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Skiing switch - need help with my stance

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I've been playing around with skiing switch when it's late at night and the runs are empty.  So far, I've just been walking through the same basic steps I did when learning how to ski normally.  (Snowplow, linked snowplow, wedge-christie...)

 

I'm running into a wall now because I can't figure out how to stand.  When skiing normally, I lean forward (weight on the shins of my boots) and down the fall line. 

 

When I am skiing switch, if I lean forward (pressure against the shins,) then I will be leaning uphill.  Is that the right way to do it?  Would I expect to put a normal amount of pressure against my shins or will it be higher or lower than when skiing normally?

 

It feels odd but I can't put pressure on my shins and lean down the hill - I'm going to have to change one of those while skiing switch.

 

post #2 of 19

I've been working on my switch skiing to the point where I can make parallel skidded turns, I've even carve a few I think.  I lean uphill, but not too much.   

post #3 of 19

You will still want to stay up at the tongue of the boot. the key is to be centered - not too much "forward" lean. One technique that might help is to slide one ski forward and center between them. this allows you to turn and see where you are going without excess spine twisting.

post #4 of 19

Ask  Spencer P.  He's a master at it.  Well rounded, strapping young slow zone shredder.

post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSkyParadise View Post

Ask  Spencer P.  He's a master at it.  Well rounded, strapping young slow zone shredder.

That is kind of hilarious....

post #6 of 19

The key to skiing switch is to stagger your feet (downhill foot pushed back, uphill knee bent.) Your balance is never going to be the same switch as forward. Keep pressuring the tongues of your boots, and start the carve by "opening up" your body, with your head looking past your downhill shoulder. This will create your lean. Once your turn is finished, change the shoulder you look over (or not, depends which way you think looks better), and change the staggering of your feet, then lean the opposite direction. Make sure there is nobody behind you when you ski switch, as you will get moving FAST.

post #7 of 19

Play around with your stance. I tend to stay centered rather than pressure the shins. i find that when i lean forward and put pressure on the shins, it makes it much harder to carve.

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve2222 View Post

I've been playing around with skiing switch when it's late at night and the runs are empty.  So far, I've just been walking through the same basic steps I did when learning how to ski normally.  (Snowplow, linked snowplow, wedge-christie...)

 

I'm running into a wall now because I can't figure out how to stand.  When skiing normally, I lean forward (weight on the shins of my boots) and down the fall line. 

 

When I am skiing switch, if I lean forward (pressure against the shins,) then I will be leaning uphill.  Is that the right way to do it?  Would I expect to put a normal amount of pressure against my shins or will it be higher or lower than when skiing normally?

 

It feels odd but I can't put pressure on my shins and lean down the hill - I'm going to have to change one of those while skiing switch.

 




I ma going to be shot down, I am sure of it.

 

but why would we want to lean forward when skiing swtich when it would be like leaning back when we ski forward? doesnt make any sense to be in the front of your boot then does it?

 

I have found to put my pressure on my calfs I have also learned that you can balance on just the outside skis while skiing switch and that will lead to parralell turns while skiing switch.

 

A test for me and my own alignment is switch one footed skiing and I could not do it untill I was in the back of my boot. So far I am the only person I know who can link turns switch one foot I have never seen it done anywhere else/ Although I am sure someone else given enough time can learn it.

 

 

post #9 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post




I ma going to be shot down, I am sure of it.

 

but why would we want to lean forward when skiing swtich when it would be like leaning back when we ski forward? doesnt make any sense to be in the front of your boot then does it?

 


 

I'm not an ace at switch by any means, but I have noticed that the part of the ski that gets the most response is the meat between the midsole and front tip.  I have better luck leveraging that part of the ski even when going backwards.  I agree that you'd think working the tails leaning down the fall line while in reverse would seem to be a better approach (mirroring how you stand skiing forward backwards).  However, it just doesn't work that way for me.  I do better allowing the boot to focus the force on the part of the ski that it is designed to.  That just so happens to have me the other way (up the fall line) when going backwards.   I'm guessing your theory if fore aft is probably true on very steep terrain if your boots are soft enough to allow the desired fore aft.  But, I only care to invoke a serious power wedge should I find myself turned 180 on anything really steepredface.gif

 

Symmetrical skis might just work well if boots can also allow for full fore aft shift.

 

post #10 of 19

I'm with Josh, why pressure the tongues?

I think I'm more like pontoonmckonk and stay farily centered to the back, or downhill part of boot.

 

Here's what I find weird. Why when we ski forward we have inside tip lead, yet in switch the outside foot is slid ahead?

I think it has to do with how our hips operate, and maybe there's no control or range the other way. If it was like forward sking, we would have our inside foot forward and butt facing more outside the turn.

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

I'm with Josh, why pressure the tongues?

I think I'm more like pontoonmckonk and stay farily centered to the back, or downhill part of boot.

 

Here's what I find weird. Why when we ski forward we have inside tip lead, yet in switch the outside foot is slid ahead?

I think it has to do with how our hips operate, and maybe there's no control or range the other way. If it was like forward sking, we would have our inside foot forward and butt facing more outside the turn.



