EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › best hucking skis/wisdom.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

best hucking skis/wisdom.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

It's summertime, but all I can think about is the unlikely-ness of two mediocre seasons in a row.  One of my goals for next season is Air.  Closely related to that goal is Not Breaking Anything.  With that in mind, what is A) the best way to go about getting better, and B) what type of ski helps with that?  I will be skiing in Summit County, Tahoe and Big Sky next year, I think.

 

I would love to do the foam pit at Copper, but that may have to wait until next year when I will hopefully live in CO...

post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairToMiddlin View Post

It's summertime, but all I can think about is the unlikely-ness of two mediocre seasons in a row.  

icon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gificon14.gif

post #3 of 17

If you're going to huck, get good coaching!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

But if you want a really long ski career, keep it on the ground!

post #4 of 17

I'm kind of in the same place.  Last year the weather didn't exactly give me a lot of opportunity to improve, but I did some, and all I can say is baby steps are key.  Get to the point where you feel very comfortable doing an x-foot drop before going any bigger and just try to work your way up slowly.  The weekend in March when Tahoe got about 5 feet of snow I got a little overzealous and ended up sending something I shouldn't have, and an impressive yard sale put me in check quickly.

post #5 of 17

Advice from a good friend (good gymnast, very good aerialist, killer bump skier) years ago; "spend time on a trampoline learning how to land and body control for when you miss".  

 

So wish I had taken his advice before destroying a shoulder.

post #6 of 17

First off, for skis, the best skis will have stiff-ish tails, but a pretty even flex throughout the entire ski (no 'hinge' points). A slightly softer tip, and plenty of tip rocker will help a lot as well.

 

Here's a few tips:

 

1) Analyze the slope angle of the take-off and landing. The easiest will be a near-straight take-off, and a steepish landing, with a runout that slowly transitions to flat. The hardest will be a downhill takeoff to a near-flat landing. Your take-off speed will amplify the difficulty, here. Think about how your direction of travel (take-off slope angle) will change the speed at which you impact the landing zone (the effective directional speed, perpendicular to the landing slope angle).

 

2) Get a little bit of speed before you launch, but not too much. Stop-and-plop is much harder to land than when you have some downhill momentum, but a high speed take-off can get you going too fast on landing. Just a little bit of downhill momentum is usually enough.

 

3) If you can, squat down before take-off and pop off a bit on take-off. The more you control how you enter the air, the more control you have once you're in the air. This will also help take your mind off of the fear when you see over the edge. A lot of people will lean back on take-off out of fear. This is a reaction, not an intentional movement. Don't do it! Commit!

 

4) On take-off, have your arms stretched out away from you. It will help you keep your weight forward. You can bring them back towards your body once you're in the air if you want, or leave them out there for landing if it's a small huck (see #6).

 

5) For larger hucks, after the pop, bring your legs back up to your body. It will help keep you aerodynamic and avoid being pushed out of position/control by air resistance.

 

6) For landings, extend your legs at the last minute and compress them as you impact. Use your lower body as a shock absorber, like you would in a mogul run. During this manuever, really make sure you have your arms (and weight) forward. This will make sure that your legs compress into your chest, without throwing your weight backwards and pushing you into a backslap. This is very important, as your legs compressing into your chest will absorb a HUGE amount of impact force, much more than you can absorb solely with your leg muscles. It also helps with reducing the impact forces on your spine. Don't worry about catching a knee to the chest - it really doesn't happen.

 

7) When you land, keep your chin up and be looking at your next few turns. Not only will this prepare you for a fluid landing into your next few turns, but it will also help avoid catching a knee to the face (do not look down!). Also, keep your jaw clenched or wear a mouthguard for bigger drops. You do NOT want to bite through your tongue or lips. If I feel like going big that day, I usually keep a mouthguard in my ski jacket pocket for quick access.

 

8) You generally want your tails to hit first, in order to lay your tips down gently, without burying them in the soft snow. You'll do this NOT by leaning back (big no-no), but by dropping your heels (or lifting your toes). As you land, you'll rotate your ankles forward, so that the tips come down gently - the impact of your tails first will do this to some extent, automatically. Skis with soft tails will make this more difficult, as they'll fold up on you and you'll end up wheeling out. If you land too tail-heavy, you'll likely backslap, but this is a lot better than going over the bars and tomahawking. Once you get used to hucking, this is THE hardest part of the technique to dial-in, in my opinion - getting your balance just right, and landing somewhat on your tails, without backslapping/wheeling, but not too tip-heavy that you go over the bars. The softer and deeper the snow, the more difficult this is to do (but the less backslapping hurts, so most people err on this side of the coin - the ultimate 'I give up' move is a butt-check or back-check).

 

9) The harder the snow, the less you'll want to land tails first. With hardpack landings, you'll be landing with the angle of the ski pretty much equal to the angle of the slope (no tails first!!!), perhaps even almost tips-first - you want your weight forward to be in the attack stance the minute you land. The idea here, is that it's impossible to bury your tips into hardpack, and the last thing you want to do on hardpack is backslap and be trying to get out of the backseat while scrubbing speed. This is a perfect recipe for a backwards twisting fall and a torn ACL.

 

10) The flatter the landing, the steeper the take-off, and the faster you're going, the more you'll want to land tails first. Use your tails to help absorb the impact. The best example of this, is Eric Hjoriliefson's last POV. The line starts at 1:50 and ends around 2:05:

http://unofficialnetworks.com/bc-spines-eric-hjorleifson-pov-48470/

In the last air of the triple, he's coming in super hot with a steep take-off and a flatter landing. Right before impact, you see him drop his tails very aggressively. His shadow shows exactly the form you need to have when stomping a drop like that, taking most of the impact on the tails of your skis, and possibly backslapping. 

