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Early Season MA Request - Tips for me to work on this season...

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I'm back from some early season skiing on the Hintertux Glacier in Austria, and was just emailed this video. It is only moderate terrain pitch, but a very firm fast surface as it's early in the day re-frozen Glacier and I see that I'm rather tentatively free skiing, probably because it was only my first day of the season skiing on GS skis (my prior ski days were all on SL gear). This trip I did spend around half of my time in GS and SL gates, and many of those days were pretty poor visibility. On this particular day the visibility is very good, so I'm hoping for some MA thoughts and maybe even some recommended drills for me to work on this season:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm9iXwWv5M4

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts on how I can improve my skiing.

post #2 of 28
Above link embedded for easy viewing.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks sibhusky for embedding the video. 

 

Also, Thanks to sharpedges for your PM'd thoughts, and I will work on those drills as soon as I get back on snow!  

post #4 of 28

I'll point out a couple of things that I'm seeing. First off, I'm seeing your inside hand and shoulder dropping. This is causing you to bank into the turn. Think about keeping your shoulders as parallel to your feet as possible. I think this in part is leading to some angles being off further down your body, including an A-frame I'm seeing at some points. I've taken a frame of video, and highlighted the angles I'm seeing in your turn:

 

 

As you see, your hips and shoulders are parallel to each other, but aren't parallel to your feet. In order to compensate for that, you're having to make a big compensatory angle with your knees. This is both putting you out of alignment, and facilitating that A- frame. As an instructor, I try to demo anything I want a student to try, so here is me demoing proper alignment, in picture form.

 

 

I know the angle of the picture is different, and it is bump skiing so the feet are closer together, but the point is, you see that shoulders, hips, knees and feet are all parallel. If you can keep your shoulders parallel with your feet, the hips will follow suit, and the knees aren't far off either.

 

There are a few things you can do to help this. A great thing for this is holding your arms out like you're holding a lunch tray. Then rest your poles horizontally across your wrists. Ski your way down the hill, keeping the poles parallel with the ground beneath your feet. This will keep your body aligned, and prevent you from dropping that inside hand.

post #5 of 28

Here is a great video showing Josh Foster doing two drills, Railers and Schlopys.

Those Schlopys are great for helping with counter (aka upper body lower body separation).

 

 

post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your feedback freeski919, and I absolutely do agree with you that I need to bend/angulate more at my hips. I think this was probably exacerbated a little by me being pretty tentative on hard surface for my first day on GS skis making GS turns, but inevitably it's also an inherent flaw that's popping out and is certainly very visible here. I will try what you suggested, as well as some of the other early season drills I normally do each season when I get back on snow.

post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks LiquidFeet for that video as I was already planning a Schlopy drill session for when I get back on snow, and that video is a great visual image of doing the drill the right way! This will help my angulation - which was missing. I actually thought my counter was decent for GS (hips/shoulders open towards the fall line and not overly squared towards the direction of travel - except for the very last turn when I was stopping and looking back up the hill). Are you thinking I need more counter as well as more angulation?

post #8 of 28

Chris,

 

I like how you get on your new edges above the fall line. To ramp up the performance another notch I'd like to see you finishing your turns by steering into a countered position and then collapsing the new inside leg to release the old edges. At 2 seconds see how square your hips and shoulders are to the ski tips. Here you want to have those hips and shoulders pointed more to the inside of the new turn. At 6 seconds, can you see the vertical pop you use to cross over the skis? The two changes I'm recommending will help you get onto your new edges earlier in the turn and balance more effectively against the outside ski. Flowing across the skis is quicker than going up and over, but it's hard to do without separation of the upper body from the lower. See that outside ski tip come off the snow at 3 seconds and the "V" shaped skis at 11 seconds? Imagine those turns with the outside ski tip in contact with the snow, parallel to the inside ski and bending. Those would be much more powerful turns.

 

Try these drills:

Picture Frame

Hold your poles in the middle of the shafts. Focus on an object at the bottom of the trail. Keep that object in between the poles (i.e. frame a picture with your poles). For short radius turns keep the object in the center of the picture. As your turns get wider, let the object drift to each edge of the frame, but don't let it get outside of the picture.

