New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Back to Basics

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Here's an article written by SkiRacer55 (copyright 2012) -- he will MC this thread.

 

 

Basics-1.pdf 838k .pdf file

 

 

post #2 of 23

Nolo and Cirquerider, thanks much for getting this posted (I can't attach files to posts).  Enjoy , all.  Here's what I said in the Foreword:

 

"Back to the Basics started as a series of Epic Ski posts in the Apres Ski forum, of all

places. The thread topic was headed off into the ionosphere, and I decided some

fundamentals of how to improve your skiing were in order. My credentials are that I've

been on skis for 50 years, am L3 PSIA certified and L100 USSA coaching certified.

I've raced Masters, all events, for 20 plus years. In my Masters training group, I'm not

officially a coach, but we all coach each other, and my teammates tell me I have a good

eye and am good at working with them as individuals, not as cookie cutter “generic”

ski racers. So that’s the back story, let’s turn the page and get into Basics #1..."

"biggrin.gif

post #3 of 23

great post! i'll enjoy reading it!

Thanks!

post #4 of 23

I just skimmed through the whole thing...  Well Done, learned some good stuff!

 

"LIKE"

 

JF

post #5 of 23

Excellant stuff.  Definatley worth a read.icon14.gif

post #6 of 23

An excellent primer, Richard! Many thanks! You state your opinions forthrightly, but without the "I know something that you don't know" braggadocio that always marks the wannabes. Plus, your writing is first rate -- lucid and concise, and free of the grammatical and spelling errors that mar so much of what we read on Epic Ski.

 

From my perspective you're still a young man! But athleticism is, indeed, a key factor. I totally agree that time spent in off season training activities yields great benefits for all skiers, and, in fact, is absolutely essential for the over seventy years old skier.

 

I'm not sure about the point re. 130 flex boots. No doubt, the "strong link" between foot and ski that such a boot provides is a plus for the racer. This old man is basically "out for the kicks" and looking to extend his ski day as long as possible. In my case, I debated long and hard in the Boot Drs. at Taos between the 110 and the 100 flex Atomic Hawx, and finally opted for the softer boot as best fitted to my skiing.

 

I'll make a similar comment re. your points on selecting a ski. Clearly you're a ski racing maven! This old man is always looking (five pairs of skis in the last two years) for the skis that provide the greatest amount of time on the slopes and in the glades for the least amount of effort. Way back when I had a pair of racing skis but basically found them limiting in terms of energy expenditure. Simply put, these were not "happy skis" under say twenty-five mph. Too much work for too little fun, in other words. (FWIW, my happy place these days is the combination of Rossi S3s and K2 Pon2oons.) 

 

Your observations on ski tuning and maintenance are spot on, IMO, especially re. the importance of such. I use different waxes, irons, vises, and so on, but then again, I'm not a racer.

 

One thing I do envy is the skiing input that, as you note, that you receive from your skiing buds. But that is a pearl of great price, and you're quite lucky in that regard. I might suggest, if you don't mind, that your situation is somewhat unique, and for the likes of me and other recreational skiers the path to the top of the mountain is repeated private lessons with an L3 PSIA instructor who actually cares about your skiing.

 

In any case, many thanks for your efforts!

 

OlderthanDirt

 

 

post #7 of 23

Thanks much...I really appreciate this...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post

I just skimmed through the whole thing...  Well Done, learned some good stuff!

 

"LIKE"

 

JF



 

post #8 of 23

Thanks...I'm glad you found it worthwhile...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Excellant stuff.  Definatley worth a read.icon14.gif



 

post #9 of 23

Thanks much...I appreciate the time and thought you put into this reply, here's what I think:

 

- Re boot flex, all I said was that 130 works for me, and you have to pick the right number for you.  I think you chose well...softer is always better, especially in terms of not being a one trick pony...

 

- Yep, understand what you're saying about your choices for your sking and where you ski.  Right answer, *some time* in the next season or two, just try some race skis on the groomed out stuff at Taos.

 

 

- Yep, I'm lucky in terms of who I get to ski with and what I get to do.  Let's hook up some time...you'd love Eldo, and I haven't been to Taos in more years than I want to think about...

 


biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by OlderThanDirt View Post

An excellent primer, Richard! Many thanks! You state your opinions forthrightly, but without the "I know something that you don't know" braggadocio that always marks the wannabes. Plus, your writing is first rate -- lucid and concise, and free of the grammatical and spelling errors that mar so much of what we read on Epic Ski.

