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engaging inside ski at top of turn

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Any thoughs on movement patterns, progressions or drills to help a skier engage the inside ski at the top of the turn?

post #2 of 17

One footed skiing, inside leg only - switch skis at "neutral"

 

   (an advanced drill, but right on target)

 

 

It will force you to move your mass across the skis, which

will help get you on that little toe edge.

 

 

 

Sailor Dives might be another

 

No poles, hands on knees, medium to large radius railroad track

post #3 of 17

In these parts (Pacific NW), that first maneuver you mention is called a "White Pass Turn."  White Pass being the home hill for the Mahre brothers who, legend has it, pioneered deliberately using that technique in the race course.  (All hearsay with me, please don't probe.)

 

Hope I don't get flamed for mentioning the name, but HH's "phantom ski" progression includes several variations on lift-and-tip the inside ski while just standing on the new outside ski.  Risks getting sequential, but I've used it to good effect.

 

Here's one that's even more sequential (but, hey, its a drill), works great with anybody whose been in marching band or the army:  "first thing that happens after the command 'column left' is - the left foot moves.  If you try to execute a column left by turning the right foot first, the whole platoon is going down."

post #4 of 17

Make sure you are starting from a countered position. If your shoulders are facing the same direction as your skis at edge change, you're not going to be able to engage the inside ski at the top for schizzle. Drills: pivot slips, TV turns (hold both poles in the middle of the shaft to frame an object straight down the trail - keep the object framed all the way through every turn), hook both poles together around your waist (strap around basket) - keep poles pointed at the side of the trail all the time.

 

Finish your turns going uphill. Initiate the new turn by rolling the skis onto the new edges with core body movement moving laterally across the fall line. This simulates moving the upper body down the fall line when you finish turns before they start back uphill.

 

Tracer turns - put 99% of weight on one ski (precursor to the White Pass drill)

Hop to shape - do edge change in mid air

Skate turns - initiate new turn by skating move onto the new inside ski

Cowboy turns - keep skis greater than shoulder width apart (and no pivot cheating)

Tractor turns - start in a wedge - simultaneously flatten one ski while railing the edge of the other to create a straight line carve for 4 ft, switch instantly (leave tractor tire looking tread marks in the snow)

 

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

Make sure you are starting from a countered position. If your shoulders are facing the same direction as your skis at edge change, you're not going to be able to engage the inside ski at the top for schizzle.



Rusty what is your definition of a countered position and how does that square with the Skiing Concept  of "During turn transitions, the lower body releases and realigns with the upper body." Just looking for clarity.

 

post #6 of 17

"If your shoulders are facing the same direction as your skis at edge change" - you are not countered. If your shoulders are facing more down the hill than your skis - you are countered.

 

If (from a countered position) the lower body releases and turns down the hill, it will realign with the upper body. But it should not stop there. After realignment, the lower body should continue to rotate more than the upper body to create a turn finish that develops a countered position. The lower body should be constantly turning in relation to the upper body unless you are going straight or "parking" in a position on purpose. 

 

post #7 of 17

What they said. We do a lot of this in our Masters race program.  There are two other keys that we've found useful:

 

- Aim out, turn down. When you're running gates, you finish the old turn, go to neutral as described above, at the rise line (up the fall line from the gate), you're in the "upside down traverse" on the inside edge of the new outside ski, applying early pressure. A lot of the time, we'll put a brush outside the gate and vertically down the hill as an aiming point.  Idea of this concept is that you aim to the outside of the arc, then turn down the fall line at the apex.  As opposed to going straight down the fall line and trying to start the arc after the fall line, where you're fighting gravity. 

 

- See the arc, put yourself in it at the top.  It's a truism of racing that you have to look ahead...also a good idea for all skiers.  As an extension of the above, once you get the general aim out, turn down concept, see your next arc and get your skis on edge and pressured at the top of the arc.  Everything else usually falls into place...

 

biggrin.gif

 

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post

What they said. We do a lot of this in our Masters race program.  There are two other keys that we've found useful:

 

- Aim out, turn down. When you're running gates, you finish the old turn, go to neutral as described above, at the rise line (up the fall line from the gate), you're in the "upside down traverse" on the inside edge of the new outside ski, applying early pressure. A lot of the time, we'll put a brush outside the gate and vertically down the hill as an aiming point.  Idea of this concept is that you aim to the outside of the arc, then turn down the fall line at the apex.  As opposed to going straight down the fall line and trying to start the arc after the fall line, where you're fighting gravity. 

 

- See the arc, put yourself in it at the top.  It's a truism of racing that you have to look ahead...also a good idea for all skiers.  As an extension of the above, once you get the general aim out, turn down concept, see your next arc and get your skis on edge and pressured at the top of the arc.  Everything else usually falls into place...

 

biggrin.gif

 



 

post #9 of 17

Outstanding...that video sequence is definitely worth at least a thousand of my words...

 


biggrin.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post



 



 

post #10 of 17

The Rusty: Make sure you are starting from a countered position. If your shoulders are facing the same direction as your skis at edge change, you're not going to be able to engage the inside ski at the top for schizzle.

 

This makes no sense to me. The more countered you are at transition the HARDER will be to engage the new inside ski. Try a white pass turn while facing down the hill and se how that works for you. Then try to be more square to the ski (or better yet slightly countered to the OUTSIDE OF THE NEW TURN) and see how much better that is.

 

Having said all that, I see little reason for strong inside ski engagement before the lower body re-aligns with the upper body.

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

"If your shoulders are facing the same direction as your skis at edge change" - you are not countered. If your shoulders are facing more down the hill than your skis - you are countered.

 

 

 

Okay, our definitions are a bit different  My definition of counter is with the relation of the twist of the femurs in the hip sockets.  Your definition is the hips in relation to the skis.    Then again you did say "countered position" and my definition for that includes your defintion.   Thanks for the clarification.

