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How to ski ungroomed terrain?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I was getting bored with snowboarding and picked up skiing recently. I do not care about having great technique, I just want to have fun and not make my friends who have been skiing for 20 years wait for me all day. I'm now able to keep up well enough on all groomed runs but am left behind on ungroomed ones.

 

One friend suggested I start jumping my turns and wow did I have so much fun in the ungroomed bumps. I only had time for a couple ungroomed blue runs after the tip but I felt so reinvigorated even though I was tiring faster. I would go off the side of one bump, do a little turn in the air, and land going in the other direction. Another friend told me I should not be jumping my turns and that I should absorb any bumps and my skis should not leave the ground. Who is right?

post #2 of 17

Jumping is a workaround and it won't get you further in your technique, unless we're talking about real steeps, where things change dramatically. Keeping the skis light in transition is one thing, holding them up in the air is another.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Now that I think about it, the friend that told me to jump turn mentioned it right after watching me try a double black for the first time which makes sense with your steepness comment. Letting myself get slightly airborne has been so fun though I don't want to stop. But if there's a better way to ski through the ungroomed stuff I'm willing to give it a try.

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by juswannahavefun View Post
 

Who is right?

Example 1:

 

 

Example 2:

 

 

Hamming it up for the camera in example 1, but IME frog-hopping around in the bumps is hard on the body, and not good technique. Example 2 embarrasses me less to admit is a younger version of me.

post #5 of 17

"Avlement" and "replement".... Anyone remember these terms?  :D  Extra points if you can recall the author and publication who made them famous in the ski world. :ski

post #6 of 17

Availment: In the law (physics) of civil procedure (technique), an intentional act (movement) by one party (school of procedure) directed into a particular state (of dominance), thereby permitting that state to constitutionally assert (stomping it) personal jurisdiction (your skis) over that party (any way one sees fit).

 

:)

post #7 of 17

Avalement, from french meaning "to swallow" and is done "actively" as you pull your feet up to absorb terrain.

Reploiment. Not sure the origin of this word but it is the same movement pattern done passively (feet pushed up by the terrain)

Un-employment. What happens when a ski instructor uses these terms with a guest and the guest's eyes glaze over..:ROTF

 

Primary publication that made these two terms "known" is Georges Joubert's book "Skiing, an art a technique" first published in the US in 1978.

 

The terminology however is also in several of his earlier books. "SKI, Teach yourself to ski" published in 1970 has references to the terms.

 

and I'm sure "How to ski the French way" published in 1967 also has the term.

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan View Post
 

Avalement, from french meaning "to swallow" and is done "actively" as you pull your feet up to absorb terrain.

Reploiment. Not sure the origin of this word but it is the same movement pattern done passively (feet pushed up by the terrain)

Un-employment. What happens when a ski instructor uses these terms with a guest and the guest's eyes glaze over..:ROTF

 

Primary publication that made these two terms "known" is Georges Joubert's book "Skiing, an art a technique" first published in the US in 1978.

 

The terminology however is also in several of his earlier books. "SKI, Teach yourself to ski" published in 1970 has references to the terms.

 

and I'm sure "How to ski the French way" published in 1967 also has the term.

Replement- To fold  

Thanks for the spelling correction on avalement. I was doing it from memory (which I guess proves I don't have Alzheimers yet).  How'd a young dude like you know about Joubert?  

 

Quote:
 Un-employment. What happens when a ski instructor uses these terms with a guest and the guest's eyes glaze over.

 

If you can't dazzle 'em with your footwork, baffle 'em with your bullspit.  That would probably describe me as a L2.  I could cite chapter and verse of just about anything, but my actual practical knowledge... I didn't have a clue.  I just regurgitated everything that was fed to me. 

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
 

Replement- To fold  

Thanks for the spelling correction on avalement. I was doing it from memory (which I guess proves I don't have Alzheimers yet).  How'd a young dude like you know about Joubert?  

 

 

If you can't dazzle 'em with your footwork, baffle 'em with your bullspit.  That would probably describe me as a L2.  I could cite chapter and verse of just about anything, but my actual practical knowledge... I didn't have a clue.  I just regurgitated everything that was fed to me. 

You think I'm young? :yahoo:

 

heh. maybe not as old as some of you (I have no idea on your age) but I'm no spring chicken.. started skiing in 1964. so YES an older person/part timer can pass the L3 ski and I was the oldest in our group.

