. And so the wave continues to grow and gain strength until the
clash with the contrary waves gradually dulls it and makes it disappear, or else twists it until it is confused in one of the many dynasties of oblique waves slammed, with them, against the shore. Concentrating the attention on one aspect makes it leap into the foreground and occupy the square, just as, with certain drawings, you have only to close your eyes and when you open them the perspective has changed. Now in the overlapping of crests moving in various directions the general pattern seems broken down into sections that rise and vanish. In addition, the reflux of every wave also has a power of its own that hinders the oncoming waves. And if you concentrate your attention on these backward thrusts is seems that the true movement is the one that begins from the shore and goes out to sea. Is this perhaps the real result that Mr Palomar is about to achieve? To make waves run in the opposite direction, to overrun time, to perceive the true substance of the world beyond sensory and mental habits? No, he feels a slight dizziness, but it goes further than that. The stubbornness that drives the waves toward the shore wins the match: in fact, the waves have swelled considerably. Is the wind about to change? It would be disastrous if the image that Mr Palomar has succeeded painstakingly in putting together were to shatter and be lost. Only if he manages to bear all the aspects in mind at once can he begin the second phase of the operation: extending this knowledge to the entire universe. It would suffice to not to lose patience, as he soon does. Mr Palomar goes off along the beach, tense and nervous as when he came, and even more unsure about everything. Extracted from Mr Palomar, by Italo Caivino. MrPalomar, published by Vintage Classics.
Design by Giorgos Kiriakopoulos
the philosophy of surfing Understand the aesthetics of a smooth ride. By Stephen Wayne Hull
SKATEBOARDING AS A MIND-BODY PRACTICE
NO BRAIN no pain page/26
by Greg Shewchuk
By Jim Schnabel
THERAPYtricks, techniques, quacks text Tim Hoad
Hitting the slopes
free-riding is achieved by establishing a mastery of style in many areas of page/36the sports including the By Shaun Whiteabilities to ride, carve, and perform jumps on virtually any terrain.
By Danny Makaskill
One of the major areas of current research is fluid-structure interaction. Rather than just looking at an airfoil in a wind tunnel, study how flow affects motion of body and vice versa. Many biological and technological applications: insect flight, fish swimming, microbe, blood flow, etc. Can look at kinematic or dynamic cases: body motion can be prescribed or be affected by forces. Dynamics of body can be very important, e.g. elasticity of arterial wall, properties of flapping flag. Influence of wake can be very important. S´ebastien Michelin currently working on vortex shedding effects on deformable bodies (see video). Intrinsic dynamics of surfboard: Normal modes, as found using accelerometer. Probably important for “feel” of board Drag is simply the force on a body in a flow in the direction of the flow. Dimensional analysis: body of typical size L, flow velocity U; fluid density p, kinematic viscosity v (dimensions [L²T−¹]), gravitational acceleration g, sound speed c. Drag = ½ pU²F(Re, Fr, Ma)..
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the aesthetics of a smooth ride.
SURFING The sport of surfing has received considerable attention throughout the world since it became popular during the early 1960’s. Surfers, those who ride the surf on a surfboard, can be observed along nearly every coast of the continental United States. The media, through television, movies, and magazines, has made it possible for people throughout the nation to observe this sport and it’s enthusiasts. With all of this exposure, however, very little sociological study has been done of those who actively participate in surfing.
For purposes of sociological preciseness, a clear definition, of what is meant in this paper by the term “surfing” is necessary. Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1963) defines “surfriding” as “the sport of riding the surf on a surfboard” (P. 885). This is not a particularly enlightening description. More specifically, surfing is the act in which an individual slides across the surface of a cresting wave standing on a surfboard. Within this definition are several technical elements of the sport which require additional elaboration. Finney and Houston (1966) provide an excellent description of the technical process of surfing in their anthropological study of ancient Hawaiian surfing: “A man surfs today in much the same way as did the Hawaiian kings of old. The most arduous part, of course, is paddling through rushing surf to the take-off point. The ideal place to catch a wave is where its face is steepest, so the surfer gets in position just beyond the breaking place and waits for a set to build. As the wave he chooses humps up to cover the horizon, he points his board toward shore and, to gain speed, digs his arms in and starts paddling... When the board is moving fast enough, he feels the wave’s power suddenly take hold. Speed increases as he begins sliding freely down the slope. Then he jumps to his feet in the center of the board. ...Today, except while learning or under unusual circumstances, standing is still the most popular position. Once on the wave there are two places, to ride. One can ride “straight off” in front of the bouncing white water. This is the more amateur and often the most dangerous way to ride, especially in big surf where the foam itself may be a wall six feet high. It is more exhilarating to angle the board to the right or left immediately after take-off and cross the wave’s as-yet-unbroken face with the white water leaping and roaring behind you. The resulting speed is a combination of the wave’s forward motion and the board’s “across” motion. The surfer then is skimming down a bottomless incline that continues building below him as the wave-form carries him shoreward. When the ride is underway, success depends on the surfer’s grace and balance and his ability to judge when and where the wave will break. The surfer can’t allow his board to tip too far forward or water will grab the nose and he will “pearl-dive” while his board bounces to shore. Neither can he stand too far back on the tail, or the board rears up, loses its grip on the wave, and stalls. Stalling, however, works to the rider’s advantage if he wants to slow down until the break catches up with him, thus maneuvering again into the faster part of the wave.
He controls his ledge-like position in the wave with foot movement and shifts in body weight. By leaning one edge into the wave in the direction he wants to turn he guides his board smoothly across the curling wall. Near shore he may turn into the break and ride “soup” to the beach, or he may whip his board over the wave top and paddle back to the take-off point. If a wave breaks on him he may leap off the board, grab its, nose if he can, and dive under to ride clear of the wave on its seaward side. If he falls off or is knocked off, the board usually
big wave surfing. “Hot-dogging” refers to a stunt riding style of surfing, characterized by many trick positions and acrobatic stances. It is a dramatic style meant to “show-off” and demonstrate control in the surf. Functional riding, is a style which focuses on riding the steepest and fastest, most difficult portion of the wave without a lot of unnecessary movement. The emphasis in this style is on speed and maneuverability on the wave. The big wave style of surfing is very similar to functional riding, except for the added danger
There are three basic “styles” of surfing. Briefly, they are “hot-dogging,” functional riding, and big wave surfing. “Hot-dogging” refers to a stunt riding style of surfing, characterized by many trick positions and acrobatic stances. It is a dramatic style meant to “show-off ” and demonstrate control in the surf. gets to the beach by itself, and the surfer, of course, has to swim for it (pp. 18-20).” Surfers utilize two major categories describing the way in which one fulfills the technical goals of surfing. The size of the wave ridden is one distinguishing characteristic. “Small wave” surfers are those who prefer to ride waves from 0.3 m to 2.4 m in height, “medium wave” surfers are those who prefer to ride waves from 2.4 m to 3.6 m in height, and “big wave” surfers are those who prefer to ride waves from 3.6 m in height up to the largest waves ridden, which are 9.0 m in height. A second characteristic which distinguishes surfers is the way in which they “perform” or ride the waves. There are three basic “styles” of surfing. Briefly, they are “hot-dogging,” functional riding, and
that very large waves impose. The focus in this type of surfing is survival while overcoming both the wave and one’s fears. A second technical element within surfing is the equipment used while riding a wave. Without the proper equipment the entire nature of a sport is altered. An example of this principle is sliding down a snow-covered slope in a sled. This cannot correctly be considered skiing. The goal (sliding down the mountain) and the location (the snow-covered slope) may be the same, but the equipment clearly changes the nature of the activity. In surfing the most elementary piece of equipment is the surfboard. Modern surfboards usually range in size from 1.5 m to 3.0 m in length, and weight between 2.5 kg to 5.5 kg. They are most commonly constructed of a carefully designed polyurethane foam core and covered with fiberglass and resin.
The board also has one or two foiled fins laminated to-the underside at the rear for directional stability. The length, width, thickness, and contours of a surfboard vary according to the size of the surfer, his experience, the type of wave he expects to ride, and the style in which he does so. There are five major factors intrinsic to Santa Cruz that have earned it the title “surf city” in northern California. Many of these factors are applicable to major surfing areas throughout the world, and these similarities, as well as the differences, will be noted in reference to the Santa Cruz area. Surfing is not new to the Santa Cruz area, it has long been considered the surfing capital of northern California. Surfing was introduced to Californians in 1907 (Finney & Houston, 1966, p. 90), and demonstrated in Santa Cruz soon after. However, it was not until a second demonstration in 1938 that surfing remained there as a popular recreation (Rudnicki, 1975, p. 4).. This period of time is an indication that a surfing tradition has had an opportunity to become established. The first factor which is essential to any surfing area, be it major or minor, is the presence of “rideable” waves. “A rideable wave does not spill over all at once; rather, one section-the section moving through the shallowest water--will break first, and the spilling white water will spread from there across the wave as it rolls to shore, until the entire wave is white water (Finney & Houston, 1966, pp. 16-17).” A wave of this type is ideal because the surfer’s objective is to slide diagonally across a wave’s face, keeping ahead of the breaking foam. Because of the primary importance that the wave has within surfing, there are many terms and concepts the surfer uses to describe a wave’s origins, shape, parts, texture, and strength. An experienced surfer will usually know the day’s tide table, wind conditions, swell direction and strength, and from these variables be able to accurately estimate which surf spot(s) will have the most desirable waves. An interesting phenomenon which demonstrates this rideable wave principle clearly is Big Surf.
“The resulting speed is a combination of the wave’s forward motion and the board’s “across” motion.” 10
The second factor essential to an area in order for surfing to develop is a climate, particularly the water temperature, which is not so severe that it totally discourages potential swimmers and surfers. For example, there are good waves off the coast of Newfoundland, but no one surfs there. The water is simply too cold.
Nearly all rideable waves occur on a large natural body of water, particularly the earth’s oceans. A major exception consists of a commercial enterprise in Arizona which created it’s own manmade waves. Big Surf was constructed in Arizona at the peak of national surfing popularity in the 1960s, and has remained in operation since that time. As a result of Big Surf’s operation, a geographical region totally alien to waves, or a large body of water for that matter, adopted surfing as a popular activity, and the same surfing subcultural phenomenon can be found there that is observed at any of the popular surfing beaches along the East and West Coasts of the United States. The Santa Cruz County coastline is blessed with just under 67.6 km of beautiful beaches and dramatic rocky coastline. Its rocky points, coves, and sandy beaches provide many excellent surfing beaches, some of which have received international recognition for the quality of their waves. The Santa Cruz area has rideable waves year round, and usually, as the tide and wind conditions change, all day long. Included in the appendix to this report is a map of the Santa Cruz area with a code indicating many of the most popular and commonly used “surf spots.” There are several more spots that are surfed within this area, but they are generally not as popular or as consistent, and have not been included for these reasons. The second factor essential to an area in order for surfing to develop is a climate, particularly the water temperature, which is not so severe that it totally discourages potential swimmers and surfers. For example, there are good waves off the coast of Newfoundland, but no one surfs there. The water is simply too cold. A study reported in the California Coastline Preservation and Recreation Plan, 1971, demonstrates this point. The state’s coastline was divided into three-sections: the North Coast (Oregon to Golden Gate), the Central Coast (Golden Gate to Point Conception), and the South Coast (Point Conception to Mexico), and a survey was made of the types of activities participated in by those who used the coastline. The results showed that along the South Coast 70% used the beaches for swimming and wading; along the Central Coast 50% reported using the beaches for swimming and wading; and along the North Coast 18% of those surveyed used the beaches for swimming and wading. Surfing participation shows the same type of usage pattern, with 40%, 6%, and 2% for each re-
spective section of coastline. This shift in the type of beach use correlates very closely with the decrease in air and water temperature as one travels north along California’s coast. In the summer months the temperatures range from approximately 20 C in San Diego, to about 13.3 C along the California-Oregon border. In the winter months this figure will drop 4.8 C to 6.6 C along the entire coast. Along the northernmost beaches, temperatures in this range are clearly too cold for a pleasant dip. With regard to this factor, Santa Cruz has a definite advantage over most other surfing areas in Northern California. It is located on the northern edge of the Monterey Bay. The advantage to this is that the water within the bay is less exposed to the wind and cold ocean currents of the Pacific. In addition, its shallow bottom and sunny summer weather combine to warm the bay’s waters noticeably. Surfers will often discuss the temperature differences between the surf spots outside of the bay compared to those inside of the bay’s influence. In reference to the map provided in the index, the warm area extends from Steamer Lane (number 8) to Palm Beach (number 27). It is easy to see the effect of ocean temperatures on the use that any particular area receives. Not only are the number of popular surf spots greater within the bay, the amount of use each spot gets is dramatically different. To reiterate, Santa Cruz is one of the northernmost popular surfing areas in California, and it is only fair to note that relative to most other major surfing regions, it is considered frigid. During the winter months (November through April) surfers must suffer temperatures as low as 8.9 C. During the summer the water may warm
By the time that one style of wetsuit was accepted, a new style was introduced which covered the lower abdomen and upper thighs. The story goes on, and today many surfers use wetsuits which cover nearly their entire body, including feet, hands, and head, leaving only their face exposed. up to 17 C, but it is hardly to be compared with the mild ocean temperatures of southern California or Hawaii. An important technological development has improved the northern Californian surfer’s plight considerably. This is the development and commercial distribution of neoprene rubber suits, much like those used by skin divers, to protect the bare skin from the shock of exposure to severe wind and water temperatures. Surfers generally refer to these rubber suits as “wetsuits” although there are various names describing each brand and style of suit. These wetsuits are readily available for purchase or rent through the several “surf shops” that cater to the needs of surfers in the Santa Cruz area. The increased acceptance of wetsuits as standard surfing equipment has had a great impact on surfing in Santa Cruz. Before 1965 wetsuits were not used as much as they are today and the result was that many would-be surfers were not willing to suffer the cold water unprotected. Gradually a style of wetsuit known as a “vest” was introduced and accepted. It covered the
There are three major access factors which serve to discourage regular surfing use: exclusiveness, cost, and distance. Exclusiveness represents those areas which are not legally accessible, such as private beaches, or beaches for which the only access is to trespass on private land.
surfer’s upper abdomen only, and left the arms bare much in the fashion of the regular vest from which the wetsuit got its name. By the time that this style of wetsuit was accepted, a new style was introduced which covered the lower abdomen and upper thighs. The story goes on, and today many surfers use wetsuits which cover nearly their entire body, including feet, hands, and head, leaving only their face exposed. The effect of the wetsuit has been to encourage those who were unwilling to participate before, to try surfing, and often to remain as active participants. A third factor which has made Santa Cruz an important surfing area is the fact that there is public access to much of the coastline in the area. This is a result of the fact that Santa Cruz is basically a resort town. It has very little industry, and therefore, the county’s coastline and its accessibility is an important economic consideration if the area is to attract tourists. A recent study correlating coastal urbanization with the growth of surfing found a positive relationship to exist (Crisalli, Note 1). There are two reasons for this relationship. The first is the presence of a large population from which to draw the surfing subculture’s members. The second is the accessibility of the coast to that population. The access factor may be demonstrated very clearly by again referring to the map of Santa Cruz surfing areas in the appendix. Clearly, that section of the Santa Cruz coast which is the most heavily urbanized, also has the greatest number of surf spots and is the most heavily surfed. The author has consistently observed that a relatively inaccessible surf spot may have better quality waves, yet be surfed less frequently simply because of the difficulties or “hassles” of getting there when a more accessible spot is “breaking.” There are three major access factors which serve to discourage regular surfing use: exclusiveness, cost, and distance. Exclusiveness represents those areas which are not legally accessible, such as private beaches, or beaches for which the only access is to trespass on private land. Depending on how sympathetic the owners are to surfers, this may represent only a slight hassle, or it can be the most serious, since the surfer is breaking the law to gain access. Difficulties of this type are exemplified in Santa Cruz by those beaches which are marked private or toll public parks on the map of commonly-used surfing areas included in the appendix.
The second negative access factor is cost. This factor is an important consideration under two circumstances. First, a beach or surfing area may be a toll beach, in which case the surfer must pay to gain access to the waves. Second, the beach may require transportation expenses such as gas costs. This factor is an especially important consideration for those surfing areas far removed from urban areas. In the Santa Cruz area an example of this-is “the country,” or those surfing spots north of the Santa Cruz urban area, also referred to as “up north.” In order to surf the beaches up north, one must usually have access to a car and to the money to buy gas to reach this area. Distance, the third negative access factor, is closely related to costs. Even without expense as a consideration, however, surfing a distant beach usually requires more time, effort, and the risk of unfamiliar beach conditions. While accessibility represents an important factor in the development of surfing in any geographic area, it is the actual population of an area which creates and uses these accessible regions. A population which is receptive to surfing is perhaps t he most important factor necessary for the surfing subculture to develop. There are two basic ways in which a population must be receptive to surfing.
A population which is receptive to surfing is perhaps the most important factor necessary for the surfing subculture to develop.
Surfing is not participated in by the poverty-stricken of Africa, South America, or the United States; too much of their time, money, and energy must be expended in the necessities of survival. First it must have a sufficient amount of energy, time, and money to .invest in the sport. These three represent the three basic economic demands that a population must be able to fulfill in order to participate in any leisure activity, and surfing in particular. The fact that surfing exists only in areas where a population can afford such expenditures supports this hypothesis. Surfing is not participated in by the poverty-stricken of Africa, South America, or the United States; too much of their time, money, and energy must be expended in the necessities of survival. The other condition of a â€œreceptiveâ€™â€™ population is the compatibility of surfing with the value system of the population. For example, a population which finds activities in the ocean, leisure activities in general, or semi-nudity legally or morally offensive, would not consider surfing a desirable activity. The Santa Cruz area contains a population which satisfies both of these conditions. It has an urban population with a significant number of economically advantaged members, people who can afford the expenses, time, and energy necessary for leisure participation. The fact that Santa Cruz is primarily a beach resort town is a clear enough indication that the population is not unfavorable to ocean-related leisure pursuits, such as surfing. The fifth and final factor necessary for a surfing subculture to exist in an area is the introduction of the sport and its skills to a receptive population. The chances today of surfing arising spontaneously in an area are very few. The rapidly expanding influence of modern communications, coupled with the travels of surfers throughout the world, are making sure of that. Modern surfing has spread any of three ways: It has been observed in the media and sparked some interest in an area (this occurred in France); it has been introduced by surfers traveling through or moving into an area (the form of cultural diffusion which occurred in California); or it has been observed in another area and brought home with those who fancied it (this form occurred in Peru).
A sport for mind and body practice by Rodney Mullen
Skateboarding is a lifestyle, an art form, a sport, an escape from responsibiliti, a hobby, a mode of tranport, a kidsâ€™ pastime, a form of rebellion, a booming industry, a form of expression, family entertainment, a gerne of video games, a healthy form of exersise, a dangerous activity, an addiction, a culture, an identity, an education and even a religion to faithful followers. How is it possible that a plank of wood, two pecies of metal and four urethane wheels bolted together can represent so much to people? It feels free, liberating, boundless. You donâ€™t have to rely on a team for your own saccess, nor did you have to edhere to a strict set of rules to play correctly. You can do it in your own style, on your own terms and still be acceptedin this exciting new world.
Anyone who claims to know what skateboarding is “all about” is full of shit. To define it as sport, art, science, transportation, play, culture, lifestyle, or anything else is to minimize the unlimited potential within the form. Skateboarding is inherently meaningless. Its lack of meaning is what allows it to be such a progressive and influential experience.
