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Platform development

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I know Phil mcnichols is big on developing a platform. Let me make sure I'm getting this correct. Prior to starting a new turn, you must develop a platform (something to push off of to get your hips forward-either your down hill or uphill ski) This will bend the ski back to you.
Schlopy does a hockey stop drill to help with platform development. How does this help and what exactly is it doing? Are there any other drills you recommend..?
post #2 of 27

Welcome to epic, gnar.  Your question focuses on the initiation and how the end of the previous turn relates to it.   Consider that during a turn you have an inside ski, and an outside ski.

 

1.   The old turn ends with your weight concentrated more on the outside ski.  You might call that a platform, or not.  It's best if you are not leaning back and inside up towards the hill when your turn ends.  All kinds of bad things happen if you lean back and in, although it's quite common for skiers to do anyway.    

 

2.  To keep this leaning back and in from happening, you need to allow your hips to travel downhill during the bottom half of the old turn, starting your upper body's path across the skis.  But how to do this?  I think that's what your question is about.

 

3.   Focusing your weight forcefully on that outside ski causing a hockey-stop-like skid is not necessary.  That involves leaning back and jamming on the brakes.  If you link hockey stops all over the mountain like that you'll wear yourself out fast.  It's not smooth and flowing, and certainly does not produce the exhilaration that we seek when skiing.  However, many recreational skiers do consider that skiing is linking "stop" type moves such as this.  Changing that attitude to one of linking "go" type moves is the key to upper level skiing.  

 

4.  Shift your focus to what you can do to allow those hips to start traveling sideways/diagonally down the hill over the skis.  This is accomplished not by feeling a braking sensation (as in hockey stops) but by releasing that outside ski from its grip on the snow.  How to release is the real question.  

 

5.  So, release that ski from its hold on the mountain by tipping your ankle downhill, rolling your knee downhill, and/or flexing that knee and allowing your entire body to topple downhill.  That's release, and once it's accomplished your skis will change edges and your new turn will begin.  

post #3 of 27

We've been discussing all of this in another thread but rather than wade through that thread the simple answer would be we eventually want to create an edge "platform" and stand on it. But that doesn't always mean the new turn starts at that point. Mostly because if we are patient enough to allow it to happen, Gravity will act on us and pull us into a turn without engaging any edges. Which is sometimes all you want to do. When that result is not what we want we must add additional force that will cause more lateral acceleration and thus make the turn happen sooner and at a smaller radius. That is when an early edge platform helps us expedite things. Granted once the edges are engaged we can use the side cut to ride through the turn but even that option is pretty limited. By pressuring the skis more (once the edges are engaged), they bend more and this allows us to scribe a tighter arc. Or if the edge platform is not as strongly developed the skis can skid and by simultaneously adding some steering the skis will skid and a short radius turn will occur.

 

As LF has suggested we need to be in position to do any of this stuff and the hockey stop drill certainly teaches us to get our body inside the turn. The problem is it also teaches braking for speed control instead of using our route to limit our speed. My best exercise for experiencing an edge platform and releases is to do tug of war drills. Resisting the pulling (you need a partner trying to pull you towards them) allows you to experience the fully engaged edge platform. But after that try slowly and progressively allowing them to pull you to them. That's the release LF mentioned. The difference when skiing is it's Gravity doing the pulling. How much you resist Gravity is up to you but unlike the static tug of war drill if you are more active earlier in the turn and you use turn shape to control speed, you are not limited to the big late braking moves.


Edited by justanotherskipro - 9/9/13 at 7:14am
post #4 of 27
A real platform is something we used to use with straight skis to get ready for releasing the edges with an unweighting movement that allowed pivoting the skis toward the new turn direction and changing to the new set of edges.

It's much less necessary in most circumstances with today's equipment and, as JASP notes, results in stopping momentum rather than allowing it to flow into the new turn.
post #5 of 27
And another welcome to EpicSki, Gnar Gnar!

Before this discussion goes too far, I think it would be helpful to agree on a working definition of "platform" as it relates to skiing. Generically, in "every day" use, a platform is some reasonably firm, stable thing you stand on, or could stand on. It is that common use, I suspect, that coach McNichol alludes to when he emphasizes the importance of "developing a platform"--primarily referring to creating a solidly-engaged, stable, carving, edged ski that you can balance on in a turn. That is a good thing!

But "platform" is also an old skiing term with a rather specific meaning, traditionally--and that meaning, while related, differs greatly from the common meaning of just "something to stand on"--to the extent that it is almost contradictory to modern, high-performance carved turns. I have covered the term "platform" briefly in the EpicSki Skiing Glossary, and a bit more completely in The Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing, upon which the Glossary is based. Essentially, in skiing, "platform" traditionally refers to an edge set at the end of a turn, abruptly stopping or slowing any skidding from the turn, and providing a solid base from which the skier can then "push off" to twist or throw the ski tails out into a skidded entry for the next turn. That push off typically involves some sort of "up-unweighting," often strengthened by the "rebound" (bounce) from the edgeset-platform.

In the days long, stiff, "straight" skis, when most turns were intentionally skidded out of necessity, the traditional "platform-pushoff" initiation was the state of the art. But today, there is another way--a better, more efficient, more elegant, offensive way to start a turn. For expert skiers, the old "platform-pushoff" initiation has become a backup plan, a defensive movement pattern used when needed, while the modern "edge-release-guide" initiation is the default pattern for great, contemporary, offensive turns.

As late as the 1980's, most instructors, coaches, and racers emphasized ending turns with a clean, solid edgeset platform for good skiing. It created many options--from that solid base of support, you could stem, step, hop, push away, or rebound into the next turn. But by the later 1980's, a new way to link turns involving releasing the edge, letting go of the mountain, and guiding the ski tips effortlessly down the hill and into the turn revolutionized ski technical models and teaching. PSIA (American ski instructors' national association) highlighted the new technique in its "Center Line" Model(TM). And new terms started to appear. Some authors and instructors adopted the term "moving platform" for the edge-release-guide initiation, and described the old edgeset-based "platform" as a "stationary platform." These terms did not stick around in common use for long, though, so today we just hear the simple word "platform"--and argue about whether it is "good or bad" before even discussing what it means. But I'll continue to use it here to describe the edgeset-pushoff-based transition, as opposed to the gliding, edge-release-guide-based transition.

Platform-pushoff initiations block and disrupt the flow of the skis and body from turn to turn. Release-guide initiations enhance it, allowing modern skis to enter the new turn smoothly, with minimal-to-no skidding, as the skier flows smoothly and continuously from turn to turn. Technically, they could not be more opposite:

  • Platform-pushoff turns end--and therefore begin--with an edge set. Release-guide turns end and begin with an edge release.
  • Platform-pushoff initiations brake and slow the body's movement down the hill as the skier literally pushes himself away from the direction of the new turn. Release-guide initiations require the body to move downhill from the feet (so-called "cross-over" or "cross-under"--referring to the smoothly crossing paths of the skis and body), leading the way into the new turn.
  • Platform-pushoff turns involve twisting the tails of the skis uphill and out to a skid--like a forklift with its guiding wheel(s) in the back; release-guide turns involve guiding the ski tips down the hill and into the new turn--like the precise steering of a sports car.
  • Overall, technically, platform-pushoff-based initiations involve entirely what I call "negative movements"--intentional movements away from the direction of the turn. Skis tip uphill, away from the turn, to set the edges (negative edging movements). Tails twist out, away from the turn (negative rotary movements). And the body flexes and extends to push away from the turn, often involving a weight transfer from the downhill ski to the uphill ski (negative pressure control movements--although not all weight transfers necessarily result from negative movements). Release-guide transitions, on the other hand, involve all "positive movements"--into the turn.
  • "Right tip right to GO right" is an effective mental cue for beginning an offensive turn to the right involving an edge-release-guide initiation. "Left tail left to NOT GO right" describes the platform-pushoff initiation for a right "turn." (Can't get more opposite than that, can you? Left vs. right, tip vs. tail, go vs. don't go....)
  • Platform-pushoff initiations are defensive--they control speed directly, slowing you down, blocking your movement, and scrubbing momentum as the skis skid laterally. Release-guide initiations are offensive--they control direction directly and precisely with minimal loss of speed as the skis "hold the road" and carve.
  • Platform-pushoff initiations serve the intent to "stop going this way." Release-guide initiations serve the intent to "GO that way!"
  • Platform-pushoff initiations are the tool of choice for controlling speed by "skiing the fast line slow"--minimal direction changes as the skis skid and brake. Release-guide initiations are the hallmark of skiers "skiing the slow line fast"--using tactics and line, rather than braking techniques, to control speed.
  • Release-guide initiations feel like flying. Platform-pushoff initiations feel like, well, like getting down the hill.

