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Eval my skiing - what's wrong

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

The camera is bad, my 8yo dtr is filming and I cringe to look at how bad I look skiing but any advice on what I need to work on to improve my skiing would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

post #2 of 15

Before offering any advice I would love to read more about why you state "I cringe to look at how bad I look skiing". What would you change? What would you keep? I'm sure you have some idea why you think your skiing is "bad". That being said, I also realize you are asking for advice because you may not feel you know enough about what you are seeing in the video to self-correct the things you dislike about your skiing.

 

So in a general way, my thoughts are that you like to do short (closing radius) turns and you do most of your speed control by using a strong edge set (check), followed by a rotary push off transition move. Multiple names exist for this type of manuever but they all depend on pivoting the skis and tipping them onto an edge before suddenly applying pressure to create that strongly engaged edge platform. In my past, we used the catch phrase Float, Touch, and Sting to describe the three phases of this style of "check" turn. The key is accurately moving your body towards where you will do the next "speed check". This allowed us to use our forward momentum to produce some of the pressure needed to create the edge platform. The rest comes from a sudden muscle contraction that (in effect) stiffens the leg and drives the ski edge into the surface of the snow.

 

Current technique features a more consistent turn radius (rounder line) and relatively more equal pressure through the turn. At least on a recreational level. High end performance skiing still features a similar strong edging phase but it can occur in any third of the turn and the strong rotary move (pivoted or levered off the tips) is usually toned down so the ski(s) skid less. Again the key is accurately moving the body towards where the strong edging will occur. In these "modern" turns that is typically somewhere before the skis reach the fall line. Not always though, since sometimes "late" pressure is still a valid technique for a few very specific tactical (line) choices. So while it frustrates some skiers to read "it depends", it really comes down to what type of line you are executing, what size of turn you want to produce, and how much you want the skis to skid, or carve.

 

So with that I want to return to my original questions about why you think you ski poorly and what / how do you want to change in your skiing?

 

 


Edited by justanotherskipro - 3/7/12 at 4:04am
post #3 of 15

A bit too much upper body rotation, try to keep your upper body pointing down the fall line. You also appear to be "stepping off" your inside ski when you change the direction of your turn. As well, I would like to see more of an "unweighting" (stand more upright) of the skis with both feet as you change turn directions, then start to bend at all of your joints (ankles, knees, hips) and pressure the skis. Finally, try to keep your hands a little bit more in front of you, and pressure the tongues of your boots. However, great job taking the video at slower speeds, slower skiing shows faults in technique better than fast skiing.

post #4 of 15

 I'm not clear on why more upward extension and more counter would be a good thing. Same goes for the advice to pressure the tongues more. Not saying you're wrong here as much as hoping to understand what those changes would accomplish.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have trouble with overall coordination / timing - don't know exactly what things are wrong.  Justanotherskipro, I see what you are saying - I can see it in the video and feel it when I ski.  I think I edge late, dump my momentum and have to pivot my skis to start the next turn.   

 

I rely on the slope being "just so" to help my skiing.  If the slope is too flat, I have to hop into the next turn because I don't have enough momentum to float me into it.  If the slope is too steep, I feel like I have to lean my upper body up the hill and I feel like I'm skidding to a stop with each turn.  On those very rare occasions where the slope is the perfect pitch and the moon is aligned just so, I execute a strongly edged turn and feel the skis throw me into the next turn.  It's a great feeling and from looking at experienced skiiers it seems like that is the right way to turn.

post #6 of 15

More upward extension, especially at lower speeds, essentially makes pivoting the skis (turning the tips vs. pushing the tails.) easier. As for pressuring the tongue, don't pressure it, but try to always keep your shin pressed up against it. This will keep your stance further forward, letting you drive your skis better, as you appear to be getting tossed into the back seat a little bit. Basically, your issues lie within your stance and balance. Fix those, and the rest of your skills will also be improved. Baby steps...

post #7 of 15

You are pushing yourself into the next turn using the old inside ski.  Try a few times letting go of the old turn by relaxing the old outside leg instead.  Play with the difference you feel.

post #8 of 15

Actually the body rotates into the turn prior to the release, that's classic rotary push off stuff .That's why adding more counter makes very little sense. Additionally, the upward extension is already excessive and in the wrong direction, so adding even more again makes very little sense. The ankle stays pretty closed already, so adding even more dorsi- flexion (and levering forward) would wash out the tails even more. As far as the inside leg, it follows the body into the new turn and with the exception of the stance leg, a whole body rotation is the result. Back in the day this maneuver was prevelent because it allows a skier to establish the new edge prior to releasing the old edge. I taught it to many a patroller candidate. Still see it used by them while running a sled. So as Ghost pointed out releasing the old turn prior to starting the next turn makes a lot of sense here. And here's why...

