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Ski instruction for the non profesional ?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I  read the thread on weight distribution , There are instructions and pics seemingly meant toward a pro ,

   I look at the pic , I am 50 YO , Have skiied about 150 times and will not be likely to ski like the picture any way  . I have taken a few lessons ,

     I read  epic ski , then went  to the boot fitter and show him my bow legs , He said it's not bad ,  I could  overcome it with instruction ,

   I find it hard to keep my legs together , They always want to drift apart and I have to work at getting them together ,

  I assume the answer will be ... Go to another boot fitter , I am In Tacoma Washington if anyone knows one ,

    On the other hand , I need to face reality . I am 50 Years old . Won't ever race , But will ski 12  and sometimes 25 times depending on time money work etc .

   I have been an athlete  to a fairly high degree , I know what a sweet spot is in performance , It just seems hard to maintain and keep my legs close enough ,

    So Here is the Main part of this , [I only think ]  I know what I am talking about; I  have , Atomic Nomad Blackeye Ti . I find the sweet spot is where I am balanced with a little forward pressure on the boots , There is a masterful control point [for me ]  Probly not for a pro ...   Then it's like the ski's want to jump out and take off , I can feel the load unload, Kind of a Mild spring board effect on  the turn change , That is if I face down hill and let my hips and forward shin pressure curve the ski's . If I keep them carving and facing down hill I have speed control .. But I gain speed like the skis just want to rip ,Again I have skied about 150 times and thisis pretty freakin fast for me , Except on some GS skis I had wich went kinda straight ;

   As far as the Nomads :Then I skid out , Wind up turned side ways to the hill Start over . It seems the Nomads do not ski well on a slow speed , They have a sweet spot at what seems like 20 mph or maybe more ,

   Basically : Is this the character of the Nomads ?  stableize at a fair speed ? But feel kinda heavy and clunky , But on the other hand some what springy on the turns ?

IF I have this right , Can you guys chime in on how these can be mastered  a little quicker ,

  Part of my motive !  My 13 year old beats me , I am not ready for this yet ,

post #2 of 19

One of the best boot fitter's in the region is Jim Mates in Seattle. Well worth your time and trouble to talk to him about your boots/fit issues.


Skiing? Could be the arrow. Could be the Indian. Tough call without seeing any video.

post #3 of 19

MW, who told you that you have to keep your feet together? I have always been a "wide tracker" even in the old days before shaped skis (except in powder where it really helped to keep your feet together with skinny skis but is not as important now). Shaped skis work better with a wide stance.

post #4 of 19
About speed control, that is pretty classic issue. Don't let the skis do what they want, you control speed by varying the turn shape and frequency: go more across the slope, complete the turns, more short turns. Also, remember to mesh skidding and carving to control speed... Dont go all carve at full speed and then a big skid, use them in each turn or every few turns, to brush off speed.
post #5 of 19
Originally Posted by Mark Williams View Post
IF I have this right , Can you guys chime in on how these can be mastered  a little quicker ,

Get a second opinion from another boot fitter. If you have trouble balancing against the outside ski (e.g. tips diverge), you will probably progress faster if you get your boots adjusted for your bow leggedness.


Then post video.


Stance width should be "functional". This means about hip width or shoulder width apart for normal skiing and slightly closer for powder or bumps and slightly wider (when accounting for vertical separation) on steeper terrain or at faster speeds.


Stiffer skis are going to feel heavier and clunkier until you put enough load on them. But then you will need technique and tactics to handle their higher performance or else you will eat the dust of 13 year olds.

post #6 of 19

Take a private lesson.  Plenty of good instructors at Crystal, Snoqualmie, Stevens, and Baker.  (Disclaimer: I'm a member of PSIA-NW.)


Addressing your 2 issues:


-Feet drifting apart-

This can be caused by either unequal edge angles or by tip divergence combined with too much weight on the inside ski.  There's really no way to know which one is causing the issue without movement analysis.  You can post a video here or ski with a higher level instructor.  No amount of boot canting will fix diverging tips or having too much weight on the inside ski.


-Unable to control speed-

Not enough steering (rotary) movements to control speed throughout the turn.  You are relying too much on the sidecut of the skis resulting in an edge-lock carve which will send you down the mountain at a pretty good speed.  Reduce the edge angle and steer the skis into a round shorter radius turn.  Your skis are listed as 16m radius, so your turns will need to be tighter.


An instructor will be able to address both issues pretty quickly.  2 hr private lessons are ~$150 at the 4 resorts mentioned above.  The cost of the lesson may mean that you will ski one less day this season, but you'll enjoy all the other days way more.

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks , I did more of a semi skid  carve turn ,Which RAZI suggested ,Which made it so I didn't get going too fast and then Skid out and start over . So I was able to link turns at a controled speed for longer ,I was able to do it down triple 60 at snoqualmie , I maintained linked turns about 1/3 rd of the hill at a time  Which is a  black diamond . But not a hard black run  300 or 400 yds long . It was very fun finally doing it with out skidding out then starting over .no wipe outs ,

post #8 of 19

That's great.


There are slopes and snow conditions (crowded, fast snow, steeps etc) where you have to manage speed by skidding anyways smile.gif 


If you want to master the carve, I think there are two components to focus on next: confidence at speed and speed management.


If you don't build the confidence that you can carry the speed, you will back-off, both mentally (the brain freaks out and throws the skis sideways) and physically (you get back on the skis), both of which are not good.


Speed management in a carve is done by turn shape and position, you can play with these: stay forward on the skis throughout the turn, not just the beginning and make sure you complete the turns: stay forward on and with the skis until well after the fall line. As pressure builds, the skis will tighten the turn and as they cross the fall line, you will absorb some speed that way.


It is harder to do this with the 16m skis though- they like some speed and wider turns. This is great to practice with some 12m slaloms, if you can get a hold of some.


good luck.

post #9 of 19

sorry - missed the confidence building. that's tricky as well, as it may get you in trouble :) be smart about it.


i would go to a progression: back to blue runs for a bit: get carving, build some speed and manage it. as you get more comfortable with it, do it on bad snow.


also, hockey stops and such are a great tool to build confidence that you can stop whenever needed - they take some balance skills to do whenever and whatever, so try them every now and them: build a bit of speed and then throw a hockey stop. etc, 



post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks ,You must have taught a few people to ski .   You Describe my challenge , The faster I go the harder it is to stay forward and not skid out with the tails . I finally lcame to the conclusion  . at 50 years old . I don't need to push it like a teen ager , And just build my confidence at speed ,I find the balance point is right where I feel forward pressure on the shin and the middle of my foot , Then the turn seems to initiate best by pushing forward with the outside turn ski . And driving my knee toward the inside edge of the ski . For some reason  My 13 Yo Smokes me with the Kastle MX 88 s   .

post #11 of 19
A couple things to consider...

...you and your child will ski at the same level for maybe one day. After that you will never catch them again. As it should be.

...tip pressure can make the tail wash. So too much is actually an error. Especially as you flex and steer through the end of the turn. If you are already aft it just adds pressure and the snow shears. The solution is to stay open to the idea of just right. For some turns that is forward, for others it could be well aft.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Yep Its hard to expect , Briefly   ... My athletic back ground  , KOed Louie Beneviedez under world champ Phelipe Garcia . Hard to be such an easy win for my 13 YO , I thinks I could at least put up a better contest , Things are getting better .Still recovering from ACL/Meniscus surgery , So My knee is not back .I am afraid to rely on it ,

  I still think I am tough at 50 . And I'm Not letting him Get away with leaving me in the dust like that ,.All In good fun .I have been getting rapidly better and able to depend on the knee

 At any rate , I fully understand the edge grip turn completion ,I at times feel a bit of lively spring action on the turn completion /Change , And sort of a weghtless split second , Then lay in the turn the other way ,  I did try to mimick the  Pro video Thats on one of the threads here , I noticed ...  If I tuck the outside turn knee in a little like the vid , There is a very substantial difference in edge grip ,[ Almost ]enough to upset balance , What can be said about playing with this edge angle ?

post #13 of 19

Mark, congrats on starting serious skiing at age 50.  It can be done!