Great skiers are skillful at both fundamental turn initiation patterns, and use them as appropriate, with purpose and intent. But the gliding, smooth flowing, effortless-looking movements that distinguish true experts result from using platform-pushoff defensive turns as little as possible, and offensive release-guide transitions whenever they can. Platform-pushoff skidded turns are an important skill, but a bad habit!

Unfortunately, most skiers--even among those who ski very advanced terrain--rely on the platform-pushoff as their default, fundamental, habitual movement pattern. For many skiers, it is their only option. Release-guide initiations require--and result naturally from--offensive "go that way" intent. But that intent is not, for most skiers, intuitive, so they naturally adopt and practice the platform-pushoff skidding movement patterns that serve the defensive intent to control speed, the desire to cling to the mountain and prevent the skis from gliding freely. The first instinct of most beginners, as soon as they feel their slippery skis wanting to slide away from them, is to try to do something that makes those skis grip and stop sliding--something that gives them a little "traction." Twisting the ski tails out--either into a braking wedge or a parallel "hockey stop" skid--creates the traction and returns a sense of normalcy to the world. Unfortunately, most skiers, especially when self-taught, latch onto that first sensation of "control" (of speed) and then simply get better and better at it through practice. They may never learn to let go and feel the sensation of gliding, carving, slicing, precise direction control, and controlling speed indirectly through tactics, not technique. They push off and twist and skid and brake through any condition, on all terrain. It "works," in the sense that they can learn to "get down" even advanced terrain with it. But no matter how good you get at platform-pushoff-based turns, they will never evolve into offensive, gliding "expert" skiing.

---

So I don't know if that answers your question, Gnar Gnar. Clearly, by the traditional definition of "platform," it is a skill you want to develop, but a habit you want to avoid if you aspire to the effortless, gliding efficiency and soaring joy of the expert skier. If you seek the benefit of the "platform" that Phil McNichol refers to, that's a different use of the word. And if you're wondering about things like "platform angle"--a term Ron LeMaster has used to describe concepts and movements that influence a ski's ability to grip or release--well, that's another good conversation altogether.

Now we just need a little snow.... (Won't be long!)

Best regards,
Bob
post #6 of 27
Here's a little low-resolution animation of releasing the edge and guiding the ski tips downhill into the turn initiations. It's a drill worth practicing! (And it is the opposite of setting the edge to create a platform and then pushing/hopping/stemming/stepping/rebounding uphill and twisting the ski tails out to a skidded turn entry.)



Best regards,
Bob
post #7 of 27

 It's interesting to me that a total edge engagement verses partial engagement has come up. My question would be what we call that partial engagement? 

post #8 of 27

You guy just kill me!  Do I have too much tip lead here?  I found too much tip lead did not work so good with my JJ's.  Then a pro told me after I asked him for a hint on those JJ's.  He said less tip lead by thinking of pulling back my heel.  Seemed to work.  I can carve my JJ's just like this too.  Maybe stronger turns as they are a 12 meter turn I believe.  Those suckers are 171 with only 100 effective edge!
HELP!

post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 

WOW!  Thanks for all of the feed  back and info.  Can tell this site is for those  who really care about skiing.

