or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Pre-season training, hope to learn how to catch air on skis
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Pre-season training, hope to learn how to catch air on skis

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I'm an advanced skier but have never tried to catch any air or go off any jumps. I really hope to learn how to this year when I do the Steep & Deep camp at Jackson Hole. I know it requires a strong core and balance, which I will be working on, but what else can I do so that I can make the most of my learning time at the camp? Does trampolining help? I really want to be able to start catching some air.

 

Thanks for any tips. 

post #2 of 16

Practice launching here and there while running/jogging down trails.  Jump small flights of stairs while jogging.  The thing that will help most while doing these things is ALWAYS keep your hands out in front and imagine planting your poles out front as you land.  You can even try little tricks like spread eagles or even 360s.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that tip, I just tried doing some jumps off the staircase. Should I also mimick having my legs flexed in the air and trying to land with them mostly straightened?

post #4 of 16

I'd suggest practicing something that has little friction fore-aft, Like jumping a staircase on inlines or jumping on an MTB/DH.

post #5 of 16

We have a trampoline gym opening here. I imagine that "body awareness" in the air would be helpful, so I'm gonna take my son and go.

 

Even if you guys say: that won't help at all...I'm still going, just b/c it looks fun.

post #6 of 16

Tramps are good for getting comfortable with tricks.  Hopping stairs is good for maintaining fore aft while moving forward.  It's most useful to be moving/jogging on the take off then plant the landing hands forward then jog away out of it. Taking sime small leaps while running down a steep hill will best prepare you for actual skiing air as you don't want flat ground landings but you do want to keep forward and not sit back when landing.  Back seat landings is the most common mistake folks make when learning to jump.  It comes from the fear of going over the handlebars and face planting.  However, it is actually quite difficult to be TOO far forward when jumping to a steep pitch landing.

post #7 of 16

Catching air on skis is super easy. Landing is slightly harder. :cool

 

In any case, there are different flavors of 'catching air'. There is airing on a jump or other feature, then there is catching air when dropping a cliff. Some of the skills are the same, some are slightly different. When dropping a cliff, your skis leave the snow angled downward, and your trajectory is a fairly simple line from the lip of the cliff to the landing below. However, when catching air on a feature, your skis and body are oriented upwards, and in air you need to bring your skis and body into a downward orientation in order to land safely.

 

Some of the skills needed for either are the same. It is very important to remember that even though the point of the exercise is to catch air and get your skis off the snow, most of the work for a successful air is going to happen before you leave the lip of the cliff or feature, with the skis still on the snow. After your skis leave the snow, there is very little you can do to affect your body position, and nothing you can do to affect your trajectory.

 

Off of a drop, your number one goal is going to be to keep yourself centered over your skis at launch. Your natural inclination is going to be to get back on your skis, but you need to resist that in order to stay stable in the air and land successfully. Any safe cliff drop is going to have a steep landing. If it is a flat landing, walk away, because a flat landing is a hard landing, and inviting an injury. So you launch off of the lip, and you're going to accelerate very quickly, at 9.8 m/s*2, in fact. That means you're going to be going fast when you land, and since the landing should be steep, you're going to continue to accelerate on landing. 35+mph is something you should expect, so if you're back on your skis, its going to be a very hard job to keep yourself upright on landing.

 

Off of a feature like a jump, the dynamics are a little different. Being able to judge speed entering a jump is important, because you're going to want to clear the feature and not overshoot or come up short (called 'casing'). On launch, you are going to want to 'pop' with your legs. The most important thing when airing a feature is how you leave the lip. You want to make a significant move forward on your skis as you leave the lip. This will bring your center of mass forward faster than your skis, which will change the attitude of your skis to pointing down and ready for the landing. If you are in any way on the back of your skis when you launch a feature, you will be thrown backwards and likely end up with your skis higher than your head, which is a bad way to land.

 

The wrong way to launch a feature- Notice how far back he is. http://youtu.be/oyp_30-koec

The right way to launch a feature-http://youtu.be/A0z8ysyWGFs

 

The right way to drop a cliff- http://youtu.be/eSSexj-ANSk

The wrong way to drop a cliff- http://youtu.be/XkKGXO3AmiY?t=38s

 

These are the things you should be keeping in mind as you're trampolining or airing on your feet.

post #8 of 16

You just missed a great annual event put on by PSIA east. Check out the link and mark you calendar for next year.

 

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/255835877871399/

post #9 of 16

I recommend becoming familiar with the ATML model (approach, take-off, maneuver, landing). Make a plan before getting air. Break that plan into the ATML parts. Start small and easy and work your way to harder and more challenging.

 

This link may help start your introduction to the power of the ATML model.

http://skiblog-skiblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/freestyle-skiing-and-atml-method.html

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

Practice launching here and there while running/jogging down trails.  Jump small flights of stairs while jogging.  The thing that will help most while doing these things is ALWAYS keep your hands out in front and imagine planting your poles out front as you land.  You can even try little tricks like spread eagles or even 360s.

 

I disagree with the part about planting your poles on landings.  This is a good way to have the poles come back at you.

 
I agree with Rusty about the ATML approach to jumping, both in the park and on natural features.  
 
I am not a huge air guy.  I do ski fast in steep rocky terrain and sometimes air happens.  I am also not a big park guy, but took PSIA Park and Pipe L1 training and can do basic tricks.  I am "technically"certified to teach park safety and basic freestyle.  I introduce these things to my local kids groups, but am not the guy you want if you are serious about getting into any real park skiing.  The following is what works for me.  YMMV  
 
When I take "planned" air off of a rock or a park feature I like to swing both poles forward (Approach) and plant them on the lip of the "jump".  I pass the poles with my feet as I go past the lip (Takeoff).  This helps me get forward and move with the skis into the air.  I keep my hands in front and allow the pole tips to swing behind me.  Depending on what I am looking to get out of the jump I might extend or pop on the takeoff to get more air.  I might flex or absorb if I want less air.  It comes down to what I am planning to do in the air (Maneuver).  It also matters how much speed I am carrying into the takeoff.  For example on a tabletop type feature....  less speed = more pop to land in the proper spot.  More speed will require less pop or maybe even some absorption to not overshoot the landing zone.  The same thing applies to rocks and cliffs.  A lot of people who start dropping rocks don't hit the lip with enough speed and drop pretty much straight down.  The "appropriate" amount of speed on take off helps put more of the energy of the landing into forward motion and reduces the pancake effect of a straight drop.  A well designed park feature has a down-slope built into the landing zone.  You will want to look for the same thing in a natural feature.  Flat landings are hard landings.  I like to extend in the air so that I can better absorb my landing.  The caveat is that you want to make sure that you maintain some flexion in all of the joints as you extend.  Landing with your knees or any other joint "locked" will inhibit your ability to flex and absorb the shock of landing and will be "unpleasant".
post #11 of 16

The wrong way to drop a cliff- http://youtu.be/XkKGXO3AmiY?t=38s

 

This actually looks pretty good at take off, mid air, and landing. Balance seems pretty centered, hands down and forward, and knees bent to absorb the landing. I think he hit a big powder bump that created a flattish landing that caused the over the handle bars result? So I think this skiers mistake was landing site choice.

post #12 of 16

I'd learn to get air on park features rather than natural ones if I was you, much more repeatable and safe. As for preseason stuff, trampolining is good for air awareness for tricks, but won't actually help too much for the actual take off and landing parts (the tough bits!). Water ramps would obviously be great if you have some nearby. Other than that, just loads of squats, lunges plyometrics etc for leg strength will help. 

 

Agree with everyone else re. ATML, I wouldn't double pole plant on takeoff though, when you have to absorb a poppy takeoff it will restrict your ability to flex, plus it looks silly!

 

I do a lot of straight airs in this vid, my focus is generally on keeping compact in the air, then extending before landing to give myself a greater range of movement to absorb the impact, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't!

 

 

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post
 

 

When I take "planned" air off of a rock or a park feature I like to swing both poles forward (Approach) and plant them on the lip of the "jump".  I pass the poles with my feet as I go past the lip (Takeoff).

 

As somebody who once spent a great deal of time in the park, I strongly discourage anybody from doing a pole plant on the lip of a jump. Not for your own form, but as an etiquette point. Pole plants can chew up the lip of a jump pretty good. On a straight air, no biggie. But when the guy behind you is trying to throw something off axis or inverted, he is likely going to want to leave the lip of the jump on edge. If everybody has been jamming their ski poles into the lip of that jump, he's probably not going to get a clean launch, which is going to make it harder for him to land that maneuver. Not landing= crashing. Crashing= dangerous. The park is dangerous enough, and the jumps get torn up enough from regular use without people jamming poles into them.

 

Hmm, my 500th post... seems like I've posted more.

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim. View Post
 

I'd learn to get air on park features rather than natural ones if I was you, much more repeatable and safe. As for preseason stuff, trampolining is good for air awareness for tricks, but won't actually help too much for the actual take off and landing parts (the tough bits!). Water ramps would obviously be great if you have some nearby. Other than that, just loads of squats, lunges plyometrics etc for leg strength will help.

 

Agree with everyone else re. ATML, I wouldn't double pole plant on takeoff though, when you have to absorb a poppy takeoff it will restrict your ability to flex, plus it looks silly!

 

I do a lot of straight airs in this vid, my focus is generally on keeping compact in the air, then extending before landing to give myself a greater range of movement to absorb the impact, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't!

 

 

At 1:36 did you land directly onto rocks and pull it off? Nicely done and well constructed skis.

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by agreen View Post
 

 

At 1:36 did you land directly onto rocks and pull it off? Nicely done and well constructed skis.

 

Well spotted! Yes I did, the skis held up ok, big coreshots but thankfully nowhere near the edges. 

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Pre-season training, hope to learn how to catch air on skis