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speed control - Page 2

post #31 of 36
Originally Posted by geofinnis View Post

 The biggest problem I see for speed control, is that most people rush from one turn to the next.  

I so agree.  Once I learned this fact, my skiing changed, my confidence grew.  Finish the turn, trust the skis will continue turning and slowing you down.  It's in the last second of the turn where the speed really diminishes.  If people don't finish the turn and rush into the other, the speed can quickly build beyond a person's control.

post #32 of 36
Originally Posted by hmpph View Post

....Thinking back, I think the problem seems to be that I cannot get my skies engaged to turn back up hill (or at least perpendicular, if necessary) when I am at the higher speeds that develop while in the fall line for these steeper blues.. I seem to get stuck at 75% perpendicular to the slope (where 90% is 100% perpendicular) and not go up any higher..the skis just skid down slope at that angle and my muscles are left to absorb all that snow I am pushing + I have to linger in this position for way too long to actually get my speed under control. Probably part of the problem is I am in the backseat .... the same thing happens when I try to do a J-turn to a stop, I am left to absorb all the speed through skidding.

hmpph, Yes, I think you are right. If you can't hold onto the turn and keep the skis curving around, if you skid out, and feel your muscles holding on for dear life as you scrape your skis against the snow for a slow-down, that's the classic "back-seat" result.


So, to keep the skis behaving right you need to deal with your stance.  Fixing that stance can be scary if you're new to skiing, so you also have to deal with your head.  But before all that, you need to be sure your boots are not a strong contributing issue to back-seat-driving.  


1.  Are your boots good and snug?  Snug means the tips of your toes press lightly against the front wall, while your heel presses against the back wall, and the boot grips the left and right side of your foot all the way from the toes to the heels.  The cuff needs to be snug with nothing between it and your shin but a single sock.  Fix this first if it's an issue; you can't control your skis if when you move your feet they wobble around inside the boots.


2.  Back to the stance....  You get forward by bending forward at the ankles, not at the waist.  If you bend forward at the waist, you hips go back and your quads hold you up in your squat and voila you're in the back seat.  Stand up straighter, and bend forward at the ankle inside that boot.  Press your shin against the front of the cuff.  This will move all of your body that's above the ankle forward.  All of you will be hovering over the ski's front half.  Now ski.


3.  At that breaking point that you describe, the 75% point in the turn, your head will say "whoaaah baby" and you'll tend to move back into your squat.  Here's where you say something to yourself, even out loud if that helps, to override your caution and keep your ankles bent forward and your shins against the fronts of the cuffs.  Say "cuffs!" or "ankles!" or "forward!" or whatever works.  Shout it if that works.  


If you can keep your stance forward past this 75% point, you'll be using the front half of your skis to guide the turn.  You'll be able to finish coming around the curve, and you'll be a happy skier.  Best of luck.



post #33 of 36
Originally Posted by durakski View Post

I am confused on how to control my speed with my skis mostly parallel  on the downhill.  What I am doing now is transversing the fall line at 90 degrees and as I slow I begin to point my skis back down fall to cross back over.  Basically I skiing side to side down the hill.

I believe I can ski downhill near the fall line at good speed but I don't understand how to do that and remain in control speed wise if I keep my tips pointed mostly down hill.


Hopefully this makes sense.




I apologize if I repeat what may have already been covered above because I have not read the preceding posts.


There are two basic ways to control your speed,  FRICTION or GRAVITY.  Allow me to explain a bit more.  Expert skiers use gravity much more than friction and beginners tend to use friction much more than gravity.  Discovering how to use gravity will quickly change your technique and improve your skiing!  Using friction involves your skis moving across the snow more sideways than forward, scraping and clawing at the snow surface with your edges.  Conversely, using gravity involves skiing a slow enough line to control your descent yet skiing around that line as fast as possible, knowing that gravity will slow us down as we try to ski back up the hill.  We must learn to differentiate turning from braking because they are two different intents.  We turn the steering wheels on our cars to go where we want to go and the brake pedal to slow down.  In skiing we should learn to turn our skis to go forward on the path we choose and resist putting on the brakes by skiing around the turn and carrying our momentum back up the hill until we slow enough, then begin the next turn.  With this intent we can develop a GO intent which will help us release our edges and turn more effectively down the slope knowing that if we simply continue on our path our speed will decrease as we can not ski back up the slope!


Rather than rush to get your skis from one traverse to the other, practice slowly releasing your edge grip and steering your feet around a rounder semi circle rather than making "Z" turns which uses friction as speed control rather than "S" turns which use gravity to control speed.


Change your intent to turn from "I want to stop going down the hill" to "I want to GO there" and you will change your skiing!


post #34 of 36
Thread Starter 


Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

Change your intent to turn from "I want to stop going down the hill" to "I want to GO there" and you will change your skiing!


It's funny you mention this now, because I just figured it out this afternoon, halfway through my ski day.  I am sure others have mentioned it and there are threads about it, but some things you just have to figure out on your own.

This latest revelation, "I want to GO there" came to me today, after earlier in the day starting to question if I really want to continue my skiing hobby.  Because of avalanche danger, I was forced to take a double blue (sidewinder) down instead of my usual easy way down.

My shins were burning, calves aching, the hill looked like like a minefield with bumps everywhere. I was seriously asking myself "WTF are you doing here".  People were blazing by me, I was taking the zig-zag route down the mountain, stopping after every Z.

When I am skiing challenging terrain, I am constantly running through a punch list of things I need to be doing.  Hands forward, upper body quiet and down the hill, release downhill ski, toe pressure, ankles etc...I felt like, Alright, I am doing all these things and I can still only ski about 2 turns.  I contributed most of that to poor conditioning, I need to get to the gym more. In any case I was left wondering if this is a good as it gets for me...

I am not sure what made it click, I mean looking ahead to where I want to go.  Instead of looking 2 feet in front of my skis I started picking out a path 10-15 yards ahead.  After doing this, I quit having to constantly stop and rest and figure out where I was going next.  My shins quit burning, and I felt like I was just killing it.  Unfortunately it was late in the day,  I was burned out and was only able to use this new technique for a couple runs...But I can't wait until I am able to get back up the mountain and use what I learned today. 




post #35 of 36

Sweet!  Remember the feeling and get back out there and anchor those sensations!  GO!

post #36 of 36

Great, you are starting to 'read' the mountain.  This is a skill you pick up over time.  It comes with mileage which will turn to smileage.  Welcome to one of the many break throughs you will experience as you learn.


Addicting, isn't it!  biggrin.gif

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