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Took a lesson today, looking for more input

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I took a lesson today at Wachusett, and the instructor was great. He seemed to think I skied quite well, and said that a few times as the lesson progressed (don't go looking for my last MA videos, my skiing has changed since then). I went into the lesson asking to be taught on how to do short radius turns, but wasn't the only topic of the lesson. Since I'm quite new at short radius turns, they of course did not get a short as I've seen other people do them.

 

So here are some things he mentioned that I have questions about.

 

1. When turning, and this is not for short radius turns, he noticed that my inside ski was drifting slightly instead of carving/following the outside ski. He also said I was taking up too much weight off the inside ski, which was the cause of the drifting. To help with this, he said I should dig in more with the toes on both feet on the inside of the turn. What I'm more confused about is how much weight should be taken off of the inside ski. From what I've been told on here, I thought it was correct to have almost all of your weight on the outside ski, that makes digging in with the small toes difficult. So what is the right mix of digging in and lightening the inside ski?

 

2. Now here's a more complicated question. He says I should complete my turns more so they are C shaped, which is also something I was told to do in my last MA here. He said I shouldn't start the next turn until I got to the six o'clock or even seven o'clock position of the current turn. But I have many problems/questions with this. First, I can't say I've seen other people do this. Even good skiers, their turns are S shaped. Second is how large these turns get. When carving, a single turn goes across the entire trail, which makes it dangerous for uphill skiers. With shorter radius turns, making a C shape makes a short radius not short at all. So can someone explain this to me?

 

Here's a couple more technique related questions that I have but weren't part of this lesson.

 

3. I've noticed that I can't angulate as much when turning to the left than when turning to the right. My dominant foot is probably the left one, so I'm more comfortable having more weight on it. But it also slightly feels like I may not be as "stretchy" when turning to the left. Are there any exercises I can do for this with and without skis?

 

4. After a day of skiing, is looking at the wax oozing out of the base a good indication of where I've been putting my weight and therefore technique? Previously I've mostly had the base turn white on the inside of both feet (from having weight only on the outside ski) and under the foot. Today, I've had the base turn white on both sides of the ski under the foot. Does any of this help describe how I ski?


Edited by nemesis256 - 2/2/14 at 5:56am
post #2 of 23

Good gawd man you must be skiing on some wicked sharp snow or getting some wicked huge vertical in to be whiting your bases in one ski day!

 

1. A versatile skier is able to ski with weight distribution as a result of turning forces or weight distribution changed as desired (even to 100% weight on the inside ski!). There are a number of things that can cause excess weight on one foot or the other. Without knowing what you were doing it's impossible to know if the instructors advice was correct. For example, excessive tip lead can cause loss of pressure on the inside ski. Your instructor could have been trying to get you to get the inside ski on higher edge angles so that it would engage more and therefore "accept" more weight. There is no correct weight distribution. There are only pros and cons from the weight distribution you have and how you chose to achieve it.

 

2. I tell this to a lot of my students. It is possible to make S shaped turns without turning your skis all the way out of the fall line, but it's hard to learn how to make S shaped turns without turning your skis all the way out of the fall line.

 

3. On snow try side slips, falling leaf, pivot slips, picture frame and linked poles around the waist. At home try foam roller massage on the hip and laying on your back with one leg raised vertical and rotating that leg through max range of motion.

 

4. It sounds like you've changed from riding only on the outside ski to riding on both skis. That should mean a performance improvement. I hope you're seeing even wear along the entire length of the ski. Seeing white after one day of use is a concern. You could be doing some wicked skidding or you may need a wicked better tune. 

 

Go Sawx!

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

Good gawd man you must be skiing on some wicked sharp snow or getting some wicked huge vertical in to be whiting your bases in one ski day!

 

4. It sounds like you've changed from riding only on the outside ski to riding on both skis. That should mean a performance improvement. I hope you're seeing even wear along the entire length of the ski. Seeing white after one day of use is a concern. You could be doing some wicked skidding or you may need a wicked better tune. 

