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MA for dad and daughters [intermediate family]

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Background:

  4 skiers in the family. I, the dad, started skiing at my late 20s, going once or twice a year for more than 10 years.  This is the third season that we have season passes. I had some group lessons in the early days, but the true growth came from watching videos and reading posts here on Epic.  Both daughters, now 7 and 5, started with ski school until they reached level 5. They have no interests going to ski teams and just like to have fun on the snow.  My wife, who shot this video, took 3 full-day semi-private lessons at Heavenly last season with a L3 instructor and she was rated as the level 7 skier by the end of last season.

It is so great to be back on the snow.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixEhz9Aptho

Cheers,

 

WV

post #2 of 5

mod note: I embedded the video for you (there's a little video icon at the top of the edit window)

 

First daughter is in red and white on the right side of the frame and easy to miss.

 

For Dad - your pivot point is toward the tips of your skis versus being under foot (i.e. you are pushing your tails out to make the skis turn). If you look at the turn at 32 seconds, you start from a position where your upper body is facing more down the hill than your skis are (this is something you need to do more of). From there, you step up (vertical pop with your right foot), step out with your left foot (into a tiny wedge), and transfer your weight onto your right foot so that your center of mass has been moved to the inside of the new turn. From there you don't get both skis on their new edges until after the fall line. That means you have to do all of your speed control after the fall line. That's going to set you up for the same kind of start to the next turn. 

 

You may have heard people tell you to finish your turns more. That's the only way to break this kind of cycle. But there's a lot more. The key move is to have the outside leg long in the middle of the turn (with the inside leg shorter) so that you are balancing more against the outside leg in the middle of the turn. As you finish the turn, the old outside leg relaxes (bends) and "lets" the hips start to cross over the skis (versus going up and over). This move lets the new outside leg start lengthening much earlier in the turn (so it does not need to step into a wedge). This also gets you onto your new edges above the fall line and moves the pivot point back under your feet.

 

There are dozens of different progressions to work on this but I believe most instructors would start you with making longer radius turns to learn the new moves before trying to use them in turns with this short a radius. One drill that will help you get the feel of the moves I'm talking about is skating into the new turn (from the old turn, step directly onto the new inside edge of the new inside ski). I personally would work on counter and edging drills first before attempting this drill though.

 

Your older daughter has many of the same movements you do, but I would not be as worried because of her age and physical development. If we changed your skiing first, she may be able to unconsciously mimic your changes by growing into them.

post #3 of 5

Hey, WV, I concur with what TheRusty said.  The biggest issue to work on right now is the big tail push mid turn, which results in a big smear in the track your skis leave in the snow.  Because it's coming mid turn I'm convinced it's a speed control tactic you've learned to use and have embedded in your skiing.  Your daughters are skiing similarly, which is very common in families who ski together, the kids mimic the folks.

 

As TR suggested, you should focus on learning to use turn shape to control your speed, to replace the big tail pushing wash out mid turn.  Try to leave a consistently narrow skid track all the way through your turn, and just keep turning until you're pointing across the hill, 90 degrees to the falline.  What I call 90 turns.  

 

Here are a couple visuals to help you understand what I'm talking about.  The first deals with skid angle, and how skis produce various widths of skid track.  The second is about turn shape, and you'll see what I mean when I say 90 turns. 

 

post #4 of 5

Dad,

 

My take is a little different then the others so far, though I see some of the same outcomes they are seeing, I believe the root cause to be something else.  Main thing I want to point out is that you have a stem happening at the start of every turn.  Rusty mentioned this.  It happens a little or a lot every time you go to change edges.  The reason this is happening is because you're not releasing the downhill ski and leg and "crossing over" your skis with the major mass of your body.  Focus on learning to allow the largest mass of your body to flow down the hill and cross over the downhill ski at that moment where you are changing edges. 

 

The result of that crossover not happening is that you need some way to get onto the downhill edges to do the next turn, so what you do is push off the downhill ski's uphill edge, sometimes slightly, sometimes a lot; and upstem the uphill ski onto its inside/downhill edge.  Then you bring the the downhill ski up to it, and by then you're using a lot of rotary, which shows up as the mid turn windshield wiper effect the others have been noticing.

 

Develop the release and crossover and the skis will engage onto their downhill edges sooner and without the stem or ski pivot needed to get there as you are doing now, thus negating the use of quite so much rotary.  The ski tails will not tend to fan out as much, etc.

 

Your kids are missing the same piece, though it looks a little different because they don't have the femur rotary skills that you do, so they are using their upper body to drive rotary of the skis.  But for the same fundamental reason.

post #5 of 5
Quote:
 The reason this is happening is because you're not releasing the downhill ski and leg and "crossing over" your skis with the major mass of your body.  Focus on learning to allow the largest mass of your body to flow down the hill and cross over the downhill ski at that moment where you are changing edges. 

Yes, and the easy way to do this is to pull your relatively light feet under your relatively heavy body.  Pull both feet (always in unison) back, way back, under your body.  Works great.

 

At :32 & :33 seconds look how far your feet are in front of your body center of mass.  Pull those feet back under your body.

 

For the kids, try a game where they carry something between their feet.  A spare glove or something that can't hurt anybody.  They were taught the wide stance, and it's time to get their feet under their hips, not spread wider than the hips.  They're probably sitting back.  Customary.  Figure out some game where they get way forward, too far, but just as a game and just for fun.  Modulate this for balanced, centered skiing on slopes like the one in the vid.

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