The origin of skateboarding cannot be localized to any single point. The skateboard was never invented; it was discovered by children across America simultaneously as apple-crate scooters of the 1940s and 50s were broken down and converted into the legendary 2×40 with rollerskate trucks. Thus, the skateboard has no intention behind it: no inventor, no purpose, no ownership, no goal, no rules. Nothing in the creation or design of the skateboard assumes any meaning or value. It is a perfectly uninhibited vehicle of action-oriented possibility. “Advanced Standing” by Greg Shewchuk
s the skateboard was refined with technical advancements (urethane wheels, slight changes in board and truck design) and influenced by surf culture and technique, it evolved and attracted the daredevils and visionaries who crafted the form as we recognize it today. The terrain of streets and sidewalks led to ramps and pools and drainpipes, and
eventually begat massive concrete skateparks. Journalists and photographers and filmmakers developed a symbiotic relationship with the athletes, documenting the physical forms and commenting on the culture and surrounding artworks and personalities. The masters of the form, the leaders and great events of skateboard history, the varied terrain and infrastructure: all of this has been documented and pored over by an appreciating audience. And yet, for all of the journalism and vicarious entertainment that surrounds skateboarding, there’s never really been a deeper examination of the form specifically the subtle internal and energetic processes of skateboarding itself. The technique of actually riding on a skateboard is not that different than standing still. The skateboard is a vehicle, with wheels and axles and a platform to stand upon, but there is no
trick performance include a lot of board flipping and body spinning and sideways sliding and shifting and grinding, but the foundation of riding a skateboard in a casual, two-footed stance remains. The standing skateboarder experiences dramatic changes in acceleration and frame of reference. Dropping into a ramp or bowl sets the rider off on a path of varying degrees of linear and radial acceleration. Physics students are aware that radial acceleration the way a skateboarder will circumnavigate a bowled transition, or a planet will orbit a star results in acceleration towards the center of the curve. This curious feature of Newtonian physics segues neatly into Einstein’s theory of relativity, involving acceleration along the curvature of space-time. Einstein postulated a geometric interpretation of the “force” of gravity, and this revelation completely changed the
A skateboard moves by the kinetic energy of being pushed, or by taking advantage of its potential energy positioned at the top of a hill or transitional wall. Once the skateboard is up to speed, the majority of the techniques start and end with simply riding along standing still on the platform of the skateboard, while the world rolls beneath one’s feet, occasionally in excess of 40 miles an hour. drivetrain. A skateboard moves by the kinetic energy of being pushed, or by taking advantage of its potential energy positioned at the top of a hill or transitional wall. Once the skateboard is up to speed, the majority of the techniques start and end with simply riding along standing still on the platform of the skateboard, while the world rolls beneath one’s feet, occasionally in excess of 40 miles an hour. In this standing position, the skateboard and rider may cover larger distances, they may roll up and down steep inclines, they may ride up circular transitions above and beyond the vertical axis, they may launch into the air and cover great distances through empty space before returning to solid ground. The skateboarder, more than anything, must shift his or her weight and stance to accommodate these changes in trajectory. The technical aspects of contemporary
way we view and understand our world. This means that the skateboarder, in his ongoing dance with gravity and acceleration, can use the fine instrument of the central nervous system to examine the most dramatic and fundamental forces in the universe. This movement affects physiological change, in the form of blood flow and oxygenation and chemical release and so on, but also affects awareness and psychological change. Finding the center in these dramatic curves, attaining balance in the midst of this tremendous spiraling movement, is as much an internal discipline as an external one. Over the past ten years I have considered skateboarding in the light of two disciplines which are often grouped together as “mindbody” practices, Taiji (also Taijiquan, T’ai Chi) and Yoga (specifically Hatha Yoga). While the comparisons have been made before, a deeper investigation is overdue. Taiji and Yoga are physical practices with corresponding philosophies that have endured for literally thousands of years, drawing from the sophisticated and profoundly spiritual cultures that spawned them: Taiji evolved with Chinese Taoism, and Yoga evolved with Indian Hinduism and Buddhism. A greatly simplified explanation of their intention is to prepare the human participant for the discipline of deep meditation.
Taiji and Yoga use the body-mind correlation to enhance and actualize the understanding and expression of spiritual connectedness. In Yoga, the intention is to “yoke” or unite with the divine through mental refinement and physical alignment in the flow of universal energy. The intention of Taiji is to follow the way the Tao by “uniting heaven and earth”, balancing the opposing forces of the universe internally and externally. The famous “yin yang” symbol is actually called the Taiji it means supreme ultimate, and is intended to suggest that the universe in its true state is in perfect balance. Considering skateboarding as a mind-body activity and relating it to Yoga and Taiji can allow insight into the less than obvious internal processes at work. It is not sheer athleticism strength, endurance, etc. that make a good skateboarder; a good skateboarder must be a master of balance, focus, perseverance, creative ingenuity, and fear management. It takes heart and vision (and a good sense of humor) to ride a skateboard, not muscle. Cultivation of the heart and vision are among the primary intentions of a traditional mind-body activity, and they do not involve a painstaking enhancement of the ego, but quite the opposite. Skateboarders have as much to learn about the physical aspects of their craft from these ancient disciplines as they do about the internal, mental, and spiritual aspects. Regardless of whether these systems are studied or adopted by skateboarders, the point is that there is an opening here for some higher purpose. When you are skateboarding, any goals or obligations are self-created. The intention of your skateboard practice is up to you. For someone who has been skating for 20 or 30 years, the reasons for skateboarding have probably changed greatly. What begins as sport, art, play, a job, etc. can become an opportunity to merge a physically balanced form with open-minded spiritual potential. This can take place by studying Yoga or Taiji, or by incorporating another religious philosophy (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Zen Buddhism, and so on) into the mix. It is certainly not necessary, but the choice is yours. Whatever you choose, you will not be alone on your path. In 50 years skateboarding has devel-
The intention of Taiji is to follow the way the Tao by “uniting heaven and earth”, balancing the opposing forces of the universe internally and externally.
oped into a worldwide culture with millions of participants, growing and evolving at the speed of life, and every flavor of humanity and human achievement is accounted for. This progressive, diverse living community is more available to spiritual development than perhaps any other group of people in the history of the world. In America, where freedom of such pursuit is a constitutional right, we have a unique opportunity to follow our own path and uncover personal insight into the deepest workings of the universe, a balanced experience that might as well take place while standing on a wooden plank with trucks and urethane wheels. I don’t want to try and define skateboarding, nor do I want to attach any extra importance to it. Its meaninglessness is its ultimate value, and any rewards are up to the invididual to discern. That said, the internal processes of
skateboarding are available for anyone at any level to explore but to do so you will have to see beyond the obvious, and you are well advised to take a cue from some ancient wisdom. Skateboarding goes deep, and it can be about a lot more than fame or success or being cool; it can quickly transcend any imaginary differences between human souls. Skateboarding is a real, life-long spiritual trip, a profound relationship with a higher power. Skateboarding will require you to open up to the unknown, and confront it without fear or judgment. Then you may bear witness to the freedom within the form. Greg Shewchuk is the director of the Land of Plenty Skateboard
“Always question authority”: Skateboarding as a spatial subculture.
Conditioning your Body This is the traditional process by which we learn a new trick: First, our mind has an image of what the trick looks like. We then gather information that will guide us to land the trick. We learn about the foot positioning, the amount of pop we give, what the front foot should do, where our balance should be, etc. Next, we actually try the trick. Our initial attempts almost always results in failure. Why? Just because we know what we’re supposed to do doesn’t mean we’re going to do it right. We must experiment numerous times before we get a good feel of how the trick actually works. Eventually, we land the trick and remember the actions that caused it to happen.
After repeated landings, our body automatically remembers what it feels like to land a particular trick, fires the appropriate muscle movements, and we can finally land it on a consistent basis. The trick is now “learned.” The time it takes to complete this process can be quite a longtime. Personally, it took me about 3 months of skating many times a week before I landed my first Kickflip. Although the amount of time it takes varies from individual to individual, this traditional method of learning tricks is ineffective because it relies heavily on the body to get a feel for the trick. However, when you use your mind to assist you in learning a trick, you’ll be absolutely astonished at how quickly and effortless the trick comes to you. This is where visualization comes in. How Visualization Works One of the greatest advantages of our mind is its ability to be “trained” and “programmed.”
It is the ability to visualize our intended destination or goal. Our mind thinks in pictures, not in words. Everyone sees pictures so we think in pictures as well. Think about your skateboard. Did a picture of your skateboard flash upon the screen of your mind? You saw the image of your skateboard, not the words, s-k-a-t-e-b-oa-r-d. If you cannot genuinely picture yourself achieving your goal, chances are, it’s not going to be actualized. The old, overused and clichéd axiom, “conceive, believe, and achieve,” is packed with truth. But what’s so special about seeing images in your mind? This is extremely important because your subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between a real experience and one that is vividly imagined! Read that sentence over again and think about it. The Power of Imagining Psychologist, Alan Richardson, conducted an interesting study to prove this point.
Skateboarding is a real, life-long spiritual trip, a profound relationship with a higher power. He formed three groups of basketball players and selected them to make a series of freethrows. Group A practiced making free throws for 20 minutes a day for three weeks. Group B visualized making free throws for 20 minutes a day. The third group, Group C, served as a control group and did nothing. Interestingly enough, after three weeks, the group that actually practiced improved their free throw percentage by 24%. The group that didn’t practice at all showed no improvement. And the group that visualized making free throws improved by 23%! If this doesn’t get you excited about the possibilities of visualization, I don’t know what will! Visualizing yourself having already accomplished your goal will bring you to that goal much quicker. How do we visualize ourselves achieving our goals? Simple there is a simple outline we must follow to effectively take advantage of the visualization process. Familiarize yourself with your Metastory and fine tune it so it is perfect and extremely desirable to have. As you read and reread your Metastory, start forming images, sounds, and feelings associated to having experienced it. You now have a clear idea of what you want and you now must prepare your mind to bring it into reality. Sit or lie in a comfortable position, in a place when you are not going to be distracted for the next 5-10 minutes. Make a conscious effort to feel every part of your entire body relax. Start monitoring your breaths and focus on taking slow, deep breaths. Start from the number 10 and count down with each breath. Start out by feeling the tension move out of your toes. Feel waves of peacefulness and relaxation move up and throughout your body.
Next, move up to your ankles and loosen them, allowing them to relax. Continue onto your calves and slowly move up your body relaxing your legs, torso, arms, neck and face. You should spend about 10 seconds relaxing each body part. When you have relaxed every part of your body, you should feel extremely comfortable and peaceful. Great! Now you may start the visualization process and start to visualize your Metastory! You are now in a relaxed and optimal state for visualization. You must spend some time concentrating on your desire and imagine it as if it were already here. There are three key guidelines to effective visualization: Feel your accomplished goal- Run the Metastory through your mind. You must not only see yourself having goal, but hear, smell, taste, touch, and most importantly, feel it. You may imagine a movie or still frames of key images. Utilize all your sensory factors so you can make the image as real as possible. Ask yourself “What would it feel like if I had already accomplished my goal?” Feel the feelings throughout your entire body and make the feeling as real as possible. If you are doing this right, you should feel absolutely joyful in the moment. So joyful and happy that you do not even need the goal to happen because you have the feeling within you already. Have some fun when doing this! The more real the image is, the better this technique works. You may choose to imagine a fulllength movie starring you. Replay the movie over and over again, seeing yourself achie ing your goal. Create some background music, see it in high definition, and make the pictures bright and vivid. Visualize your goal in the first personWhen seeing yourself already having the goal, you do not want a third person view of yourself. Remember, the mind cannot differentiate between what is real and what is vividly imagined. See and feel the skateboard underneath your feet. Feel the wind blowing across your face as you ride. See your legs and feet move to execute the trick, see the board flipping beneath you and see and feel yourself landing the trick perfectly. See the smiling faces of your friends standing nearby and hear their shouts of awe and disbelief.Finally, feel the sense of accomplishment that you deserve.
“What would it feel like if I had already accomplished my goal?” Feel the feelings throughout your entire body and make the feeling as real as possible. If you are doing this right, you should feel absolutely joyful in the moment. So joyful and happy that you do not even need the goal to happen because you have the feeling within you already. Have some fun when doing this! The more real the image is, the better this technique works.