 

And thanks for the wordsmithing.. I was wondering about that and didn't recall it being in the book. I'll have to dig it out again.

post #10 of 17

Great explanations! I'd heard replement and avalement before but not in this context. My mantra in uneven crud is "soft legs, firm core".

post #11 of 17

So now that my eyes glazed over from old French terms, back to brass tacks. 

 

Jumping a turn is one tactic to use in ungroomed terrain. However, it is only one, and should be used judiciously. 

 

The thing about ungroomed terrain is that it is infinitely varied. The snow will present you with all sorts of different shapes, textures, speeds, obstacles etc. To conquer that, a skier needs to work on mastering as many different techniques and tactics in order to deal with and master the many different features an ungroomed slope presents. Skiing on groomers is different because it presents you with a pretty consistent surface, which means you can use the same technique pretty uniformly. 

 

I think of my skills as tools. The more tools I have in my toolbox, the better I'm able to work on the snow. A groomed slope is like a field of nails. You can just get out your hammer, and have at it. An ungroomed slope is a jumble of nails, screws, nuts, bolts, uneven 2x4's, bits of PVC pipe, etc etc. For that, you're going to need your hammer, a flathead screwdriver, and Phillips screwdriver, a drill, a ripsaw, a hacksaw, a bunch of crescent wrenches, etc etc. 

 

Jump turns are one tactic. So is a rounded turn. As is a pivot slip. A retraction turn is an excellent tool. Sometimes a traverse is called for... The options are limitless. The more you learn, the better you'll do. 

post #12 of 17
You mean one should have a tool box of turn types? How will we ever have enough to argue about for page after page convincing the one we use is the best? smile.gif
post #13 of 17

I always think it's a little funny when people say they don't care about having good technique but want to get better/ski more challenging terrain. Jumping a terrain is occasionally necessary especially if you lose your rhythm in the bumps but as others have said it shouldn't be your primary movement. You should be absorbing the transitions as you go over the bumps and extending as you drop into the valleys between them. The goal should be to keep your skis on the snow the whole time. When your skis aren't on the snow you have no control.   

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post
 

I always think it's a little funny when people say they don't care about having good technique but want to get better/ski more challenging terrain. 

I also find this somewhat amusing. I think many people are under the impression that "technique" means "looking good". They don't realize that skiing is an entirely functional endeavor, and any beauty in good technique is just incidental. We learn better technique to ski more difficult terrain more in control. If arms flailing, sitting in the back seat and tail pushing our way down the hill was the most effective way to ski, we'd do it that way, looks be damned. But smooth, fluid, efficient motions just happen to be the most effective way to ski most terrain, so that's what "good technique" is, and it just so happens to be aesthetically pleasing. 

post #15 of 17

Motion becomes poetic only after the technical dominance of the forces of nature are achieved. When the forces of nature remain the dominant factor, the only poetry achieved is that of the poetic justice of gravity.

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by juswannahavefun View Post
 

I was getting bored with snowboarding and picked up skiing recently. I do not care about having great technique, I just want to have fun and not make my friends who have been skiing for 20 years wait for me all day. I'm now able to keep up well enough on all groomed runs but am left behind on ungroomed ones.

 

One friend suggested I start jumping my turns and wow did I have so much fun in the ungroomed bumps. I only had time for a couple ungroomed blue runs after the tip but I felt so reinvigorated even though I was tiring faster. I would go off the side of one bump, do a little turn in the air, and land going in the other direction. Another friend told me I should not be jumping my turns and that I should absorb any bumps and my skis should not leave the ground. Who is right?

 

There is no rule saying you cannot jump your turns and that the skis should stay on the snow all the time. There are different techniques but in your case its a matter of getting the job done.

post #17 of 17

In order to hop, you must be in balance (you can't effectively hop from an out-of-balance position, as MT Skull's first video demonstrates). So hopping is a great tactic to give you the feeling of starting your turn balanced. For you, I'm going to guess that hopping helped you to find a centered place and avoid tipping your upper body into the turn. 

 

The problem is that you can't hop your way down the hill all day because it's freaking exhausting. And if you just go back to your regular turns, you'll be out of balance again. What you need to do is find a way to blend your hopping balance back into your regular turns. 

 

Since hopping has shown to improve your balance, I'm going to suggest you do a few things: 

 

First, go back to the groomers and start working on tiny hops through the transition as you tip onto your new edges. If you can hop through the transition, you're balancing on the new outside ski early without tipping your upper body into the turn. 

 

Second, carry these new movements into the bumps. Keep doing the micro hops, and eventually drop the hopping but keep the feeling of early balance on the outside ski.

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