Originally Posted by oldgoat
What is irrational about a fear of drops?
Originally Posted by agreen
I had this fear a couple years ago and conquered it in the terrain park. The smaller table top jumps are really smooth to land and I just focused on technique while in the air and the approach. If you focus on staying very calm and still while airborne and approach with shins pressed up against your boot tongues to remind yourself not to get backseat everything will be fine. Just think that you are still skiing on snow while in the air and keep your form the same. Once you get comfortable you can start going for bigger airs and playing around with tricks. Good luck. Getting some air is fun!!!
Originally Posted by Nillion
I cosign the terrain park advice. Those small jumps are easily repeatable which allow you to practice without introducing extraneous variables to it. Moderate speed, stay balanced, pop slightly off near the lip, when in air keep your knees tucked and compact to keep your body stable, then extend your legs on the landing to absorb the impact. Throw a simple grab in there when you get comfortable to prevent windmilling.
There is nothing unusual or irrational about being afraid of drops, air, speed, or other things that could get you hurt. I have always been a bit more fearful than a lot of people, but I also like adrenaline. My solution is to overcome fear through experience and competence. You want to start small and relatively slow and build up to your tolerance. Remember, there is no reason why you have to do jumping or anything else that you don't want to. Skiing is supposed to be fun.
If you want to challenge yourself to face your fear and get to a new level, that is "your" decision and maybe my advice can help you. The smaller features in the terrain park are a great place to get familiar with the concepts of ATML, approach takeoff maneuver landing. I like the table top jumps best. The goal with table tops is to hit the lip with enough speed and pop to clear the flat section and land on the down sloping landing zone. There is some pretty good advice in the posts I quoted. I would add that a double pole plant timed to land at or just before the lip of the jump will help get your body moving forward and help with the timing of the "pop". This movement will put you in a good position in the air so that you can land centered and smoothly.
For natural features like rocks I would suggest not jumping them at first. Get on top of the rock and get into an athletic flexed position like you would be in absorbing the crest of a mogul. As you go around the side of the rock extend your legs to keep your skis on the snow and project your CM out over the skis. This move is very similar to what you should feel with the double pole plant tip used on the table top jumps. It is also the move that you should be doing on the backsides of moguls. I think of moving my CM forward, others think of pulling the feet back. It helps some people to pull their heels towards their butt as they go over the edge. The goal is to drop the tips and keep the skis on the snow and pressured while the CM moves forward with the skis. This move has also been labeled the "backpedal" by Bob Barnes and there are endless threads about it. As you get more comfortable with this, start adding an edge change and turn below the rock. With an accurate and committed leg extension and move forward you will be able to drop almost straight down and still make a controlled turn at the bottom. This is the "Corbets Move" and some of the larger rocks and tight chutes around here are called Corbets simulators.
The Corbets Move will help you learn to move through the turn, deal with quick accelerations, and plan and execute a big mountain line. Look for multiple rock drops to incorporate into your plan and hit them on the fly, link them up into a smooth line and feel the flow. This is big mountain skiing even if the vertical is small. I have rocks that I use in my classes that are about 10' and we link a few up. It is really fun! I can also feel this move when I'm skiing fast on the groomers and pre-jump the rollers. It will really help your mogul skiing.
When/If you find yourself wanting to actually "jump" these rocks start with the ones you are most comfortable with and hit the sides for smaller air. Remember how you used approach speed and pop on the lip of the table top jumps in the park and apply those techniques off-piste to land balanced and in the correct spot. Work up to a size that scares you a little, but that you know you can deal with. Breathe, smile, have fun!
Edited by tetonpwdrjunkie - 1/16/15 at 10:35am