Originally Posted by Metaphor_
This guy in the blue jacket, number 10 bib, passed the CSIA level 3 with a score of at least 8 (a pass in the bumps is a 6). If you were doing your level 3 exam teach with him in your group, how would you further improve his bump skiing? Appreciate it if you can relate it back to the skills of stance&balance, pivoting, edging, pressure control, and timing&coordination. (Starts at 4:23)
The skier is doing great. He is skiing down a bump run using his standard skiing mode. If I was his coach I would try to transform his skiing from "all mountain" to "bump skiing". Note that I don't consider myself a bump skier but an "all mountain" skier so don't look at my skiing and tell me I'm doing it all wrong.
Let me try to brake it up according to your request.
Balance is very important in bump skiing. Looks like his balance is ok. It will change once he gets into that bump skiing mode and instead of being most of the time in static balance like he is now he will have to gain better control over dynamic balance. He will be sitting back a lot more and rely on extension to re-centre. Here is where flexing and extending comes in. In the video there is not a lot of it. I would practice running over bumps and flexing deep. Then extending into the throughs. First just crossing over bumps in a traverse but gradually starting to turn on top of the bumps slightly unweighted. Bump impact is also very critical and affects the stance. Use the bumps to slow down. Stuff the tips into the snow piles and try to stay out of the rut. And try to absorb the impact by flexing your legs and folding at the waist a bit. Remember, just like in high performance carving your default stance should be squatted. Not extended. Stay low. Extend out.
I much rather talk about "turning". This is one of the most important skills in bump skiing in addition to flexing and extending and line which is tactics. The skier in the video is not turning quick enough for mimicking true bump skiing. Ramp up the turning frequency. Practise this on a flat groomer. Try to make very short turns down the fall line. Try to make them round and without a hard edge set. Progressively add edge angle. Keep your upper body facing downhill. A very useful drill is the "dwarf drill". Grab your ski poles half way down and make super short turns down in the fall line. Get those knees going. Loosen up the knees. This also helps you to stay low. I personally don't fancy the pivot and slam tactics that slams you down the zipper line. Note that the pivot is easiest made when the skis are flat or on the crest of a bump. Or actually that's when they should be flat. So pivot on the bump and shape an even turn going down the back side. Don't slide sideways. Don't be afraid of catching speed. The next bump will slow you down.
Edging is important to shape your turns. Pro bump skiers dull the edges but I don't think this is the way to go. I use a regular ski setup with sharp edges. I try to stay out of the rut and I increase edging gradually. Practise the dwarf drill and also PreTurn concept turns on a flat groomer. Hockey stops in all forms are also good. Slided, jumped etc.
Slamming into that rut base can cause a serious pressure increase under foot in form of a hurting pain. When training bumps back in the 70s and 80s in Austria it sounded like a machine gun firing when pro bump skiers flew by. Sometimes that's what you need to do so prepare yourself for a beating. However, if you stuff those ski tips into the front sides of the bump much of the impact will be absorbed by the soft snow and the bending ski. This gives you a slightly more even pressure control.
Bump skiing is all about timing. Be quick in your legs and try to time your turning according to the bumps. There are actually two approaches here. Turn according to the bumps, much like the skier in the video, or just turn and tweak a little to match everything up. Nail is good at this. I'm better at coaching the other approach. You need to coordinate all your movements because you will be skiing in and out of the back seat and you have bumps coming at you at high speed. A good bump skier is able to bail out of a zipper line at any point and stay in balance. This is only possible if he is 100% coordinated. Practise short turns with rhythm changes.
Last Sunday I was out skiing for fun at our local hill. They had a man made zipper line made and it was very icy and hard due to the soft slushy conditions. However, right next to it the snow looked perfect. So I started to make my own zipper line with much more rounded turns. After a while a woman that had been failing badly in the zipper line rut skied up to me and asked for help. I told her that I was cheating. I was not skiing the zipper line rut but beside it. We did a few drills and her biggest challenge turned out to be turning her skis quick enough. She didn't pivot the skis quick enough when they were flat. When her edge angle increased pivoting became impossible and her skis stayed too much in the fall line. Her speed picked up and she missed the turns.
I don't have a problem with the skier in the video looking one bump ahead. I do that also. I like to deal with what's coming at me in real time. This is not entirely true because I scout for nice sections so I look ahead but not all the time.
The pole swing is a bit sloppy but I don't mind that either. I don't like the pro mogul type small wrist movement straight ahead with knee long poles. For me same equipment should be used as on a groomer.
Since it was a demo run it was more controlled than normally. I guess that's all part of the game.
With the skier in the video I would work on short turns on a flat groomer for a solid quick and shaped short turn technique. Then I would practice flexing and extending and then how to apply it all in the bumps. Also, I'm old school so I don't have a problem with screwing it all up once in a while. Go faster than you can. Take air. Skip a bump. Crash. Have fun, its all part of bump skiing.