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Got some bad habits and want to become a complete terrain skier - any help much appreciated!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

Just came back from a little summer sesh up at Mount Hood and the ski bug flared up big time. Since I cant be out there every day, I am wanting to tap the depth of knowledge here to clean up a few bad habits or at least get a diagnosis down so I know what I am dealing with ...

 

A bit about me:

- 28 years old

- 5'10 / 175lbs

- 25 years skiing (17 of these were mostly in Australia and pretty intermittent but have had some long stints O/S incl a season in Colorado, a few lengthy trips to Whistler, Telluride and Steamboat and most recently a solid 6 weeks in La Grave, Solden and Alagna)

- Quiver: 186 Helldorados (Atomic STH2 WTR bindings), old pair of K2 Seth's (old pair of Looks) and some Prior Originals (Head Mojo 15s)

 

I would describe myself as a strong advanced skiier with a preference for steeper/technical terrain but with some bad habits inherited from growing up skiing Australian hills in the 90s! Will try my best to elaborate on this statement but suspect it will be fleshed out once the gurus on here start weighing in ... 

 

Have a forward, aggressive stance and default to linking shorter radius turns. My concern is that I have a tendency to over-pressure my outside edge (possibly underweight my uphill leg) at times resulting in moderate A-framing and some splay ... Where this becomes problematic is in chopped up crud and transition snow which can knock me off balance and bring my hips into play (over working the ski to get it doing what I want rather than what the conditions dictate). Where this limits me is wider, steeper faces which are screaming out for longer turn radius' and, as mentioned above, storm +3 days where things are getting chopped up .... Particularly in the latter conditions I can flip in and out of being a strong advanced skier to a weak advanced skier every fifth turn which isn't where I want to be. Don't want to be another dude on powder skis that's a hero in blower powder but has to straight line it to the chair on the run out or where there isn't any fresh snow about

 

Living in North America full time now and have an opportunity to finally iron out the creases and become a more complete terrain skier. With a bit of help diagnosing and some tips from the good folk here, hoping to use early season conditions to work on any issues before getting stuck into the season proper. Realise we are still along way out but love thinking about this stuff, always keen to improve and there is so much to be learned these days just sitting in front of a computer! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Cheers,

Tom

post #2 of 22

Hi, Tom!

 

Without skiing with you, or seeing video of of you skiing, it's hard for anyone to give accurate movement analysis or an accurate prescription for change.  There are a few ideas I have based on your self-analysis, but whether they would be appropriate depends on numerous variables.  Where will you be skiing this season?  There are a number of excellent instructor/coaches that post here and it would be very helpful for you to book a lesson or two with one of them and ski with him/her for a few days.  Nothing will improve your skiing faster than good, individualized coaching.  In the meantime, you might post a video of your skiing here and get some preliminary feedback. 

 

Best!

Mike

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks Mike. Sadly don't have any video footage so you're right - will probably hamper the discussion a bit ...

 

Looking like spending Christmas in Aspen but would be open to other resorts as want to use early season conditions to work on the above and dial in some new boots. Then have a two week slot which will take me to Taos, Jackson or interior BC depending on snow conditions a bit later in Feb.

 

Cheers,

Tom

post #4 of 22

Hi, Tom!

 

One of the best instructors in the country is in Aspen.  His name is Bob Barnes.  He's the Technical Director here at Epic, trains instructors at Aspen, is an instructor examiner for PSIA and someone you should look up for a few lessons!  Taos and Jackson also have excellent people.  Check out the instructor listings here at Epic for some ideas.

 

Here in Colorado, Loveland and A-Basin will be opening mid-October, Copper on October 31, and the rest soon after.  If you'll be skiing out here early season, let me know where you'll be skiing and I can make some other suggestions for coaches.  If you're here, touch base and we'll make some runs!

 

Good luck!

Mike

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the heads up on Bob. I will find him out. Didn't realize Copper and A Basin opened so early. I will be there for sure! Will look you up when I come through

Cheers
post #6 of 22

I haven't seen @Bob Barnes around in a few weeks.  I bet he's on his bike. 

post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

I haven't seen @Bob Barnes around in a few weeks.  I bet he's on his bike. 

His last post was June 6.

post #8 of 22

I'd be pretty surprised if Bob wasn't already booked up at Christmas.

post #9 of 22
Bob is at Aspen Highlands.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

Bob is at Aspen Highlands.