 

From my perspective you're still a young man! But athleticism is, indeed, a key factor. I totally agree that time spent in off season training activities yields great benefits for all skiers, and, in fact, is absolutely essential for the over seventy years old skier.

 

I'm not sure about the point re. 130 flex boots. No doubt, the "strong link" between foot and ski that such a boot provides is a plus for the racer. This old man is basically "out for the kicks" and looking to extend his ski day as long as possible. In my case, I debated long and hard in the Boot Drs. at Taos between the 110 and the 100 flex Atomic Hawx, and finally opted for the softer boot as best fitted to my skiing.

 

I'll make a similar comment re. your points on selecting a ski. Clearly you're a ski racing maven! This old man is always looking (five pairs of skis in the last two years) for the skis that provide the greatest amount of time on the slopes and in the glades for the least amount of effort. Way back when I had a pair of racing skis but basically found them limiting in terms of energy expenditure. Simply put, these were not "happy skis" under say twenty-five mph. Too much work for too little fun, in other words. (FWIW, my happy place these days is the combination of Rossi S3s and K2 Pon2oons.) 

 

Your observations on ski tuning and maintenance are spot on, IMO, especially re. the importance of such. I use different waxes, irons, vises, and so on, but then again, I'm not a racer.

 

One thing I do envy is the skiing input that, as you note, that you receive from your skiing buds. But that is a pearl of great price, and you're quite lucky in that regard. I might suggest, if you don't mind, that your situation is somewhat unique, and for the likes of me and other recreational skiers the path to the top of the mountain is repeated private lessons with an L3 PSIA instructor who actually cares about your skiing.

 

In any case, many thanks for your efforts!

 

OlderthanDirt

 

 



 

post #10 of 23
Great stuff SkiRacer. I noticed you have a Swedish last name. Is there a history behind that?
post #11 of 23

Thanks, and yes, indeed.  I'm a US citizen, as was my dad who is 100% Swedish. His dad, my grandfather, came over on the boat from Sweden early in the 20th century. We started skiing, as family, in upstate New York back in the 50s, and I like to think our Swedish lineage had a lot to do with it...

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamt View Post

Great stuff SkiRacer. I noticed you have a Swedish last name. Is there a history behind that?

 

 

post #12 of 23
I liked your comments about athleticism. You don't have to be a natural athlete to become a better athlete. What you put into skiing--in terms of effort--reflects upon what you get back out. I'm 72 and was skiing better than ever--I began at age 5--last December because one of my mentors restressed for me the importance of good effort input. Unfortunately, my season got cut short then by a runaway skier, but I know what I have to do to prepare for next fall.
post #13 of 23

 Thanks, glad you're skiing well, sorry to hear about your shortened season.  I know the feeling...I got hammered by an errant snowboarder at Keystone a few years back in December.  Result:  broken collarbone, but back on skis in two weeks.  Keep the faith and get yourself pumped up for next season!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

I liked your comments about athleticism. You don't have to be a natural athlete to become a better athlete. What you put into skiing--in terms of effort--reflects upon what you get back out. I'm 72 and was skiing better than ever--I began at age 5--last December because one of my mentors restressed for me the importance of good effort input. Unfortunately, my season got cut short then by a runaway skier, but I know what I have to do to prepare for next fall.

 

 

post #14 of 23

Just for the fun of it...in keeping with what I say in "Basics" about doing MA of the top dogs rather than just looking at our own moves, take a look at the sequence of Axsel Lund Svindal on the main page of Ron LeMaster's site:

 

http://www.ronlemaster.com/

 

So in keeping with his "fair use" of his images for discussion purposes among colleagues and friends, here's my take on what we see in this sequence...your comments welcome!

 

This 21-frame sequence of Aksel Lund Svindal at BC shows a series of very offset GS turns on steep terrain, probably right below the Golden Eagle jump. In general, note the following:

 

 

 

  • Take away the gates, and you still see great skiing on a tough hill. Many skiers wrongly assume that racers are one-trick ponies. On the contrary, racers are some of the best skiers in the world with the additional skill that they can turn where somebody else wants them to.

