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Please critique.

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

I finally managed to get a half-decent video of myself, and am hoping that I could get some feedback on it.

 

Also, someone asked me what's going through my head as I ski, the motions I make, and I also invite comment on my reply:

"As I transition I’ve got the skis flat and I’m rolling the soles of my feet to the new inside edge while projecting my hips down the hill and pulling my feet rearward to keep front seat. As I settle into the new turn I’m sinking into the front of the boot, I’ve got most of my weight on the outside ski and I let my inside foot ride up towards the outside knee like if I was standing on a very steep slope. As the turn develops I keep sinking while I increase the weight on the inside ski, and by the time I approach the point where I want to start the next turn I can release the weight from the outside ski and roll the soles of my feet to the other edge, which pitches me over to the next transition and I’ve already got most of my weight on the new outside ski."

 

.Thanks in advance.

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 36

What's your thoughts on this snippet?

relax.jpg

 

 

post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 

I look like crap. Leaning too far forward, arms stuck out straight like a robot. Not doing what I tried to describe to my friend.

 

Is there more?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

What's your thoughts on this snippet?

relax.jpg

 

 



 

post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by chilehed View Post

I look like crap. Leaning too far forward, arms stuck out straight like a robot. Not doing what I tried to describe to my friend.

 

Is there more?
 



 


 

You've got a good eye and I think that's enough self abuse for now.wink.gif You will become a better skier with time and practice. Try to align your body/stand up and relax the arms. Hands in front and elbows in. gotta go. later and keep after it.

post #5 of 36
What Slider said: Bring your pelvis more over your feet, relax the arms a bit. You want the elbows just ahead of the midline of your rib cage, the hands a little outside the elbows. Move along the skis and into the turn. Make it an action. Don't think about pulling your feet back, but think about flexing the inside ankle. I think your idea of pulling the feet back makes you stiff, and I don't see it happening in the video.
post #6 of 36

chilehed, nice skiing. However, your description of your intent is pritty revealing. You picked up on some instruction on the net and now you try to put it to use. Not working so well I hear. The reason is that skiing is not about some theoretical movements just as little as written notes are music. Its all about how you play the notes or how you make your movements. You are not aggressively relesing that outside ski making retraction turns. You are not on very high edge angles so your inside ski boot never rises up to the knee of your outside ski leg. Like you were on a steep hill. In reality, you are on a very flat slope. A bunny hill. Your hips should be close to the snow and your inside hand should be almost touching the snow. From there relese your outside ski and flex your legs. That would be more like it.

 

One thing I would like to comment on is your hips, arms and poleplants. IMO you are using too short poles. Get longer poles. Will make it easier to plant a pole. You will not be bending and reaching forward for that plant. Also, see how you plant the pole. Always just as you shift your weight. The timing is dead on right on the mark. However, thats wrong. Try to make the pole plant to indicate you are going to turn. Not that you are turning. And tap it with a bigger arm movement not just the wrist. I know this is a highly personal thing but I would use longer poles and swing my ski pole out sideways and tap in the fall line. That would be slightly to the side. Now you are planting straight forwards. And I dont agree with the advice above. I would deffinetly keep my elbows out. Your ski poles should be pointing out. Not straight down as if you bring your elboves close to your body. Thats the new style that never whent out of fashon.

 

About your for aft balance. Drop your hands. Now you are compensating a bit of your aft balance by streching your hands forwards. I would have you ski with your hands holding your ski poles behind your butt or just holding your hands back there without ski poles. If you did you would find out that you are in the back seat. Put your arms behind your back and try to figure out a way of being out of the back seat.

 

To me it looks like you are lacking sideways bend at the hips. You fake it because you are bent at your waist and countering with your upper body. It creates the illusion of angulation. If you look at your hips and legs you can see that there is almost no action there. In order to get out of the back seat you must try to lift the inside hip up. When you do this you automatically bring your hips forwards.

post #7 of 36

chilehead what do you want to get better at?

 

the biggest thing I saw is a pretty complex problem. Your either not flexing your ankle enough/ your forward lean is not enough/ your boots are to stiff/ all of the above. You have to be in balance before other good stuff starts to happen.

 

post #8 of 36

You could benefit from a more upright stance with your hips over the boots.

Here are a couple of drills to try and see what it feels like.

1. Hold your poles in the outside hand of the turn, and when you start the new turn transfer them to the new outside hand behind your back.

2. in a longer radius turn, try to hold the inside ski level about 2 inches off the snow. Keep your arms wide for balance.

