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Suggestions for a frustrated beginner. [in upstate NY, big man] - Page 3

post #61 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utagonian View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Here's a question for the OP. How basically physically fit are you? Any regular exercise program? Other activities? Strength? Aerobic work?

 

 

Great Info here but the whole time I'm thinking this.↑  You have a couple months, start working out NOW.  It will make a huge difference in your enjoyment, this is a sport, get ready for it.  Might make you feel better in general or keep you alive too.  I know, you might be built like an NFL full back but by your original posting, I'm guessing you are not that fit.  Your BMI has you just into the "obese" category.  I'm hoping you are a bit better than the numbers let on.  Loose a few lbs, work on your cardio and leg strength and you'll be miles ahead come December.

 

To add to the boot rant.  Your socks should be THIN.  Think lady's nylon stocking thin.  This may sound weird but it will help the boots fit better, increase your control, AND keep you warmer by avoiding spots that cut off circulation.

 

Go ahead and get some used skis instead of renting.  Get them tuned up occasionally too and they will work better, especially on ice.  You'll avoid the "figuring the skis out" runs in the morning and It will cost less in the long run and you avoid the sh*t show at the rental counter which will increase your time on the slopes and overall experience.  Having skis you know and trust will decrease the fear factor too.

 

About the speed and the fear of it.  I know it is really hard, especially for an adult, but you have to get comfortable with acceleration and speed.  All the lessons and technique improvement will help you feel more in control but letting go a bit and embracing the speed will help more.   Driving a car is a good analogy.  If you are driving down a snowy hill and you keep up a consistent momentum easing your way around the corners you will feel OK but try that same hill slamming on the brakes and throwing the car sideways every time you go over 5mph and you'll feel like a cannonball hurling down the hill, right?

 

One of the most important things in any "movement" activity (driving, biking, skiing, skating, running, etc.) is where you focus your eyes.  Start practicing this TODAY.  Move you focus way father away than you are used to every time you drive.  Look WAY into the corner, not in front of your bumper.  Your driving will become smoother and safer but when you do this while skiing, everything will slow down and the speed wont be as scary.  You really cannot do anything with whatever is right in front of your skis anyway (especially if you are seeing it too late) so quit worrying about it.   You'll have to constantly remind yourself.  Even Formula 1 race drivers are constantly telling themselves, "eye up", "eyes up", "eyes up", it works.  This and moving forward instead of back when you feel the fear is huge.  One of the great things about the sport is that zen thing when you face your fear.  Like most things in life, if you are afraid of something and move forward aggressively toward what you are afraid of and face it head on you do much better than retreating and cowering away from it.   Remember learning to dive into a pool?  Commit to the scary place or do a belly flop.  Lessons will help you to a point but you cannot buy courage.

 

Lastly, take some time if you find a quiet spot on the mountian to stop and look around at the amazingly beautiful place you are in.  The better you get the more quiet places you'll find that are really magical. 

If you really want to have an exciting time, pack a lunch in your backpack and go into the woods with your lady, build a snow table and have lunch! Just be prepared for the fireworks in the evening!:D 

post #62 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utagonian View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Here's a question for the OP. How basically physically fit are you? Any regular exercise program? Other activities? Strength? Aerobic work?

 

 

Great Info here but the whole time I'm thinking this.↑  You have a couple months, start working out NOW.  It will make a huge difference in your enjoyment, this is a sport, get ready for it.  Might make you feel better in general or keep you alive too.  I know, you might be built like an NFL full back but by your original posting, I'm guessing you are not that fit.  Your BMI has you just into the "obese" category.  I'm hoping you are a bit better than the numbers let on.  Loose a few lbs, work on your cardio and leg strength and you'll be miles ahead come December.

 

To add to the boot rant.  Your socks should be THIN.  Think almost lady's nylon stocking thin.  This may sound weird but it will help the boots fit better, increase your control, AND keep you warmer by avoiding spots that cut off circulation.

 

Go ahead and get some used skis instead of renting.  Get them tuned up occasionally too and they will work better, especially on ice.  You'll avoid the "figuring the skis out" runs in the morning and It will cost less in the long run and you avoid the sh*t show at the rental counter which will increase your time on the slopes and overall experience.  Having skis you know and trust will decrease the fear factor too.

 

About the speed and the fear of it.  I know it is really hard, especially for an adult, but you have to get comfortable with acceleration and speed.  All the lessons and technique improvement will help you feel more in control but letting go a bit and embracing the speed will help more.   Driving a car is a good analogy.  If you are driving down a snowy hill and you keep up a consistent momentum easing your way around the corners you will feel OK but try that same hill slamming on the brakes and throwing the car sideways every time you go over 5mph and you'll feel like a cannonball hurling down the hill, right?

 

One of the most important things in any "movement" activity (driving, biking, skiing, skating, running, etc.) is where you focus your eyes.  Start practicing this TODAY.  Move your focus way father away than you are used to every time you drive.  Look WAY into the corner, not in front of your bumper.  Your driving will become smoother and safer but when you do this while skiing, everything will slow down and the speed wont be as scary.  You really cannot do anything with whatever is right in front of your skis anyway (especially if you are seeing it too late) so quit worrying about it.   You'll have to constantly remind yourself.  Even Formula 1 race drivers are constantly telling themselves, "eye up", "eyes up", "eyes up", it works.  This and moving forward instead of back when you feel the fear is huge.  One of the great things about the sport is that zen thing when you face your fear.  Like most things in life, if you are afraid of something and move forward aggressively toward what you are afraid of and face it head on you do much better than retreating and cowering away from it.   Remember learning to dive into a pool?  Commit to the scary place or do a belly flop.  Lessons will help you to a point but you cannot buy courage.

 

Lastly, take some time if you find a quiet spot on the mountian to stop and look around at the amazingly beautiful place you are in.  The better you get the more quiet places you'll find that are really magical. 

About that speed.  If your on a beginner-intermediate ski, chances are you will not get used to the speed and feel in control no matter what you do.    Some skis have a low speed limit and don't feel good or offer much control above that limit, some skis don't feel good below a given speed, but there are some skis that have a broad speed range at which they work well.  Typically more advanced skis (i.e. skis suitable for experts) have higher speed limits, but only some of them work well at lower speeds.    Typical rental skis will not feel good at speeds you can easily achieve on most hills. 

 

130 mph on a modern full-sized sport bike feels ok, 30 mph on a kid's tricycle, not so much.

post #63 of 67

Buy boots, rent skis.

 

Read this:

http://www.epicski.com/a/boot-fitting-which-boot-will-work-for-me

 

Boots are the most important piece of equipment you'll have (except for your credit card in the bar).  Boots have to fit just right.  Boots have to perform just right.  They need to be the right length, right width, right stiffness (flex index, maybe 110 or 120 for a guy your size...leverage against the boots...and your weight).  Stop into a shop that sells a lot of boots and ask who's their best boot fitter & what hours that person works--your buddy with foot problems needs boots.  You meet that fitter or highly qualified sales person and get boots that are correct in all respects for you.  They'll cost a lot.  There are no bargain boots--only bad bargains.  Your boots can be too tight or have tight spots at first.  The shop will heat and form the boots to fit the lumps & bumps on your feet.  If they aren't tight, they'll be too loose in very short order.

 

About ski lengths & stiffness.  Generally speaking, higher line skis are made stiffer (long wide power skis are the exception, and they are wrong for your location and your learning).  In the same line, longer lengths of the same ski are made stiffer.  Longer skis are harder to learn on.  So...for your height (leverage against the ski) and weight, you'll need a stiffer ski but not too long.  A ski that is not stiff enough won't transmit your movements to the snow and won't perform.  A ski that is too stiff will transmit movements you don't intend and don't know you're making, and they'll seem to have a mind of their own.  Rent top line "demo" skis in moderate lengths, too short for a good skier of your size but right for a learning big guy.  As your skills improve, rent skis that respond to your new abilities until you find the ones you want to own.

 

Yes for good instruction.  Ask around.  Many instructors, even top rated and highly experienced, do a poor job.  Some do a fine job...good topic for bar conversation.

post #64 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utagonian View Post


  Might make you feel better in general or keep you alive too.  I know, you might be built like an NFL full back but by your original posting, I'm guessing you are not that fit.  Your BMI has you just into the "obese" category. 

I'd be really careful going there. BMI is a can of worms and often very inaccurate.
post #65 of 67

I totally agree Markojp and I hope Splitear didn't take offense.  He will know if conditioning is a factor.  I watched a lot of really fit and athletic big guys yesterday on the football field so I know BMI is pretty general.

 

I let myself get too out of shape these last couple months and I think I was trying to make a point with myself as much as anyone.

post #66 of 67

In the past I have managed to get out of shape, too busy with work to work out.  I could still ski amazingly well, without difficulty.   The skis were doing the work and I was using proper stacking.  Could be very different for a beginner.

post #67 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utagonian View Post
 

I totally agree Markojp and I hope Splitear didn't take offense.  He will know if conditioning is a factor.  I watched a lot of really fit and athletic big guys yesterday on the football field so I know BMI is pretty general.

 

I let myself get too out of shape these last couple months and I think I was trying to make a point with myself as much as anyone.


Yeah, when I report my height/weight to my insurance company, they send me health emails like, "In denial about your weight? Our coaches will get you on-track and back to a healthy weight fast!" I mentioned that to the doc who gave me a physical, and he laughed and shook his head.

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