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Videos showing fine-tuning of ski alignment

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'd like to start a thread to document my skiing issues and recent alignment by Jeff Bergeron. He has been phenomenal. I'm looking for feedback on my ski technique. Skip to videos 8 and 9 if you'd like to cut to the chase(videos 2 and 3 are great too.). My alignment issues are likely more complex than most. I hope all the videos here are helpful--some are a bit shaky, Here goes!

ABOUT ME: 5 foot 9, 170 pounds. Intermediate skier(I love blue groomers but can get down douvle blacks slowly), skied 23 days this year, and about 10-15 days the last few years. I have a pair of Rossi E88 170 cm and Atomic Access 170 cm.

THE ALIGNMENT PROBLEMS: I was noticing with the E88's that I could not hold an edge on my left footed turns (right turns) when using my Full-tilt Orginal ski boots. There could be two reasons for this: 1) My left leg is 3/8ths of an inch shorter than my right. 2) My left leg (and the entire left side of my body) is weaker and has poorer proprioception due to a congenital condition. I have poor balance on my left leg and consequently tend to favor my right leg.

I also noticed my left inside edge would want to engage on flat terrain or in other situations. Finally, I noticed when making right-footed turns (left turns) my left ski would form a pizza with my right ski. I had a hard time keeping both skis parallel throughout the left turn.

The issues described above may be seen in this shaky first-person video from last year. Note that my left ski isn't doing much:
Video #1: https://youtu.be/UUJA3J4E-So

In March 2015, I went to Jeff Bergeron. He thought my Full Tilts would only get my alignment to a "fair" level. He thought the Lange SX 120 were a good fit for me. He fit me in them and made footbeds. He built up the left outside edge of the footbed, which allowed me to get my left ski on edge during turns(fixing the first problem I mentioned). Initially he did not corrext for the leg length discrepancy.

Here are two videos taken closing weekend at Steamboat this year by a very talented ski instructor. Is it just me, or are my left-footed turns a lot faster than my right? Also, I think you can see my left leg push out to form a bit of a pizza during right-footed turns...
Video 2: https://youtu.be/54guMidDacU
Video 3: https://youtu.be/kJjKYvWKFvM

The next time I met up with Jeff, we talked about my lack of power with left footed turns. I was unable to flex my left boot as much as my right. So Jeff got rid of some of the material in the shell of the boot to lower the flex in the left boot. Thanks to @rx2ski for shooting the first two closing weekend at WP:
Video 4: https://youtu.be/mGHh2KRDlGE
Video 5: https://youtu.be/9I3HPkf6Xeg

Next two videos were shot at A-Basin in early May with the same set-up.
Video 6: https://youtu.be/VX6EeOxMNhE
Video 7: https://youtu.be/5ABQf2QbHGc

Finally, I went back to Jeff again. He inserted a shim in my left boot to address the LLD short-term. I also told him I was still having the issue with my left leg not skiing parallel to my left during right-footed turns. He shaved off some of the material between top and second-highest buckles on my left boot. I think he also furthet reduced the flex of the left boot.

So here's where I am now. I took a lesson at A-Basin last week. The instruxtor noticed I tend to ski in the backseat, and don't pressure the front of my skis well. He encouraged me to bend my knees more, which I think had helped me get forward on my skis. When I used togo over small mounds of snow, the front of my ski would shoot off the snow, and now I think I'm more able to keep it on the snow. The instruxtor also noticed my turns looked like Z's, and helped me try and not muscle the skis around but ride the sidecut. The 8th and 9th videos were taken by the instructor at A-Basin. The 10th was taken by me the same day to compare with video #1. Sorry for the shakiness.
Video 8: https://youtu.be/ATGstQUkf5M
Video 9: https://youtu.be/PUQueRF8e8w
Video 10: https://youtu.be/sT_e5eIUS84

QUESTIONS:
1). How would you compare the skiing in video 2 and 3 to the more recent (and better aligned) skiing in video 8 and 9? I realize the conditions in video 2 And 3 were frozen granular. Very different than the powder in 8 and 9...
2) How's my alignment look? Especially in the newest videos?
3) Am I forward enough on my skis in videos 8 and 9? Is the video quality good enough to tell? The Langes don't have much forward lean, and Jeff said he could modify them to add more forward lean if needed...
4). Any feedback for me or suggestions for the future?

