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Video critique...do your worst

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey all, here is a short clip of me skiing a groomer I would love some critique on. I’ve had an increased interest in carving for the last couple years…and becoming more competent at it every season but I feel I’ve hit a bit of a wall. The grade is an average blue run on soft groomed snow, I’m 21 – 6’1” – 155lbs skiing on 175 Volkl Superspeeds if that helps.


As a side note, how big of a factor is physical flexibility in relationship to proper body position in carving? I come from a line of very inflexible genetics on my dad’s side of the family, and can only touch the top of my shins when bending over stretching. I’ll be stretching a lot in the coming weeks, and hopefully will be flexible enough to touch my toes by the end of the season.
post #2 of 17
I'm no expert but it looks like you create inside tip lead in your turns and you have a very low, narrow stance.

But I am not one to talk as I'm sure a video of me would have all sorts of issues.
post #3 of 17
You have all the right things going for carving. The smooth progressive turn entry with no re-directing of the skis is really good. However, look at the first 1/3 of the turn, after the transition. The skis drift into the fall line (nothing wrong with that, but you said you wanted to explore carving more) because they are not full engaged. You will want to both increase pressure to the ski(s) and increase the edge angle in that phase of the turn. Sooo...
1.Try pulling the inside foot back throughout the turn. Nothing dramatic, just enough to keep it from getting too far ahead. This will allow you to be in a good position to start carving the next turn immediately, instead of usuing the first part of the turn to re-center yourself.
2.When you start your turn, aggressively flex your inside leg while tipping the inside ski. This lets you create high edge angles very early in the turn.
3.Next, try to time the extension of your outside leg so that it is straight (or close to straight) just before the skis point downhill. That way your body is lined up to withstand the forces.
4. Balance on the outside ski. This should get your upper body into the proper position, although you really don't have much problem there. This does not mean to lift the inside ski off the snow.
5. Try to carry more speed going into the turn, this will help the skis bend more and earlier. At first you will have to do this by not letting the skis turn across the fall line as much, but as your carving gets better, the skis will carry enough speed even if you bring them all the way across the fall line.
6. You don't need to do pole plants with those turns.
7. If you can, follow behind a snowboarder who can carve well.
8. Practice turns like you were doing in the video on very flat terrain at slow speeds. Focus on getting as much edge angle as you can early in the turn without falling over.
post #4 of 17

Dropping the inside hand.
A lot of inside ski lead.
An aweful lot of bend in the knees at transition.
A-framing the outside knee.
A lot of snow coming of the outside ski.

You do have a nice flow and control and looked pretty well balanced.

The lower inside hand, pronounced inside tip lead and low stance make me think you are diving into the turn a bit to quickly, particularly your inside half. The snow off the side of the outside ski and the A-frame (skis further apart than knees with outside knee angle into turn) make me think your are bracing against the outside ski while throwing the inside ski into the turn without really skiing it.

Perscription: Work on rolling both skis into turn. Pay particular attention to rolling the inside ski onto edge instead of thrusting it forward. Stand up more. Keep your hands level.

Exercise: Try some railroad track turns an really easy terrain. Be sure to keep both skis parallel tip and tail and carve some pencil lines. Ski with a partner for correction. Also try some wide-track stance turns. Gradually increase pitch while performing exercises.

Disclaimer: I'm a lowly PSIA-L1 who's perpertually studying for L2 but never gets off his duff and signs up for an exam. Anyone who knows better is encouraged to chew up my analysis and spit it out (contructively of course). It'll only make me a better instructor.
post #5 of 17
skideep, nice turns! How do they feel to you when you're turning?

While I do see you dropping your hand (especially the left), I am wondering if the real change that would help would be to continue your motion throughout the turn. It seems to me that you "park and ride" when you hit the "terminal edge angle" for the turn. Think about it like this: if your feet are the bottom of a pendulum, how would they move (both edge-to-edge and side-to-side)? Continuous movement that slows and then reverses. The same is true of a carved ski turn. As you pass the fall line, you seem to bend forward a bit at the waist, reach your hands down, and hold your skis at the same edge. I think this is part of the reason that you get as much tip lead as you do.

Instead, work on those RR turns that learn2turn suggests to get the feel for the limited movement necessary for carving. As you do, keep your feet constantly tipping one way or the other (speed can vary, but keep moving).

You may find that you can do that, and then drop into more dynamic carved turns as the run steepens or as you pick up speed.

As learn2turn, I am a level I, too. If anyone wants to support or blow apart this analysis and recommendation, please do.
post #6 of 17
Hey skideep et al.