Yes, he is but you can book any Aspen/Snowmass instructor at any of the 4 mountains, Aspen, Snowmass, Highlands or Buttermilk.
post #11 of 22

Tom,  It looks like your thread has turned into a sequel to the movie "What about Bob?" ;)

 

But to get back to the concerns you expressed in your initial post, I think you have hit on a major issue that many advanced recreational skiers are dealing with. 

 

My observation is that we are over fixated on the outside ski.  Between the overwhelming force we feel to the outside and the never ending advice that makes it sound like there is only one ski involved in a turn, it is no wonder that when we loose the outside ski, (due to ice, bumps, crud over extension etc. ) our turn collapses.

 

One night back in the 1970's I was out working with a fellow instructor (formally a racer) on improving my turns when he suddenly said " pick your blankity blank inside ski up" and like that I was making better turns. Sadly it was the beginning of a bad addiction to the outside ski that lasted for many years until shape skis and modern technique came along. 

 

Here is a great video that features Sebastien Michel called "Cream of Skiing Skills". 

 

What strikes me is how well he uses BOTH skis and when one (for whatever reason) is not in position to further his intended direction (outcome) the other takes over. 

 

This is evident in several places in the first part of the video. 

 

At 38 seconds in he begins a series of turns in the "chopped up crud" as you call it. See how well balanced and two footed he is until......OMG the the last turn of the sequence....there's that inside ski doing what the outside was in no position to do. 

 

At 1:09 he picks up his inside ski because the inside was not set up but who cares? 

 

In both cases, because he is balanced in the intended outcome direction,  he recovers back to both skis engaging.

 

Finally at 1:14 he demonstrates inside to inside turns and follows up with slip to carve exercises. (I just love that stuff!)

 

I spend lots of time with my advanced students on inside to inside exercises and it is amazing how hard it is for them to get it because they are so ingrained with outside movement patterns. I am not advocating inside ski skiing....just addressing a much ignored member of the team. 

 

So the moral of the story is you have paid a lot of $$ for two skis...  learn to use and depend on both.

 

enjoy the video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wop_Zc0x1Sc

post #12 of 22
Tom, all terrain skiing is really no different than other skiing once you accept the idea that the skis will jet and stall as the snow density changes. Thus making core stability a big need. It is also worth thinking about round medium turns until you get comfortable letting the skis come around through the end of the turn. Slicing and planing rather than chopping.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Nolasco View Post
 

Hi guys,

 

Just came back from a little summer sesh up at Mount Hood and the ski bug flared up big time. Since I cant be out there every day, I am wanting to tap the depth of knowledge here to clean up a few bad habits or at least get a diagnosis down so I know what I am dealing with ...

 

A bit about me:

- 28 years old

- 5'10 / 175lbs

- 25 years skiing (17 of these were mostly in Australia and pretty intermittent but have had some long stints O/S incl a season in Colorado, a few lengthy trips to Whistler, Telluride and Steamboat and most recently a solid 6 weeks in La Grave, Solden and Alagna)

- Quiver: 186 Helldorados (Atomic STH2 WTR bindings), old pair of K2 Seth's (old pair of Looks) and some Prior Originals (Head Mojo 15s)

 

I would describe myself as a strong advanced skiier with a preference for steeper/technical terrain but with some bad habits inherited from growing up skiing Australian hills in the 90s! Will try my best to elaborate on this statement but suspect it will be fleshed out once the gurus on here start weighing in ... 

 

Have a forward, aggressive stance and default to linking shorter radius turns. My concern is that I have a tendency to over-pressure my outside edge (possibly underweight my uphill leg) at times resulting in moderate A-framing and some splay ... Where this becomes problematic is in chopped up crud and transition snow which can knock me off balance and bring my hips into play (over working the ski to get it doing what I want rather than what the conditions dictate). Where this limits me is wider, steeper faces which are screaming out for longer turn radius' and, as mentioned above, storm +3 days where things are getting chopped up .... Particularly in the latter conditions I can flip in and out of being a strong advanced skier to a weak advanced skier every fifth turn which isn't where I want to be. Don't want to be another dude on powder skis that's a hero in blower powder but has to straight line it to the chair on the run out or where there isn't any fresh snow about

 

Living in North America full time now and have an opportunity to finally iron out the creases and become a more complete terrain skier. With a bit of help diagnosing and some tips from the good folk here, hoping to use early season conditions to work on any issues before getting stuck into the season proper. Realise we are still along way out but love thinking about this stuff, always keen to improve and there is so much to be learned these days just sitting in front of a computer! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Cheers,

Tom

 

Tom, if you said a little more about the lines in color above, that might help the folks here get more specific in their comments. 

 

---How and in what conditions does that splay occur?  Which ski is splaying, the outside ski, or does the inside ski delay turning?

---What is it you do with your hips when you bring them into play?

---What do you mean by "overworking the ski"?

---Can you be more specific about that "weak advanced skier" comment?  As I read that part, it sounds like you are making long radius turns in chopped up snow when this happens.

post #14 of 22

The image you painted suggest the cure might be found in finding a more centered stance and guiding but not muscling the skis to bring them around.  As far as foot to foot weight distribution and foot to foot lead, forcing a result often creates these sorts of problems. Again the cure is typically a more centered stance. So you are on the right track when it comes to taking what the mountain is giving you. Another issue that might be worth exploring is haste leading to forcing the ski to do something. Be patient and think instead of smooth swoopy round turns where the ski does most the work and our job is to direct but not over direct the skis. Eventually shortening up the radius is possible but getting the skis to do all the work during those short turns takes time and medium turns are where to start the process. Hope that helps.

post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

Sincere apologies for my tardiness - was caught up with work over the weekend and didn't manage to get on the interwebs. Greatly appreciate all the tips from those that weighed in and has given me some good material to think on over a slow monday.

 

Staying centred and strong through the core and weighting each ski (or removing the bias to the downhill ski) has been a focus and echoes the tips I have gotten over the years. JESINSTR, think you articulated it well and very keen to watch that vid whien I get back to my PC, thanks for the link ...

 

I am 95% there in predictable snow as I feel most advanced/expert skiers are but fall below this in more variable snow bc perfect habits are not yet fully engrained in the muscle memory. Justanortherskipro, I really think you are onto it when you say be patient, let the skies run through their arc and work for you rather than muscling them ... I find this easier to accomplish with speed but believe that I would become a lot more proficient if there were drills I could do at a slower speeds to practice good habits (kind of like practicing in the nets if there are cricket fans reading this). It's this that I feel I really need to work on as it will remove the temptation to over-pressure my ski(s) and probably reduce the unpredictability/hookiness/possible deflection which comes from showing too much ski or trying to lay trenches in chopped up / crusty snow. 

 

Liquidfeet, some answers to you questions below in italics:

---How and in what conditions does that splay occur?  Which ski is splaying, the outside ski, or does the inside ski delay turning? Typically variable snow (chopped up, transition, crust etc). Haven't noticed the inside ski delay turning and outside ski splays. May not be using the technical terms correctly though ... by splay I mean washes out right at the end of my turn before transitioning to the next turn. I have always put this down to a more forward/weighty stance and tendency to drive the ski(s) through their turn

---What is it you do with your hips when you bring them into play? 8/10 times my upper body is upright, stable and facing down the fall line. Where it goes amiss is when I feel I get too low in my stance which generally results in my hips breaking the opposite direction that I am turning. E.g. turning right and the hips go left.

---What do you mean by "overworking the ski"? Over-pressuring the ski. Predominately the outside edge.

---Can you be more specific about that "weak advanced skier" comment?  As I read that part, it sounds like you are making long radius turns in chopped up snow when this happens. By "weak advanced skier" I mean people with some background in skiing and coaching that can exploit the amazing skiability afforded by current crop of skis, that goes after and can competently ski challenging in bound terrain. Sometimes these are the same people that b-line anything which is chopped up (generally on the run-out back to the chairlift) bc they lack the skills or inclination to ski all the terrain on the mountain. Feel like its easy for "freeriders" to fall into this category ... Having flashbacks to Alagna which attracts hordes of people (on some seriously impressive gear I might add) who were like pigs in mud in some of the big storms that came through Italy this last winter but went to custard when things got skied up. They were an interesting side-by-side to the local guys and girls skiing La Grave through the back-end of the same storm. Very efficient, technical and moved through all terrain on the mountain with the same phenomenal efficiency. I would say those guys are true "experts" by comparison. There are different degrees of both types of skiers but as a strong advanced to expert skier, I am continuing to work towards the latter and fight the habits or temptation that intermittently drag me towards the former.

 

Apologies for the word vomit guys and thanks again for the tips

 

Cheers,

Tom 

post #16 of 22

Tom the best way to learn patience is simple but not easy. It starts with figuring out why you are being impatient in the first place. In short it means re-imagining who you are on skis. A couple thoughts about this may be a bit off base without knowing you but in general they should help. Perhaps the best thing is to ask a few questions about you and what you do for recreation off the snow, what you do for a living, how your family groomed you for adulthood, and even what your spouse brings to the table when it comes to your personal growth? I know all of this may sound invasive and a bit unwise over an open internet chat site. So with that in mind communicating over a more secure connection, or limiting the amount of details you share here is prudent. Where I am attempting to lead you is towards establishing a good feel for yourself prior to considering the idea of reinventing who you are and in turn how you express that on the hill. You might be thinking you really like who you are and that is great as long as you understand that our personality defines and often limits how we will ski, play golf, tennis, whatever. Skiing well indeed starts in our minds and who we are definitely influences how we ski.

 

So what drills would make sense? Again it depends on you but some ideas that come to mind include patience turns on intermediate terrain, painfully slow turns in the beginner corral, extremely quick short turns in that very same beginner corral, and some short straight running on the steepest slopes you regularly ski.

 

I will try to describe the benefits of each.

 

1. patience turns make us slow down our actions during the first third of the turn. In general this is where most skiers have trouble because they get it in their head that more dynamic skiing must include more muscling of the skis. Or they fear the idea of letting the skis run as the slopes get steeper, snow gets cruddier, trees get tighter. In short the skis only do what we tell them to do and that includes delays and hesitations in our movements,  it should be no surprise that the skis act accordingly. Tactically speaking some delays are a natural part of skiing but if those delays are the byproduct of hesitation in our movements, or excessive haste during the first third of a turn, the result is the skis are no longer acting naturally and we must respond by forcing a result.

 

2. Extremely slow turns in the beginner corral are simply the most extreme version of patience turns, where the two drills differ is that the first third is the focus in the first drill and the entire turn is the focus in the second drill. Outcomes like stopping at the end of each turn, or an inability to maintain the exact same speed through all phases of these turns suggests the strong shaping phase is not occurring while in the fall line.

 

3. Quick short turns in the beginner corral work on well centered stances and good foot to foot timing. Asymmetries exist in everyone's skiing and by studying our ski tracks we can expose our unique level of left, or right handedness. For better short radius turns the initiation and finishing phases become part of the transition. Which means we work the ski strongly during one third (the middle third) of the turns. Eventually we can shift this one third to any part of the turn but the one third  / two thirds ratio becomes a constant for most skiers. It is important to note that competitive skiing will force us to change this ratio a bit but by the time you get to that level of competition this habit will be old hat and the exact length of time spent working the ski strongly will be quite obvious.

 

4. The next drill is to do some J shaped arced turns on some pretty steep terrain. Ten feet in the fall line on shallow terrain usually doesn't scare anyone but ten feet in the fall line on terrain steeper than thirty degrees usually scares the heck out of most folks. The notion (fear) of not being able to avoid straight running to the bottom of the hill is something we need to overcome. Same goes for jumping downhill on steep slopes. Screw it up and sliding down the entire hill is a very common and IMO quite natural preconceived notion. The reality is most of us already spend ten feet in the fall line on less steep terrain, or we abbreviate our turns and do not let the skis turn across the fall line more than about 45 degrees at the finish of a turn. A couple of common reasons for this are we see racers release their turns this early but in reality they seek to hang onto their turns as long as they can in spite of their line being defined by the gate set. A great article comparing Bode to Thomas Vonn was published a while back and the conclusion the author reached was Bode finished his turns better (held onto it slightly longer) than Thomas and this rounder but faster line allowed Bode to carry more speed and momentum through the few gates they featured in the article. I realize this willingness to linger in the fall line and working the skis strongly late in the J turn seems counter to what I just mentioned about a strong shaping phase early in the previous drills but again the eventual goal is to be capable of moving the shaping phase of the turn as a tactical choice.