Skateboarding keeps 76-year old rider on his toes Lloyd Kahn doesn’t go anywhere without two or three skateboards and a variety of helmets and pads in the back of his truck. Kahn, 76, is the owner of Shelter Publications in Bolinas, where he lives. How you found it: When I was 65, I tried out the skateboard of my son’s friend, and I was hooked. Greatest benefit: First and foremost, it’s fun. I ride downhill. I don’t ride in skate parks or get air. I think it’s good for the brain to be learning a new skill at my age. Good also for balance and coordination. There’s also the element of danger or pain if I screw up, so it makes me pay attention. Where you do it: Anywhere that the slope is right, pavement smooth, and there aren’t too many cars. Favorite spots are the parking lot by the Officers’ Club in the Presidio, and the hill by Murphy Windmill. Most annoying thing people assume about your obsession: Being my age, it attracts a lot of attention, and I’d just as soon skate when no one is around. However, the kids really like seeing me skate and give me the thumbs up. Any advice: Safety gear, safety gear, safety gear. I have a helmet, knee pads, elbow guards and gloves with hockey pucks attached to the palms by Velcro. There are a lot of people who skated when younger and gave it up. I encourage them to get back into it, because the equipment is so good nowadays.
Living on the Edge: Extreme Sports and their Role in Society
With regard to extreme sports, the perception of the general public is that people who choose to take risks are irresponsible ‘adrenaline junkies’ who are ultimately a burden to society. When a person takes unnecessary risks, and becomes injured or in need of rescue, the expenses for coming to their aid are often borne by taxpayers. It should not be surprising then, that these same taxpayers question why they should have to pay for these seemingly foolish actions. A backcountry rescue after skiers trigger an avalanche, for example, will cost thousands of dollars. Skateboarders cause damage to both private and public property, and injure themselves. While these issues have been discussed at great length in the media, rarely does discussion focus on the negative impact of limiting access to these types of risky sports. What would be the effect on society if we made it more difficult for people to engage in these types of activities? In fact, by curbing a person’s passions and limiting access to their chosen sports–even those the public may consider risky– these athletes may well find outlets for their energy that is much more burdensome to society.
NO PAIN Pain and pleasure are our primary motivators, and neuroscience has only begun to untangle the intricacies of how they act upon us. It has long been assumed, for example, that these opposing sensations are delivered by distinct networks in the nervous system. However, researchers in the emerging scientific field of hedonics are finding that pain and pleasure pathways have much in common. By Jim Schnabel
“Sometimes you have a competition in which, for instance, you want to seek some reward but you can only do that at the price of pain,” says Siri Leknes, a neuroscientist at the University of Oslo who coauthored a review paper on pain-pleasure interactions in the April issue of Nature Reviews Neuroscience. “You have to be able to compare those two competing motivations, so there has to be some sort of interaction in the brain where such a comparison is made. And it is beginning to seem that pain and pleasure are being compared not just in one central region but virtually throughout their respective networks, which biologically share several key features.”
The hedonic spectrum
“The question is whether pain and pleasure are two different things, or are part of the same spectrum,” says University of Michigan neuroscientist Jon-Kar Zubieta. “For example, if somebody is in pain for a long period of time or under high levels of stress, they release endogenous opioids. They will feel less pain; they control the pain better. But this system also becomes activated when you receive drugs of abuse, for example, and you feel pleasure.” Studies in animals and humans over the past two decades have shown that even ordinary stimuli such as food and sex simultaneously bring pleasure and reduce ambient pain, apparently by triggering the release, into key brain areas, of these natural morphinelike neurotransmitters. The human brain has evolved such a capacity for anticipating events that the mere expectation of a pleasurable reward can trigger endogenous-opioid analgesia. This is the basis of the placebo effect, which in the past few years has been traced, using PET and fMRI imaging techniques, to the release of opioids known as μ-opioids in the limbic system and frontal cortex. Initiating this opioid release are spurts of dopamine in the same areas, which form part of a loop of nerves from the cortex through the midbrain and limbic regions and back to the cortex again. This February the Archives of General Psychiatry published the results of a PET-based study, led by David Scott from Zubieta’s laboratory, in which the ability of a placebo to reduce pain in volunteer subjects was stronger when dopamine and μ-opioids were more active in these key brain areas—and was weaker when these neurotransmitters were less active. Some subjects paradoxically reported greater pain after receiving the placebo (an outcome researchers call the “nocebo” effect) and in these cases the usual analgesia-related dopamine and opioid responses appeared to have ceased altogether.
There is evidence that the pain-pleasure interaction works the other way too, so that pain reduces the ability to experience pleasure. “This area hasn’t been as well studied,” says Leknes, “but chronic pain typically causes reduced feeding in animals, and the effect is reversible with morphine. Also, people who experience chronic pain often suffer from depression and lose the ability to experience everyday pleasures.” Untangling the relationship between dopamine and the endogenous opioids remains a major target of research focus. In animal studies, for example, dopamine appears to be involved in the brain’s “wanting” a reward, while opioids are associated with the actual enjoyment. Scott sees dopamine surges in the ventral striatum as indications of the raw importance or “salience” of a stimulus, whether good or bad. At the same time, it appears almost always to trigger endogenous opioids—but the strength of that response seems to depend on whether a reward is perceived in the situation. Precisely how endogenous opioids go about modulating pleasure and pain at the same time is another unresolved question. But brain imaging studies indicate that in the orbitofrontal cortex, the amygdala and the ventral striatum, neurons whose activity correlates with feelings of pain and pleasure exist in close proximity— so that endogenous opioids, for example, may affect both populations simultaneously. “It’s not yet known whether they do, but it’s certainly compelling that separate neuronal populations do seem to exist within these regions,” says Leknes. Pleasure as a direction, not a destination
If the powers of endogenous opioids, or their apparent dopamine triggers, could be harnessed effectively, could life be a blissful, painfree mental paradise? Various intensely pleasurable behaviors have offered humans a seductive glimpse of such a realm. But hedonics research suggests that this goal is more in the nature of a mirage—disallowed by evolution because the brains that achieved it would be deeply maladaptive. Pain and pleasure, in other words, are meant to be steering signals rather than destinations in themselves.
There is evidence that the pain-pleasure interaction works the other way too, so that pain reduces the ability to experience pleasure.
The dopamine system is not meant to be cranked up to full and left on for a period
Thus, attempts to reach the Nirvana of chronic pleasure seem only to end up producing a blunting of feeling—much like that associated with chronic pain. A hit of a recreational drug, for example, typically causes a tremendous spike in dopamine levels in the motivational hotspots of the brain, with a corresponding rush of endogenous opioids. But the brain is meant to maintain a more-orless constant dynamic range for the activity of these hugely important systems: Its relevant neurons respond to a chronic overabundance of neurotransmitter molecules in effect by becoming less sensitive to them. More and more of the drug is needed to produce the same euphoric effect, and eventually it is needed just to feel normal. “The dopamine system is not meant to be cranked up to full and left on for a period,” says David Scott. “You crank it up to such an extent [with drug abuse] that you change it in a fundamental way, and now merely natural things are unable to take it to that level.” In principle this diminishingreturns problem applies to any deeply pleasurable stimulus. “Even people who engage in extreme sports may have a reduced ability to enjoy ordinary pleasures,” says Leknes, citing a study in 2006 by Ingmar Franken and colleagues at the University of Erasmus in Rotterdam, who found that a group of skydivers reported more anhedonia symptoms than a group of rowers. The hedonic personality
Just as extreme behaviors might in principle be able to derange the brain’s responsiveness to the stimuli of ordinary life, innate individual differences in that responsiveness appear to underlie a range of behaviors and behavior-related disorders. For example, David Scott and his colleagues, in their placebo/nocebo study, found considerable variation among their subjects in the way that they responded to the placebo stimuli. Some reported that they felt significant analgesia; others felt worsening pain. A significant part of that variation appeared to be accounted for by differences in short-term dopamine surges in an area of the ventral striatum known as the nucleus accumbens, long known as a reward- and pleasure-sensitive zone. Such short-term, “phasic” responsivity to stimuli is now known to be partly controlled by the background, or “tonic” level of dopamine in these areas. When the relevant neurons detect a high level of tonic dopamine, they tend to reduce their short-term, phasic responsivity to stimuli, thus effectively dulling sensation and motivation. Low tonic dopamine, on the other hand, tends to lead to enhanced, even “hyper” responsivity, so that even relatively humdrum stimuli are apt to hit the brain hard. “Whenever you have low tonic dopamine, one thing you’re going to get is perseverative behavior, where people tend to have problems breaking out of a routine,” says Anthony Grace, a neuroscientist at the University of Pittsburgh. Such hyper-responsivity to stimuli also has been associated with psychosis, and Grace and his colleagues have been studying the possibility that schizophrenia is at least partly caused by an abnormal dopamine-responsivity that also affects the hedonic and motivational systems. Zubieta’s laboratory, meanwhile, has reported finding associations between dysfunctions in these systems and conditions including depression, fibromyalgia and psychological trauma. Leknes for her part plans to study individual variations in reward and punishment sensitivity in the ordinary population, and how these differences develop in childhood. “Different people are differently sensitive to cues of reward and punishment in their environment, and I want to find out why,” she says.
TRICKS, \\\\ \\\\\\\\\ \\\\ TECHNIQUES, QUACKS
text Tim Hoad
Upon my laboured return home, I relayed an account of the day’s events to Kevin Leong, an old friend of mine who had been staying with us for a while. Little did I know that over the previous six months Kevin had been studying a specific healing therapy. Learning of my injury he offered to apply some treatment to see if he could do anything for the problem.This was to be my first experience of the powers of the Bowen Technique.The Bowen Technique was developed in the 1950s by the late Tom Bowen, who, after serving in World War 2, became interested in ways to alleviate human Suffering. Bowen had created the technique with no previous training in any healing discipline. Over a period of several years he developed the system as it is used today. The therapy which Bowen developed takes is a powerful and dynamic ‘hands on’ system of muscle and connective tissue therapy. It consists of a series of gentle yet precise moves using thumbs and fingers which stimulate energy flow, thus balancing the body and empowering the body’s own resources to heal itself.
It is considered, according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, that the body contains 14 primary meridians through which g/flows.
An ancient technique, in which a skilled practitioner inserts hair-thin needles into specific points on the body to prevent or treat ailments, acupuncture is one of the most well known and widely used alternative healing therapies. Originating in China where it has been practiced for over 2500 years, it stands as a leading tenant in the holistic system of traditional Chinese medicine, an ethos which views health as a constantly changing flow of energy or qi (pronounced Chi). Acupuncture, it is believed, helps regulate imbalances in this natural flow of energy, which can result in pain and discomfort. It is considered, according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, that the body contains 14 primary meridians through which g/flows. With the insertion of tiny, flexible needles just under the skin at specific ‘acupoints’, acupuncture aims to strengthen the flow of qi and/or removes blockages along these meridians. Acupoints exist at thousands of points along these meridians, and are correlated with particular internal organs or organ systems. If, for example, one sustained a concussion (a common injury amongst snowboarders) and suffered from resulting nausea, needles might be inserted into acupoints on the wrist. (Ear, scalp and hand points are also commonly used by some practitioners). Proponents of acupuncture hold the view that the treatment stimulates the body’s internal regulatory system and hence nurtures a natural healing response.
The Bowen Technique
There are frequent and important pauses between these moves, giving the body time to benefit from each set of manipulations. By combining moves, both in placement and combination, the practitioner is able to address the body as a whole, or target a specific problem. Throughout, there is no manipulation or adjustment of hard tissue and the treatment is subtle, very light and completely non-invasive, A tool possessed by Bowen practitioners is ‘tissue tension sense’. This is the name given to the therapist’s ability to discern stress build-up in certain muscle and tissue groups, and then utilise Bowen moves to release the detected stress and tension.
It makes a positive, healthy impact by providing more energy and as such an overall sense of well being, it differs from traditional techniques in that it utilises cross-fibre muscle manipulation which in turn, helps to create a deeper sense of relaxation. Producing an integrated body response improves circulation and lymphatic and venous drainage, thereby helping to assimilate vital nutrients and eliminate toxins from the body. The Bowen Technique also makes a positive, healthy impact by providing more energy and as such an overall sense of well being, it differs from traditional techniques in that it utilises crossfibre muscle manipulation which in turn, helps to create a deeper sense of relaxation. The treatment can take anything from fifteen minutes to one hour fifteen minutes to administer, depending on the type and severity of the problems. An important point to be remembered about the Bowen Technique is that it is seen as a ‘complementary’ therapy, which means it will enhance and complement -rather than interfere with - other medical attention. However, other manipulative therapies conducted immediately after a Bowen session can undermine the effectiveness of the work.
Quite often, pain can develop far from the origin of the injury. For example, pain travelling down your arm may be associated with a misalignment in the neck.
The term ‘chiropractic’ originates from the amalgamation of the greek words for ‘hand’ (cheiros) and ‘done by’ (praktos). Modern chiropractic was founded by Dr Daniel David Palmer in 1895. Palmer was convinced that the central nervous system was paramount to unlocking the body’s inherent healing capabilities. He presumed that misalignments in the spine and surrounding area would compromise the nervous system, therefore reducing that person’s healing processes. Whilst examining a patient who had hurt his back and subsequently complained of hearing problems for over 17 years, Palmer discovered a lump on the spine. He suspected that a vertebra was out of alignment and pinching a nerve going to the patients ears. With an unrefined technique the vertebra was adjusted with successful results. Chiropractic therapy was born. The Chiropractic profession, which treats ailments with an underlined concept that the body is a selfhealing organism, has made leaps and bounds in terms of acceptance over the last fifty years, chiefly due to many long-overdue outcomes based on scientific research studies. It is accepted that the 3 billion cells that make up the human body are under the control of the two divisions (sympathet-ic/parasympathetic) of the central nervous system. It is also known that our delicate nerve tissues are very sensitive to pressure and irritation, and compromising a nerve or group of nerves can have very significant negative effects upon the nerve and all tissues that the nerve supplies. Quite often, pain can develop far from the origin of the injury. For example, pain travelling down your arm may be associated with a misalignment in the neck. Because of the sensitivity of these tissues, the goals of the chiropractor include restoring a normal alignment in the spinal column, increasing mobility and flexibility of the spine, at the same time facilitating neurological pathways by reducing the nerve irritation, thus reducing pain and improving function. Chiropractic therapy is now the largest drug-free, non-surgical health care profession in the world, with observational studies consistently finding that patients receiving chiropractic care are more satisfied than those who receive standard medical care. It is capable of adressing problems of both spinal and skeletal nature (neck, ribs, arms, hip, knees foot, ankle, joint, muscle and ligaments), and as such, many professional and world Class athletes seek out chiropractic care in an effort to prevent injury reduce healing time and enhance their performance naturally. Yet again, one does not have to be in pain in order to visit a chiropractor, in fact the majority of injuries and problems that people sustain could be avoided with Keemptive care through chiropractic, )efore their activities, here is a common denominator for all types of people, even the non athlete aind that is: structure = function. This is why chiropractic has an important bearing on everyone. particularly surfers, skaters and snowboarders, where regular injury is common and specific muscles, tendons and joints need to be strong, agile and efficient, if you are experiencing recent injuries or discomfort seeing a Chiropractor may enable you to greatly reduce the time that it takes to heal, with regular visits likely to help you to stay injury free while improving performance.
Tui Na - Chinese healing massage
With its simplicity and focus on specific problems, Tui Na is now being popularised as a powerful therapeutic alternative and extension of traditional Western massage methods.
Tui Na is an oriental Bodywork therapy that has been used in China for over 2000 years. It consists of a variety of different systems that emphasise particular therapeutic principles, those of interest to freesports being: the ‘rolling method’ school which emphasises soft tissue techniques specialising in joint injuries and muscle sprains; the Nei Gong method school which emphasises the use of qi energy generation exercises and specific massage methods for revitalising depleted energy systems. Thirdly there is the ‘bone setting’ method school which emphasises manipulation methods to realign the musculoskeletal and ligamen-tous relationships and specialises in joint injuries and nerve pain. During treatment, one is required to wear loose clothing and no shoes, and to lie on a table or floor mat, The explicit problems are then assessed and specific treatment protocol applied. The major focus of application is upon specific areas of pain, acupressure points, energy meridians and muscles and joints. Sessions last from thirty minutes to one hour and depending on the particular problems, people may have to return for additional therapy.
Patients usually feel relaxed but energised by the treatment. However, it is not especially suited to those seeking a mild, sedating and relaxing massage since it tends to be more task focused than other types of bodywork. With its simplicity and focus on specific problems, Tui Na is now being popularised as a powerful therapeutic alternative and extension of traditional Western massage methods. It is highly recommended that one enlists the services of an experienced, qualified, licensed professional to ensure that the most effective treatment possible is received.
The hedonic personality Just as extreme behaviors might in principle be able to derange the brain’s responsiveness to the stimuli of ordinary life, innate individual differences in that responsiveness appear to underlie a range of behaviors and behaviorrelated disorders. For example, David Scott and his colleagues, in their placebo/nocebo study, found considerable variation among their subjects in the way that they responded to the placebo stimuli. Some reported that they felt significant analgesia; others felt worsening pain. A significant part of that variation appeared to be accounted for by differences in short-term dopamine surges in an area of the ventral striatum known as the nucleus accumbens, long known as a reward- and pleasure-sensitive zone. Such short-term, “phasic” responsivity to stimuli is now known to be partly controlled by the background, or “tonic” level of dopamine in these areas. When the relevant neurons detect a high level of tonic dopamine, they tend to reduce their short-term, phasic responsivity to stimuli, thus effectively dulling sensation and motivation. Low tonic dopamine, on the other hand, tends to lead to enhanced, even “hyper” responsivity, so that even relatively humdrum stimuli are apt to hit the brain hard. “Whenever you have low tonic dopamine, one thing you’re going to get is perseverative behavior, where people tend to have problems breaking out of a routine,” says Anthony
When the relevant neurons detect a high level of tonic dopamine, they tend to reduce their short-term, phasic responsivity to stimuli, thus effectively dulling sensation and motivation. Low tonic dopamine, on the other hand, tends to lead to enhanced, even “hyper” responsivity, so that even relatively humdrum stimuli are apt to hit the brain hard. Grace, a neuroscientist at the University of Pittsburgh. Such hyper-responsivity to stimuli also has been associated with psychosis, and Grace and his colleagues have been studying the possibility that schizophrenia is at least partly caused by an abnormal dopamine-responsivity that also affects the hedonic and motivational systems. Zubieta’s laboratory, meanwhile, has reported finding associations between dysfunctions in these systems and conditions including depression, fibromyalgia and psychological trauma. Leknes for her part plans to study individual variations in reward and punishment sensitivity in the ordinary population, and how these differences develop in childhood. “Different people are differently sensitive to cues of reward and punishment in their environment, and I want to find out why,” she says.
Extreme Sports and their Role in Society(extract) With regard to extreme sports, the perception
of the general public is that people who choose to take risks are irresponsible ‘adrenaline junkies’ who are ultimately a burden to society. When a person takes unnecessary risks, and becomes injured or in need of rescue, the expenses for coming to their aid are often borne by taxpayers. It should not be surprising then, that these same taxpayers question why they should have to pay for these seemingly foolish actions. A backcountry rescue after skiers trigger an avalanche, for example, will cost thousands of dollars. Skateboarders cause damage to both private and public property, and injure themselves. While these issues have been discussed at great length in the media, rarely does discussion focus on the negative impact of limiting access to these types of risky sports. What would be the effect on society if we made it more difficult for people to engage in these types of activities? In fact, by curbing a person’s passions and limiting access to their chosen sports–even those the public may consider risky– these athletes may well find outlets for their energy that is much
more burdensome to society. While it is true that extreme sports do not appeal to the masses, there are still a significant number of people to whom these activities are an important and fulfilling part of their lives. It is our differences that make a society interesting, so while it may not be for everyone, highrisk activities contribute to the diversity of our culture. We all crave adventure to some degree or another. As author, outdoorsman, and Idaho State University faculty member, Ron Watters explains in his essay “The Wrong Side of the Thin Edge”, everyone needs a little adventure. But some people need more than the normal forms of life’s excitement and take it one step further, participating in high-risk activities- sports played on the edge, where the consequences are far
greater, and where as the great American mountaineer and outdoor philosopher Willi Unsoeld once said, ‘It has to be real enough to kill you.’ Psychologist Frank Farley has studied thrill seeking risk-takers for decades, and has developed the term “Type T” (for thrill seeking). Farley describes Type T personality types as “risk-takers and adventurers who seek excitement and stimulation wherever they can find or create it.” Type T’s are not just the mountain climbing daredevils of the world however. They are often our best inventors, entrepreneurs and explorers. They are CEOs, surgeons, and civil rights leaders. Take high altitude mountaineer Dr. Kenneth Kamler for example, a New York microsurgeon and listed in the New York Guide to Best Doctors as well as in Who’s Who in America. We wouldn’t be the progressive, vibrant society we are today if no one was willing to take risks. Farley argues that history’s most crucial events are shaped by Type T individuals exhibiting Type T behaviour, from Boris Yeltsin to Martin Luther King, Jr. The act of emigration, he says, is an intrinsically risky endeavor that selects individuals who are high in sensation seeking. Consequently, countries built upon immigrant population-America, Canada, Australia--probably have an above-average level of risk takers. He warns that much of the current effort to minimize risk and risk taking itself runs the risk of eliminating “a large part of what made this country great in
Snowboarding as a communicative practice: The journey from rituals to normative discourse to formal discourse to theory
Practically every occurrence that surrounds us in our everyday life contains both explicit and implicit elements of communication. The sport of snowboarding is no exception to the fact that communication is everywhere. Its characteristics, culture, and members have overwhelmingly presented themselves into U.S. society within the past couple of decades. Robert Craig’s theory of communication as a practice provides a unique way of understanding the phenomenon of snowboarding (2006). The “boarding” culture, like any other “practice” as defined by Craig (2006), involves a “coherent set of activities that are commonly engaged in, and meaningful in particular ways” to its participants (p. 38, emphasis mine). As further explained by Craig’s theory, snowboarding is indeed a communicative practice because it contains specific rituals, normative discourse, theory, and metadiscourse. In other words, the journey that the sport of snowboarding has taken, the way it is talked about among its participants, the way its movements are explained and how it is taught, and the way it is critiqued are all very much the result of a constitutive process of communication within the sport itself. Carolyn Prill
FREE-RIDING IS ACHIEVED BY ESTABLISHING A MASTERY OF STYLE IN MANY AREAS OF THE SPORTS INCLUDING THE ABILITIES TO RIDE, CARVE, AND PERFORM Free-riding equipJUMPS ON VIRTUALLY ment is usually a ANY TERRAIN.
stiffer boot with a directional snowboard: since the free-ride style may encounter many different types of snow conditions, such as ice and deep powder, a medium stiffness setup is recommended to maintain stability in deeper snow or at higher speeds.
he free-ride style is the most common and easily accessible style of snowboarding. It consists of riding down any terrain available, but most often consists of groomed runs. Free-riding may include aerial tricks and jib (any type of fixture which can be ridden with the board that is not snow) tricks borrowed from freestyle, or deep carve turns more common in alpine snowboarding, utilizing whatever natural terrain the rider may encounter. Freeride aptitude is the first step to accessing other, more difficult forms of snowboarding terrain; such as freestyle (tricks), alpine, back country, and gladed terrain. Free-riding, which is more popularly known as â€œall-mountain snowboardingâ€? is achieved by establishing a mastery of style in many areas of the sports including the abilities to ride, carve, and perform jumps on virtually any terrain.
The most common binding stance used in freestyle is called “duck foot”, in which the trailing foot has a negative degree of arc setup while the leading foot is in the positive range i.e. +12°/-9°. Freestyle riders who specialize in jibbing often use boards that are shorter than usual, with softer flex and filed down edges. Shorter length enables the board to be rotated faster, and a softer flex requires less energy for a rider to press a feature. Reverse camber boards, or better known as rocker boards, are most often used as freestyle boards due to their softer flex and inverted ‘camber’ design. Pressing refers to a type of jib where the rider leans heavily toward the nose or tail of their board- causing the opposite end of their board to lift off of the feature they are sliding on. This trick is typically done for added style. Freestyle also includes halfpipe tricks. A halfpipe (or “pipe”) is a trench-like half-tube made of snow. Tricks performed may be rotations such as a 360° (a full turn) in the air, or an off-axis spin like a “McTwist”. Tricks can be modified while hitting different features.
Snowboards, Skis, and Goggles Snowboarding has had a rich and colorful past. Some of the first snowboards were much more similar to skateboards. One of the first manufactured boards was the “Snurfer” a short board that the rider stands on and steers with a string attached to the nose of the board. They were crude and didn’t allow for very much control, but they were fun and by 1979 there was the first ever World Snurfing Championships. Jake Burton arrived to compete with his own custom designed board and after much dispute was allowed to compete in his own category. Of course he won, but everyone watching realized how important the improvements were on his board. The main difference was the addition of snowboard bindings. They allowed the board to be turned more like skis, and the board was constructed more like ski equipment, but unlike stiff ski boots, soft snowboarding boots proved to be the best choice. The sport burst in popularity because of these improvements in snowboard equipment, developments that are still present on boards today. Snowboarding has always been closely affiliated with skate and surf culture which have affiliations of their own. In the past they were stereotyped as punk-rock and hip-hop listeners that were typically lazy, anti-establishment stoners. While there are still plenty of riders that fit into that category they are not exclusively snowboarders anymore.
“Tricks can be modified while hitting different features.”
For a long time they weren’t allowed onto ski slopes and then only reluctantly. There was a rift between skiing culture and snowboard culture which has slowly dissolved as riders began realizing their similarities and allowing other influences. Skiing culture has adopted many of the mentalities that skaters and snowboarders pioneered. Snowboarding gear was inspired by ski gear, but both have improved developments in the other sport. Carving skis didn’t exist until the carving snowboard was invented. Shaped boards revolutionized skiing, a fact many skiers are loathe to acknowledge, but snowboard designs would have never come around if it weren’t for skis and ski areas. Now they are sports that are enjoyed by many different types of people in huge numbers. No stereotypes can typify this group anymore.
For a long time they weren’t allowed onto ski slopes and then only reluctantly. There was a rift between skiing culture and snowboard culture which has slowly dissolved as riders began realizing their similarities and allowing other influences. Freestyle In freestyle, the rider uses man-made terrain features such as rails, jumps, boxes, and innumerable other innovative features to perform tricks on. The term “box” refers to an object with a slick top, usually of polyethylene(HDPE), that the rider can slide on with the base of their board. Like all freestyle features, boxes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and difficulty levels. The intent of freestyle is to use these terrain features to perform a number of aerial or jib tricks. The term “jib” refers to the rider doing a slide or press on an object not made of snow. This most commonly refers to tricks done on boxes, rails, or even trees. The equipment used in freestyle is usually a soft boot with a twin tipped board for better balance while riding regular or switch, though free-ride equipment is often used successfully.
SAFETY and precautions ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// The injury rate for snowboarding is around four to six per thousand persons per day, this is around double the injury rate for alpine skiing.
“Like some other winter sports, snowboarding comes with a certain level of risk.”
Injuries are more likely amongst beginners, especially those who do not take lessons with professional instructors. A quarter of all injuries occur to first-time riders and half of all injuries occur to those with less than a year of experience. Experienced riders are less likely to suffer injury, but the injuries that do occur tend to be more severe.Two thirds of injuries occur to the upper body and one third to the lower body. This contrasts with alpine skiing where two thirds of injuries are to the lower body. The most common point of injury is the wrists - 40% of all snowboard injuries are to the wrists and 24% of all snowboard injuries are wrist fractures. This is around 100,000 wrist fractures worldwide among snowboarders each year. For this reason the use of wrist guards, either separate or built into gloves, is very strongly recommended. They are often compulsory in beginner’s classes and their use reduces the likelihood of wrist injury by half. In addition it is important for snow boarders to learn how to fall without stopping the fall with their hand by trying to “push” the slope away, as landing a a wrist which is bent at a 90 degree angle increase the chance of it breaking. Rather, landing with the arms scratched out (like a wing) and slapping the slope with the entire arm is an effective way to break a fall. coincidentally this is the method used by Judo practitioners to break a fall when they are thrown against the floor, by a training partner.
The risk of head injury is two to six times greater for snowboarders than for skiers and injuries follow the pattern of being rarer, but more severe, with experienced riders. Head injuries can occur both as a consequence of a collision and when failing to carry out a heel-side turn. The latter can result in the rider landing on his or her back and slamming the back of his or her head onto the ground, resulting in an occipital head injury. For this reason, helmets are widely recommended. Protective eye-wear is also recommended as eye injury can be caused by impact and snow blindness can be a result of exposure to strong ultra-violet light in snow-covered areas. The wearing of ultra-violet-absorbing goggles is recommended even on hazy or cloudy days as ultraviolet light can penetrate clouds. Unlike ski bindings, most snowboard bindings are not designed to release automatically in a fall.
//////////////////////////////////////////////////// Unlike ski bindings, most snowboard bindings are not designed to release automatically in a fall. The mechanical support provided by the feet being locked to the board has the effect of reducing the likelihood of knee injury -15% of snowboard injuries are to the knee, compared with 45% of all skiing injuries. Such injuries are typically to the knee ligaments, bone fractures are rare. Fractures to the lower leg are also rare but 20% of injuries are to the foot and ankle. Fractures of the Talus bone are rare in other sports but account for 2% of snowboard injuries, a lateral process talus fracture is sometimes called “snowboarder’s ankle” by medical staff. This particular injury results in persistent lateral pain in the affected ankle yet is difficult to spot in a plain X-ray image. It may be misdiagnosed as just a sprain, with possibly serious consequences as not treating the fracture can result in serious longterm damage to the ankle. The use of portable ultrasound for mountainside diagnostics has been reviewed and appears to be a plausible tool for diagnosing some of the common injuries. Four to eight percent of snowboarding injuries take place while the person is waiting in ski-lift lines or entering and exiting ski lifts. Snowboarders push themselves forward with a free foot while in the ski-lift line, leaving the other foot (usually that of the lead leg) locked on the board at a 45to 90-degree angle, placing a large torque force on this leg and predisposing the person to knee injury if a fall occurs.
/////////////////// /// / Snowboarding boots should be well-fitted, with toes snug in the end of the boot to minimize movement. Padding or “armor” is recommended on other body parts such as hips, knees, spine, and shoulders. To further help avoid injury to body parts, especially knees, it is recommended to use the right technique. To acquire the right technique, one should be taught by a qualified instructor, this way you will hear about other people’s mistakes and are less likely to have to learn from your own. Also, when snowboarding alone, precaution should be taken to avoid tree wells, a particularly dangerous area of loose snow that may form at the base of trees. Some care is also required when waxing a board as fluorocarbon waxes emit toxic fumes when overheated. Waxing is best performed in a ventilated area with care being taken to use the wax at the correct temperature, it should be melted but not smoking or smoldering.
Similar to skiing, this race and slalom focused style is still practiced, though infrequently. Sometimes called alpine snowboarding, or the ‘euro-carve’, free-carving takes place on hard packed snow or groomed runs and focuses on the ultimate carving turn, much like traditional skiing. Little or no jumping takes place in this discipline. Free-carve equipment is a ski-like hardshell boot and plate binding system with a true directional snowboard that is usually very stiff and narrow to facilitate fast and responsive turns. Shapedskis can thank these “free-carve” snowboards for the cutting-edge technology leading to their creation.
Soul Riding a journey back to nature The true moral values, that are human virtues, are those that emanate from common sense. The notion of pleasure combined with respect toward our environment and toward our fellow man guides us to a new dimension that is inner peace. Feeling that takes to concede a person an admiring consideration, due to the value that we acknowledge him and to behave toward him with reserve and discretion (Le Petit Robert). The philosophical focus is represented in the first place by the journey and the Element. On one hand, traveling permits completing the education and the knowledge of being. The important thing is to travel in spirit; thereâ€™s no need to go far away to travel. Learning to be of course encompases enjoying life with others, seeking to meet people, knowing how to listen, loving, giving, tolerating. But above all, it is knowing yourself, the keystone of well-being. On the other hand, the Element leads us in an offhand manner to the simplicity and the modesty. What is the Element? It has to do with the Elements, with uppercase E, that it to say the natural elements. The natural elements allow us to experience extraordinary sensations through our five senses, notably with the practice of meditation (or prayer, we can call it what we like) and sports or even more by a lifestyle. The relationship with the modern society that we must live together in is equally an important theme. This society is of course the fruit of a group of individuals. But once launched, it can have an inertia, that carries the individuals that make it up in a lifestyle and behavior that donâ€™t correspond anymore to the personal expectations of every one. And thatâ€™s the drift., Western societies are starting to experience this drift. The result is a deterioration in the relationship between individuals.
X /Riding Position
t can be argued that your body position while riding is the most impor tant thing to get correct. Most of us think of dir t bikes as bicycles with engines and we end up sitting down for most of the ride – stand up! Stand up, and your legs act like shock absorbers over rough ground. Stand up, and you’ ll be able to handle rougher terrain, at faster speeds, with more control. Stand up, and keep your feet centered on the pegs for better control of your foot levers. Yes, you can shift while standing up. Stand up, and use your knees to grip the bike on the tank. Keep your knees slightly bent for comfor t and to absorb bumps. Stand up, with your elbows up and for ward. Stand up, bent at the waist, head over the handlebars, butt over the seat. Stand up, as much as you can. Sit down if you get tired, but then get back up as soon as you can. The more you stand, the longer you’ ll be able to do it. Stand up and stay loose. If you’re tense, you’ ll tire out faster. At the risk of oversimplifying… instead of tr ying to force the bike to go somewhere, let it bounce where it wants to while gently and consistently correcting. There are times when you do want to sit down, turns for example.Practice keeping one or two f ingers on the clutch and front brake.
By Danny Makaskill
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/Dirt Bike Suspension --Terminology
ow speed Compression Dampening adjusts the flow of oil through the base valve and comes into play when attacking obstacles that are more rounded – times when the suspension is moving though its travel at a slower speeds. Again, it’s about how fast the suspension is moving, not your dirt bike. Rebound Dampening After your suspension is compressed, it has to return to its starting point. This is called rebound, and rebound dampening controls what that speed will be. If your rebound dampening is set too fast your dirt bike may kick up over braking bumps or when accelerating out of corners. If it’s set too slow the suspension won’t return far enough to absorb the next bump and a series of bumps can lead to the suspension bottoming out. Spring Rates Spring rates are numbers used to indicate the stiffness of the fork springs or shock spring. Wheelbase Wheelbase is the distance between the front wheel and back wheel measured where each wheel touches the ground. Bringing your rear wheel forward in the swingarm will decrease your bikes wheelbase and will make the bike quicker to turn in corners. Increasing your wheelbase makes the bike more stable at high speeds. Bear in mind, you’d have to be a fairly aggressive or experienced dirt bike rider or motocross racer to notice any real difference. (You would notice the difference between a 50cc pit bike and 500cc race machine though). Fork Leg Height In simple terms, fork leg height changes how far your handlebars are from the ground. It’s adjusted by moving your fork legs either up or down in the triple clamp. The triple clamp is that part connecting your forks to the handlebars and the dirt bike frame. Adjusting the fork leg height also affects your wheelbase. If the fork legs are high in the triple clamps, the wheelbase is effectively shortened with the bike turning in faster. Dropping the fork legs down makes your dirt bike more stable at higher speeds. Fork Leg Spike is used to describe a rough, uneven feeling as the forks or rear shock travel. The cause is usually a mismatch in front and rear suspension tuning. As one end tries to move at a different rate than the other it feels like the dirt bike is fighting itself (and you).
Bottoming is when the suspension reaches the end of its travel.The ideal situation occurs when you almost, or very lightly bottom out that means you’re using all of the suspension’s travel and reducing the impact as much as possible. Preload Preload refers to adjusting the length of the shock to match your body weight. The springs that you see on them control your preload. Free Sag or Static Sag Free sag or static sag is how much your dirt bike suspension compresses under its own weight.
Race Sag or Laden Sag, is how much your dirt bike sags while you’re on it sometimes called rear ride height as well.
Taking Turns And Making Corners / GENERAL CORNERING As you look, so shall you steer! Looking where you want to go sounds easy, but way too often, you’ll focus on the bike that crashed in front of you, that rut you don’t want to be in, or that stump you want to avoid. Guess where you end up? Look at where you want to be, not where you don’t want to be. Keep your body movements as smooth as possible. Quick jerky moves quickly put you off your bike. Look ahead as far as you can. Pick your line before you get there and know where you’ll follow through. Get your braking done before you hit the turn – you want to avoid hitting the brakes while you’re leaning. Keep your throttle steady during the turn. Keep your weight on the inside peg to begin the turn, then shift to the outside peg to counterbalance during the turn. Stay loose – you have to guide the bike, not fight it. The bike may want to wander during the turn and if you’re tense you’re more likely to put the bike down or get thrown. If you’re moving fast, the bike can drift a little.
CORNERS Don’t try to avoid the drift, you’re better off trying to anticipate it and use it. If the drift is unexpected, stay loose and correct for it. Don’t wait until you’re out of the turn to accelerate. Start throttling up about halfway through and tease the clutch to control your traction. As you finish the turn, remember you have more track ahead of you. Nailing the turn doesn’t do you a whole lot of good if you face plant on the next jump or turn. When you’re accelerating out of the turn, it can help to shift your weight backwards on the seat a little to put more weight on the back wheel and gain some extra traction.
As you finish braking for the corner slide forward, seated, with your inside leg out towards the front wheel. Get up on the corner of the seat so that as the bike is leans for the turn your body is still vertical. Lean hard on the outside peg, to counterbalance the bike and improve traction. After passing the midpoint of the corner you should be accelerating enough so that both wheels are just starting to drift. Easy does it though you want to avoid having that rear wheel slide too far. Straighten the bike up as you come out of the corner to get better traction and increase speed. Blazing up on a corner full of ruts freaks out a lot
of riders – so mastering them can give you a real edge and lots of confidence.Brake before reaching the corner, and enter the rut with your weight forward, your elbows up and your head over the handlebars. Keep your weight on the outside peg during the turn. Here’s the unnatural part for most riders let the rut to steer the bike. Stay loose and ride the bike, don’t fight it.Begin accelerating as you pass the midpoint of the turn. Practice. Practice. Practice. Start slow and steady until the technique becomes second nature, then start increasing the speed of your passes through the turn.
You’ve been there. You ride your dirt bike to the top of a hill and then lock your brakes up at the top when you see the steep drop on the downhill side. There’s a trail... so other dirt bikes have gone down there. There are no skeletons wearing helmets at the bottom... so apparently they survived. Whether you’re dealing with a short, steep drop off, or a longer downhill ride, the technique is pretty much the same. Most dirt bike riders, when confronted with a steep drop, will tend to drop to the seat because that feels the most secure. The first thing you have to do is get your butt off the seat. And, here’s the part I love to say -- stay relaxed. Yes, you might be nervous, but tensing up will result in losing some control of your steering, braking, and balance. Make sure you pick and start traveling at the speed you want before you begin to tackle the slope. In general, if you’re feeling confident halfway down it’s not a big deal to pick up speed. If you panic on the way down it’s a lot harder to slow down and keep the dirt bike under you where it belongs. On your way down, you should be using about twice as much rear brake as front brake. Too much front brake and you’re going to beat your dirt bike to the bottom. Keep your body loose, stay up on the pegs in a crouched position.
“As you would with any obstacle, figure where you’re going to go at the end of it.”
First of all, just because a berm is there, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. Sometime you can find a faster line through the turn by avoiding the berm. A wide berm (lots of distance between the berm and the inside of the track) often means a slightly slower but shorter turn on the inside is actually quicker than a faster pace on the berm. The steeper the berm, the more you can lean the bike into it, and the faster you can get through the turn. When you can, start the turn higher on the berm and drive your way down to the bottom as you come out. Think smooth and flowing.
/ / / / D I R T
D I E
good dirt bike can’t turn a bad rider into a motocross professional, but keeping your dirt bike at its best will
keep you at your best. Your dirt bike’s suspension plays a big role in how the bike performs and responds. Fortunately, today’s suspension allows for a lot of adjustment and tuning and, even better, you can learn to do it yourself. The most important thing is small steps do everything just a little bit at a time. Before you get started, it helps to be familiar with the terminology. Following are some common terms and quick explanations. Compression Dampening how the suspension compresses. An adjustable valve allows a specif ic amount of oil through the suspension and con-
trols the speed at which it travels through its stroke. High speed Compression Dampening allows you to adjust the suspension rate for times when the suspension is moving at high speed. For example, hitting a large, f lat, near vertical surface will cause the forks or rear shock to compress at a higher speed. It’s all about how fast the suspension is moving not your dirt bike.
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\Jumps Whether you’re trying to nail a triple in a motocross competition, or jumping a boulder on the trail, jumping a dirt bike is an important skill – and fun when it’s done correctly. Start small. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in jump – air wheelies, going sideways, mid-air somersaults, missing the landing – and if you’re going to goof, it’s better to do it close to the ground. As non-logical as it sounds, the best way to approach a jump is almost always in a standing position. Click here for more about standing. Pick the line BEFORE you jump – it’s really tough to change directions once you’re in the air.
On the trail, most jumps are small and you’ll take them as they come, but if you’re messing around the gravel pit, trying out the local track, or grabbing air over driveways while ditch banging, check out the jump first. Ride over it slowly or at least next to it. Rehearse your approach, jump, and landing in your head. An even throttle as you start the jump should give you the right arc for a good landing. Increasing throttle while starting the jump can lift the front wheel. Decreasing throttle while starting the jump can drop the front wheel. If the front wheel lifts, pull in the clutch, tap the rear brake, and lean forward. If the front wheel starts to dive, accelerate – the bike will want to spin in the opposite direction of the rear tire, so you may get the front wheel up again. If the bike starts to go sideways (crossing it up), keep your body lined up with the bike and accelerate on the landing if you’re lucky you’ll be able to correct once you land… if not, your friends will love showing you the video. Practice jumps in your head, until the steps become second nature. Then practice what you’re going to do if the jump goes bad. Halfway through a bad jump is a bad time to pull out a textbook and review proper procedure and corrective measures.
Frontside carving 360's are an extention of a fluid powerful bottom turn. They require excellent timing and preperation to be executed effectively; and feel pure and
The nose of your board w
almost effortless when you nail one.
the part of your board und
You want to try these on a nice steep peak with not much wall down the line, or when you come
section. The force of the w
around a section that has a steep pocket to carve into.
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tinue as long as you are ov
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possible. Lean into it hard and drive up the wave on your rail.
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front foot while continuing
Keep your eyes focused on the pocket of the wave.
should be coming around
Where the foam meets the wave face is where you should be aiming.
looking towards the open
Keep your body weight over your inside rail, and keep that rail turning. Unlike a normal bottom
ready for your next bottom
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have to do is lean into it and connect with the lip at the right time and place. When you get to the
the face getting ready for
top of the wave you want your board to be past vertical and still turning on rail.
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To make these feel and look really good you don't want to spin off your tail at all. It's all rail. Lean
good right now. I love fron
in to it, and focus on the lip with most of the weight on your front foot.
good one because you sp
Connect with the wave just under the lip where it is steep and powerful.
Surfing begins when the surfer paddles toward shore in an attempt to match the speed of the wave. Once the wave begins to carry the surfer forward, the surfer stands up and proceeds to ride the wave. The basic idea is to position the surfboard so it is just ahead of the breaking part (white water) of the wave. A common problem for beginners is being able to catch the wave at all.
will come above the lip a little bit but
der your front foot will be hitting the
wave will push your board back
e wave and help your spin to con-
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e rail hard and your eyes should be
you are heading(back into the wave).
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n face and standing up a bit to get
m turn. When your nose is pointed
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ntside carving 360's when you nail a
pin around so fast it's hard to tell
Keys: Timing and wave selection are crucial. Keep it on rail. Watch the lip, and time it. Hit the lip when you are past vertical. Keep the momentum going by using your rail and front foot.
Î™NSTRUCTIONS 1. Ride toward your obstacle with a little more speed than you would need for a 50/50 grind.
2. Ollie up toward the obstacle as you would for a 50/50, but as you come down toward the obstacle, push your front truck down and to the side of the edge of the obstacle so that the nose is below the edge when you start to grind.
3. Land with most of your weight on the back truck, and lean back slightly. Most of the grinding pressure will be on your truck, but the edge and underside of your board must be sliding on the object as well, otherwise you are NOT doing a Smith grind. Basically, this is halfway between a 50/50 grind and a lipslide.
4. Keep your weight back as you grind. The more you lean back, the longer you will grind - just don't lean too far back. The key is to get "locked in to" the grind on this trick, and you will feel it when you do it right.
5. Put all your weight on the back of t and begin to stand up when you want off. Once the nose of the board is onc level with the rest of the board, simply of the grind as you would for a 50/50.
the board, t to come ce again y ride out .
This maneuver entails the back truck grinding an edge or rail, while the front truck hangs over the near side of the object,leaving the edge of the deck to rub the lip/edge. This trick was named after its inventor Mike Smith (skateboarder). It is considered by many to be the most difficult basic grind trick.The backside version was originated by deaf Florida powerhouse Monty Nolder.
The best place to practice is on a hand-made kicker into deep powder. Find a good 35 degree slope that flattens out at the end. Build a kicker about fifteen feet before the flat. Don't make it too steep, but enough to launch you out and up for four seconds at least. Experiment taking straight jumps till you find an angle that feels right. Approach the jump with moderate speed. At the end of the kicker settle your weight slightly forward and ollie while looking over your outside rotating shoulder. As soon as you can, find your landing spot. You'll now be in switch stance and with a simple turn of the hips landing in your normal stance to mad applause! Of course, it sounds easier than it is. Just watch your speed, look over your shoulder, spot your landing and shift your weight, with practice and patience the backside 360˚ will be in your bag.
Step 1: Find the right funbox Landing the right trick starts by finding the right feature. For your first boardslide, the right feature is a beginner fun-box: Find one with a ride-on ramp so you don’t need to clear a big gap (a slight gap is okay too) 1-2 feet wide Box should be 1-2 feet off the snow. Smooth take-off and landing no ruts or ice. Because your edges will be riding along the box, it’s a good idea to check the box for burs and rough spots to prevent catching an edge. Step 2: Practice the pop Go somewhere flat to practice the right movement. Strap both feet in do a few straight pops to warm up. Get low and spring up evenly with both feet. Now add a 90 degree spin. You shouldn’t need to use your arms to get the full rotation. Just dig in with your toe or heel edge (whatever you’re more comfortable with), and turn your hips. Now throw down Step 4: Boardslide your snowboard Now that you’ve got the pop and posture, put it together with this drill that simulates the motion. Take off your snowboard. Place your snowboard on the snow. In your boots, jump onto
a stick or draw a line in the snow. Land o stick right between your feet—notice that to one side to land in the middle.
Step 3: Practice keeping your base flat It’s very important to maintain a flat base avoid slipping back. There are a few ways the best part is you already know how don’t require a lift-ticket. The best way to keep a flat base is to be stick you butt out and keep an upright pooping in the woods. The motion is virtually the same as riding ping cart. Hop on with soft legs and keep toes and shoulders over your knees. Just lean back, you will fall backwards.
your snowboard so your feet land betw ings. Remember to land with soft, abso your feet flat. If you get in the back-seat, off.
In a way to keep you distanced foot strong to the board you should lower your weight to the front foot and lower your back against the soulders. Then change the movement of your body and turn the foot backwards in a way to push the board to the side then your face shoud look front and try to keep the body weight on the front foot in order to avoid losing your balance to the back >
on a flat base with the t you have to start off
e while on the box to s to practice this, and to do them and they
end your knees a lot, t back. It’s kinda like
g the back of a shopp your knees over your t like on a box, if you
ween the tip and bindorbent knees and keep , see how it’s easy to fly
Start turning your body in the backside direction as soon as you pop. You don’t need much scoop for this trick since it’s mainly the front foot that guides the board, but you still want to get a good amount to get the full 180. When you have turned about 30-40 degrees, you want to start the flick. Remember, you are doing this while your body is rotating backside, so it’s important to remain in control and over your board. The timing of the flick is tough and varies from person to person. Experiment with this step until you find a comfortable time to flick. Landing The Backside Flip is caught at about 160-170 degrees, unlike he Frontside Flip, which is caught at 90 degrees and brought around. You can keep your balance by shifting your weight to your (now) back foot as soon as you land. As you catch, stomp on the board to prevent it from flipping further. And as always, bend your knees and ride away smiling.
Step 5: Pop on the funbox When the park isn’t busy, get a friend or coach to help you onto the funbox. Try popping 90 degrees then back to straight a few times on the funbox. Sit up there for a little while and get used to the feeling. Keep your knees really bent, you should always be putting pressure on your shins so much so that if I stuck a quarter in the front of your boot, you’re forward pressure would keep it from falling out of place. Your knees should be over your toes and your shoulders should be over your knees. Step 6: Boardslide a funbox Head to a funbox and do a few 50-50s to get warmed up. Start about 10-15 feet above the funbox and ride straight at it. Try not to make too many turns leading up the ramp, it’ll just mess you up. It may be easier to approach a couple inches off to the side of the box (left side if you’re goofy, right side if you’re regular). Pop when your front foot reaches the funbox, turn 90 degrees and land with soft knees to cushion the impact. Maintain a flat base with that good posture we described and stick your butt out. If you feel like you are going off to one side, don’t worry, just go with it and come off early. Never fight to stay on. At the end, give yourself a little pop and turn your shoulders to ride away regular.
Compression dampening controls how the suspension – you guessed it -- compresses. An adjustable valve allows a specific amount of oil through the suspension and controls the speed at which it travels through its stroke.
Jump from rump .Whether you’re trying to nail a triple in a motocross competition, or jumping a boulder on the trail, jumping a dirt bike is an important skill and fun when it’s done correctly. Start small. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in jump, air wheelies, going sideways, mid-air somersaults, missing the landing and if you’re going to goof, it’s better to do it close to the ground. As non-logical as it sounds, the best way to approach a jump is almost always in a standing position. Pick the line before you jump it’s really tough to change directions once you’re in the air. On the trail, most jumps are small and you’ll take them as they come, but if you’re messing around the gravel pit, trying out the local track, or grabbing air over driveways while ditch banging, check out the jump first. Ride over it slowly or at least next to it. Rehearse your approach, jump, and landing in your head. An even throttle as you start the jump should give you the right arc for a good landing. Increasing throttle while starting the jump can lift the front wheel. Decreasing throttle while starting the jump can drop the front wheel. If the front wheel lifts, pull in the clutch, tap the rear brake, and lean forward. If the front wheel starts to dive, accelerate the bike will want to spin in the opposite direction of the rear tire, so you may get the front wheel up again. If the bike starts to go sideways (crossing it up), keep your body lined up with the bike and accelerate on the landing if you’re lucky you’ll be able to correct once you land
GLOVES Nothing can turn you off dirt bike riding faster than having a bunch of gravel ground into your knuckles. If you don’t have the cash for real riding gloves, get a pair of snug-fitting work gloves. Plenty of protection for the kind of riding you are doing. Don’t get the kind with only have the finger covered, go for full protection. Good gloves will be tough but flexible. The gloves have to breathe .
BOOTS Dirt bike boots are expensive! If you’re racing, they’re a must have. If you’re trail riding or ditch-banging, you can get away with a good pair of work boots or hiking boots. Get something comfortable and flexible, but with good ankle support. The boot should go above the ankle, those hiking/work shoes seem like a good compromise until you smack your ankle bone against a stump or the kick start. Any boot you wear should have a heel. It makes kick starting and staying on the pegs a lot easier.
CHEST PROTECTORS There are very few trail riders that wear chest protectors but just about every motocross racer you know wears one. you can sure understand that extra peace of mind and protection they offer in a crash. A chest protector can only take care of you if it stays in place. When you’re trying them on for comfort, make sure you get one that won’t move during a crash. If you’re investing money in a chest protector make sure it has full torso, back, shoulder, elbow, and kidney protection.
Ιs a bike trick typically performed on a BMX, in which the frame of the bike performs a complete rotation around the front end (bars and forks), which remains stationary throughout the move. Τhere are a few main methods, these both include whipping the bike around using your arms in a gyrating motion whilst holding the bars, but some riders also kick the bike with their back foot to give it extra momentum. It also helps if you approach a jump crooked, therefore, it will throw the bike from under allowing you to start a tailwhip.
3 2 1 ITEM
1.9cm THICK PLYWOOD 3.8cm X 8.9cm X 118.2cm LONG WOOD STUDS 95cm THICK PLYWOOD 122cm WIDE, CUT TO PROPER LENGTH
2 7 2 QTY
NECK ROLLS Neck rolls are labeled essential by some riders, and unnecessary by others they’re designed to protect against common neck and collarbone injuries. The extra weight of a helmet may be too much for a child’s head in a crash since their neck muscles are still forming neck rolls can add some extra support.
KNEE PROTECTION – KNEE BRACES Every now and then a stump is going to leap out of the bush and head straight for your knee whether it hits your knee cap or some knee protection is up to you. And with the intensity of riding you’ll find in motocross, knee protection is a must have. Knee pads are second best. Better than nothing, but not as good as a knee brace. There’s a big variety of knee braces out there, and the features and materials keep changing. Check reviews in your favorite dirt bike magazine, or online, and check with your riding friends. Then get the best you can afford.