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Advice/tips needed[Video]

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

hey guys/girls,


I am a 23 year old decent skier, who skies about 21 days a year. Last year I bought my first rockered ski, Black Diamond Amperage 185, mounted +1.5 cm from recommended. I love the ski in deep snow and on soft steep run but I have a bit of an issue with short turns on a medium steep runs in compact powder. In these tight turns the skies tend to explode from under me when going from turn to turn. It only happens on these slopes and with that snow, I think I am bit to much back seat at those moments but not sure. When I ease of the pressure to iniate the next turn the skies will literally take off, launching me. Although this is great fun, it sometimes is a bit much and I would like to correct this. Any advice/tips would be much appreciated. There is a video below of such a moment and the same run on the warm-up run from my view, please don't be to harsh it was my third day on the ski ;)

post #2 of 13

You were definitely pressuring the back of the skis when they shot out from under you.  With less tail on a ski, it has to be less forgiving when you are in the back seat.  Your +1.5 might give you a bit more tail, but in packed conditions, I would think the rocker decreases the amount of tail.  


I find it hard to tell your exact position before that from the video...would be more useful to see a side on video or something that is not so far off, but I will speculate a bit:


Looks like your knees are flexed more than your ankles- I would recommend less flex overall in the knees and more in the ankles.  While you don`t want to crush the front of your boots, you do want your shins to stay in contact with them.  Think about trying to push the knees forward by bending the ankle.


Generally speaking, your knees should be over your toes (not ankles), hips centered over the middle of your feet and your shoulders slightly ahead of your hip/knees/toes (make sure you have a bit of bend at the waist).  This should be in relation to the slope, so a string hanging from your nose may only be slightly ahead of your toes on a flat slope, but would be farther ahead when you are pointed down the fall line on a steeper slope.


Most skiers that I see would not be hurt by feeling that they are forward at the beginning of the turn and neutral the rest of it.  Overall, most recreational skiers are too far back than forward, but even some good skiers will say that they feel centered.  Your skis shooting out from under you are telling you that you are back (at least at that point), so start trying to feel more forward overall.


It looks like you are pretty athletic, so play around with some different stances and see how it goes.    

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback, I was afraid of hearing that. I think it is a bad habit transferring from my past ski Stoeckli Snake BC 189 which were/are quite hard to turn in for me, if you don't release some pressure from the tip. I'll try to implement your tips next week. Funny thing is that when it gets steep(+-40 degrees) I am less backseat for some reason.

Looking at the second part of the footage I feel that at times I overturn the ski a bit, i.e. kicking the tails out to much. Any thoughts on that?

post #4 of 13
Switch46 Quote:
 In these tight turns the skies tend to explode from under me when going from turn to turn. It only happens on these slopes and with that snow...


This happens when you let the energy from a turn catapult you into the air.  It can happen whether you are backseat or not.  The flex of the ski contributes to the problem, and the harder you turn, the more likely it is to happen.  Or in other words, the more energy you put into a turn, the more energy you have coming out of it and that energy can spring you into the air if you make the wrong kind of transition.  The transitions to avoid are the ones where you rise up in between turns.  You should not have your legs straighter in the transition than in the other parts of the turn, you should stay low and have them as bent or more bent and just switch from edge to edge underneath you by actually pulling your knees up.  It's a different kind of transition.  I'm sure this will fix your problem if you change your way of transitioning.  I used to have the same problem.  What you are doing is like jumping on a trampoline, rather than doing a "kill jump" (the kind of stop-jump that absorbs the springiness and stops your bouncing). 


There are a few applications of this transition in my video here, but with me it is subtle.  If you look carefully at the quick turns in the skinny part of the couloir at about 0:47, you can see that my legs actually retract a little bit when I start the transition.  I am certainly not rising up.  Those turns have a lot of energy, so if I did the rising kind of transition (like you are doing) I would flail into the rocks.  You can also see some retraction in some turns in the shot at 1:49 (that's probably a more obvious example).  Again I'm sure I would have crashed if I had done a rising/extending transition.

Edited by Ronin - 12/23/12 at 11:02am
post #5 of 13

Ok here, look at this. 


There are 2 clips on this page for you to look at.  The top clip shows the kind of transition you are doing, then the lower, second clip shows the kind of transition that I'm saying that you should be doing.  It may be kind of exagerrated.


Also, here is a third clip for you to look at.  This is what is happening to you when you get shot into the air doing the wrong kind of transition:


Just click the play button even if your cursor doesn't turn in to a finger or arrow, it still works. 

