New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Early Season MA

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

This is now my third day of the season, so I've decided it's time for a MA. It was a warm day today with spring like skiing. I've got two videos, first one with fast, wide carving turns, second with quick short radius turns. Here are my questions and concerns.


1. Is there's any indications of being in the backseat? I don't think I am, but I still feel my quads burning sometimes. Once I get to a certain speed, it seems I have to bend enough that I start feeling that I'm using my quads, even though I'm pushing forward. It's something I feel I'm very poor at observing in other skiers. When watching olympians, their hips are way behind on their knees, but I'm sure they don't have problems with the backseat.


2. In the second video, I'm skiing counter (attempting to always have the upper body face downhill, assuming I have the correct definition), and attempting to complete my turns. Am I completing them enough? One problem I seem to have is that I can only rotate my legs so far before having to rotate at the waist, therefore not allowing me to complete my turns as much. Rotating at the waist makes me concerned about hip dumping.


3. In the second video, are my turns round enough?


4. One thing I do know is that I'm much more comfortable making right turns with most of the weight on my left leg. It allows me to have much more angulation on that side, and possibly completing my turns more going to the right than going to the left.


5. Anything else you see.

post #2 of 12

Was this filmed at Mt. Wachusett?


I'd guess that your quads are burning because you start every turn with a push-off on your uphill / new outside ski, especially with shorter turns.  You can see it clearly at 7 seconds in your first video and at 12 seconds in your second video.  That big gap that opens between your legs is because your uphill leg is sliding up instead of both legs tipping down the mountain.


That is an exhausting way to ski; every turn is a push against the snow, a push against gravity...  That "push" ruins "round turns" because the push-off eliminated the top half of the arc.


even though I'm pushing forward


By this statement, do you mean that you're pushing your shins into the fronts of your boots at all times?  In my belief system (which I will admit is not universally believed), I would say that that is a fundamental problem in that "forward along the length of the ski" is not forward -- that's backwards.  (Search any of the transition threads, "X-Move", "foot squirt", etc. for some mind-numbing detail and debate on this topic if you're so inclined...).


But before we venture too deeply into that discussion, let's first verify that that's what you mean...  And I'll let a few other voices chime in as well.

post #3 of 12

Kevin: Good eye and likely accurate.  Also note in the second video how the tips are often not connected to the snow.  Skier is sitting back and creating a tail push at the ends of the turns.  This would also cause the thigh burn mentioned.  Find the "sweet spot" (back of arch/front of heels) and stand on it when you ski.  This will help you stand taller and relieve the burn.  How to find it? Just hop up and down a couple of times in or out of your skis.  Where you land is "home base" for standing on your skis during your turns.


If turns are easier to one side, have your boots checked.  Do you use custom footbeds?  If not, you probably pronate more on one foot.  That will lead to asymmetry in your turns.


Good luck!

Edited by mike_m - 11/30/14 at 6:41pm
post #4 of 12
Too much weight to the inside. Which is causing excessive tip lead. Square up to the fall line. Short turns alot of tail pushing. Caused by inaccurate fore aft weight. Move ahead on those skis by flexing your ankles. Use the shovels to start the turns.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 


Originally Posted by KevinF View Post

Was this filmed at Mt. Wachusett?

Yes it was, both on Challenger.



Originally Posted by KevinF View Post


By this statement, do you mean that you're pushing your shins into the fronts of your boots at all times?  In my belief system (which I will admit is not universally believed), I would say that that is a fundamental problem in that "forward along the length of the ski" is not forward -- that's backwards. 

Yes, that is what I mean. What do you do to stay forward?


post #6 of 12

Incline your body where you want to go NEXT (diagonally down the hill), not where the skis are pointing when they are ending the turn.

post #7 of 12

Vid #2, :13 seconds, your body is not over your toe bindings.  You'll ski better if you pull your feet back under your body.  It's easy.  Just pull your inside foot strongly back all the time.  Try it.  You'll like it.  Your skis have a "sweet spot."  If your weight is over the sweet spot, located somewhere just forward of the toe bindings, the skis turn really easy.  You want your weight balanced on the ball of your outside foot.


Don't shove the inside foot forward.  You want the feet to be as even as possible.  This lines up the sweet spots on both skis, and they turn better.


Keep your feet closer together.  Try what I posted in another thread.


Vid #2, :11 seconds.  See how your skis diverge?  Get the weight on your outside foot to end that.


