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How do I make the skis do this

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I don't know if this is considered proper technique or not but I've seen this done many times while watching people ski and I feel like if I could do the same in certain situations it would get me through them easier. The skier does this really quick pivoty looking turn is the best I can describe it. What I'm talking about is what happens in this video at exactly 17-19s into it:

 

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

 

Seems like a good way to scrub speed in tight spaces which is something I struggle with. It also looks really fun. 

 

I've tried to replicate this but I feel like my skis always get hung up on either the tip or tail and I lose my balance. Is being able to do this a combination of being perfectly balanced on the ski or the type of ski or both?

post #2 of 20

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice, practice, practice.

 

Seriously, these are quick, tight skidded turns.  They require good all-around technique, including what people call "counter" or "anticipation".

 

I'm not an instructor, nor have I seen you ski.  So, I'll just stop here.

post #3 of 20

Yes, that skier is definitely perfectly balanced on the skis.  He's turning his legs but not turning his hips or shoulders just as Xela said.

 

On a groomer, try side-slipping down the hill with skis pointed left but hips/shoulders facing as straight down the hill as possible. Can you side-slip straight down that way, not heading off forward nor backward but just straight down, sideways?  Work on doing this facing left, and then facing right.  It's easier on hard snow and steepish pitches.  It's very hard to do on soft snow when the pitch is almost flat.

 

Then work up to side-slipping down just like above, but pivot both skis together, parallel, to pointing straight down the fall line.  Do this from both directions.  Then try doing it 180 degrees, from skis facing left to skis facing right.  Point em left, then straight down, then right.  The whole time, keep your hips and shoulders facing downhill.  Work on doing that smoothly, alternating from pointing left to right and back again, on hard snow, on blue pitches.  Keep skis parallel the whole time.  Keep trying!

 

Next, work on doing it without travelling back and forth across the trail.  That's right, just travel straight down the hill while pivoting the skis left then right 180 degrees, with hips and shoulders facing down the hill.  This is not easy.  It's called a pivot slip.  It's figuring out how not to travel left and right as you pivot that gets everyone hung up.  The skier in that video can do this.

 

When you can do it on hard snow, on a blue groomer, work up to doing it on soft snow, on a similar blue groomer.  Then on your fat powder skis do it off-piste on different pitches. That's what this guy is doing, or a modified version of it.   Take a season or two (or three, or four) to learn to do this, depending on how many days you get to ski and where your current skill level is.

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies! Going to practice this on a groomer next time I'm skiing.

 

I'm assuming this pivot slip becomes easier with a ski that is fully rockered, i.e. no camber underfoot?

post #5 of 20

I think if I got to ski conditions like that regularly I would never read another post on the "instruction and coaching" forum again. For that matter, I might not ever read anything on Epic again. I would just wait for Heaven to take me and manage to muddle through somehow in the meantime. Perhaps with the occasional glass of wine or good book punctuating the bliss. Just for variety.

post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jave View Post
 

Thanks for the replies! Going to practice this on a groomer next time I'm skiing.

 

I'm assuming this pivot slip becomes easier with a ski that is fully rockered, i.e. no camber underfoot?

Probably.  My skis are still all cambered. 
In fact, learning to do it on soft snow with fully rockered skis might be easy-peasy.  Just haven't tried it.  

That kind of terrain is not in my area - wish it were.  I ski the same terrain as QCanoe, sort of.

Maybe someone who knows will post.

post #7 of 20

Ski in a very centered stance on fairly flat terrain. Keep your edging to a minimum.  Knees and ankles well flexed.  Maintain a very quiet torso and upper body.  Those little turns are done more from the knees down than the femur up. 

 

The closer to the snow your turns start the quicker they can be  done; look at a slalom skier in a flush, very little motion above the knees but very quick turns.

 

The side slip drills and pivot slip drills will make anybody a better skier, and more familiar with edging.  Don't worry too much about which ski makes something easier, it is all about doing things better on any ski.

 

The Germans and Austrians had an old saying that covers these turns pretty well, "skiing is kneeing".  

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

I think if I got to ski conditions like that regularly I would never read another post on the "instruction and coaching" forum again. For that matter, I might not ever read anything on Epic again. I would just wait for Heaven to take me and manage to muddle through somehow in the meantime. Perhaps with the occasional glass of wine or good book punctuating the bliss. Just for variety.

 

Easy solution - come to Fernie or ,better still, come to Castle 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2H-gRfi9bA&feature=related

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-QASwg-ZtU

 

Before I saw the clip I said to myself 'I'll bet this guy is going to be on a Cochise' and he was! After 100+ days on mine I can tell you that what he was doing is very easy on the Cochise. With no camber and tips and tails sightly rockered  you just 'do the twist' (like the dance) from the knees down and around they go no sweat. When you combine this agility with the ability to float on powder, lay trenches on groomers and pound through crud you get an idea why this ski is so popular. 

 

 


Edited by Castle Dave - 11/21/13 at 1:08pm
post #9 of 20

I'm wondering if someone can do this move on a fat rockered ski easily

---if they don't already have the skill to do it on hard snow with a cambered ski.

Chronically being aft, and not having separation in the toolbag, might be issues.

I'm not sure.

CastleDave, would you say yes or no?

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

I'm wondering if someone can do this move on a fat rockered ski easily

---if they don't already have the skill to do it on hard snow with a cambered ski.

Chronically being aft, and not having separation in the toolbag, might be issues.

I'm not sure.

CastleDave, would you say yes or no?

Yes - so much easier with a fat rockered ski in soft snow (BTW 108 Cochise isn't considered truly fat out West) I see lots of 20 something males on really fat banana skis that have truly atrocious technique with sitting back being the prime culprit and they can get away with it. On hard snow with a stiff, conventional ski like you are on they would be totally screwed and not just with pivot turns. 

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

I think if I got to ski conditions like that regularly I would never read another post on the "instruction and coaching" forum again. For that matter, I might not ever read anything on Epic again. I would just wait for Heaven to take me and manage to muddle through somehow in the meantime. Perhaps with the occasional glass of wine or good book punctuating the bliss. Just for variety.

Totally.

 

Notice the caption claiming George demonstrates the "versatility" of the Cochise.  How is 100% hero snow a demonstration of versatility?  Oh, to be spoiled...

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hirustler View Post

Notice the caption claiming George demonstrates the "versatility" of the Cochise.  How is 100% hero snow a demonstration of versatility? 

Agree with this point 100%. Not to be snarky, but c'mon.... anybody any good with any good ski would look good here.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post


Agree with this point 100%. Not to be snarky, but c'mon.... anybody any good with any good ski would look good here.

Have to also agree but just for the record the Cochise will also do that on frozen crud, chowder and even Western 'ice' -the white kind not the Eastern blue gray kind.

post #14 of 20

Jave,

 

Lie on your back with one leg raised to vertical. Turn your foot from side to side to find the range of motion. Keep your knee moving with your foot and don't cheat with help from the butt cheeks. Try with the leg locked straight and with it bent slightly. Experiment with focusing on turning the whole leg vs just turning the foot. Try both feet.

 

Stand with your hips and shoulders facing a wall but with your feet pointed parallel to the wall and knees slightly bent. Get your hips and shoulders square to the wall and your feet at a 90 degree angle. Rise up and rotate your feet to point straight at the wall. Make sure that the pivot point is under the arch of the foot (toe and heel rotate an equal amount). Sink down (bend the knees slightly) as you point your feet in other direction (90 degrees from your hip and shoulder alignment, 180 degrees from the starting position). Make sure that your hips and shoulders do not rotate while you rotate your feet. This is a pivot slip movement. Do it fast and you will get what you saw in the clip.

 

The most common cause of your trouble is weight too far in the back seat. But it could also be any of the problems mentioned in the drills above. Rockered skis greatly reduce the level of skill required to do this move.

post #15 of 20

Jave,

 

Pivot slips are a great drill for what you want to learn so you can do this type of turn.  (And a bunch of other things.)  I practice pivot slips a great deal.

 

The key to a pivot slip is allowing yourself to release your edges and let your center of mass move downhill, sideways...  Committing to that can be intimidating to someone learning to do pivot slips.  During the side slip portion it will feel like your skis are on ball bearings as they move down the hill.  The twist of your feet from side to side is done smooooooothly, with no hesitations or stops. 

 

Now, you might find your skis pause a bit when they are pointed straight down the fall line.  (To me it feels like I hit a little "klunk" that stops my skis.)  That's a good indication that you are not centered over your skis.  (Your COM is slightly back.)  This is my most common fault.  I just close my ankles a bit more and let myself "fall" down the hill and it goes away.

 

As you indicated, pivot slips are a good technique to have in your skiing tool bag for tight spaces.  They will also improve a bunch of other things in your skiing.  It's a great drill to learn.

 

---

I have a couple of older "Perfect Pushup" pivots without the handles.  I use them for practicing and teaching people how to pivot their feet and legs from the hip socket without moving their upper bodies.  (This is the key to a good pivot slip and good skiing in general.)  Just stand on them with a foot one each and pivot on them.  (Toes to the left, toes to the right.)  You can do a similar thing in sock feet standing on a slippery wood or ceramic floor.  (Carpet, not so much.  ;) )

 

Have fun learning.  Enjoy the slopes this year.

post #16 of 20
I think something that should be mentioned here is that it is pretty apparent that the turns in question (the :17-19 seconds) aren't being executed on flat snow. As somebody who edits helmet cam video often, I can tell you that unless you have full sun, you lose a lot of contrast in these videos. This skier is skiing bumps. His turns are quick footed, but wouldn't look anything like that on flat terrain.
post #17 of 20
Oh, and to address part of the OP's question, its not the ski. That's all I'll say.
post #18 of 20
The skier ("George") isn't just steering right and left. He's also flexing and extending (even unweighting with the extensions) to facilitate the turns. You'll need to add that to drills like pivot slips to get to where the skier is. It can even be done on straight skis, although wider, slightly rockered, skis help.
post #19 of 20

I agree with Kneale.  Remember that in a pivot slip the tip and tail move equally in opposite directions.  Here you can see the tails swing wide, which tells me the pivot point is fore of his balance point, not closer to it like in a pivot slip.  If you are in the back seat, you'll be pivoting the ski from the back and the tips will take a longer path, wich is not what you are after here.  

 

Also, he uses some heavy edge-sets.  In the old straight ski days we didn't have rocker, side cut and width, and I skied on a 205 sl ski.  We weren't pivoting in the steeps as much as jump turning.  So, like Kneale said, work on flexion and extension, playing with pivot points in relation to your balance point, heavy edge sets, and spiess turns. 

post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jave View Post
 

Thanks for the replies! Going to practice this on a groomer next time I'm skiing.

 

I'm assuming this pivot slip becomes easier with a ski that is fully rockered, i.e. no camber underfoot?

 

Doesn't matter. Don't over think things... unless you're looking for an excuse for new gear of course. :)

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