  • Svindal shows a full range of continuous athletic movement. We talk about a “skiing stance”, which is fine as long we understand that stance and balance really come from a series of athletic movements, not from the frozen-in-time-and -space position that a statue exhibits. Look at how much the skis move in frames 3 through 7. Then look at the moves that Svindal makes to get the skis to do what he wants and balance against them at 45 miles and hour. This sequence alone shows why “park and ride” stances simply do not allow balanced, effective use of the ski.

  • Similarly, the hands do not have a fixed position! “Hands always forward” is a commonly heard mantra, but reality is more complex than that. In general, Svindal's arms and hands are spread fairly wide, which makes them good balancing tools. But they move, either in anticipation of or reaction to changes in balance down below.

 

In frames 8 through 10, his hands are moving forward, which contributes to his balance because the rest of his body is moving forward to pressure the forebody of the ski. In general, it's best to have the arms and hands moving in concert with the lower body. If Svindal's hands moved back in these frames, his upper body and lower body would be fighting each other, and he'd have a tough time pressuring the forebody.

In frame 16, however, his hands are about even with his hips. Frame 16 is a critical image, because contrary to the “always forward, always pressing the tongue of the boot” dictum that we often hear, in this frame, Svindal is clearly pressuring the back of his boots! Which is the right move, because he's at the end of this right-footed turn and needs to pressure the tail of the ski to complete the arc cleanly. Once again, the hands move in concert with the hips and lower body. In this frame, if his hands moved forward, he'd be hanging on the front of his boots and hanging over the tips...which would cause his tails to slide.

 

  • Notice the full range of Svindal's skiing skills. In frames 6 and 7, he throws in a little stivot to dump some speed before he starts the carving phase of the next turn. Without this mini-speed check, even a perfect arc would probably put him below the next gate because of the severe offset on this pitch.

 

Once he has his speed where he wants it, he moves to a classical upside down traverse with a long right leg and all pressure on the right ski to get the arc started before crossing the fall line. In frame 10, he's aimed out and away from the gate...perfect tactics, because his edge angle and pressure brings him back to the gate, where he can brush it with his hip and back in frame 12.

 

That's cutting off the line, which you can't do by going straight at the gate at the top of the turn. Note that in frame 10, his whole body is inclined in and moving down the hill. This lets his body take shortcut to the inside of the skis' arc, which is good because when his outside ski hooks up, he'll be able to balance against them. In frame 12, where his momentum wants to take him forward but gravity wants to spit him outside the turn, he's more angulated to stand cleanly against the right ski.

 

In frames 12 through 14, look at the angles between the skis and the snow. We've heard that “bigger is better” when it comes to angles, but nobody told us why. LeMaster has a chart in one of his books that shows the difference in arc between a pressured ski at 45 degrees and the same ski at 60 degrees, which produces the tighter arc. Skis have a rated sidecut, as in 27M. But the sidecut number isn't a gimme. You have to put the ski on edge and make it bend to get the rated arc. The right-footer in frames 12 through 14 is incredibly tight due to the offset on this pitch. Svindal makes a clean arc and stays on line largely because of the angles he produces combined with precise pressure control.

 

 

 

  • Back to frame 16, he's coming off the tail of his ski and “going to neutral”. In a series of offset turns like this, you cannot ski arc to arc. So in frame 16, Svindal is going to flat skis, presuring both skis evenly, and recentering his balance before the next move. In frame 17, there's some definite steering to get the ski to an edge angle where the carved portion of the turn will keep him on line. The steering he does is less of a rotation, more of an action of swinging the skis out from underneath him so he can establish the new edge angle.

  • Frames 18 through 21 are a mirror image of frames 8 through 11...upside down traverse, long leg, body inclined, early pressure on the forebody. Rinse, repeat, ad infinitum...

biggrin.gif

post #15 of 23

Richard,

 

nice reading, who says nothing is for free these days.   The forum has some great stuff and I promise to become a contributor simply due to the "free stuff".  This post simply makes for no excuse for me ...

post #16 of 23

Coolness, glad you enjoyed it...

 

biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete View Post

Richard,

 

nice reading, who says nothing is for free these days.   The forum has some great stuff and I promise to become a contributor simply due to the "free stuff".  This post simply makes for no excuse for me ...

 

 

post #17 of 23

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post

Just for the fun of it...in keeping with what I say in "Basics" about doing MA of the top dogs rather than just looking at our own moves, take a look at the sequence of Axsel Lund Svindal on the main page of Ron LeMaster's site:

 

http://www.ronlemaster.com/

 

So in keeping with his "fair use" of his images for discussion purposes among colleagues and friends, here's my take on what we see in this sequence...your comments welcome!