 

 

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post

Outstanding...that video sequence is definitely worth at least a thousand of my words...

 


biggrin.gif
 



 



I feel the same which is why I posted it without comment.  But now I will comment because of the OP asking about the inside ski.  I have had similar issues about engaging the inside ski when I skied for a while on fatter skis.  I "found" a cure when switching to a racing-type ski for a few days.  Better lateral balance and the feeling that I should be doing what the WC skiers in the video are doing by gradually increasing the weight on inside ski throughout the turn (while decreasing the weight on the downhill ski) did the trick.  Atomicman recently posted an article from Greg Gurshman that had the diagram below.  I know the proponents of railroad turns won't like this, but I figure skiing is like a golf swing and different things work for different people.

 

 

post #13 of 17

Here's one for you. At a moderately fast speed and within tight GS.. Load up your skis at the end of your turn (bend them). Release your edges and continue in the line of momentum through  neutral. Focus on extending your legs almost up the hill and land on that inside ski inside edge. Set up and do it again the other way. Do it again and again. Then smooth it out. Lose the drill and keep the skill. Think of an over lateral extension of the inside leg high in the arc. This will get you early on the inside edge. Too early for the average skier. Best of luck. Cheers.    

post #14 of 17

Earlier I should have said "shoulders and hips". I see in another recent post some video of someone who is turning the shoulders only. That ain't it. I agree 100% with you Pierre, but 90% of my students can't rotate their femurs in their hip sockets when I ask them to. I was trying to get that to happen using other words. So much for trying to keep things simple. Guilty as charged.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB View Post

The Rusty: Make sure you are starting from a countered position. If your shoulders are facing the same direction as your skis at edge change, you're not going to be able to engage the inside ski at the top for schizzle.

 

This makes no sense to me. The more countered you are at transition the HARDER will be to engage the new inside ski. Try a white pass turn while facing down the hill and se how that works for you. Then try to be more square to the ski (or better yet slightly countered to the OUTSIDE OF THE NEW TURN) and see how much better that is.

 

Having said all that, I see little reason for strong inside ski engagement before the lower body re-aligns with the upper body.


If it makes no sense, then our definitions are probably mismatched.  Yours makes little sense to me. I have practiced initiating turns with new inside hip lead (i.e. countered to the outside of the new turn) and have coached others to do so under very special conditions. It works in a manner similar to White Pass turns (which weight the "wrong" ski") working, but it's not the most efficient way to ski. White Pass turns are a certification task. After proving that I am "certifiable"biggrin.gif, I'm now successfully coaching others how to do them. Something about what I'm doing must be right.

 

When one does extreme short radius turns (in the fall line), the hips and shoulders stay oriented perpendicular to the fall line (zero upper body rotation) and therefore must always face to the inside of the new turn. As the turn radius increases, the amount of upper body rotation increases but is always less than the amount of lower body rotation. Attempts to ski otherwise will result in the phrase "ginked up".

 

The PSIA visual cues has 2 relevant cues for balance and stance:

"The hips are centered throughout the turn, promoting a movement forward through the finish and into the new turn."

"The inside hand, shoulder, and hip lead the turn shaping and finish, resulting in a countered relationship between the upper and lower body".

 

Here's an at home drill to prove my point. Stand arms length away from a wall. Put one hand palm flat on the wall. Turn your feet 45 degrees to the opposite side of the hand you used. Turn your hips and shoulders to face the same direction as your feet. Roll your feet to the new inside edge (closest to the wall) and simultaneously move your hips over your toes (this is going to be hard). Now turn your hips and shoulders to face the wall (with your feet still at 45 degrees). Try just moving your hips forward first and feel your inside foot go on edge. Then try combining forward movement with foot tipping. You can feel the difference in the power on the bottom of your foot.

 

post #15 of 17

I think one of the big things...and a couple of my teammates and I were talking about this today...is that you can do all the MA and discussion you want, but the best way to figure out if what you're doing is really working...and if it isn't what you need to do to fix it...is to go run some gates. I got to forerun 5 runs of  a full length FIS GS last weekend, and I trained length GS on the same hill today, and you quickly...quickly...find out that it's a different game when somebody else is telling you where to turn. If you're free skiing and the arc of your next turn doesn't quite work out, no big deal. In a GS course at 45 mph, one wrong move and you're into the nets.  So if you want to find out what it really takes to make all this good stuff happen, go run some gates...

 

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post #16 of 17

Keep these things in mind;

 

Maintain an active inside half.

The legs turn more than the hips,

Selectively direct energy from outside ski to outside ski,

Center of Mass stays over the feet.

 

 

post #17 of 17

The Rusty, not clear why a countered stance is as important as the active inside half but I would agree that all the drills you mentioned promote better inside half usage. As in keeping the inside half contemporaneous with the inside ski. A graphic posted in another thread (barnes' work btw) clearly shows how through the transition and just beyond the weight shift naturally occurs after the old outside ski has become the new inside ski. So engaging it is simply a matter of tipping it over to the little toe edge. Which is hardly what we see in the WC footage. Yes in the transition weight is still on the outside ski but after that many of those guys are picking up that inside ski, or more likely it's actually exploding off the snow after being released. Not exactly early inside ski engagement. Gushman's graphic shows this very well.

Something implied in Barnes' graphics is that as the turns become faster and more dynamic the natural weight shift to the outside ski occurs earlier. So at least in my mind I am wondering why the focus on inside ski engagements in the first place Scott. What are you hoping to change in your skiing, or in your student's skiing? Maybe that is an area we need to discuss before throwing out more drills and such. Can you expand on why you are seeking to develop inside ski engagement so early?

 

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