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Turning Advice?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Okay, I've been lurking this site for a couple months now and just signed up to ask a question about how to turn properly. Here's a little background on me...

 

I used to ski a lot when I was in junior high and high school, mostly night skiing. My dad basically taught me how to snowplow when I was about 13 and everything else I've learned has been on my own on the mountain. I took about a 10 year break and just started up again within the last few weeks and plan to continue skiing very often. The problem is, since I've never had anybody teach me anything beyond snowplowing, that's how I turn. I basically turn my snowplow to the side or just ride on my outside ski, pointing in the direction I want to turn. I imagine you know what I'm talking about. I can make it down any blue without a problem and can make it down most blacks without too much trouble, even going over moguls. But I know I'm not doing it right and I could be a lot better (and last a lot longer) if I could just learn how to turn the right way.

 

Has anyone had a similar situation? Does anybody have any tips? I know I sound like a complete beginner here, and I guess I probably am, but with my own way of skiing I can go most places and have a lot of fun. I'd just like to get better. I've tried just moving my inside ski next to my outside ski after I'm already in the turn, but I'm usually pretty unstable when doing so and it doesn't feel like the natural way to do it.

 

I know this question is a hard one to answer without seeing a video or something, but any advice would really be appreciated!

post #2 of 22

The best advice I can offer is to go out and take an actual lesson.  Group lessons are fine, and you will be amazed at the deals you can get if you shop around a little.  You will learn more, and faster then what you thought possible.  It will make skiing far more enjoyable and you might make some new ski friends.  If you are planning on skiing often it will be a great investment of time and money.

post #3 of 22
One of the better instructional videos on the net: http://www.youtube.com/user/LasseLyck/videos
post #4 of 22

Listen to SkiDude!

Yours is a problem that screams for real-time, in-person lessons.

Go private if you can afford it, group if not.  If your schedule allows, go with a mid-week group lesson, and it may end up being a private anyway. 

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help! I was afraid that a lesson was going to be the answer, but I guess if I can't get it on my own or after watching those videos I might have to end up doing that. I'll also probably end up learning a whole lot more than just how to turn properly since I've never really been taught how to ski.

post #6 of 22

You say "I was afraid that a lesson was going to be the answer, but I guess if I can't get it on my own or after watching those videos I might have to end up doing that."

 

Why are you resisting taking a lesson?  Sounds like you are dreading it.

Just curious.  

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

Because I don't want to pay for it, plus I'm 28 and have been skiing so much and feel like I should be beyond lessons. I guess it's a pride thing, but would be the right thing to do.

post #8 of 22



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonskinny12 View Post

Because I don't want to pay for it, plus I'm 28 and have been skiing so much and feel like I should be beyond lessons. I guess it's a pride thing, but would be the right thing to do.



Even World Cup Skiers, Olympic Skiers AND (despite their denials) Big Mountain Skier Movie Star types train and have coaches...ie they still take "lessons".  There is no such thing as "beyond lessons".

 

This is true of all sports, even at the highest levels.  In fact most professional athletes train daily....again...ie "lessons".   

 

Sure they dont call it "lessons"...but there really is no difference.  They are working on getting better.

 

 

 

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonskinny12 View Post

Because I don't want to pay for it, plus I'm 28 and have been skiing so much and feel like I should be beyond lessons. I guess it's a pride thing, but would be the right thing to do.



More the reason, since you are stuck at the same level and plateaued.  

 

If somehow your background was  you continued to progressing on your own, and you were getting better every trip; and you spend all your freetime lurking and reading every single epicski post and watching youtube ski videoes like a lot of us; then perhaps you have shown you can learn on your own.

 

But if your history seems to show you are stuck at the same level, and each trip you aren't getting better; you need a push to change something up.

 

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

But if your history seems to show you are stuck at the same level, and each trip you aren't getting better; you need a push to change something up.

