EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › A-ha moments for 2012 ski season
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

A-ha moments for 2012 ski season

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

For all those skiers whose seasons are winding down, what were your a-ha moments in skiing this year? What little nuggets or pearls of wisdom launched you past a plateau? What moment cleared the fog and helped you to free your mind? And do your a-ha moments this year build on your a-ha moments from last year? 

post #2 of 15

Nice thread Metaphor!!! 

 

Yes, I had an a-ha moment this ski season!  I had been reading articles over the summer about functional stance.  One of the key points was to move away from crushing the boot cuff and instead try to flex through the boot cuff.  It was awsome to feel how much more lateral tipping I could gain with this movement compared to my old movement.  I also found it to be a much more fluid movement through the turn.  It felt  like I was dancing!  biggrin.gif

post #3 of 15

My buddy worked with me on poll plants/touches with me about four weeks prior to the end of my season.  I put it all together and wished I would have had that earlier in the season.  I can't wait until next year!!

post #4 of 15

After 40 years of skiing my "Ah Ha" moments have become far and few between, but this season I had one.  It happened in racing which I have only been doing for 5-6 seasons.  I have been moving up the ranks but hit a plateu in Slalom where I have been trying to learn to take the racer line going through the gates by punching them rather than ski around them.  I finally got pole guards, shin guards and armored gloves and was determined to learn.  The racers who have been mentoring me have been telling me to just keep your hands up and forward and it will start to happen.

 

About mid point of this season, I am in a race, trying to take the fastest line, keeping my hands up and forward, and all of a sudden it made sense!  My hands were in the right position and the poles just came to me, rather than me reaching for the poles.  It happened on only a few gates, but it happened!  Over the next few races, I hit a few more gates each time.  I am now connecting with maybe 20-30% of the gates.  Next year I am aiming for 50% or more.

 

Who knew I would love racing as much as I do after all this time,

 

Rick G

post #5 of 15

I learned that on crappy snow if you aren't paying close attention your inside edge can bit very hard causing you to crash. I also reinforced my belief in not skiing on crappy conditions. Did you know that you can get hurt on boiler plate "snow"?  Whodathunkit? biggrin.gif

post #6 of 15

My 'ah-ha' moment this year would definitely have to be the location of my upper body on steeps.  Before i would be centered but would often be on my heels a little too much.  This year i started going down hill leading with my upper body, being more aggressive with my shoulders and body position. Any boy has it helped! I feel like i can tackle things i only dreamed of before! Can't wait for next year!

 

-hound

post #7 of 15

Two LIII instructors made valuable observations and brought some great moves to my skiing this year.

 

During a half day private at Okemo

Rolf noticed that my hands weren't always as forward as he wanted. I've long had a tendency to drop my R hand back for some reason, which of course screws everything up. He had me move my hands forward and said, "Stop! Don't just push your hands forward, forget that old, stiff holding-a-dinner-tray position. Relax your upper back and let your shoulder blades open up, let your elbows flow around and forward." Bingo! Almost instantly I felt more relaxed. I stood taller, my R hand has stopped dropping back (finally!) and my pole touches in bumps and trees are quicker and nicely timed instead of feeling late or rushed. Great tip!

 

He also noticed a 1-2 turn initiation that's a legacy from my old ski days. We worked on initiating by flattening/tipping/steering the new inside ski. That's taking a little longer to build into a new habit but it's easy to feel how much more effective it is.

 

During a ski week group lesson at Taos (plus a half-day private with the same instructor)

Carl noticed that same 1-2 turn initiation in the whole group and worked to replace it with more effective movements. He started by having us ski easy groomers with completely relaxed ankles, centered fore and aft on our feet, always in balance and ready to smoothly flatten and roll our new inside foot into a new turn. He called this the "little move" which commences every turn.

