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MA - early season groomed turns

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

OK, guys- I am looking for MA and suggestion for technique improvement.  My goals for the season is to get cleaner dynamic turns, better range of vertical motion, and quieter upper body, but I'd like to hear your analysis and suggestions.  The snow is man-made on Red Dog Face at Squaw Valley a steep-ish blue run.   Skis- 187 Blizzard Bonafide, this is my third ever run on the ski.   Thanks in advance!  

post #2 of 39
You want cleaner turns?

1. Keep your inside hand in view.
Helps you maintain a strong inside half.

2. Get your armpit over your outside ski.
Creates some angle at the waist

3. In your extension, eliminate the crease in the snowpants behind the outside knee.
Lets the skis go out and around more.

4. Flex the inside ankle and point that knee into the turn.
Makes for equal edge angles.

5. Flex the outside ankle toward turn finishes, not the knee so much.
post #3 of 39

Nice skiing! what's "unclean" about these turns?

post #4 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckT View Post

Nice skiing! what's "unclean" about these turns?



lots actually. full post coming soon

 

 

 

post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

lots actually. full post coming soon

Looking forward to it cool.gif.  But seriously, your help is always greatly appreciated.  And I would not have posted this video here if I thought that I was looking super-great.  

post #6 of 39

If you haven't been aligned - get aligned. If you have been aligned - return to your boot fitter and proceed to hit him in the face with the boots. Then neither of you will be doing the other any favors.

post #7 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post

If you haven't been aligned - get aligned. If you have been aligned - return to your boot fitter and proceed to hit him in the face with the boots. Then neither of you will be doing the other any favors.


Oops... I am skiing on brand-new Fished Vacuum130, aligned and fitted by SierraJim.  Previous boot, Nordica HotRod130, also fitted by SJ.  I really don't think the boots are the culprit.  duel.gif

 

post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post


I really don't think the boots are the culprit.  



I didn't say they were the culprit. I said they weren't doing you any favors. What you think and who did the alignment doesn't really matter. We can see the results. I don't know what SJ started with, so maybe this is an improvement, but surely it can be better... by a few degrees on each leg.

 

I'll defer to MA session to Josh. I don't want to steal his thunder, and I already did one MA today.

post #9 of 39
A great example of why I don't value epic ski for coaching anymore.

Nothing but negativity, and this is not bad skiing, it's good skiing - could things be improved? Sure.

Aren't we taught to start with the positive?

Kneale - 5 things wrong. Nothing good to say.

BWPA "lots actually. full post coming soon" 13 hours ago. Very helpful.

Heluvaskier - physically assault your boot fitter.


Nice guys. You wonder why so few people ask for help here anymore with their skiing?
post #10 of 39

alexzn,

 

Nice turns!  For the speed and forces you were encountering I believe your extension was appropriate.  If your goal is to get more extension it is important to insure your delta angle is right for you.  This means playing with some shims between your afd and boot (pm me if you want details).  You will notice as you gas pedal your stance will get taller and you will feel more shin pressure on tongue which will enable you to lever into the ski shovel early in the turn.  If this delta angle is too steep you will experience great difficulty in opening the angle between your femurs and torso as you get pitch too far forward to balance and be relegated to a more flexed stance.  Conversely if this angle is too flat you will not be able to flex your ankles and will resort to breaking too much at the waist.  Experimentation is the key to find your optimum then have the boots plated to change this angle.

 

arms and poles!  The biggest issue I noticed is your arm and pole action are contributing to an upper body rotation which will cause you to loose the tails of your skis.  Make an effort to NOT cross your skis with your hands rather reach toward the apex of the next turn with pole tips and hands to draw the torso over your skis.  Keep the rotary efforts coming from the legs and feet rather than arms and shoulders.

 

Practice extension retraction turns to feel the full extension you are looking for and one legged skiing will both test your sagittal plane alignment and skills!

 

Good luck! and pray for snow!

 

bud 

Synergy Coaching & Alignment

 

post #11 of 39
Thread Starter 

SMJ- Thanks for the good words.   I should probably add some background info: 40 y/o, not particularly athletic, but trying to stay in shape. 30-50 days/year recently all at Squaw, have been skiing 30+ years, but never got any instruction (took exactly 3 ski lessons over my whole life), but always has been keen on watching others.  I have my catalog of mistakes after staring at the video, but I will defer to the panel.    Now, Josh, fire away.  

post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

OK, guys- I am looking for MA and suggestion for technique improvement.  My goals for the season is to get cleaner dynamic turns, better range of vertical motion, and quieter upper body, but I'd like to hear your analysis and suggestions.  The snow is man-made on Red Dog Face at Squaw Valley a steep-ish blue run.   Skis- 187 Blizzard Bonafide, this is my third ever run on the ski.   

If you want more dynamic turns and better range of motion I think the key in your skiing is to end the turn by outside leg relaxation or retraction rather than pushing as you do now. By pushing you are resetting and loose the dynamics into the next turn.

Quiter upper body. I'd suggest to skip the pole plant for now. Better to have no plant than one that gives you trouble. Keep a strong inside by tensing and pushing inside forward. Dont drop your inside hip. Keep it up and try to have a more level pelvis.

post #13 of 39
Thread Starter 

Bud, thanks, greatly appreciated!  I think this year (new boots) the stance is a bit more upright than I am used to. SJ thought it was appropriate, (he aligned the boots), and with Vac process the stance can be tinkered with quite a bit.  You are absolutely right about the arms, that's what is bothering me for the past few years, I do feel like I am doing some funky unnecessary upper body stuff.  I am going to try a couple of drills this weekend (turns with poles up and such).   The best example of what is wrong with my hands (particularly left) that I was able to find is this video from 2 seasons back in considerably better conditions (I am on 180 Head Mojo 94- 94mm width, no rocker, and in my old Nordica HotRod boots).  Ignore the guy in the first couple of frames, BTW.  I am in the orange jacket. 

 

 

I try to practice one-legged skiing on every long traverse. It has been a bit easier in the new boots actually, as they corrected minor canting issues.   Can you describe the extension-retraction turns in a bit more detail, or point me to where I can read about them?    
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

alexzn,

 

Nice turns!  For the speed and forces you were encountering I believe your extension was appropriate.  If your goal is to get more extension it is important to insure your delta angle is right for you.  This means playing with some shims between your afd and boot (pm me if you want details).  You will notice as you gas pedal your stance will get taller and you will feel more shin pressure on tongue which will enable you to lever into the ski shovel early in the turn.  If this delta angle is too steep you will experience great difficulty in opening the angle between your femurs and torso as you get pitch too far forward to balance and be relegated to a more flexed stance.  Conversely if this angle is too flat you will not be able to flex your ankles and will resort to breaking too much at the waist.  Experimentation is the key to find your optimum then have the boots plated to change this angle.

 

arms and poles!  The biggest issue I noticed is your arm and pole action are contributing to an upper body rotation which will cause you to loose the tails of your skis.  Make an effort to NOT cross your skis with your hands rather reach toward the apex of the next turn with pole tips and hands to draw the torso over your skis.  Keep the rotary efforts coming from the legs and feet rather than arms and shoulders.

 

Practice extension retraction turns to feel the full extension you are looking for and one legged skiing will both test your sagittal plane alignment and skills!

 

Good luck! and pray for snow!

 

bud 

Synergy Coaching & Alignment

 



 


Edited by alexzn - 12/14/11 at 10:36am
post #14 of 39

I see some nice skiing here. Considering you've had so little tuition there are lots of positives in there. I think before anything else I would look at overcoming that habitual movement with the left arm. It's causing some problems which jumped out straight away in the first film and then was even clearer in the second. You're making lots of compensatory movements to try and get by but ultimately it's causing that whole left side to be a problem. You are trying to fight the hips desire to follow the arm but inevitably the rotation that's going on is inhibiting your ability to angulate appropriately and get some grip on that left ski. That then leaves you quite unbalanced for your next trun.

