Thanks so much everyone for all your feedback and suggestions and hints :) Sorry I’ve taken so long to reply!
So I got to go to the mountain again just recently, and I tried to incorporate some of the advice I’ve been given in this thread into my skiing. So far we’ve only done day trips, but I think we’re looking at going and staying a few nights in a few weeks, so hopefully that goes well!
Unfortunately I was with different people this time and we lacked a video worthy phone or camera, so I might have to wait til next time to get a progress video. Instead I’m going to write about how I felt and maybe that will be useful in lieu of video evidence.
I tried to lean forward more, while sort of standing straightish (trying to flex at the ankle rather than piking at the waist). This actually made me feel a lot less in control. :( I think that maybe my weight was somehow even further back. It’s really hard to lean DOWN the mountain! Next time I go, I will spend more time on the easy run, practising it more. I got a bit peer pressured into hitting the intermediate slopes immediately again, which ARE more fun, but I probably need to work on balance more, hahhh.
I went with my backpack again as it carries my water (has a 2L water bladder inside), but it occurred to me at the END of the day that I could have totally just ditched it at one of the cafes for a few runs and no-one would have touched it. So, next time. It does sit nice and close to my back and I don’t even notice it’s there, but getting my balance sorted is more important..
AS TO MY KNEES: my knees actually survived the day better than last time, so I must have been succeeding a little bit at keeping my weight further forward! I think I was beginning to get the hang of doing the leanforward/standtall thing by the end of the day, but then I was tired so it was hard to tell.
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
So far there is a lot of good advice about what to do while skiing. Chronic knee pain while skiing typically forces us to keep our knees as straight as possible and I suspect on some level pain may be motivating you to do exactly that. It also may be causing you to adopt a pretty conservative and somewhat defensive mindset. If I may ask, Do you have any past knee injuries, or any history of knee problems?
Assuming you don't, a quick joint bias test might reveal a habitual movement pattern that might be influencing how you flex your leg and foot joints while skiing. It's pretty simple, stand up and drop a coin (or any small object) about a foot in front of your feet. Now pick it up. How do you bend as you reach down to do this? Do you bow, squat, or use a combination of both? Now try it while wearing your ski boots. Do your movements change and if they do, how do they change?
I tossed my keys down and picked them up. Seems I bend my knees a little but also pike at the waist, so at the lowest point (when I'm picking them up), my back is pretty much flat horizontal and my knees are a bit bent. I think I trained myself into this way of picking things up a while ago, as I used to just lean down from my back and it wasn't really great for it. But wearing my ski boots, I bend at the waist more, and bend my knees less. Hmmmmmmmmm.
However. I will admit my knees aren't perfect. I have too-tight IT bands on both my legs, which I'm trying to fix by rolling them out with a foam roller. When I sit cross-legged for extended periods of time they sometimes get extremely painful when I stand up, especially then walking down stairs. And I can't ride bikes without pain as soon as I go up a hill. It's an old impact injury/syndrome/whatever from a sport I used to do a couple years ago :/ I saw a physio for my knees a long time ago and they said the kneecap wasn't gliding properly and it was inflaming my knee, but then instead of fixing them properly I just stopped doing everything that aggravated them until now :P
I do agree that pushing down with my big toe does push my leg back a bit / point toes a bit, it's still the easiest way for me to turn at the moment but I guess because my weight is wrong, it's making me do the wrong thing. Hmm.
I forgot to try skiing with my hands behind my back, next time! Oh yes, and I also tried turning with my body facing more down the mountain while my legs turned more, but then I just seemed to lean back a lot so I forgot about doing that.
I think that's all for now -- I will endeavour to get a video next time, bah. Again thanks for all your helpful thoughts and tips :)