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MA crud please

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi, this was taken at Snowbasin recently, not sure if its considered crud or slush or mash potatoes, but it definitely was not firm and was pretty consistent.


My goals:


1. Smooth round turns with good speed control

2. Less backseat

3. Better upper/lower body separation

4. More edge angle

5. More upright posture




I'll include last years MA if you have time to compare. Thanks so much for your help. You all have really helped me in the past and I sincerely appreciate it.

post #2 of 5



Thanks for sharing with us again. How did those lessons in Mammoth work out?


In the last thread I said it was going to be tough to improve without changing some fundamentals. Congratulations, you've improved without changing the fundamentals. You've taken some of the extreme movements, lessened them and still managed round turns and good rhythm,

But I still see mostly the same stuff I saw last year,


Let's start with the end of a left turn/start of a right turn

There's fairly good counter (as evidenced by tip lead and hips and shoulders pointed to the inside of the next turn). The problem here is that you skidded a bit just prior to this frame. When the edges did engage and carve a bit to create this counter (which is what we want) you had to make that happen by bracing against the outside leg (which is also what we want). But this is happening too late in the turn. Here you're reaching for a pole touch, but your hips are still wayyy inside of the old turn. We want to have the pole touch cue (think pull) movement of the hips across the skis.


Instead, the pole touch is pulling the upper body across the skis. Notice the beginning of a wedge and how much taller you are from the previous frame even with the head tilting down hill.

Here you're fully extended and the wedge is full formed. It's a nice balanced position and this technique works. You're on the downhill edge of the new outside ski above the fall line and you're balanced against it. But the inside ski is not on the downhill edge yet. You can't get it there with the hips uphill of that ski. The only ways to get in on the new edge from here are either to pick it up or keep leaning in.


Well, we just answered that question.


My good friend Tony Knows how to ski (Toes, knees and nose in vertical alignment). Let's just say you've done a great job of staying out of the back seat. Knees and nose are way ahead of the toes. But there's a price to pay.


Oomph! Good absorption. But the hips have bent more than the knees and ankles (we want to see the line from the feet to the knees parallel to the line from the waist to the shoulders). Remember what I said about folding last time? At this level of skiing and this point in the turn, we want to see your right leg starting to get longer and the left leg starting to get shorter. Your left leg is already short and you're balancing against it. It's hard to release the pressure on that leg from this position to let the hips flow to the inside of the next turn.


So you have to start extending up again. Here the toes, knees and nose are in alignment. But not for long. The cycle is about to repeat itself. 


Still, I'd say that compared to last year you have achieved all of your goals.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much TheRusty! As usual, you have given me great enlightenment and I love how you use the still-frames to illustrate your point. Unfortunately my lesson at Mammoth was not very helpful. It was mostly a tour of the mountain with only one other pupil and his take home message was "keep your core engaged" which I think helped in the bumps but not really the kind of advice that will deconstruct and reconstruct my turns. The instructor would ski in front of us and we would follow... for the whole run so he didn't watch us ski much. But it was a nice tour.


OK, so what I think you are telling me is to start earlier. ie. get on my new edges earlier, get my hips inside the new turn earlier and in turn this would get my skis further lateral to my COM and lead to longer outside leg/shorter inside leg? I have a suspicion I may have to take a few falls at first until I get the feeling of this.


And I definitely remember you telling me not to bend over at the waist so much and while I think there has been some improvement in that area I still have a ways to go. I will keep working. Thanks again very much

post #4 of 5

It's not that simple. One way to think of a simple version is that the hips have to make shorter/shallower turns than than the feet. If you compare the tracks in the snow made by the skis to a line corresponding to the path of the hips over the snow, the "hip" line has to cross over the skis. For round turns, this should happen at the beginning of a turn when the skis are flat on the snow (think 12 and 6 o'clock on a clock face. Then at 3:00 and 9:00 the "hip" line is farthest away from the ski tracks because the feet are extended out the longest (that "long leg" thing). That's the simple version. In order to get that to happen, a lot of things have to happen with the ankles, knees, hips and hands/shoulders and they all have to happen in harmony. That's why I mentioned a bunch of drills to do in the last post.


You'll find it hard to just stop bending at the waist too much. You've done a great job reducing the amount of excess bend. But you're doing the excess bend for a reason and until that reason goes away you'll never get rid of all the excess bend. The short version of the reason is that the bulk of your turns are happening "late" on the clock face. To get the skis on the new edges earlier (i.e. earlier on the clock face) you have to break through the catch 22 of the turn finishes messing up the turns starts messing up the turn finishes. There are a lot of new movements you need to learn. That's why I mentioned a bunch of drills to do in the last post.


:) Seeing a theme yet? I've taught a lot of lessons where my students have told me "My last instructor was saying the same thing." Sometimes we need to repeat our message in order to get it understood. Sometimes we need to say it slightly differently. For most people this stuff isn't easy. It takes a lot of work for most people. Having a good coach can help speed the process. Taking a group lesson is a crap shoot on whether or not you'll get a good coach.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

OK got it. Ill work on the drills more and I think I understand the concepts of which you speak. Thanks again. If I am ever in Deer Valley I would be lucky to have you for a full day private. U da MAN!!!

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