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post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi, here is some video of me skiing at Solitude. This was taken near the end of a powder day after some soft bumps had formed. My goals are to try and ski with more efficiency, fluidity, and rounder turns with less "turn shopping". Thanks for all your help

 

Agreen

 

post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 

Just to show you all the progress Ive made, here is a post from 2 seasons ago and in that first post has a link to a video from 3 seasons ago. Both videos were taken on groomed blues.

http://www.epicski.com/t/117221/critique-please-part-deux-one-year-later

Much of my improvement stems from the advice given from these threads. Thanks again!!!!

post #3 of 16

Look at about the :11 second mark.  Notice how you jump up to make every turn.  Learn how to make retraction turns, especially to absorb bumps.  Instead of pushing down on your skis to raise your body, learn to pull both knees up toward your chest to lift the skis off the snow (actually lighten, not lift, but it always feels like we do more than we actually accomplish.)  Retraction turns are quicker when you need a quick turn, and absorbing bumps keeps them from throwing you into the air--and saves knees.  Extend to jump any time you like--feels like flying.  Add to your bag of tricks and learn to retract.

 

:16 - :17 seconds.  It looks like your toe bindings are always ahead of your body.  You're best balanced over the skis' sweet spots when your toes are pulled back under your body.  At the beginning of each turn pull both feet strongly back.  In the bumps this brings the tips down to the snow for added control.  In any snow this gets you centered to start the turn.  Adjust your foot location under your body to handle any snow conditions, but in general, toes under your center of mass gets the skis performing best.  Notice how square your upper body is to the direction the skis are going.  Turn toward the outside of the turn from your hip up to your shoulder & arm without pushing your inside foot forward.  This is called  counter.

 

:22 - :23 seconds.  Notice how you incline your body to the inside of the turn.  Flex at the hip & spine so your upper body leans somewhat to the outside of the turn.  This is called angulation.  A great drill for this is the 2-pole drag.  With your arms in the normal skiing position, press both pole tips pretty hard into the snow.  Ski. Keep both pole tips in constant contact with the snow.  This forces angulation.  Add counter.  As the turn progresses, turn from the hip upward (without pushing the inside foot forward) toward the outside of the turn so you end each turn with the inside pole tip dragging in the snow up near the ski tip, and the outside pole tip dragging back by your outside heel.

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the tips SSG. Ill definitely work on retraction turns, counter, and angulation as well as fore/aft balance.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

bump. just to see if anyone has any other thoughts? thank you

post #6 of 16

Far me be it to criticize another skier. I see your dropping your inside hand in the turn. That puts in the backseat. So when you go into transition your late with your CoM going down the fall line.. That's also why your edge engagement is at the bottom of the turn. Get up on the ball of your foot at the start of the turn so you can shape the radius.   Make sense?

post #7 of 16

SSG gave you some wonderful suggestions. 

 

The good news is that I see effective turns made in fairly consistent rhythm, with controlled speed and steady balance. There's a lot to be said for not getting knocked around in that kind of snow and the turn shopping isn't bad. What I'd like to see to improve fluidity and efficiency is less folding at the hip and more edge engagement above the fall line (aka tip the skis more and turn the skis less). The bad news is that there is no easy road from here to there. Under the theory that starting from scratch is quicker than a tear down/rebuild, learning to do retraction turns may be your quickest route to success. If I had you in a lesson I'd start you on the longer road of making your cross over turns more efficient because that would help you all over the mountain.  Drills I'd start you with would include tug of war, picture frame, side slips, hop to shape and ten toes. The objective would be to get you to finish your turns in a more countered position and initiate your new turns with more lower body tipping movements to replace the pop, fold and pivot movements you currently use. I predict you'll need to spend a lot of time doing drills to unlearn the fundamental movements used in your current turns. They work good enough, but there's not much room for making these movements better. We want to change your skiing movements from defense to offense. To do that we need to get you to engage the downhill edges above the fall line and let them shape the top half of your turn. You won't be able to do that until we break the catch-22 cycle of your turn starts messing up your turn finishes messing up your turn starts. Good luck!

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Great!!! This is all making sense to me. I can make it down most things pretty well but when I get in a tight space and I absolutely have to make a turn in a precise place It can get quite ugly. It scares me a little talking about starting from scratch though since I don't get too many days on the slopes but I'll do my best. Ill be taking lessons in Mammoth in a couple weeks so Ill mention these things. Thanks all for your help

Ari

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post
 

Far me be it to criticize another skier. I see your dropping your inside hand in the turn. That puts in the backseat. So when you go into transition your late with your CoM going down the fall line.. That's also why your edge engagement is at the bottom of the turn. Get up on the ball of your foot at the start of the turn so you can shape the radius.   Make sense?

This is something that bothers me.  Generally speaking, dropping your hand doesn't put you in the back seat.  Being in the back seat can often cause your hand to drop.  The rest of this I more or less agree with. 

 

OP.  The suggestion to learn retraction turns for bump skiing was a good one, but it looks to me like these conditions were more crud than well formed "mature" bumps, so to speak.  I would think these conditions could be skied with retraction or extension turns.  The problem I see with your turns here is there really isn't any flexion or extension going on, except for the straight up "pop" extension to facilitate your release, which is followed by a lateral move inside the turn.  Since your COM moves inside so quickly, you have to pivot the skis some at the top of the turn to get your base of support back.  Whether you use an extension or a retraction turn, the center of mass needs to be directed more forward and less laterally to allow shaping of the top of the turn. 

Your stated goal of skiing with fluidity and not shopping for turns was well accomplished, IMO.  Good job there, looked fun!

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaSucks View Post
 

This is something that bothers me.  Generally speaking, dropping your hand doesn't put you in the back seat.  Being in the back seat can often cause your hand to drop.  The rest of this I more or less agree with. 

 

OP.  The suggestion to learn retraction turns for bump skiing was a good one, but it looks to me like these conditions were more crud than well formed "mature" bumps, so to speak.  I would think these conditions could be skied with retraction or extension turns.  The problem I see with your turns here is there really isn't any flexion or extension going on, except for the straight up "pop" extension to facilitate your release, which is followed by a lateral move inside the turn.  Since your COM moves inside so quickly, you have to pivot the skis some at the top of the turn to get your base of support back.  Whether you use an extension or a retraction turn, the center of mass needs to be directed more forward and less laterally to allow shaping of the top of the turn. 

Your stated goal of skiing with fluidity and not shopping for turns was well accomplished, IMO.  Good job there, looked fun!

 

Thanks very very much. I kept watching the video and was only paying attention to my knees. I didn't really see too much extension at the knee joint. I think what you are saying is that my "up move" for turn initiation is coming from my back. ie. hunching over then straightening up. Correct? Will pulling my skis back behind me at the completion of each turn keep my COM more forward and allow more edge engagement at the tops of my turns? In other words... how do I get OUT of the dang backseat. Thanks again

post #11 of 16

The best way to get out of the back seat is never to get there in the first place ;)  There are discussions on here about when it's appropriate to be back, and there are some valid points in those threads, but for general purposes I would advise most people that being somewhat forward most of the time is better than getting aft at the wrong time.  You mentioned pulling the feet back just before transition.  That is not a bad recovery move, but it should be just that, a recovery move.  As you hit the apex of the turn, the forces are building up and will begin to push you back as the bend of the ski is released through the end of the turn.  This is the point of the turn where pressure control is required to keep you in good fore/aft balance.  This is when you must be flexing using your ankle and knees. 

 

Have you ever done any one-footed skiing?  Specifically, try skiing on easy terrain with just the outside ski.  Medium-ish radius turns, keep the inside ski off the snow but try to let the tip of that ski brush the snow throughout the turn.  This may be easy to do, and if it is, take this drill to an intermediate run with some moderate pitch.  Here you may notice that the tip of the lifted ski wants to come off the snow at the bottoms of your turns.  Now do it again on the intermediate terrain and focus on keeping the inside ski tip on the snow by flexing the other ankle more.  It is a move that is progressive through the turn.  It's not a "set-it and forget-it" move.  The flexure of the ankle increases as the turn progresses.  If the movement stops, you'll find yourself in the backseat.  Some people refer to this as moving along the length of the ski. 

 

You also asked for clarification on your pop extension.  What you're doing is similar to the old up-unweighting movements of yesteryear.  The extension you're looking for should be a lengthening of the legs after the flexing phase that we just discussed in which you're ankles and knees are opened as you roll on to the new edges and use this extension to move your center of mass both up, and also across the skis, but with a caveat.  If you move just across the skis, (ie. straight down the fall line) you're skis are going to continue across the fall line away from your center of mass and you'll have to either pivot using rotary movements, causing a skid at the top of the turn, or fall over because your base of support (your feet) have moved way out from under your center of mass (your body).  So instead of just moving across the ski, you have to direct your extension to move your center of mass over your skis and also in the direction of the new turn.  Some people love to call this a frontagonal move.  I hate that word because we already had a word that meant the same thing, which is diagonal.  There are lots of diagrams and pretty little graphics floating around the board that show this movement.  Maybe someone can link some of them or point us in the right direction. 

