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linked backwards pivot slips?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, 

 

I noticed the PSIA-RM uses linked backwards pivot slips in their exam tasks: 

 

 

I immediately notice that this exercise requires the upper body to rotate around quite a bit (as opposed to a regular pivot slip in which the upper body counter-rotates)... what is the premise behind this exercise?

post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

Hi guys, 

 

I noticed the PSIA-RM uses linked backwards pivot slips in their exam tasks: 

 

 

I immediately notice that this exercise requires the upper body to rotate around quite a bit (as opposed to a regular pivot slip in which the upper body counter-rotates)... what is the premise behind this exercise?

The premise is that you can do it? Just like most of the stupid human tricks that psia makes us do it isn't that is good skiing but the fact you can do it demonstrates certain skills.

post #3 of 14

Backwards pivot slips involve the feet crossing paths too, while forwards pivot slips don't.  

Track the two paths of your feet in your mind.  Quite a change-over is required.  

 

Backwards pivot slips can be snuck up on by doing falling leafs where your change the direction your skis are pointing.

 

Easyish:  go backwards in falling leaf with tails leading, move tips downhill/tails downhill so skis are pointing straight down the fall line, then turn skis to point in new direction and continue across the slope facing forwards.  This is easyish because your body faces downhill as you turn the skis around to point in the opposite direction.  Our examiner had us do them in our LI exam.  Everyone did it successfully.

 

Harder:  go forwards in falling leaf with tips leading, move tails downhill/tips uphill so skis and your body are pointing uphill, continue to turn skis to point in new direction and finish going across the slope (you'll be traveling backwards now).  This is harder because your body faces uphill as your turn the skis around and the paths of your feet cross.  Once secure with this move, contain the action to a narrower and narrower corridor.  Eventually you'll be doing backwards pivot slips.


Edited by LiquidFeet - 1/17/15 at 3:42am
post #4 of 14

I think the skills application of this is in the context of lateral learning. If you can learn to do something backwards, it can improve how you do it forwards. A backwards pivot slip will get you used to engaging and releasing edges at different angles and with the energy coming from different parts of the ski. It just acclimatizes you to a different way to manipulate your skis. I'm always of the opinion that the more ways you learn to manipulate your skis, the better you are. This drill gets a skier accustomed to controlling their edges when their tails are further down the hill than their tips. A skill most skiers don't have. You never know when you're going to end up needing a particular skill, even if it is just as an emergency move.

 

I feel like there are many skiers who see their skis range of motion as being 180 degrees. Going from perpendicular to the fall line, to down the fall line, to perpendicular the other way. Allowing their skis to go past perpendicular is either something they consciously avoid, or something they just never think to do. In fact, becoming comfortable with manipulating your skis when the tails are downhill of the tips has many uses. In trees or bumps, sometimes the easiest way to get from one place to another is to slide into it backwards. Maybe not straight backwards, but a sideslip backwards across a bump? Sure. Heck, I use my ability to control my skis backwards in the simplest of places, stopping when I'm skiing with a group. If I am with a group of other skiers and some of them are stopped downhill of me, I'll slow myself down with a sideslip as I pass them, then allow my tails to release, and back myself up to the side of the trail below the group. Its easier than stopping and turning myself around. So many uses. 

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Freeski, I can appreciate that. I coaxed a few members of our club into backwards skiing down a gentle run this past weekend and it awakened some new sensations in everyone's bodies, in addition to challenging their balance, steering, etc.
post #6 of 14

Rotation from the upper body is a relevant skill in certain situations and styles of skiing.  Backside pivot slips are about this skill.  This skill is most applicable to freestyle.  And since level 3 certs are supposed to be able to ski anywhere anytime in any conditions, showing some freestyle capability is important.  Hence why we have a requirement for open parallel switch and hitting the vertical section of the half pipe with a whole body rotary move.

 

Mike

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

mike, that's interesting. There's no explicit expectation of being able to ski the park in the CSIA level 3. (Though I'd expect any CSIA level 3 can turn in a half pipe.)

post #8 of 14

Okay, this is for the sake of humor.  Don't forget to practice both directions of rotation.
 

post #9 of 14

Interesting looking exercise. Seems to me that they would be using this move for folks looking to do some terrain park/freestyle stuff.  Looks useful for that. Also can make you aware of fore/aft positions in conjunction with edge control but in that context is simply for awareness. Though some exam exercises can be classified as "stupid human tricks" this one looks like it has some application. 

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
 

Interesting looking exercise. Seems to me that they would be using this move for folks looking to do some terrain park/freestyle stuff.  Looks useful for that. Also can make you aware of fore/aft positions in conjunction with edge control but in that context is simply for awareness. Though some exam exercises can be classified as "stupid human tricks" this one looks like it has some application. 


It's all skills!

post #11 of 14

It was nice to see, including that they used twin tips which helps.

 

Try that true GS skis with an aggressive tune, that will separate the those that really can from those that really can't. :D That's what our instructor made us do oh so many years ago.:eek  I still do it on GS and SL skis.  Why?  Two reasons. 1. Just to ensure I remember and 2. Because I can.

 

The premise of the exercise is balance and edge feel.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

 

 

I immediately notice that this exercise requires the upper body to rotate around quite a bit (as opposed to a regular pivot slip in which the upper body counter-rotates)... what is the premise behind this exercise?

 Funny... As I watched this again I realized that the upper body rotation may be simply an effort to look downhill as early as possible... or at least part of that.  We don't have that issue when doing front facing pivot slips. 

 

I'll be trying these tomorrow when I have a few minutes.  Looks like fun. 

post #13 of 14

Yes--it is fun! 

 

In our Rocky Mountain exams, it is a "freestyle element," as HabacoMike has said. It is one of several maneuvers candidates may be asked to do to demonstrate a modicum of familiarity with the freestyle world of spins, "butters," and such. Besides the leg rotation, precise edge management, and critical fore-aft pressure management that "regular" pivot slips require, "linked backside pivot slips" add the need to manage the rotational ("angular") momentum of the upper body rotating around. Of course, that's not a need entirely restricted to freestyle. Whenever we get our body turning, for any reason, managing that momentum--particularly, stopping the spin as needed--becomes a priority.

 

Our Rocky Mountain exams these days include a huge variety of skiing tasks. We don't use all of them in any exam, as the examiners will pick and choose tasks from various categories. The examiners can also modify the tasks during the exam, in order to check the level of skill, ownership, and adaptability. Most importantly, as others have pointed out here, exam tasks should not be considered "final forms" of any universal "proper technique." Great skiing requires, above all else, adaptability to match technique to the needs of the moment or the whim of the skier. Exploring and training for the exam tasks of Rocky Mountain--including variations and alternative forms--is really a fun thing to do, and it is very good for your skiing. 

 

Best regards,

Bob

post #14 of 14


LF said,

Quote:

Backwards pivot slips can be snuck up on by doing falling leafs….

 

FYI, to pass on similar ‘sneak-up’ advice from an instructor in a past lesson at the onset of introducing a backwards pivot or spin. He said,

 

If you can do a spin on the flats, you can do a backward pivot on the hill. You start on the easiest terrain and work up to increasingly steeper terrain.

 

LF mentioned a couple of ways to ‘sneak into’ this move, from falling leaf. A spin is another way to sneak into it, because it seems that the edge change sequence for a successful backward pivot is much the same, if not identical, as that for a 360* spin, or for that matter, a 180* spin. The trick is to not catch the downhill edge which will cause an AOT transition.  [[footnote 1]]    To that end, avoid practicing on very, very  flat slopes. A steep green or easy blue will help avoid the edge catching because the pitch keeps the downhill edges further off the snow. Once you are comfortable making 360’s, forward and backward, across the greens or easy blues, you will have enough confidence to spin backward on the much steeper terrain shown in the RM video. And you do not need twin tips to do it.

 

 [[footnote 1]]      An AOT transition is a remarkably inefficient transition described in the recent thread called Transitions: An (im) Balancing Act, illustrated in post #129 and formally defined in # 138.

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