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Downhill ski jumping/sliding/chattering

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hello, I'm new to this site. I have just gotten back into skiing after about 15yrs off. I rented skis and felt real good about retaining what skills I had in the past. I would probably categorize myself as an advanced skier. I bought the Blizzard Magnum 7.7 167cm(I think) my boots are the Tecnica Demon 110's. I am 5'7" and weigh 190lbs (I know, I know that is too heavy for my height!!) I'm skiing in Northern Michigan so I'm on hills rather than mountains. I can handle the steepest that there is in Northern MI.

 

The problem that I am having is when I'm on the steep hills and get more aggressive my downhill ski really starts to slide, bounce, chatter (not sure what the proper terminology is)

 

I started skiing at age 8, so I grew up skiing, As an adult I never thought about how to ski, I just skied. Now I'm driving myself nuts thinking about everything from can I handle these new skis, is there a different technique from the long skinny skis that I have always skied on, how much weight should be on each ski during a turn, am I leaning far enough forward, am I getting enough edge onto the hill, did I buy the wrong equipment......

 

Any help is very much appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

David

post #2 of 19
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

Wow, that is a lot of info, thanks. I haven't got thru it yet, some of it is very technical and hard to understand but I think I'll get the gist of it.

 

David

post #4 of 19

To avoid chatter you need to enter the turn smoothly and progressively.  If you thrust your skis sideways they'll all chatter.  Pull both feet strongly behind you as you start each turn and immediately start a smooth turn.  Let the tips of your skis pull you around the turn.  The turn radius is properly set in the upper 1/3rd of the turn.  Learn this and you'll be set for any steep hill.  Make the turn size as tight as you want, but the turn must be a smooth "C" shape.  A "J" turn will always chatter, as will a "7" turn where you start by whipping the skis to the side.  Your 7.7 Magnums have a 17 meter turn radius, so they aren't made for a sharp turn--this means that you need to use the tips more (feet well behind you) and roll the skis up on their edges to make the sharp smooth turn.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
 

 Pull both feet strongly behind you as you start each turn and immediately start a smooth turn.  Let the tips of your skis pull you around the turn.  The turn radius is properly set in the upper 1/3rd of the turn.  Learn this and you'll be set for any steep hill. 

 

 

I'm not sure what this means or how to do it, I've never thought about where my feet are or the tips of my skis while turning.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

After skiing last night I realize that I my need to seriously look at backing up and relearning how to ski. I ski the old way, when I make a turn all my weight is on the downhill ski, as I transition to the next turn all of my weight goes onto the uphill ski, I all but lift up my downhill ski to start the next turn. And I think I can do this pretty well.

 

As I started thinking about leaning and leaning angles, better weight distribution between skis, leaning forward, counter steering the tips in the opposite direction, I looked like an idiot and almost fell several times.

 

I have found some videos on youtube called ski lessons that I will start watching from the beginners series. I can sense that it will be very hard to change my old habits.

 

I will also scour this site for a better place to start my learning, I am not an advanced skier when it comes to these new skis and techniques.

 

Thanks for all the help, this site is great.

 

David

post #7 of 19

dthogey,

 

It will not be as hard as you think.  Once you do set your edge and make a sweet smooth turn you will be able to repeat easily.  Nobody carves in moguls or super steep.  Remember that it is a tool you are adding to your toolbox, not the one-and-only way to ski.

 

If you can, take a lesson and ask the instructor to help you carve.  Ask someone you see carving on your hill for some pointers.

 

Your skis are a little short but fine for what you are doing.  Great equipment otherwise.   Above all, do not let yourself get discouraged.  This is supposed to be fun.  I remember when I stumbled upon carving- it was surreal.  Smooth, QUIET.  Wonderful.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan View Post
 

dthogey,

 

It will not be as hard as you think.  Once you do set your edge and make a sweet smooth turn you will be able to repeat easily.  Nobody carves in moguls or super steep.  Remember that it is a tool you are adding to your toolbox, not the one-and-only way to ski.

 

If you can, take a lesson and ask the instructor to help you carve.  Ask someone you see carving on your hill for some pointers.

 

Your skis are a little short but fine for what you are doing.  Great equipment otherwise.   Above all, do not let yourself get discouraged.  This is supposed to be fun.  I remember when I stumbled upon carving- it was surreal.  Smooth, QUIET.  Wonderful.


Thank you, after skiing last night and after reading thru the post that sibhusky posted (trying to remember and implement it all, I have to admit I was discouraged!)

post #9 of 19
Can you describe what you are doing with your body through the end of the turn? What you are doing to start the next? Be very specific.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

As I'm headed down the hill I try to keep my chest pointed down the hill with my hands out front when I want to turn I put my weight on what will become the downhill ski, all of my weight, the uphill ski has almost no weight at all pretty much like this.

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG1uDU0rSLw&list=SPA893DD2FE6198306

 

 

After thinking about it that's pretty much how I have always skied, I've never given much thought about skiing, I just ski.

 

I think I keep my body pretty still and look kind of like the guy in the video.

post #11 of 19

Don't get too caught up in how much weight is on your outside ski. You can ride a turn with all of you weight on your outside ski without encountering any chatter if you enter the turn smoothly, as said above. Once you have started chattering, all of that weight on the one ski is bad, but it is not what caused your chattering.

 

In my experience (myself and those I ski with) the chattering happens when we are on a steeper pitch with firm snow. We see danger in this situation and so we are anxious to "get to safety" so we make a quick transition to get our skis across the fall line. This is the NOT smooth initiation that we need. Instead what you have done is violently thrown your skis into a position where they are suddenly in a position where their ability to hold the line you have chosen has been exceeded. This is why the smooth initiation is critical. Intellectually you want to believe that the slow smooth initiation only puts you in the fall line longer, thus increasing your exposure to all of that steep that you are trying to control, but what it actually does is give you the control of your skis that you need to complete the turn comfortably.

 

Your comment that you ski like the guy in the video might also be contributing to your problem. That stem move can definitely add to the forces overpowering your ski's edge hold.

 

The other thing that tends to happen on steeper slopes it that we shy away from the fall line. That puts us into the backseat. That's what was being referred to in the previous post about "pulling your feet back". That can be an active move where you fire your hamstrings to pull your feet aft, or the passive action of staying forward in the first place and not necessarily needing to pull them back at all. Another thing that contributes to the chatter is not having weight distributed across the whole ski...you're in the backseat and there is pressure only on the tails. That said, it is still a good move to pull you feet back, even if you are properly balanced, as that trigger to ensure that your tips remain in contact with the snow and that they are where you turn begins in more of a carving shape, rather than from a sliding/scraping move that has put you into a chatter inducing position from the get-go.

 

All of these things are discussed in the thread linked above.

 

Good luck. (Or remove luck and take some lessons to address it)

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by H2OnSnow View Post
 

Don't get too caught up in how much weight is on your outside ski. You can ride a turn with all of you weight on your outside ski without encountering any chatter if you enter the turn smoothly, as said above. Once you have started chattering, all of that weight on the one ski is bad, but it is not what caused your chattering.

 

In my experience (myself and those I ski with) the chattering happens when we are on a steeper pitch with firm snow. We see danger in this situation and so we are anxious to "get to safety" so we make a quick transition to get our skis across the fall line. This is the NOT smooth initiation that we need. Instead what you have done is violently thrown your skis into a position where they are suddenly in a position where their ability to hold the line you have chosen has been exceeded. This is why the smooth initiation is critical. Intellectually you want to believe that the slow smooth initiation only puts you in the fall line longer, thus increasing your exposure to all of that steep that you are trying to control, but what it actually does is give you the control of your skis that you need to complete the turn comfortably.

 

Your comment that you ski like the guy in the video might also be contributing to your problem. That stem move can definitely add to the forces overpowering your ski's edge hold.

 

The other thing that tends to happen on steeper slopes it that we shy away from the fall line. That puts us into the backseat. That's what was being referred to in the previous post about "pulling your feet back". That can be an active move where you fire your hamstrings to pull your feet aft, or the passive action of staying forward in the first place and not necessarily needing to pull them back at all. Another thing that contributes to the chatter is not having weight distributed across the whole ski...you're in the backseat and there is pressure only on the tails. That said, it is still a good move to pull you feet back, even if you are properly balanced, as that trigger to ensure that your tips remain in contact with the snow and that they are where you turn begins in more of a carving shape, rather than from a sliding/scraping move that has put you into a chatter inducing position from the get-go.

 

All of these things are discussed in the thread linked above.

 

Good luck. (Or remove luck and take some lessons to address it)


Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it. I'll try to think about this stuff the next time I ski.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

Ok, I skied today, lots of snow, nothing groomed.

 

I have to revise my description of how I ski. After reading so much info, watching videos and other people ski, I realize that I don't ski how I thought I skied. Instead of turns that resemble a nice rounded C shape my turns are more like a V shape or a lightening bolt. Also my upper body is not as still as I thought it was. several times trying to ski thru 6" tracked up powder my arms would be behind me, very chaotic.

 

When I really concentrated on keeping my chest/body pointing down the hill and tried to make smoother C shape turns and keeping my hands/arms in front of me I did much better. Not any chattering. Also I was able to cut thru the tracked up powder much better, where before I felt herky jerky (whenever I went from no powder to 6" powder) now I feel like I can handle the difference in the snow and cut thru it better. I also tried to "flex" my ankles and keep more weight to the front. Don't get me wrong it wasn't perfect but it felt much better and gave me a lot more confidence.

 

Thanks for all the info and instruction, I need a lot more practice but I'm feeling better about it!!

 

David

post #14 of 19

Cause 1.  You are leaning into the hill instead of out, your wt has to over your downhill ski.  IF this is not the cause it is number 2 (I would bet on No.2  just based on what you wrote in the first post.).

 

Cause 2.  You may be too powerful for your skis and pushing them beyond the design limit.  This can be a wt., ability combination.   Ski length I'm going to suggest is a little on the short side as it more in the SL length and closer to the GS cheater R.

 

 

Good luck.

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

Here is what I posted on another forum/thread:

 

~~Ya hoo!! :yahoo: I got it, I got it. I took a lesson today, the instructor helped me to really understand the flexing the ankles thing. I wasn't doing it right. On top of that during the lesson I realized what it meant to "pull my feet back" I didn't get that before either. When I would start off down the hill one of my first moves to get my weight forward or shins into the boot was to squat down a little. So I'm trying to stop doing that just like stated above. My old way to ski was to incorporate a little bob up and down as I switched from left to right. Also I wasn't keeping my body as still as I thought. When I really think about flexing the ankles my turns are much much better. Don't get me wrong its hard to break the old ski habit, but as for now at least I understand what this stuff means!!! I will practice, practice, practice!!

 

 

 

On top of all this what you say is true, I was thinking that my weight had to be more distributed between both skis, the instructor pointed out that this isn't the case, he helped me to get more weight on the downhill ski.

 

I just couldn't get the flexing the ankle thing, I was trying to pull my foot up instead of simply leaning forward in an upright position. doing that made it hard to be consistent. 

 

 

Thanks for all of the help!!!

post #16 of 19

The fact of the matter is all of the above ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ is bullshit.

 

The fact of the matter is in order to carve a pure clean arc on a steep hill you have to be willing to commit launching yourself across the hill and down the fall line at the initiation phase (quite a frightening feeling for most people, even the most advanced skiers) followed up w/the resulting acceleration through the turn. If you're going to burn speed in the arc of the turn the ski has to break it's clean arc and it's going to chatter and bounce around.......unless of course sliding is occuring.

 

The pressure on the downhill/uphill ski, whether 90/10 or 50/50......the ski is still going to chatter unless it's in that locked in carve....

 

I don't feel like writing anymore because about 5 people on here actually "get" it and the rest think they "got" it.

post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 

All I meant by I got it is that I finally understand what is meant by flexing the ankles and pulling the feet back. I didn't know what that meant until today. Now I understand, it's not to mean that I automatically start to ski that way, I am trying to improve and am practicing skiing better

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dthogey View Post
 

All I meant by I got it is that I finally understand what is meant by flexing the ankles and pulling the feet back. I didn't know what that meant until today. Now I understand, it's not to mean that I automatically start to ski that way, I am trying to improve and am practicing skiing better


Nice! keep it up!

post #19 of 19

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