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Bad carving habits

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm 15 and I started carving over a year ago. I learned mostly from imitation of my friends who are racers and the like and have not received any real instruction besides videos that I watch on the subject. Over the months I've improved with this technique considerably (and people tell me that it 'looks' great) but I have this very bad habit of putting too much weight on the inside ski which I've read is bad.

 

When I carve it feels and looks very smooth and putting most of my weight on the inside ski (the one the farthest up the hill) feels more natural for me. I just worry that if I am to ever partake in any sort of heli-skiing to tougher slopes when I'm older that this bad habit will bite me in the ass.

 

So I'm just wondering if there are any excersises/tips that I can practice on the slopes to help me over this issue. If you can try not to be too technical because I'm very new to all of the terms etc.

 

Thanks for any advice that you guys can provide!

post #2 of 10

tooji. welcome to Epicski.  To learn to balance on your outside ski, you need to learn lateral balancing skills.  The key ingredient of that skill package is ANGULATION.  Angulation is keeping your upper body more perpendicular to the snow than the lower body, as the skis tip up onto edge.  Think of trying to keep your shoulders level to the snow as your legs tip the skis on edge.  

 

The better you can do that (angulate), the higher you'll be able to tip your skis on edge and still stay balanced on your outside ski.  The higher you can tip on edge, the sharper you can carve a turn.

 

Here are a couple drills that are useful for learning to angulate.  

 

PoleTouchDrill,web.jpg

 

 

Airplane-drill,web.jpg

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Those drills look solid, I'll be sure to try them next time I get on the slopes. I really don't know how I developed the habit. What are the downsides of skiing like I do?

post #4 of 10

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tooji View Post

Those drills look solid, I'll be sure to try them next time I get on the slopes. I really don't know how I developed the habit. What are the downsides of skiing like I do?


I suspect that you're not actually skiing the way you think you are (with most of your weight on the inside ski). If you were, you'd have some pretty dramatic repercussions, including that you'd likely slide out of turns, fall inside, and lose your outside ski as it tended to go straight downhill instead of following the turn. It's likely more a matter of degree, but it's difficult to know without some visual assistance by photo or video...

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tooji View Post

Those drills look solid, I'll be sure to try them next time I get on the slopes. I really don't know how I developed the habit. What are the downsides of skiing like I do?


I suspect that you're not actually skiing the way you think you are (with most of your weight on the inside ski). If you were, you'd have some pretty dramatic repercussions, including that you'd likely slide out of turns, fall inside, and lose your outside ski as it tended to go straight downhill instead of following the turn. It's likely more a matter of degree, but it's difficult to know without some visual assistance by photo or video...


 

well perhaps it does not have most of it (weight on the inside ski) the full way through but my turn is definitely initiated with my inside leg and and feels I am applying pressure to it (atleast to a degree like you said) the whole way through. I've always read though that the outside leg should be dominating for most of the carve when it doesn't feel like that.

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tooji View Post

Those drills look solid, I'll be sure to try them next time I get on the slopes. I really don't know how I developed the habit. What are the downsides of skiing like I do?


To get a grip on the answer to your question, do the following.  Stand up in a nice tall stance.  How long do you think you could remain standing that way?  All day, or at least until you had to go get something to eat,  or to the bathroom?   Now, stand up and flex your legs severely, like doing a deep knee bend.  How long do you think you can remain standing like that before your legs give out?  Not long, because flexed legs are not as strong as an extended leg.  

 

When you tip the skis way up onto a high edge angle, the inside leg has to flex quite a bit.  See the following picture:

 

OutsideSki,Richard,Web.jpg

photo courtesy of www.YourSkiCoach.com

 

Richard's inside leg is very flexed.  It would be very hard for him to withstand the large forces the big edge angle turn he's making creates if he were to try to do it on his flexed inside leg.  Instead, he's angulating (see his level shoulders) and balancing exclusively on his longer and stronger outside leg.  

post #7 of 10

Tooji I have the same problem when I ski slowly, like on tight NASTAR courses.   Do you often find your skis diverging?  That is trying to make your turn on different paths?   Because I do, and following some of Ricks advice, I have been getting better at stopping this.

post #8 of 10

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tooji View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tooji View Post

Those drills look solid, I'll be sure to try them next time I get on the slopes. I really don't know how I developed the habit. What are the downsides of skiing like I do?


I suspect that you're not actually skiing the way you think you are (with most of your weight on the inside ski). If you were, you'd have some pretty dramatic repercussions, including that you'd likely slide out of turns, fall inside, and lose your outside ski as it tended to go straight downhill instead of following the turn. It's likely more a matter of degree, but it's difficult to know without some visual assistance by photo or video...


well perhaps it does not have most of it (weight on the inside ski) the full way through but my turn is definitely initiated with my inside leg and and feels I am applying pressure to it (atleast to a degree like you said) the whole way through. I've always read though that the outside leg should be dominating for most of the carve when it doesn't feel like that.


It's certainly OK to start a turn with pressure on your new inside foot (this is called a "weighted release"). It's also just fine to apply (some) pressure to it throughout the turn. However, as Rick illustrates, standing tall on that outside foot and allowing the pressure to build there will get you the most balanced and effective stance throughout the turn. Play with the drills that he's illustrated and check the sensations you produce, then go duplicate those while skiing.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tooji View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tooji View Post

Those drills look solid, I'll be sure to try them next time I get on the slopes. I really don't know how I developed the habit. What are the downsides of skiing like I do?


I suspect that you're not actually skiing the way you think you are (with most of your weight on the inside ski). If you were, you'd have some pretty dramatic repercussions, including that you'd likely slide out of turns, fall inside, and lose your outside ski as it tended to go straight downhill instead of following the turn. It's likely more a matter of degree, but it's difficult to know without some visual assistance by photo or video...


well perhaps it does not have most of it (weight on the inside ski) the full way through but my turn is definitely initiated with my inside leg and and feels I am applying pressure to it (atleast to a degree like you said) the whole way through. I've always read though that the outside leg should be dominating for most of the carve when it doesn't feel like that.


It's certainly OK to start a turn with pressure on your new inside foot (this is called a "weighted release"). It's also just fine to apply (some) pressure to it throughout the turn. However, as Rick illustrates, standing tall on that outside foot and allowing the pressure to build there will get you the most balanced and effective stance throughout the turn. Play with the drills that he's illustrated and check the sensations you produce, then go duplicate those while skiing.


Yeah I'll be sure to try some of those drills, I also would like to try to get an instructor who can kind of analyze my performance and help me make any tweaks/adjustments because like you said its hard to pinpoint preciscley what I'm doing wrong without visually seeing it.

post #10 of 10

Once you reach a certain stage it's easy to carve a turn, but it's hard to carve a tightr faster  turn.

 

To get more weight on your outside ski and less on your inside ski, I suggest you keep trying to increase the tipping angle, decrease the turn radius and increase the speed for any given turn.  Increase tipping angle until apex, then flex the outside ski to release into the next turn.  Taking weight off the inside foot is what you will end up doing to increase the tipping angle and decrease the turn radius, and as you turn tighter for any given speed or increase speed for any given turn radius, the force will naturally go to the outside ski.

 

A fun drill: while facing downhill hold you poles in front of you level with the horizon and level with you shoulders.  Keep your zipper pointing straight down the hill and your poles also directly between you and the bottom of the hill and make turns with your skis carving under you and your legs turning with them, but your shoulders horizontal level with the pole and your upper body facing down hill.

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