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Noob can only turn in one direction :(

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Well, pretty much as the topic states! I've been skiing just a couple of times before in the past couple of years in an indoor snowboarding/skiing place. (I have been skiing at some real mountains, just once, on a school trip, when I was quite young. The most memorable event of the day was nervously wedging my way down one hill at the instruction of a fellow kid, and finding myself totally unable to take the pommel lift back up without falling off nearly instantly. I wound up taking off my skis and carrying them all the way back up the hill, while everyone sailing smoothly up the lift just stared at me :P took nearly ten years for a friend to convince me to give skiing another go after that, and I enjoyed it much more the second time!) Irritatingly, I found that I can only really make turns to the left (I'm right handed?) - turns to the right are laboured and my skis don't want to go in the same direction and it's all very frustrating.

 

Me and some friends are planning a weekend trip to the mountains to go skiing soon, and I really don't want to have my trip dampened by such a silly thing! I was wondering if there are any exercises I can do at home (before I go!) that would help me to be able to turn to the left, or some technical advice, or even reasons people can suggest as to why I can turn one direction and not the other and ways to fix this.

 

Looking at other threads I see that a fairly common suggestion is to take a lesson. I looked into this but they seem really expensive :/ ($60 for a 1:50 hour group lesson, $120 for a 1 hour private lesson! Prices in NZD$ btw) Are they really worth that much?

 

Thanks in advance for any replies and advice :)

 

(edited as I got left and right mixed up rolleyes.gif not that it matters!)


Edited by fgor - 6/8/11 at 8:44pm
post #2 of 26
Quote:

Originally Posted by fgor View Post

 

Looking at other threads I see that a fairly common suggestion is to take a lesson. I looked into this but they seem really expensive :/ ($60 for a 1:50 hour group lesson, $120 for a 1 hour private lesson! Prices in NZD$ btw) Are they really worth that much?

 


Honestly, yes.  Group lessons are usually quite effective for beginners, but you obviously will get more focused instruction in private lessons.  If I were you, I'd drop the $60 for a group lesson.

post #3 of 26

Lessons are SO worth it. Whether you've been skiing twice, or for 20 years.

Are your friends similar level skiers to you? Maybe you could take a private lesson with just you guys in a smaller group, and split the cost?

 

If you've only been a few times, totally go for a group lesson. They're specifically designed for folks starting out, just like you. I'm not sure about NZ, but in Australia they have beginner lessons that are only a few dollars more than the base lift ticket, I think?

 

In all seriousness, the better you ski, the more fun you'll have. you'll see more of the mountain, spend more time on your feet, and have the confidence to do more, and have more fun (confidence could even be part of the problem with your turning one way?). A lesson can help with this.

 

I'll let someone else answer your turning questions, but: I've been skiing for 25 years, and I still mildly favour turning one direction over the other. It's a few things on my part: one of my legs is actually stronger than the other, so I can arrest myself more easily when I turn left; it's also a bad habit (just like nail biting--'in trouble, bite nails turn left'); and from that, it becomes a confidence issue. I'm so used to favouring a left turn, throwing a right turn in when I need to turn fast, well, I'm not as confident about.

 

I really hope you have fun, whatever you decide to do! :)

post #4 of 26

Your turn bias due to the Coriolis effect

 

You really must ski in Austria or North America to progress  ;-)

post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 

 

Hmm, well I think I've been convinced into it! I really do want to make the most of my time on the snow, plus I took a closer look at the site for my closest mountain (Ruapehu, if anyone here is around that area and knows it... doubtful I know! :P) and it turns out they do have deals where you can get a group lesson on top of a day pass + gear hire for just an extra $20, which is quite reasonable, especially if it improves the rest of my skiing life!
 
My friends are a mix of students and workers, so some are much more strapped for cash than others which sort of rules out private lessons for now, but I think I'll see how a group lesson goes! The inability to turn in one direction really does dwell on my mind :/
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cgrandy View Post

Your turn bias due to the Coriolis effect

 

You really must ski in Austria or North America to progress  ;-)



*starts planning worldwide skiing trip* ;)

post #6 of 26

You said your last real trip was when you "were quite young" which leads me to believe you were skiing on "straight" (not shaped) skis. That equipment required much more active steering of the skis and it was very common for beginners to have a very dominant turn, especially when skiing in a wide wedge that tends to "lock" you from releasing the skis.

 

I think if you just took a lesson or two on shaped skis you will be notice much less turn dominance.

 

You could also start out at the far right of the slope and make a bunch of left turns until you run out of hill. LOL roflmao.gif

post #7 of 26

That is a very good deal.  Lots of good pros in NZ...simply because there is so limited options for skiing in the Southern Hemisphere compared to north, so only the best get taken.

 

Lessons with these same guys could easily cost 2-3 times that at their home resorts.

 

 

PS: If you are at Ruapehu hopefully the one way you turn happens to be away from the lava flows!!!!!!!!

post #8 of 26

I would suggest that you have a good bootfitter take a look at how you are aligned.  Some canting may be necessary.

 

post #9 of 26

Snowmiser has a good suggestion,

 You may need major boot canting or ski canting (If they still cant under ski bindings!)

post #10 of 26

I just started skiing today, and had my first lesson. Turning right is also a big challenge at the moment because I tend to favor my right leg and am just not able to properly roll my left foot inwards when turning. And then I lose control of my skis and career down, freaking out and arms somewhat flailing before crashing. And I'm starting to use the right foot to do damage control every time I get out of control. Has this also got to do with leg strength generally? 

post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately I don't own my own boots or skis so I guess canting isn't an option for me! Is it more likely to be a problem that can be solved that way or just inexperience? I guess I'll have to see if it gets much better once I've had a real lesson :P Once it actually snows enough down here for the ski fields to open..! 

post #12 of 26
A decent instructor might be able to see whether it's technique that could be corrected (favoring one side) versus an equipment problem. You might be able to straighten yourself out in a group lesson, but private is better.

Make sure your rental boots fit, though; otherwise you're just shooting in the dark. They need to be tighter than you think they should, with just a tiny bit of room in front of your toes when you put your weight against the tongue of the boot. There's better advice on how to tell if a boot's the right size on the Ask the Boot Guys and Ski Gear Discussions forums. Read the wikis and previous threads for basic information, of course, because boot fit has been discussed many, many times before.
post #13 of 26

fgor, I'm wondering if you can perform the necessary movements to turn your skis without the equipment on?.  Try standing in a doorway and use your hands on the sides of the door frame for support.  Can you tip both of your ankles equally and at the same time to the left side of the door frame, and then the right?  Can you twist your feet to the left and right equally?  The problem could be a physical limitation.  (Ankles, Knees, Hips).  If so, you'll have to fix the problem off of the snow before you can correct them on the ski hill.

post #14 of 26

fgor I don't think you need your boots fitted by a boot fitter (yet) and suspect that you don't have some physical deficiency that is only allowing you to turn left. Many newbs experience this to varying degrees. Next time you hire gear spend some time trying on a couple different boots, make sure your foot doesn't move around in the boot. Take a lesson, you will learn proper movements & stance and you will learn to turn both directions. Novice skiers are my specialty and I'd be glad for you to fly me downunder and put me up for a couple weeks so we could work on this biggrin.gif

post #15 of 26

Hi again fgor!  While I do agree with Jimmy about the importance of taking a lesson, I do think some of the suggestions that I and the others here have mentioned here wouldn't hurt to try.  If you truly are having a lot of difficulty turning in one direction, there's often an underlying problem with either the set up of your equipment or a physical issue such as pronation of the ankles or problems with the knees not tracking straight.  Not always, but it wouldn't hurt to check it out.  Welcome to the the great sport of downhill skiing!  Wishing you Many Happy Turns Ahead!

 

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by natlin View Post

I just started skiing today, and had my first lesson. Turning right is also a big challenge at the moment because I tend to favor my right leg and am just not able to properly roll my left foot inwards when turning. And then I lose control of my skis and career down, freaking out and arms somewhat flailing before crashing. And I'm starting to use the right foot to do damage control every time I get out of control. Has this also got to do with leg strength generally? 


It COULD be a leg strength issue, Natlin, but it also could be a loose boot issue.

Try Snowmiser's exercise suggestion or one of my favorites: Stand in the "L" of a kitchen countertop so you can use your hands for balance and attempt to roll both feet onto corresponding edges. If it's easier to go one way than the other, then you need to do this repatedly as a strengthening exercise.
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 

 

I tried standing in a doorframe and tipping my ankles to each side and it seems I can do that simple task the same on both sides (though a bit easier to roll one way, damn right-handed-ness), I guess I'm just really uncoordinated when it comes to anything more complex! I'll certainly make sure the rental boots are tight enough. I'm not sure how tight the ones I got in the past were. I've learned a lot reading past threads on this forum, even how tightly/not-tightly to do up the different clips on the boot o.o
 
I do know that I have some ankle pronation and other leg issues (which are largely symmetrical XD I suppose because my ankle pronation is symmetrical and it affects the rest of my leg physiology) which I need to fix; largely muscular problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy View Post

 Novice skiers are my specialty and I'd be glad for you to fly me downunder and put me up for a couple weeks so we could work on this biggrin.gif


If you're ever in NZ on holiday... :P

 

At least it's finally starting to snow on the nearest mountains to me now, so soon...! Also thanks again to everyone who has answered and been so useful! :D

 

post #18 of 26

I hope the snow keeps up, fgor! I heard it finally started on the weekend?
Wishing you an epic season :D

post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 

Yes, and they've been getting new snow each day since :D Thanks! I'm quite looking forward to it :D

post #20 of 26

fgor - lots of good suggestions here as it relates to lessons, leg strength and equipment.  My $0.02 on it is that at your current skill level this could primarily be about difficulty with weight transfer from one leg to the other.  It takes balance, coordination and frankly practice at the beginning.  No one can actually tell you what to do with any authority without seeing you ski but perhaps there might be some simple drills that could be suggested to get you used to transfering weight and balance off your dominant leg.  One thing you might try is ditch the poles for a few runs.  Beginners don't know what to do with them yet and that's why you always see little kids bombing around with no poles.  Poles really should not be used as balance crutches. 

 

In your wedge, lean forward (don't bend over but also bend at the knees to get your self lower - keep yourself centered and balanced - not too far forward or backward) so you can comfortably rest your hands on your knees.  Practice this not moving.  When skiing down the hill, whatever direction you want to turn push down (toward the boot - not the back of the ski) on the opposite hand/knee combination.  Don't push like you are hyper extending the knee but more focusing putting/pushing weight on one knee/leg then the other knee/leg but gently pushing down or leaning on one knee.  Then let the ski flex and turn for you.  Hopefully this will get you atuned to the weight transfer from one leg to the other.  I'm sure there are a number of other drills out there that could help but start with that one.  Enjoy!

post #21 of 26

Have you tried to have an instructor take of THEIR skis and get on their knees along side of you while you are at a stop?

 

Have the instructor push the boot into position.

 

We all learn differently and all have a weak side and all that.

 

I can talk all day and get nowhere .... but if I position your edge/boot .... so it can feel what it needs to do this can work quite well.

 

So ..... you would start down a gentle slope straight and "look" with your head only, where you want to go while pressuring the boot/edge.

 

Eventually the "look" goes away.

post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hello all you people who offered me tips and advice; just thought I'd post an update~

 

Wound up taking me pretty much all winter to get to the mountain, owing to it being difficult to organise friends who are a mix of workers and students to all be free and cashed-up enough at the same time, but finally made it yesterday! After a couple of hours of throwing myself onto the snow on the beginnerest of beginners slopes, I gave up and bought a lesson (was a group one, but only 2 other people, which was nice), which turned out to be the most worthwhile hour and a half in my time skiing so far. Finally got turns a little bit sorted, don't feel so out of control and like I have to physically pick up my skis to turn them around.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by FTski View Post

fgor - lots of good suggestions here as it relates to lessons, leg strength and equipment.  My $0.02 on it is that at your current skill level this could primarily be about difficulty with weight transfer from one leg to the other.  It takes balance, coordination and frankly practice at the beginning.  No one can actually tell you what to do with any authority without seeing you ski but perhaps there might be some simple drills that could be suggested to get you used to transfering weight and balance off your dominant leg.  One thing you might try is ditch the poles for a few runs.  Beginners don't know what to do with them yet and that's why you always see little kids bombing around with no poles.  Poles really should not be used as balance crutches. 

 

In your wedge, lean forward (don't bend over but also bend at the knees to get your self lower - keep yourself centered and balanced - not too far forward or backward) so you can comfortably rest your hands on your knees.  Practice this not moving.  When skiing down the hill, whatever direction you want to turn push down (toward the boot - not the back of the ski) on the opposite hand/knee combination.  Don't push like you are hyper extending the knee but more focusing putting/pushing weight on one knee/leg then the other knee/leg but gently pushing down or leaning on one knee.  Then let the ski flex and turn for you.  Hopefully this will get you atuned to the weight transfer from one leg to the other.  I'm sure there are a number of other drills out there that could help but start with that one.  Enjoy!


The instructor actually pretty much told me to do that - lean forward a bit, keep centered and balanced by being in a position where hands are resting on knees, and it helped a lot. Also looking where I was going instead of at my skis! I have no idea what my upper body was doing before but it must have been throwing me out of balance somehow! (I also threw away the poles and learned just to skate around on the flat areas instead of pushing myself around. :P) After a while practising that, I could tackle one of the actual runs (green, of course!), which was significantly more satisfying. Who cares how nooby I looked slaloming down in my slow curving wedge turns, I was having awesome fun, and didn't feel like I was going to break all my limbs doing it (I did throw my knees out a bit though; I don't think they cared for spending a whole day slowplowing..)! I definitely still find one side easier

 

The people in the rental shop were pretty useful as well. They gave me some boots which I had trouble forcing my feet into, and my toes were just touching the ends, but I was told this was fine and I guess it did wind up being so! (I took a gander at the boots as I was taking them off at the end of the day before realising I know nothing about ski boots anyway. They said Salomon Irony 500 on them. No idea about the skis. They were definitely skis.)

