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Book on Soft Skiing by Lito T-F [From "Is off-piste skiing hard on knees?']

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Mod note: the following posts were move from a Fitness thread about knees.

http://www.epicski.com/t/147504/is-off-piste-skiing-hard-on-knees

 

* * *

 

 Hi @fosphenytoin, sounds like you’ll have a great time in Val-d'Isère this coming season.

 

From your previous posts, you appear to be the thinker type when it comes to skiing so I believe you can probably start the preseason preparation for off piste skiing starting with the head. A good read - Soft Skiing: The Secrets of Effortless, Low-Impact Skiing for Older Skiers by Lito Tejada-Flores. The aim of the book is to shift your primary perspective of skiing from one based upon athleticism, physicality and endurance to one based on technique, tactic and sustainability. Much more do-able and enjoyable for us non athletic types. 

post #2 of 14
Ordered on the Bay for $4. Free shipping.
Thanks KG
post #3 of 14
I could probably use that book as well. That said, at age 54 I love off-piste and moguls. Now, I did have about 20 years of not skiing very much, so that may have saved my knees from the harmful effects of skiing with bad technique. OTOH I have years of experience with Tai Chi and other martial arts so I knew how to keep my knees in a structurally strong and safe position when I started skiing again.

When I returned to skiing regularly, after a year or so I started instructing and with better technique has come more efficiency and less stress and impact on my knees. The more you take lessons, on- or off-piste, and the more you integrate the lessons into your physical movement patterns, the less impact you should feel on your knees.

Also, start slow, meaning when you're not in an off-piste class, start skiing maybe 10-20% of your time off-piste and when that feels comfortable and fun, go to 30%, when that feels comfortable and fun go to 40%, when that feels comfortable and fun go to 50%. At that point, you are probably skiing wherever you want without regard to whether it's on-piste or off-piste and have to freedom to improvise each run, all the time.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
 

That is a highly contextual question. Skiing nice powder or "cream cheese" or corn on wide reverse/reverse skis is about as easy on my knees as it gets. Skiing ice, sastrugi, frozen sunups, etc. is the opposite. Especially if you are trying to get a really fat ski on edge. Or dealing with hooky tight radius skis under those conditions. 

 

So I'm not sure there is a single answer to the question.

 

Also, Tejeda-Flores' book(s) reflects a particular school of thought that is particularly at home with a particular ski design point. I am not especially a fan. YMMV

Please expound on that information. I hope I did not waste $4! On the other hand I am sure I will find some great tips. 

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post
 

Please expound on that information. I hope I did not waste $4! On the other hand I am sure I will find some great tips. 


I suspect you can find discussions here and on other sites regarding the particular school of thought in the book. It is very much a "one-footed" skiing style developed in the original sidecut carver days. I doubt it is "wasted" - but I'd not take everything in there as the last word. Not by any means.  I'd be curious about what current instructors here have to say.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post
 

Please expound on that information. I hope I did not waste $4! On the other hand I am sure I will find some great tips. 

 

@Levy1, I look at things this way, If I get one good tip (idea, lead) from each self help book I read. I'll be much farther ahead at the end of twenty books.

 

$4 for a single good tip, a steal if you ask me. .       

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 

 Hi @fosphenytoin, sounds like you’ll have a great time in Val-d'Isère this coming season.

 

From your previous posts, you appear to be the thinker type when it comes to skiing so I believe you can probably start the preseason preparation for off piste skiing starting with the head. A good read - Soft Skiing: The Secrets of Effortless, Low-Impact Skiing for Older Skiers by Lito Tejada-Flores. The aim of the book is to shift your primary perspective of skiing from one based upon athleticism, physicality and endurance to one based on technique, tactic and sustainability. Much more do-able and enjoyable for us non athletic types. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post
 

Please expound on that information. I hope I did not waste $4! On the other hand I am sure I will find some great tips. 

 

@Levy1, I look at things this way, If I get one good tip (idea, lead) from each self help book I read. I'll be much farther ahead at the end of twenty books.

 

$4 for a single good tip, a steal if you ask me. .       

I found Soft Skiing very useful as well when I started going beyond the intermediate level.  That's unusual for me because as a visual learner, I don't get that much out of reading about technique.  But had the advantage over the OP in that I learned to ski on straight skis long ago.  Doing the basic drills Lito recommended definitely helped me discover how easy it is to get a ski to start a turn.  The idea is to learn about how skis react on greens, then continuing exploring on blues.  Blacks are not the place to build fundamentals.