 


I'm not completely sure this is really true. I've only been a couple times since I started again, so it's hard to tell. But you guys have definitely made some good points. Thanks for all the advice I've already received on here, I really do appreciate it.

post #11 of 22
I've never took any lesson and my received ski instruction involved someone haul me to the hill and told me how to do snowplow. I can crank out some half decent carving turns now so you don't NEED lessons. That said I don't deny the usefulness of it, I would've saved a lot of time figuring things out myself if I took them. Still can't do moguls though, and I may eventually pay someone to teach me that. I'm a year or two older than you and this is my 5th season skiing and would have no pride issue in taking lessons, it's more of a too many hobbies too little money thing.

Then again, I get the feeling a lot of people here are either in the biz or have more disposable income than they know what to do with, so take the "buy this, take lessons" advices with grain of salt. wink.gif
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 

Well, I just went through the first 5 videos of the series you posted, and they seem VERY helpful. I realized I've been doing it all wrong, turning with my feet instead of with my body. I'm heading up to Brighton on Saturday and I can't wait to see how it goes. I'm still strongly considering lessons, though that'll probably need to wait until next season.

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonskinny12 View Post

Well, I just went through the first 5 videos of the series you posted, and they seem VERY helpful. I realized I've been doing it all wrong, turning with my feet instead of with my body. I'm heading up to Brighton on Saturday and I can't wait to see how it goes. I'm still strongly considering lessons, though that'll probably need to wait until next season.


ummm....

Most instruction focuses on turning with the feet and not with the body.   

 

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonskinny12 View Post

Okay, I've been lurking this site for a couple months now and just signed up to ask a question about how to turn properly. Here's a little background on me...

 

I used to ski a lot when I was in junior high and high school, mostly night skiing. My dad basically taught me how to snowplow when I was about 13 and everything else I've learned has been on my own on the mountain. I took about a 10 year break and just started up again within the last few weeks and plan to continue skiing very often. The problem is, since I've never had anybody teach me anything beyond snowplowing, that's how I turn. I basically turn my snowplow to the side or just ride on my outside ski, pointing in the direction I want to turn. I imagine you know what I'm talking about. I can make it down any blue without a problem and can make it down most blacks without too much trouble, even going over moguls. But I know I'm not doing it right and I could be a lot better (and last a lot longer) if I could just learn how to turn the right way.

 

Has anyone had a similar situation? Does anybody have any tips? I know I sound like a complete beginner here, and I guess I probably am, but with my own way of skiing I can go most places and have a lot of fun. I'd just like to get better. I've tried just moving my inside ski next to my outside ski after I'm already in the turn, but I'm usually pretty unstable when doing so and it doesn't feel like the natural way to do it.

 

I know this question is a hard one to answer without seeing a video or something, but any advice would really be appreciated!

Sounds like your dad started you on the same page that I got started on, but never turned the page for you, way back before the "gliding pivoting wedge" replaced the tortuous edging snowplow".

 

Page 1: straight line down the fall line (or in a direction of your choice, but why would you choose another direction) with skis parallel,  open up a big snow plow with skis very heavily edged, fighting each other, each trying to turn in the opposite direction,  put more weight on the outside ski so it wins the battle and turns you.

 

Here's the pages you are missing.

 

Page 2: notice that when you are in that snow plow turning right say, that your right ski is doing almost nothing, so why not pick it up and place it beside the outside ski (called stem christie).

 

Page 3: Hey, you are turning right using your outside ski, with your skis tipped to the right, your inside ski is beside it also tipped to the right, maybe helping a bit,  Just skip the snowplow all-together and go straight to this stage,  Just tip the skis, load them up and turn.

 

Page 4: explore initial steering angles, jump turns, body position, angulation, counter rotation, rythmic weighting, bending the tip more,   play with fore-aft ballance, do interesting drills, cleaner carves, etc.

 

Page 5: Just go ski interesting terrain at speeds fast enough that when surprised, you have to turn now without thinking and have to adapt on the fly to bumps, trees, rocks, etc.

 

 

That being said, every single ski instructor says the new way to learn is better, but they may be biased (not saying they have a vested interest, just say'n).

 

 

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonskinny12 View Post

Well, I just went through the first 5 videos of the series you posted, and they seem VERY helpful. I realized I've been doing it all wrong, turning with my feet instead of with my body. I'm heading up to Brighton on Saturday and I can't wait to see how it goes. I'm still strongly considering lessons, though that'll probably need to wait until next season.