 

Here is Mcnichols talking about the importance of platform development.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK2jbDeWJ-U

 

Here is schlopy @ :30. demo the outside ski drill.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgNPHGxce3Y

 

It seems as though the plat form development is extremely important between turns.  It allows  you  to get into a good body position, allowing you to get  foward and on the new ski.

 

I talked with a friend who attended point zero one racing camp (schlopy and phil's camp).  They spent a great deal of time working on the hockey stop drill.  He explained to me that when you perform the drill correctly you are put in a great position (outside ski extended and inside ankle flexed and pulled back w/ leg retracted.  Just as the drill explained in the reply (tug of war),  Is the intention to put you in a position to place a great deal of weight on the down hill ski.  Just trying to get my brain wrapped around this.

 

Thx

post #10 of 27
... Jacque, I hope you get some good feedback.
post #11 of 27

When I think of “Platform”, I think of “Base of Support” (BOS).  Maybe I’m a whack-a-doodle, but not matter the type of skiing, except for being in the air, don’t you need a BOS?  If I’m extending or flexing, it has to have a BOS for that to happen.  Same with tipping the skis and making them flat. 

If you don’t have a BOS, what do you release your edges from?  When I do pivot slips, assuming I’m “slipping”, I extend off the uphill ski (my new BOS) to get the skis flat so they can pivot.

When I come out of a turn, I engage the uphill ski (by engage I mean it’s now in charge and is my primary BOS) and as I move forward, it is in relation to it.

Maybe years ago the Platform was something we pushed off of.  Just as our gear and technology has evolved, so has our use of the platform.  I don’t think of the platform or BOS as something to push off of, but no matter what you’re doing, even if subconsciously, one of your skis is probably your BOS and on today’s equipment and skiing style, shouldn’t that be the platform?

 

Ken


Edited by L&AirC - 9/10/13 at 5:54pm
post #12 of 27

Gnar, it appears that Phil is using the work "platform" differently than Bob Barnes.  Phil and Bob do not contradict each other.  

 

The two videos you have linked involve race training.  The goal in racing is to carve as much as possible (go fast and win) and to lose speed as little as possible (there are many ways to lose speed in a course).  Carving involves skiing on skis whose tails follow the tips, usually while most of the skier's weight is concentrated on the outside ski.  Phil is using the term "platform" to describe an edged ski that carves forward along its edge instead of skidding out.  Both coaches, Phil and Eric, are addressing some ways of getting that outside ski to carve early in the turn, so as to lose no time in the gates with inefficient movements.  They assume their students know how to carve in the first place.

 

Getting the carving ski to start carving at the top of the turn is the big issue for most skiers who do not already know how to carve.   In these videos neither coach addresses this in a way geared to first-time carvers. 

 

Hockey stops do involve angulation, counter, retraction, upper body/lower body separation, long leg/short leg, and oh yes, stopping as fast as possible.  The intention for doing a real hockey stop is to stop, not go; racers need to stop fast inside the finish corral or they'll crash into the netting.  The intention of carving is to go, and go fast.  I'll grant that some parts of the body language of hockey stops are similar to those used while carving, and that perhaps doing hockey stops might teach one feel those things.  Shifting that body language into turning with the intent to move along on a carving ski is another issue.

 

Where do you ski?  What are your goals for this upcoming season?

 

.

post #13 of 27
Is this the thread you meant to post in, Jacques? If it is, then I'll say that excess tip lead is not actually what catches my eye in your skiing here.

