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How do you teach/learn absorption/extention?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Irrespective of your preferred style, the abilities to crank out rapid short turns and convert your legs into a good suspension system are sine qua non for dynamic bump skiiing, right?

 

Blake Saunders' 4-step learning process is great, but I am still unclear about the details regarding A/E. I can do short turns, link turns with retraction, and maybe feel the "virtual bumps", but my A/E still sucks with real bumps. It's possible that the only way to improve is with more mileage. I am hoping you may have a few nifty tips to accelerate the learning process.

 

BTW, it seems to me that there is a minimum speed required for A/E. Slower than that, I completely lose whatever (little) rythm and timing I have. Timing seems to be my biggest problem at this point.

 

TIA

 

post #2 of 16

Yes, it is all about timing, no, there is no minimum speed, and A/E works find on the flats as well as in the bumps.  A paper presented at an International Congress on Science and Skiing a few years ago documented how much quicker A/E turns were through the gates than the usual up-unweighting. A/E has been around a long, long time.  See if you can find anything using the old term of down-unweighting.

 

You know how you flex your ankles/knees/hips to absorb the forces through a turn, then extend to transition to the new turn?  Don't do it any more.  Keep your legs, especially your outside leg near-straight through the turn and increase the edge angle to handle the increasing forces toward the bottom of the turn.*  Shorten the inside leg as your lower body has more angle to the snow so most your weight is on the outer ski.  When you're ready to end that turn and start the next, relax your legs and float across your skis to the other side.  In a quick turn, you'll feel like you're pulling your knees up to your chin.  You'll be in the backseat momentarily, but strongly pull both feet back as you let the legs extend to start the next turn.**  Don't push the legs out, just let them extend.  Hunt for every bump & lump you can find to practice on.

 

 

*Don't dig in the big toe of your outside foot, nor drive you knees into the hill, nor drop your hip toward the hill.  Roll your inside ski on on it's outside edge and allow your lower body to move toward the hill while your upper body balances outward from the hill.

 

**Rule of thumb--if your ski tips are off the snow, you have no control.  Get your ski tips back on the snow by pulling your feet back strongly.

post #3 of 16

Getting the timing down is key for any speed; as suggested look for any bump or lump you can find; even a large drainage pipe across a trail.  You can follow the knuckle draggers; they sometimes make small ramps in the trail where they will launch themselves for air, you can do the opposite; by absorbing and lowering the com to control your speed. Many seasons ago, these are the places which convince me that you can alter the speed of your skis by moving the COM. The boarders who can launch themselves; go further and faster when they time the pop (really extension) at the optimum place of the lift. By absorbing you're doing the opposites of getting that pop, timing to absorb at the right spot on the lift is key in slowing down, granted you may not stop but you should feel the slow down. Other examples of moving the COM to alter speed is pumping on a mtn bike or  a spining figure skater. Check out some of those vids at youtube. With the principle concept of preserving angular momentum (yes... its a terms from Physics, I had to study that for two years :/ ), one can slow down by moving the COM.

 

Back, to places; if your ski resort has a terrain park, you can practice A&E on the rollers, better yet if they have bumps this would be optimum. I posted this is another thread; but will repost it; check out the segment at 6:32, they are showing pivot slips in the bumps; you can incorporate the absorption and extension with these pivot slips to work on the timing. I do this in the morning runs just to warm up and get the feel of the snow. Even on the same bump field, the bumps can be faster or slower depending on conditions and how they got skied in from previous days.

 

 

 

 

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack97 View Post

...With the principle concept of preserving angular momentum (yes... its a terms from Physics, I had to study that for two years :/ ), one can slow down by moving the COM.

 

Back, to places; if your ski resort has a terrain park, you can practice A&E on the rollers...

 


One request: don't edge on park rollers, they are actually a great place to only work A&E and also simple pressure distribution, with no edging.. 

 

Mechanically, what is being talked about is different from a virtual bump, though.  It is very similar to running slalom gates that have been through some rain and warm and not moved.  The virtual bump is more of a lateral concept, and not aimed at sucking up speed, whereas A&E deals much more with fore-aft and most importantly vertical movement, and is aimed at sucking up speed or, if you pump, at creating speed.  The o.p. in this case will have to undergo some brain floss, or not get it.  Shin pressure, e.g., is an integral part of effective A&E, and the whole foot pull-back stuff that he's learned to help with freecarving will screw the A&E pooch.
 

 

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post

...and the whole foot pull-back stuff that he's learned to help with freecarving will screw the A&E pooch.

 

 


Eh? Are you saying expert level mogul coaches are wrong?

post #6 of 16



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post


One request: don't edge on park rollers, they are actually a great place to only work A&E and also simple pressure distribution, with no edging.. 

 


Yep, you have to respect the park rats domain, no edging in rollers and yes drive that pressure onto the shins. Here's another place you can try; it depends if the terrain has this type of shape or how the groomers make their morning run but sometimes the trail has a "spine" along the edge. You can try skiing across that spine by making short radius turns, absorbing as you go up that spine. The vid below shows this at 1:21 mark, they purposely made a spine for training but it gives the idea of what terrain to look for.  

 


 

post #7 of 16



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post


 

 and the whole foot pull-back stuff that he's learned to help with freecarving will screw the A&E pooch.
 

 


 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skiatansky View Post


Eh? Are you saying expert level mogul coaches are wrong?


No, he is saying the mechanics are different as you pull in the feet when going side to side with the virtual bump versus fore/aft in an actual bump. I would even go further that how much to bring the feet underneath is different from the virtual bump and an actual bump. Basically where the COM is will be different for carve centric skier versus a bumper.

 


 

 

post #8 of 16


Soundz like CTKook is saying no foot pullback as part of A&E.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jack97 View Post

No, he is saying the mechanics are different as you pull in the feet when going side to side with the virtual bump versus fore/aft in an actual bump. I would even go further that how much to bring the feet underneath is different from the virtual bump and an actual bump. Basically where the COM is will be different for carve centric skier versus a bumper.

 



Pulling the feet back in a carved turn is fore/aft management. At the release  --  while cresting the virtual bump -- I pull my feet back.

post #9 of 16



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skiatansky View Post


Soundz like CTKook is saying no foot pullback as part of A&E.

 



Pulling the feet back in a carved turn is fore/aft management. At the release  --  while cresting the virtual bump -- I pull my feet back.


 

I doubt it..... in virtual bump, the stance is more upright and the pressured is place along the lateral part of boots. In the actual bump, the stance lower (squating down) with pressure on the shins. Just saying the brain cells need to get use to pulling in the feet while in that position and with pressure to the shins. Truth be told, i think of pushing my hips out more that pulling in my feet....but its the same idea.
 

 

post #10 of 16

They feel nearly the same to me -- when absorbing the virtual bump I am very light and without lateral pressure. I suspect you and I are in agreement that pulling the feet back is an important part of A&E. Let us see if CT agrees.

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack97 View Post



 


 

I doubt it..... in virtual bump, the stance is more upright and the pressured is place along the lateral part of boots. In the actual bump, the stance lower (squating down) with pressure on the shins...

 



Word.  I'd only add the mellow freecarve "foot pullback" also doesn't have the pressure aspect of pressuring the ski while the bump pushes back in a 3d contour, the way a bump does.  This is really just the on-snow mirror image of the stance and movement differences you highlight here.

 

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post



Word.  I'd only add the mellow freecarve "foot pullback" also doesn't have the pressure aspect of pressuring the ski while the bump pushes back in a 3d contour, the way a bump does.  This is really just the on-snow mirror image of the stance and movement differences you highlight here.

 



CTKook, to double check, you agree that pulling the feet back is an important aspect of A&E?

 

Pulling the feet back properly does pressure the ski -- even on groomers. Your wordplay is humorous -- 'mellow' -- funny.

 

post #13 of 16

Video clip by Chuck Martin

 

 

from the comments section

 

Quote:
  • Foot containment (keeping your feet pulled back under your athletic center) is the key to good absorption and speed control in the moguls and it also helps you to stay in control on all kinds of terrain. 

 

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook View Post


... the whole foot pull-back stuff that he's learned to help with freecarving will screw the A&E pooch.
 

 



To be clear, this is what I had said.  The freecarving type of foot pullback being talked about, by me, doesn't use shin pressure, and uses a different movement pattern.  And, in fact the foot pull-back freecarve crew is pretty explicit that they don't like Chuck Martin's approach and won't tolerate discussion of it.  There's no need to try to say they are the same, except possibly to try to cloud the discussion.

 

post #15 of 16

The foot pull back movement I use on groomers is the same I use when skiing in bumps.

 

The two videos above show the same pull back movement on a groomer and in the bumps.

post #16 of 16

Ski thank you for pointing out that from your personal experience and the inner POV the virtual bump and a real bump are identical. The guy who coined the term (Ron LeMaster) did a presentation a while back where he explained the virtual bump idea. What he echos in that term is an idea from one of his mentors, Joulbert. From an accelerated FoR the ski tips drop below the rest of the skis as we turn towards the fall line and they rise to level with the rest of the ski as we turn across the hill. Sorry for mixing my FoR's here but like Barnes has said more than a few times it's sometimes more efficacious to combine them. At least as long as everyone understands we are doing so. Anyway back to the subject of A/E. Though I would share this stuff since I see a lot of misunderstandings going on here about the virtual bump being mostly about the lateral plane and our movements in that plane.

 

Another relatively similar term Ron uses is the balance axis term where our absorption and extension occur mostly perpendicular to the skis. At least in the lateral plane (as CT suggested) but we also need to understand the act of flexing the hips and legs always includes a fore / aft adjustment and staying perpendicular to the skis in that plane isn't always possible especially as we move through our entire RoM along that balance axis.

 

So as we teach A/E, or more important to the OP's question how we learn A/E is to begin exploring an expanded RoM in the six major joints of the lower body. A suggested starting place (terrain) for exploring this is groomers where the focus can be on increasing our vertical RoM (again this is relative to the skis). Once a skier can move through that larger RoM while finding a relatively balanced stance, the focus typically moves to traversing bumps of varying depths to introduce the idea of active and passive absorption in response to the uneven terrain. When that skier develops their ability sufficiently and can the mow consistently maintain dynamic balance while traversing across that very variable terrain, turning towards the fall line and making complete turns using that expanded RoM is now not such a huge single step. Typically we start with medium radius turns as a baseline. The last step is to change the timing and make shorter turns (eventually zipperline) but to hang onto the larger RoM they discovered in the groomer drill, the traverse drill, and the medium radius bump turns. If that's still a problem it's time to go back to the groomers and work on very short turns as absolutely fast as the skier can make them. The idea being that when they return to the bumps the speed of the movements needed isn't so intimidating.

 

It should also be understood that the downhill speed of the skier is slower at first as they develop the skills set needed to ski bumps and their speed control should occur as a function of their line instead of from the percussive edge sets we see among less skilled bumpers. When they master that rounder and slower line it's time to ski a more direct line but speed control still shouldn't come from those staccato "braking" edge sets I just mentioned. Not that some of that doesn't occur occasionally, what I'm suggesting is the default edge check isn't how good bumpers control their speed.

 

Hope that helps clear up some of this Chuck. Ski Wellbeercheer.gif


Edited by justanotherskipro - 1/2/12 at 1:52pm
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