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey Blake,


Thanks for your feedback and replies. I see your point, I do indeed straighten my legs during the transition in powder. I needed this hop on my old skis to be able to turn them, they were a bit to heavy for me. On hard snow I use cross under or cross trough, most likely a combination of the two. Which technique would be preferable in powder? You hinted at cross trough being the technique to go for but I have a bit of trouble understanding how you would apply this is deep snow on medium or flat slopes. Should lifting the legs provide the needed release of pressure to get the skis turning? I'll have to experiment a bit with that, unfortunately all the powder just became a wet heap where I am, Chamonix. Anyway, thanks again for the advice, the videos are rather helpful.




post #7 of 13
Switch46 Quote:

Which technique would be preferable in powder? You hinted at cross trough being the technique to go for but I have a bit of trouble understanding how you would apply this is deep snow on medium or flat slopes.

I guess all I'm really saying is, you are rising too much.  Try a transition with less rising.  How much less, is something you can figure out by experimenting.  You may not have to go all the way to a "cross through".  Just decrease the rise and see how far you want to take it. 


You spring out of the snow on more turns than just that one turn.  Keep them touching the snow to start. 

post #8 of 13



If you look at the video of your camera pointing at your toes, the fact that you can always see them is telling you something.  Your shin looks like it is always perpendicular to your ski.  You'll also notice you lift your inside ski on the turn.  This makes it easier to turn when your in the backseat.


Easy way to "feel" the correct position is towards the top of a run, face uphill.  You can be in a wedge with your tails together.  The pressure you feel on your shin...that's what your looking for.  Think knees to toes.


As far as the skis popping out - there's a reason most cars have the engine in the front.  Two seasons ago I was in the back seat on a race course and popped similar to how you did in the video.  Launched me into the trees.  Don't do that.


Try to keep your shoulders more level.  It looks like you are tipping inside the turn.  When you do this, you loose pressure on your edges and they wash out.  This could very well be why you are stemming or as you said, "kicking the tails out".


First figure it out on easy groomers and when you get it there, dial it up.  There's several reasons why folks are in the backseat; gear, technique, attitude, etc.  Much easier to diagnose on easier terrain than what you were skiing on.


Keep having fun,



post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

hey guys,

a quick update and a follow up question. First of all, your tips were rather helpful from the first run I actively kept them in mind and it made a huge difference. I didn't experience the launching effect once in two weeks. I still have a bit of trouble leaning forward enough when it gets steep(40 degrees plus), my guide for the day said that I needed to keep my hands a bit more forward at times and look ahead a bit further when it gets steeper and narrower. We skied the Grande Evers on the aquille du midi with him in hip deep pow on 40 degree sections.


Now onto the my question, in the video, sorry about the quality we lost our gopro in a tree run the 2nd day, I have a trouble keeping my edges gripping. Granted the conditions were far from ideal, slush on hardpack on 35-40 degree run. I feel like I was a bit to much backseat again and had to full up my heals to get the ski turning quick enough. Any thoughts on the video.


Again thanks for the advice, it really helped.

post #10 of 13

If you are expecting to carve down that slope under those conditions, get a better quality camera .... because you'll be able to sell the video for big $$$$!


The backpack is not going to help you get your weight centered/forward, but carrying safety gear in such terrain is a good idea. Tradeoffs.


Look up the pedal hop turn. If you don't have continuous vertical movement (either flexing or extending), it will be more difficult to turn the skis. You get stuck in a couple of spots. When this happens, reset before launching. Otherwise your options are to either go faster (need less braking) or round out your turns more to distribute the braking pressure over a longer distance. Either of these options may require a "cojones" transplant because you'll need very big ones.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 


not expecting to carve it but just improve my technique as I am not a very good skier. I am mostly self-thaught on off-piste and steep terrain with an occasional tip from a guide, but since the last video brought up some very good advice I thought I'll give it another try.

About the backpack, it's not the lightest set-up, abs + shovel + camelback + rope + first aid kit etc quickly ads up to about 8-9 kilos, sorry Euro here, but I feel I should be able to ski like it isn't there. I have seen many much better skiers ski with a lot heavier back packs. I'll also try the pedal hop turn next time I am out...

post #12 of 13

Your doing fine Switch. Try a run without the pack. If that works to help you get forward, then try to make the same turns with the pack. You might be skiing centered with the pack weight instead of skiing where centered without the pack would be. If this is the case, then the pedal hop turn will give you a good feel for how to add some extra oomph to your turn initiation movement. You may also want to try finishing your turns with your tips pointed a little up the hill.

post #13 of 13

One image/feeling that I will sometimes use to get more forward in steeper terrain is the thought of going through an open window head first at turn initiation.  I`d try this first in non-Avy terrain without the back pack.  Good luck.

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