 

This 21-frame sequence of Aksel Lund Svindal at BC shows a series of very offset GS turns on steep terrain, probably right below the Golden Eagle jump. In general, note the following:

 

 

 

  • Take away the gates, and you still see great skiing on a tough hill. Many skiers wrongly assume that racers are one-trick ponies. On the contrary, racers are some of the best skiers in the world with the additional skill that they can turn where somebody else wants them to.

  • Svindal shows a full range of continuous athletic movement. We talk about a “skiing stance”, which is fine as long we understand that stance and balance really come from a series of athletic movements, not from the frozen-in-time-and -space position that a statue exhibits. Look at how much the skis move in frames 3 through 7. Then look at the moves that Svindal makes to get the skis to do what he wants and balance against them at 45 miles and hour. This sequence alone shows why “park and ride” stances simply do not allow balanced, effective use of the ski.

  • Similarly, the hands do not have a fixed position! “Hands always forward” is a commonly heard mantra, but reality is more complex than that. In general, Svindal's arms and hands are spread fairly wide, which makes them good balancing tools. But they move, either in anticipation of or reaction to changes in balance down below.

 

In frames 8 through 10, his hands are moving forward, which contributes to his balance because the rest of his body is moving forward to pressure the forebody of the ski. In general, it's best to have the arms and hands moving in concert with the lower body. If Svindal's hands moved back in these frames, his upper body and lower body would be fighting each other, and he'd have a tough time pressuring the forebody.

In frame 16, however, his hands are about even with his hips. Frame 16 is a critical image, because contrary to the “always forward, always pressing the tongue of the boot” dictum that we often hear, in this frame, Svindal is clearly pressuring the back of his boots! Which is the right move, because he's at the end of this right-footed turn and needs to pressure the tail of the ski to complete the arc cleanly. Once again, the hands move in concert with the hips and lower body. In this frame, if his hands moved forward, he'd be hanging on the front of his boots and hanging over the tips...which would cause his tails to slide.

 

  • Notice the full range of Svindal's skiing skills. In frames 6 and 7, he throws in a little stivot to dump some speed before he starts the carving phase of the next turn. Without this mini-speed check, even a perfect arc would probably put him below the next gate because of the severe offset on this pitch.

 

Once he has his speed where he wants it, he moves to a classical upside down traverse with a long right leg and all pressure on the right ski to get the arc started before crossing the fall line. In frame 10, he's aimed out and away from the gate...perfect tactics, because his edge angle and pressure brings him back to the gate, where he can brush it with his hip and back in frame 12.

 

That's cutting off the line, which you can't do by going straight at the gate at the top of the turn. Note that in frame 10, his whole body is inclined in and moving down the hill. This lets his body take shortcut to the inside of the skis' arc, which is good because when his outside ski hooks up, he'll be able to balance against them. In frame 12, where his momentum wants to take him forward but gravity wants to spit him outside the turn, he's more angulated to stand cleanly against the right ski.

 

In frames 12 through 14, look at the angles between the skis and the snow. We've heard that “bigger is better” when it comes to angles, but nobody told us why. LeMaster has a chart in one of his books that shows the difference in arc between a pressured ski at 45 degrees and the same ski at 60 degrees, which produces the tighter arc. Skis have a rated sidecut, as in 27M. But the sidecut number isn't a gimme. You have to put the ski on edge and make it bend to get the rated arc. The right-footer in frames 12 through 14 is incredibly tight due to the offset on this pitch. Svindal makes a clean arc and stays on line largely because of the angles he produces combined with precise pressure control.

 

 

 

  • Back to frame 16, he's coming off the tail of his ski and “going to neutral”. In a series of offset turns like this, you cannot ski arc to arc. So in frame 16, Svindal is going to flat skis, presuring both skis evenly, and recentering his balance before the next move. In frame 17, there's some definite steering to get the ski to an edge angle where the carved portion of the turn will keep him on line. The steering he does is less of a rotation, more of an action of swinging the skis out from underneath him so he can establish the new edge angle.

  • Frames 18 through 21 are a mirror image of frames 8 through 11...upside down traverse, long leg, body inclined, early pressure on the forebody. Rinse, repeat, ad infinitum...

biggrin.gif

 

Great analysis SkiRacer55.  Thanks.

