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MA my skiing please

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi!

 

I'm new to epic ski. I have been lurking around the equipment section of the forum for a while but now I would be very thankful for any form of input on my skiing.

 

I skied a few weeks when I was a kid and took up skiing again five winters ago. I have been skiing ~10 days per winter since then but this winter I'm close to 20 days and I've been to a three day clinic that really helped me improve. It looks like the cold weather here in the south of Sweden will allow me to get 2-3 more days out of the local blue slope this season and I would be very thankful for any tips on what to work on so that I can keep improving. Below is a video of me skiing in France last week, sorry for the shaky camera work!

 

 

My goal is to ski more like the guy in the clip below at 1:29 because flying across the sides of the slope like that just looks like so much fun!

 

 

Again, very thankful for any input!

post #2 of 9

Wow, you're skiing fantastically for 60 ski days in your life. Great job. What's your sports background? You have a challenging goal in mind - I think most people here (and most instructors in the CSIA) would be doing cartwheels if they could ski like JF!

 

Compare the video of your skiing to the video of JF. 

 

What differences do you see in stance? (compare elbows/hands, and the C-shape body position)

 

What differences do you see in where his hips are pointed at each part of the turn? 

 

What differences do you see in turn shape? How much time does he traverse?

 

 

You'll want to create more angulation to get more weight over the outside ski. Adjust your stance so your hands are in the periphery of your goggles. Let your armpits breathe, keep your elbows ahead of your chest, and hands a bit wider. Drag your outside pole in the snow. Literally keep that basket driving into the snow throughout the arc. As you angulate, some instructors say you'll feel a "pinch" in your outside abs; I feel more of a stretch in my inside half. 

 

Keep turning. Cut the dead zones out of your turn (i.e. no traversing, no diagonal lines). Plant a bit earlier each turn. Roll your ankles more uphill on edge before you start your next turn so that you get more turn shape. Allow your hip to follow your lower body.

 

Change up your turn radius. Build your short turns. Develop your carved turns even further by turning your legs to increase pressure and bend the ski into a tighter radius. 

 

And since you have a lot of off-season between skiing, you may get a lot of value out of inline skating to continue developing your skills. 

 

Good luck! 

post #3 of 9

Bon Jour JeanPierre - Bienvenue!

 

Nice edge control movements! I love the high edge angles you are getting and the clean thin tracks you are leaving in the snow.

 

The next steps for you are to make those thin lines throughout the entire turn and to make those kinds of turns on steeper terrain.

 

If you look at most of your turns (left and right) your turn initiation move is an extension of the new outside leg followed by a step onto the new inside ski.

 

 

 

Notice the "V" shape to the skis (tails closer than the tips)

 

Notice all the weight loaded onto the inside ski.

 

This is an aggressive movement into the new turn that works well on this terrain but it is bound to get you into trouble in more difficult terrain. 

 

My little bird is sitting on my shoulder whispering to me that I don't have the best answer for you. If I had you in a lesson, I would first try a follow me approach that would attempt to get you to steer into counter a little more, try to soften the "cranking onto the new edges" and balance more against the outside ski through more of the turn. There are a ton of drills that can work on pieces of movements you need (e.g. 10 toes, tracer turns, heissman turns, bamboo drills, railroad tracks, pivot slips), but I can't think of one drill that will give you an "aha moment". The beauty of Epic is that there are others more accomplished than I that will have other ideas.

post #4 of 9

Welcome to Epic JP!

 

As noted above, there are lots of nice elements to your skiing, especially considering the number of days you have skied in your life.  Overall, I see less tip lead in the skiing that you aspire to than what you are doing.  If you look at Rusty's 2nd pic with the weight on the inside ski, you will also see that this ski is significantly in front of your outside ski (at least that is how it looks from the rear camera angle).  Try keeping your feet more even with each other by pulling back the inside foot/ski- you might find that this results in less weight on your inside ski as Rusty suggests.

 

Equipment may also be a factor- if you want to make SL turns, it helps to be on a good SL ski- can't tell from the video what skis you are currently on.

 

Good luck and enjoy!

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

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.   

 

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?

 

As to my athletic background, I have done some snowboarding and the relative lack of fear of falling and speed compared to other people taking up skiing in their late twenties certainly helped. I've also been very lucky in finding a good instructor, you could see a lot of improvement for everyone in the group that did the clinic.

 

In the video I'm skiing on a pair of Rossignol Radical 9 SL which I think should be more than adequate for my level of skiing, so I'm afraid I can't blame the equipment on any of my shortcomings :)

 

Thanks again!

post #6 of 9

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanPierre View Post

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.  

 

Quote:

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: 

 

 

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01 LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

 

 

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
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Skied my final day of the season yesterday. I worked on getting my balance back on the outside ski and I think I made some improvements! Here's how I did it:

 

First I took a few warm up runs just focusing on feeling the weight I put on my inside ski since I wanted to remember how it shouldn't be feeling. The weight transfer was there alright.

 

After that I was (too) impatient to try try some of the advice you gave me here. I tried to actively pull back the inner ski while putting all the pressure on my outside ski. Didn't get it to work and I fell back into my usual movement patterns.

 

I then did an exercise for 2-3 runs where you lift the inside ski and make turns using only the outer ski. I focused on how the pressure felt on the outside leg and if I got a stretching sensation in the side of my abs. Felt the pressure but no real stretch.

 

After that, while sitting in the chair lift, I visualized the feeling on the outside leg I got from the above exercise together with pulling my inside ski back.

 

I tried a few turns and it worked! The balance was back on my outside ski and I could feel the inside ski being pulled back. I took a few glances down at my skis while turning and they looked more parallel and the v-shape in the beginning appeared to be gone (although I never looked down when I was doing my old turns so I don't know if I would've noticed if I was still doing it wrong). Didn't feel 100% stable in the beginning and I found myself in the backseat a few times and fell at least once. I took a few more runs, felt more and more stable, and started doing quicker turns, what a difference! It felt like going from edge to edge was a matter of microseconds! I totally get the elephant to ninja allegory. And the edge angle was really high, lots of g-force considering the speed. Also felt a clear stretching sensation in my sides. I also noticed that if I tried doing faster turns I didn't really stand up between the turns as I usually do.

 

Unfortunately I was in such a rush to get to the slope that I forgot my camera. It would have been fun to be able to show a run.

 

So, thanks again for your advice! You helped me end my season on a high note! Only drawback is that now I will be thinking of skiing every day until next winter. Also, I'm now slightly scared of my slalom skis, holy duck can they turn! :)

post #8 of 9

That is definitely outstanding for someone who's skied less than 100 days total!

post #9 of 9

I think it would be worth while to look at how you are getting on your edges. I'm sorry I'm exhausted or I would write more, later perhaps, i'm sure other more articulate folks may fill in.

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