Regarding the "platform" and the two basic categories of edge use at turn initiation, your mostly carved turns actually fall more into the platform-pushoff category. Although you achieve high edge angles in your turns, and your skis do carve fairly well, they attain those angles mostly by moving sideways at the start and early part of the turn. You tend to finish your turns still on edge--on the "platform" that requires you to move your ski tails uphill and out into a skidded entry, usually one ski at a time ("sequential"). Although it is difficult to see in this clip, there is often a slight "stem" of your new outside ski at the start of the turn, as you twist its tail out and away and onto its new edge while still standing against the "platform" of your downhill ski. You have to look close to see this little stem, but it's easy to see that your skis separate wider at the beginnings of your turns, as your downhill (old outside) ski continues to track on its edge.



Here the stem of the uphill tail is easily seen at the beginning of the left turn at 00:25, as the downhill ski continues to track on its edged "platform."


These are all signs of the platform-pushoff entry. If your goal is truly to make cleanly-linked carved "arc-to-arc" turns, it's something you will want to address, because it causes your skis to skid at the turn entry as you develop your edge angles mostly by moving your skis sideways out from under you.

The key will be in the exit of the turn. Rather than holding onto the edge, as you did in this clip, and finishing on the "platform," you will need to reduce the edge angle as you complete the turn. That reduction in edge angle will occur primarily as you decrease your "inclination" (leaning into the turn), moving your body back over your feet, ending the turn in what I call "neutral." In that moment of "neutral," your body will be directly over your feet and your edges will be released, as your feet (skis) and body travel continuously on different, crossing, paths. As skis and body continue on those crossing paths, your body moves further downhill and inside the path of your skis, increasingly tipping your skis to their new edges without needing to move them sideways. Subtle "angulation" movements, beginning in your feet and ankles, will supplement these tipping movements, aiding the edge release to start the turn and adding edge angle as needed in the carving phase.

Thanks for posting the video clip, Jacques. It is a good example of a higher-level skier still using the habitual "defensive" movements of the platform-pushoff initiation, even when attempting to make aggressively carved turns. It's not an easy habit to break, but I hope you can see what needs to be done if you want to put the time and effort into it. The payoff will be big in your high-performance carved turns!

Best regards,
Bob
post #14 of 27
Quote:
I talked with a friend who attended point zero one racing camp (schlopy and phil's camp). They spent a great deal of time working on the hockey stop drill. He explained to me that when you perform the drill correctly you are put in a great position (outside ski extended and inside ankle flexed and pulled back w/ leg retracted. Just as the drill explained in the reply (tug of war), Is the intention to put you in a position to place a great deal of weight on the down hill ski. Just trying to get my brain wrapped around this.

Timing is the critical thing piece, Gnar Gnar. It is far easier to balance on a cleanly carving ski slicing directly forward through a turn, than on a ski that is skidding unpredictably. And of course, that carving ski is also faster, and more precisely in control of its path. That is the "platform" that McNichol and Schlopy are talking about--it's what the "tug-o-war" drill, among other things, can create a good feeling for, and it is a good thing. But regardless of how much edge angle you attain in a turn, and how cleanly your skis carve on a solid "platform," the key to smoothly linked turns remains how you transition from one set of edges to the other. You have to let go of that "platform" by the end of the turn, and allow your skis and body to move on different, crossing paths. If the platform is to be gone by the end of the turn, you obviously need to start letting it go before the end of the turn. That is the reduction of inclination (leaning) and edge angle in the completion phase of the turn that I'm talking about.

Notice how Schlopy lets go of the platform as he exits the turn in this sequence in a GS race:



Erik Schlopy, Noram GS, Keystone, CO; © Bob Barnes


Hockey stops and tug-of-war drills can help develop a feel for solidly engaged edges, and the body position you need for balance against them. But be careful, because they can also lead to holding onto those edges too long, and needing then to "pushoff" and move your skis sideways to get them back out to the other side of your body and onto their new edges.

