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Open invitation to comment on my skiing

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Here you go

post #2 of 21
Whoops!!!

I'm guessing the flub at the end resulted from your tendency to rely mostly on the outside ski of each turn rather than keeping your weight more evenly distributed between both skis in that condition. Thanks for posting!

You might find it easier to keep a more even weighting if you moved more into the turn with your extension instead of moving mostly upward. The move into the turn would get the skis banked up in the snow.
post #3 of 21

Nice skiing! It sure gets more challenging when the snow gets deep. And there were a lot of good elements to your turns.  

 

I notice you're initiating your turns with a big bounce and a hip check, which introduces some rotation. That tactic works. That said, I feel you would get more performance by thinking about making your platform underfoot more mobile - by sliding that platform forward and backward underfoot and actively driving that platform through the snow. Really though, you were fun to watch! I wish I could have skied there!

 

Also, that coach with the camera needs to get more positive--and just let you enjoy the run while you're on video! It looked like fantastic conditions out there!

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks much, for the comments guys.  I really appreciate the input.   What a great bunch of folks to commune with from out in cyber land.  This vid is from Campbell Basin, Crystal Mountain, Washington, PSIA-NW USA!!!  My home mountain, I am proud to say.

post #5 of 21
Nice work! Very smooth transitions and just fun to watch. Agree with the comment on the instructor...no need for him to be yelling as you're going down the mountain. More of a distraction than being helpful.
post #6 of 21

You have a nice round turn shape, a consistent rhythm, and a pretty well timed pole plant that I like and that i think you should keep.  I would focus first on your directional movement down the hill into the turn.  Vision, body, and pole swing should face/move in the direction of the next turn.  As Kneale said, you release mostly up.  I would try to make your release more for-agnonal.  Your pole swing is timed pretty well.  Change the direction that your pole moves so that it is tracking straight towards the apex of your next turn.  Right now your swing is arcing around and introducing upper body rotation that continues through your completion phase.  The pole swing should time your edge release and you should follow your pole into the turn with the rest of your body.  Move your CM forward and across the skis into the turn in the same direction as the pole swing.  You can facilitate this by facing down the hill and maintaining your counter/anticipation between your upper and lower halves through the completion phase of the old turn.  You currently rotate your body at the end of the turn so that your body follows your skis around.  Holding your upper body facing more down the hill and ready to release directionally into the turn will help you with your angulation and lateral balance as well as the primary focus of generating rotational movements from your lower half.  In this segment, you were dropping your inside hand and shoulder during turn completion and banking to the inside a bit killing your anticipation.  You do this more on your left turn.  I disagree with Kneale about you using your outside ski too much.  I think you are on your inside too much although I agree with Kneale that in those conditions it's generally better to use more pressure on the inside than you might on a harder snow surface.  I also don't like Kneales choice of words about "getting the skis banked up in the snow".  I think it could be more accurately stated as development of more effective edging and pressure early in the turn.  When I hear the word "bank" in skiing, I think of whole body tipping to the inside or inclination without angulation.  Tactically, I would hold onto the round turn shape, but finish your turn a bit sooner to maintain more momentum into the next turn.  That is probably why the videographer was yelling "don't finish".  

post #7 of 21

Open the hips to the hill. All else will follow, and rotation/heel pushing at the finish will fade into memory... and you'll get the 'tall' your instructor is calling for. smile.gif  And what TPJ sed.

post #8 of 21

Sweet snow! I really like the rhythm and the powerful + smooth guiding of the skis through the bottom half of the turn. There are many skiers who would be ecstatic to be skiing like this. Unfortunately, I agree with the thought process of the coach/videographer (and agree with the negative feedback comment above). We have to realize that this is a steep run and that speed control is an issue. But I'd still like to see you take a line where you go faster, turn more often and get less sideways to the pitch. Is that a more positive way to say "don't finish!"? 

 

You are finishing your left turns with less counter than your right turn finish. Starting the right turns with less counter is gong to cause you to lean too much to the inside and lose the balance against the outside ski. This is more of a problem in powder where we want our weight closer to 50-50 than 10-90 (outside weighted). If we're at 40-60 and we don't counter it's going to be a lot easier to lean into a 60-40 relationship and lose the ability to shift weight back onto that outside foot when the snow snakes grab a ski. Look at the right turn at 6-8 seconds. When you start the turn, you are all the way across the fall line, your uphill hand has fallen back to your side (disappeared from view) and you are square to your skis. We want to see that hand leading at this point and your shoulders pointing more down the hill. At 7 seconds when you are in the fall line, we want to see the shoulders square to the hill. But your right side is leading and your hips and shoulders are facing the outside of the turn instead. At this point there is excess weight on the inside ski and the outside ski can't help if there is trouble. You can imagine the same crash at the end of the clip happening here. You can ski this line more successfully by using counter more effectively, but no one can make that kind of change to their skiing in mid run.

 

If you don't finish your turns as much (er, take a narrower line), you are naturally going to keep your shoulders in the fall line more and this lack of steering into counter is going to be less of a problem. It's still not easy. Brain is yelling pretty loudly that you need to slow down and feet are pretty adamant that foot to snow communication has a serious delayed reaction problem. Bouncing for turn initiation is going to limit how many turns you can get in so we have a serious catch 22 problem here. You're not going to be able to stay high enough in the snow to reduce bounce and get more turns in until you go faster and brain won't let you go faster until you get more speed control (either by making more turns or turning more out of the fall line - oops). The easy way out of this dilemma is to yell either internally (you yelling at yourself) or externally (coach yelling) to over ride the brain. Sometimes this actually works. With enough persistence this approach eventually works for most people. The hard way is so much more work that almost everyone tries the easy way first.

 

I'm interested in what the coach meant by "tall sides". If tall sides means to angulate more, this is not going to work without more effective countering. I don't know how you can "stay tall" with the bouncing that is going on. I don't see how fighting collapsing at the waist is going to be productive here.  This approach seems more like fighting the symptoms instead of addressing the root cause.

post #9 of 21
Wow. And here I thought golf instruction was so technical! Great input... just never sure how one digests so much technical information.
post #10 of 21
Quote:

 

I'm interested in what the coach meant by "tall sides". If tall sides means to angulate more, this is not going to work without more effective countering. I don't know how you can "stay tall" with the bouncing that is going on. I don't see how fighting collapsing at the waist is going to be productive here.  This approach seems more like fighting the symptoms instead of addressing the root cause.

 

 

Rusty, he's getting great instruction. I'm reluctant to provide the context that the OP would be better off providing, but it's really about skiing with a long/tall inside. PNW skiers are habitual squatters.. maybe a vestige of skinny skis in heavy snow and the amount of generally steep terrain we have, but the general idea is to lengthen (more vertical femur), not give up 'height', and ski effectively from the feet up balanced over our outside ski. That's a small nutshell, but the Snowperformance crew is a first rate coaching organization. Hopefully, the OP can elaborate on the 'desired outcome' of his session.

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

The coach is yelling "tall thoughts," in an attempt to get me to avoid collapsing into a heavy finish - hence the additional comment, "don't finish, don't finish."  The focus this day was on moving with the skis, developing 'flow' as opposed to skiing finish to finish.  I really appreciate the deep thinking going on here.  I appreciate hearing consistent comments put many different ways - that is invaluable to me as an instructor.  It is like being able to chat in the locker room with the best in the business!

 

I am intrigued with Rusty's comment about differing degrees of counter in left and right turns.  I shattered my left ankle ten (or more) years ago and my flexibility there is notably less than on the right. I wonder if that is playing a role here?  I may be subconsciously babying that ankle. 

post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by molesaver View Post

The coach is yelling "tall thoughts," in an attempt to get me to avoid collapsing into a heavy finish - hence the additional comment, "don't finish, don't finish."  The focus this day was on moving with the skis, developing 'flow' as opposed to skiing finish to finish.  I really appreciate the deep thinking going on here.  I appreciate hearing consistent comments put many different ways - that is invaluable to me as an instructor.  It is like being able to chat in the locker room with the best in the business!

 

I am intrigued with Rusty's comment about differing degrees of counter in left and right turns.  I shattered my left ankle ten (or more) years ago and my flexibility there is notably less than on the right. I wonder if that is playing a role here?  I may be subconsciously babying that ankle. 

 

I thought I noticed the same thing... the result are closed hips and a small sequential stutter in transition to your 'left to right' turn at times. 

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by molesaver View Post

The coach is yelling "tall thoughts," in an attempt to get me to avoid collapsing into a heavy finish - hence the additional comment, "don't finish, don't finish."  The focus this day was on moving with the skis, developing 'flow' as opposed to skiing finish to finish.  I really appreciate the deep thinking going on here.  I appreciate hearing consistent comments put many different ways - that is invaluable to me as an instructor.  It is like being able to chat in the locker room with the best in the business!

 

I am intrigued with Rusty's comment about differing degrees of counter in left and right turns.  I shattered my left ankle ten (or more) years ago and my flexibility there is notably less than on the right. I wonder if that is playing a role here?  I may be subconsciously babying that ankle. 

Here's my point - what goes up must come down. If you come down with the skis turning out of the fall line as you enter the snow (and you are doing this extremely well - in lighter snow this is an absolutely delightful technique), you are not only going to come down, but you are going to slow down as you come down. That means you are going to go down into the snow more. Whether you collapse on landing with a waist hinge or suck your knees to your chest is a moot point. Once started, that turning has momentum and there's a lot of landing that has to be absorbed. Once you enter the snow with your skis turning like this "tall thoughts" and "don't finish" are useless. "Don't finish" needs to be thought before the ski tips enter the snow. I'm basically arguing about the timing of the advice. 

 

The flow comment is absolutely spot on. There's a zen moment when one finds just the right speed and turn shape to maintain a consistent altitude in the snow pack and a constant speed at every point in your turns. At that point you're not turning any more. It's more like hanging underneath a parachute floating down the mountain. Your legs do turn underneath you, but not under conscious control. You don't need a great ankle to get there.

 

If anything, the powder should make the ankle less of a factor. But if you've adapted your groomed run skiing to shift weight on your right turns to the inside ski to reduce weight on that left ankle, that habit will show up in your powder skiing. Countering is going to enable loading more weight on the outside foot. If this is the case and since you are skiing on the ankle, you should be training to make it be the best it can be. I recommend a balance board and drills to go from one side to balanced to the other side with both feet and with just one foot (and 2x-3x reps on the left vs right foot). Do the lean-balance-lean moves both fore/aft and laterally. When you can stick the move to the centered balance position advance to doing it with your eyes closed. If you have difficulty, use a hand against a wall to enable holding the balanced position, then gradually reduce support to just one finger. Regardless of what percentage the ankle can function at now, you need to ski with a technique that takes advantage of what the ankle can do as opposed to skiing consciously or unconsciously with a technique that defensively protects it. If you drill with a balance board you will teach your brain what can be safely supported.

 

On snow, you can test your ankle with the tug of war drill. Stand with your skis across the fall line (left ski low for you) and have someone stand (preferably with skis off, but I do it with skis on) downhill from you. Put both your poles together and you grab the pointy ends with both hands while they hold the grip ends with both hands. Experiment with different body positions to feel how much force it takes for the helper to pull you down the hill and discover what your ankle is capable of. With skis close together, flat on the snow and no counter, it's easy. When you get a shoulder width stance, countered position and high edge angles supported by an angulated body position into the hill you should feel more power grip in the snow with your left ski and you should be able to easily lift the right ski off the snow. The closer you can get your hip to the snow, the more you can test the strength and flexibility of the ankle.

post #14 of 21

Okay, this is totally tangential (see my sig) but I have watched this thing about three times now on different days, and I gotta say that for someone here in the dark, damp, overcast, alternately frigid and melting (but once again nearly stormless, after a good December) East, the ski porn aspects of your clip completely overwhelm my ability to think about your skiing (which is quite nice, btw, in my amateur view). All that goes through my head when I look at that snow and that terrain and that high quality light  is, "Serioiusly? This guy was using that run to get coaching? A run that in my 45 years of skiing would probably be in my top five lifetime ski experiences?" Sheesh, you guys are so spoiled out there. Watching you ski that slope in those conditions with a coach shouting at you is like watching someone drink '82 Lafite out of a styrofoam cup while driving a car and attending a business meeting on his cell phone.

post #15 of 21

Qc,

 

Love the analogy, but you need to get out more. That run and snow is nice, maybe even "epic" for a tourist but it's no 82 Lafite. Over the course of a season, this is pretty normal for many Western resorts.

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
[snip] Over the course of a season, this is pretty normal for many Western resorts.

 

Except when I'm there. rolleyes.gif

post #17 of 21

That's why I started to take 2+ week long vacations (alas before I started teaching). This greatly increases the tourist's chance of an epic day. Going to off beat places like Wolf Creek or Grand Targhee helps as does scheduling trips to resorts during high probability for a dump period (e.g. CO in early April). If you can swing it, a last minute trip to fly/travel into the path of a big one, backcountry hiking and heli/cat trips are the only guaranteed ways for a tourist to get the goods.

post #18 of 21

TPJ and TheRusty have some great comments, IMHO.

 

It's a lot to think about, though, when you're dealing with what looks like could be some pretty dense snow. The conditions might be a bit challenging.

 

So, in the interest of keeping it simple, I might suggest you do less. You have a significant up-unweight that you don't need. On some turns, you have a step you don't need. And, as TPJ says, you're following your skis with your upper body a lot more than you need to. All of this makes it difficult for you to initiate the next turn.