 

Flamingo Turns (I won't use the ghostly other name)

Start your turns by lifting the tail of the new inside ski while on the old edge and then tipping the inside tip onto the new edge.

post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks TheRusty for that advice! I thought I had ample counter for these longer radius turns but you're right I still need more. I have done the picture frame drill before and am now looking forward to it again. Yes, staying down through the transition has been a continual challenge for me, and while I've progressed I still have a long way to go. I'm having a hard time visualizing what you're asking me to try with my inside ski. I think you're asking me to roll onto my new inside edge better, but I don't really grasp the collapsing part.

post #10 of 28

I have no advice but I applaud your gumption and humility. Takes some deep breathing.

post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 

Feedback is a gift - Thank you everyone!

 

Watching this video some more and focusing on some of the key frames (time notations) that were pointed out by TheRusty, I think I need to share a bit of information. I think that dreaded up motion seems a lot worse on my right turns where I am still fighting rolling onto my new inside ski edge on the right side - which is the knee I apparently still subconsciously favor as it had an ACL recon. I ski around 60 days a year and have some 318 days on that ACL, so there's no reason I should be favoring it anymore!

 

BTW, some excellent advice came also from sharpedges via PM who insightfully suggested I need to do some one footed skiing drills on my outside ski - which will get my center of mass more over my outside ski through better angulation. The last few seasons I have started off the season doing a lot of one footed skiing drills - inside and outside - and they really helped me as I went into the season. Alas, it seems I've slipped backwards from last season over this summer - just in time for ski camp on the Glacier. Now I need to get back on snow and work these drills!

post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

Here is a great video showing Josh Foster doing two drills, Railers and Schlopys.

Those Schlopys are great for helping with counter (aka upper body lower body separation).

 

 

Whoops, not from Josh Foster, but instead JF 4ster!

(our own 4ster, right?)

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post
 

Thanks LiquidFeet for that video as I was already planning a Schlopy drill session for when I get back on snow, and that video is a great visual image of doing the drill the right way! This will help my angulation - which was missing. I actually thought my counter was decent for GS (hips/shoulders open towards the fall line and not overly squared towards the direction of travel - except for the very last turn when I was stopping and looking back up the hill). Are you thinking I need more counter as well as more angulation?

 

There's something going on in your video that I can't quite figure out. There are four turns before you come around down at the bottom.  Let's ignore that last one.

 

I think I'm seeing you press your outside shoulder down towards your outside ski in order to get your angulation.  This focus on your shoulder may account for your hands hanging down from the shoulders, sorta lifeless.    Look at your first turn.  It's to your right.  Looks to me like you press your left shoulder down towards your left ski, and your left hand even comes right down in front of your left knee.  Your inside arm and hand fall back because of this (a bit of unconscious upper body rotation).  At the end of the turn you stand up tall, then press down the other shoulder for the next turn.  Up at transition, down as turn progresses.  Are you focusing on "pressuring" your skis as you come around in the turn by crouching down?  Something similar happens in your other turns, but it's not as obvious, maybe because of the camera position.  

 

Instead of focusing on "pressuring" your skis, or moving your shoulder down, or crouching down over your skis, focus instead on your new inside knee.  Look at this screenshot from JF 4str's video.  His focus is on his inside leg's knee (his right).  He's pressing on it with both hands, pressing/rotating it over to the side.  He is keeping his upper body upright as he does this.   Upper body vertical, press/rotate new inside knee over. 

 

What's really clear in this screenshot from JF 4ster's vimeo video is that the foot beneath that knee is lined up under his hip.  In this drill he is keeping the new inside foot under that hip as he pushes/rotates the knee over to the side (to the inside of the new turn) - so it's a knee move, not a foot move nor a hip move and certainly not an upper body move.   Of course the knee is not bending sideways -- the femur is rotating in the hip socket, our very own famous femur rotation.  Or thigh rotation, if you like that better.  Or knee angluation, if you like hearing people tell you the knee doesn't bend sideways.

 

Shift your focus from "pressuring" your skis and from doing something with your upper body - to rotating/moving that new inside knee over.  Maintain an upright upper body.  Feel the foot beneath it staying more or less beneath the hip above.   Boy will you feel the little toe edge of that ski bite the snow.  That's all good stuff.

 

Here's another one.  

 

 

The inside knee is as rotated/moved to the inside of the turn as he can get it -- and the foot is where it needs to be to keep it there, just like the railer drill pic above.  But this time he's got bigger angles.  He's keeping that right foot as close up under the right hip as possible given the angles, and moving that knee to the inside of the turn as much as possible - these two go together.  You can tell the knee is directly in front of that inside hip, not to the outside of that hip.   The schlopy keeps him countered just right to support this stuff going on with his legs.  Try this.  

 

((I sure hope JF 4ster agrees with me!!!)) 


Edited by LiquidFeet - 10/29/13 at 4:12am
post #14 of 28

One more thing about the two drill sequence that 4ster shows in that video.  He is using those two drills for carved turns.  The key to the carving is thinking of tipping the outside of that ankle down to the snow as you press/rotate its knee out.  A fully edged little toe edge will develop, and off you'll go carving.  Complete the turns for speed control.  (If you let that inside ankle go limp, you will end up with a flatter ski than shown; it will slip along the snow instead of slicing ahead.  I haven't done this drill with the intention of steering, so don't know exactly what will happen.  You might get a nice steered turn since the pressing on the knee does cause femur rotation in the hip joint, but I'm not sure.)

post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post
 

Thanks TheRusty for that advice! I thought I had ample counter for these longer radius turns but you're right I still need more. I have done the picture frame drill before and am now looking forward to it again. Yes, staying down through the transition has been a continual challenge for me, and while I've progressed I still have a long way to go. I'm having a hard time visualizing what you're asking me to try with my inside ski. I think you're asking me to roll onto my new inside edge better, but I don't really grasp the collapsing part.

It's true that you don't need much counter for longer radius turns. The key is to create counter through the bottom half of the turn by having the skis (and the body below the waist) continually turn across the hill more than the upper body.

 

Here's a drill you can do at home to understand the "collapse the new inside leg" comment. 

Stand facing a wall so that you can place the palm of your left hand flat against the wall. Keep the palm flat against the wall.

Turn your feet, hips and shoulders to the right so that they are at 45 degree angle to the wall.

Roll your feet onto the right edge. Your knees and your left elbow should bend.

Now extend off your right foot to roll your feet onto the left edge.

Whether you roll laterally (90 degrees to your feet alignment) or move your hips directly to the wall, you will tend to extend both legs to move your body up and over your feet to get them onto the new edge. Try it both ways. Note where you feel pressure along the edge of your left foot.

 

Now try the drill again, but this time keep your hips and shoulders facing the wall.

Instead of extending the right foot to change edges, move your hips straight to the wall. You will feel the right leg extend as the hips pass over the left foot and you will feel the left knee "collapse" slightly. You will feel the hips and head stay on a path parallel to the floor.

When you reach the left edge. you should feel much more pressure on the front little toe/pad portion of your left foot. Imagine what the inside ski is going to do?!

 

Now try the drill one more time again with your feet, hips and shoulders aligned 45 degrees away from the wall.

Try to roll onto your left edge by moving the hips straight to the wall (right leg extends, left leg collapses) vs extending off the right foot.

It can be done, but it is very awkward and it gets less pressure on the new inside ski tip than the countered version.

 

This is why I want you to counter and collapse. Counter enables effective collapsing. Make sense?

post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 

OK, I understand what you're getting at TheRusty! Rolling onto the little toe edge of the new inside ski but also keeping that tip/edge from being too grabby by relaxing some pressure on the new inside ski as the hips move across towards the new turn. Makes sense now, just need to get on snow here to work that. I like this concept! This does seem to be more of an issue for me with right turns in this video on this hard snow - I think due to my former injury to that knee - a subconscious limp of sorts. Here's another (lower res) video if you're interested from the end of last season this past May (only like 4 ski days, though 5 months earlier) making shorter radius turns on softer snow where I think I'm skiing less tense once I get going: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGckitlKoA8


Edited by CHRISfromRI - 10/29/13 at 11:11am
post #17 of 28

these guys have pretty much nailed it.....

 

I personally think there are better ways to accomplish the goal of more hip angulation then the Schlopy.I personally like javelina. I like them better then the Schlopy because you can not cheat them like you can the Schlopy. I would then take it to an up and over type drill to get rid of that excess movement in your transition. The up move that leaves your Center of mass to far inside is not making it any easier to get a top of turn. learning to smoothly manage pressure so you can let your balance move to your outside ski will help you get a better top of turn.

post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 

TheRusty: I have now spent several days trying to work on what you said about "collapsing" my new inside leg, as well as adding some more counter. Would you please let me know if you think I am getting closer to what you meant? Here is a brand new video from Saturday where I am making shorter radius turns on Slalom skis, also on a moderate pitch that has some refrozen granules/crystals/chunks on top of a "firm" base: https://sprongo.com/video/995428#playlist/70277

post #19 of 28

Chris,

 

You're getting a little closer. Can you feel a difference yet? You should feel a little. The problem here is that you have not yet fundamentally changed your movement pattern. You won't feel a big difference making small changes. I'm asking for some big ones. Those are hard to get done over the Internet.

 

 

See the diverging skis again? This is caused by not balancing against the outside foot during the turn. When you lean to the inside to get your weight to the inside of the new turn you are going to naturally overweight the inside foot. If you can lift the inside shoulder a bit more (cause more bend in the red line), you should find it easier to get more weight against the outside foot here. We want the angle of the shoulder line to match the angle of the slope. Here your uphill shoulder is much closer to the snow than your downhill shoulder. Try thinking about driving the new inside knee more forward at this point in the turn and also changing your hand movements to get the outside elbow closer to your body while moving your inside hand higher and even more forward. The positions here are not as important as the movement.  

 

 

Same pic without my ugly lines.

 

 

See that inside ski tip off the snow again? If you are moving through versus up and over, then this won't happen. But at this point in the turn it is already too late. At this point lifting the ski is inevitable if you want to turn.

 

 

Another look at the diverging outside ski. Here you can better see you are not balancing against the outside ski. It seems counter intuitive that the weighting of the inside ski caused by the collapsing inside leg move would not also cause the same overweighting of the inside ski. It doesn't.

 

After the recovery from the diverging outside ski, the outside leg is back (see the huge tip lead?). This creates a countered position for the start of the next turn. Except now the outside leg can not flex any more to collapse. You have to extend to go up and over. And the cycle starts again. A general guide is that we want the tip lead line to match the angles of the hips and shoulders. A bit too much tip lead here, you think?

 

This is where you start the next turn. Note the slight counter between the skis and the upper body. Here is where I would like you to finish your turn more with the skis turning more out of the fall line with shoulders reducing the rate of turn out of the fall line so that more counter is created before the next turn is started.

 

The following stills are taken one advance apart at 1/4 speed.

 

 

From here i want to see the right heel open and the hips come at the camera.

 

Instead I see the hips sliding laterally across the skis. If anything, the new inside leg has extended slightly. See the hips slightly higher off the snow?

 

Here the new inside leg is starting to flex. Note that the skis are approaching 10:00 on the clock face for the turn and they are still on the old edges. It's hard to make a round turn this way. This is why I want you to finish your turns more before starting the next one. You don't have to make the movements I'm asking for, but it will make it easier to learn the new movements,

 

The drills I gave you are the best way I know to break through this movement pattern. In person lessons with more immediate feedback may be the fastest route to progress now.

post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 

^^ Thanks again TheRusty! Yes, I'm feeling a positive difference in many turns where I'm getting my inside knee to collapse a little better. The skiing does feel a little more solid through the transition, and my edges connect better a little earlier. I also noticed less divergence too. There's timing to this collapse within the movement pattern, and I don't get the timing right all of the time. What will seem a little contrary is that I have actually been working on not over-turning (hanging on) and starting my new turns earlier - which definitely helped me yesterday on an icy slalom course. Realize I need to keep working on increasing angulation, and I will indeed try the other things you're suggesting when I'm free skiing.

post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 

these guys have pretty much nailed it.....

 

I personally like javelina. I like them better then the Schlopy because you can not cheat them like you can the Schlopy. 

Do you mean Javelin turns like this or something else?

 

post #22 of 28

I'm not crazy about those javelin turns. The good part is that he's turning his free foot under his lower body. However, he's twisting the free ski to make it look more extreme. The free ski is your barometer, so if you twist it into a counter position, you no longer know if you succeeded. Tobin does a better but less aggressive javelin turn here: 

 

 

Javelin turns will help you get your lower body turning, but they might be too difficult at this point. If you find you're not succeeding, work on some pivot slips/bracquage in a wide track stance. If you can get good at these exercises and work the development back into your skiing, you'll have more control over your turn shape and eventually be able to generate speed through coiling the lower joints. You'll also calm your hips, which will make it easier for you to tip to turn rather than throw the hips to turn. So you'll be better balanced on your skis. 

 

And your sex life will go through the roof. 

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

I'm not crazy about those javelin turns. The good part is that he's turning his free foot under his lower body. However, he's twisting the free ski to make it look more extreme. The free ski is your barometer, so if you twist it into a counter position, you no longer know if you succeeded. Tobin does a better but less aggressive javelin turn here: 

 

 

Javelin turns will help you get your lower body turning, but they might be too difficult at this point. If you find you're not succeeding, work on some pivot slips/bracquage in a wide track stance. If you can get good at these exercises and work the development back into your skiing, you'll have more control over your turn shape and eventually be able to generate speed through coiling the lower joints. You'll also calm your hips, which will make it easier for you to tip to turn rather than throw the hips to turn. So you'll be better balanced on your skis. 

 

And your sex life will go through the roof. 

 

I'm a freaking pro doing it the wrong way!  When I try to do them the right way I feel like I am steering from a flatter ski vs. tipping.  Should I try to tip into this rotation?  I think my pivot slips are actually OK, but I go straight downhill doing those.   BTW- this video looks more like an edge set to a steer in a way.  I'm not bad at these either. 

post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrudBuster View Post
 

 

I'm a freaking pro doing it the wrong way!  When I try to do them the right way I feel like I am steering from a flatter ski vs. tipping.  Should I try to tip into this rotation?  I think my pivot slips are actually OK, but I go straight downhill doing those. 

 

Yes, you'd be on a flatter ski than highly edged when doing a javelin turn. It's an exercise to isolate the ability to turn the lower joints insofar as I've ever seen it applied. Are you saying you can't turn your lower joints to steer the ski in a javelin turn? (Not sure if you're being cheeky. If you're sincere, I'll add that I've seen a level 4 and multiple level 3s who can barely perform this exercise properly. Turning from the lower joints is not the easiest skill.)

post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

 

Yes, you'd be on a flatter ski than highly edged when doing a javelin turn. It's an exercise to isolate the ability to turn the lower joints insofar as I've ever seen it applied. Are you saying you can't turn your lower joints to steer the ski in a javelin turn? (Not sure if you're being cheeky. If you're sincere, I'll add that I've seen a level 4 and multiple level 3s who can barely perform this exercise properly. Turning from the lower joints is not the easiest skill.)

Not being cheeky.  I did thousands of javelins the old way on old skis.  It was "foot steering" not "femur rotation in the hip socket under a stable pelvis and spine".  Ya know?  So, I can do the rotary javelin's but sometimes I either steer away from myself by mistake or feel like I'm about to hi-side.   It's lack of counter in my hips.  Gotta be.  Maybe.  Right?  haha

post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 

Be careful with Javelin turns!

 

I dislocated my shoulder doing them a few weeks ago - but thankfully a friend was able to put it back in place immediately, and I started PT right away. I'm now graduated from directed PT and swimming laps again and continuing PT on my own. 

 

My on-snow ski simply hit a fused down chunk, and my skis were crossed so there was no recovering to the other ski, thus an immediate fall. Would have been uneventful if I hadn't put my arm out to soften the fall...

post #27 of 28

Wow, that sucks, sorry to hear it. Frozen groomer treads, chicken heads and other nasty conditions can screw us up on various exercises depending on our ability. Your story is, unfortunately, a reminder that we need to pick exercises appropriate to the skier's ability and snow conditions. 

 

Hope you can get back to skiing soon. 

post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

Wow, that sucks, sorry to hear it. Frozen groomer treads, chicken heads and other nasty conditions can screw us up on various exercises depending on our ability. Your story is, unfortunately, a reminder that we need to pick exercises appropriate to the skier's ability and snow conditions. 

 

Hope you can get back to skiing soon. 

Was skiing again the very next weekend after the getting the "all set" from my doctor and PT within a few days of the injury. Turns out getting it put back quickly, and then icing it like crazy in the first 24 hours led to my very quick recovery. I was swimming laps again within 2 weeks of the injury... 

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