 

5. The final drill is hard to describe accurately but my description is that instead of hanging onto the J turn until we stop, we reach a point where our skis are perpendicular to the fall line but we haven't scrubbed off all of our forward momentum. What we do at that point is strongly pivot the skis into the fall line and skid across the hill in what I call a sideways (or across the hill) sideslip. As our momentum across the hill erodes, Gravity will pull us into the fall line and we finish the turn similar to the J turn but again not to a stop between turns. The key to success during this drill is you need some smooth advanced intermediate terrain to create the across the hill momentum needed to sideslip across the hill correctly. Establishing the edge platform while in the fall line is another key.

 

Get these five drills down and the confidence you gain should allow you to ski all but the most extreme terrain extremely well. If you find yourself struggling with any of them I can certainly help you, I can generally be found a Keystone but contacting me directly (PM) is usually the best way to arrange a workshop.

 

Ski well Tom,

JASP


Edited by justanotherskipro - 8/17/14 at 12:35pm
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post
 

Tom the best way to learn patience is simple but not easy. It starts with figuring out why you are being impatient in the first place. In short it means re-imagining who you are on skis. A couple thoughts about this may be a bit off base without knowing you but in general they should help. Perhaps the best thing is to ask a few questions about you and what you do for recreation off the snow, what you do for a living, how your family groomed you for adulthood, and even what your spouse brings to the table when it comes to your personal growth? I know all of this may sound invasive and a bit unwise over an open internet chat site. So with that in mind communicating over a more secure connection, or limiting the amount of details you share here is prudent. Where I am attempting to lead you is towards establishing a good feel for yourself prior to considering the idea of reinventing who you are and in turn how you express that on the hill. You might be thinking you really like who you are and that is great as long as you understand that our personality defines and often limits how we will ski, play golf, tennis, whatever. Skiing well indeed starts in our minds and who we are definitely influences how we ski.

 

So what drills would make sense? Again it depends on you but some ideas that come to mind include patience turns on intermediate terrain, painfully slow turns in the beginner corral, extremely quick short turns in that very same beginner corral, and some short straight running on the steepest slopes you regularly ski.

 

I will try to describe the benefits of each.

 

1. patience turns make us slow down our actions during the first third of the turn. In general this is where most skiers have trouble because they get it in their head that more dynamic skiing must include more muscling of the skis. Or they fear the idea of letting the skis run as the slopes get steeper, snow gets cruddier, trees get tighter. In short the skis only do what we tell them to do and that includes delays and hesitations in our movements,  it should be no surprise that the skis act accordingly. Tactically speaking some delays are a natural part of skiing but if those delays are the byproduct of hesitation in our movements, or excessive haste during the first third of a turn, the result is the skis are no longer acting naturally and we must respond by forcing a result.

 

2. Extremely slow turns in the beginner corral are simply the most extreme version of patience turns, where the two drills differ is that the first third is the focus in the first drill and the entire turn is the focus in the second drill. Outcomes like stopping at the end of each turn, or an inability to maintain the exact same speed through all phases of these turns suggests the strong shaping phase is not occurring while in the fall line.

 

3. Quick short turns in the beginner corral work on well centered stances and good foot to foot timing. Asymmetries exist in everyone's skiing and by studying our ski tracks we can expose our unique level of left, or right handedness. For better short radius turns the initiation and finishing phases become part of the transition. Which means we work the ski strongly during one third (the middle third) of the turns. Eventually we can shift this one third to any part of the turn but the one third  / two thirds ratio becomes a constant for most skiers. It is important to note that competitive skiing will force us to change this ratio a bit but by the time you get to that level of competition this habit will be old hat and the exact length of time spent working the ski strongly will be quite obvious.

 

4. The next drill is to do some J shaped arced turns on some pretty steep terrain. Ten feet in the fall line on shallow terrain usually doesn't scare anyone but ten feet in the fall line on terrain steeper than thirty degrees usually scares the heck out of most folks. The notion (fear) of not being able to avoid straight running to the bottom of the hill is something we need to overcome. Same goes for jumping downhill on steep slopes. Screw it up and sliding down the entire hill is a very common and IMO quite natural preconceived notion. The reality is most of us already spend ten feet in the fall line on less steep terrain, or we abbreviate our turns and do not let the skis turn across the fall line more than about 45 degrees at the finish of a turn. A couple of common reasons for this are we see racers release their turns this early but in reality they seek to hang onto their turns as long as they can in spite of their line being defined by the gate set. A great article comparing Bode to Thomas Vonn was published a while back and the conclusion the author reached was Bode finished his turns better (held onto it slightly longer) than Thomas and this rounder but faster line allowed Bode to carry more speed and momentum through the few gates they featured in the article. I realize this willingness to linger in the fall line and working the skis strongly late in the J turn seems counter to what I just mentioned about a strong shaping phase early in the previous drills but again the eventual goal is to be capable of moving the shaping phase of the turn as a tactical choice.