You don't turn your skis, your feet don't turn you, your body doesn't turn you.  Your skis and the snow turn you.  Look closely at your skis, see the shape, see what happens to that shape as you tip it and press it into the snow.  The shape of the ski and how you pressure it as it moves forward through the snow is what turns you.  Tip skis left to go left, tip skis right to go right, the rest is just details (but the devil is in the details).

 

post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonskinny12 View Post

Well, I just went through the first 5 videos of the series you posted, and they seem VERY helpful. I realized I've been doing it all wrong, turning with my feet instead of with my body. I'm heading up to Brighton on Saturday and I can't wait to see how it goes. I'm still strongly considering lessons, though that'll probably need to wait until next season.



I managed to get through the first five videos of that series.  They seem to have a heavy reliance on up-down movements and "sliding the skis into place to make them parallel".  I think I know what they're saying, but I can also see that it would be easily misinterpreted, as they don't seem to lay out much of a progression.

 

Maybe this is a difference between the European and American instruction models...  I dunno.

 

I'm going to echo the advice given above of get somebody to teach you, in person.  See if you can request a Level-3 certified instructor (the highest certification possible).  It sounds like you're still in a snowplow, so they'll probably take you to some very easy terrain and work on some fundamentals.  Skiing advanced terrain poorly does nothing but reinforce bad habits.

post #17 of 22

Price is usually a deal breaker Jon. We can steer you towards a few options but to be honest reading about skiing and actually translating that into higher performance is not easy. FWIW reading some of the premium articles available here to supporters would help but again there is a cost involved. Reviewing threads could help but it would be hit or miss and not all the advice is pertinent to your situation. The most important thing is you are having fun and enjoying your recreation. Check with your local resort to find out about lesson packages. I think you might find group lessons cost about as much as a day pass. In some cases you can find deals where the pass is included in the lesson package. Most of those packages are marketed at fall ski shows and pre-season sales.

post #18 of 22
Look for lesson deals. Three-lesson packages where you can take one each week for three weeks can be significantly cheaper than one at a time.

Here at Breck, a season lesson deal can be had for the price of about three lessons. With that, you can take lessons all season long.

If you're going to Brighton, Utah, I know they have several multiple lesson options.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Price is usually a deal breaker Jon. We can steer you towards a few options but to be honest reading about skiing and actually translating that into higher performance is not easy. FWIW reading some of the premium articles available here to supporters would help but again there is a cost involved. Reviewing threads could help but it would be hit or miss and not all the advice is pertinent to your situation. The most important thing is you are having fun and enjoying your recreation. Check with your local resort to find out about lesson packages. I think you might find group lessons cost about as much as a day pass. In some cases you can find deals where the pass is included in the lesson package. Most of those packages are marketed at fall ski shows and pre-season sales.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

Look for lesson deals. Three-lesson packages where you can take one each week for three weeks can be significantly cheaper than one at a time.
Here at Breck, a season lesson deal can be had for the price of about three lessons. With that, you can take lessons all season long.
If you're going to Brighton, Utah, I know they have several multiple lesson options.


Yes, yes...thats it, good good.  Lets lure another one into our evil lesson trap....come precious, come.....I can almost feel it....another nickel for my massive nickel pile.....there is a guy over on page 8 of the ski gear board, seems he is in a weaked state too...I'll head over and start sucking him in right awaydevil.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, that should cover my sarcasim quota for the week.biggrin.gif

 

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

Okay, so I've been using some of this advice and been working on my turns by myself. I've already seen a HUGE improvement, and skiing is a lot more fun and much less tiring now. I'm about to hang up my skis for the season, with the intention of taking a lesson at the beginning of next season. So do any of you know any of the instructors at Alta that will likely be there next winter? I read a trip report about an instructor named Sid that had a very positive review, but if any of you know of someone great at Alta I'd like to request them specifically when the time comes.

post #21 of 22

I'd say check back in the winter when you're planning to go and stoke for a new season returns.  A lot of things can change over the summer....don't worry about it till then.

post #22 of 22

Try requesting Scott Mathers. He should be there next season.

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