I'm sharing with you a short movie recorded 3 days ago in the fantastic Austrian alps. It is one of my first tries skiing off-piste (new feelings) but I would love to have some input.
Thanks a lot!!
Edited by Nach - 4/2/13 at 5:42pm
If you're smiling, it must be good! The smile as you go by the camera says a lot. For a first off-piste run this is excellent.
I like how you stay in a corridor coming down the run and keep at a steady speed. The bouncing to unweight the skis to start the turn is working for you, especially using the rhythm of the bounces to keep going from one turn to the next. Did you get tired in the quads skiing in this snow? You're weight is in the back seat. A couple of times you get your feet close together but you never get both skis working together as a single unit. Can you see how there is at least one ski tip visible above the snow surface 99% of the time? Finally notice how your shoulders are almost always facing the same direction your skis are pointed.
If you had to "farm" or "shadow" some of the "ribbon" type tracks we see in the background, you would have a very hard time. Making those "ribbon tracks" in deeper snow requires some minor adjustments to sound fundamental mechanics. Some adjustments (skiing in corridor making shallower turns and increasing down slope speed) you've down very well. Some (closing the ankle joint, skiing with a narrower stance and turning in slow motion), you need to work on. One fundamental you need to work on before we start working on adjustments is to let the lower body turn underneath a stable upper body. Those skiers making the ribbon tracks keep their shoulders facing the bottom of the run for the entire run. Their legs and feet turn underneath their hips to make those round turns. The second fundamental to work on is to move your hips to stay with the skis. At turn initiation the hips need to be coming across the skis so you don't get stuck in the back seat.
Some skiers get advised to lean back in powder to make it easier to turn. Skill wise, this is true. This does work. But it is inefficient and very tiring. You do need to have a platform underneath your skis. And compared to skiing on groomed snow, you want to have your ski tips higher off the subsurface than the tails of your skis. Instead of sitting back if you can achieve this position by lifting your toes to lift the tip up, you will enable more efficient turns. But if you don't have that second fundamental (the hip movement), the lifting the toes trick is not going to work.
Remember that in this depth of snow, you are also skiing in a third dimension: the depth of the snow pack. Think of a roller coaster path within the snow pack. There are times when you want your ski tips going "up the track" and having the tips peek above the snow at the top of the rise and their are times when your skis should be going "down the track" so that the tips rebound off the bottom subsurface.
Many skiers pick up these movement patterns intuitively simply by just getting more experience. Some can adjust very quickly by using the simple adjustments mentioned above. Some (no names mentioned Dad) simply never get it because they choose to hate powder instead of getting coaching to help speed up the learning curve. I think you are well on your way to becoming a powder hound. I suspect a lesson on groomed snow focused on "skiing into counter" would greatly accelerate the development of your powder skiing.
your beginning each turn by new outside leg steering/tipping (using the upperbody and hips) which is inefficient vs using inside leg steering/tippings using the legs via the femur joint which is efficient.
your also aft all the way though each turn but you will not be balanced untill your using leg steering.
I would start by learning to get your legs to seperated at the femur joint and think about the new inside leg leading though the turn. then start thinking about why do we turn. So Nach why do you turn?