Just to add one thing, or maybe to ask a question...

 

...in frames 17-18 I can see Svindahl decisively and quickly raising his left arm up in the air.  Way up.

I've seen other racers do this with their outside arm when entering a turn.

I am assuming that "throwing" that arm upwards helps him get his body tipped into the turn and get his skis on high edges faster than if he didn't do it.  

Is that right?  

Is there a phrase that racers use to describe this move?

 

post #18 of 23

 Here's what I think, and y'all feel free to tell me what you're seeing in frames 17-18, which is the initiation of a left-footed turn. Looking at the previous right-footed turn, what I said was "Note that in frame 10, his whole body is inclined in and moving down the hill. This lets his body take shortcut to the inside of the skis' arc, which is good because when his outside ski hooks up, he'll be able to balance against them." 

 

I think the same thing is happening in frames 17-18, which is that he's letting his whole body incline in and move down the hill.  We hear stuff like "shoulders always level", but I think reality is more subtle and complex than that.  In frames 17-18, Svindal's shoulders are perpendicular to his body column, which makes sense if you want to incline this much.  I think the left hand going up is just an aid to balancing his inclined body column, and you notice that his inside hand is way down...all fine, because it keeps his shoulders perpendicular to and stacked against his body column...

 

cool.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

 

 

Great analysis SkiRacer55.  Thanks.

Just to add one thing, or maybe to ask a question...

 

...in frames 17-18 I can see Svindahl decisively and quickly raising his left arm up in the air.  Way up.

I've seen other racers do this with their outside arm when entering a turn.

I am assuming that "throwing" that arm upwards helps him get his body tipped into the turn and get his skis on high edges faster than if he didn't do it.  

Is that right?  

Is there a phrase that racers use to describe this move?

 

 

 

post #19 of 23

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post

 I think the left hand going up is just an aid to balancing his inclined body column,

 

 

 

 

Agree. This is the key I think. It's not a planned move, its a subconsious balancing move. After all, thats why the arms are kept away from the body. If he did not do it he would rotate inwards too fast in the frontal plane.

post #20 of 23

I just saved the PDF it will take alittle time to read but I will.   I need to be more of an athlete.  I'm a carpenter which helps to keep me in shape but need to do more to be a better skier.  L 3  PSIA

 

Hank

post #21 of 23

Thanks, let me know what you think after you've gotten through the whole thing.  If you're a carpenter, you're way ahead of most skiers in terms of off season stuff.  My choices are tennis and road biking...both of which help skiing a lot...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat hank View Post

I just saved the PDF it will take alittle time to read but I will.   I need to be more of an athlete.  I'm a carpenter which helps to keep me in shape but need to do more to be a better skier.  L 3  PSIA

 

Hank

 

 

post #22 of 23

Richard

I like your article.  It has some great information on race stuff.   the boot and binding is what a lot of folks need to look at (ramp angle).  Once you feel the whole foot is like stepping into a whole new world. 

The tuning information is for the master racer in the crowd.  If the non-racer gets and does half that they will be in better place.  Myself I leave base bevel alone due to my understanding that there isn't a hand tool out there that only base bevel without touching the P-tex.  So I have my guy do it on a machine.   I like half a degree on the base edge.  If feel that it get me on to my egde quicker.

 

Your 4 thing at the end of the article are right on the money.

 

thank you

hank

post #23 of 23

Great, thanks much.  The whole thing was race oriented, but that was the idea...if you haven't thought about the stuff that racers do, give it a try, because it's of benefit to all skiers. Additionally, I did an MA of some WC in this thread; take a look at that if you haven't already, because it talks about racers as great skiers, not just as great racers...

 

biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildcat hank View Post

Richard

I like your article.  It has some great information on race stuff.   the boot and binding is what a lot of folks need to look at (ramp angle).  Once you feel the whole foot is like stepping into a whole new world. 

The tuning information is for the master racer in the crowd.  If the non-racer gets and does half that they will be in better place.  Myself I leave base bevel alone due to my understanding that there isn't a hand tool out there that only base bevel without touching the P-tex.  So I have my guy do it on a machine.   I like half a degree on the base edge.  If feel that it get me on to my egde quicker.

 

Your 4 thing at the end of the article are right on the money.

 

thank you

hank

 

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching