or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

ski day

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Skied at Mt. Bachelor today with my daughter. I haven't seen her in 20 years. It was great to have a ski day with her and share something we have in common. Here's a short clip of me she took. Any pointers would be appreciated.

post #2 of 15
Nice turns, Slider. I'd like to see your hands a little higher. Looks like you carry them too near your thighs. Maybe if you used the poles a little more consistently, you'd also stand a little taller. Your low stance limits how much terrain you can absorb. You didn't need any more length on the videoed scene, but you might.

So where are the pix of your daughter?
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks Kneale. Here's a picture of Rachel.
post #4 of 15
Greetings Slider,

What I like about these turns is the strong edging. There are some high edge angles in these turns. The bottom part of the turns are well rounded. Some of the turns also have some edge engagement above the fall line. I really like the way you get your skis out from underneath your body to get those nice edge angles. You've also got some great rhythm going and some fairly snappy turns.

The good news is that these turns can take you many places on the mountain without any tweaking. The bad news is that going to the next level of performance is going to require some major breaking down of current habits and rebuilding. This process is likely to make you feel that you are getting worse before you get better. If you ski less than 14 days per year, there's a risk that trying to change won't be worth the effort. If you want to pursue this, getting a coach will help you get there quicker.

That said, the thing for you to work on is your turn initiation move. You are relying mostly on cross under moves that are causing an upward pop. This is most easily visible in the left turn after you have completely passed the camera. Although this is a great skill to have in your repetoire, it's not the most efficient move for making medium to large radius turns. The turn initiation move should be up and forward into the new turn as opposed to just straight up and moving the legs underneath.

I also see a bit of foot sliding and opening/closing of the stance width in some turns. I believe this is partly caused by excess lead of the inside ski and partly caused by trying to push your feet to the side in order to get your COM to the inside of the turn. The end result is that a lot of your right turns are banked (i.e. the upper and lower body are close the same angle to the snow). We want to get your angulation to look more like the right turn after you pass the camera.

What I'd like to see is more hip movement to the inside of the turn as an initiating movement instead of as a result of crossunder. Done right, this will get you on edge earlier in the turn and round out the top of the turn more. You'll also end up with your shoulders matching the pitch of the slope more (instead of having the downhill shoulder higher than the uphill shoulder). This will help quiet the upper body and result in more efficient skiing. You'll get more energy out of the skis for less energy input from your muscles.

There are dozens of different exercises to help develop these moves. Which ones "click" for you is a crapshoot. If history is a guide, you should get a fair number of suggestions out of this thread. Two exercises that I'll offer are:
1) lifting the inside ski onto the tip and tipping the tip to initiate the turn and
2) placing a stick of bamboo across your shoulders and trying to keep the bamboo level to the slope pitch at all times. But simply incorporating pole swing and touch into your turns could be all you need to get your hips moving earlier.

You also appear to be generating extra forward pressure in some turns by hunching over above the waist (e.g. right when you pass the camera). Although most of the turns show a generally tall stance, I think a general trend towards a slight hunch in the shoulders and a lack of use of a pole touch accounts for your low hand position. Standing taller above the waist and compensating for the reduced forward pressure by moving your hands up and forward will give you a more efficient stance. You'll also get more performance out of your skis by resisting the forces that collapse your upper body while keeping the lower body flexed (Vic Gerdin calls this functional tension). This will also leave you more able to deal with the unexpected in the belly of the turns. It's also something that is relatively easy to improve without a lot of hands on coaching.
post #5 of 15
the rusty, when I first starting reading your post I was waiting for the proverbial other foot to drop & lo & behold it did.

But with that said, I think what you told slider was dead on and done in a very professional fashion!
Great Post!

slider, maybe I'll catch you at Bachelor. I'll be there for the Sun Cup in mid february for a whole week! Shoot me your cell # or something.

Get those hands up shoulders level and really take control of your skis. In other words try to be more precise and definite.
post #6 of 15


Thanks Slider for sharing the video. A couple of key areas kind of stand out. First, your turn initiation appears to be starting with a rotational movement at the shoulder and hip. Your outside hip comes around to the outside, which moves your outside femur in a cirular motion causing a slight abstem and A-frame at times. This is compounded by your shoulders and torso becoming square to your skis and not allowing your legs to turn under a quiet upper body. You're also inclining some through most of the turn which is keeping too much weight on the inside ski, therefore edge engagement on the outside ski is weak. This is seen with the dropping of the inside hand and and arm lower and back after turn initiation. I also couldn't see your poles used to assist your timing and extension toward the new turn.

Here are a few thoughts to try to improve some of those movements.

First, at turn initiation try to tip your skis on edge early and fluidly by moving your old outside ski, foot, and knee into the new turn first. Simultaneously, begin extending your old inside leg. The two together will allow you to move your CM horizontally and diagonally in the direction of the new turn.

