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MA for jonc

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I've been reading some of the fantastic MA for other videos and was hoping to get some to help improve my own skiing.  We took these videos over the weekend, the first on a blue run, the second on an easy black.  Thanks for any tips you can provide!

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 24

Your hands are way too low, get them up out in front of your body (hands and elbows in front of your chest, with your hands not inside your elbows).  Also, your weight (COM) is way too far back.  Pause the video at :20 and you will see that your hips (COM) are located over the heels of your boots or even behind that (if you draw a perpendicular line from the snow to your hips, where is that line in relation to your boot).  You want your hips to be located mid boot or higher, depending on what and where you are skiing.  Also, try to create some more angles between your legs and upper body.  Picture your upper body like a pillar, always upright, and your lower body like a pendulum, swinging underneath the stable and calm upper body.

post #3 of 24

hi jonc,

 

looks like you're able to ski the terrain you enjoy; that's a good thing. At this stage in your development, you'd get a lot out of an in-person lesson. 

 

Right now your turns are a series of linked z's; i.e. linking braking movements downhill. To take your skiing to the next level, we want to create linked, rounded turns that look more like Cs or Ss. To create rounded turns, we'll want to develop the following: 

 

turning with the lower joints rather than the whole body

balancing over the outside edge

timing/coordinating your movements to link turns

 

To make all the above possible, we'll need to make some stance/balance adjustments. Many other sports use the same ready position, such as tennis, hockey, football, soccer... Think: nose over knees over toes, with hands in front to help counterbalance. I'd like to see you flexing through all your joints as well as it will improve your success with the three other skills we're working on. Think of a cowboy in his ready position rather than a ballerina.

 

You'll know you're in a centered athletic stance when you feel flex in your boot (probably a sensation of the cuff against your shin), elbows are in front/out and hands are within the bottom of your field of vision, baskets dragging in snow near your toepiece, and you feel pressure through your arch behind the ball of your foot. Here's some video of some pretty balanced skiers (ignore the framegrab, it's an odd, confusing angle): 

 

Turning with the lower joints means that instead of turning skis by twisting your shoulders/hips, you turn skis by pivoting the femurs in your hip sockets. The rationale for turning with the lower joints is that your lower body can move faster and put you in a more balanced position than if you throw your upper body around. You can start developing your pivoting skills through "thousand steps" and delay turns (standing across the hill, turn your feet/lower joints and ensure your upper body follows rather than leads), and eventually progress to pivot slips or javelin turns. It's much easier to pivot when you're in an athletic stance. Tone the pitch down to a mellow blue for exercises, then bring your newly developed pivoting skills back to your regular skiing. 

 

In terms of Balancing over the outside edge, I actually want to help you focus on getting weight onto the outside ski rather than the inside ski. You'll have more control and turn shape when you get more weight on the outside ski. Your stance adjustments will help make this possible. Dragging both poles will help, assuming you can keep your hands in an effective forward position and keep the outside pole in the snow. Eventually try tapping that inside ski or lifting it off snow altogether during turns to verify your balance. 

 

For developing turn shape, think of turning all the time. Use your turn shape to manage speed. If you're rocketing too fast, continue to turn uphill rather than slamming on the brakes. If you feel you're going too slow, spend a  bit less time completing the turn. If you're just going 45 degrees downhill, either turn up to finish, or turn down to move through the turn. Aside from traversing or getting to a lift, there is never a part of the turn in which your skis should be moving in a line. 

 

The items above could amount to months of development for skiers. I'd definitely recommend taking some in-person lessons so that you benefit from an instructor who can assess, prioritize development items, check out what works effectively and what doesn't, and adapt/modify as necessary. Good luck!

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm definitely comfortable on the 2 slopes in the videos, would like to have that same comfort on everything (especially bumps). At this point I can get down any of the slopes but don't feel like I really own the more difficult ones yet.

I agree my turns could definitely be rounder. Until seeing the video evidence and reading your analysis I didn't realize my COM was still so far back.

I have been working on lifting the inside ski during turns on easier terrain but have not tried the thousand steps before. I will definitely work on that.

For keeping weight on outside ski I find sometimes the inside ski gets loose and starts to wiggle around, is that because my COM is too far back?

I will look into a lesson at the local hills here in DC (liberty, whitetail, roundtop)

Thanks for all the comments eastskiier44 and Metaphor_!
post #5 of 24

   As Metaphor mentioned mentioned, turning the legs underneath a quiet stable upper body is key for good skiing. This will be difficult to achieve unless you also develop better balance over the center of the skis (think fore/aft) and lateral balance (more over the outside ski). Work on these skills on lower angle slopes as mentioned above, and keep your speeds lower (turn all the way across the slope) so you can really feel what's happening, i.e, where your fore/aft pressure is on the skis and which ski is weighted more...

 

   Then you will be in a better position, figuratively and literally, to begin work on your upper/lower separation using the drills Metaphor mentioned aboveicon14.gif

 

    zenny

post #6 of 24

Good suggestions above!

 

To clarify, when I think Toe, Knee, Nose (Tony Knows), I like to try to get my knees slightly ahead of my toes and my nose ahead of my knees.  As was stated, the goal is to get your hips more centered over your feet rather than behind them which will help you to better control the front of your ski.  An exercise that helps many find the front of their boots (shin in contact with tongue) is to gently glide up a quarter pipe and then slide down backwards (or go switch for 10 feet or so on a gentle slope with a flat run out if a quarter pipe is not available).  

 

I would also include box turns and holding poles as a tray as exercises that would help get you rounding out your turns more (C or S instead of Z) and help create upper/lower body separation.  These could first be done on a green run.

 

Box turns- Turn in the shape of a "box" by going straight down the fall line, then traverse straight across, then straight down, then across the other direction, etc..  To be clear, you are not actually outlining all 4 sides of the box as you are not going uphill.  The next step is to do the same thing, but ROUND OUT THE CORNERS.  If done correctly, your turn shape is now an S down the mountain instead of a Z.

 

Poles as a Tray- Grip both poles in front of you as a "tray" horizontal to the slope and pick a target below you down the fall line.  Make turns while keeping the "tray" level and always have the tray (and your shoulders) facing your target.  Basically, your skis, feet, and legs should be turning while your upper body remains as still as possible and facing down the fall line.  There are quite a few variations on this exercise and it can eventually be progressed up to pivot slips.

post #7 of 24

Your Pressure Control is very limited Jonc. Contrast your video with those offered by Metaphor. Notice how much more those skiers flex and extend. Also notice how this allows them to engaged their ski edges much earlier in their turns and absorb more pressure late in their turns. The only way to do this is to be more active in the pressure control world. That's why they are moving through that wider RoM. The hopping throughout the turns drill, the leapers drill and even the step turns drill include much more flexing and extending of the legs than you show in your video. Try those drills and let me know what you discover.

 

To comment on the forward levering advice, please take that advice with a grain of salt. Balance does not include strong levering in any direction. Contact with the boot tongue is fine, strongly pressuring the tongues is not. It may occur at times but to be clear moving from a habitual aft levered stance, to a habitual foward levered stance, would only trade one set of problems for another. It also would not eliminate the need for the strong whole body rotary push off moves through the transition. Falling leafs will help you get a clear outcome based understanding of levering and what it makes the ski do. Too far forward and the tips are hard to release. So when you sideslip the skis slide diagonally backwards. Too far aft and the tails are hard to release. So the skis slip diagonally forward. Only when you get cuff neutral can you sideslip directly down the fall line. Depending on your binding mount this will vary slightly but once you find that magic stance, (where the skis will slide directly down the fall line), you now know where releasing a turn should also occur in most situations.

 

Once a turn is in progress you will find some aft and some forward stances will occur naturally. It's inevitable but this does not mean excessive levering should occur. Nor should this advice be interpreted to suggest static stances like you show in the video. You need to move your legs through that wider RoM I just mentioned plus you simultaneously need to be as balanced as possible as you move through that wider RoM. Using your entire body to do this is necessary and can be seen in the well know advice about the entire body participating in our balancing efforts.

 

Explore and practice the pressure control drills in that video and I am confident your skiing will improve dramatically.

Enjoy,

JASP

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
I will definitely work on the upper/lower separation and drills mentioned. Balance wise I think I have (thought I had?) a good handle on it but I must not be displaying it very well. I can side slip directly down the fall line or falling leaf. I have tried a few times to work on skiing switch to help me improve balance and awareness but do not have the hang of it yet. I have been told before I ski very upright which I think you all have been alluding to in regards to COM, ROM, lower body separation, static stance, etc....

Great comments, thanks!
-Jon
post #9 of 24
try sideslipping by moving your CoM over your outside ski more...this will flatten them, matching the angle of the slope in the process (mostly, anyways). if you perform this correctly (not leaning into the hill and slipping on edge!) and you move directly down the fall line, you will be more or less properly centered...which Jasp (and i, briefly) mentioned is key when working on upper/lower separation.

once you have added these tools to your skiing toolbox, you will be ready to begin "playing" with things like fore/aft pressure smile.gif

zenny
post #10 of 24

jonc: since you are in DC, can't help but mention that Massanutten has a great ski school.  The 90-min clinics are a very good deal, especially if you do it at a less popular time.  The one at 5:30 can often end up a private for intermediate skiers.  There are several Level 2 and 3 instructors if you are interested in a private lesson.  You look good enough to ski the blacks off Lift 6, which never has a lift line even on weekends.  (I don't work at Mnut, just a happy parent and skier there for the last 9 seasons.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonc View Post

. . .
I will look into a lesson at the local hills here in DC (liberty, whitetail, roundtop)
post #11 of 24

There is a lot of good advice here, however, the only thing you should be concentrating on at this moment in your skiing is building a nuetral stance with the ability to move your center of mass fore or aft of nuetral at your discretion.  Find a gentle slope, perhaps a bunny slope, and stand facing uphill with your skis in a backwards wedge. (or even with no skis)  Feel how you have to create some slight pressure on the front cuff of your boot with your shin.  You do this by flexing, or bending your ankle foreward.  As you flex your ankle, you will also bend your knees slightly.  Currently your stance is charecterized by straight ankles and bent knees, resulting in an aft stance.  The idea with this drill is to take this stance and recreate it while skiing. Until you install this as your default stance, NONE of the advice given above (save the advice some others have given about fore/aft stance) will do any good. 

 

Your aft stance does not allow you to move your COM down the hill, making a simoultaneous edge release impossible.  There are other issues as well.  You lack rotary and edging movements, and instead rely on picking up your inside ski and rotating your whole body while bracing against a stiff outside leg.  However, I see all of these additional problems as a result of your stance.  You fix that, you'll see marked improvement in all other aspects of your skiing.  Certainly lessons would help, you're not that far from making some big breakthroughs.

post #12 of 24
pasucks...with all due respect, how is he going to learn upper/lower separation without first familarizing himself with a centered stance?? to perform drills like sideslipping and pivot slips require being more or less on the middle of the ski...once youve got these "dialed" then you have a great foundation on which to build. save fore/aft experimentations for later, imho ...

zenny
Edited by zentune - 2/26/13 at 9:27pm
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaSucks View Post

There is a lot of good advice here, however, the only thing you should be concentrating on at this moment in your skiing is building a nuetral stance with the ability to move your center of mass fore or aft of nuetral at your discretion.  Find a gentle slope, perhaps a bunny slope, and stand facing uphill with your skis in a backwards wedge. (or even with no skis)  Feel how you have to create some slight pressure on the front cuff of your boot with your shin.  You do this by flexing, or bending your ankle foreward.  As you flex your ankle, you will also bend your knees slightly.  Currently your stance is charecterized by straight ankles and bent knees, resulting in an aft stance.  The idea with this drill is to take this stance and recreate it while skiing. Until you install this as your default stance, NONE of the advice given above (save the advice some others have given about fore/aft stance) will do any good. 

 

 

It sounds like I need to focus on my stance quite a bit more as several have pointed out.  Ankle flexion is something I have tried to incorporate more but have not ingrained yet.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaSucks View Post

You lack rotary and edging movements, and instead rely on picking up your inside ski and rotating your whole body while bracing against a stiff outside leg. 

This describes exactly how it feels when I turn, bracing on outside leg.  Am I mistaking this feeling with moving COM over the outside ski?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

jonc: since you are in DC, can't help but mention that Massanutten has a great ski school.  The 90-min clinics are a very good deal, especially if you do it at a less popular time.  The one at 5:30 can often end up a private for intermediate skiers.  There are several Level 2 and 3 instructors if you are interested in a private lesson.  You look good enough to ski the blacks off Lift 6, which never has a lift line even on weekends.  (I don't work at Mnut, just a happy parent and skier there for the last 9 seasons.)

 

I have not tried Massanutten, its a tad further of a drive than the other 3 but I will definitely consider it.

post #14 of 24

Stiff and static stances include the blocking against the outside ski with a stiiff outside leg. Dorsiflexing the ankle will do litle to alleviate the stiffness. Nor will it address the lack of upper and lower body seperation. Not to mention it will not change where the skis engage. They pivot and skid until the two thirds point in the turn. then you see spray as you begin engaging the edges. It's worth noting they engage more as a function of your momentum landing to establish enough pressure. Contrast that with the videos Metaphor posted. See any of that stuff? I doubt you will because it isn't there. Notice their ankles, knees and hips actively flex and their turn shape is much rounder and the progressive engagement of the edges that starts much earlier in their turns.

BTW, the sideslip advice was only a beginning, when you can stay in a one ski width sideslip it is time to move on to pivot slips and independent leg steering. As far as the leapers, step turns, and multiple hops while turning drills, the idea is to get used to moving through a wider range of motion and flexing / extending with all of the joints in the legs and hips.

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonc View Post

I will look into a lesson at the local hills here in DC (liberty, whitetail, roundtop)

 

See if you can hook up with TheRusty. I think he's at Whitetail.

post #16 of 24

Thanks Epic. I am at Whitetail and would be glad to help. I have not chipped in here yet because the other posters were doing a great job.

post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

pasucks...with all due respect, how is he going to learn upper/lower separation without first familarizing himself with a centered stance?? to perform drills like sideslipping and pivot slips require being more or less on the middle of the ski...
zenny
Where did I mention upper/lower separation? My very premise is that he should learn a centered stance before anything else. Side slipping and pivot slips would certainly be a part if this progression if I were teaching him.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonc View Post


This describes exactly how it feels when I turn, bracing on outside leg.  Am I mistaking this feeling with moving COM over the outside ski?
Simple answer: yes. By picking up your inside ski, you are obviously ON the outside ski, momentarily, but you're not really OVER it. Try to make your normal turn, except never put your inside ski back down. I bet you'll fall to the inside.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaSucks View Post


Where did I mention upper/lower separation? My very premise is that he should learn a centered stance before anything else. Side slipping and pivot slips would certainly be a part if this progression if I were teaching him.

   Yes, that's what we're saying (myself and others mentioned upper/lower...). The idea behind sideslips and pivots is to teach proper lateral weighting (sideslips/pivots) and upper/lower separation (pivots)...both require a centered stance to move the skier straight down the fall line in a "corridor". The reason for my previous response to you was that you mentioned to the OP that "there is a lot of good advice here, however, the only thing you should be concentrating on at this moment in your skiing is building a nuetral stance" (which is goodicon14.gif) "with the ability to move your center of mass fore or aft of neutral at your discrection" (maybe not so much...)

 

   I feel the OP needs to find center and work on ILS BEFORE focusing on pressuring the tips and tails, thats all. One can leverage the ski all one wants, either fore or aft, but if one does so from an upper body rotated position, it won't do you much good. Hence the greater emphasis on centered. Moving fore/aft essentially at will, is too advanced at this point for the OP. and will likely only exacerbate upper rotation and leaning in.

 

   zenny

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

   Yes, that's what we're saying (myself and others mentioned upper/lower...). The idea behind sideslips and pivots is to teach proper lateral weighting (sideslips/pivots) and upper/lower separation (pivots)...both require a centered stance to move the skier straight down the fall line in a "corridor". The reason for my previous response to you was that you mentioned to the OP that "there is a lot of good advice here, however, the only thing you should be concentrating on at this moment in your skiing is building a nuetral stance" (which is good
icon14.gif
) "
with the ability to move your center of mass fore or aft
 
of neutral at your discrection
" (maybe not so much...)
Kind of splitting hairs here, but even at this stage, I would want to give someone a good re-centering movement. I would have him play with and feel the affects of fore aft positioning on his ability to sides lip. (falling leaf, essentially). I'm not advocating anything more than that for him, yet. Perhaps I should have clarified.

   I feel the OP needs to find center and work on ILS BEFORE focusing on pressuring the tips and tails, thats all. One can leverage the ski all one wants, either fore or aft, but if one does so from an upper body rotated position, it won't do you much good. Hence the greater emphasis on centered. Moving fore/aft essentially at will, is too advanced at this point for the OP. and will likely only exacerbate upper rotation and leaning in.


   zenny
Agreed
post #20 of 24

Jon, The Rusty is a great coach and should help you a lot. Have fun working with him!

JASP

post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 

Excellent, thanks all.  Drills to work on and a recommendation for an instructor, I definitely think this is a great forum. 

 

PM sent to TheRusty.

post #22 of 24

TheRusty is among the instructors on here I'd love to session with someday. He's helped me remotely with my CSIA level 2 AND my CASI level 1; I'm sure he'll be fantastic in person. 

post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Had a session with TheRusty yesterday. It definitely cleared some things up. I was not turning my hips and getting angle btwn upper/lower body enough to really get on edge. Using poles as a tray or picture frame drills helped a lot. Plenty of other things discussed as well but these were my biggest takeaways. It also helps to just follow the tracks of somebody like TheRusty!

I've got some good things to work on with what's left of the season. My legs were a lot more tired after skiing with hips closer to the snow.

Still trying to get used to the feeling as speed ramps up, but now I know how to cut back speed without skidding at the bottom of turn.

Thanks again TheRusty for a great lesson!
post #24 of 24

You're most welcome Jon. It was blast to ski with you and meet the family. You and Mrs Jon should have a lot of fun out west.

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