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Powder ski rec - Page 2

post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

Since the thread has already drifted a bit.... should this PSIA gold pin feel guilty teaching powder lessons on fun-shapes when hardly any of his students are ever on anything remotely resembling a powder ski?


nope at least it let them know their are options.

 

post #32 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

If one is floundering on a funshape in powder its probably because one has some very big holes in one's skill set and needs to learn how to ski period. 

 

 



TR I know your intent was to make a point and not denigrate mine or anyone's skiing ability. So its all good. But I feel I need to say that I have been told that my skiing is pretty darn good on groomers. Do I have holes? Of course I ain't Bodie Miller or Franz Klammer (more my generation!). Big holes....I don't think so. But like most things in life one can always improve and should keep trying to do so and I am sure there is a lot of room for improvement in my skiing on groomers too!

 

My point is that standing on one ski and putting all of your weight on it, bending the heck out of it and edging is totally different (from what I read and feel when I ski powder) than the technique used in pow. That technique being much more two footed, using skis together as a single unit. Like an airfoil or wing (I like this analogy I'm a pilot)

 

Now maybe that's the problem. Maybe the one ski doing most of the turning technique that I was taught skiing boiler plate at Hunter 30 years ago was wrong. If so then you're right by default. I need to relearn how to ski period. But if its good technique, and I still see it being taught today, then it is totally counter intuitive to what needs to happen in powder.

 

I am not nearly the skier you are I am sure, and I mean that respectfully not facetiously. But I have to disagree that if one can't ski powder its because they can't ski well period. IMO whatever that's worth. Hey man, I'll be out there Tuesday aren't you a local? Come give me some tips in person! biggrin.gif

 

 

post #33 of 51

Conz, Sorry my comments were really jsut sor tof in general how do we learn this stuff and not focused at you or anyone else in this thread. I think you are doing things the right way and sounds like you know that skiing is alot more than just carving groomers and trying to move on to the next big challenge. I think thats great.

 

As far as having to ski two footed, it used to be how you would have to do it on skinny skis beccause a single ski was too small to balance over, especially for a bigger guy. But on an appropriate powder ski should be large enough that you can balance over a single ski (in most snow) and lets you ski 1 footed in pow if thats what you want to do. 

 

As far as edging, in powder less is more. Skiing on your bases is not really any different form skiing on your edges. Just tone down the edging until you get the feel for it.

 

The biggest difference in feel between some funshapes and conventioanl skis is that the skis don't have a tip. That means you don't want to drive the ski agressively from the cuff to pressue the tips of the skis. You want to stay more balanced and pressure the ski from the ball of the foot. And pressure like edging should be toned down until you get a feel for the snow.

 

If you are a guy who likes to drive form the cuff then get something with an even more pintail than the Praxis Powder (tips much fatter than the tail). Something like a pontoon or Praxis H2O or megawatt would work better for that style.

post #34 of 51

Conz, I feel your pain.

 

This week i skied a bit with an instructor from an eastern new england area who could not ski powder. You can be totally competent on firm snow and lost when it gets deep. For me the breakthrough had to do with the transition in the middle c of the turn. First it helps to exaggerate the retraction ankle flex and cuff contact at the top of the turn. Then as you turn into the fall line,  Keep the ski flat longer and let gravity pull you down. Forget about engaging the edges - as you extend with both feet into the soft snow the ski will bend and turn itself with very little effort. I'm also over 200 lbs and before I figured this out I was just killing my quads. After it felt almost effortless. The energy stored at the top of the c is released in the middle and regained as you finish the turn and retract. So yes, when you are getting used to it looks a little bouncy, but when you get the hang if it you gradually make the motions as economical as possible.

 

Then, going back to hard snow I realized that I was sometimes overloading the ski tip instead of letting it ride and carving itself becomes more effortless. So I think there is good reason to learn to ski powder on a more traditional ski (around 100 mm with early rise) as it helped me become more of a finesse skier than a guy with huge legs forcing the ski into the snow. That's the kind of skiing I can keep up all day long and into old age.

post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

 

anac, if the picture in your profile is your quiver, you don't have a powder ski, so where are you coming from exactly? and how would you know where OP's problem is^^^coming from? 

 

 

Had to check my profile to figure out what you were referencing, and no, the collection of 8-25 year old skis in that picture is not my quiver, instead they are a picture of skis at an Aspen shop that I was combing through to steal bindings off of.

 

My powder skis are a set of Atomic Sugar Daddies (99width) and a set of Kung Fujas (95 width).  Both twin-tip, non-funshape designs, and by today's standards, not amazingly fat.

 

I think I know where the OP is coming from because I'm his size (6'1", currently 215 lbs but have been skiing at 280 lbs and spend several years around 260). I haven't gone to a bigger ski because I've never had a problem with float in up to waist-deep snow, and I tend to ski with developing skiers (and thus spending half my day on groomed runs) where I'd rather have some hard-snow performance.

 

And after re-reading the OP, I may have misunderstood. He said "Have used Hellbents," and I originally took that to mean that he bought used Hellbents, but you are right, it could certainly mean that he has rented or otherwise borrowed some, and if he has to do so again, it makes a lot more sense to look at other models for another demo session.

 

So, if the OP owns a set of powder skis like I originally thought, I think he should learn to ski them and then figure out whether they fit what he is trying to do. If he is demoing skis, by all means, play around, just don't buy something until you've really figured out how the deep stuff works.

 

post #36 of 51
Thread Starter 

AS,  let me see if I am with you. Top of carve turn we're shins into boots in a traverse. Then as we unweight (subtle movement when on groomed) we let the skis run down the fall line (middle of C) and  turn them on edge to carve into the bottom of the C weighting the uphill ski more. (standing on one ski as I called it)

 

If I follow you you're saying as I start the turn make the up movement more pronounced, unweight, and start to turn down the fall line (the middle of the C) but instead of tipping the skis on edge to carve on around and finish as in the groomed turn, let them lay flat more and steer with the feet. I am assuming that the friction of the pow will slow down the flat skis, as if we did that on groomed they would start to run out and I'd be in the back seat.

 

I am sorta kinda following ASchick?

 

Anach I did indeed mean I demoed HB's and while I'll have my Volkls with me if I see pow I will demo a powder ski and was looking for recs. Which is how this thread started.

post #37 of 51

Yes, that's pretty much it. You need to let the skis run and then the the pressure building up under the skis will make turning easy with a little steering and a little tipping.

post #38 of 51


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aschick View Post

Conz, I feel your pain.

 

This week i skied a bit with an instructor from an eastern new england area who could not ski powder. You can be totally competent on firm snow and lost when it gets deep. For me the breakthrough had to do with the transition in the middle c of the turn. First it helps to exaggerate the retraction ankle flex and cuff contact at the top of the turn. Then as you turn into the fall line,  Keep the ski flat longer and let gravity pull you down. Forget about engaging the edges - as you extend with both feet into the soft snow the ski will bend and turn itself with very little effort. I'm also over 200 lbs and before I figured this out I was just killing my quads. After it felt almost effortless. The energy stored at the top of the c is released in the middle and regained as you finish the turn and retract. So yes, when you are getting used to it looks a little bouncy, but when you get the hang if it you gradually make the motions as economical as possible.

 

Then, going back to hard snow I realized that I was sometimes overloading the ski tip instead of letting it ride and carving itself becomes more effortless. So I think there is good reason to learn to ski powder on a more traditional ski (around 100 mm with early rise) as it helped me become more of a finesse skier than a guy with huge legs forcing the ski into the snow. That's the kind of skiing I can keep up all day long and into old age.



sorry if someone can not ski powder on a ski in the powderish realm they are not a good groomer skier, they may look like it to your idea but there is some sort of flaw in their grooming skiing.

 

Its been 100 percent the case everytime I have heard "I rock on groomers but cant ski powder" every time they really dont rock on groomers......

post #39 of 51

Hey I said competent - not superb! You are absolutely right. Regular groomed skiing tolerates a lot of off balance moves that will knock you on your ass in soft and variable snow. But that is a perfect reason to learn to ski powder on a traditional ski and not one that tolerates all sorts of off balance and sloppy skiing.

post #40 of 51
Thread Starter 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by theconz - 3/12/11 at 10:01pm
post #41 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

You already tried to buy a turn. And if you can't link turns in pow on hellbents then something else is wrong. You are a big dude. But softer flexing skis work better for skiing POWDER at moderate speeds, especially in lighter weight UT snow. Only go stiffer if you want to charge faster and want to sacrifice float for stability and crud busting.

 

The description of you skiing: banking turns, park and ride, outside ski, power lifting sounds pretty much the opposite of what I try to do in powder. Suggest you learn to ski what you have. Take the $500+ from your ski budget and put it into a private lessons, clinic, or ESA. Learn to ski bumps on your local hill. $.02.

 

 


This!!!!  It doesn't have to be someone trying to teach deep snow skiing on skinny or wide skis; if you are balanced, have a developed pole plant that works in conjunction with the release, can release out of the old turn (wide skis on pow simply can be "tip and rip"), you are golden.  Those are skills that work in any condition, not just pow.  Big skis will definitely help, but the real key is to be balanced and not over-drive the ski. Watch a ski movie with an experienced eye; they can slow down the motions for you and explain what is going on in deep snow in the steeps. Big skis will make things so much easier, but if you have good skills, it will trump the benefit you get from the wide skis.  I recommend both: getting better at skiing, and be on the proper ski when a deep day hits.  