 

The "big move", steering the skis out to the side in round arcs, comes AFTER the little move. After a couple days I (almost) matched his huge, crisply carved arcs while bombing groomers at speeds that would formerly have made me stiffen up and drive my edges hard. Amazingly (to me) I could do this with ankles and everything else completely relaxed. We were going 50mph yet there was no need to over-control. It reminded me of a day, many years ago, when I shadowed Franz Klammer for a few runs. He's a big, powerful guy yet his skis flowed like water. It didn't look like he was doing ANYTHING... now I understand that basically, he wasn't.

 

Having taught us how to relax, initiate turns with a little move and complete them with a big one, Carl led us into Taos's legendary bumps, trees and steeps. He led the way, choosing skiable lines and calling out "little move - big move" at every turn. This worked brilliantly, at least for me. We skied slow lines fast, it felt slow but we were moving where we wanted to go at speeds we could control.

 

I was the most advanced skier in the group, so when I took a half-day private Carl led me down some pretty gnarly stuff at a fair clip. Chasing a top level instructor through steep bumps, trees and chutes, matching him turn for turn, was pretty mind-blowing. I'd never have skied at that pace by myself, but with him as a model it all flowed. I've got a mental movie of one run in particular (ripping the gully on North American for you Taos regulars). I hope the replay button works!

 

Kudos to Rolf, Carl and instructors everywhere who help such moments happen.

post #8 of 15

Quote:

Originally Posted by ATLhound View Post

My 'ah-ha' moment this year would definitely have to be the location of my upper body on steeps.  Before i would be centered but would often be on my heels a little too much.  This year i started going down hill leading with my upper body, being more aggressive with my shoulders and body position. Any boy has it helped! I feel like i can tackle things i only dreamed of before! Can't wait for next year!

 

-hound

 

+1, more or less.  My problems were worse (more gaperish?), I was frying my quads by skiing in the back seat regularly, not occasionally.  Following the advice of bears on this site and sending my upper body down the hill first (pick your favorite analogy for this; I've been given several really good ones), a-ha!  It solved the quad thing and several other issues I was dimly aware of, and caused a ripple of other a-ha! moments ending in increased edge angle.  Yeehaw!

 

Turns out it takes less muscle to ski offensively than defensively...

 

Finn, I feel your pain, sort of; I found out last June that I am not done discovering new ways to hurt myself, either.  A-ha!

post #9 of 15

and "defensively" puts you into poor body position too.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FairToMiddlin View Post

Quote:

 

+1, more or less.  My problems were worse (more gaperish?), I was frying my quads by skiing in the back seat regularly, not occasionally.  Following the advice of bears on this site and sending my upper body down the hill first (pick your favorite analogy for this; I've been given several really good ones), a-ha!  It solved the quad thing and several other issues I was dimly aware of, and caused a ripple of other a-ha! moments ending in increased edge angle.  Yeehaw!

 

Turns out it takes less muscle to ski offensively than defensively...

 

Finn, I feel your pain, sort of; I found out last June that I am not done discovering new ways to hurt myself, either.  A-ha!



 

post #10 of 15

The knees.  I've been focusing on the knees.  For me, this is clarifying a lot of tipping and steering while keeping separation between upper and lower body.  Conscious knee angulation has helped with edge hold in this year's conditions.  Between my instructor's help, the DesLauriers book, and time on the groomers, I'm starting to understand some things.  I now have a feel for "working the ski from tip to tail".  My one-ski skiing is now kind of fun.

post #11 of 15

Tipping the skis to initiate a turn instead of turning/rotating them, sometimes even picking up the new inside ski to get it turned. 

post #12 of 15
I "learned" the hard way to pay more attention to who's behind me on fast hard snow:

http://www.epicski.com/t/108711/ah-well-oh-crap
post #13 of 15

I mean I learned that I tend to pick up the ski to turn it which is not good.

post #14 of 15

A-ha moment?  Remembering that 63mm-67mm waisted carving/racing skis still have a place in any arsenal...particularly when it hasn't snowed for a month or more.

post #15 of 15

Finally stopped fighting the bumps and found a way to flow and have fun.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › A-ha moments for 2012 ski season