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Where do I go from here?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
This post is a result of reading Mr. Bob Barnes numerous and enlightening responses on how to ski better. (Is this not what we all aspire to?)I consider myself an intermediate/advanced intermediate skiier who comfortly skiis all blues (East & West Coast) and most blacks (groomed). I have come to the realization I have been skiing "Wedge Christie" for much to long. (Boy, this hurts.)

I always use my downhill (outside) ski to power myself through a turn, unweight my inside ski and start the process all over again. I have taken several "advanced" lessons where I have been told "You have great weight shift" but, I am not happy with my lack of improvement. As you can probably surmise I also have difficulty controlling speed (aka; bury that downhill ski hard enough and you will stop!).

Any suggestions on where to go, or what to work on would be appreciated.


Signed, A Total In Control Carver Want-to-be.


PS: So many mountains, so little time.

Thanks,
Doug
post #2 of 22
Doug, why not join us for the ESA this year? What better than a group of like-minded folks playing on a huge mountain in Montana for a few days? Come and immerse yourself in skiing, learning, and camaraderie.

Frankly, I think multi-day (full-day) lessons are the real way to go. Even when doing my work at PSIA clinics, they were all mutli-day with the same coach and same group. C'mon! You know you want to! Think where you'd be if you don't!
post #3 of 22
Ski with my instructors......

2 are at Whistler... 1 is in Canada Race coaching (I think)..... 1 is training his +1 for staatliche & working in Austria......

let me know if you want names...
post #4 of 22
mr.HAZMAT
If you're looking for a more effective way to fine tune ski learning- get the vocabulary and the mental pictures from <youcanski.com> where you will see a more current ski vocab based on current race skis and technics. Physics Rules.
KNEE EDGEING MUST BE SUCEEDED BY HIP ANGULATION.
NEW SCHOOL IS ALSO MUCH MORE ABOUT TWO FOOTED SKIIING...

The second ingredient is equipment: Right skis - based on how often you ski (drop down a level or two to civilan models...full race is unforgiving... skier-cross are still hairy.
For eg: Atomic sx-9 , Elan m8 or m12, Head 160, Fischer RX 8. About 68 to 70 mm underfoot. If you ned to sketch a bit of skid-they wont make you fell trapped.
Short skis are fun when almost maxed out.

From 'you can ski'- "intermediates have trouble on ice not from dull edges but from lack of steep edge angles applied too late in the turn."

Right boots: (flex / fit),w/ footbeds and then someone who knows how to align and stack your skelton from the ground up...so the neutral position is hip width...

I have rocked for five hundred -day -seasons here in Whistler and way too much time sharpening and waxing my skis and a lot of boot work....punches, cuffs etc etc...

I could rail it every where...something was still missing....

Last night I had a shim inserted between my ski boot liner and the boot board- which is what conects the liner to the boot shell...how much could a thin wedge make??

As soon as I stepped into the boot on the floor I could feel whole boot sole...and I mean FLAT...MY TOES, KNEES,HIPS,SHOULDERS ALLL ARE IN The STACK...

TRIED EM' TO DAY AND I KNEW IT WAS RIGHT EVEN SKATING AWAY FROM THE LIFT...
On piste I felt so geometric and the vertical range of motion increased...

I have always skied with NO skid - perhaps a slightly wider ski-rut from my inside ski...due to unequal pressure or edge angle with most of the transition in Phase one coming from the outside ski (cross under)
Now with the boots finally edging evenly - I can pick up the very inside edge (outside edge of the inside ski) way earlier and use both skis much more evenly...
TODAY I HAD NO DUST COMING OFF MY SKIS...
I BLEW MY MIND AND I GOT RELIGION
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input from everyone.

SSH: I wish I had learned of this website earlier and I would have definetly registered for the ESA. Been to Big Sky twice and loved it. Unfortunately, I have already booked (2) ski trips. I will be there next year though!

Disski: I would also like to work with your Instructors but alas, going elsewhere. Doing a week in Mar. at Heavenly could you recommend an Instructor(s) there? As SSH recommended I think all-day Multi-day lessons would be very beneficial.

G-force: Excellent info. I think I'm finally in the right equipment although haven't had a chance to try them out yet. Just purchased Volkl 5* @ 175 and the Technica Rival RX boot with the addition of, off the wall orthotics (not full custom). Was skiing Head Cyber 24X in 200 and now realize I couldn't start that inside shovel into a turn first if my life depended on it and I'm a fairly big guy. Anyway, reading about the Volkl's temperment made me start evaluating my skiing technique. I guess I'll see!.

As I mentioned in my first post I feel as thought I have been skidding all my turns for years even though I ski most all terrain and slopes often at speed. But, it is time to move to another level or at least be evaluate the level I'm at and try to improve. I am currently studying Lito Tejada-Flores' book "Breakthrough on the New Skis" which seems right on but can be mind boggeling (sp) after awhile especially without snow to get out and practice what I've read.

Enough Rambling for now but thanks again for everyones thoughts.

See Ya,
Doug

"So many mountains, so little time."
post #6 of 22
Your technique is exasctly like mine..with the unweighting and putting ALL of the weight on the outside ski, good at bleeding speed, I will eventually give up and learn two footed skiing, but as it is right now on all of my fast sweeper turns I could completely lift up my inside foot from the ground and the turn woulld be the same.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Wicked Sprint: That's exactly what I'm talking about! I can ski on one leg and make slow turns in any direction, although I favor right turns. The idea of starting a turn with the uphill (inside) ski is a foreign concept and tough to visualize and/or feel. This is probably the result of teaching myself to ski many years ago in Spain. (Could not find an English speaking instructor) Did it on a pair of 215cm K2's :. I always preach get an instructor to anyone I take with me or first time skiiers. Old habits are hard to break. Old dogs are hard to retrain too!

Thanks,
Doug
post #8 of 22
Mr Hazmat, where are your trips going to be? It's likely we can recommend instructors there. I see Heavenly (I don't know anyone there, but others here likely do). Where else?

As for the inside ski, let me make this suggestion (I bet you can play with this off-snow): At the beginning of the transition of a turn, think about gently rotating your (new) inside femur in the direction of the new turn as you move onto the new edges. Just think about it. Gently. No sudden movement, no dramatic movement.

Play with it. You may find it very interesting...

Another way to think of it is driving your inside knee into the turn. But, I find the femur rotation to be a better visualization. I believe it was Nolo who first mentioned it to me.
post #9 of 22
I have no trouble getting both edges the same angle, but if I try and put weight on the inside ski it tries to run into the outside ski, so should we be exxagerating the femor rotation you speak of? I don't feel like I am engaging the tips, but just putting all of my weight on the heels, somehow it works and I have no trouble muscling the skis into 90 degree turns from speed to go completely across the mountain, but I would like to eventually learn the proper way to distribute my weight on both edges, I'm sure it has to be good for something. I think my stance may be too leaned over for two fotoed skiing such that when I engage the inner ski it causes me to come around as well, watching other people it seems they are way leaned over with torso vertical, whereas I lean like how I ride my motorcycles and my outside leg is very outstretched with my inside leg tucked for a spread of at least a foot between the skis. I will experiment more with turn stance friday..going on a trip to copper mountain with some friends.
post #10 of 22
wickedsprint, sounds like a lesson would make a big difference.

That said, if your inside ski slides into your outside ski when weight goes onto it, what could that mean? In all likelihood, you're not edged enough to hold! Another possibility is that you are already balanced on two, and the exaggeration is moving too much weight inside.

Those 90 degree turns aren't really what you want to be doing. Throwing the skis around tends to interrupt the flow just a bit! Instead, try being p-r-o-g-r-e-s-s-i-v-e in your movements. Like a pendulum. Always moving, but never abrupt.
post #11 of 22
If I tried doing less wicked turns..I got going too fast for my comfort zone..the only way I could keep speed in check was to turn such that I was going slightly back uphill, I think one of the people taking us is an instructor..I will attempt to solicit some instruction.
post #12 of 22
to add...I didn't wanna hijack Hazmats thread but it sounds like him and I have similar tendencies so I figured it would helps us both. -Tony
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedsprint
If I tried doing less wicked turns..I got going too fast for my comfort zone..the only way I could keep speed in check was to turn such that I was going slightly back uphill, I think one of the people taking us is an instructor..I will attempt to solicit some instruction.
Therein lies the biggest challenge for most skiers: enjoy the fall line! (Note: the "fall line" is that most dramatically downhill slope for any turn.) You have to let the skis accellerate though the belly of the turn, knowing that you will slow down once you get to the bottom of the turn and hold the arc to slow down.