 

Plus, I now have a photo of me skiing, even though it's only on the super-beginner area as we forgot to take photos after going up higher. I do nooby turns and before you can start laughing at my unzipped jacket, it was honestly freakishly hot! The only thing I have on underneath that jacket is a tee shirt, everything else had to go :P

 

beginner slopes skiing

 

I feel a tad silly for being excited about something as basic as learning to be in a bit more control of myself, but it's really opened up a world of true enjoyment to me, and I can't wait to go back! Hopefully I can dredge up some people to make another trip before the season ends..!

 

Thanks for all your advice and encouragement, and I'm sure I'll be back with more questions after skiing again :P

post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 

 

Hello all you people who offered me tips and advice; just thought I'd post an update~

 

Wound up taking me pretty much all winter to get to the mountain, owing to it being difficult to organise friends who are a mix of workers and students to all be free and cashed-up enough at the same time, but finally made it yesterday! After a couple of hours of throwing myself onto the snow on the beginnerest of beginners slopes, I gave up and bought a lesson (was a group one, but only 2 other people, which was nice), which turned out to be the most worthwhile hour and a half in my time skiing so far. Finally got turns a little bit sorted, don't feel so out of control and like I have to physically pick up my skis to turn them around.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by FTski View Post

fgor - lots of good suggestions here as it relates to lessons, leg strength and equipment.  My $0.02 on it is that at your current skill level this could primarily be about difficulty with weight transfer from one leg to the other.  It takes balance, coordination and frankly practice at the beginning.  No one can actually tell you what to do with any authority without seeing you ski but perhaps there might be some simple drills that could be suggested to get you used to transfering weight and balance off your dominant leg.  One thing you might try is ditch the poles for a few runs.  Beginners don't know what to do with them yet and that's why you always see little kids bombing around with no poles.  Poles really should not be used as balance crutches. 

 

In your wedge, lean forward (don't bend over but also bend at the knees to get your self lower - keep yourself centered and balanced - not too far forward or backward) so you can comfortably rest your hands on your knees.  Practice this not moving.  When skiing down the hill, whatever direction you want to turn push down (toward the boot - not the back of the ski) on the opposite hand/knee combination.  Don't push like you are hyper extending the knee but more focusing putting/pushing weight on one knee/leg then the other knee/leg but gently pushing down or leaning on one knee.  Then let the ski flex and turn for you.  Hopefully this will get you atuned to the weight transfer from one leg to the other.  I'm sure there are a number of other drills out there that could help but start with that one.  Enjoy!


The instructor actually pretty much told me to do that - lean forward a bit, keep centered and balanced by being in a position where hands are resting on knees, and it helped a lot. Also looking where I was going instead of at my skis! I have no idea what my upper body was doing before but it must have been throwing me out of balance somehow! (I also threw away the poles and learned just to skate around on the flat areas instead of pushing myself around. :P) After a while practising that, I could tackle one of the actual runs (green, of course!), which was significantly more satisfying. Who cares how nooby I looked slaloming down in my slow curving wedge turns, I was having awesome fun, and didn't feel like I was going to break all my limbs doing it (I did throw my knees out a bit though; I don't think they cared for spending a whole day slowplowing..)! I definitely still find one side easier

 

The people in the rental shop were pretty useful as well. They gave me some boots which I had trouble forcing my feet into, and my toes were just touching the ends, but I was told this was fine and I guess it did wind up being so! (I took a gander at the boots as I was taking them off at the end of the day before realising I know nothing about ski boots anyway. They said Salomon Irony 500 on them. No idea about the skis. They were definitely skis.)

 

Plus, I now have a photo of me skiing, even though it's only on the super-beginner area as we forgot to take photos after going up higher. I do nooby turns and before you can start laughing at my unzipped jacket, it was honestly freakishly hot! The only thing I have on underneath that jacket is a tee shirt, everything else had to go :P

 

beginner slopes skiing

 

I feel a tad silly for being excited about something as basic as learning to be in a bit more control of myself, but it's really opened up a world of true enjoyment to me, and I can't wait to go back! Hopefully I can dredge up some people to make another trip before the season ends..!

 

Thanks for all your advice and encouragement, and I'm sure I'll be back with more questions after skiing again :P

post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 

bah accidentally double posted, can't for the life of me figure out how to delete

post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 

..

post #26 of 26
Quote:
I feel a tad silly for being excited about something as basic as learning to be in a bit more control of myself, but it's really opened up a world of true enjoyment to me, and I can't wait to go back!

Awesome post, fgor, and a great achievement! That's what it's all about, and it will get better and better.

I hope you still have a few more chances for some skiing before the southern hemisphere winter ends. Keep us posted!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
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