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2 Trips Out West + 1 Lesson - MA PLEASE!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

So I typically get up to 10 days a year in.  Absolutely love skiing, pushing myself, taking on challenging terrain.

 

Never really took lessons, just learned by following my pops around.

 

I would like to refine my technique a bit so I can become smoother and advanced to even tougher terrain.

 

I put together all the clips of me skiing from my last two ski trips from this year.

 

The first, I'm wearing a black jacket/green pants, was in Utah at Alta and Snowbird in January.

 

The second, I'm wearing a blue jacket/green pants, was in Steamboat in the beginning of February.

 

I was lucky enough to take a 3 hour lesson with a level 3 instructor at Alta one of the days.  We focused on initiating the turn from tipping me femurs back towards the hill as well as a stronger core to remain stable in tough to see and bumpy terrain.  There is no video os my skiing in Utah after that lesson.

 

All the video in steamboat is from after that lesson, in which I tried to keep that turn initiation thought in mind, and I also got a smaller pair of boots.  I was in a 27.5 in the Utah clips and exchanged them at my local shop for 26.5.  I think this made a huge difference in my control.

 

Video clips of Steamboat start at the 4 minute mark.

 

Sorry for the crappy video quality, our camera stinks.

 

Any tips greatly appreciated as I'm always looking to improve on every turn on every run!

 

Thanks!

 

 


Edited by mcl116 - 3/1/16 at 7:22am
post #2 of 11

Tip 1: If you want a MA don't tell people you are a very good skier. It comes across as cocky and people lose all motivation to help you.
Tip 2: Do not overestimate yourself, with all due respect, you are not a very good skier. 

Work on starting turns from the feet, you heavily rely on your upper body and hips to do the work for you.

post #3 of 11
Your in the backseat and it effects your balance over the skis.
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art of Skiing View Post
 

Tip 1: If you want a MA don't tell people you are a very good skier. It comes across as cocky and people lose all motivation to help you.
Tip 2: Do not overestimate yourself, with all due respect, you are not a very good skier. 

Work on starting turns from the feet, you heavily rely on your upper body and hips to do the work for you.


In my opinion, with all due respect, your first two "tips" are counterproductive at best.

 

The last sentence(s) of your post is (are) constructive.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Art of Skiing View Post
 

Tip 1: If you want a MA don't tell people you are a very good skier. It comes across as cocky and people lose all motivation to help you.
Tip 2: Do not overestimate yourself, with all due respect, you are not a very good skier. 

Work on starting turns from the feet, you heavily rely on your upper body and hips to do the work for you.

 

Yes I understand I'm not very good compared to what else is out there, but I think for the limited amount of time I get out there and the terrain I'm able to ski fairly aggressively, I'm doing well.  As I said, I'm looking to improve my technique to continue overall improvement.  Either way, I've removed that line from my OP as I do not want to come across the wrong way.  Just here to hopefully learn and get better!

 

What movements with my upper body and hips would you like to see me remove from my technique?

 

What movements with my feet would you suggest I concentrate on using?

post #6 of 11

I'm going to try to be brief. 

 

You're not a bad skier, so I don't know what all the flap is about.  I'd be really happy if you showed up for one of my lessons. There is a lot there. You just need to make some changes. 

 

With all due respect to your instructor, instructions to "tip the femurs" ignores all the torque, energy, stability, smoothness and direction that happens at the foot level.  I see that there are many turns in your video where the body is the release mechanism/initiator of turns.  At times it's all over the place and out of sync. I recognize it as that was the way I skied once upon a time. You need to learn to ski from the bottoms of your feet.  I can see, even from the limited video,  that your feet aren't nearly as active as I would like to see. Skiing from the "bottom up" is the only way to develop "synchonicity" (proper mechanical firing seqence).  Your feet MUST tip before you femurs become active [a simplified analysis].

 

Also I see a bit of sequential action which tells me that your inside ski isn't fully doing it's job. This is a complex subject which we've hashed out on other threads so I'll leave it at that. 

 

You're a young dude with a lot of years of skiing ahead of you. [As was once said to me] your a good skier but you'll have to change some things if you're going improve. 

 

Good luck. 

post #7 of 11

Looks like a great couple of days in the freshies. Not that AOS is incorrect but I think it is very relevant that you shared your personal opinion on your skiing. First, I think it conveys a level of satisfaction that is just fine to have. Secondly it communicates to an instructor or coach a mindset that must be navigated in order to help get you to the next level.

 

You are a skier with accomplishments and potential to build on and ready to move on to doing more with the terrain that is thrown in front of you. To me the most obvious opportunities for improvement are with issues regarding upper and lower body separation. You need to make an investment in a full package of separation skills including vertical (primarily skiing from the hips down), angular (lateral knee and hip angles) and rotary (upper body kept faced downhill). Your Alta instructor mentioned skiing with a "strong core" to maintain stability in bumpy terrain. A strong core also helps to separate what happens above and below the core. One of the best ways to keep our center of mass moving smoothly over bumpy terrain is through the use of vertical separation. Let your ankles, knees and hips do all the flexing allowing your upper body to remain unharassed by all the bumps and undulations in the snow surface. That strong core also helps a skier isolate lateral angulation just below at the hips and knees while keeping the upper body more upright. Slightly turning your upper torso to remain facing downhill while you “rotate your femurs” back and forth is the rotary separation. Like Vindibona1, I have never heard of “femur tipping” as a perspective on tipping and think it may have been said in certain context with the verbiage shared between you and the instructor that won’t translate externally.

 

There is a lot more that can be written about vertical, angular and rotary separation "from" the upper body. They are 3 different movements patterns that are performed in concert with each other and will allow for the potential of movement sophistication that you desire but have yet to reach. You are young and athletic and do not need to overload your mind with too much of the technical stuff and may do better to simply drill movements into your synapses by following a custom and progressive series of drill sets that will teach these moves along with other fundamentals of advanced ski technique to your body along with the balance and control that they will both challenge and strengthen. All drill explanations, correctional cues to look for and demonstrations can be found online, mostly YouTube. Finding out what you need to improve and formulating a plan is the easy part. Following through independently with this process, however, has proven to be a far less reachable goal for many that start out with such intentions.

 

Three other development goals I might have to suggest would be work on turn rhythm, stance and pole plant. While our ability to maintain rhythm in our turns is much more challenging in the terrain like in the video, I feel you left on the table a lot of opportunities for creating and maintaining rhythm in every clip. Learning to always ski with a steady rhythm and only changing it to another steady beat or for an upcoming terrain feature when you choose will greatly enhance your power, control and flow. You often start skiing with a good fore/aft stance but often lose it until you stop & start again. And, of course, a discussion regarding rhythm and stance without touching on the pole plant would be remiss. Regardless of whether or how one plans to use it in the future, learning a strong conventional pole plant along the way in unison with the above suggested areas of development will not only improve your rhythm, balance and stance, but will also assist in the coordination and integration of your angular, rotary and vertical separation skills. The concept of skiing from the feet up will greatly assist with the the understanding of the sequential coordination of these and many other movements.

 

Of the vertical, rotary and angular separation as well as the rhythm, stance and pole plant, you have some attributes. However, as is for most self-learners, they are skills that may have not been adequately developed in concert with each other, the result of which is that they also do not perform well in concert (timing) with each other. In light of this, especially due to the mutual interdependence of these skills, it is strongly recommended that they all be learned concurrently at similarly increasing levels. After some accomplishment in these areas, you will never again have to say to anyone that you are a very good skier because your skis will be screaming it for you.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

ok so if we were in a lesson out on the mountain, what would you have me starting with?

 

Drills?  A thought/idea to focus on?

 

I'd like to be able to take something out with me on the mountain next week when I go

 

Thanks guys!!

post #9 of 11

Well, there are a lot of good ideas in this thread and probably a relevant drill behind each and every one. I would start with simple drills like the hop turn which is a drill that will provide a accurate and instantaneous self-evaluation of your stance and fore/aft balance. The cue to look for in evaluating both the balance and control is a ski that comes off the snow at the same height tip through tail. Further modifications are tips up only and tails up only as well as quicker reps, making the full 180 degrees of ski rotation, higher amplitudes, steeper slope, etc., etc. Many drills come in sets of progressively modified difficulty levels to advance to as soon as they are mastered at lower amplitudes and on easy terrain.

 

I like to categorize drills into the fundamental skills of edging (slips), pressure control (dolphin turn), extension/flexion (pump turns), angulation/inclination (schlopy), rotary (pole drills). A basic fundamental relevant to every drill and every skill is "balance". Balance, balance ... balance. Anything that challenges your balance on skis is guaranteed to improve your skiing. Rhythm and timing are also specific skills with specific drills. Good drills also teach the blending of skills and movement patterns as well as to address the orientation of co-occurring, neighboring and over lapping movement patterns. I know ... bla bla

 

The two most valuable assets to the self learner are drills and movement analysis. Not only is there an almost endless quantity of visual and intellectual resources available online, due to recent advances in the sport, the information that is available is also of much higher value. With a little focus and a helpful birthdate, it is all there for the taking from day one like never before.

 

The most significant responsibility of the self-learner is to provide oneself a realistic self evaluation. How one arrives to this assessment needs to be predicated along the lines of more widely held and up to date coaching and instructional concepts and best measured in progress rather than a demonstrated ability level. The more that one’s self evaluation is aligned with movement analysis from good external sources, the more the likelihood exists that one is on target.

 

Here is a great example/sample/demonstration video of drills in general, what they look like and how they progress.

 

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcl116 View Post
 

 

Yes I understand I'm not very good compared to what else is out there, but I think for the limited amount of time I get out there and the terrain I'm able to ski fairly aggressively, I'm doing well.  As I said, I'm looking to improve my technique to continue overall improvement.  Either way, I've removed that line from my OP as I do not want to come across the wrong way.  Just here to hopefully learn and get better!

 

What movements with my upper body and hips would you like to see me remove from my technique?

 

What movements with my feet would you suggest I concentrate on using?

Firstly my apologies if I came across a bit harsh, that was not my intention.

I would like to see the excessive rotation towards where you are going disappear. Above the fall line, your upper body is closed compared to your ski's. Below the fall line, your upper body is open compared to where your ski's are pointing. What you are doing below the fall line already is what you should be doing above the fall line as well. Try skiing with some above the fall line excessive counter for like a day or two, that should give you a feel what your hips and upper body should be doing. Furthermore really try to move your weight to the new outside ski earlier. Try to do some one legged outside ski turns, with the inside ski lifted from start to finish. They're called Javelin turns.
Also, try to ski with more above the fall line shin pressure, by pulling your feet back under your body. Do this from the hamstrings.

Basically, your problems mainly consist of above the fall line issues. Below the fall line your are doing pretty okay.


I would like to see tipping movements from the ankles, try to actively move your foot from BTE to LTE and LTE to BTE. And I would like to see you closing the ankles earlier. Try to start closing the ankles above the fall line already, by pulling the feet back like I said earlier. You can also try to activate the tibia.

post #11 of 11

Tip the femur?  What does that  mean to you?  How do you do it?  Why give such a mystical instruction?  Close the ankle?  What???  If the intention is to move the body's center of mass forward over the skis, then just pull your feet back.

 

You do a lot right.  As shown in a flash at 3:03, you're well balanced over your skis.  There are a few things:

--tell your camera operator to keep his mouth shut.

--Counter.  Rotate your body to the outside of your turn.  Counter early, and hold it all the way through the turn.  This increases the angle your skis make in the snow.  Visualize an airplane banking in a turn in the sky.  Visualize your skis on edge banking in a turn in the snow.  That's it!

--Pole plants, the way you do them, hurt your skiing.  Make the pole tap directly down the fall line from your outside heel.  Just a tap, don't swing your arm, just a twitch of the wrist.  Some of your pole plants look like they take place after you start to turn.  Wrong.  The pole plant is the beginning of the turn.  Tap, then turn.

 

I ski powder differently from your way.  I tilt my feet so they bank in the snow and turn me, my body angulating and countering over the skis.  To release from that turn, I just relax both legs, the skis flatten & rise, then I pole tap & tip skis the other way and allow the legs to extend.  Easy, almost effortless, wonderful.

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