 

In any case, the question here was more about fitness than technique.  Plus the OP lives in the flatlands.  So the concept of going off-piste only applies when she is on a ski trip away from home.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by marznc View Post

 

I found Soft Skiing very useful as well when I started going beyond the intermediate level.  That's unusual for me because as a visual learner, I don't get that much out of reading about technique.  But had the advantage over the OP in that I learned to ski on straight skis long ago.  Doing the basic drills Lito recommended definitely helped me discover how easy it is to get a ski to start a turn.  The idea is to learn about how skis react on greens, then continuing exploring on blues.  Blacks are not the place to build fundamentals.

 

In any case, the question here was more about fitness than technique.  Plus the OP lives in the flatlands.  So the concept of going off-piste only applies when she is on a ski trip away from home.

 

The book offers an alternate view of skiing. Rather than just athleticism and physicality. Improvement in technique and timing can reduce the levels of athleticism and physicality required.

 

Agree groomer is where good skiing begins.

 

Fitness is a good thing. Specifically balance work. Balance is essential to cope with the 3D snow/terrain.

Biking while standing up will strengthen the small muscles around the ankles and knees which will aid better balance.       

 

The ability to absorb and conform to the 3D snow/terrain is even more important than strength. Training routines to develop softer legs (absorption) and upper/lower body separation will help in that respect. 

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingGrump View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

I found Soft Skiing very useful as well when I started going beyond the intermediate level.  That's unusual for me because as a visual learner, I don't get that much out of reading about technique.  But had the advantage over the OP in that I learned to ski on straight skis long ago.  Doing the basic drills Lito recommended definitely helped me discover how easy it is to get a ski to start a turn.  The idea is to learn about how skis react on greens, then continuing exploring on blues.  Blacks are not the place to build fundamentals.

In any case, the question here was more about fitness than technique.  Plus the OP lives in the flatlands.  So the concept of going off-piste only applies when she is on a ski trip away from home.

The book offers an alternate view of skiing. Rather than just athleticism and physicality. Improvement in technique and timing can reduce the levels of athleticism and physicality required.

Agree groomer is where good skiing begins.

Fitness is a good thing. Specifically balance work. Balance is essential to cope with the 3D snow/terrain.
Biking while standing up will strengthen the small muscles around the ankles and knees which will aid better balance.       

The ability to absorb and conform to the 3D snow/terrain is even more important than strength. Training routines to develop softer legs (absorption) and upper/lower body separation will help in that respect. 

Great post and thanks for the standing up tip.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post

Please expound on that information. I hope I did not waste $4! On the other hand I am sure I will find some great tips. 

@Levy1. I read his book breakthrough on new skis and found it very good. I am sure you didn't waste money.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohioskier View Post

@Levy1. I read his book breakthrough on new skis and found it very good. I am sure you didn't waste money.

The reviews on Amazon say the Soft Skiing book is just a rehash of the Breakthrough book and owning both is just duplication?
post #12 of 14

Soft Skiing is shorter.   He's targeting older skiers in it.  He talks about making skiing easy on the body.

There's nothing in it that isn't well-explained in the Breakthrough book, as far as I can tell.  You could call it an abbreviated version.

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGolfAnalogy View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohioskier View Post

@Levy1. I read his book breakthrough on new skis and found it very good. I am sure you didn't waste money.

The reviews on Amazon say the Soft Skiing book is just a rehash of the Breakthrough book and owning both is just duplication?


I found Soft Skiing a much easier read, especially for someone like me who doesn't really get that much out of written descriptions of how to ski.  Lito wrote it long after Breakthrough.  He was old enough and had enough enough injuries so that his viewpoint is a bit different.  Starts with the story of how he ended up teaching skiing in Switzerland when he had never skied before.  In comparison, I can't read more than one chapter of Breakthrough without going into information overload.  Works better for me as a reference to try and understand what my instructors say.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Read the book long ago and don’t really remember the content of the book. Definitely did not try any of the tips given inside. The only part of the book still sticks to my head to this day is two words from the title – “Soft Skiing.” To me, those two words conjured up some rather powerful imageries in my mind. Those two words fundamentally changed my approach to skiing and still the core principle of my skiing to this day.

 

$16.95 for two words. That’s $8.50 + tax per word. Mmmmm, I would say I got a good deal.

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