...Notice the quick up move where the ankles, knees, and hips open breifly. It's followed by a quick flexing and camping on the tongues through the rest of the turn. This allows the tails to wash and the push to an edge you are seeing. Beyond that since the skis are not engaged until late in the turn, the slightly aft stance is less a problem since after the skis pivot it goes away. All in all a very well done RPM is the result. And yes, it's linked hockey stops.

 

So changing things needs to be discussed as a function of fear management. Letting go requires the confidence to complete the next turn without all the haste. Go to that really shallow slope and just release the skis and wait. The tips should dive towards the fall line without any help from you. Then gently steer the skis across the hill to complete that turn. No need for the big edge angles here. When you gain enough confidence to explore steeper slopes (relative to the very shallow one) try this patience turn there. BTW, the slope itself provides enough edge angle and the building forces will engage the edges enough for now. Which leaves all this talk about where to face, face where you are going, Pick a spot about one third of the way through the next turn and just allow your body to move there. You don't need to huck yourself there since momentum will take you there if you let it do so. When all of this starts being comfortable, then seek more challenging terrain but remember it is likely that you will revert to old habits unless you make a strong effort to avoid falling back into those default moves. So again, be patient and allow yourself to be awkward for a while as you groove the new stuff. Ski well...JASP

post #9 of 15
An even more basic patience developer: Wedge across a shallow hill until you really feel that you need more weight on the downhill ski in order to continue going across the hill, then gradually EQUALIZE the weight on your feet. As the skis turn into the fall line automatically, you should feel some extra weight shifting to the new outside ski. Do this a bunch and gradually make the wedge smaller until it no longer is there.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by flatlandr View Post

More upward extension, especially at lower speeds, essentially makes pivoting the skis (turning the tips vs. pushing the tails.) easier. As for pressuring the tongue, don't pressure it, but try to always keep your shin pressed up against it. This will keep your stance further forward, letting you drive your skis better, as you appear to be getting tossed into the back seat a little bit. Basically, your issues lie within your stance and balance. Fix those, and the rest of your skills will also be improved. Baby steps...


Why do you want to pivot modern skis into a turn on a flat hill? It's an excellent skill to have for steeper terrain, but you shouldn't need a strong "UP" to get it done.
post #11 of 15

Steering skills need to be developed and there is no better place for that than shallow terrain. Same goes for edging and pressure management skills. In fact, I prefer to work on them there since mistakes produce obvious faulure without the inherent risks associated with steeper terain and higher speeds. Try a skidded parallel turn there at under a mile an hour. Not an easy drill... 

post #12 of 15

JASP, you have excellent advice. I personally missed the 'pre-rotation', I was mostly concentrating on legs & feet.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have watched my video dozens of times to see what you are pointing out JASP, Kneale, Ghost, and flatlandr.   I want to tell you exactly what I am doing and thinking when I ski and hope that you can give me a specific thing to think about / change.  (I am using Rossignol Avenger 82 skis - turn radius 17 m)

 

I just recently learned to edge my skis.  What I am trying to do is the following:

As I flatten both skis preparing for the new turn, I pick up my soon to be inside ski and move it towards my soon to be outside ski and try to edge the inside ski (I just copied this from a video on Youtube).  I try to keep my body facing down the hill and rotate my torso a little bit in the direction opposite the direction my skis are traveling.  I just try to keep my balance thinking that the more I edge the more I need to counter with my torso. I don't think about the direction my torso goes but I find myself leaning my torso uphill.  So it seems to follow that since I feel more comfortable leaning uphill to keep my balance I am pressuring my skis later than I should in the turn.  And so I do linked hockey stops.  I try to fight the urge to lean uphill by keeping my shins against the fronts of my boots as much as possible and try to think about edging earlier in the turn.  But I doesn't work - I can't stop leaning uphill and I cant edge earlier.  I seem to be stuck in this pattern (if I am analyzing it right).  - I want to make rounder less zig zagging  turns -  to carve rather than slide the tails of the skis -  to have momentum to float me into the next turn.  I want to look and feel smoother as I transition from turn to turn.  How can I have it all?

post #14 of 15
Stand up, pick up your left foot. Where does your pelvis move? Put your left foot back down, roll your ankles to the left. Where do you move now?

While skiing, go to some shallow terrain and work on what JASP suggests. We have to crawl before we walk. We need to develop skills without worrying about going out of control and then take them gradually to more challenging situations.
post #15 of 15

The idea here is to stop thinking about a specific technique change and start allowing your body to discover how to balance on the skis, how to move with them through all phases of the turn, and how to stop forcing hasty outcomes. Sounds simple until you consider you also need to de-program much of the stuff you currently use. That is why all the touch and balance drills on shallow terrain make so much sense for you. Once you experience how easy it can be to ride with the skis, expanding where you do that gets pretty easy. In a way your problem is a good one since you already know how to move through a pretty good RoM without falling down. You just have to trust yourself to do so and tune into what the skis are doing naturally. That focus change will allow you to eventually concentrate more on tactical line choices, instead of turn mechanics.

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