 

Even in this stuff, flattening your skis to release, just like you do on the groom, will get you there. They will release, allowing you to guide your tips down the hill, even though they're buried.

 

Without the pop, you'll also eliminate the sink and recovery afterwards, which will allow you to initiate the next turn sooner and more easily. You'll have solid pressure control on your skis from the top of the turn.

 

The caveat, of course, is that without the up-unweight, you might feel like you can't get the skis back across the fall line as quickly as you would like on a slope this steep.

 

There is a certain amount of truth to that. These conditions make application of rotary a more technical exercise, unless you're smearing a pair of big rockers. Still, even if you're on a pair of old-school conventional skis (i.e., conventional camber and sidecut), tipping them and bending them works just as well as it does on the groom. The mechanics are a bit different - you build up snow across the entire base of the ski rather than just using edge engagement, but the ski still bends, and the resulting shape can give you a pretty small turn. Notice how, in the bottom half of your turns, the angle and pressure as you sink down on your skis causes them to come right around, even though they're deep in the snow. As TPJ says, more effective edging and pressure early in the turn will allow your skis to do that right from the top of the turn. Letting the skis rotate while your upper body doesn't (as much, anyway) also contributes to both finishing the current turn (giving you a line that provides speed control) and starting the next one. You don't have to sling your upper body mass around or up and down nearly as much.

 

Do less. Find a comfortable slope and practice powder and crud turns where you don't bother hauling the skis out of the snow. Tip the skis (not the whole body - we're not talking banking here), use the "for-agonal" movement, and wait. They'll turn. Soon, you'll be able to pressure them early, and your turns will tighten up. And if you're standing on them taller and facing a bit more down the hill rather than recovering from the last up-unweight, you'll be ready to move downhill into the next turn - with less effort.

 

Well, I see I've gone on too long. Again.

post #19 of 21

Seems like all the work is being done well after the fall line. Two big issues make that necessary. Let's start with the big up move. It helps us release the prior turn but why it is necessary needs to be examined. Releasing that old turn this way is necesary when we fail to establish the new edge platform earlier in the turn. A second issue is arresting the big rotational momentum introduced along with the big up move. A strong edge platform does this but again when we do all of this during the last third of the turn we are working at crossed purposes. Simply stated the last third of a turn is when we need to be transitioning towards the release, not trying to establish the new edge platform.

 

The solution is to think about where you project the body through the transition, if that is somewhere around the start of the second third of the turn you have the opportunity to begin shaping that new turn prior to entering the fall line. When you wait until the last third of the turns to establish edge purchase, that opportunity is lost.

post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 

Shout out to qcanoe - There aren't any 'resorts' in the state of Washington, just locals area.  The one you see in this clip is Crystal Mountain.  It is a pretty awesome hill.  There is a LITTLE lodging on the hill but nothing like a village.  A vacation to this western resort would be relatively cheap.  C'mon out!  Drop me a line and I'll be happy to show you around.  Whistler is a five hour drive up the road.  Check that out while you are on the west coast.

post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Seems like all the work is being done well after the fall line. Two big issues make that necessary. Let's start with the big up move. It helps us release the prior turn but why it is necessary needs to be examined. Releasing that old turn this way is necesary when we fail to establish the new edge platform earlier in the turn. A second issue is arresting the big rotational momentum introduced along with the big up move. A strong edge platform does this but again when we do all of this during the last third of the turn we are working at crossed purposes. Simply stated the last third of a turn is when we need to be transitioning towards the release, not trying to establish the new edge platform.

 

The solution is to think about where you project the body through the transition, if that is somewhere around the start of the second third of the turn you have the opportunity to begin shaping that new turn prior to entering the fall line. When you wait until the last third of the turns to establish edge purchase, that opportunity is lost.

When you couple the whole outside of your body using hip and shoulder  rotation to power your pivot it creates the need to do the same as your hip has lost it's focus into your next turn.  Consider not allowing your hips to square with your skiis perpindicular to the fall line  leaving a diagonal focus towards the apex of the new turn using instead a bit of anticipation to power a more subtle move into the fall line. Allow for and develop more separation of your upper and lower body. A nicer flow from turn to turn will develop as a result of this. The  coupling of the outside segments  you are using is a powerful rotational force but must be used with discretion with a lessor range of hip rotation and is probably not necessary in the snow your were skiing if it wasn't heavy.

The other obvious needs would be to add more angulation to use less inclination to balance through the turn and especially it's finish 

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