Thanks--please tell me anything you see!
Edited by folkfan - 5/24/15 at 5:29pm
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by folkfan View Post

I'd like to start a thread to document my skiing issues and recent alignment by Jeff Bergeron. He has been phenomenal. I'm looking for feedback on my ski technique. Skip to videos 8 and 9 if you'd like to cut to the chase(videos 2 and 3 are great too.). My alignment issues are likely more complex than most. I hope all the videos here are helpful--some are a bit shaky, Here goes!

ABOUT ME: 5 foot 9, 170 pounds. Intermediate skier(I love blue groomers but can get down douvle blacks slowly), skied 23 days this year, and about 10-15 days the last few years. I have a pair of Rossi E88 170 cm and Atomic Access 170 cm.

THE ALIGNMENT PROBLEMS: I was noticing with the E88's that I could not hold an edge on my left footed turns (right turns) when using my Full-tilt Orginal ski boots. There could be two reasons for this: 1) My left leg is 3/8ths of an inch shorter than my right. 2) My left leg (and the entire left side of my body) is weaker and has poorer proprioception due to a congenital condition. I have poor balance on my left leg and consequently tend to favor my right leg.

I also noticed my left inside edge would want to engage on flat terrain or in other situations. Finally, I noticed when making right-footed turns (left turns) my left ski would form a pizza with my right ski. I had a hard time keeping both skis parallel throughout the left turn.

The issues described above may be seen in this shaky first-person video from last year. Note that my left ski isn't doing much:
Video #1: https://youtu.be/UUJA3J4E-So

In March 2015, I went to Jeff Bergeron. He thought my Full Tilts would only get my alignment to a "fair" level. He thought the Lange SX 120 were a good fit for me. He fit me in them and made footbeds. He built up the left outside edge of the footbed, which allowed me to get my left ski on edge during turns(fixing the first problem I mentioned). Initially he did not corrext for the leg length discrepancy.

Here are two videos taken closing weekend at Steamboat this year by a very talented ski instructor. Is it just me, or are my left-footed turns a lot faster than my right? Also, I think you can see my left leg push out to form a bit of a pizza during right-footed turns...
Video 2: https://youtu.be/54guMidDacU
Video 3: https://youtu.be/kJjKYvWKFvM

The next time I met up with Jeff, we talked about my lack of power with left footed turns. I was unable to flex my left boot as much as my right. So Jeff got rid of some of the material in the shell of the boot to lower the flex in the left boot. Thanks to @rx2ski for shooting the first two closing weekend at WP:
Video 4: https://youtu.be/mGHh2KRDlGE
Video 5: https://youtu.be/9I3HPkf6Xeg

Next two videos were shot at A-Basin in early May with the same set-up.
Video 6: https://youtu.be/VX6EeOxMNhE
Video 7: https://youtu.be/5ABQf2QbHGc

Finally, I went back to Jeff again. He inserted a shim in my left boot to address the LLD short-term. I also told him I was still having the issue with my left leg not skiing parallel to my left during right-footed turns. He shaved off some of the material between top and second-highest buckles on my left boot. I think he also furthet reduced the flex of the left boot.

So here's where I am now. I took a lesson at A-Basin last week. The instruxtor noticed I tend to ski in the backseat, and don't pressure the front of my skis well. He encouraged me to bend my knees more, which I think had helped me get forward on my skis. When I used togo over small mounds of snow, the front of my ski would shoot off the snow, and now I think I'm more able to keep it on the snow. The instruxtor also noticed my turns looked like Z's, and helped me try and not muscle the skis around but ride the sidecut. The 8th and 9th videos were taken by the instructor at A-Basin. The 10th was taken by me the same day to compare with video #1. Sorry for the shakiness.
Video 8: https://youtu.be/ATGstQUkf5M
Video 9: https://youtu.be/PUQueRF8e8w
Video 10: https://youtu.be/sT_e5eIUS84

QUESTIONS:
1). How would you compare the skiing in video 2 and 3 to the more recent (and better aligned) skiing in video 8 and 9? I realize the conditions in video 2 And 3 were frozen granular. Very different than the powder in 8 and 9...
2) How's my alignment look? Especially in the newest videos?
3) Am I forward enough on my skis in videos 8 and 9? Is the video quality good enough to tell? The Langes don't have much forward lean, and Jeff said he could modify them to add more forward lean if needed...
4). Any feedback for me or suggestions for the future?

Thanks--please tell me anything you see!

First I am not an instructor, but I have skied for 54 years with instruction when I was 8-12 years old , and the first thing I notice is a poor stance which leads to week turns. Your pole plants are late and that is standing you up. I had an Austrian instructor when I was 8 and he would show me the position that he wanted me to be in. and if I did not stay in the proper position he used his pole to correct my position with a positive wack. now I am sure that whacking system he used would not fly today, but I always ski in the proper position to this day.  work on getting in the ski position in a mirror this summer with your ski's on . You should always have pressure on you shins. reach for your next turn with the pole plant . hope that helps and a real instructor correct my explanations

post #3 of 10

For a visual of an athletic/proactive stance:

 

 

I know when we skied the steeper runs you were riding your tails a bit.

post #4 of 10

Can't help with the alignment, but here's what it looks like to me.

 

You seem to be making a great effort to rotate you skis around, and then when they turn a little you lean into the turn for balance, and the skis turn when you accidentally put them on edge.

 

You need to deliberately tip your skis on edge and let them turn you.  Instead of leaning into the turn, lean your upper body the other way, forcing your hips into the turn helping your skis to tip.

You need to rotate your upper body in the opposite direction that your skis are turning.  Most of all you need to tip those skis!

 

Good skiers have always known that a properly tipped and pressured ski will turn you where you want to go.

post #5 of 10
You're making great progress. Here are some of my thoughts. Take them with a grain of salt because I'm not really sure I full comprehend what your are dealing with.

First, I would stop messing with your boots for a bit and just work on your skiing. I'm a big believer in getting boots professionally fitted, and agree you probably need some special aligning, but I think it would be advantages to correct some things with your skiing before your boots get modified any more. You might still need alignment work, but there are things that need fixing in your technique that might not be caused by the boots.

Second, I "think" your ski poles are too long. At 5'9" I'm guessing you should be around a 48" pole. I'm 5'7" and use 46" poles (used to use 50"). I say they look too long by how you carry them. They are always flared out to the side. They don't need to hang straight down, but you do seem to be holding them up.

Third, I brought up the poles because I think that is contributing to you being in the back seat, and that is why you are stemming your uphill ski to initiate your turns. That and you aren't committed to being on your outside ski. If you get mor forward before you start your turn, the need to stem will go away.

Everything I stated above I also went through. I have to head out for a bit now but will try to get you better details later tonight when I have more time.

Ken
post #6 of 10

Here are some more of my ramblings:

Quote:

Originally Posted by folkfan View Post

I'd like to start a thread to document my skiing issues and recent alignment by Jeff Bergeron. He has been phenomenal. I'm looking for feedback on my ski technique. Skip to videos 8 and 9 if you'd like to cut to the chase(videos 2 and 3 are great too.). My alignment issues are likely more complex than most. I hope all the videos here are helpful--some are a bit shaky, Here goes!

ABOUT ME: 5 foot 9, 170 pounds. Intermediate skier(I love blue groomers but can get down douvle blacks slowly), skied 23 days this year, and about 10-15 days the last few years. I have a pair of Rossi E88 170 cm and Atomic Access 170 cm.

THE ALIGNMENT PROBLEMS: I was noticing with the E88's that I could not hold an edge on my left footed turns (right turns) when using my Full-tilt Orginal ski boots. There could be two reasons for this: 1) My left leg is 3/8ths of an inch shorter than my right. 2) My left leg (and the entire left side of my body) is weaker and has poorer proprioception due to a congenital condition. I have poor balance on my left leg and consequently tend to favor my right leg.

I also noticed my left inside edge would want to engage on flat terrain or in other situations. Finally, I noticed when making right-footed turns (left turns) my left ski would form a pizza with my right ski. I had a hard time keeping both skis parallel throughout the left turn. This I believe is from not being forward enough when you initiate your turn.  You are stemming to start the turn.  I understand I might be in conflict with what you wrote here, but in watching the videos, that is what I see.

The issues described above may be seen in this shaky first-person video from last year. Note that my left ski isn't doing much:
Video #1: https://youtu.be/UUJA3J4E-So

In March 2015, I went to Jeff Bergeron. He thought my Full Tilts would only get my alignment to a "fair" level. He thought the Lange SX 120 were a good fit for me. He fit me in them and made footbeds. He built up the left outside edge of the footbed, which allowed me to get my left ski on edge during turns(fixing the first problem I mentioned). Initially he did not corrext for the leg length discrepancy.

Here are two videos taken closing weekend at Steamboat this year by a very talented ski instructor. Is it just me, or are my left-footed turns a lot faster than my right? Also, I think you can see my left leg push out to form a bit of a pizza during right-footed turns...
Video 2: https://youtu.be/54guMidDacU
Video 3: https://youtu.be/kJjKYvWKFvM

The next time I met up with Jeff, we talked about my lack of power with left footed turns. I was unable to flex my left boot as much as my right. So Jeff got rid of some of the material in the shell of the boot to lower the flex in the left boot. Thanks to @rx2ski for shooting the first two closing weekend at WP:
Video 4: https://youtu.be/mGHh2KRDlGE
Video 5: https://youtu.be/9I3HPkf6Xeg

Next two videos were shot at A-Basin in early May with the same set-up.
Video 6: https://youtu.be/VX6EeOxMNhE
Video 7: https://youtu.be/5ABQf2QbHGc

Finally, I went back to Jeff again. He inserted a shim in my left boot to address the LLD short-term. I also told him I was still having the issue with my left leg not skiing parallel to my left during right-footed turns. He shaved off some of the material between top and second-highest buckles on my left boot. I think he also furthet reduced the flex of the left boot.  Keep in mind once you start a turn, an LLD (I think and could be very wrong) isn't that important.  More important at transition.  It will probably cause you to have a different rate on each side, but I think you should be able to control that.  You just have to realize that they aren't going to be twins.

So here's where I am now. I took a lesson at A-Basin last week. The instruxtor noticed I tend to ski in the backseat, and don't pressure the front of my skis well. He encouraged me to bend my knees more, which I think had helped me get forward on my skis. You should focus on flexing (bending) your ankles.  Bending the knees without it will move you more into the back seat.  When I used togo over small mounds of snow, the front of my ski would shoot off the snow, and now I think I'm more able to keep it on the snow. The instruxtor also noticed my turns looked like Z's, and helped me try and not muscle the skis around but ride the sidecut. The 8th and 9th videos were taken by the instructor at A-Basin. The 10th was taken by me the same day to compare with video #1. Sorry for the shakiness.
Video 8: https://youtu.be/ATGstQUkf5M
Video 9: https://youtu.be/PUQueRF8e8w
Video 10: https://youtu.be/sT_e5eIUS84

QUESTIONS:
1). How would you compare the skiing in video 2 and 3 to the more recent (and better aligned) skiing in video 8 and 9? I realize the conditions in video 2 And 3 were frozen granular. Very different than the powder in 8 and 9...
2) How's my alignment look? Especially in the newest videos?
3) Am I forward enough on my skis in videos 8 and 9? Is the video quality good enough to tell? The Langes don't have much forward lean, and Jeff said he could modify them to add more forward lean if needed...
4). Any feedback for me or suggestions for the future?