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaSucks View Post
 

The best way to get out of the back seat is never to get there in the first place ;)  There are discussions on here about when it's appropriate to be back, and there are some valid points in those threads, but for general purposes I would advise most people that being somewhat forward most of the time is better than getting aft at the wrong time.  You mentioned pulling the feet back just before transition.  That is not a bad recovery move, but it should be just that, a recovery move.  As you hit the apex of the turn, the forces are building up and will begin to push you back as the bend of the ski is released through the end of the turn.  This is the point of the turn where pressure control is required to keep you in good fore/aft balance.  This is when you must be flexing using your ankle and knees. 

 

Have you ever done any one-footed skiing?  Specifically, try skiing on easy terrain with just the outside ski.  Medium-ish radius turns, keep the inside ski off the snow but try to let the tip of that ski brush the snow throughout the turn.  This may be easy to do, and if it is, take this drill to an intermediate run with some moderate pitch.  Here you may notice that the tip of the lifted ski wants to come off the snow at the bottoms of your turns.  Now do it again on the intermediate terrain and focus on keeping the inside ski tip on the snow by flexing the other ankle more.  It is a move that is progressive through the turn.  It's not a "set-it and forget-it" move.  The flexure of the ankle increases as the turn progresses.  If the movement stops, you'll find yourself in the backseat.  Some people refer to this as moving along the length of the ski. 

 

You also asked for clarification on your pop extension.  What you're doing is similar to the old up-unweighting movements of yesteryear.  The extension you're looking for should be a lengthening of the legs after the flexing phase that we just discussed in which you're ankles and knees are opened as you roll on to the new edges and use this extension to move your center of mass both up, and also across the skis, but with a caveat.  If you move just across the skis, (ie. straight down the fall line) you're skis are going to continue across the fall line away from your center of mass and you'll have to either pivot using rotary movements, causing a skid at the top of the turn, or fall over because your base of support (your feet) have moved way out from under your center of mass (your body).  So instead of just moving across the ski, you have to direct your extension to move your center of mass over your skis and also in the direction of the new turn.  Some people love to call this a frontagonal move.  I hate that word because we already had a word that meant the same thing, which is diagonal.  There are lots of diagrams and pretty little graphics floating around the board that show this movement.  Maybe someone can link some of them or point us in the right direction. 


The advice in this thread is tremendous.  

 

I have one thing I disagree with in the above post, however.  Maybe others have the same experience as me.

If you are skiing in crud that looks like the snow in this video, you can move just across the skis straight down the fall line and get a good turn.  Yes, just as PASucks says, the skis will continue across the fall line away from you.  But they will be up on edge as they do this because you are inclined.  So they will come around on a platform of their own making and catch you without any skidding.  You won't fall over.  There will be a big top to your turns, and you'll be going slower down the hill.  And it won't take any extra effort; in fact, making these turns is easy on the body.  

 

On hard snow, just as PaSucks says, you will get a pivot since the skis can't create much of a platform.  The skis will come around and catch you if you make sideways figure eights under your smoothly traveling body.  See how super short you can make your turns this way.  It's a fun thing for hard snow days.

post #13 of 16

 A pivot with the pivot point underneath the feet is not necessarily a bad thing.

post #14 of 16

@agreen you are skiing well in challenging conditions!  Great progress from your prior videos!  Here's what my non-instructor eyes suggest, echoing many of the suggestions above:

 

- Stand more upright at transition.

- Allow your knees to come up more than bending at the waist to absorb.

- Get your hands up and out!

- Tactically, I'd suggest a little longer turns in those conditions, then switching to shorter turns when it's a little more bumped out.

 

Watch this video from @Bob Barnes on absorption:

 

And read the associated article from @Ronin:

http://www.epicski.com/a/absorption-in-moguls

 

The skier in the first sequence of the video (Bob?) is in similar conditions to yours.  Compare his skiing to yours and burn the difference into your mind.  :)  Here's one of the key difference I see:

 

 

 

Get more upright, and hands up and out to get more forward!

post #15 of 16
Happy New Year @tball!

The first sequence in Bob's video is me on Pali.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks Tball. Great vids!!! I can really see the difference. Hopefully I can feel the difference on the slopes with a whole lotta practice. Cant wait to start tryin...

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