Vid #2, :16 seconds.  You're letting your outside hip & shoulder/arm swing forward during the turn when they should be pull back.  Turn with your feet, not with your upper body.  Connect this with the stuff in my link above--while the inside foot is being pulled back, the inside hip & shoulder are pushed forward.  It sounds goofy, but try it.  It works great.  Do the foot work first--feet closer together, inside ski tail lightly lifted off the snow for this drill (and lightly on the snow after you learn the skill).  Then add pulling the inside foot strongly back all the time.  Last, add pushing the inside hip & upper body forward.


Try this one thing at a time.  Let us know how it works.

post #8 of 12

Hi Nemesis256.


One thing I see is rust.  That's no crime, we all have it at the beginning of the season and we have to ski it off. 


I think mike_m may have a point about pronation.  I have fairly severe pronation in my left foot and leg, but the right leg  has none.  One of the hall marks of that is that I shape turns differently to each side, and it is not uncommon for my turns to begin to develop sequentially (that is, both skis do not turn at the same time, as in simultaneously).  In both the long and short turns, I see that you are moving sequentially most of the time. 


Pronation or Supination can be addressed by good bootfitters, who will cant and align you, as needed, but begin with a custom footbed and go from there. 


That was quite in evidence to me on Sunday, my first day on skis this year at Cannon.  I have a new pair of Salomon XMax 100's replaced under warranty because of a defective liner.  I got the fitting done quite late, and have not had the time yet to be canted and aligned, which I know from past experience that I will need.  My turns were sequential, and my left ski wanted to wash in the tip without me overcompensating on pressuring the tip to the inside and leading the turn more consciously with forward and diagonal movement.  With proper alignment and canting, that need is not evident.


You will want to work with an expert boot fitter and not some shop rat who just pulls boots off the rack.  Hopefully, you can find someone in your area who is good, local ski instructors would be good places to search for recommendations.


Lacking that,  I know that Paul Richelson in Plymouth, New Hampshire is very good.  I have used him for years.  He's about a mile off Rt. 93 at exit 26 - on your way to Cannon or other ski areas in central and Northern NH.  It will be spendy but will last for many years and is well worth doing. 


Some other notes on your skiing:  In short turns, your upper body should stay squared to the fall line, and your lower body skis into separation of the two and into counter.  I see little separation in your movements, and you are using upper body rotary to assist that push off your tails that others have identified.  I see almost no forward movement into the new turns.  Rather, your movement is up and lateral.  Because most of your weight is on the inside ski, the outside ski is not properly weighted and your skis diverge - the outside ski moves away from the inside ski as the turn develops.  You are banking off the inside ski and you end up well behind, so the finish of the turn is more to the tails.  That requires a large movement to get forward and it does not allow you to establish your new turn before you get to the fall line.  Since you are not pressuring the tips most of the time, your will be more likely to get knocked around by loose snow and variable surfaces. 


I had the pleasure of having Nemesis256 in a private lesson when he came up to Cannon late last winter.  He is very athletic and capable, and a better skier than the videos show him to be.  One of the things we worked on was trying to balance over and pressure the outside ski more, and he was a good student.  But, as the videos show, old muscle memory dies hard.  He's far from alone in that, and it takes a fair amount of conscious effort to take newly learned movement patterns and turn them into muscle memory.

post #9 of 12
Alot of good points. But without upper/lower separation it doesn't play well. The last post was especially helpful. Riding the ball of the outside foot.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

I think you guys might be right about Pronation/Supination. Looking at the bottom of my walking shoes, they both show more wear on the outside of the foot, but the right has more than the left. Is that an accurate way of determining Pronation/Supination?

post #11 of 12

It shows that there are some differences.  What they are lies in the eye of a good fitter.  Paul Richelson is a certified pedorthist who also does orthotic "granny shoes" as part of his business.  He also went to med school.  So he can tell you pretty much anything you want to know about your skeletal alignment and appropriate corrective measures as pertains to skiing. He's watched me ski at Cannon and made suggestions that ended up in modifications.   It all starts with a good custom footbed, which will envelop the bottom of your foot and be a secure and balanced platform for your foot and the rest of your skeleton to stand on.  There are performance benefits that will become obvious once you have one. 


It has often been said that the boot is the most important piece of skiing equipment, It requires the most skill from bootfitters, and it is the hardest thing to get right.

post #12 of 12

Nemesis256, take a gander at the Hypermobile ankles thread currently running in the Ask the bootfitters section.  Read the post by Miketsc.  It's not related to what we are talking about per se, but will give you an idea of how many things can matter and have a positive or negative impact on your skiing, and from someone who knows a lot more than I do (I'm the patient, not the doctor).

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching