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Dry Season Parallel Turn Training?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi guys I'm far from an experienced skiier but i would like that to change a quickly as possible. I have been skiing for a total of one week early this season and am hooked! I can see myself going back for many years to come. I would just like to know if there is any sort of dryland training i can do to help me get parallel turns down pat. The old snow plough just doesn't cut it Cheers, Tim.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Tim_miT (edited September 05, 2001).]</FONT>
post #2 of 32
There is nothing wrong with the wedge. In fact, you will be a better skier if you ski in a wedge.
post #3 of 32
I'm not sure about getting them 'down pat', but here are some ski oriented training ideas that will help as well as help get u in shape.

1) Side-to-side step/jumps. Make a series of short lateral jumps from foot-to-foot. Make sure you land and jump from each foot without touching the other foot down.

BENEFIT: Reinforces lower-body balancing movements(stabilizes upper body), orients the leg joints to edging movements.

2) Box jumps. Select a safe, stable platform or box (about 6" to 8" high to start) Make sure it is not tippy in the least.

a) Stand beside the box. Make a lateral jump from both feet onto the box, then jump down to the other side. Do the same thing back the other way.

b) Start in the same position as jump "a." Instead of landing on the box, jump over the box, landing on the other side. Do it back and forth.

c) Start as in "a" and "b." Instead of jumping from both feet, do the side-to-side step/jumps back and forth over the box without landing on it. Do not allow the other foot to touch the ground between jumps.

Benefits: Active lower body, stable torso, legs working together. Improved balance.

3) Running courses on shallow, grassy hillsides. Set a series of poles, cones, or similar markers in a loose, snaky line(mimicing a ski racecourse). Keep it fairly straight, though. Practice running the line. Gradually learn to run it faster without slipping.

Tips: - Keep your eyes and torso targeted down the line of cones while your legs go around the cones. - Feel for the uphill edges of BOTH feet as you cross the hill between the cones. - Begin to feel your legs pendulum from side to side as your torso is targeted down the line of travel.

Some of these can be done in circuits. 20 - 30 seconds apiece with 30 seconds of rest between will increase the conditioning benefit. Increase to 45 if fitness is high or improves. These can always be done as lo-impact, non-conditioning exercises.

Some other things to do.

Put on your ski boots. Stand with a comfy distance between feet, but with both boots flat on the floor/ground.

Edge both boots by tipping the ankles & knees to the right. Start stepping with the right foot. Walk sideways to the right (10 steps) keeping the boots on their edges and parallel. Stop. Edge your boots to the left and walk the 10 steps back. Repeat as necessary. Steps should be small, so both boots can be edged/tipped equally throughout the task.

Begin as above, edge boots. Step forward as well as sideways(diagonal), again starting with the right foot. Each step should turn the foot slightly. Continue the diagonal steps until you have completed a circle. Repeat to the left. Again, steps should be small enough to allow boots remain equally edged while stepping.

The main difference between wedge and parallel skiing is balancing on the same sides of both feet instead of the insides of both feet. Anything you can do to:

- Improve balance on these "corresponding edges"
- Get your legs to be more active than your torso/arms
- Get your legs/feet to work together in the same direction

will help immensely. Good luck and let me know if all that is clear enough.(GRIN...)<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited September 05, 2001).]</FONT>
post #4 of 32
Roto, awesome! Do you mind if I use some of that for my Ski Ready conditioning class?
post #5 of 32
LM, Of course not, since most of it is stuff I have learned or gotten from others myself.

I will admit the boots-on dryland stuff are things I have begun using on my own to teach balance over corresponding edges to first timers, beginners, intermediates and advanced skiers over the last three seasons. Even so I have no patents, copyrights,trademarks, or inflated claims of invention to apply to any of it. It's been done before.

Notes on safety regarding my above post.

**the boots-on tipping/walking should be done on non-skid floors or surfaces. Concrete or hardwood floors can cause sudden slips/loss of traction and are thus unsafe.

A grassy backyard, or front-yard, if you would like to interest your neighbors, works nicely.

**The box - whatever item is chosen for the jumping box it needs to be stable enough to be safely jumped upon from the side without tipping, and jumped off of without tipping.
post #6 of 32
Hi tim, Welcome aboard..
One thing I want to point out, I am learning/using inline skates this summer too (new for me) one thing I have learned in reading all the various responses and expermenting, Skating is not a substitute for skiing. just as skiing on short boards is not the same as skiing. It can be a good exercise and good cross training/learning experience but don't expect it to replace on skis on hill miles...
post #7 of 32
Skier's Edge is a good help for this too!
post #8 of 32
Sorry, the wedge thing was sarcasm. Not directed at you, BTW.
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks very much all of you! Very helpful I will start doing everything you guys said for next season (accept the exercise with ski boots...i currently dont own any, but thanks heaps anyway.) Reguarding the wedge comment....on steep runs with sharp turns etc will the wedge do just as well as parallel turning? :P Tim. Thanks again all of you
one more thing.....thankyou roto for going to all that trouble...very helpful. hope you had a good lecture too greg...<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Tim_miT (edited September 06, 2001).]</FONT><FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Tim_miT (edited September 06, 2001).]</FONT>
post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the welcome:P Great to have found this forum with all you nice people here
Reguarding the skating i realise this isn't a substitute for skiing, having talking to my brother about it who skates a fair bit. Thanks for the tips and i thought it sounded a bit funny reading 'you will be a better skier if you ski in a wedge' so thanks for the explanation there!
post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 
Roto....When i went skiing early this season for my first time i was getting out of control using the wedge on steeps...at the time i put this down to my in experience and the fact that i didn't know how to parallel turn. It was really really frustrating not being able to learn how to parallel turn in such a short time. The main reason why i went looking for skiing info such as this forum (which kicks ass) is because i wanted to get the theory on how to parallel for next season. If its not too much trouble, what are some of the main pointers i need to concentrate on to get me started?? Thanks:P
Reguards, Tim<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Tim_miT (edited September 07, 2001).]</FONT>
post #12 of 32
Tim, I'm not a ski instructor, and I don't play one on TV! As a matter of fact, I'm probably not all that much better than you are.

Most important: Find a good instructor! You will progress much more quickly!

A drill that helped me alot: Stand in a paralell stance. Start by edging both skis uphill. Then flatten both skis. Then edge both skis downhill. The skis SHOULD start to turn. Of course, ther are some things that can go wrong, which is why its important to take lessons! Good Luck!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #13 of 32
Here is a link to more on topic.
http://www.epic-ski.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/001772.html bb
post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi Yea when i went to the snow i did take lessons but starting from scratch and only being there for a week didn't allow for much progression. When i go next year it will also be for a week, with lessons, but the thing i want to do is learn how to parallel before i get there so it will be a more anjoyable week! Ah well, can't have everything i suppose i still have all the rest of my life to get my money's worth.

Oh one more thing......I did try what you said about using the uphill and downhill edges to practise but 90% of the time i would catch an edge and end up on the ground! All in the technique i suppose....it'll come with practise i'm sure.
Tim<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Tim_miT (edited September 07, 2001).]</FONT>
post #15 of 32
If cost is in issue for a weeks worth of lessons, try getting some friends that ski about the same as you and try to get semi private lessons. (just you and your friends and the same instructor for the week) and take 2 hours every morning. then practice during the day. you get the progression with practice and if you have the same instructor every day there is much less repeat and review from day to day which always eats into your time.
post #16 of 32
>>on steep runs with sharp turns etc will the wedge do just as well as parallel turning?<<

No. The wedge is exceedingly difficult to maintain speed control with, or effect turns with on steep runs. On steep(steep being defined by the skier on the run) the wedge can cause loss of speed control as it is likely to keep the skier pointing straight down the fall-line once they start down the hill. The wedge itself is not very effective for speed control on steeps.

And thank you for your reply Tim_miT It is no trouble, rather an opportunity.
post #17 of 32
A few other thoughts. If you become really serious, make sure you have your own boots, and have some work done on them, Research your boot choices carefully. I picked out the absolute most comfy boots I could find.

They don't do a darn thing for my alignment!!!

The problem you are having with catching an edge could be an alignment problem, or a problem with uneven balance on one side.

Also, when you try that exercise, the snow should be caressed rather than attacked. With too much force, you probably will fall over! Think of massaging your feet into the snow. I once had some jackass instructor try to teach me to edge by lying down on the the snow and PULLING my ankles downhill. He thought it was hilarious when I fell on top of him.

I did not.

For awhile, I developed the habit of keeping both skis edged UPHILL, until I realized I was protecting myself from being "pulled" downhill.

If you fall one time too many, there is the possibility that you may develop the same habit, without realizing why.

This year, thanks to one of the brilliant ski mentors on this board, I discovered that I tend to edge sequentially rather than simultaneously. That can also throw you of balance. Next time you try the exercise, check to see if that is happening.

Hope you had a good sleep!
post #18 of 32

Tim, I was just finishing a lengthy post in reply to you and the fields just went blank! I lost it all and it was a good one. I will answer again later when I am more lucid. I worked long and hard today and need some sleep.
post #19 of 32
Don't you hate it when that happens?
post #20 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that lisamarie....i really appreciate these hints because when they all add up next time i ski things will ome so much easier. And thanks, i did have a good sleep
Roto!!! That must have really sucked! I'm sorry to hear that but you are a champ re-doing it..alot of people just wouldn't bother. Well i hope this isn't too early in the morning for some replies from you guys but if not then when you get this msg then GOODMORNING! and i'll talk to you soon

Stay cool (in the snow of course) Tim
post #21 of 32
the inline skating has been great for me..along with LisaMarie's various exercises...but also, the manner in which you paddle (kayak/canoe)...keying on the separation of upper/lower body...along with rhythmic breathing(oh, we're all perfect at this!... I see so many casual canoe paddlers sittin' on the darned seats...a true marketing fixture if there ever was one... Get some pads and kneel, breathe..and rock the hull to various tilts...to accomodate whatever waves you encounter...and twist(anticipation!) to use the back muscles in the power stroke...start feeling those lower ribs before ski season!..and the steeps will be a playground..instead of a dreaded dungeon...
post #22 of 32
No question about it. Get the shaped(parabolic) skis. Most people refer to them as 'shaped' these days, but then again, I'm not down under, so don't know about it there.

So let's see if I can duplicate that lost post...

When you hire skis make sure you get beginner, or first-timer shaped skis. Several manufacturers are making skis specific for them these days. for the first 3 days, get them no longer than 140 cm, 130 if you are short.

These things will help you with parallel skiing. Especially if done in order...

1. (in Base Area)Learn to sidestep with these criteria for success:
- Both skis remain on their uphill edges
- Skis remain parallel, especially the uphill on during stepping.
- Small steps are used so skis can be on similar edge angles.

2. (at the bottom of the bunny hill)Ski scross a slight hillside(traverse).
- Set up like you are going to sidestep, then push with your poles so you slide across the hill 3 to 5 m. your skis should leave curved tracks.
- Point your skis a little more downhill and do it again. You should slide FURTHUR.
- A little more downhill. Adjust with you knees, ankles, and hands to keep your skis on edge as they turn you.
- Do it on both sides

3. (Still at the bottom of the bunny hill)Get your skis pointed straight down a non-scary hill with about 15 meters before it gets flat. Set up like you are going to sidestep, with your skis up on their edges. Let yourself go, keeping the skis on edge. They will gradually turn to a stop if you are successful.

- Now set yourself up on the same hill on flat skis. Begin to slide and edge them after you begin sliding. They should turn to a stop. Do it until it works both ways.

4. (Still there)This is similar to the previous one. Start down the same hill on flat skis, edge them slightly. As soon as they begin to change direction, flatten them and wait. They should point back down the hill, then you can edge them the other way.WAITING FOR THE SKIS TO POINT BACK DOWNHILL IS IMPORTANT. IF YOU GO FOR THE OTHER EDGE RIGHT AWAY YOU WILL FALL(<<"I did try what you said about using the uphill and downhill edges to practise but 90% of the time i would catch an edge and end up on the ground!"<<) IT WILL HELP YOU WITH THAT PROBLEM.

Now take some runs, since you have successfully negotiated the beginner slopes before. Don't try to parallel right away. Let the things your body has learned work. Let your shaped skis work.

O.K., back to work.

5. Start at the top of the beginner slope!

Ski across the hill(traverse) to a natural stop several times. Next, ski across the hill and just before stopping, flatten your skis and let them keep sliding for 2 meters or so. Edge your skis and traverse again. Continue this across the hill without stopping. As you run out of room, traverse to a stop. Turn around and do it the other direction. (Traverse, slip, traverse, slip, traverse...etc.) Keep in mind your skis do not point down the hill at all while doing this. Work back and forth across the hill unitl it feels relaxed and natural.

Now go skiing. Again, do not try to force parallel turns. Remember the feeling when you change from traverse to slipping sideways? Duplicate this just before you enter each turn. Let the skis enter each turn, then edge them in the direction you want to go. Ride the edges until you are going a comfy speed, then slip. Let your skis start the turn before you edge the other way.

Do not be alarmed if you find yourself still wedging some. This is natural. As long as it is not a defensive, highly edge "snowplow"-wedge your skis will be parallel soon.

****A snowplow is an edged (defensive)wedge which seeks to push the snow aside, out of your way, it will inhibit turning and tax your muscles.

****a wedge is done with fairly flat skis and doesn't tax your muscles, or slow you down much. It often happens briefly as people start a turn turn. Don't worry, it will disappear as your skills improve. If you try too hard to make it go away, you will only knock yourself off balance and make it stick around longer.

NOTES: Relax and enjoy, don't be in a hurry.

Challenging yourself with terrain is good, but too much of a challenge too early makes you snowplow rather hard and be defensive. Later I will post some guidelines or milestones you can use to determine when to step it up terrain-wise.

****I hope this is all clear enough. I must admit to a certain amount of frustration having to re-post. Kind of like replacing music I have already purchased after having my car ripped-off! (I now only carry copies in my vehicle) I know this one is not as clear, simple or thorough, but I hope it works. I will do my best to clarify anything that needs it.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...
post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 
Another thing...I know there has been alot of debate from this but when i go skiing next year i will be hiring skis (and unfortunately boots) and i was wondering if i should get thin or parabolic (fat at both ends) skis? Whats the difference and should i be changing skis while i'm learning or sticking to the same until i get some experience under my belt? Looking foward to your replies, Tim
post #24 of 32
Thread Starter 
"but then again, i'm not down under, so don't know about it there."
good one! You must be up to date with the time zones..

Ok, fantastic post! I'm sorry to hear that it caused some frustration and i have to apolagise for thanking you for replying before you did so. This put you in a position where you would have felt obliged to reply so sorry about that.

I think one of the problems last time i went was the fact that they gave me skis wich were about 2m in length! I'm about 185cm and they were above my head so i'm assuming they were around 2m. Next time i go, i'll pay the extra and get shaped skis but being the second time skiing, what length should i aim for?
Secondly, how much should i bend my knees? I'm getting mixed ideas from everywhere and would like to know something i can stick to and work with. Also should i have my weight on the front, back, or middle of the skis?
I think thats all...thankyou for clarifying the difference between the wedge and snow plough....up until now i thought they were the same thing.
Just reading tips and advice like this is very inspiring! I can't wait until i go to the snow again next june and i'm sure i wont have any problem staying excited about it until then! Thanks again for spending all this time posting that for me...especially for the second time! Everything was clear enough and easy to understand so dont worry that it wasn't as good as the original. Thanks again and have a good day....Tim
post #25 of 32
Thread Starter 
Just one more thing.....When i asked where my weight should be on the ski i just realised that it was a rather obvious question. I do realise that it should be foward. What i think i was trying to say was what section of my feet should i have my weight on. Lean foward and have the weight on the toes or crouch foward and have an even distribution while still having most of the weight foward?

Thankyou ....Tim
post #26 of 32
Well Tim, I haven't felt obligated at all, but thanks for the sentiment.

For the first 3 days you should ski on 140 cm skis at the longest. After you feel like you can "cruise" the beginner slope(s) go to a 150.

As for your knees, use how your legs feel as an indicator. They should not feel constantly taxed. Fairly even bending of all your legs joints should be employed, much like when you walk. Too much knee bend and you are leaning back and getting tired. If you focus on bending your ankles some instead, your knees will do it automatically, but it doesn't work the other way 'round!

On shaped skis you want to ski the middle. This does mean some forward bend in the ankles, but contrary to the long skinny skis, shaped ones don't need a lot of forward weight to work. In fact, too much and they get wierd. So relax and ski the middle. Just 'keep in touch' with the front of your boots instead of leaning on or pushing on them.

If you have ever walked a dog...shaped skis are like a well-trained seeing eye dog while the old ones are more like an untrained bloodhound on a strong scent.

So the season is over down there now I gather?

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited September 10, 2001).]</FONT>
post #27 of 32
Thread Starter 

"For the first three days....." I have been a week before...does this mean for the first three days next time i go?? Thanks for the leg advice....i think i pretty much had it right last time i went because the only time it was really taxing is when i snow ploughed the entire way down a black diamond lol. Did you learn on shaped skis? Even if you didn't do you think things will come easier? Hey i think you next senrtence just answered my question actually....thats a great description! Good one

The season is still going actually....should be still around for another few weeks because the snow is still good.. I wish i was still there actually....*sigh* ......Generally it's june to early september but everything happened a bit later this year.

Regards, Tim
post #28 of 32
So I was supposed to get on a plane this morning, but I rolled out of bed to find all planes in the United States grounded, then had a cup of coffee and watched the World Trade Center collapse with people inside of it. I have work off for the next three days...and nothing to do but watch more Americans die. What else to do but post about skiing? When I woke up I it seemed like I might be listening to War of the Worlds...

On second thought, maybe I won't post about skiing...
post #29 of 32
add liberal amounts of house tequila
post #30 of 32
Thread Starter 
As an Australian i am probably not as directly affected as you Roto, but dont get me wrong, i'm not taking this lightly by any means. I hope we're not looking at WWIII

Take care of yourself man.
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