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Finally giving in [adult beginner, has gear]

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've been browsing this site/forum for several months now and finally gave in to signing on after a rather frustrating ski session this past weekend.  I'm brand new to skiing (3rd and 4th time out this weekend) and have been trying to learn everything I can through this and other sites/forums/blogs.  So this past weekend i was excited to try out some things that i picked up.....and i couldn't do it!  Really i wanted to work on edging, but it seemed like every time i would try to get the skis on edge they both felt like they were pulling me to sharply and in different directions.  Now, i can make it down most green and blue runs, but i feel out of control, off balance, and rather sloppy by pushing with my uphill foot (i think kicking out my heels) in order to turn.  If you could suggest 2 drills/things to help build edge use that I can practice next time out, what would it be??  I know that nearly all of you will suggest a lesson, but with a wedding to plan this year, that may not be quite possible.  Here is what I'm working with:

 

-175 lbs

-Lange SX 120 Boots

-Used K2 Skis

-Tyrolia SP100 Sympro Bindings\

 

Any other questions just ask!  Thank you in advance for your help!  I look forward to my time at EpicSki!

post #2 of 10
Welcome to Epicski. Are you level 2 or level 3?

Level One: "Never-Ever"
Level One skiers are first time skiers who have never skied before.

Level Two
Level Two skiers are cautious novices who are able to do a " snow plow" (wedge) turn both ways and are able to stop, but linking turns smoothly may be difficult. Level Two skiers may have skied once or twice before.

Level Three
Level Three skiers are confident novices who are able to stop and make round snow plow turns on easy beginner trails.

Level Four
Level Four skiers are cautious intermediate skiers who can link turns but still moderate speed. Level Four skiers ski in a small wedge and their skis may even be parallel at the end of the turn on green or easy blue trails. Level Four is a transition level in which skiers will begin to ski more blue intermediate runs.

Level Five
Level Five skiers are intermediates who are confident on easy blue runs and ski mostly parallel but may at times use the wedge to begin a turn or to stop. Level Five skiers may be cautious on intermediate trails that are slightly steep or icy.

Level Six
Level Six skiers confidently make parallel turns on blue runs but do not ski many advanced trails. Level Six skiers use their poles to time turns. A Level Six skier is interested in learning to ski better on more challenging terrain.

Level Seven
Level Seven skiers ski controlled parallel turns and can ski very well on blue trails. Level Seven skiers can control their speed and rhythm on black diamond trails, but they are looking to ski on challenging trails with better style. Level Seven skiers can adjust the size and length of their turns and are learning to ski on a variety of different types of snow and terrain.

Level Eight
Level Eight skiers ski with good technique on all terrain and snow conditions. Level Eight skiers can ski moguls and are able to ski black diamond trails with confidence using carved turns.

Level Nine
Level Nine skiers enjoy the challenge of difficult ski trails and ski moguls, steeps, and other black diamond terrain.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

I would say between 2 and 3....but for the purpose of this post let's say 2.

post #4 of 10
Keep the wedge triangle at all times even when you turn. Put pressure on one leg and lean against it and that leg become the outside leg/ski. As you turn, be sure to put just enough force on the other leg to keep the wedge form -- not a lot at all. Practice this on slopes where you feel comfortable, then move up, rather than trying to do it on a steeper hill. Hope this helps. If you're tight on money and/or don't want to pay for lessons, look for some instruction videos on YouTube.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeRoz View Post
 

I've been browsing this site/forum for several months now and finally gave in to signing on after a rather frustrating ski session this past weekend.  I'm brand new to skiing (3rd and 4th time out this weekend) and have been trying to learn everything I can through this and other sites/forums/blogs.  So this past weekend i was excited to try out some things that i picked up.....and i couldn't do it!  Really i wanted to work on edging, but it seemed like every time i would try to get the skis on edge they both felt like they were pulling me to sharply and in different directions.  Now, i can make it down most green and blue runs, but i feel out of control, off balance, and rather sloppy by pushing with my uphill foot (i think kicking out my heels) in order to turn.  If you could suggest 2 drills/things to help build edge use that I can practice next time out, what would it be??  I know that nearly all of you will suggest a lesson, but with a wedding to plan this year, that may not be quite possible.  Here is what I'm working with:

 

-175 lbs

-Lange SX 120 Boots

-Used K2 Skis

-Tyrolia SP100 Sympro Bindings\

 

Any other questions just ask!  Thank you in advance for your help!  I look forward to my time at EpicSki!

 

Where are you located? A lesson with a different/better instructor seems to be in order.

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeRoz View Post

So this past weekend i was excited to try out some things that i picked up.....and i couldn't do it!  Really i wanted to work on edging, but it seemed like every time i would try to get the skis on edge they both felt like they were pulling me to sharply and in different directions.  Now, i can make it down most green and blue runs, but i feel out of control, off balance, and rather sloppy by pushing with my uphill foot (i think kicking out my heels) in order to turn. 

What do you mean the skis are pulling you to different directions? If you are skiing snowplow, that's what they are suppose to do, left ski want to pull to right, right ski want to pull to left, but the force cancel each other out (unless you are turning).

To get a feeling of edge engagement, try doing some sideslips, and when you are confident with that, play with your fore/aft balance to control the direction you are sliding.

To turn the skis, twist both your feet so the ski rotate around. To get a feeling of this, take off your skis and stand on snow, now twist your boot with center of boot as pivot so it makes an hourglass shape on snow (if you have your weight too far or back you'll end up making a fan shape instead). Try it with one boot at a time, then both at same time, do it by twisting your leg, not upper body.

Oh and the 120 flex boot might be too stiff for you, try to cinch the cuff tight with the powerstrap, but leave the top buckle unlatched and see if it helps.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

i can snowplow and turn just fine in that manner.  I am having trouble using my edges in parallel....

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeRoz View Post

i can snowplow and turn just fine in that manner.  I am having trouble using my edges in parallel....

Two things, each time you turn you need to move majority of your weight onto your outside leg/ski, and both skis need to be tipped to the same angle and engage at the same time. (the sideslipping drill above).
post #9 of 10

Luke, couple of questions to start...

Those boots are wide for wide feet.  Do you have wide feet?  Does the boot give you a very snug fit without discomfort?  Do movements of your legs translate through the boots to movements of your skis, or is leg movement used up with a sloppy fit inside the boots?  If the boots aren't snug, there is little that can be done.  A shim under the foot might help; otherwise these are the wrong boots for your feet.

 

What about those skis?  Which model and what size?  The stiffness of the ski is what really matters, and that relates to the model and the size--they get proportionally stiffer as they're made longer.   If the skis are too stiff for you at this stage, they really hurt your learning.

 

 

Now about the skiing...man, I hate the advice to make the wedge christie turns or sliding wedge turns.  (Question for others...is a wedge christie turn a skill to be learned or a bad habit to break?)  Many new skiers progress from wedge turns to parallel turns by using the wedge christie and progressing through it without every doing one intentionally.  Do not let it become a habit...it is a tough bad habit to break.

 

What to do?...balance is everything.  You need to be mainly balanced on the ball of your foot on the outside of the turn.  The left foot on a right turn, etc.  Don't talk about uphill or downhill sides, talk about inside or outside.  Almost every physical activity depends on being on the balls of your feet, and skiing is included.  Here's a rule for everyone---challenge yourself on either terrain or technique, but not both at the same time.  Go to some very easy terrain and practice the stance on the balls of your feet.  Stand tall, slight flex in the knees, very slight flex in the waist, weight mainly on the balls of your feet, and hinge forward at your ankles.  You want to be on the balls of your feet leaning lightly against the fronts of your boots.  Don't squat to make the boot tongue contact, hinge forward at your ankles.  Keep your feet walking-distance apart, no wider.  (Wider stance gives stability and costs balance, kind'a like training wheels on a bicycle.  We don't want training wheels.)  Ski straight like this, flexing a small bit at your knees and waist if you go over ridges in the snow or small bumps.  Now, twist your upper body a bit to the left and flex a small bit at the waist so your zipper tab is over your left toe binding.  Stand on your left ball of your foot.  Smoothly turn both feet to the right at the same time--do not kick your heels out.  You've made a smooth right turn.  It is that easy.  Stop.  Go straight, then make another smooth right turn using the same movements.  We aren't doing anything extreme.  We aren't bending over at the waist, just a bit of flexibility.  Go straight again, then make a smooth left turn by standing on your right ball of the foot and moving your zipper tab over your right toe binding.  Repeat, repeat, repeat on this easy terrain.  It takes several hundred repetitions of a movement to make it automatic, which is actually forming new neural connections in the brain.

 

For a drill, ski straight with the tail of one ski lifted an inch or two off the snow.  Keep the tip of that ski on the snow (lifting the whole ski off the snow puts many back on their heels).  Ski with one ski lifted as far as you can, then switch feet and lift the other.  You're on the ball of your foot all the time.  Change the drill so you keep the lightened ski on the snow, but lift the ski a millimeter, no more.  Change the drill so you have the ski tail lifted that inch or two, your zipper tab over the other toe binding, then roll the lifted ankle to raise that big toe way up.  You're skiing on your ball of your left foot, zipper tab over the left toe binding, right ski tail lifted, right ankle rolled to raise the right big toe way up.  You're now making a very smooth, very easy right turn.  Roll the right to turn right.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  Do the left.  Do them again with the inside ski just lightened, not lifted.

 

Don't worry about edging.  It'll come.  It has to be smooth, and it is a real problem if you're heavy on the inside ski.  If you roll the ankle of the inside foot so the big toe is raised, and you balance over the other foot, you're edging the skis without trying.  Just balance, and you're good.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
 

Luke, couple of questions to start...

Those boots are wide for wide feet.  Do you have wide feet?  Does the boot give you a very snug fit without discomfort?  Do movements of your legs translate through the boots to movements of your skis, or is leg movement used up with a sloppy fit inside the boots?  If the boots aren't snug, there is little that can be done.  A shim under the foot might help; otherwise these are the wrong boots for your feet.

 

What about those skis?  Which model and what size?  The stiffness of the ski is what really matters, and that relates to the model and the size--they get proportionally stiffer as they're made longer.   If the skis are too stiff for you at this stage, they really hurt your learning.

 

 

Now about the skiing...man, I hate the advice to make the wedge christie turns or sliding wedge turns.  (Question for others...is a wedge christie turn a skill to be learned or a bad habit to break?)  Many new skiers progress from wedge turns to parallel turns by using the wedge christie and progressing through it without every doing one intentionally.  Do not let it become a habit...it is a tough bad habit to break.

 

What to do?...balance is everything.  You need to be mainly balanced on the ball of your foot on the outside of the turn.  The left foot on a right turn, etc.  Don't talk about uphill or downhill sides, talk about inside or outside.  Almost every physical activity depends on being on the balls of your feet, and skiing is included.  Here's a rule for everyone---challenge yourself on either terrain or technique, but not both at the same time.  Go to some very easy terrain and practice the stance on the balls of your feet.  Stand tall, slight flex in the knees, very slight flex in the waist, weight mainly on the balls of your feet, and hinge forward at your ankles.  You want to be on the balls of your feet leaning lightly against the fronts of your boots.  Don't squat to make the boot tongue contact, hinge forward at your ankles.  Keep your feet walking-distance apart, no wider.  (Wider stance gives stability and costs balance, kind'a like training wheels on a bicycle.  We don't want training wheels.)  Ski straight like this, flexing a small bit at your knees and waist if you go over ridges in the snow or small bumps.  Now, twist your upper body a bit to the left and flex a small bit at the waist so your zipper tab is over your left toe binding.  Stand on your left ball of your foot.  Smoothly turn both feet to the right at the same time--do not kick your heels out.  You've made a smooth right turn.  It is that easy.  Stop.  Go straight, then make another smooth right turn using the same movements.  We aren't doing anything extreme.  We aren't bending over at the waist, just a bit of flexibility.  Go straight again, then make a smooth left turn by standing on your right ball of the foot and moving your zipper tab over your right toe binding.  Repeat, repeat, repeat on this easy terrain.  It takes several hundred repetitions of a movement to make it automatic, which is actually forming new neural connections in the brain.

 

For a drill, ski straight with the tail of one ski lifted an inch or two off the snow.  Keep the tip of that ski on the snow (lifting the whole ski off the snow puts many back on their heels).  Ski with one ski lifted as far as you can, then switch feet and lift the other.  You're on the ball of your foot all the time.  Change the drill so you keep the lightened ski on the snow, but lift the ski a millimeter, no more.  Change the drill so you have the ski tail lifted that inch or two, your zipper tab over the other toe binding, then roll the lifted ankle to raise that big toe way up.  You're skiing on your ball of your left foot, zipper tab over the left toe binding, right ski tail lifted, right ankle rolled to raise the right big toe way up.  You're now making a very smooth, very easy right turn.  Roll the right to turn right.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  Do the left.  Do them again with the inside ski just lightened, not lifted.

 

Don't worry about edging.  It'll come.  It has to be smooth, and it is a real problem if you're heavy on the inside ski.  If you roll the ankle of the inside foot so the big toe is raised, and you balance over the other foot, you're edging the skis without trying.  Just balance, and you're good.


Thanks for the awesome reply!  I was actually fitted for those boots from a reputable ski shop as I do have wider feet.  I tried on several pairs and those fit best...

 

As far as the skis, they are 174 cm skis.  They were rental skis for Mammoth Mountain made by k2.  Skis/bindings/shipping came out to 130 so i figured they would be ok to learn on......

 

I will try the drills you provided my next time out....thanks again!

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