I can ski with inside tip lead going backwards.

post #12 of 19

So then are you looking over the inside shoulder? Inside the turn that is.

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

So then are you looking over the inside shoulder? Inside the turn that is.


 

I just do not look. seriously I scan the slope and just ski off memory assuming noone was behind me and noone is passing me.

 

I kinda of want to teach a blind person to ski backwards just to see what the final product would be. I think our need to see really screws up what could be a very smooth thing.

post #14 of 19

hehe...maybe you should be a consultant to SpencerP who had the pass pulled at Breck.

 

I have to say that a lot of the huge outside tip lead and looking over the outside shoulder seems to promote skidded switch turns. I would tend to agree with your more square approach for carving them, but going backwards without looking can be problematic.

 

If you can get someone to ski backwards and get beyond the wedge  or v to parallel, I think it can be very effective to get them to go down the freaking hill - moving the body into the next turn.  You have to actually think about the turn coming up and how you'll move. This can be derailed though, by a huge outside tip lead, butt out stance.

 

Here's the somewhat classic position, but not nearly as offset as a lot of switch riders. I think these turns are way too pivoted at the end of the turn especially.

 

psia-rm.org                                                http://vimeo.com/22275183

 

 

 

 

Here's switch railroad tracks. He sticks with one shoulder. Skis pretty square, tip lead doesn't really change. Closer to what you're talking about, but looking downhill.

 

psia-rm.org                                                          http://vimeo.com/22274840

 

This thread from 4 years ago has some really good info in it, plus links to some videos, some of which are still on line.

Leskinen in the post refers to Kristi Leskinen who is in one of the how to videos linked in post 14 by QuazBotch. I must say, her turns are not really great turns, but whatever gets you to the jump I guess. There's some excellent analysis by ski_nerd13 also of switch technique in the vids.

 

Quote from:  http://www.epicski.com/t/71027/switch-skiing-discussion#post_1428140
Originally Posted by SoCalSki View Post

I've got to jump in to this thread (even though I usually just lurk). There seems to be a ton of different techniques for skiing switch, and I'm not sure that any one of them is more or less valid than the others.

I took a park and pipe clinic this winter at Loon to get my Ed credits, and our coach (I can't remember his name) demonstrated two different approaches. The first approach was similar to the one Turpin described above. He actually compared it to going backwards on rollerblades. Basically there is a dramatic change in lead with every turn as you alternate shoulders. The other approach was to pick a shoulder and stick with it. When you do this, there isn't as much of a lead change (if any).

The alternating shoulders approach creates symmetric turns, while if you pick one shoulder, you end up turning differently. It's kind of like when a telemarker drops to one knee and then links turns (effectively alternating traditional telemark turns with parallel turns).

I'm not convinced that either method is necessarily better overall, but I do think they each have advantages. If you're primarily skiing switch as part of a trick in the park (e.g. you're taking off or landing switch), making symmetric turns really isn't that important, since the only reason you are turning is for speed control. I suspect that may be Leskinen's style (she had a reputation for being a park rat, but she may have moved on since I checked last). However, the shoulder switch method seems like it might be more effective if you're actually trying to link turns for an extended distance.

That said, I've found that switch turns feel best if I'm not looking over my shoulder at all, but rather looking back up the mountain. This is somewhat problematic when skiing in crowded areas, but if it's nice and quiet, I'll ski mostly looking back up the hill with the occasional check over the shoulder.

As far as skis go, I think a lot of people put way too much emphasis on having twin tips. You can ski switch on pretty much any ski if you're on a moderately groomed surface. The only skis I've ever had trouble with are slalom skis. Since I'm not skiing at an "expert" level when I'm switch, I find that the extra "twitchiness" from slalom skis tends to result in me catching edges and going down hard. I'd really look for a forgiving ski rather than a twin tip if you're trying to ski switch.


 


Edited by Tog - 2/7/12 at 9:56pm
post #15 of 19

This guy has been doing every race over our race series switch this year. The only thing he doesn't do switch is load the lift (still trying to figure that one out).

DSC_5753.jpg

post #16 of 19

Does he change shoulders he looks over or is it always left?

What skis for switch gs?

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

This guy has been doing every race over our race series switch this year. The only thing he doesn't do switch is load the lift (still trying to figure that one out).

DSC_5753.jpg


 

I know how but it will get him most likely banned from the resort. the last place i did at I am pretty sure never wants me back.

 

you let the chair your going to load pass follow it in backward jump up and over the high back so that your thighs are where your back would be, you back is on the seat and you head is hanging where your feet would be. To unload just stand up at the top.

 

 

 

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post

Does he change shoulders he looks over or is it always left?

What skis for switch gs?


I'm nopt sure if he ever switches. I just looked at my photos, and he is looking left in every one of them. He says it's hard to switch for every turn.

 

Right now he is skiing on Volkl Walls, but earlier, he was on 183 Rossi 9X with the plate and binding turned around.

 

post #19 of 19

Race skis and switch skiing doesn't work very well. Those forward falls going backwards can really take the fun out of it. Now powder skiing switch that's where it's at. Cept hard to get face shots.roflmao.gif

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