The snow is man made, so it is sharp, and I skied about 30 km/19 miles. I also do ski fast. After one day the whitening is pretty subtle, but it's there. My waxing method is crayoning, getting the wax into the base with the iron, and then removing some of the extra with fiberlene paper. There is some extra wax left over, but I don't want to make the mess of scraping and brushing, and the extra is rubbed off in a couple runs.

 

I also don't see the wear across the entire length. It gradually reduces getting closer to the tip and tail. Don't really know how to change my skiing so the wear  is across the entire ski.


Edited by nemesis256 - 2/3/14 at 4:36pm
post #4 of 23

I also ski on mostly man made, but I estimate I get at least double that mileage before seeing any wear. Since I rewax before I see wear, it's hard to say. You might want to try using a wax remover before waxing and doing a double traditional drip wax and scrape session with your babies. Yes it seems wasteful, just trust me. It does not sound like they are holding a lot of wax. Don't forget to use scotch brite to structure the bases when you are done.

post #5 of 23

  Generally the pressure in good skiing is greatest in the underfooot area of the inside edges--from just in front of the toe piece to the heel piece--so this would be an area I would expect to see dried/hairy bases, especially when skiing man-made. Make sure you switch your skis after each weekend (I always do) so that left becomes right and right becomes left to help even out the wear on both the bases and edges (any skidding on hard/aggressive snow can rapidly dull edges). Also, take the extra time to scrape and brush, leaving the structure filled with wax can adversely affect the efficacy of your wax job. Adding a harder wax along or near the edges in these areas can also help with burn.

 

  As The Rusty said (I always wonder why he's called "The" Rusty :)), there is no set-in-stone formula for inside v. outside weighting but as I like to tell people, start by at least developing an awareness of the two. By this I mean, as you ski check to see which ski/foot feels like it has more weight on it. You might be surprised to find that your inside is weighted more heavily throughout much of your turn (or you might not). This is a great way to "self diagnose" so that you can then follow your instructors advice (like flexing the inside leg more and moving out over the outside ski). 

 

  zenny


Edited by zentune - 2/3/14 at 4:53pm
post #6 of 23
Fresh man made snow s very abrasive, use the next harder wax than you would use otherwise, I've had white base after a few hours sliding on bunny hill on it.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzmtl View Post

Fresh man made snow s very abrasive, use the next harder wax than you would use otherwise, I've had white base after a few hours sliding on bunny hill on it.

That's not going to happen for a long time, I have enough wax to last a few years with my crayoning method. :rolleyes

 

Does anyone else have input on my question about turn shapes? It's the one I'm most confused about. Going across the entire trail, short radius turns, etc.

post #8 of 23

   It's usually best to work on specific movements at lower speeds so you can really zero in and focus on what is happening, so don't edgelock carve your turns. Use a blend of steering and tipping instead to produce true short radius turns. Whenever we are working on specific movements or drills with people we always emphasize slowing down (we even have "who is the slowest skier" or "who can make the most turns" competitions) . You may find this is harder than it sounds at first. Also, you want to shoot for "6" or "7" so that hopefully you may end up at "4:45" :).

 

   zenny


Edited by zentune - 2/3/14 at 6:07pm
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by nemesis256 View Post
 

4. After a day of skiing, is looking at the wax oozing out of the base a good indication of where I've been putting my weight and therefore technique? Previously I've mostly had the base turn white on the inside of both feet (from having weight only on the outside ski) and under the foot. Today, I've had the base turn white on both sides of the ski under the foot. Does any of this help describe how I ski?

 

People have been responding to this as though nemesis256 was talking about base burn, which I don't think is necessarily the case. 

 

That's one way to get a whitish area next to the edge.  But it seems like there's another:  when I've got my bases loaded up w. wax, with a hard wax on top (Dominator Bullet), I can go ski for a day and get whitish patches down both edges, and not just underfoot.   Where it appears is where there's a little more aggressive texturing in the base.  And it goes away if I brush at it a little bit with a white nylon brush, so I'm thinking base burn probably isn't what's going on.  My assumption is what he said, especially as it's been really cold:  wax getting squoze out of the base.

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by nemesis256 View Post

....

