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Can I have some help with my technique?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So over the last 2 years my carving technique has improved quite a bit. It actually looks like I know what I'm doing. But honestly, all I do is roll onto the edges and let the skis do the work. However, when I get into variable terrain that's not carveable, my skiing looks much more awkward. I also have problems with really large bumps. I think I fall into the "It's not that you can't ski bumps, it's that you can't ski and the bumps prove it" category. My technique is good enough to looks solid on groomers, but I do this strange thing with my legs in turn transition when I'm not carving. Also, it doesn't look like my pole plants are very good, either.


Anyway, I spent the last week in Utah powder (got lucky) and my flaws really hampered my skiing. Here's a video from late one day last week just skiing a groomer that got a little too bumpy for carving.


Thanks for any help you guys can provide.

post #2 of 7

kauffee, the biggest issue I see right there is in your transition from one turn to the next.  It's a stem transition.  You hold onto the edge on your downhill ski, while stemming the tail of your uphill ski up the hill.  It creates a wedge position.  The downhill ski is a security blanket, sort of like your survival instinct is saying "I'm not letting go of the security of that downhill ski until I get some of the new turn started and established with the other ski".  


Next time out, make this your focus: the first thing you do to begin the process of ending one turn and moving into the next is release the edge of your downhill ski.  Tip your downhill knee down the hill, so that the ski goes flat on the snow, then tips onto it's downhill edge. Your uphill ski will tip on edge in harmony, and you'll experience a much smoother transition into the new turn.   



post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

You're right... when I slow it down frame-by-frame I totally see that stem position - ugly. Thank you so much... can't wait to work on it. 

post #4 of 7

As a means of getting your downhill ski flat you may want to make your pole touch more toward the ski tip and a bit further downhill.  Thinking about this helped me quite a bit in the bumps.  It isn't what you want to do in the long run but it helps you get the feel of flattening the downhill ski.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks, mtcyclist. I actually did exactly that after watching the video. I noticed my pole plants seemed to be way out to the side and not far enough ahead. It definitely made a big difference. My skis stayed much straighter down the fall line and I thought my rhythm was improved. 

post #6 of 7

Kaufee, You are starting your turns with your head and torso moving laterally (sideways) into the new turn. This is why you are holding onto your turn with one ski and stemming with the other new outside ski. So what Rick said to work on is correct, but I would ask that you try this task as a way to understand and develop new lower body tipping movements. I think we used to call it a trverse with an edge release. Find a nice wide green groomer, and start off in a carved (two lines) shallow traverse. Once you have traveled 10' or so flatten your skis by tipping your feet and legs down the hill until you feel them slipping sideways as you continue forward. After a few feet of forward slipping, reengage your edges by tipping your feet and skis into the hill until you are leaving two thin lines in the snow again. Repeat this as you travel across the run. When you get close to the other side release your edges agian but this time keep tipping them all the way over to the new set of edges and make a turn until you can traverse back across to the other side repeating the forward slip, reengage, forward slip reengage, then tip all the way to your new edges and turn back the other way repeating again and again. Focus your movement in the feet and legs and try to keep the upper body quite and still. Remember, that when you tip your skis to turn that all four edges should contact the snow at the same time before you continue tipping them onto their two edges of the new turn. Slowly reduce the times you slip and reengage your edges in a traverse until you are moving from turn to turn with your tipping movement leading you from turn to turn, with your upper body remaining quite and stable. Good luck!

post #7 of 7

Hi Kauffee,


A few more things may help alleviate the stem. when you start the stem, your weight is balanced over your inside ski--and the new outside ski is acting more as an outrigger. We want our weight over the outside ski throughout our turns. To encourage weight on the outside ski, spend some time (a few days at least) skiing just on your outside ski. When starting a turn to the left, lift your left foot off the snow so you're only skiing on the right ski. This drill will also help you to establish an early weight transfer to your new outside ski.


Another way to help your skiing would be to round your turn shape. Right now your turns are more z-shaped rather than c-shaped. Often this happens when skiers want to ski slower by avoiding the fall line. I'd suggest a few different activities (not all at the same time, and not as a standard way to ski--but as an exercise):

  • On a flatter pitch, count throughout your turns. If you're counting 1, 2, 3, spend at least a full increment in the fall line.
  • before starting your turn, lift the downhill ski a few times.
  • do a few hops as you traverse the hill before initiating your turn. Then during the next traverse, do a few hops before the next turn. repeat.
  • develop steering. bracquage will help. also, pivot slips.


Edit: lastly, caving is only one tool to go down the hill. Particularly in bumps and steeper runs, most high end skiers incorporate pivoting with edging in at least part of their turn. The recent interski 2010 videos post demonstrates high end skiers using pivoting and carving to steer.


Best of luck!

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