By Jesse Druxerman, 2010.
Toe-to-toe and heel-to-heel are advanced riding tasks and possible riding requirements for the Level 3 and Trainers Certification courses. These tasks require refined balancing, edging and rotational skills and a smooth blending of all 4 planes of movement.
Although these tasks are not everyday freeride maneuvers, they do serve a very important skill-building purpose. Tactically these tasks can be very useful to reinforce and hone early edging skills as well as strong angulation skills, not to mention the power and timing refinement to stomp the exact degree of rotation. It is for this very reason that the toe-to-toe and heel-to-heel are important tasks in higher levels of SBINZ riding.
Flexion and extension occur in the ankles, knees and hips to get the snowboard in the air and to land softly, progressively pressuring down on the edge through the turn.
A full 180 degree rotation is necessary to accomplish the task successfully. Rotation should be smooth, using active core muscles to turn the body in unison a full 180 degrees.
Laterally subtle movements of hips, knees and ankles are required to make the edge change in the air to stay balanced on top of the correct edge. Strong angulation skills are paramount to be successful with this task.
Longitudinally zero movement is necessary to take off and land centered on both feet. Too much longitudinal movement will result in an ollie/nollie to get air, which will consequently result in an uneven landing, skidding the next turn rather than carving.