 

I would be inclined to work on that. Javelin turns might help. Also maybe put a thrid pole across your hands and become aware of what the left side is doing. Ski with your hands on your hips and use the hands to drive the inside hip forward. There are lots of things you can try but whatever you decide work towards an awareness and feel for what's happening. That way you stand a good chance of eradicating it.

 

Keep enjoying your skiing and remember you already ski pretty well. Getting better should be a fun journey not a stress!

post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post

alexzn,

 

Nice turns!  For the speed and forces you were encountering I believe your extension was appropriate.  If your goal is to get more extension it is important to insure your delta angle is right for you.  This means playing with some shims between your afd and boot (pm me if you want details).  You will notice as you gas pedal your stance will get taller and you will feel more shin pressure on tongue which will enable you to lever into the ski shovel early in the turn.  If this delta angle is too steep you will experience great difficulty in opening the angle between your femurs and torso as you get pitch too far forward to balance and be relegated to a more flexed stance.  Conversely if this angle is too flat you will not be able to flex your ankles and will resort to breaking too much at the waist.  Experimentation is the key to find your optimum then have the boots plated to change this angle.

 

arms and poles!  The biggest issue I noticed is your arm and pole action are contributing to an upper body rotation which will cause you to loose the tails of your skis.  Make an effort to NOT cross your skis with your hands rather reach toward the apex of the next turn with pole tips and hands to draw the torso over your skis.  Keep the rotary efforts coming from the legs and feet rather than arms and shoulders.

 

Practice extension retraction turns to feel the full extension you are looking for and one legged skiing will both test your sagittal plane alignment and skills!

 

Good luck! and pray for snow!

 

bud 

Synergy Coaching & Alignment

 


Bud, does this cause a lack of finishing turns or is that something else because this seems kind of familiar with my own skiing.
 

 

post #16 of 39

alexzn,

 

Here's a slightly different take on your skiing. Unlike the others here I never really got above your feet in my MA. You don't guide the tips of your skis instead you end up pushing the tails of the skis. In your case the push comes not from a direct heel push move but from force generated by rotation in the upper body. Learn first to use your feet and legs to guide the ski tips and then all the symptoms of the lacking a basic skill will be easy to get rid of because they are no longer necessary.

 

Practice pointing your toes where you want to go. Don't think about turning, just focus on the feeling of slowly pointing your feet down the hill and then more and more across the hill. Keep practicing this until you can keep guiding them through an arc that starts to take you back up the hill. Feel how the ski is moving more forward than sideways. Take the guiding action and the moving forward sensation into all skiing situations.

 

fom

post #17 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

lots actually. full post coming soon

 


Soon???? wink.gif

 

post #18 of 39

 

Alex,

 

You've got great rhythm, simultaneous edge change and a round shape to these turns. This technique will get you comfortably around all but the most difficult terrain and I suspect that you manage well enough on difficult terrain that you can see some other guys there that look a little smoother.

 

If you want to create cleaner, more dynamic turns there are any number of prescriptions that can get you there. My goal for you would be to get more edge engagement occurring above the fall line. To get there you'll need to develop some new fundamental movement patterns. These can be learned in any order and any single movement could be a trigger that automatically develops the rest. Also, some of this stuff is a catch-22 (you can't change "A" because of "B" and you can't change "B" because of "A"). 

 

The first movement I would introduce to you is turning into counter. If you look at the finish of your first left turn in the opening clip, your upper body stays pretty square to the skis. Your head is turned downhill, creating an appearance of counter, but your right (downhill) hand is leading straight ahead, while your left (uphill/inside) hand is bend and behind. Part of the reason for this is that your tails have slid out. This is a catch 22 item. If you consider that your shoulders are facing square down the fall line in the middle of a turn, to the extent that you can finish a turn letting the skis turn more across the fall line than your shoulders, you are turning into counter. Then you would end a turn with your inside/uphill shoulder slightly ahead of your downhill shoulder. To do this, I want you to focus on extending your inside hand forward from the middle through the end of the turn. This is going to change your pole touch movement to be less reaching forward and more down the fall line.

 

If you can finish your turns in a countered position, this allows a different turn initiation mechanism to be employed to release your edges. You say want a better range of vertical motion. What I see is vertical motion being used to up unweight the skis to enable edge change to occur. From a countered position you can let your upper body flow across the skis without vertical motion. This will require different lower body movements that Kneale, Jam and Bud are referring to. These aren't easy to develop, but once you get them you will develop higher edge angles earlier in the turn and that will lead to "snappier" turns.

 

I do not recommend one legged skiing for you right now. One legged skiing is better at reinforcing learned movements versus developing new movements. I do recommend Heisman turns, hop to shape, javelin and cowboy turns.

 

BTW - I am neither a bootfitter, nor an alignment guru. But I believe Heluva has made a notable observation. At the end of the first turn, if you stop the clip just right you will see the outside knee appear to be tucked behind the inside leg. If you ask me, the knee angles, edge angles and skis out of parallel alignment looks like a hell of a (cough) mess. However, I would need to see clearer video (or in person) before I would pass judgment that this is the result of a bad fit.

 

 

post #19 of 39

Rusty, I enjoy your post. It is so nice and informative at the same time! It motivates me to say something.

 

What do you think about the pole plant? The hand is left behind and pole dragging after the pole plant. I notice it because that was one of my problems too.

 

Alex, there is a picture that you post with the video in another thread. I think It shows very well what Rusty is talking about. BWPA made a single comment about "counter" there.

 

Like Rusty, I also notice your first turn. I am not sure about it because it may be caused by a bump. I am not a boot fitter, but I went thru a long boot fitting process. My boot fitters fit my boot in house, and do on snow evaluation before finalize my canting. It basically involves playing with shims on snow like Bud mentioned. I personally don't think a boot will fit 100% right if there is no on snow evaluation to confirm it.

post #20 of 39

O Hell,

 

The hands generally don't cause trouble, but they can lead one out of trouble. For my teaching, hands are generally a symptom of other troubles. As such, I don't often try to improve movements through the hands. Other than teaching intro to pole swing to intermediates, working on pole touch/swing is usually fine tuning advanced technique.

post #21 of 39

Well, calming the hands & arms down can certainly help steady the upper body & allow the feet & legs to function more accurately & independently to aid in dynamic balance.

 

Learning efficient pole movements/swing will aid in efficient flow of the CM into the direction of the new turn.  This will happen most effectively when the arms, hands & pole grip have found a functional, neutral/home base initially.

 

JF

post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daveski7 View Post


Bud, does this cause a lack of finishing turns or is that something else because this seems kind of familiar with my own skiing.
 

 


Daveski7,

 

I don't quite understand your question, could you be more specific?

 

 

 

I think TheRusty, 4ster, and others here will agree hands crossing the centerline on the frontal plane generally indicate a use of upper body rotation as a turning power which should be coming from the feet and lower legs.  Yes we need to train the feet to become the turning power before we take away the only turning power the skier has, However; it looks as though this skier's hand and arm movements may be more residual habit than active turning power?  While we do see what looks like a slight tail push caused by hand and arm movements, I do believe his turning power is coming predominantly from the lower body.

 

I would work on pivot slips to separate turning his feet from his pole swing.  The goal to keep the feet turning through the completion phase while the pole swing and hand movements reach toward the apex of the next turn thereby nurturing good counter and anticipation release.


Edited by bud heishman - 12/15/11 at 7:38pm
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

A great example of why I don't value epic ski for coaching anymore.
Nothing but negativity, and this is not bad skiing, it's good skiing - could things be improved? Sure.
Aren't we taught to start with the positive?
Kneale - 5 things wrong. Nothing good to say.
BWPA "lots actually. full post coming soon" 13 hours ago. Very helpful.
Heluvaskier - physically assault your boot fitter.
Nice guys. You wonder why so few people ask for help here anymore with their skiing?


hey mister negative. Did you ever stop to think that maybe something came up!

 

do you think post like this encourage anyone to post?

 

The skiing is smooth, round at the bottom and your balancing well enough. what I am going to tell you if done right will introduce alot more force to all over your turns.

 

Your need counter IE hips square to the hill. This will help you keep more balance on the outside side ski as well making it easier to smoothly transitions. Which is something your not doing. You moving up up and back up the hill instead of just smoothly down the hill, your are also twisting your skis causing a pivot to an edge set. These are not really bad but things can be done more efficiently most of the time. Work on being patient moving into the new turn first. easiest way to do that is to longer turns and pay attention as your roll each toe over. Eventually you will be able to time it for a Shorter radius turns.

 

Helva is right your A frame quite a bit. I would listen to him.

 

Get some narrow skis if you can/want these will not help learn these movement but they are all possible on them it just they are not going to help you.

 

 

 

post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

A great example of why I don't value epic ski for coaching anymore.

Nothing but negativity, and this is not bad skiing, it's good skiing - could things be improved? Sure.

Aren't we taught to start with the positive?

Kneale - 5 things wrong. Nothing good to say.


OP asked for suggestions. I didn't say his movements were WRONG, I suggested things he could work on.
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

 

 

 

Howdy Alexz,

Check out the difference in these 2 skiers body angles. Skiing into counter. Hopefully no one will recognize the bottom skier,this could be considered on the fringe of banishment.

 

no need to use him, a more real world example on fat rockered skis and rotary boot off piste. The same principles of balance with the outside ski apply. the plaid does make it appear less than perfect!;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

skia.jpg

 

225752_10150247620561138_540901137_9324871_8267569_n.jpg


alex' stance width has at least gotten narrowor since last year.

 

post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

A great example of why I don't value epic ski for coaching anymore.
Nothing but negativity, and this is not bad skiing, it's good skiing - could things be improved? Sure.
Aren't we taught to start with the positive?
...
Nice guys. You wonder why so few people ask for help here anymore with their skiing?


 

SMJ makes a good point about approach. Many ski instructors default to a deficit-based coaching - where one looks for the weakest skill and proposes drills to develop that skill. The intent of deficit-based coaching is that by raising the weakest skill, the learner's overall skill will improve significantly.  This method is taught in ski schools. 

 

The alternative to deficit-based coaching is strength-based coaching. In strength-based coaching, we teach to the learner's current strengths - and create opportunities for learners to apply their strengths to improve their skills. Personally, I learn better through strength-based coaching, and it's my preferred method when working with customers. 

 

There's an opportunity for ski instructors to learn from the plethora of advances made in learning psychology. We see a few advances trickle in every year, but instructors could really benefit from learning more about how learning happens. Therusty pops out as a great strength-based coach among the many other excellent examples on this board.

post #27 of 39

Originally Posted by slider View Post

Howdy Alexz,

Check out the difference in these 2 skiers body angles. Skiing into counter. Hopefully no one will recognize the bottom skier,this could be considered on the fringe of banishment.


LOL! You could just post a picture of the grinning mouth and we'd know who it was!

 

Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

alex' stance width has at least gotten narrowor since last year.


BWPA, it's refreshing to find a top cert instructor who sees a narrower stance as a good thing. (ie narrower than shoulder width.)

post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post


LOL! You could just post a picture of the grinning mouth and we'd know who it was!

 


BWPA, it's refreshing to find a top cert instructor who sees a narrower stance as a good thing. (ie narrower than shoulder width.)



you do not want touching but artificially wide stances put people in situation where tipping is hard.

 

When you get on high edge angles you ll have vertical seperation if your skis/knees are not locked together.

post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

 

 

skia.jpg

 

225752_10150247620561138_540901137_9324871_8267569_n.jpg

 

alex' stance width has at least gotten narrowor since last year.

 


I'll preface this by saying that most of these technique discussions go right over my head.  I just don't understand the terminology, etc.

 

Having said that, can you explain to me what's so different about these two pictures?  Maybe I could see it in a video, but in a still shot, these don't look *that* different to me.  Different, sure, but not night-and-day different.  Do I just not understand what I'm looking at?

 

post #30 of 39

Jaobrien6

 

That is too funny, but you are somewhat correct. Both pictures lack counter. The other skier that we cannot talk about was definitely a better example. 

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