Don't confuse exercises and drills with skiing. Even the best exercises can be misused and can backfire, leading to bad habits and misunderstanding. I have often said that "every exercise has something wrong with it--otherwise it would be 'skiing.' Typical exercises exaggerate something, or focus on one sensation or one moment of a turn--a moment that in real skiing would be fleeting at best. Such is the case with these "platform" exercises. They're effective--but beware!

Best regards,
Bob
post #15 of 27
And here's another little video clip that demonstrates some of these critical concepts:



I wish I could get Vimeo to loop clips like this one continuously. Still, it shows the high, clean edge angle "platform" in the shaping/carving phase of the turn, as well as the decrease in edge angle and inclination as the turn comes to an end. The center "screen" shows the two crossing paths of the skis and body (center of mass) as they flow continuously from turn to turn. Notice too that at the end of the turn (and beginning of the next turn), where the red "light" flashes, the edge (platform) has released and the skier's body is directly over his feet. This is where the two lines cross, and it is the moment that I refer to as "turn neutral."

Ironically, and critically important to this discussion of "platform development," the key to developing the clean, high-edge-angle platform in the middle of the turn is to release it by the end of the turn. The movements of the edge release are what cause the two paths to cross, reducing the edge angle at the end of the turn but then, without interruption, pulling the skis cleanly onto increasing edge angles as the new turn develops. Focusing on just "creating" the platform can, and typically does, produce all the wrong movements of pushing or twisting the skis sideways to get them on edge. Focusing on releasing the platform as the turn ends can be magic!

Best regards,
Bob
post #16 of 27

The objective in racing is to negotiate a set path as quickly as possible, the objective of the course setter varies from practice courses that are set up so a developing racer can successfully practice a particular tactic or technique, to challenging courses that test the racer's ability to change tactics and technique. Race day courses tend to be the later. The drills used to help a developing racer experience a particular movement, or sensation thus need to be seen as part of that but only a small part of that. Especially on race day. Figuring out how to apply the strong edging when needed and to avoid doing so when it's not needed becomes the key. This tends to produce a minimalist attitude when it comes to edge platforms like Phil describes. When the skis are holding I would say higher edge angles are superfluous and in many cases will actually interrupt the smooth release, x moment, and engagement of the new edges Bob described. It's also interesting that seeking speed isn't always about high edge angles and strong edge platforms. Gliding through the transitions and seeking to conserve whatever speed and momentum we are carrying is more often than not the difference between first and last place. It might be a spit second thing in one turn but if we multiply that by the number of turns in the course it can amount to a lot of time. Even if that only occurs in a few gates the result is you slowed down and if you did that more than the other guys, your results will show it.

 

As a racer it becomes important to understand how moves can make you faster through one part of a turn and slower through another. My advice would be to learn the edge platform in the hockey stop drill, the tug of war drill, and the side slip release drill shown in post 6. As you do that I'm confident you will figure out how they all fit together in the race course.

 

Ski well,

JASP

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnar gnar View Post

I know Phil mcnichols is big on developing a platform. Let me make sure I'm getting this correct. Prior to starting a new turn, you must develop a platform (something to push off of to get your hips forward-either your down hill or uphill ski) This will bend the ski back to you.
Schlopy does a hockey stop drill to help with platform development. How does this help and what exactly is it doing? Are there any other drills you recommend..?

 

The key message I took away from Phil's 20 minute lesson video was the goal to stay weighted through transition.  If you unweight or lose weight, you lose any ability to push against anything for moving your CoM around.  It seems to me he was trying to show a number of different ways to stay weighted, ie, keep a platform.  

 

As others have noted I would be careful about creating too much of an edged platform on the old outside ski ( downhill ski ) near the end of old turn on the BTE.  You do want to release that ski to allow your CoM to move down the hill.  One question that comes up, is why should you have to push your CoM down the hill?  Phil talked about that a few times, it made me wince a bit.  You do want to be creating pressure on that new outside ski (uphill ski), as soon as possible, to make it bend and carve, but not really for the goal of pushing your CoM down the hill entirely.  There are turn forces from the old turn that will carry it there just fine if you release that downhill ski effectively.  But here's the rub.  You have to learn to release that downhill ski without going weightless.  If you are weightless, then you will not be able to engage and bend the new outside ski very well, you will have a hard time making fore/aft adjustments of your CoM during that period of time as well, etc.  That is the point Phil was trying to make I think.

