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Flat Spin technique

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Any advice on how to do a flat spin? I can easily go to faky and I can ski that way pretty well including turning but I can't seem to go back forward smoothly without almost stopping. I've been told to lean back and intiate the turn but the edges seem to always grab. Any advice is welcomed.
post #2 of 24
practice surface 360's over and over, see how many you can get while maintaining a forward (downhill) movement. Big trick is to keep the skis flat (which will allow them to slide sideways (hense the surface spin). Another thing to keep in mind it to lead with your head, always look where you want your body to go, this can make it easier to maintain surface spinning. Once you are comfortable with that, practice going the other direction (spin direction) and beyond that you can try surface spinning while maintaining a switch movement. While all these work for surface spinning, I think you are actually looking for a way to "cheat" the surface spin. In a switch stance, you should be looking over your shoulder, lean onto the tails of the skis and get a little pop, once you get that pop, just let your feet come around (just barely off the snow), remember a switch 180 is actually easier than a 180 (natural body movements), but they tend to be more intimidating.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks, The intiation is where I think I'm getting messed up. I am not sure how to keep the skis flat but get them to start to move around. When you say to lead with the head, do you mean to turn the head and torso?
post #4 of 24
Lets see---hmm. ailerons full on one direction, rudder full on the opposite, full up elevator, no no wait, start again.

Full up elevator slow to stall speed, once you stall, now full aileron one direction and rudder the other.

Mix in a dose of really bad luck and there you go.

I almost forgot, wear clean undies and make sure your chute is packed properly.

Oh! were we talking skiing?


Nevermind!
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
You forgot to throttle up on the stall and get your nose up unless you go into a flat-spin then you can either push the stick forward if you have teh altitude and hope to go in to dive and then recover or kiss your ass good bye!
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron
You forgot to throttle up on the stall
I knew I forgot something!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron
push the stick forward if you have teh altitude and hope to go in to dive and then recover or kiss your ass good bye
Hence the clean undies advice!

back to skiing now!
post #7 of 24
your head will lead your torso. Think about looking over your shoulder as you ski switch, your shoulders will be slightly turned (not square with the hips). You can actually feel how your body works as a coil, so all you need to do is let it uncoil and keep your edges out of the snow (switch to regular). You can cheat it a little by leaning back (which is forward if skiing switch), which will take some of the pressure off the tips, creating more of a focal point of pressure which you can use as an axis for the rotation (plus getting the tips in the air a little can help prevent catching the edges in any inconsistencies in the snow).

Now in terms of getting the spin started when the skis are flat, how do you accomplish it going from regular to switch? Its the same move, only kinda reversed. It is kinda difficult to explain, esecially not seeing how you go from regular to switch. But a great practice is based on the same ideas as a pivot slip. However, unlike a pivot slip, point your skis down hill, and turn them side to side (tryingto keep the skis flat). Start out only moving your skis to perpedicular to the fall line. Once you get more comfortable, start going beyond that until you are basically doing 180's over and over again (these can somewhat look like a falling leaf type of movement if you are doing 180's in both directions).

Hopefully I explained this fairly clearly as I haven't really had to write it down before.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Yes, I think you made good sense. It's difficult to explain but I think I understand, now then, where's the snow?.... and clean undies....
post #9 of 24
Can you do pivot slips? In both directions?
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
No, well, not sure what are they? Do have to have a IRF rating?
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron
No, well, not sure what are they? Do have to have a IRF rating?
Oh my, now look what I've done! I believe they are VFR only, unless you have GPS---but don't rely on the speed reported or altitude or the position: .

Seriously, pivot slips have been discussed here at length. They are an edge control drill. Basically you want to pivot your skis 180 degrees while slipping down the fall line in a corridor about as wide as your ski is long. While you never end up backwards, you do have to control the flatness of the ski throughout the drill in order to remain in a straight line. If you can do these reasonably well in both directions, that may help get past your hurdle.
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
OK, I'll set the flaps to 5 degrees,,, The pivots, yes, I have done these in the past and can do them easily in both directions. I appreciate the help and clarification. I need to work on the transtion after the turn begins, when the skis begin to turn about 45 degrees, I think I am trying to edge then rather than using my body momentum as Manus explained, I should probably not try to edge at all at anytime through the transition. I need snow dammit!
post #13 of 24
Hi Ron,

When I read the title, I thought someone on this forum wanted to know how to do the halfpipe trick (how ambitious - see photo)! Silly me!



Anyway, I've found that staggering the feet just prior to flipping around makes it smoother. i.e. if I want to switch back clockwise, I look over my right shoulder, with my shoulders, hips, and feet "opened" to the right side (although still travelling straight). There doesn't seem to much need to lean forward or back to get it to spin smoothly.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks, This is something I should be able to do but just can't do smoothly. I will take all of your suggestions and as soon as I can get some snow...... Hey Warren, I would actually love to do some pipe tricks! I Just started skiing too late, I'm 40 now and started at 29. Too much going on to risk a broken bone or other. I just had back surgery and have 4 other surgeries on other injuries in the past 12 years! I would love to do a rail slide!!!!!!
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by warren
Hi Ron,

When I read the title, I thought someone on this forum wanted to know how to do the halfpipe trick (how ambitious - see photo)! Silly me!
Don't feel bad. I thought the same thing.

