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Trying to teach an old dog a new trick.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Probably shouldnt say old dog, I dont think my mom would like that much. Anyway she used to work on a mountain and ski every day in the era of straight skis and stretch pants. She skis a little back seat, and pushes the tails around more than she tips the skis. I tried to show her how to carve by having her traverse slightly down hill, then roll her knees uphill, but she still pushed her tails out and wouldnt let the skis do the work for her. Taught my brother how to carve the same way and it worked perfectly, Ma just cant get it. Anyone have any ideas? Any drills to keep her from pushing the skis and get her tipping them?

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowyphil65 View Post

Probably shouldnt say old dog, I dont think my mom would like that much. Anyway she used to work on a mountain and ski every day in the era of straight skis and stretch pants. She skis a little back seat, and pushes the tails around more than she tips the skis. I tried to show her how to carve by having her traverse slightly down hill, then roll her knees uphill, but she still pushed her tails out and wouldnt let the skis do the work for her. Taught my brother how to carve the same way and it worked perfectly, Ma just cant get it. Anyone have any ideas? Any drills to keep her from pushing the skis and get her tipping them?


practice makes permanent.

 

first does she want to ski in a modern way?

 

if she does a start would be getting her turning axis to be in the center of her foot instead of the tips of her skis.

 

 

 

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

She says she wants to ski for longevity, as in be skiing for the next 30 years. Unfortunately she tore her acl two years ago skiing at winter park. She slid her tail into a pile, twisted her knee and tore her acl. Im basically trying to open the possibilities of shaped skis to her, make her skiing easier, and keep her skiing longer. Maybe carving is the wrong way to go? Would adjusting her balance change the turning axis, a more centered stance?

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowyphil65 View Post

She says she wants to ski for longevity, as in be skiing for the next 30 years. Unfortunately she tore her acl two years ago skiing at winter park. She slid her tail into a pile, twisted her knee and tore her acl. Im basically trying to open the possibilities of shaped skis to her, make her skiing easier, and keep her skiing longer. Maybe carving is the wrong way to go? Would adjusting her balance change the turning axis, a more centered stance?



adjusting her pivot point would most likely adjust her balance.

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowyphil65 View Post

She says she wants to ski for longevity, as in be skiing for the next 30 years. Unfortunately she tore her acl two years ago skiing at winter park. She slid her tail into a pile, twisted her knee and tore her acl. Im basically trying to open the possibilities of shaped skis to her, make her skiing easier, and keep her skiing longer. Maybe carving is the wrong way to go? Would adjusting her balance change the turning axis, a more centered stance?



You might have found her reason here. She could very well be nervous after what she has been thru and is learning to trust her skis again. Having smearing/skidding type turns might feel more comfortable, normal and SAFE for her as opposed to getting up on an edge and be somewhat locked in. Also for some people learning to engage and trust the edge versus pivot and or skid is very difficult after a lifetime of skiing. Best thing you can do with her is find very gentle green circle terrain even in the pure begginer area with as little traffic as possible and do like you said traversing with rolling up the edges and she if she can leave some tracks. Try to have her focus on rolling left little toe into the snow when going to the left and right little toe when going to the right. As she starts to get it take a bit steeper of a start to the traverse working to straight down to J type turns up the hill.

 

 

Bwpa   good call on figuring out if she wants to ski that way, that really will be the key to anyone's improvement if they want it.

post #6 of 9

Turn down the gravity when showing her new ideas.  That will help bring her into more of a comfort zone.  If you try something new and the terrain is steep you concentrate on the terrain and not the new idea.

post #7 of 9

Depends on your relationship with your mum. It may actually not be easy for her to tell you directly whether she wants to change her skiing style. Also, I'm of the opinion that people are more often receptive to the guidance of an outsider rather than a family member. Well, when it come to skiing at least. 

 

I personally would get a capable instructor and make him/ her aware of the situation and needs. See what he/ she says after the lesson in private with you. Whether there is intent to change and an instructor will make the transition quicker or there is no intent to change (yet?) and she's quite satisfied skiing the way she is. 

post #8 of 9

The traverse drill is usually enough for most old timers. But I've got the same problem with a few old dogs at my home resort. I'm 99% sure that one of them that I was working on last weekend has an alignment issue that makes it difficult for him to carve. But after beating him senseless with traverse drills and varying the terrain from flat to a little steeper, we got one two footed carved traverse accomplished. This guy could be a season long project.

 

I usually start with static drills to differentiate between tipping and carving. It helps to set a pole down on the snow, set your ski on top of it, twist it right and left and say "no" (like you're training a dog?). Then you have to give the NO feedback immediately during the carve when they start steering the ski out of the carve. Then practice tipping from a standing position. Sometimes I'll even get down on the snow and stick my fingers under the skis and yell "OW" to help them learn to lift their edges. For the lesson: "Steering bad, tipping good!" For real skiing we are just tipping more and steering less. It helps to have wide trails and snow soft enough to examine tracks. The tracks are great feedback to see where things are working and where the break down. Tracks are especially helpful for self coaching followup after they "get it" so they don't revert. I have had success using the tug of war drill to introduce the tipping move as a replacement for the foot steering. Student's feel this better on a decent pitch, but doing it on the flats also helps introduce the concept of moving the core laterally to facilitate tipping. Sideslips could also be a good transition drill for mom. I do my carved traverses to an uphill stop. Steerers don't get anywhere near the distance back up the hill that I do. Carving to a stop greatly helps reduce the fear factor and get the brain trained that tipping alone can lead to speed control. Eventually you end the uphill portion of the traverse early by rolling onto the downhill edges. If the terrain is flat enough they won't freak when they try this. A new drill I added to the mix this year is a straight run - go straight down the hill just tipping your ankles from side to side. If the ski makes shallow turns, great. If not, the objective is to go straight. There are dozens of other drills that can be tailored to introduce carving. The trick is being able to figure out whether repetition will solve the problem or a different drill is required.

 

When I took my dad through the shape ski transition it added 15 years onto his skiing career and made a huge difference in the quality and quantity of his "senior" skiing. Be patient with Mom - she will thank you when you're done. Having a pro doing the "re-orientation" can greatly speed up the process. Back in the day, it took me no more than 45 minutes to retrain most skiers. My Dad took a 1/2 day to "get it". I've only been able to work an hour at a time for the old dogs that are giving me trouble now and they slip backwards in between sessions which are few and far between, but I'm sure if I had a full day with them I could get them carving.

 

Somewhere here on Epic I had an article on converting straight skiers to carvers.....

 

post #9 of 9

Make sure you explain that skiing has changed.  In other words, don't make it sound like she has been doing it wrong all along!  She just needs to modernize.

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