How to Execute a Panel Slide with Chris Brown – Riding Tip
Some folks call it an elevator, but I call it a panel slide. It all started for me back in 2005 while filming for Slednecks 8. It was springtime and Chris Burandt and I were filming together in Colorado. I was on my short track and was sidehilling a steep hill when I decided to slow down…the next thing I knew, I was panel sliding down the whole slope. But it didn’t stop there. I continued to do it over and over, while working on better techniques. It was new and super fun!
Over the past 13 years I have worked on my panel slide and use it almost daily now for technical moves and for the pure fun of it. The panel slide is a move I teach in all of my technical riding clinics. It’s a move that pretty much anyone can try on the right slope.
Here are some tips to help improve your panel slide. For this demonstration, we’ll assume a panel slide on the left side.
Portrait by Allan Sawchuck. Action Images courtesy of Ride Whistler.
Riding Tip: How to Execute a Panel Slide with Chris Brown
1. Choose the Correct Slope
Pick a steep but short hill or bank to start with. A short slope won’t kill your confidence. The steeper it is, the easier it is to panel slide. Note: it shouldn’t be a cornice.
2. Initiate a Sidehill
Get into a sidehill position before you get to the edge of where it becomes steep. Do it while it’s still easy, usually on a flatter section above.
3. Body Positioning
Your right foot should be forward on the left running board and tucked in. Counter-steer, and get your left leg off the sled and on the ground. You can stop on your left side as you get to the edge. This gives you a chance to re-adjust your body position if needed. You want your body forward on the chassis. Your arms should be bent, not straight.
4. Start with a Counter-Steer
Once you feel comfortable and ready, slowly start to sidehill down the slope. The key is having the skis fully counter-steered when you start the slide. This will allow you to get the sled onto its panel. As you get the sled on its panel, tuck your left leg in. I usually tuck my outside leg just in front of my inside leg and in against the front of the tunnel so it’s not caught between the panel and the snow.
5. The Panel Slide
Now you’re panel sliding! Your sled should be sliding down the slope on the panel and against your legs. The less drag there is, the faster (and better) your panel slide will be.
6. Skis Control the Slide
The attitude of the sled is now controlled by the skis. Continue to counter-steer, which should cause the nose of the sled to stay down (or level with the track). If you turn into the hill, the nose of the sled will start to come up the hill, relatively speaking. In this case, gravity will also take over and try to tip your sled over. You want to avoid tipping over, as this is really the only way you could get hurt from this move. So keep your skis counter-steered and your weight forward, and you should slide down parallel with the slope. You can steer the ship by making little adjustments with the skis to control whether the nose goes up or down.
7. Quick Adjustments
If the nose drops down too far, make a quick adjustment with the skis by turning left. Make sure to quickly turn back to the counter-steer position though to avoid tipping over (high-siding). Another way to get the nose back up is to drop the track. You can do this by hitting the throttle quickly to spin the track, which will drop the track most of the time.
8. Throttle Control
I usually use a slow throttle as I slide, or I am blurring the throttle slowly. Both methods work well.
9. Look Ahead
Don’t forget to look ahead to where you want to go. You will always go where you are looking!
Practice on short and steep slopes and work your way up to some longer slopes for bonus points.
Have fun, and keep the rubber up in this case!
Check out more riding tips here!