 

His shadow in the first two airs of that line actually show pretty good examples of how you should compress on landing, with your head up, arms forward and knees coming into your chest.

 

Trampoline practice will help with your absorption technique, but won't do much else for you. Foam pits will help your take-off skills (the pop and controlling how you enter the air), but won't do much else for you. Honestly, if you understand the basic principles, the best thing to do is just get out there and do it in snow with your skis on. Don't waste time on trampolines or foam pits. Don't overthink it, as hucking talent is almost all muscle memory and practice, there's very little technique to be taught until you start hucking over ~40', where the forces are large enough on impact that you'll need to learn how to land without getting hurt in case the landing isn't quite what you thought it was going to be.


Edited by Brian Lindahl - 8/9/12 at 12:37pm
post #7 of 17

Lots of good tips, Brian, very detailed. icon14.gif

 

 

Problem for me will be reviewing all this on my iPhone while I'm in the air.

post #8 of 17

Start by getting good air awareness around dry land/wet water, tramps, diving boards. Like mentioned above, mostly for take off and general feel, worthless for steep landings.   Work up from small to larger terrain park air.  Next move up to dropping cornices.  You'll need to be comfortable dropping on to very steel landing zones.  Keeping your hands forward is probably the best generic tip in generalwink.gif

post #9 of 17

This is a good topic and an area I want to improve on for next year as well. Maybe not the most technical aspect of skiing, but the adreline rush you get as you scope your line from the top, especially when you can no longer see your landing, is one of the best in skiing.

 

My max drops have been probably 12-15 FT, but even those take a few minutes to gather the courage, sometimes to the point where the person filming downhill gets fed up and turns off the camera.

 

Quick question, and not to hijack the thread, what's the rule of thumb on estimating the size of the drop?  This is more for bragging rights and/or calling BS on your friends, but is it the physical height of the object (cliff, rock, cornice, etc.) or the distance that you actual drop? I've always leaned towards the first one, as it's the easiest to eyeball and probably most objective measure.  But obviously depending on your speed at take-off, and the steepness of the landing, the actual drop can be quite a bit more. 

 

No matter what, these numbers tend to get inflated anyways, but curious what the consensus is.

post #10 of 17

big fat stiff ski.

 

center mount. 

 

4 point the landing

 

speed is your friend.

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by tenpenny View Post

Quick question, and not to hijack the thread, what's the rule of thumb on estimating the size of the drop? 

 

Take off to bomb hole.

post #12 of 17

Keep your mouth closed when hucking.

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caucasian Asian View Post

Keep your mouth closed when hucking.


Yes, don't brag about it until you ski away lest half of your tongue be left behind.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caucasian Asian View Post

Keep your mouth closed when hucking.

& your tongue in your closed mouth!
tongue.gif
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Wow, nice to come back to this thread from a month ago and see great input, thanks!

 

I tried kicker/tabletop/transition jumps in terrain parks last season, found a 'launch-retract my legs-look for the landing-extend legs for absorption' rhythm that worked well, made me think of Brian's #5 tip... I am guessing there is a little bit of 'lost in translation' when going from something carefully prepared in a park to natural features.

 

Any input on shopping a given mountain for a place to huck?  Something that helps with picking the amount of drop you want and a safe runout to get that warm fuzzy to have at it?  I need A) snow and B) ski country to picture Brian's #1 tip...

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairToMiddlin View Post

Wow, nice to come back to this thread from a month ago and see great input, thanks!

 

I tried kicker/tabletop/transition jumps in terrain parks last season, found a 'launch-retract my legs-look for the landing-extend legs for absorption' rhythm that worked well, made me think of Brian's #5 tip... I am guessing there is a little bit of 'lost in translation' when going from something carefully prepared in a park to natural features.

 

Any input on shopping a given mountain for a place to huck?  Something that helps with picking the amount of drop you want and a safe runout to get that warm fuzzy to have at it?  I need A) snow and B) ski country to picture Brian's #1 tip...

Wear a padded bra, raise the pitch of your voice, and sign up for the Next Level Women's ski camp with Ingrid Backstrom and Jessica Sobolowski at Squaw.  

You, too, can ski like a girl. yahoo.gif

post #17 of 17

Honestly, ask a local. They can usually point you to the popular cliffs that tend to be easier to land, and easier to find. Though, the chances that it'll be bombed out before you hear about it and find it are very high (i.e. Vail chair 4). The easier/obvious ones are usually done by mid-day on a powder day. Best to learn the locations and scope them out before the snow falls. Once you get more comfortable with hucking, you'll have no problem assessing cliffs without any beta and can scout that kind of stuff out on your own and explore (more fun this way, hitting a cliff you know nothing about!).

 

That said, if you find yourself at Vail on a powder day, head to Dragons Teeth. Ranges from small 5'ers up to 25'-30', all with decent landings, long easy runouts and easy to scope from the chair. Takeoffs can be hard to spot from above though, since they all sort of blend in together - the big one is marked with a tree though. The landings and runouts are good enough that I'll even hit the big one in spring conditions several days after the last storm.

 

If you want to get bolder and hit some higher speed cliffs, Lulus in Breckenridge's Horseshoe Bowl off the T-bar has a couple good 10-15'ers that have such good landings, I'll hit them in hardpack conditions (rare for CO). Just be ready for some serious speed on landing in said conditions! Steep entrances and landings.

 

One other thing I forgot to mention is that snow consistency can play a big role in assessing a new cliff. When I'm not familiar with the area, I tend to go bigger in the PNW and Sierras than in the UT/WY/CO, since the thicker snow makes for much better landings and keeps you from punching through to whatever layers are underneath (i.e. rocks/stumps/hardpack).

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › best hucking skis/wisdom.