 

At another point Phil kind of corrected himself and said, racers do a lot of things, stand on one ski or the other, but make sure you are always standing on one.  In other words, keep a platform yes.  One ski or the other at all times.  Avoid weightlessness.  But I would be careful about getting into the mindset of lingering on the BTE of the downhill ski too long going through transition in order to create that platform.  That is how abstems develop.

 

You want to release that ski and get onto the uphill ski, do the pressure handoff without loss of pressure.  Remember you can't push your CoM down the hill, nor really allow turn forces to take it there, if you're pressuring the BTE of the downhill ski.  You have to already be on the LTE of that downhill ski in order to make any useful pressures for the new turn. 

post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

Gnar, it appears that Phil is using the work "platform" differently than Bob Barnes.  Phil and Bob do not contradict each other.  

The two videos you have linked involve race training.  The goal in racing is to carve as much as possible (go fast and win) and to lose speed as little as possible (there are many ways to lose speed in a course).  Carving involves skiing on skis whose tails follow the tips, usually while most of the skier's weight is concentrated on the outside ski.  Phil is using the term "platform" to describe an edged ski that carves forward along its edge instead of skidding out.  Both coaches, Phil and Eric, are addressing some ways of getting that outside ski to carve early in the turn, so as to lose no time in the gates with inefficient movements.  They assume their students know how to carve in the first place.

Getting the carving ski to start carving at the top of the turn is the big issue for most skiers who do not already know how to carve.   In these videos neither coach addresses this in a way geared to first-time carvers. 



 



Hockey stops do involve angulation, counter, retraction, upper body/lower body separation, long leg/short leg, and oh yes, stopping as fast as possible.  The intention for doing a real hockey stop is to stop, not go; racers need to stop fast inside the finish corral or they'll crash into the netting.  The intention of carving is to go, and go fast.  I'll grant that some parts of the body language of hockey stops are similar to those used while carving, and that perhaps doing hockey stops might teach one feel those things.  Shifting that body language into turning with the intent to move along on a carving ski is another issue.

Where do you ski?  What are your goals for this upcoming season?

.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Colorado. Goals...improve in racing (clean up my turns, turn more above the gate, quit digging my edges into the point im losing speed. I basically use racing to improve my overall skiing.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

Is this the thread you meant to post in, Jacques? If it is, then I'll say that excess tip lead is not actually what catches my eye in your skiing here.

Regarding the "platform" and the two basic categories of edge use at turn initiation, your mostly carved turns actually fall more into the platform-pushoff category. Although you achieve high edge angles in your turns, and your skis do carve fairly well, they attain those angles mostly by moving sideways at the start and early part of the turn. You tend to finish your turns still on edge--on the "platform" that requires you to move your ski tails uphill and out into a skidded entry, usually one ski at a time ("sequential"). Although it is difficult to see in this clip, there is often a slight "stem" of your new outside ski at the start of the turn, as you twist its tail out and away and onto its new edge while still standing against the "platform" of your downhill ski. You have to look close to see this little stem, but it's easy to see that your skis separate wider at the beginnings of your turns, as your downhill (old outside) ski continues to track on its edge.



Here the stem of the uphill tail is easily seen at the beginning of the left turn at 00:25, as the downhill ski continues to track on its edged "platform."


These are all signs of the platform-pushoff entry. If your goal is truly to make cleanly-linked carved "arc-to-arc" turns, it's something you will want to address, because it causes your skis to skid at the turn entry as you develop your edge angles mostly by moving your skis sideways out from under you.