 

5. The final drill is hard to describe accurately but my description is that instead of hanging onto the J turn until we stop, we reach a point where our skis are perpendicular to the fall line but we haven't scrubbed off all of our forward momentum. What we do at that point is strongly pivot the skis into the fall line and skid across the hill in what I call a sideways (or across the hill) sideslip. As our momentum across the hill erodes, Gravity will pull us into the fall line and we finish the turn similar to the J turn but again not to a stop between turns. The key to success during this drill is you need some smooth advanced intermediate terrain to create the across the hill momentum needed to sideslip across the hill correctly. Establishing the edge platform while in the fall line is another key.

 

Get these five drills down and the confidence you gain should allow you to ski all but the most extreme terrain extremely well. If you find yourself struggling with any of them I can certainly help you, I can generally be found a Keystone but contacting me directly (PM) is usually the best way to arrange a workshop.

 

Ski well Tom,

JASP


JASP,

 

Missed the notification for this so excuse my tardiness. Interesting way of looking at it ... ultimately, will probably hit you up on the private when I come through CO early Dec if I can slide in some time at Keystone. That won't help others however and don't find the questions invasive, so happy to answer your queries if it gets the convo going for others as well: 

- Off the snow I try and stay pretty active ... play rugby (now just touch footy), hand stitch leather goods, run a bunch and socialise/drink whenever there is a good excuse (generally sport or the weekend does it ...)

- Work in finance

- Family groomed me to work hard but keep lighthearted about it. Despite the above over-analysis, don't actually take skiing too seriously - just as happy riding the front side with good mates as I am riding epic powder with dudes who take it too seriously 

 

Its interesting how you dissect the turn into its component parts. I understand this as initiation, the belly of the turn and transition ... Thinking through the shape and weight of my turns (from my desk mind you), feel its the transition where I tend to most actively manage the ski. I.e. I use this one third to wash speed, change-up in response to terrain changes and transition to my next turn. Gives a schizoid shape to my turns at transition .... smooth, smooth, sudden change in angle/direction, transition, smooth, smooth etc ... I wonder whether I need to altogether just relax this last third and focus only on the transition at this point ... backing my strength, technique and gear through a longer arc'd turn

post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Nolasco View Post
....

Its interesting how you dissect the turn into its component parts. I understand this as initiation, the belly of the turn and transition ... Thinking through the shape and weight of my turns (from my desk mind you), feel its the transition where I tend to most actively manage the ski. I.e. I use this one third to wash speed, change-up in response to terrain changes and transition to my next turn. Gives a schizoid shape to my turns at transition .... smooth, smooth, sudden change in angle/direction, transition, smooth, smooth etc ... I wonder whether I need to altogether just relax this last third and focus only on the transition at this point ... backing my strength, technique and gear through a longer arc'd turn

Tom, I hope you don't mind if I respond to your post.  JASP will surely post soon as well.

 

Here are the revealing parts of what you've just posted about transitions:

---you actively manage the ski in transition

---you wash speed in the transition

---your turns feel smooth, smooth, then there's a sudden change in angle and direction, followed by smooth, smooth.

 

This all sounds like you are doing something many skiers do.  Please do respond as to whether I've got this right or not.

--when you are ready to make a new turn, you quickly turn your skis around to face the other direction (the sudden change//active management of skis that you mention)

--then you pause as the skis travel (the smoothness that you mention)

--repeat.

 

This is a "quick pivot and brace" turn, very popular with some skiers.  It will severely limit what type of snow conditions you can ski.  If this is how you turn, then yes, you need to focus on doing the whole start-a-turn thing differently.  A private lesson with a seasoned and recommended instructor would be a great idea.  