I was all excited.
post #16 of 24
Hi Ron, I guess I'll add my $.02 worth. On snow 360's are something I teach all the time, I mean alot.

First you say you are catching your edge. This means you are moving your hips and/or torso lateraly to some degree. Pick some flat terrain and stand very tall, almost like a soldier at attention when you go to rotate back around down the hill, then let the pressure go to your heels by feeling for the back of your boots at first. This will dig in your tails(as already been mentioned) and then is the time to slowly start your head pivoting around looking for the run below you. Pivot the neck from the neck though and try to keep your torso solid by squezing your butt.

Doing smooth 180's or 360's is all about the pressure under your feet. My progression would go from falling leafs, which are side slips down the hill wit hforwars movement and backward movement. Dial in on the pressure under the feet, heel pressure backward, and toe pressure forward. Then on flat terrain still, say out loud to yourself, toe as you turn your tips up the hill quickly, and then say heel as you dig in your heels as you rotate on around down the hill.

It really is about the pressure under your feet, and as you get better at it you will be able to rip out a few really fast without even feeling like you are hardly moving anything. 360's reinforce a centered stance and fine edge control along with subtle adjustments of stance to create subtle pressure adjustments. keep everything moving in the direction of travel. More on the tips to get the skis to turn and turn up the hill and more on the tails to get them to turn back around facing down the hill.

Moveing out of alignment to either or leaning up the hill are the two common themes that keep people from executing smoothly. So stand tall feet close together at first and keep everything over your feet. Going to switch and out again is just a 360 with a long pause in the middle.

I really enjoy getting people to pull these off. It adds loads to their skiing confidence. Later, RicB.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much! first this, them maybe some park tricks
post #18 of 24


Hi Finndog.

I can see by reading your posts, that your in a similar situation to me. I'm 50, and a retired ski instructor. I've taught my 15 yr. old son since he was 1. He now goes 10 feet out of the pipe & wants to make the US Freeski Team. Unfortunately, Dad isn't getting 10 feet out of the pipe anymore, so I can't get him to the next level. (Actually, nobody was getting 10 feet out of the pipe when I was 15. Half pipes didn't really exist outside of the backcountry until the 90's anyway.) The number of available halfpipe coaches in the Tahoe area who can teach and ski at that level has shrunk to only a few. Most of the rest have left in the last 5 years for "whiter" pastures. Poor snow conditions and a penny pinching attitude by the Tahoe area ski corporations have left our top halfpipe riders nowhere to train and without adequate coaching. The few halfpipe coaches that remain in the Far West are tied to one particular mountain, & that mountain doesn't even have a halfpipe usually. This, combined with the company's need to bring in the money, has left our teenagers standing there watching the top coach teach a dozen little kids how to do a 360 off a little jump instead of being taught safely how to do a 1080 off a big jump. As a retired ski instructor, I know exactly what my son needs. Private/semi-private halfpipe coaching at the Olympic level, & a move to the land of halfpipes. (Summit County) I've already secured passes for next season at Copper & Vail resorts. Now I just need to secure coaching and housing. Do you know of any halfpipe coaches available next season who can teach at the top level, & are flexible enough to teach where the comps are going to be? We've already been through a lot of intermediate coaches. We need a coach that can get our teenagers to the US Ski Team level who isn't already teaching the US. Rookie Team. I have 1 or 2 other Tahoe/Mammoth halfpipe riders of similar skill to my son interested in sharing coaching expenses. Please help me get in contact with Summit County's Top Guns of halfpipe coaching.

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeleBruce View Post
 


Hi Finndog.

I can see by reading your posts, that your in a similar situation to me. I'm 50, and a retired ski instructor. I've taught my 15 yr. old son since he was 1. He now goes 10 feet out of the pipe & wants to make the US Freeski Team. Unfortunately, Dad isn't getting 10 feet out of the pipe anymore, so I can't get him to the next level. (Actually, nobody was getting 10 feet out of the pipe when I was 15. Half pipes didn't really exist outside of the backcountry until the 90's anyway.) The number of available halfpipe coaches in the Tahoe area who can teach and ski at that level has shrunk to only a few. Most of the rest have left in the last 5 years for "whiter" pastures. Poor snow conditions and a penny pinching attitude by the Tahoe area ski corporations have left our top halfpipe riders nowhere to train and without adequate coaching. The few halfpipe coaches that remain in the Far West are tied to one particular mountain, & that mountain doesn't even have a halfpipe usually. This, combined with the company's need to bring in the money, has left our teenagers standing there watching the top coach teach a dozen little kids how to do a 360 off a little jump instead of being taught safely how to do a 1080 off a big jump. As a retired ski instructor, I know exactly what my son needs. Private/semi-private halfpipe coaching at the Olympic level, & a move to the land of halfpipes. (Summit County) I've already secured passes for next season at Copper & Vail resorts. Now I just need to secure coaching and housing. Do you know of any halfpipe coaches available next season who can teach at the top level, & are flexible enough to teach where the comps are going to be? We've already been through a lot of intermediate coaches. We need a coach that can get our teenagers to the US Ski Team level who isn't already teaching the US. Rookie Team. I have 1 or 2 other Tahoe/Mammoth halfpipe riders of similar skill to my son interested in sharing coaching expenses. Please help me get in contact with Summit County's Top Guns of halfpipe coaching.

 

@TeleBruce just FYI, you responded to a 10+ year old thread. You might be better off posting your specific question about finding a half pipe coach in the general or instructors forum as a new thread.

post #20 of 24

I guess that means Finndog is 50 now, huh? Yikes! As soon as I get my 15 posts & integrity points, I will start a new thread. Until then, newbies aren't allowed to start new threads. Thanks for the help though. We're going to find many others in the same boat as me & Jasper when I finally do get to post.

post #21 of 24
Balance and edge feel man....

Finndog, 360 spins are one of my favourite drills at the beginning of every season and the first or second run of the day. Gets me set and reminds me of how I balance and how my skies edges feel.

IMHO there are two types of spins or spin initiations, the first being rotational transfer (ie upper body starts to spin and then drags lower body and skis along with it). Most skiers with less experience do this when coming out from the backwards direction and it feels some what jerky. The second is edge control which causes drag and causes the lower portion to initiated the rotation which is then transferred to the upper body, feels smooth. This usually is used when facing forward as most skiers face forward skiing (park skiers being the expection) in part because the front of the skis are slightly longer compared to the rear and weather vane so to speak (which also explains why turning from the back is also more difficult).

The best suggestion I can make is understanding the forward facing portion first and the motions you go through to get it to spin. Transfer this technique (feel) a little at a time to the backwards portion.

Now to make you feel better it is easier with modern shorter skis than the old straight long skis even if the modern skis are agressively race tuned. Even more so despite doing this drill for over 34 years I still have to work at it, but it is getting smoother each time out.

Also do them as 90 spins, spin 90 pause 90 pause 90 pause 90 pause change spin direction and repeat ( adds both difficulty and ease at the same time, while isolating the balance and feel required).

You find the more you do this skill the more instinctual your balance and edge feel will be which in turn allow you to do other things that will impress most other skiers as you have the BALANCE AND EDGE FEEL man! Sometimes the simple drills continue to teach no matter how good you are.

Just a little side note, I not a flower child, but in this instance the that phrase just seemed appropriate.

Cheers and hope this helps.
Edited by oldschoolskier - 4/26/15 at 7:03pm
post #22 of 24

Holy thread bump..this thread is over 10 years old. 

post #23 of 24

Oops, small screens and old eyes, missed date.  But a good topic none the less.

 

Cheers,

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeleBruce View Post
 


Hi Finndog.

I can see by reading your posts, that your in a similar situation to me. I'm 50, and a retired ski instructor. I've taught my 15 yr. old son since he was 1. He now goes 10 feet out of the pipe & wants to make the US Freeski Team. Unfortunately, Dad isn't getting 10 feet out of the pipe anymore, so I can't get him to the next level. (Actually, nobody was getting 10 feet out of the pipe when I was 15. Half pipes didn't really exist outside of the backcountry until the 90's anyway.) The number of available halfpipe coaches in the Tahoe area who can teach and ski at that level has shrunk to only a few. Most of the rest have left in the last 5 years for "whiter" pastures. Poor snow conditions and a penny pinching attitude by the Tahoe area ski corporations have left our top halfpipe riders nowhere to train and without adequate coaching. The few halfpipe coaches that remain in the Far West are tied to one particular mountain, & that mountain doesn't even have a halfpipe usually. This, combined with the company's need to bring in the money, has left our teenagers standing there watching the top coach teach a dozen little kids how to do a 360 off a little jump instead of being taught safely how to do a 1080 off a big jump. As a retired ski instructor, I know exactly what my son needs. Private/semi-private halfpipe coaching at the Olympic level, & a move to the land of halfpipes. (Summit County) I've already secured passes for next season at Copper & Vail resorts. Now I just need to secure coaching and housing. Do you know of any halfpipe coaches available next season who can teach at the top level, & are flexible enough to teach where the comps are going to be? We've already been through a lot of intermediate coaches. We need a coach that can get our teenagers to the US Ski Team level who isn't already teaching the US. Rookie Team. I have 1 or 2 other Tahoe/Mammoth halfpipe riders of similar skill to my son interested in sharing coaching expenses. Please help me get in contact with Summit County's Top Guns of halfpipe coaching.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeleBruce View Post
 

I guess that means Finndog is 50 now, huh? Yikes! As soon as I get my 15 posts & integrity points, I will start a new thread. Until then, newbies aren't allowed to start new threads. Thanks for the help though. We're going to find many others in the same boat as me & Jasper when I finally do get to post.


You can start a new thread in nearly all of the forum areas except Gear Swap and Passholder  Newbies are a good share of our thread starters.  (unless @TheRusty changed something in the system to combat the recent spam attacks) 

 

Good thread bump tho! 

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