Thanks--please tell me anything you see!

 

Try holding on to your old turn until you are way forward.  Do this on big GS turns on a wide trail.  Once you start feeling what it is like to already be forward to start the turn, you'll be able to bring that feeling to other turns as well.

 

One way to keep from always having to catch up to your skis, is to keep up with them.  Don't let them get in front of you.  As soon as you feel the pressure under foot heading towards the back of your foot, start going forward.

 

Have fun,

Ken

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Can't help with the alignment, but here's what it looks like to me.

 

You seem to be making a great effort to rotate you skis around, and then when they turn a little you lean into the turn for balance, and the skis turn when you accidentally put them on edge.

 

You need to deliberately tip your skis on edge and let them turn you.  Instead of leaning into the turn, lean your upper body the other way, forcing your hips into the turn helping your skis to tip.

You need to rotate your upper body in the opposite direction that your skis are turning.  Most of all you need to tip those skis!

 

Good skiers have always known that a properly tipped and pressured ski will turn you where you want to go.


Very important comments above.  You look like you want to love skiing, don't really trust what's happening, and don't know what movement you want to do.

 

One big help to achieve what Ghost is suggesting is to ski on one (ONE) ball of your foot at a time.  On a right turn, you balance over the ball of your left foot.  All the way through the turn.  At the end of the right turn, relax the left leg and then balance on the ball of the right foot to make a left turn.

 

Staying on the ball of your foot, now balance with your head and shoulders down the hill and your hips slightly up the hill for counterbalance.  Practice this on a straight traverse across the hill.  Switch direction, switch feet, switch your balance so you're again downhill with your head & shoulders and counterbalanced with your hips uphill.

 

Keep doing everything above, now rotate your body, from the hips upward, so your zipper pull is dangling over the label on the ski on the outside of your turn, same ski you're balancing on the ball of that foot.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies all! I've been quite busy dealing with health and family issues. Luckily I've got time to respond to your posts now and should moving forward...all replies are appreciated!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad J View Post

Your pole plants are late and that is standing you up.

Is that true in videos 8 to 10? I think I've been doing pole plants more naturally recently. Here's another issue that may be at play: my ski boots put me in an upright stance...
Quote:
Originally Posted by rx2ski View Post

For a visual of an athletic/proactive stance:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Can't help with the alignment, but here's what it looks like to me.

You seem to be making a great effort to rotate you skis around, and then when they turn a little you lean into the turn for balance, and the skis turn when you accidentally put them on edge.

You need to deliberately tip your skis on edge and let them turn you.  Instead of leaning into the turn, lean your upper body the other way, forcing your hips into the turn helping your skis to tip.
You need to rotate your upper body in the opposite direction that your skis are turning.  Most of all you need to tip those skis!

Good skiers have always known that a properly tipped and pressured ski will turn you where you want to go.

The part about leaning the opposite direction is helpful. When you say I'm making great effort to pull my skis around, was this in all videos or specific clips? I feel like more recently I've been using less effort while turning (videos 8-10).

Edited by folkfan - 6/1/15 at 7:03am
post #9 of 10
To me the videos looking down are pretty useless. Most look like you are riding way too flat a ski, almost like you are on a level surface. POV is tough to use for this.

So, back up to video 9. More useful. You look timid and tentative, not relaxed and committed. Now, that doesn't tell you anything, but the question comes up as to why. And it's probably because you're not "throwing yourself" down the hill, i.e. backseat. Not as bad as some, granted, but I don't see your shins driving into the boots. And that makes me wonder about your boot fit. Are you holding back because of fear or because of too much slop in the boot?

BUT..... I'm not an instructor. And I make a point of not analyzing my ski companions, it's just what my body is feeling projecting myself into yours.... Twilight Zone time.... You are more daring than I am about this MA thing, so I know you can commit to the slope.
post #10 of 10

The turning effort does indeed vary, but regardless, you need to make NO effort to turn the skis; just tip them and they will turn. 

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