 

Your goal will be to slow the transition so there is no sudden change that interrupts the smooth flow of your linked turns.  You'll learn to replace the quick pivot with a slower process involving a measured release.  You'll learn to shape the rest of the turn afterwards without the bracing and braking you currently use.  Most important, you'll learn to change the way you think about turns.  Instead of thinking of each turn as an opportunity to scrub speed with a braking action, you'll learn to ski a smooth line that keeps you safe because of its shape.  This new way of initiating turns will not interfere with the flow of the skis on their path down the hill; the fast-slow-slow-fast-slow jerkiness will be gone.  More thrills await you ... embedded in an increased control of speed.  You'll be able to ski new terrain safely and joyfully, and you'll be able to ski the difficult snow conditions that used to send you home early.

post #19 of 22
The progression is aimed at taking existing skills and reimagining their usage potentials.

The strong effort late is of particular interest. Imagine driving through a corner and waiting until the very last to do much. Or doing too much too early. Both have situational validity but in general we would not do either habitually.
By exploring the spectrum our confidence in our ability to handle all these variations expands and allows us to approach the task of a turn differently. Specifically with more confidence that we don'the need to make everything happen immediately.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

Tom, I hope you don't mind if I respond to your post.  JASP will surely post soon as well.

 

Here are the revealing parts of what you've just posted about transitions:

---you actively manage the ski in transition

---you wash speed in the transition

---your turns feel smooth, smooth, then there's a sudden change in angle and direction, followed by smooth, smooth.

 

This all sounds like you are doing something many skiers do.  Please do respond as to whether I've got this right or not.

--when you are ready to make a new turn, you quickly turn your skis around to face the other direction (the sudden change//active management of skis that you mention)

--then you pause as the skis travel (the smoothness that you mention)

--repeat.

 

This is a "quick pivot and brace" turn, very popular with some skiers.  It will severely limit what type of snow conditions you can ski.  If this is how you turn, then yes, you need to focus on doing the whole start-a-turn thing differently.  A private lesson with a seasoned and recommended instructor would be a great idea.  

 

Your goal will be to slow the transition so there is no sudden change that interrupts the smooth flow of your linked turns.  You'll learn to replace the quick pivot with a slower process involving a measured release.  You'll learn to shape the rest of the turn afterwards without the bracing and braking you currently use.  Most important, you'll learn to change the way you think about turns.  Instead of thinking of each turn as an opportunity to scrub speed with a braking action, you'll learn to ski a smooth line that keeps you safe because of its shape.  This new way of initiating turns will not interfere with the flow of the skis on their path down the hill; the fast-slow-slow-fast-slow jerkiness will be gone.  More thrills await you ... embedded in an increased control of speed.  You'll be able to ski new terrain safely and joyfully, and you'll be able to ski the difficult snow conditions that used to send you home early.

Think you and JASP are right on point here - thanks for the insights. The times I feel limited on the hill are at the margin but sounds like I've definitely got me some bad habits ... excited about ironing them out and getting some of those thrills that LiquidFeet speaks of  

 

Righto settled, need a lesson with a seasoned pro ... Will be up in Aspen on Dec 13/14 and keen to lock in a day dissecting this technique. Dec 13 would be perfect if anyone has recommendations (will try for Bob Barnes or Dexter Rutecki) ... would love to hit you up JASP on Keystone but not sure I can make it work this trip although absent any recs for Aspen, am definitely open to the idea. 

 

Thanks again for the steer on this!

post #21 of 22
A ton of folks in Aspen come to mind. My feeling is transitions and round turns are one and the same issue. Simply said, Setting yourself up for success in the next turn means finishing the current turn well. An important concept very prevelent in the Aspen schools BTW.
Ric Vetromile is one of the best I can suggest for transitions, although Kurt Fehrenbach is equally adept at teaching transitions. Of course our own Bob Barnes would be a good choice as well. If Squatty is back from down under he would also be right up there with the rest of those men.
Additionally, early season snow might be an issue in Aspen since they are not quite as high as Keystone and A basin but hopefully that won't be an issue. If it is, Keystone might be an alternative worth considering.
post #22 of 22

I agree with the first couple posters without a video not much we can do but I did notice one thing that I wanted to mention. You said you have a forward aggressive stance and though you have probably heard people say even yell at you throughout your skiing life, "GET FORWARD GET FORWARD", mostly that is bad advice. You do not want to be leaning forward that causes all sorts of problems, one of those problems could be a-framing or ending on the tails of your skis midway through your turn or losing your outside edge. An athletic stance is comfortably balanced over both feet. 

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Got some bad habits and want to become a complete terrain skier - any help much appreciated!