Second, allow your legs to turn under a quiet upper body by not rotating your shoulders to the outside of the turn, which will allow some counter rotation to develop and allow you to have a stronger inside half (ie-inside arm, shoulder, hip, and ski lead), versus the previously noted square position. This stronger inside half position will allow you to develop greater outside ski weighting and edge engagement, provided that you do not incline during the turn. I also have my coaches practice traverse drills, and lots of side slipping fore, aft, & diagonally, and spend time with the "falling leaf" exercise, which develops good edge and pressure control skills.

Third, to correct the inclination I have my coaches try to keep their shoulders level with the horizon line by lifting their inside shoulder during practice, so they stop dropping the inside hand and arm. As they complete a pole plant, touch, etc. I have them ride their hand over the pole at the end of the swing so that the pole swing flows with the intended direction of the new turn and doesn't break the movement flow. Be sure not to reach long on the pole swing or the outside shoulder will have a tendency to come around in and cause rotation to occur, which as previously discussed will cause the outside ski to lose its edge engagement and wash out or slip.

Finally, I would like to complement you with your skiing athleticism. You have alot of good things happening in you skiing and just need some fine tuning. Last but most importantly, have you had both your alignment and ramp angle checked with your current boot and ski set up? Best of luck. Happy trails.

whtmt & Mackenzie 911
post #7 of 15
Originally Posted by therusty
Greetings Slider,

(Vic Gerdin calls this functional tension). .

Therusty---Where is Vic these days? We had the misfortune of skiing together as kids at Mont Chalet in Ohio, where his Mom was one of the Austrian instructors. It was so flat we would make two turns, skate, make two turns, skate some more.

Slider, Atomicman -----Let's all get together for a few turns at the Sun Cup.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Lots of information to digest and practice. I would like to thank the "pros" for taking their time and expertise in helping me improve my skiing. Like Atomicman said, in a very professional fashion. Looking forward to the Sun Cup guys.
post #9 of 15

Vic Gerdin is at Aspen, CO.
post #10 of 15
I thought Victor was running the Snowmass ski school????? I've skied with him numerous times when he used to represent the demo team at PSIA central division clinics. He was also doing some sort of summer carpentry work. Last time I skied with him, he was just recovering from a leg fracture he got by falling off a ladder. Typically, he spent his time with us exploring ways to pressure the ski tip without crushing the boot cuff with his sore shin. I learned a lot about what your feet do inside your boots.
post #11 of 15
Originally Posted by newfydog
Therusty---Where is Vic these days? We had the misfortune of skiing together as kids at Mont Chalet in Ohio, where his Mom was one of the Austrian instructors. It was so flat we would make two turns, skate, make two turns, skate some more.

Slider, Atomicman -----Let's all get together for a few turns at the Sun Cup.

Right on! You know you can catch me at the Jr. Race Center at 7:45AM to 8:00 Daily! Also we are usually on Motorola's channel 3/12
post #12 of 15
Nice pix, Slider. I was a little shakey too the first time in years that my daughters agreed to ski with me. I was awful as a skier parent. Made the girls work so hard on "good skiing" rather than having fun that they found the earliest possible ways to excuse themselves from ski outings. They'd dropped out by the time they were old enough to get babysitting jobs. It wasn't until the older one had two boys in elementary school that she got back into skiing and then dragged her sister along. The latter now is a ski patroller.
post #13 of 15

You're right. Last night I just did the search to confirm and did not pay attention to which Aspen school it was. I just noticed that this morning and was going to fix my post if someone had not noticed yet. BTW - the aspen/snowmass web site has a cool search engine to find instructors.
post #14 of 15
Slider, I have a few questions, if you please.

What were you trying to accomplish or demonstrate technically (if anything) in this run?

What's your sports background?

Does what you see in the video jive with the analysis of participants in your thread? What stands out as a possible focus for the season ahead?

A while back Todo shared a tidbit from Diann Roffe Steinrotter that you might worry about:
Just a comment regarding racing and instruction. We had the pleasure of skiing with Diane Roffe-Steinrotter a few years ago and she made a comment that was very interesting.

"The difference with your skiing and a racer is you worry about how you enter the turn, we focus on how we exit."

It is interesting when you change the focus sometimes to give you a different perspective.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi Nolo, to answer your questions.

What were you trying to accomplish or demonstrate technically (if anything) in this run? To lay down smooth carved turns. However, the camera seems to make me nervous.

What's your sports background? Just your ordinary guy. High school sports, hiking and climbing, water skiing, gymnastics and alot of running, whatever was fun.

Does what you see in the video jive with the analysis of participants in your thread? Yes very much so. I knew my hands were down and no pole plants. Also not standing up straight. It seems like progression leads to regression. I am finally able to lay down RxR tracks in most conditions but now have other problems arising. What stands out as a possible focus for the season ahead? Upper body issues and edge engagement when starting my turns.
Yes another way of looking at something can be helpful. I was to focused on railing turns and a few of my fellow skiers suggested "just relax and ski". So I tried it and noticed I was enjoying myself alot more. Perhaps alittle too relaxed. (ie. no pole plants)
Thanks for the questions Nolo it got me thinking about a few things.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching