Scenes of Snowboard Toboggan Operation

The following pictures have been assembled by David Schutz to show the use of snowboards in the operation of "Cascade" type ski patrol toboggans in differing snow and terrain conditions. The pictures are intended to provide illustrations ONLY of some of the general practices commonly used in snowboard toboggan operations.

These materials are not intended to, nor do they represent, any type of formal training curriculum. Rather, they are simply excerpts from my personal photo album accompanied with expressions of my personal opinions. (Usual legal disclaimer)

A "New Feature Added, or Significant Change Made" to this page in November 1996
(This page uses highly compressed "jpeg" images and "Netscape" based formatting commands)


"Heel-Side" - - - - "Toe-Side"
(Note how the hands simply "slide up/down" the handles during this transition)

On gentler terrain it is common for the snowboarder to "run straight" with the toboggan to maintain speed just as an Alpine skier would:

Tail Rope

Normal "Heel-Side" Stance

On gentler terrain "straight" running is also practical

Tail Rope operation is mostly done "Heel-Side" (Never "Toe-Side"). There is no need for "transitions" in the classical sense, as the snowboarder simply rides backwards ("fakie") when required.

In my experience, the following guidelines apply to snowboard toboggan operation:

  • Don't attempt to run Tail Rope in a "Toe-Side" stance
  • Avoid excessive rope tension (don't "water ski")
  • Always maintain good communication between the patroller who is steering and the tail-roper
  • When steering, a "Heel-Side" stance is preferred by most patrollers
  • Remember that a snowboard can handle certain types of snow conditions more easily than Alpine skis. In powder, breakable crust, or "mashed potatoes" a snowboarder needs to be aware of the increased difficulty that might confront their Alpine ski equipped partner ("tail roper")

  • Special Pictures

    The following pictures are... "submitted for your approval...."

    Picture of Dave Falling

    This shows what happens when you catch a down-hill edge when side-slipping in a Heel-Side stance. Note the vertical position of the snowboard. From this position it is easy to extricate yourself by placing weight on your knees and pulling forward (don't push downward) on the handles, then spinning "180" to a toe-side position. (Yes, I fell on purpose...... "Falling is my Claim to Fame!)

    Operating in the "Steeps"

    "Cat's Meow" Loveland, Colorado
    In extremely steep terrain, a Toe-Side stance can ease communication with the tail-roper

    Even "Telemark Skis" & Snowboards Work Well Together!

    A Real Snowboard Pioneer
    1983 (14 years ago) newspaper picture of Montage Mountain's "R.J." Hanson - snowboarding
    Yep! His hair was L o n g even back then!

    The NSP "Eastern Division Snowboard Demo Team"

    A tired group of patrollers takes pause after having spent three days in 1993, conclusivley proving to NSP officials that they were capable of meeting the same performance and skill levels as those established for Alpine Ski based patrollers. (Click for related story)

    (l to r) Eric Gustafson (Mt. Snow), Don Voorhees (Sugarbush), Dave Schutz (Plattekill)
    Steve Draisey (Jiminy Peak), "RJ" Hanson (Montage), Kevin Callahan (Hunter)

    Have you found a technique that would be useful to others?

    Do you have comments/suggestions regarding this page?

    If so, I would like to hear from you!

    E-mail Comments & Suggestions Direct to Dave

    Where Would You Like to Go?

    Dave's Snowboard Patrol Home Page

    Copyright 1997 David E. Schutz