What a mere three degree can change

December to January always mean a time of celebration, and of course with the onset of winter, the time when I always get to take out the snowboard once in a year and continue to work on this sport. Truth be told, I am still more or less an amateur or for lack of a better word, a newbie. Yeah, that’s even after 4 years or so playing this sport. Even with all the inconveniences of having to wear snowboarding jackets and pants, immobile boots and enduring freezing temperatures at the summit and any pain one might get after a day of falls, I have yet to find another sport that provides that much fun and adrenaline rush as snowboarding down a mountain of fresh powder. And as long as beginners stick to green or blue runs, it never is an extreme sport.

Going downhill is always not of a problem for me, even on blue runs, but I have never managed to carve properly. Carving is the equivalent of like doing the first donut in drifting. It also means being able to twist and turn down the slope, moving with the natural landscape and of course comes with the added speed. For years I have stuck with the regular foot configuration of +9 and -3 on my board settings. This meant my left leg front is angled out 9 degrees and 3 degrees out on my right leg at the back. Last sunday, after an unsuccessful try at a full carving once again while snowboarding at Cypress, I decided to make a small adjustment to my front bindings, by moving it 3 degree clockwise to a +6 setting. And voila, on the first run down on this setting, I manage to do a proper carving.

To truly understand the wholesomeness of snowboarding, it is essential to be able to carve, as one then truly finds more fun across the white slopes! The added speed, the continuity of the run, the feel of the wind against one’s face and the feel of control – all just adds up to pure pleasure on a board. This comes back to the title of this post. Isn’t it interesting to note what 3 degree could do? Just in engineering even a 3 degree tilt could lead to serious consequences, this 3 degree change meant a more comfortable setting for which I felt more confident with. This mere change shows that sometimes we need tweak our life just like tuning the snowboard to find our comfort zone or to discover the ‘settings’ that might suit us. If you try to force yourself to adapt to a setting you aren’t comfortable with, the result would be time lost in frustration and pain. But of course, I might need to change the settings again when maybe I proceed to another level with my snowboard, or maybe even the need to get used to a new board and find out the new settings once again. The cycle of discovery, learning and adjustment thus goes on…

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