 

I have never understood the "use different technique to ski powder" argument.  The pros don't do it; they are fluid and balanced all of the time, in any terrain.  Skis are pressured based on conditions and how the ski skis.  Perhaps it is breakable crust, and you really have to get the skis out of the crap, so you may be more active, than if you are in great snow or fairly dense snow and ripping it like a groomer; there are a lot of positive subtle movements experts make in variable terrain that only come with lots of mileage; the key is that skiers still stay balanced and the skis respond to their inputs, not the other way 'round.  The best skiers can ski manky snow on any decent gear and not be phased: the rest of us get owned, and that is simply a difference in skill level.  That is why they are the best, and we are mere weekend warriors. 

 

With regards to what skis to buy: there are lots of good ones.  I skied a few good skis recently, and came away impressed.  Bent Chetlers, Kastle MX128, Ski Logik Rockstar were all quite sweet in deeper snow.  Haven't had much time on the Hellbent; it was great in the deep stuff, quite a handful when things got tracked out after a few hours.  

 

I would recommend working on ski technique before the pow day hits.  I can remember when I got into skiing seriously, coming out of college, a few years after shaped skis hit the market. I had been working on skills, getting better, and was on what was considered a wider ski at the time (70mm wide K2).  For about a month, we hadn't seen snow, but I was up there diligently doing drills, learning the basics of tipping my skis and releasing my skis.  When a pow day hit in April, it was like magic!  I didn't need to ski pow to develop the skills to learn to ski pow.  Of course I would now ski that same day with something 110mm underfoot (I don't weigh much and rarely need something wider) but the feelings in the feet were the same. Boy, was I glad I put in the mileage before the big day hit; I will remember those runs the rest of my life. 

post #42 of 51

Well, in the context of truly modern powder skis, about ten years ago someone made the following observation:

 

 

Quote:
First of all, in order to clear your mind and attempt to make sense of all this, take most everything you have ever learned about skiing and stick it where the sun don’t shine. 

 

It is hard to argue with the notion of being balanced. But agreeing that balance matters is not the same as agreeing that there are no technique modifications appropriate to optimal use of modern skis in powder. Just sayin'...

post #43 of 51

Different skis, including powder skis, require slight tweaks in technique, which may take a couple runs or a couple turns to figure out.

 

It is not necessary to stop hopping around if you have long since quit hopping around; same for heel thrust and wiper turns.

 

Skiing remains much the same on all gear, IMO. And most strong skiers have a lot in common in their skiing, the important stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #44 of 51
Thread Starter 

I appreciate all the tips. I must say I am confused still though as I seem to be hearing hear that basically the same technique is used on hard pack and powder. But if I ski the way I do in powder like I do on groomers I am done for. But that's just me is what I hear because my mechanics are not good to begin with.

 

Ummmm....okay. I would love to watch a video of that person and see them using the same form and technique on groomers and powder. I don't want to disagree with guys who have way more experience than I, and I think what you mean is that some basic skills, like balance for instance, and others, translate to both. But do you really mean if you watch expert skier A ski groomers, and then watch expert skier A ski powder, he is doing the same thing? I struggle with that visual.

 

And can confidence be a factor. Somewhere inthe back of my mind I feel likeif I didn't get all squirrely as I start intol the pow and could relax I could ski it better. I have no such fear or nervousness on groomers. Yes, no, maybe.

 

Lessons, lessons, and lessons are going to be had, I promise. I will get someone to video my skiing and post it up. Lol, then it will get real ugly! My digital has video. Well they all have it nowdays.

 

 

post #45 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post

Well, in the context of truly modern powder skis, about ten years ago someone made the following observation:

 

 

 

It is hard to argue with the notion of being balanced. But agreeing that balance matters is not the same as agreeing that there are no technique modifications appropriate to optimal use of modern skis in powder. Just sayin'...



A modern ski allows us to do things we couldn't do on old, straight skis.  Skiing is more efficient now; many of the movements required 20 years ago are long gone, replaced by more efficient movements, and a modern powder ski allows skiers to use other movements required in certain situations that would be difficult to pull off on straighter, stiffer, narrower skis.  That doesn't in any way discount that the best skiers on the planet all have the same things in common with regard to: incredible balance, natural quick feet, impeccable timing, power, which are the same skills required in the course, in a freestyle bump event, on a big mountain in Chamonix, or in Valdez.  The execution changes with the terrain.  Daron Rahlves, Hugo Harrison, and Shane McConkey didn't build their skills up overnight by taking some "Learn To Ski Powder the NEW WAY!" class, they built up skills over years and years of skiing 200+ days a year and seeing every type of terrain imaginable, which is why they can (or could) blow most skiers away on any kind of terrain: ice, bumps, pow, crappy snow.   If we were to "throw away" those things that make great skiers great, what do we have?  Poor Balance, slow feet, out of rhythm timing, lack of power.....sounds like a recipe for becoming a terminal intermediate.  A big mountain ski gives the skier more room for error, ability to scrub speed in ways that would be punishing or demanding on an older style ski, ways to work the tail and tip that used to be much tougher or not possible, a softer platform for dropping big; it is an evolution of a tool, but a tool it remains.  A tool is no good without a skilled craftsman wielding it.

 

The "pow technique" that I see occasionally (not on the movies, of course) but by marginal skiers on intermediate terrain is mostly sitting in the backseat, riding the tails of a soft rockered ski, skidding it around or trying to bounce it from one turn to the next, rather than making the ski work and releasing it out of the turn. Skiing in Squaw the past few days, I saw only very few people skiing this way, and it only works on big, open spaces, where you don't have to turn in a certain place (not Squaw). Guys trying that in the bumps and steeps get OWNED, which is why people at Squaw are good skiers and stay out of the backseat, you have to be able to turn your skis and engage your edges when it is steep and falls have consequences.  At Squaw, I saw a whole lot of skiing from very good skiers, whether it be bumps, steeps, big open crud turns, doing the things outlined above; balance, quick and natural feet, edge awareness, timing, power.  My point is that no matter what skis you are on, much less has to do with your choice of skis than the ability to make them perform as designed. 

post #46 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by theconz View Post

I appreciate all the tips. I must say I am confused still though as I seem to be hearing hear that basically the same technique is used on hard pack and powder. But if I ski the way I do in powder like I do on groomers I am done for. But that's just me is what I hear because my mechanics are not good to begin with.

 

Ummmm....okay. I would love to watch a video of that person and see them using the same form and technique on groomers and powder. I don't want to disagree with guys who have way more experience than I, and I think what you mean is that some basic skills, like balance for instance, and others, translate to both. But do you really mean if you watch expert skier A ski groomers, and then watch expert skier A ski powder, he is doing the same thing? I struggle with that visual.

 

And can confidence be a factor. Somewhere inthe back of my mind I feel likeif I didn't get all squirrely as I start intol the pow and could relax I could ski it better. I have no such fear or nervousness on groomers. Yes, no, maybe.

 

Lessons, lessons, and lessons are going to be had, I promise. I will get someone to video my skiing and post it up. Lol, then it will get real ugly! My digital has video. Well they all have it nowdays.

 

 

This discussion could get beyond the realm of this forum; maybe it is better over in the technique forum.  With regards to technique: the skill building blocks are the same, the execution and nuances will be different.  You won't need "new technique" to ski powder; just refinements of solid skiing movements (which it sounds like you may be lacking a bit of at this point).  You don't over-drive the skis as you could on hardpack, you won't load them up and use edges the same way, the skiing will likely be more neutral; if you stay balanced and can release the skis out of the old turn and keep from getting countered, you are in really good shape.  I know for me, I tend to stay more neutral, really work that pole plant smoothly, try to maintain similar shin angles, and the skis do the rest.  I would use the analogy of race cars: running the Daytona 500, Grand Prix de Monaco, and Baja 1000 all are different races, but the top drivers will all have the same basic skill sets of coordination, reaction time, perception, vision, fitness....just implemented in different ways that correspond best to the specific requirements of each race. 
 

 

post #47 of 51

Conz - hope you find what you are looking for.

 

One of the keys to learning is repetition.  You need snow that doesn't get used up more than you need world-class terrain at this point.. so Tromano's suggestion might be a good idea.  For the same reason, pick one ski and stick with it for this trip.

 

(I feel very lucky that I learned powder on an empty mountain with snow that lasted all day.  I flailed for about 3 hours before I got it.  At a world-class resort, the obvious powder is long gone before then.)

 

Make sure your instructor knows you are serious about learning and want improvement, not validation.  As a fellow older skier, I know how hard it can be to unlearn deeply ingrained habits.

post #48 of 51

Avoid the cottonwood canyons if there is good snow elsewhere... The places in UT to go to ski powder all day with no traversing needed to get to great learning terrain are:

 

Powder, Snowbasin, Beaver, and throw in Targhee as well (it is daytrip-able from SLC).

post #49 of 51


I would add Deer Valley

Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

Avoid the cottonwood canyons if there is good snow elsewhere... The places in UT to go to ski powder all day with no traversing needed to get to great learning terrain are:

 

Powder, Snowbasin, Beaver, and throw in Targhee as well (it is daytrip-able from SLC).



 

post #50 of 51

I would recommend trying PM Gear Bro Model Lhasa Pows.

They are definitely versatile. Besides being great in pow, they carve groomers and handle all conditions in between.

Also, being a tip driven ski, I don't feel like I have to adjust my technique.

post #51 of 51

s7 and katana

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