The key will be in the exit of the turn. Rather than holding onto the edge, as you did in this clip, and finishing on the "platform," you will need to reduce the edge angle as you complete the turn. That reduction in edge angle will occur primarily as you decrease your "inclination" (leaning into the turn), moving your body back over your feet, ending the turn in what I call "neutral." In that moment of "neutral," your body will be directly over your feet and your edges will be released, as your feet (skis) and body travel continuously on different, crossing, paths. As skis and body continue on those crossing paths, your body moves further downhill and inside the path of your skis, increasingly tipping your skis to their new edges without needing to move them sideways. Subtle "angulation" movements, beginning in your feet and ankles, will supplement these tipping movements, aiding the edge release to start the turn and adding edge angle as needed in the carving phase.

Thanks for posting the video clip, Jacques. It is a good example of a higher-level skier still using the habitual "defensive" movements of the platform-pushoff initiation, even when attempting to make aggressively carved turns. It's not an easy habit to break, but I hope you can see what needs to be done if you want to put the time and effort into it. The payoff will be big in your high-performance carved turns!

Best regards,
Bob

Wow Bob, thanks for all that!  For the most part I can never understand all the technical talk.  It generally makes no sense to me.  I just get more confused.  Anyway, I was just funnin' with you all for the most part.  Please take me with a grain of salt!  I can turn a lot of ways.  This was just trying to use the entire width of the groom and go across the whole thing.  Maybe if I ever get a good cam guy, I'll post more in the future.  I just ski for fun anyway.  The guy who gave me a pointer last season was training skiers for Atomic.  He is really good.  He told me I pretty much kill it and should enter some races for the old folks.   Thanks again Bob!  Be good.

post #21 of 27

Finding a good race program is my advice. Some are more affordable than others and finding one near you are just two important factors. Another is the strength of the program in your age group.

post #22 of 27

Indeed, what JASP and Bob say.... a few gates would help you understand the shortcomings of your skiing (and improve) Jacque, but if you're having fun and happy where you're at, no worries. Keep smiling and turning.

post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnar gnar View Post

Colorado. Goals...improve in racing (clean up my turns, turn more above the gate, quit digging my edges into the point im losing speed. I basically use racing to improve my overall skiing.

 

It's a common adage that racing improves one's all-mountain skiing.  That might be true, and it might not depending on what and where you ski when out of the gates, but that's another issue. 

 

Anyhoo, improving your times in the gates and working on your turn entries is a worthy challenge.  You've been looking at race coaching videos for clues as to how to do it, which makes sense. But the two videos you've found so far have resulted in some ideas that might not be all that helpful. 

 

I'm going to assume that you end up skidding and scrubbing speed after passing the gates more than you'd like.  If I'm correct, then putting most of your turn above the gate is the key just as you say.  Your skis should be already heading back across the hill as you pass the gate.  You'll need to be looking at least two gates ahead, preferable three, and trusting your subconscious co-piot to take care of the gate right in front of you.  Add to those two things a carved turn entry and you'll be golden. 

 

The gates in Nastar are closer together than gs and farther apart than slalom, at least around here in New England.  Are you racing Nastar, or Masters?     

post #24 of 27
Hmmmm. I can't imagine how McNichol's video couldn't be extremely helpful. It's pretty much the core of the matter.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post



The gates in Nastar are closer together than gs and farther apart than slalom, at least around here in New England.  Are you racing Nastar, or Masters?     

Don't forget "Epic Racing", which replaced Nastar at the Vail resorts rolleyes.gif.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 

Indeed, what JASP and Bob say.... a few gates would help you understand the shortcomings of your skiing (and improve) Jacque, but if you're having fun and happy where you're at, no worries. Keep smiling and turning.

Thank you!  I'm not into gates but that's a nice thought. 

post #27 of 27
So Gnar, how much racing have you done? Where do you live? What coaching have you received in the past?

Books help but a structured program with a good coach will expedite your progress since they can give you feedback and suggest areas of focus appropriate for you.
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