2. Now here's a more complicated question. He says I should complete my turns more so they are C shaped, which is also something I was told to do in my last MA here. He said I shouldn't start the next turn until I got to the six o'clock or even seven o'clock position of the current turn. But I have many problems/questions with this. First, I can't say I've seen other people do this. Even good skiers, their turns are S shaped. Second is how large these turns get. When carving, a single turn goes across the entire trail, which makes it dangerous for uphill skiers. With shorter radius turns, making a C shape makes a short radius not short at all. So can someone explain this to me?

....

Quote:
Originally Posted by nemesis256 View Post

....

Does anyone else have input on my question about turn shapes? It's the one I'm most confused about. Going across the entire trail, short radius turns, etc.

 

1.  Zenny just said that trying to go all the way to pointing your skis uphill before starting the next turn may end up getting you to something close to pointing across the hill, and that is correct.  Can you actually hang onto your turns until you are pointing both skis uphill, then start the next turn?  If so, then back off to pointing them directly across the trail.  If you can't point them uphill yet, then keep trying.  It's a great skill to have.

 

2.  Second, and this applies to #1 above, for short radius turns you should not be carving all the way across the entire trail.  That's not short radius; you are right that this is dangerous if there are crowds on the trails.  These "C" shaped short radius turns you are working on, which connected should produce nice clean "S" lines, have to be short.  Carving ain't doin that for ya, so stop carving.  This is not how you are going to get your short radius turns.  Instead, manually turn the skis with your legs, and keep turning them until you get them pointed all the way left and right.  As you turn the legs, keep your hips and torso pointing down the hill, jacket zipper pointed towards the bottom of the trail down below.  Can you do this now already?  If not, work at it.  These turns will be slow.  That's good.  You can speed up later.  Slow is harder to do.

 

3.  How to turn the skis manually?  Try this in your kitchen.  Stand in your socks on the hard kitchen floor.  Lift both toes; stand on your heels.  Pivot on your heels to turn yourself to the left; you'll end up with both feet and your entire body pointing left, your feet lined up in a straight line one behind the other - don't fall over!  Then turn yourself right.  Your heels do not move; your feet pivot on them.  Now do the same thing with your toes stationary on the floor and heels lifted; turn whole body left, then right, pivoting on your toes.  Close eyes and feel how you are doing this.  Repeat both (heels and toes), but this time turn your legs all the way left and then right while keeping your hips and shoulders facing straight ahead.  Do this on heels, then on toes. Use a mirror for confirmation that you are not turning your hips.  It's hard to keep those hips stable for some people.  Work on it.

 

4.  Now try pivoting your feet not on the heels nor on the toes, but on the arches.  Keep the hips and shoulders facing straight ahead as you pivot the feet and legs on the arches.  This is the magic move, pivoting legs only, over the arches of your feet.  Imagine you are on skis sliding down the hill.  Pivot your legs, feet, and skis over your arches, keeping the jacket zipper (hips and shoulders) facing down the hill.  That's the movement you seek to make those short radius C-shaped turns you're after.  (It's definitely not carving.)  Once you can do this in the kitchen, go out on snow and turn the legs and skis without turning the hips and shoulders.  This is your short radius motorizer.  Use trial and error to make nice short turns left and right using this "steering" method.  Keep working on this exercise until you can make turns that take you down the fall line in a narrow corridor.  Work on ending your turns with the skis pointing fully left then right.  Now speed them up with a faster tempo.  Done!  You've got steered short radius steered turns down the fall line, hips and torso facing downhill all the way.

 

5.  If you are having difficulty getting these turns to work, you may need a lesson with an instructor who can identify what movement patterns you need to build in order to get them going.   


Edited by LiquidFeet - 2/3/14 at 7:49pm
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post
 

  As The Rusty said (I always wonder why he's called "The" Rusty :)), 

You of all people should understand - It's a zen thing!

 

rusty.com was already taken when I got my own website (some stupid surf company beat me by a couple of months). I wanted something short to type. There already were two Russ's  in the ski school when I started teaching. Last I checked there were 12 people named Rusty Carr on the Internet and there were a couple of Rusty's already on Epic. So "TheRusty" is just a simple way of being unique. Now when people ask me, "Are you the Rusty?" I can safely answer "yes" and then they can safely run away screaming.

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

You of all people should understand - It's a zen thing!

 

rusty.com was already taken when I got my own website (some stupid surf company beat me by a couple of months). I wanted something short to type. There already were two Russ's  in the ski school when I started teaching. Last I checked there were 12 people named Rusty Carr on the Internet and there were a couple of Rusty's already on Epic. So "TheRusty" is just a simple way of being unique. Now when people ask me, "Are you the Rusty?" I can safely answer "yes" and then they can safely run away screaming.

 

  I like--especially the "run away screaming" part! :D

 

   zenny

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post

  I like--especially the "run away screaming" part! biggrin.gif

Yeah, but that didn't happen until AFTER my lesson
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

 

1.  Zenny just said that trying to go all the way to pointing your skis uphill before starting the next turn may end up getting you to something close to pointing across the hill, and that is correct.  Can you actually hang onto your turns until you are pointing both skis uphill, then start the next turn?  If so, then back off to pointing them directly across the trail.  If you can't point them uphill yet, then keep trying.  It's a great skill to have.

Sorry, dont mean to hijack, but I have a question on this...

 

@LiquidFeet or @zentune The instructor my son was working with on Sunday had him doing this for several turns at the top of each run.  When the instructor and I debriefed after his lesson he didn't mention it to me and when I asked my son he couldn't really explain why he had him doing it.  Could you explain to me what this drill/movement is used to teach?

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by nemesis256 View Post

 

 

Does anyone else have input on my question about turn shapes? It's the one I'm most confused about. Going across the entire trail, short radius turns, etc.

 

Turn shape is important, and the instructor is correct about wanting to be able to finish the your turn to perpendicular to the fall line. The thing that may be confusing you is the terminology of "C" shaped. When an instructor says "C" shaped, he's referring to a half circle, 180 degree arc, not really to the traditional "C", which is greater than 180 degrees. As far as going all the way across the hill, a well shaped turn doesn't need to have a traverse. Once you complete your old turn, you start your new one. And LF is correct, a short radius turn isn't carved. Can't be, the radius is too short to allow the edge to stay completely engaged. A short radius turn is steered and smeared, not carved.

 

A hang up you may have with turn shape is 'not seeing expert skiers do it'. You are correct in that expert skiers don't always complete their turns. In fact, some expert skiers rarely complete their turns. But there's a reason for that. A complete turn is a tool every advanced skier needs for speed control. However, that tool isn't always necessary. Lack of pitch, slow snow, bumps, comfort with speed, etc are all reasons that advanced skiers may not be completing their turns at certain times. If I'm cruising down an easy blue in sticky snow, I'm almost certainly not completing turns, because I don't need to slow down more than the snow and pitch is allowing me to travel. But turn that snow to hardpack and tilt the pitch above 25 degrees, and you'll see me finish those turns for sure.

post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmr40 View Post
 

Sorry, dont mean to hijack, but I have a question on this...

 

@LiquidFeet or @zentune The instructor my son was working with on Sunday had him doing this for several turns at the top of each run.  When the instructor and I debriefed after his lesson he didn't mention it to me and when I asked my son he couldn't really explain why he had him doing it.  Could you explain to me what this drill/movement is used to teach?

 

If a skier has an underdeveloped movement, a good way to retrain the muscles is to have the skier exaggerate the movement. The objective is to have the exaggerated movement average out the underdeveloped movement. If I want to save an average of $100 a week, but for a few weeks I only save $50, my financial advisor (read: wife) will push me to save $150 a week to compensate. Same idea.

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

 

If a skier has an underdeveloped movement, a good way to retrain the muscles is to have the skier exaggerate the movement. The objective is to have the exaggerated movement average out the underdeveloped movement. If I want to save an average of $100 a week, but for a few weeks I only save $50, my financial advisor (read: wife) will push me to save $150 a week to compensate. Same idea.

Thanks. So would his underdeveloped movement be not finishing his turns?

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmr40 View Post
 

Thanks. So would his underdeveloped movement be not finishing his turns?


One would assume.

 

The instructor could also have been using it to demonstrate a concept. The concept being that turn shape does, in fact, control speed. If your son is relying on skidding to control speed, the instructor might use an exaggerated turn shape to emphasize the sensation of the speed dropping as the turn continues across and then up the hill. I wouldn't be too concerned about the instructor not explaining it, either. Not all of our teaching is didactic. It sounds like the instructor was using a kinesthetic methodology to help your son out.

post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 


One would assume.

 

The instructor could also have been using it to demonstrate a concept. The concept being that turn shape does, in fact, control speed. If your son is relying on skidding to control speed, the instructor might use an exaggerated turn shape to emphasize the sensation of the speed dropping as the turn continues across and then up the hill. I wouldn't be too concerned about the instructor not explaining it, either. Not all of our teaching is didactic. It sounds like the instructor was using a kinesthetic methodology to help your son out.

Thanks.  I think you nailed it.  The instructor did mention that he was working with him to try to eliminate the skid (pushing his downhill ski) on steeper terrain.  I was really pleased with the lesson and instructor. They worked on a few different things and I just wasn't sure what he was going for there. Heck, 1/2 the time I learn something from his lessons.

 

Again, sorry about the hijack.

post #20 of 23

  Yup. Speed control via turn shape is the goal here. The idea being that braking movements (throwing the ski(s)sideways at the end of the turn for one) are "defensive skiing" and can lead to a host of issues (like upper body rotation, too much inside ski weight bias, lessened ability to choose line, etc) that if left unaddressed can become lifelong habits that become harder and harder to break, and that the "goal" of skiers that seek lessons should be to move towards "offensive skiing" wherein among other things, speed control is largely influenced by line choice. So moving across the hill (perpendicular to the fall-line/gravity) slows us down and helps facilitate smoother, rounded turns because we have put ourselves in a more bio-mechanically advantageous position to do so.

 

  Getting a skier to overexaggerate  movements is often simply a way to help ensure they get enough movement--sort of like saying "We have to be on the road by 6:00 am if we want first chair" so that in reality you might actually make it on the road by 6:30 (I use this trick all the time with my wife :duck:)

 

   zenny

post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by zentune View Post
 

  Yup. Speed control via turn shape is the goal here. The idea being that braking movements (throwing the ski(s)sideways at the end of the turn for one) are "defensive skiing" and can lead to a host of issues (like upper body rotation, too much inside ski weight bias, lessened ability to choose line, etc) that if left unaddressed can become lifelong habits that become harder and harder to break, and that the "goal" of skiers that seek lessons should be to move towards "offensive skiing" wherein among other things, speed control is largely influenced by line choice. So moving across the hill (perpendicular to the fall-line/gravity) slows us down and helps facilitate smoother, rounded turns.

 

   zenny

 

Thanks for the reply and explanation.  I can definitely connect your and Freeski's explanation to the way he's skiing right now.

post #22 of 23

There are 2 more reasons why I teach finishing turns this way:

1) it creates more shape to the top of the next turn

2) it is easier to move the center of mass to the inside of the new turn

 

If you think about a clock face describing a turn, a left turn would go in the direction of 12 to 9 to 6 o'clock. If the old turn finished with the skis where they (cough) usually finish, the new turn probably started around 10:30 to 11:00 and finish at 7:00-7:30. If one finishes the old turn with the skis going up hill, that left turn is going to start around 1:30 and finish at 4:30. That's almost 3x as much turn per turn! Also, by slowing down going uphill, one is going to feel less of a need to slow down in the bottom half of the turn (from 9-6) (i.e. skid). Finishing turns uphill helps to train the brain that it is ok to go fast through the bottom of the turn because slowing is going to happen a little later.

 

Some of us used to teach "falling" downhill into the next turn. Using the clock turn to the left again, the skis are on their downhill edges until 9:00 and the body has to be downhill of the skis. Brain is pretty good at telling us how stupid this is. Brain is a little less freaked out at moving "forward" to the inside of the next turn when forward is to the side of the hill instead of down that steep incline. Once you can prove to brain that good things can happen from this kind of movement, it's a lot easier to do the same movement without that uphill finish to the old turn.

 

In short, it is easier to learn how to make round turns when you finish your old turns going uphill.

post #23 of 23

Rusty - great post thanks.  I'm going to have my son read through the posts in this thread.

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