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)
On gentler terrain it is common for the snowboarder to "run straight" with the toboggan to maintain speed just as an Alpine skier would:
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")
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!)
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)
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Copyright © 1997 David E. Schutz