It really is about being progressive in that middle part of the turn. Play with it on very comfortable terrain so you can see what I mean.
post #14 of 22
mr. hazmat:
the past is past- get hip...see youcanski sections on GS technique- equally loaded parallel skis. etc. etc.
post #15 of 22
wickedsprint:
If I go one footed in a turn its because my skis have been deflected and hooked into a decreased arc and I am about to go over the high side...SSSOMETHINGSS WRONG !OH OH
what happens in cross under ??
You can pressure and increase edge on the inside ski (initiate) cross under and then increase the pressure (extend) before/as you go into the fall line. see youcanski -downunweighting on a loaded inside ski and pressure in the fall line etc etc.
post #16 of 22
As others have mentioned a lesson is probably your best way to see improvement. I would encourage you to splurge on a private-ask around to see who is right for you. Beyound a lesson I would recommend the book "Ski the Whole Mountain" by the DesLauriers' brothers, isbn 0-917748-3-8. I think it is an excellent book. Pictures and explanations are well done. I believe the technique they espose is one which many can assimulate.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Tony, I agree that we probably ski similar. I want to progress as I am sure you do and SSH provided an excellent exercise. Doing what was recommended felt good and I think I am there. (Thanks SSH). Now I have to get on the slopes and practice. Tony, where do you ski? It would be great to get together and break through this skidding thing.

Thanks Everyone,
Doug

"So many mountains, so little time" (and money)
post #18 of 22
I ski in central CO, actually I will be at copper MTN friday working on abusuing my technique some more with some crappy rentals while my skis are getting sent to atomic...yay You'll likely have the experience on me due to me returning froma 15yr hiiatus from skiing before this season.
post #19 of 22
Do you guys usually keep your torso pretty evrtical as you do this..I know this sounds like kid stuff, but just tryin to geta good visual..I like the idea of the femur rotation, I assume the inner one rotates more and this keeps the skis close together. I was previosly leaningover and retracting my inside foot, this femur gimmick makes sense. Better watch out..as soon as I accidently carve a turn I will get all cocky as hell and then go carving everywhere...damn these new skis.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
(Note: the "fall line" is that most dramatically downhill slope for any turn.)
BTW, please note that it is not my attempt to make this a technical definition. Only a definition that's useful in the context of this thread. This post has a much better and more technical definition if you're interested.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
As for the inside ski, let me make this suggestion (I bet you can play with this off-snow): At the beginning of the transition of a turn, think about gently rotating your (new) inside femur in the direction of the new turn as you move onto the new edges. Just think about it. Gently. No sudden movement, no dramatic movement.

Play with it. You may find it very interesting...

Another way to think of it is driving your inside knee into the turn. But, I find the femur rotation to be a better visualization. I believe it was Nolo who first mentioned it to me.

If you think of "driving your inside knee into the turn" as simply pointing it, it becomes more like your "gently rotating" the femur. In other words, "driving" causes tensions where "gently rotating" should make everything smoother. It's a semantic difference that makes a considerable muscular activity difference.

I like to think of gently pointing my inside knee farther and farther into the turn as an exercise to get a feel for how much the inside ski contributes to turn control.
post #22 of 22
Mr. H: Sit there in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and your two fists between your knees, so that both knees are connected by your fists. Now raise up the outside of your right foot without letting the right knee push your fists into your left knee. I've been doing this so long that it seems easy to me, but I seem to recall that I had to struggle quite a bit at first to separate the raising of the outside of the foot from significant movement of the knee. So you may have to play with it a bit before the separation occurs. When you've become able to raise the outside of the right foot without pressuring the fists, try raising the arch of the left foot without reducing the contact between knees and fists. When that works, try going the opposite direction. That is, raise the outside of the left foot and raise the arch of the right foot.

Now do the foot edge raising together with the fists in place. What should occur is your knees/fists should rise up but not move significantly to a side.

With the foot edge raising working, try standing. Stand still long enough to feel the entire bottoms of both feet. Now flex the ankles and knees slightly and feel for equal pressure from the pads of your toes through your heels. This should place your hips just ahead of your heels. Stand like that long enough to reach a "resting" flexed stance with the pressure along the length of both feet. Now try raising the right edges of both feet. Your knees will move slightly to the left and the rest of your body will move slightly with them. You may notice a slight tendency for your torso to rotate toward the left. Go back to flat, get the relaxed feet mode and raise the left edges. Back and forth several times to get the feel for going from one raised feet edges through the flat to the other raised edges.

Now find a doorway or a place between two counters where you can get a little stabilizing from either hand. Start the foot edge raising but let the hips move a bit farther and move the "inside" hip slightly forward. So if you're raising your right edges, as in a turn to the left, your left hip is slightly ahead and your hips are facing slightly to the ourside of the turn. Your left hand can help you remain upright. You should feel pressure on both "left edges" of your feet, but you also can pressure your right foot more than your left just as you would while turning left on skis. Be sure you can feel the entire left edge of both feet from toe pad through heel. Now move through the flats to the other side.

Next time you're on skis, spend some time on really gentle terrain playing with foot edge raising to both edge and weight your skis in turns.
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