Originally Posted by JeanPierre
Wow that's some great feedback guys! Thanks a lot! That's very generous of you!
As all three of you mention I put a lot of weight on the inside ski. I didn't realize how much weight I've started putting on the inside ski, it snook up on me I think. I'm pretty sure it wasn't like that in the beginning of the season after the clinic. It might come from my simplistic view of skiing where more edge angle = better and stepping on the inside ski like I do allows me to get a greater angle quicker. Come to think of it I've started to notice problems with grip on harder snow a bit into the turn.
Ah-ha! by pressing on the inside ski, it causes you to lean into the hill. The paradox of your situation is that the harder you press on the inside ski to force the turn, the farther inside you are at the end of the turn and harder it will be in the next turn to get your mass moving downhill. Also, the farther you get inside, the less effective your edging will be. If you can adjust your stance to balance over the outside ski, you'll open up carving on more challenging terrain. You'll also improve your stability and the quickness in your turning, since you'll be moving with your lightning fast feet/legs instead of throwing around your heavy/slow upper body. (you'll become a ski ninja instead of an elephant)
Also, once we get you more balanced over the outside ski by angulating more (creating that C shape), you'll have an easier time releasing from one turn into the next, allowing your skis to arc under your body and into the next turn, and create the high edge angles you want without having to stomp on anything.
If I start to balance more on my outside ski should I expect less edge angle at the same speed? Or maybe that I reach max angle it later in the turn?
Nope. Look at the edge angles in JF Beaulieu's skiing, or any other high end skier. You'll actually be able to sustain higher edge angles by creating a C-shape through your upper body to balance more over the outside ski. In fact, the only way to get high edge angles at lower speeds is to create a C shape. (it gets to the point of being contrived when you're crawling along a near-flat, but it's only achievable by balancing over the outside ski.) Short of skiing at world cup speeds, you'll get on higher edge angles by angulating more. Here are some samples of that C shape, which are more pronounced in Sebastien in blue than in JF in black:
Regarding skiing like JF: It looks to me like JF's video clip is part of training on the corridor exercise. In this exercise, my interpretation is the skier bends the ski through the arc of the turn like a bow, then releases the load to project across the hill into the next turn (rather than letting their mass drive mostly downhill). You actually see JF's skis pop off the snow as the ski gets unloaded as he travels across the hill. Fun skiing tactic, but it's a situational tactic; you wouldn't see JF ski the entire mountain all the time like this. It's worth exploring, but only a subset of a good skier's toolbox. (Also, because of the momentum JF's created, he's getting away with less angulation than what most freeskiers use.)
How to create more angulation: Normally I'd work through some stance stuff standing still on the hill. We can't do that at a distance though. So try standing half an arm's length away from the wall, facing perpendicular, in an athletic stance with some flexion through your joints and free hand in a ready position. With one hand (forearm) against the wall, allow your hips and chest to gradually move towards the wall until your hip and side is touching the wall, with your legs extended to the side. If you have a mirror in front of yourself, you should see a stance similar JF's. If you have a mirror beside you, you'll see your nose aligned with your knees and toes.
This is a clunky approximation of on-snow angulation and there are a lot of poor elements (like you're not really getting on edge unless you stand against the side of your foot, and the forces aren't the same, so your knees may not feel good doing this), but the point is you should feel some amount of stretch in the side of your abs. Just do it once or twice to get the feeling.
On snow, think about engaging your lower abdominal muscles to keep your upper body upright. You can also keep your outside pole engaged in the snow at all times. If it lifts off the snow, you're probably tipping uphill. Rollerblade turns can also help to create angulation.
Heisman turns are another good exercise for you (or trophy turns, or "gay haitian", though I hate that label): Ditch poles. Maintain a hip width stance. Keep your inside hand in your field of view in front. Place the palm of your outside hand against your hip (looks like a teapot handle). As you ski, feel the break at the waist where your hip hinges. You can press into your waist with this hand to emphasize the separation between your upper and lower body. Switch sides on each turn. Make sure you get each side right (when done backwards it's called the mixed up gay haitian, and adds no value to your skiing).
If you're not getting results after the above, I'd start working on some "bend and stretch" turns, in which we bend our joints through the transition and "stretch" our joints laterally/diagonally down the hill with each new turn, focusing on keeping an angle between lower body and upper body.
This sounds like a lot of exercises, but we'd realistically adapt depending on what's working and what isn't. See how things go. Good luck, and remember your turns have tons of good elements already, so you're starting from a good place.
Edited by Metaphor_ - 3/21/13 at 11:21pm