Carving - it's so hot right now. With the elder generation of snowboarders now too old and arthritic to get airborne these days, there's a slew of 'back in my day' platitudes passed down that have been translated into 'cool' by the upcoming talent.
No matter though, because for once a trend in snowboarding is actually rad as fuck - doing something that looks natural where in actual fact it's one of the hardest skill sets to master.
Whilst in Stubai with GB Park & Pipe, we got the low down from head coach Hamish McKnight on the technique behind a proper eurocarve, or in this case a Tirol carve. He should know - he has a mean one.
How To Eurocarve
Apparently, whilst the instinct is to get low, put in a heavy toeside turn and then plonk your elbow in, the proper technique is more about core strength than anything else. You get on your edge, but start by crouching to make your centre of gravity as small as possible. Get your elbow in the snow with some weight on it, then stretch yourself out and get as parallel to the floor as possible.
To come back up, simply do the reverse: don't push yourself up with your arm/shoulder, instead bring your elbow back towards your board and make your centre of gravity as small as possible again. This should allow you to simply tip backwards, stand up and engage your base and heel edge once again.
Spend a few years attempting that, and one day you might have a eurocarve as good as Hamish's one above.
Since this is snowboarding that, of course, is not simply that. There's many variations of the humble eurocarve out there, here's five of our favourites:
The Halfpipe Carve
Halfpipe is often described as physics-defying when in fact it's anything but, speed and momentum combining with technique to create amplitude, but this inverted eurocarve from Christian Haller goes against everything you learned at school. He's pushing his edgesin upwards in order to stay down - you'd have thought gravity would have something to say about that.
The Switch Backside Carve
If it wasn't the one thing that made carving fashionable, Dylan Gamache's switch backside carve in Yawgoons 11 certainly helped edge control along. Like a true eurocarve, done properly it feels as good as it looks - as you rock from your heels to your toes simply put your back hand down, push your back foot out, let your toe edge engage and pull you around. Hold it as long as possible, then stand up by looking under your front hand and letting the board swivel again.
The Carve Flip
Six months later and we've still not got anything close to an idea as to how Alek Oestreng can frontside rodeo out of a full eurocarve. Mind blowing even on the gazillionth play through.
The Stacked Carve
One from Jack Shackleton and Hamish McKnight - start off by holding hands with a pal before both engaging eurocarves with the person further down the hill holding the heel edge of the one above. Anyone who can do a three or more person version - send it in and win a prize.
The Iron Lotus
See it and read all about it in all its GIF-free glory here: The Most Dangerous Trick In Snowboarding.
And for the best of them all, check out Eurohumping!