Some words about keeping up with your 13 YO son by learning to carve .....


You need to be able to abort at any speed, should some 5 YO shoot out in front of you, or some wobbly intermediate fall in your line.

With speed comes responsibility.  So as you gain skill at carving on that outside ski and getting up the speed your kids likes, make sure you know how to stop or change direction immediately at that speed.  (He should be able to do this too.)  


Step one:  Choose a lane to ski in.  Look ahead and envision the imaginary lane you are going to be traveling in, so you can locate possible human obstacles moving into your line ahead.  You will need to avoid them; the rule is that they have the right of way, and skiers approaching from behind must yield to them.  Envision the line ahead, or envision an imaginary lane you'll travel in, all the way to the bottom of the trail.  Then ski it.  Practice practice practice.


Step two:  Learn to make hockey stops at any speed.  Hockey stops at your maximum speed are a must.  Practice, practice, practice.  Your hockey stops need to be travel downhill in a straight line, not off to the right nor left, and need to end in a full stop.  This is your emergency stop.  It's fun to see who can spray the most snow, you or your son, as you hockey stop down the hill.


Step three:  Learn to steer short turns.  You need to be able to veer out of the way of an unexpected skier ahead.  This is your "abort" tactic.  Learn to reduce the radius of your carved turns down to short turns quickly.  This requires loosening the edge-lock to a smear and rotating the skis around while they skid in a narrow track.  This is "steering" your turns, the alternative to carving.  So, you need to know how to steer short and medium radius turns at will.  


A good practice for this is to ski a funnel.  Start with long radius carved turns; progressively reduce the radius to a short steered turn, then progressively enlarge the radius back up to long radius carved turns.  Do this practice on a wide empty slope.  Then practice shifting from a long radius carve to a medium radius steered turn quickly. Practice, practice, practice.  A good game to play while skiing together:  who can reduce the radius faster without wiping out, you or your son?


There is such a thing as a dangerous carver.  That's someone with the skills to go fast but not the skills to change direction on a dime or make an emergency stop.  Colliding with another skier can result in tragedy.  I encourage you to work on these three skills as you work on skiing fast.


Enjoy these ski days when you can ski together with your 13 YO.  But I suspect he will leave you behind anyway.  That's what usually happens.    

post #14 of 19



I am 10 years younger, but it's not a lot easier to contort my body into what it needs to do for some level of 'performance skiing'. It takes a few weeks at the beginning of the season for the pain to subside and the muscles to start cooperating, especially since I'm not particularly athletic eek.gif


To keep up with the kid is probably impossible, eh? My 12 year old is now much better skier than I and smokes me down any course and looks much better in free skiing. I became a coach just to keep up with them and enjoy these years - maybe that's a choice you can contemplate as well, if you have enough time and resources to put into this? Becoming a coach will get you some training hard to get otherwise...


No - I don't coach a lot of people, just some crazy 8-12 year olds in a small racing club. But I have fairly recently learned to ski by myself as well, so I still remember what you are going through :).


One word of caution on the hockey stops: the higher the speed, the higher the effort to stop - be smart about it. You don't always have to come to a complete stop from high speeds. Also, these speeds - unless on a clear run with good snow and proper skis (GS stiff boards that can be really stable at high speeds) I do keep my speed in check as well. Cranking the short turns is mucho fun!




post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

seems to be confirmed that he is going to stay in the lead ,

post #16 of 19

Well, yes.  Time to find another ski companion.  Let the kid go out on his own.

post #17 of 19

Nah nah nah - hell, no - we'll at least strive to give them a run for their moneys, eh? duel.gif

post #18 of 19
Originally Posted by Mark Williams View Post

seems to be confirmed that he is going to stay in the lead ,

You could blame it on good genes. 50 YOs have one huge advantage over 13YOs: they can usually focus on a goal better. You may have to work harder to progress than they do, but that does not mean that they will work hard enough to stay ahead of you.

post #19 of 19

Celebrate his success and he will want to ski with you for many years to come. If you want to compete, then do so against men your age. I'm sure there is a masters race league near you. It's a lot of fun and is a great way to improve.

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