 

Try those and let us know what happens.

post #9 of 36

Your center of mass is over your feet. Good, but the way you are keeping it there is by bending more at the waist to compensate for the constant flex in both legs. Your legs never really change in length compared to one another. By shortening the inside leg while lengthening the outside leg (directing energy from outside ski to outside ski) couple with rotational movement of the femurs in the hip sockets (legs turn more than the hips) you get those skis to come more across the fall line (controlling speed through turn shape)

You stay almost constantly square to the tips of your skis meaning your shoulders are almost always facing the same direction as your ski tips. I'd like to see those hips up through the shoulders facing into the new turn (active inside half). It will make moving into the new turn with more flexion and extension easier.

I disagree that the pole plant should be an indication that you are going to turn like a turn signal in a car. Most of us when we do that, even if we are reaching into the fall line, block our movement into the new turn which usually results in an up and over move to get going. My pole touch, especially in a medium to larger turn, happen after I have changed onto the new edges but am still above the fall line.

I'd like to see video of you skiing slow shaped turns. It's much harder to hide the little things that we get away with when momentum become out friend.

post #10 of 36

Agree that your stance needs to be addressed before effective change will occur.  Right now you are in a stance that will not allow your body parts to work independently to create positive angles either in the fore/aft or lateral plane.  Think of having corresponding angles at all the major joints.  IE. the angle of the ankle & lower leg to the knee equals the angle of the femur to your hip etc.  These angles should increase & decrease equally throughout the appropriate range of motion for a given turn.

 

JF snowshoe - Copy angles.jpg

 

JF

post #11 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

What Slider said: Bring your pelvis more over your feet, relax the arms a bit. You want the elbows just ahead of the midline of your rib cage, the hands a little outside the elbows. Move along the skis and into the turn. Make it an action. Don't think about pulling your feet back, but think about flexing the inside ankle. I think your idea of pulling the feet back makes you stiff, and I don't see it happening in the video.

Thanks.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post

chilehed, nice skiing. However, your description of your intent is pritty revealing. You picked up on some instruction on the net and now you try to put it to use. Not working so well I hear. The reason is that skiing is not about some theoretical movements just as little as written notes are music. Its all about how you play the notes or how you make your movements. You are not aggressively relesing that outside ski making retraction turns. You are not on very high edge angles so your inside ski boot never rises up to the knee of your outside ski leg. Like you were on a steep hill. In reality, you are on a very flat slope. A bunny hill. Your hips should be close to the snow and your inside hand should be almost touching the snow. From there relese your outside ski and flex your legs. That would be more like it.


tdk6, I can handle frank criticism but it's out of line to make snarky remarks about the fact that I'm trying to glean information from the web, that I'm having difficulty implementing what I'm told, or that the terrain that is available to me is limited. I'm looking for guidance; I'm not looking to get kicked.

 

 

I'll need to think about the rest.

 

post #12 of 36

Does anybody have anything positive to say? I for one like the fact that he is making a reasonably clean edge-change and resisting the temptation to twist the skis down the fallline when they are flat.

 

For the most part, I think Nate has this. One thing that stood out for me is that you have quite a bit of lead change for a guy who's hips are following the skis. If you can as Nate says get a shorter inside leg (some would say inside foot pullback) you are going to see less of this.

post #13 of 36

Can you tell us what is going on inside your boots? Where are you standing? Toes? Heels? Both? What's happening in the cuff, pressure on the tongue or back on the spoiler? How much?

post #14 of 36

Chilihed, what I see is a skier a bit confused and working at crossed purposes. The movements of the hands convey a want to move with the skis. The lack of forward movement in the hips conveys not wanting to move them with the skis. The result is the tug of war we see and the flexed at the waist stance. It's almost like a rope is pulling your hands forward but you are dropping your hips aft to resist the pull of the rope. Surfing with a tail rope come to mind since you are a patroller. Try allowing the hips and the rest of you to be pulled forward along with the hands. In other words stop resisting gravity by dropping your hips aft. If you find that prospect a bit scary, well it isn't exactly normal to let that happen. The good news is many good activities exist that can help you get comfortable with this change.

 

The first is to simply do a straight run for about fifteen feet. When nothing catastrophic occurs hang onto that memory. Now as you start a turn remember nothing catstrophic will occur if you allow your body to move forward (towards the next turn) through the transition. After all it's a much smaller distance than you just did in the straight run and you had more than enough talent to do that exercise without any negative consequences.

 

The second activity is to think about your feet continuing to turn across the hill while your body moves towards the middle of the next turn. Eventually this will morph into moving it towards the beginning of the shaping phase(1/3 point of the next turn) but don't worry about that yet.

post #15 of 36

My own .02. 

First when you pole plant don't let the pole and to a small part your hand drag behind, bring it back quickly.  This can mess you up for your next turn. 

Next don't have so much forward lean (look kind of like a hunch back) instead put forward pressure through the boot 

Lastly, this will help a lot with carving, edge angles, and independent leg movement (most have been mentioned above), spread your legs apart more (almost to shoulder width).  It will feel very weird at first and will possibly make your legs sore at the end of the day but will help a lot in the long run.

 

My own opinion of what might help read into it how you please.

post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by chilehed View Post

Thanks.
 

 


tdk6, I can handle frank criticism but it's out of line to make snarky remarks about the fact that I'm trying to glean information from the web, that I'm having difficulty implementing what I'm told, or that the terrain that is available to me is limited. I'm looking for guidance; I'm not looking to get kicked.

 

 

I'll need to think about the rest.

 



My sincere apologies. I dont know what I was thinking Beating_A_Dead_Horse_by_livius.gif. Anyway, try longer poles and softer boots. Try to spread your arms out wider and relax your shoulders. Try to lower your outside arm and raice your inside arm. Try to bring your outside arm towards your outside ski boot. Try to go forward in your ancles and lift that inside hip. Good luck and you are doing the right thing posting for guidance here icon14.gif.

 

post #17 of 36

Here's a couple additional thoughts.

 

  1.  When you think in terms of "positions" the results will always end up in some variation of what we see in the video. I'm talking about the relatively stiff and robotic qualities we see in the video. Imagine walking five miles in the same stiff and robotic way you are moving in the video. Contrast that with how you normally walk. If you are like most folks you walk more upright and your body moves (falls) forward with every step. Forget the poses and just stand up as you would when you walk normally. Your body already knows how to stand, let it do it's thing and stop trying to override those natural movements.
  2. The list you posted (post 1) suggests you have read, and heard a lot of great advice about outcomes. You also mention it's what you are thinking about as you ski. The video suggests exactly that, you are very focused on creating all of those outcomes but ironically none of them happen because you are thinking about them so much. I call this mental constipation because too much thinking about these movements actually inhibits your ability to produce them. The cure is to simplify what you think about as you ski. One of those six ideas you posted is more than enough to focus on, or think about while you ski. In fact, it might even be too much to think about if you get too obsessive / compulsive about it. Lighten up some and let go of all this superfluous thinking.
  3.  A low stance contributes to the hips staying aft. So when you "settle" into the turn and flex the leg more, the hips go even further aft. There really isn't any other option from that stance. That's why Neale and Slider suggested getting your hips up and over your feet. If you start with a taller stance, you not only have more RoM available as you flex the legs, the same amount of leg flexing doesn't require the hips to end up so far aft.
  4. Flexing the ankles is the primary way to control your fore / aft stance. That's why so many coaches here are suggesting more dorsiflexion. It's not the only way though. As the knee flexes the superior end of the femur moves aft. As the hip flexes the upper torso moves forward to compensate and maintain balance. This is how you are currently producing balance. Excessive knee and hip flex and not much ankle dorsi flex. The change they suggest will feel more like you are kneeling against the boot tongues but not like you are driving the knees forward to keep the shins in contact with the boot tongues. Not that you won't do that as you flex the leg more when you "settle" into the turn. Just don't start out by using up most of that range of motion (in the knees and hips) before you start a turn.
  5. Change one thing at a time and give yourself plenty of time to groove that change. This includes technique (movements), tactics (line), and terrain. Eventually as the moves become ingrained and more automatic, exploring harder terrain is not as likely to to produce a regression into old default movement patterns. That doesn't mean avoiding that harder terrain completely, just remember that it is perfectly natural to rely on older default movement pattern when skiing there. So it will take a stronger focus on using the new movement patterns there. Since you already think a lot as you ski, this might not be the best place to try to groove any changes since that stronger focus is quite likely to produce even more of the stiff and robotic qualities we see in the video. Let those challenging situations be a place to test how well you have groove those changes. If it's too difficult to use those new moves there, go back to less challenging terrain and practice the new moves there. Eventually on one of those excursions to harder terrain it will all click and you can move on to one of the other five ideas you mentioned in your original post.

 

Finally, I want to offer a word of advice about internet advice (mine included) verses on the snow coaching. Both have a place in developing your skiing skills but don't confuse them as equals. We can certainly help you understand concepts and ideas but helping you implement changes in your movements and doing so in real time is impossible here on the net. For that you need a coach. As a patroller you have an S&T trainer and the ski area has a ski school. Not to mention the NSP has a district and regional training advisor. Start your search for a coach there and if we can help supplement their work in any way, feel free to contact one of us here at Epic. We also have a new premium coaching forum being considered where a team of top coaches and instructors will offer more in depth and customized advice. So when it launches I would love to invite you to visit that forum. I would also like to use your video as part of an article I'm putting together for that new forum. Would you allow me to do that?

 


Edited by justanotherskipro - 2/13/12 at 12:03pm
post #18 of 36
Thread Starter 

Everyone, thanks for the feedback. I can't reply as I'd wish right now because I've got a lot going on, wife had back surgery, work's crazy, etc.

 

tdk6, thanks for the drills. And for the apology, that took class. Maybe I'm short of a sense of humor this week redface.gif.

 

nate, several elements to what you said. yep, I see it.

 

epic, I'm pretty sure that my weight usually ranges from my arches to the balls of my feet. Absolutely sure that I'm pressuring the tongues.

 

justanotherskipro, it's been a long time since someone told me I look like I'm afraid of falling. *grin* Good stuff. I don't really think about all of that at once, at least not usually. Being on camera is strange. Anyway, I do try to work on one thing at a time. And yes, if you can make use of that video to help other people than please do so.

 

I know that there's a limit to what can be seen on the web, and that there's no replacement for an on-hill trainer. The guys I have are really great, this is only my 8th season skiing and I'm on the hill maybe 20-25 days a year. I've been hearing a lot from them about how good I'm looking, and compared to where I was three years ago I guess I have to agree... but then again we all have an emotional investment and I'd be dumb if I didn't ask other people. I have been aware that I'm not as strong as I ended up last season, really sloppy and my sideslips suck bad.

 

Thanks again. If I didn't think that you knew what you're talking about I wouldn't have asked. Hopefully I'll be able to come back in a few weeks and post something better.

post #19 of 36

chilehed,

 

I like your turns, nice flow and rhythm.  A functional stance means flexed joints and flexing and extending requires equal bending and extending of ankle, knee, at the hip and waist.  You have to over compensate for lack of ankle flex by bending excessively at the waist and hip.  Think of your body being in a shaft that is only slightly larger in diameter than your body width.  As you flex and extend, your ankle, hip, knee and waist,  bend or extend equally to stay within the diameter of the shaft or tube.  I hope this is help full.

 

RW

post #20 of 36

Chile, what boots are you skiing, and how much do you weigh? 

post #21 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Chile, what boots are you skiing, and how much do you weigh? 


Atomic M9, about six years old. About 160-165 pounds. As detailed in this thread (http://www.epicski.com/t/103608/how-do-you-adjust-the-atomic-power-control) I had increased the forward lean considerably in the past but based on the feedback I brought it back up.
 

 

post #22 of 36

 

 
Chilehed, the first thing you need to address, all by itself, is getting your knees less bent.  Other things can be worked on afterwards.  Those knees are messing up your stance, and your stance is messing up your mobility and progress.
 
At present, you are bent down a lot at the knees.  This puts your hips pretty far back over the tails of your skis.  With this happening, you know that you need your weight forward, so you are bending rather dramatically at the hips to get the weight of your torso as far forward as you can, and you are stretching out your arms as well to get their weight forward.   This makes perfect sense, but only because those hips are way back there. Your shins are fine; they look like they are bent forward over the skis at a 20-25 degree angle.  It's not the shin-tongue-thing that's holding you back; you've got that working well.  It's just the knees.
 
This deep crouch limits your progress as a skier.  Your options for developing angulation and edge angles and long leg/short leg, early engagement, and so on are very limited as long as those knees are bent down so far.  
 
When you open up the knees, your crouch will disappear naturally, your arms will relax, and your forward fold at the hips will open up.  Keep what you're doing with your shins and just work on straightening up those knees some and becoming comfortable in a more upright stance.  After that you can start working on becoming a versatile skier.  Best of luck in your endeavors!
 
post #23 of 36
markojp and LiquidFeet have my votes here, because I've experienced what your skiing looks like chilehed. Experienced it myself. Boots were too stiff, knee flexion pushed my ass backward, lost my ability to hip angulate and knee angulate effectively, and because the boots were so stiff, couldn't really use my ankles at all. Very limiting situation!

I'd look at softer flexing boots -- modify what you have to allow more flexion, or replace them with softer ones. And follow LiquidFeet's ideas.
post #24 of 36
Thread Starter 

I'd been under the impression that they were on the soft side, but I guess not, either that or my technique just isn't working them right (ya think? rolleyes.gif). In the past I've asked Atomic through their contact form online, but they NEVER reply to it, and I haven't been able to find anything specific about them online.

 

I'm due for a new pair of boots anyway, so carving these up a bit to experiment won't bother me too much. In the meantime I'll work on what's been suggested here. Thanks again to all.

 

EDIT: Hey, the boots have what Atomic called Power Control, which I thought was intended to adjust forward lean. But if I just loosen the screws a bit that should soften them up, right?


Edited by chilehed - 2/17/12 at 6:23am
post #25 of 36

The forward lean isn't an issue. Flexing your ankle is. Do you have any ankle flexibility issues without your boots on?

post #26 of 36
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by markojp View Post

The forward lean isn't an issue. Flexing your ankle is. Do you have any ankle flexibility issues without your boots on?


No, I've got great range of motion. The lean was an issue in the past, a few years ago I kicked it out as far as the boot would go but put it back before this season started. I guess what I'm wondering now is whether or not loosening the power control screws would be a good way to soften the flex. Unless I hear otherwise I'll probably try it tomorrow.

post #27 of 36

I'm not familiar with the particulars of your boots, but yes, try what you can to soften the flex a bit for fun and see what happens. You might also loosen buckle #3 (the top being #4).

post #28 of 36

Hi Chilehed, 

 

First off, congrats on posting a video and withstanding all the critique. Feedback here can sometimes be overwhelming! I'd say for a recreational skier, you're skiing quite well! Considering the short bit of hill you have to work with, you're more than equipped for it. I'm also late to the game but maybe some of the below will help. 

 

Most of the advice above is sound (I'm not so convinced about pole length suggestion--sorry TDK, I think chilehed actually looks quite extended with pole on snow at the start of the video before his arms get raised).

 

Stance is a great focus for you - work stance on a mellow run at first to develop your stance. Ironically stance is the foundation of skiing, but the hardest to develop without in-person feedback. There are so many different ways to feel balanced over the foot without actually being stacked through all parts of the body! Short of taking a lesson, one thing you could do is if you see an instructor skiing around, ask them if they have a couple of minutes to show you a good stance, and place you into a functional stance. (Or you can come to Cypress and I'll do it for you.) Short of that I'd want to eliminate the piking in your waist. First off, point your elbows down rather than out. Then, on a mellow run, imagine you have a sign on your chest, and think about showing it off to everyone -- you can't show it off if you're piked over! To stay centered, you'll likely have to create some changes as suggested by the guys above, such as pulling your feet back, or driving hips forward. 

 

While showing off your chest, do some of these exercises to develop your stance: 

  • a few turns way forward over the ski, a few turns way back over the ski (find your centre)
  • Thousand steps (need to be able to step using the whole ski; use a really mellow run) 
  • shuffling turns (shuffle feet forward and back throughout the turn--for you, this will help with dorsiflexion, or flexing the ankle. If you can't shuffle the skis behind you, you could try removing the stiffener screws on your boots.)
  • hop throughout turns (small hops, ensuring tips and tails both come off the snow; start hopping through the traverse to get centered; after you're strong here, then gradually hop a bit earlier as you exit the turn; continue until you can hop down fall line and eventually hop into the start of the turn)

 

A good barometer for your stance will be a mellow bump run. If you're piked over still, you'll definitely feel tossed around. If you flow, you're centered and mobile. (and flexing. and pivoting. and edging. and timing things well.)

 

I'm not sure what you're wearing around your hips (fanny pack?) but my suggestion is if you can ski without it, do so - gear tends to shift people's balance point. 

 

Best of luck--let us know how things go for you! 

post #29 of 36

I'm going to disagree with the idea that your boots are too stiff. If anything it looks to me like they could be too soft. The reason I asked about what you feel in your feet is that it looks to me like you are leaning on your boots way too much and don't have "neutral". I'd still like you to think about the questions I asked you next time you are skiing. Not right ow while you are sitting in front of your computer, even so, the answer you gave that you are on your balls and absolutely pressing on the tongues is what I'd expect to hear. I'd like you to try and ski with your weight more evenly distributed from your toes to your heels, and with your ankles soft, but not with your shins pressing hard on your boots. I'd like you to try skiing with the boots unbuckled so that the tongue can't hold you up, but you'll have to stand on your own too feet. Try some sideslips and pivot slips. If you took video, of them, and were doing them successfully, I think your stance will look different. Your knees will probably be less bent, your femurs more vertical.

post #30 of 36

I think the bootfitters would have an interesting day with you.  I'm a bit curious if you have limited dorsiflexion.  If you sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground and a 90-degree bend at the knee, how high can you flex your foot?  This gas-pedal movement is essential to being able to be forward, without bending at the waist to get there.  I agree with Epic the boots are probably not the problem, but then again, they may not be helping either.

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