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Heel push, windshield wiper turns and pivots

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

1.Regarding terminology, are they the same thing?

 

2. Reading MA posts, I got the impression that heel push and windshield wiper turns are considered undesirable or "low performance". Is that right?

 

Below is a clip of pivot slips (very skillfully done, I think). What skills does this drill teach an intermediate skier?

 

 

I mostly try to carve (but end up drifting) and have subscribed to the idea that pivoting, which I take it as rotating the legs and skis, is something to avoid; you do it when you have to, when the line is too tight or when a more abrupt change of direction is wanted. But recently someone here, whose posts convince me that he knows a lot about skiing and the mechanics of skiing and is not shy in calling out BS, indicated that pivot slip drill is an important one. Do instructors and race coaches still teach this drill? If so, why and how do you motivate your students to do it (how it benefits their skiing)?

 

I am aware that pivoting is considered a dead end by some and that there have been heated arguments in the past. But I am encouraged by recent threads that this time we may have a more objective and logical discussion.

post #2 of 33

Pivotslips are a way to teach "good pivoting".

 

There are lots of ways of getting the ski to "pivot".  However there is really only 1 way that doesnt cause all kinds of other problems.

 

Good pivoting is "good" because:

 

  1. it doesnt throw our rotational balance out of whack;
  2. it enables us to turn that skid we just created into a pure carve at any time we want.

 

 

Good pivoting is achieved by:

 

  1. rotating the femurs in the hip sockets; and,
  2. the key to it all..is to ensure the "pivot point" (ie the point the ski turns around) is under our feet. 

 

The result of this, is a stable and quiet upper body, and a "skid" that can be turned into a pure carve at anytime.

 

 

With pivot slips, you can really see if your pivot point is under your foot....or somewhere else.  You can also see if your upper body is stable or not.  Heel pushers or windshield wipers may have a stable upper body, and are rotating their femurs in the hips sockes...BUT they have their pivot points way forward....sometimes as far forward as the ski tip!  It is impossible to turn this skid into a carve....thus they are stuck in skidding plateu....also known as the "terminal intermediate".

 

Do race coaches teach this?  Yes!  Do they call it "pivoting" or do "pivot slips"?  Depends on the level of racers, but generally no.  In racing, "pivoting" often sits under the umbrella of "stance and balance" under the sub-headings of "rotational balance" and "fore/aft balance" and to a lesser extent "lateral balance"...between these two/three things, you cover "pivoting"....exactley same idea, theory etc....just thought of/expressed in a different way.

 

 

So why teach it? 

 

It enables skiers to control their line and speed....yet still carve the last 1/3,1/2,7/8, etc etc of the turn as the situation enables.  Ironically, those who cant carve....its usually because they cant pivot.

post #3 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckT View Post

I mostly try to carve (but end up drifting) and have subscribed to the idea that pivoting, which I take it as rotating the legs and skis, is something to avoid; you do it when you have to, when the line is too tight or when a more abrupt change of direction is wanted. But recently someone here, whose posts convince me that he knows a lot about skiing and the mechanics of skiing and is not shy in calling out BS, indicated that pivot slip drill is an important one. Do instructors and race coaches still teach this drill? If so, why and how do you motivate your students to do it (how it benefits their skiing)?

 

I am aware that pivoting is considered a dead end by some and that there have been heated arguments in the past. But I am encouraged by recent threads that this time we may have a more objective and logical discussion.

 

I'd like to add my own chunk of experience as a skier who moved from historically skiing either pivoted or edged turns, to focusing on purely carved minimally dynamic turns last year, to finally developing a more advanced, dynamic turn earlier this year... 

 

Pivoting is a necessary component of steering. Yeah, you can ski around riding the rails on green/blue groomers and have a blast. But what if you want to move to steeper terrain and make a tighter arc than the radius of your ski? To do so while maintaining a carve, one would steer the ski (by adding pivot) to create bend throughout the ski. Steering (and consequently, edging and pivoting) is a fundamental component of expert skiing. 

 

Check out the CSIA level 4 standards - start at 00:30 for a good example of steering in short radius turns. Notice there's no heel pushing or skidding. You can also see steering at the 01:30 expert parallel section. 

 

post #4 of 33
i think its also important to consider ones weighting in regards to pivoting...not just fore/aft, but also inside/outside. for instance, you can sideslip by simply leaning in on the uphill ski and sideslip on your edges, or you can move your body over the outside ski and "roll them flat". only one is "the proper way" that will lead to femur rotation/upper lower separation...

zenny
post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks much for the detailed info for me to think about it while skiing today
post #6 of 33
We call it sideslipping and we do it with the kids (race program/coach). The pivoting part is not emphasized. I sometimes start the day with a quick slip, to get a feel for the snow and warm up my upper body.

It's for balance fore/aft, upper/lower body separation, active counter-rotation and also edging skills. Don't forget to keep the body facing down.

Some coaches also occasionally like to do some skid/carve progressions. Pivoting is never really taught as such, rather the concept of "steering" is used, as a blur between carving and just getting the skis pointed the right way. I figure there is no emphasis on teaching it as the brain just makes it up when needed anyways.

Windshield wipers have nothing to do with pivoting - quite the contrary. It's a quick switching of the edges with the focus on keeping the shins parallel... Almost by definition carved then... Although i can see a skidded version of it on a steep slope.

(Edit) i do remember doing a few pivoting drills with the smallest age groups, like "who can do the most turns to the bottom" kind of thing, last year. Strong core is a must for good skiing.
Edited by razie - 2/24/13 at 2:44pm
post #7 of 33
As for heel push, never heard of it - but i have no instruction background.

I would say that essentially is how you cause the skis to skid as opposed to carving. It really is a blend of fore/aft balance and edging to control a skid/ carve.

For instance, when i do the penguin drill you know, at those extreme angles, in most snow conditions, it is more of a controlled skid. The edges rarely feel "locked". Too many things have to be timed perfectly for that, for my current skill level, at those extremes... And i usually end up with a bit of weight on my inside ski, enough to rob some edge grip from the other one frown.gif
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by razie View Post

As for heel push, never heard of it - but i have no instruction background.
frown.gif

It's called wedeln.
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 

I had a great time skiing this weekend and got to experiment with a few things to test my understanding. I finally experienced edge-locked carving, but only on mellow groomers at speeds much slower than I usually skied there. It was a quite a revelation to me that I had never carved an edge-locked turn in my life before. For this discussion, I would like to use the term "carve" loosely as a sort of tail following tip skiing as shown in my video in the MA thread. I am still not clear on how the pivot slips drill can improve my skiing

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Pivotslips are a way to teach "good pivoting".

 

There are lots of ways of getting the ski to "pivot".  However there is really only 1 way that doesnt cause all kinds of other problems.

 

Good pivoting is "good" because:

 

  1. it doesnt throw our rotational balance out of whack;
  2. it enables us to turn that skid we just created into a pure carve at any time we want.

 

This would be a dream ability for me. Whenever I skid big (direction of travel 90 degrees or so to the skis), my turn is lost. I have to let the skidding slow me down before I can carve again. I don't purposely skid (except to bake). It occurs when I can't prevent it. The skis are already on edge and the speed is high (too high). In contrast, the pivot slips as shown in the clip above appear to be done at a low speed with the skis relatively flat. I don't see how the drill to turn the flat skis under the feet helps skiing steep, icy slopes (relatively speaking of course) where skidding is most likely to happen.

 

 

Good pivoting is achieved by:

 

  1. rotating the femurs in the hip sockets; and,
  2. the key to it all..is to ensure the "pivot point" (ie the point the ski turns around) is under our feet. 

 

The result of this, is a stable and quiet upper body, and a "skid" that can be turned into a pure carve at anytime.

 

I suppose what Raich did at 0:14 in this clip is a very good pivot. I can't see the similarity or connection between his movement and the pivot slips.

 

With pivot slips, you can really see if your pivot point is under your foot....or somewhere else.  You can also see if your upper body is stable or not.  Heel pushers or windshield wipers may have a stable upper body, and are rotating their femurs in the hips sockes...BUT they have their pivot points way forward....sometimes as far forward as the ski tip!  It is impossible to turn this skid into a carve....thus they are stuck in skidding plateu....also known as the "terminal intermediate".

 

Do race coaches teach this?  Yes!  Do they call it "pivoting" or do "pivot slips"?  Depends on the level of racers, but generally no.  In racing, "pivoting" often sits under the umbrella of "stance and balance" under the sub-headings of "rotational balance" and "fore/aft balance" and to a lesser extent "lateral balance"...between these two/three things, you cover "pivoting"....exactley same idea, theory etc....just thought of/expressed in a different way.

 

I understand pivoting is an integral part of good skiing, no confusion there for me. But when you teach the pivot slips, you are asking the student to rotate the skis a lot ( up to 180 degrees in the clip) when they are at low angle. Isn't this very different from what you do when you ski? To my inexperienced eyes, the awesome skiers in Metaphor's clip show nothing that indicate they needed to spend time doing the pivot slips to be able to ski like that.  Can rotational balance and fore/aft balance be developed more effectively with other drills that are closer to real skiing than the pivot slips?

 

So why teach it? 

 

It enables skiers to control their line and speed....yet still carve the last 1/3,1/2,7/8, etc etc of the turn as the situation enables.  Ironically, those who cant carve....its usually because they cant pivot.

I can't do a lot of drills well or at all, like the penguin thing, but I can see why they are related and good for my (or anyone's) actual skiing. The pivot slips, I just can't see it.

 

I skied one of the Avy Chutes in Mammoth a few times this weekend. It steepness is at the edge of my comfort zone (maybe a bit over). I noticed that I had to be conscious of keeping my body facing down and hands forward or else my body rotated into the turn (loss of rotational balance?) and created problems linking the next turn. When I skied it well, my skis went edge to edge with undoubtedly a lot of subconscious pivoting and with very little time being flat or released. I just can't imagine any movement of the pivot slips will help me ski it better; I wouldn't dare releasing slowly or rotating the skis at a low edge angle.

 

While I see clearly the benefits or even necessities of the skills Skidude laid out, I don't see how you achieve them by doing the pivot slips. 

 

Watching beginners, I can see they turn with the whole body. (I remember not too many years ago I frequently got into trouble overturning the whole body.) For them, the pivot slips probably help in some learning progression, but only for low level skiers. Would that be an accurate statement?

post #10 of 33

ChuckT, have you tried to do pivot slips yet?  If you've tried, were you successful, or did you find them difficult?

 

Getting the pivot slips to work (you travel straight down the fall line at constant speed, not traveling right nor left but straight down, not falling on your face either) is very tricky.

 

To do them, you face down the hill with your hips and shoulders, while you rotate your femurs in your hip sockets.  Learning to do this helps people uncouple the upper body from the lower body.  It's worth learning to do, because rotating those legs independently of the upper body will help you maintain your balance as you ski.  If you can't face down the hill with your upper body as your legs turn left and right, you will travel left and right, and the pivot slip fails.  The drill tells you immediately if you are moving your legs independently of your upper body.

 

However, just doing that won't get you an effective pivot slip.  There are a bunch of other things you have to do or your pivot slips will not work.  

 

You have to stay balanced in the right spot above your skis.  If you have your COM behind and uphill of your skis, you'll travel left and right ... another reason for a failed pivot slip.  You have to keep your COM moving down the hill along with your skis rather than doing a rocking horse thing with your upper body, alternately leaning back into the hill and then lunging forward over the skis.  If you do that your travel won't be smooth and you won't be able to maintain a constant speed ... failed pivot slip.  Maintaining a smooth movement of the COM down the hill over the skis is important to skiing in general.  It's worth learning.  Trying pivot slips will tell you immediately if you are doing it successfully or not.

 

With pivot slips you have to manage the movement of that inside ski so it doesn't get hooked up and in the way, blocking the general pivoting of both feet.  If the inside ski gets in the way, you travel right or left ... failed pivot slip.  Learning to manage that inside ski is very important for all skiing; it works the same way in pivot slips as it does in other turns.  Pivot slips will inform you if you've got that down or not.  

 

For a successful pivot slip, you need to be able to maintain just enough edge angle between the skis and the snow to provide enough grip so you slip down the hill at constant speed without making a face plant.   When you can do this, you are successfully making fine manipulations of your edge angles.  That's worth a million smiles when skiing.  Pivot slips will let you know if you are in charge, or if you are sloppy with manipulating your edge angles.  

 

Being able to release the skis and pivot them in sych with each other without any jerky moves is a fine motor skill you can take to all your turns on the hill.  If you can't do that in a pivot slip, you travel left or right ... failed pivot slip!  When you can do it, voila you have successful pivot slips going straight down the hill.  Being able to make a clean release is essential if you want subtle control over your skiing at any speed and on any terrain.  Learn it while making pivot slips, and you've got it in your tool bag.  

 

Also, just for fun, if you want to do flat 360s then pivot slips get you 1/4 of the way around.

post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckT View Post

Watching beginners, I can see they turn with the whole body. (I remember not too many years ago I frequently got into trouble overturning the whole body.) For them, the pivot slips probably help in some learning progression, but only for low level skiers. Would that be an accurate statement?

 

Nope. 

 

If you want to create high performance turns at an advanced/expert level, you need to be effective at pivoting as well as putting the ski on edge. If you just put a ski on edge, you're riding the rails, which isn't versatile. If you add pivoting while the ski is on edge, you're arcing the ski into a tighter turn radius. Pivot slips allow you to focus on the pivoting part of the equation. Pivot slips aren't a way to freeski, so after some pivot slip practice, do a half of a run in pivot slips then blend pivoting back into regular turns. I tend to think of my "fast feet" being more effective after pivot slips. 

 

Also, now that you're beginning to play with locked carves, I'd suggest railroad tracks as another good reinforcer. But as you do those railroad tracks and start picking up speed, start adding a pivot--at the top of the turn, as you put the skis on edge, think about arcing the skis around in the snow. you'll be able to tighten up those railroad tracks into a shorter radius turn. 

 

Regarding the level 4 standards video clip and how you can tell there's pivoting: the skiers don't have a short enough turn radius to ride the rails of their skis into short radius turns. They have to add pivoting to edging to bend the ski into those tight arcs. 


Edited by Metaphor_ - 2/25/13 at 3:08pm
post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

ChuckT, have you tried to do pivot slips yet?  If you've tried, were you successful, or did you find them difficult?

 

Yes, I have tried doing pivot slips after seeing that clip from RM-PSIA. They are surprisingly difficult for me. Side slipping by releasing and re-enagaging edges is no problem, but pivoting while sliding smoothly as demoed is not something I can do with a few attempts so far. Normally, I would take this as a sign that this is an indication of missing or insufficient skills. However, there are a few reasons making me hesitant to spend time on pivot slips. One, I am honestly influenced by a certain ski guru who thinks pivot slips are a waste of time. Two, I can't see the connection in the movements of the drill and the dynamic skiing I am aspired to. (But skiing has a lot of technical subtleties that my eyes may not recognize, and therefore I started this thread.) Three, I think $100+ lift ticket is too expensive to do anything tedious unless the payback is very good.

 

I don't think I need to explain the first or third reason. As for the second one, I want to understand the movements, not just the goals, so that I can apply in my skiing. Otherwise, they would be like practicing the butterfly stroke: a difficult and worthwhile skill in its own way, but no use for my skiing. Now you have told me the skills needed to do pivot slips successfully and the reason for failed pivot slips, I will try them again next time. I believe those are skills a good skier should have. While I'm still not sure the pivot slips themselves are good pedagogical vehicle for them, it sounds reasonable that they are good validator of having the skills.

post #13 of 33

Pivot slips are a "torture drill."  Why?  Because so many things have to go right for them to work.  Beginners do not do pivot slips, at least in my experience.  One needs to put in due diligence to get all that stuff to get synched together just right, and that's just too much for beginners to deal with.  Don't expect good pivot slips without some weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Determination, persistence, and endurance under duress are all a part of learning to do them.  The payback is big, however.

 

One more thing about learning to do pivot slips...  you don't need an instructor to tell you if you are doing them right.  It's painfully obvious if you aren't.  You travel left and right, or fall on your face.  

 

If your time on snow is limited and you want to just go ski and have as much fun as possible from 9:00 to 4:00, forget about pivot slips.  One morning of trying over and over and over and over may do it for you, but it might not.  You won't want to be working on this with friends; they won't stand for it.  

 

But if you are determined to become the best skier you can be, then work on them (alone) each time you go out.  They teach a number of skills that are quite valuable to own.  

post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckT View Post

Yes, I have tried doing pivot slips after seeing that clip from RM-PSIA. They are surprisingly difficult for me. Side slipping by releasing and re-enagaging edges is no problem, but pivoting while sliding smoothly as demoed is not something I can do with a few attempts so far. Normally, I would take this as a sign that this is an indication of missing or insufficient skills.....

 

I'm assuming you can do the sideslipping while facing down the hill with your shoulders and hips.  If that's the case, try these things to get the pivoting to work.

 

1.  Move your body (COM) gently forward//diagonally//downhill over your skis as you begin to pivot.  Try different ways of making this happen.  Your goal is to release the skis from their grip on the snow and gently start the tips seeking the fall line before using your muscles to pivot the skis.  Trial-and-error is the rule.  Do this in every possible way you can think of.  Flex the outside//downhill leg; tip the ankles downhill to flatten the skis; bend both ankles forward to get your weight over the fronts of your skis so they will seek the fall line; lean downhill with your entire body.  The combination that will work for you may be very different from what works for others.  Trail and error rules here.  You will know you've succeeded if the skis loosen and begin to turn on their own just before you pivot them.     

 

2.  Now pivot them but hold//keep your feet under your hips as you do this.  Pull them both back under your hips as they begin to turn downhill... and pivot them in a measured way.  Do not allow the feet to travel out ahead of your hips towards the side of the trail, nor downhill of your hips.  You'll feel shin-tongue pressure inside your boots.  Your knees will be bent.  This keeps your COM over your skis, and not behind them.  (Focusing on moving the feet backwards is often a more efficient way of staying//getting forward than moving the COM ahead of the feet.)  This is harder to do than it sounds, but essential for staying out of the back seat.  It's a move you make in all steered turns.

 

3.  Try moving the new inside foot directly up the hill behind your body.  "Up the hill" is what it feels like, even though there's no actual uphill movement.  Think of it this way:  that new inside foot starts out as the downhill foot, but needs to be uphill foot at the end of the pivot.  So you must manage its movement so it doesn't go down the hill as the other one pivots around, or it will be in the way.  Hold it in place sort of "uphill" as the rest of your body moves downhill, so it ends up in the uphill position.  Doing this move will also get that inside leg out of the way so the other foot can pivot around without running into it.  Managing that inside foot is very important, and getting it out of the way is a high-end skill in all skiing, from beginners in a wedge to experts dropping chutes.  

 

4.  Keep your hands out in front so you can see them at the edge of your peripheral vision.  Look downhill with chin up, eyes on something straight down the hill.  That's your target.  You are slipping down to that thing.

 

5.  If you are traveling straight down the hill, in a narrow lane no wider than your skis are long, at a constant speed, facing down the hill with your upper body, then you are successfully doing pivot slips.  You are way ahead of the general public.


Edited by LiquidFeet - 2/25/13 at 4:35pm
post #15 of 33

Chuck T, check out this post on pivot slips.  http://www.epicski.com/t/79108/pivot-slip

 

I disagree that you don't need an instructor to watch.  Pivot slips are one of those thing that you may think you are doing correctly but are not.

At least get someone to shoot some video as Bob suggests and post it here for comment. 
 

post #16 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

 

If you want to create high performance turns at an advanced/expert level, you need to be effective at pivoting as well as putting the ski on edge. If you just put a ski on edge, you're riding the rails, which isn't versatile. If you add pivoting while the ski is on edge, you're arcing the ski into a tighter turn radius. Pivot slips allow you to focus on the pivoting part of the equation. Pivot slips aren't a way to freeski, so after some pivot slip practice, do a half of a run in pivot slips then blend pivoting back into regular turns. I tend to think of my "fast feet" being more effective after pivot slips. 

 

Also, now that you're beginning to play with locked carves, I'd suggest railroad tracks as another good reinforcer. But as you do those railroad tracks and start picking up speed, start adding a pivot--at the top of the turn, as you put the skis on edge, think about arcing the skis around in the snow. you'll be able to tighten up those railroad tracks into a shorter radius turn. 

 

Regarding the level 4 standards video clip and how you can tell there's pivoting: the skiers don't have a short enough turn radius to ride the rails of their skis into short radius turns. They have to add pivoting to edging to bend the ski into those tight arcs. 

I understand and don't disagree with the highlighted statement. My question is whether the pivot slips are the most effective, or even just effective, drill for high performance turns than, say, what you suggested in the 2nd paragraph.

 

My problem, I think, is not that I don't pivot but that I can't lock the edge at will (unless it is on easy blue or green). I don't know for sure about the quality of my pivoting, but I enjoy skiing fast on steep slopes(quite a bit faster than the average skier at Mammoth - of course, there are always folks so fast and so good that I'm just too old to even think about getting up to their level). Although the main thing I consciously do is tipping the skis more and counter acting to tighten the turn, I can control and vary the speed somewhat at ease unless it is icy. There must be pivoting in my skiing, probably a lot of it on steeper slopes, even if I am not conscious about it.

 

From razie's post above, it seems racers in Canada don't focus on practicing pivoting or pivot slips. Skidude also indicated that, I think. Maybe at the level of racers, the ability to do pivot slips is a given. Are there pivot slips tests for racers to advance? (I don't know anything about racing or the difference between race coaches and instructors. I gather they are different organizations in different countries)

post #17 of 33

I was using pivot slips as a teaching  tool with an intermediate skier today. As I told him, it doesn't matter if you can do pivot slips or not - what matters is that you learn from the attempt. It's a level 3 exam task and lots of people fail it, don't feel bad about it if they are not perfect as long as you are learning from the attempts to do them.

post #18 of 33

Good point, Epic.  But when I was learning to do them I didn't feel like I was learning anything when I kept failing.  No one told me how to learn from less-than-identifiable pivot slips.   Once I learned to do them, I had figured out a bunch of things all at the same time.  But I didn't have an instructor helping me along.

 

How do you as an instructor tell if someone is learning something from pivot slips if they aren't yet doing them right? Are you able to convince the student they are learning something specific, even as the pivot slips continue to not come together?

post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckT View Post

From razie's post above, it seems racers in Canada don't focus on practicing pivoting or pivot slips. Skidude also indicated that, I think. Maybe at the level of racers, the ability to do pivot slips is a given. Are there pivot slips tests for racers to advance? (I don't know anything about racing or the difference between race coaches and instructors. I gather they are different organizations in different countries)

Well, there is the picket fence and others which do need certain pivoting to work, but the focus indeed is not on the pivoting... so I guess that it's fair to say that it is implied... but I think this is the takeaway from here - it's not that it teaches you a new skill "how to pivot", but that these drills involve a lot of other skills, especially upper/lower body separation and edging... which is very important for anyone looking for advanced skiing.

 

 

Also - think about the amount of practice: in a carve, you are normally faster than otherwise and don't get to do as many turns as in a say picket fence type drill. A picket fence type drill maximizes the workout and number of executions per run... of those skills you are really in need of.

 

I'm not advocating it, but pointing out some things.

 

cheers

post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

Good point, Epic.  But when I was learning to do them I didn't feel like I was learning anything when I kept failing.  No one told me how to learn from less-than-identifiable pivot slips.   Once I learned to do them, I had figured out a bunch of things all at the same time.  But I didn't have an instructor helping me along.

 

How do you as an instructor tell if someone is learning something from pivot slips if they aren't yet doing them right? Are you able to convince the student they are learning something specific, even as the pivot slips continue to not come together?

 

The point of doing it was to try and get some upper and lower body separation (we also used some skate-to-shape on the flat bits of trail). I could tell he was making progress when I could see him developing some separation. He could tell he was doing better when the corridor he was trying his pivot slips in got smaller. He could tell that it is useful when he was able to make a shorter turn with better speed control because he could get his skis to turn more than his body and finish his turns across the hill more. He also discovered that he needed to adjust his fore/aft balance a bit.

 

He really didn't do very well at either task, but they both accomplished something, and he was able to take something from each task into his personal skiing.

post #21 of 33

Anyone want to explain the skills differences utilized between doing a line of linked hockey stops and a line of pivot slips?  

Does anyone use hockey stops to teach upper body/lower body separation instead of pivot slips?  When do people prefer teaching one over the other?

post #22 of 33

Chuck,

 

Glad you are thinking about this.

 

A few points:

 

Generally you are correct - pivot slips in themselves wont make you a better skier.  BUT the skill of pivoting that they help develop will make you a better skier...infact you cant ski well without it.  Pivot slips are just one tool (of many) that can be used to help you develop your pivoting skills.  Its like this - how does a compression test on my car engine make my car faster?  It doesnt.  But if your engine fails the compression test, it wont be fast...no matter what.

 

To ski the way you aspire, also requires 4 other skills: Stance and Balance, Edging, Pressure Control, Timing and Co-ordination.  So pivot slips are just a tool, to help you develop 1 of the 5 core skills.

 

Why are pivot slips so popular?  Well for the reasons mentioned above by others...you cant really cheat them, so they are "self diagnostic".  But like most drills, yes they are designed to isolate, and exaggerate one skill....this helps the learning process. 

 

But once you can do a pivot slip...(and they dont need to be 100% perfect, there is a point of diminshing returns)...but they should be close.  You can then add in the other items as well...increase the speed, and slowly start to add in edging etc...and you will see how much more performance your skiing has.

 

Do I think you should spend your days doing pivot slips?  No.  Do this - as you start each run...start with 3 or 4 pivot slips..then add in the edging as speed increases...but focus on those pivotslips (*see below)...try to get them right...as you come into the lift line...cut speed the same way...3 or 4 pivot slips, make em count....do this, and you will improve you pivoting in no time and enjoy your skiing more....while not feeling like you are "wasting a day".

 

*What to focus on:

 

  • Skis turning back and forth under feet
  • Calm stable upper body
  • Legs rotating in hip sockets
  • Play with fore/aft balance - not how this effects the skis and where the pivto point is as well as your direction of travel - intuitavely FEEL center, aft, fore.

 

Tip: for me, it feels like I am "pulling my tips" across in front of me...rather then "pushing" the heels out.

 

Good luck.

post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

Anyone want to explain the skills differences utilized between doing a line of linked hockey stops and a line of pivot slips?  

Does anyone use hockey stops to teach upper body/lower body separation instead of pivot slips?  When do people prefer teaching one over the other?

 

Well, I'd say the hardest (and perhaps most valuable) part of the pivot slip is releasing the edges together to let the skis return to a straightrun. That's not necessarily a focus of the hockey stops, but you could make it one. That's why whatever you do, coaching it to hit on the skills you want is as important as the activity itself.

 

Want to have some fun, try teaching half a pivot slip in the halfpipe (assuming the pipe is deserted). This can really help people who have been having a hard time with it.

post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 

LiquidFeet, thanks for the detailed how-to description. I am inclined to think that while pivot slips may or may not be the most effective drill to teach a bunch of skills, being able to do them successfully requires having these skills down. As such, they must be a good test of some skiing ability.

 

Being a bit anal retentive, I have two other questions for you and anyone else who is willing.

 

1. A blue slope is steep enough for this drill?

 

2. If you pick a good skier randomly, say, from a racing team, are the odds very high that he/she can perform the pivot slips comfortably even if they have never heard of the drill before (I'm assuming this drill is not universally taught)?

post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

Anyone want to explain the skills differences utilized between doing a line of linked hockey stops and a line of pivot slips?  

Does anyone use hockey stops to teach upper body/lower body separation instead of pivot slips?  When do people prefer teaching one over the other?

 

In a real sense there isnt any difference.  Pivot slips are generally better because practice makes perfect, and you can get 20 pviot slips in, using the same hills space as maybe 6 or 7 hockey stops?  Plus pivot slips allow the flow motion of "winding/undwinding" etc.

 

I use hockey stops when I have limited hill space and just want to talk a person through one pivot/edge set and need/want to stop right away....

post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckT View Post

LiquidFeet, thanks for the detailed how-to description. I am inclined to think that while pivot slips may or may not be the most effective drill to teach a bunch of skills, being able to do them successfully requires having these skills down. As such, they must be a good test of some skiing ability.

 

Being a bit anal retentive, I have two other questions for you and anyone else who is willing.

 

1. A blue slope is steep enough for this drill?

 

2. If you pick a good skier randomly, say, from a racing team, are the odds very high that he/she can perform the pivot slips comfortably even if they have never heard of the drill before (I'm assuming this drill is not universally taught)?

 

Yes and yes.

 

 

 

 

I had a candidate years ago on a L1 course...and he couldnt do a pivot slip...but could ski double blacks.  He basically thought the whole thing was dumb, because "Hugo Harrison doesnt spend time doing pivot slips on easy blue runs".  My response: "True Hugo doesnt spend time doing pivot slips on easy blue runs...but he easily could if I asked him to".   Drills are jsut ways to test for skills, and develop them if they are missing.

post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckT View Post

LiquidFeet, thanks for the detailed how-to description. I am inclined to think that while pivot slips may or may not be the most effective drill to teach a bunch of skills, being able to do them successfully requires having these skills down. As such, they must be a good test of some skiing ability.

 

Being a bit anal retentive, I have two other questions for you and anyone else who is willing.

 

1. A blue slope is steep enough for this drill?

 

2. If you pick a good skier randomly, say, from a racing team, are the odds very high that he/she can perform the pivot slips comfortably even if they have never heard of the drill before (I'm assuming this drill is not universally taught)?

 

1 -yes

 

2 - I taught a masters racing clinic this winter, and most of them could not do it. On the other hand, the group of volunteers (average everyday ski town residents) for the High School ski program could generally do them pretty well.

post #28 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Chuck,

 

Glad you are thinking about this.

 

A few points:

 

Generally you are correct - pivot slips in themselves wont make you a better skier.  BUT the skill of pivoting that they help develop will make you a better skier...infact you cant ski well without it.  Pivot slips are just one tool (of many) that can be used to help you develop your pivoting skills.  Its like this - how does a compression test on my car engine make my car faster?  It doesnt.  But if your engine fails the compression test, it wont be fast...no matter what.

 

To ski the way you aspire, also requires 4 other skills: Stance and Balance, Edging, Pressure Control, Timing and Co-ordination.  So pivot slips are just a tool, to help you develop 1 of the 5 core skills.

 

Why are pivot slips so popular?  Well for the reasons mentioned above by others...you cant really cheat them, so they are "self diagnostic".  But like most drills, yes they are designed to isolate, and exaggerate one skill....this helps the learning process. 

 

But once you can do a pivot slip...(and they dont need to be 100% perfect, there is a point of diminshing returns)...but they should be close.  You can then add in the other items as well...increase the speed, and slowly start to add in edging etc...and you will see how much more performance your skiing has.

 

Do I think you should spend your days doing pivot slips?  No.  Do this - as you start each run...start with 3 or 4 pivot slips..then add in the edging as speed increases...but focus on those pivotslips (*see below)...try to get them right...as you come into the lift line...cut speed the same way...3 or 4 pivot slips, make em count....do this, and you will improve you pivoting in no time and enjoy your skiing more....while not feeling like you are "wasting a day".

 

*What to focus on:

 

  • Skis turning back and forth under feet
  • Calm stable upper body
  • Legs rotating in hip sockets
  • Play with fore/aft balance - not how this effects the skis and where the pivto point is as well as your direction of travel - intuitavely FEEL center, aft, fore.

 

Tip: for me, it feels like I am "pulling my tips" across in front of me...rather then "pushing" the heels out.

 

Good luck.

Thanks, Skidude. I got a better understanding of this stuff now.

post #29 of 33

   ChuckT, how's it going? Just wanted to add something real quick here. After viewing this thread, I went back and watched your MA video. I don't know who your ski guru is, I'm sure he's great...but I would highly recommend adding the pivot slip to your repotoire! In your MA vid, you'll notice very little upper/lower separation and a tenedency to lean in to the hill. Not only do the pivots help teach upper/lower separation, they teach you to keep your Com more over your outside ski as opposed to your inside and fore aft balance as well!! Trust what people are telling you here...they aren't the only key, of course...but they are A keysmile.gif

 

 

   P.s. I still do pivot slips ocassionally....keeps me honest!

   zenny

post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 

In a real sense there isnt any difference.  Pivot slips are generally better because practice makes perfect, and you can get 20 pviot slips in, using the same hills space as maybe 6 or 7 hockey stops?  Plus pivot slips allow the flow motion of "winding/undwinding" etc.

 

I use hockey stops when I have limited hill space and just want to talk a person through one pivot/edge set and need/want to stop right away....

I'd go with hockey stops between these two. They improve a more critical skill from my point of view: balance on the edges :)

 

For the upper body separation, I have others that are my favorites: boot touches with a twist, etc.

 

ChuckT, if you don't like the pivot slips, do the Spiess :) that's includes a complete workout http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQA1k2Q_96E and we use it quite a bit, actually and you can do it on the flats. (the guy in the video rotates with the skis, on a proper Spiess, your body should keep facing down the fall line).

 

cheers

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