That's pretty good skiing - you appear well balanced and you're able to edge in the bottom half of you turn. As others have suggested, I believe there's room for improvement in the first half of your turn, but I would _not_ suggest rail turns as an exercise to help you improve.

I think you're extending much too quickly in beginning your new turn. That leaves you with no more room to grow (and therefore, create pressure) as you reach the apex of your turn. Its only have you pass through the apex that pressure beging to build under your skis and cause you to bend.

As an exercise to help you improve, try to simply count "Up-2-3, Down-2-3" starting as soon as you change edges for the new turn and where you say "Down" at the apex of the turn. Your counting should be rhythymical with no pauses.

Also, try a more narrow corridor to ensure your movement come from all three joints evenly (ankles, knees, hips). You should feel as though there's a bungie cord between your hips and ankles - make sure its not between your hips and the heel pieces of your binding.

Hope that helps - let me know if you have any questions or need any clarification.

post #7 of 17
This is possibly a critique, but more me just checking for understanding.

At the top of ski deeps second left turn, as he changes edges he is standing upright over the skis, and then sinks down into the next turn. I believe I am currently skiing this way as well (in fact I think I would probably look a lot like skideep here so I am fairly interested in the responses).

As I understand it, it is better to flex down and across (meaning towards the fall line) to move your CM across the skis at the top of the turn. This combined with relaxing the ankles, and tipping the new inside foot onto edge will roll the skis onto thier new edges. Then as the turn forces build you support by progressively extending the legs.

This allows you to switch edges without switching direction and keeps the skis contact firm on the snow since you aren't unweighting to switch edges.

Canuck you seem to be addressing this. Am I on the right track here?

If so, I believe the drill I am doing to address this is to practice to flex down and across the skis by relaxing the outside leg at the end of the old turn.
post #8 of 17

I'm going to go a whole different route than the others here, and I'm pretty confident with this....

You are trying to be smooth and dynamic, which you are accomplishing, but what you end up doing, is doing all of your flexing at the knees and hips, and not at the ankle. When you do flex, you flex much too far for the type of turn you are making. Then, when you transition from one turn to the next, you have to move waaayy up and over, and when you first put pressure on the new turning ski, you are way behind it, pressuring the tails and not the tips, almost exclusively. This would be a big issue when trying to carve.

I would start by having you ski in a taller stance and working on flexing at the ankles. If you need to, loosen the top buckle and strap on yout boots. If you can't bend the boots, get softer ones or get them cut to make them softer (a good boot tech will know how to do this).

Really work on driving the knee of the turning (outside) ski down toward the ski tip, while keeping the torso upright. While this is happening, keep the inside foot pulled back enough to maintain good contact of the shin to the tongue of the boot.

As your knee flexes down, once it stops moving, do NOT let your knees and hips keep bending. All that will do is move you into the back seat. You need to pace out or time your flexing movement to take as long as yu plan on staying in that turn. If the ankle stops flexing, you become "parked" in that position. Somehow, I get the impression that you have heard of "park and ride" and are trying your level best to avoid it and keep flexing and extending throughout the turn. However, what seems to be happening, is that your ankles stop flexing, but the rest of the joints keep doing it because you want to feel like you are continuing to flex. Again, it must originate from the ankles. I also noticed that as you continue to flex at the knees and hips, you are doing all you can to keep some of your weight as forward as possible, and your arms become outstretched.

So really, all these words come down to only a few things. Stand taller, bend at the ankles and keep the inside foot back.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses, as asked above the turns feel like my edges are strong coming out of the turn, but I agree they could be more firmly planted while initiating my turns.

What I'm gathering so far is in a general perspective is steady level hands, a more upright stance, more ankle articulation, continous motion, and less body "pop" at the end of the turn. I have been trying to avoid "parking" but watching the video a few more times I'm looking like I set my position in stone once I get my edge hooked how I would like it, thanks for pointing that out.

If I understand correctly, when turning I should be rolling my ankles with my skis in a more downhill position than they currently are, essentially allowing my body to fall slowly into the next turn instead of using my momentum to "pop" onto my other ski. My boot flex seems sufficient, but I have been catching my inside leg falling back off the tounge of the boot. Focusing on pushing my knee towards the tip is a very good pointer.
post #10 of 17
I agree with John 100%. I've clipped a few images from the film to help make the point. In all of these photos, you've got an extreme amount of knee flex. Everything's smooth, but with so much flex in the knee you loose the ability to absorb any variations in terrain that you might encounter. It also puts you back as you can see in a few of the photos....


Compare these photos of WC racers and notice how long the outside leg (in most cases) is in these photo.

I think in the early frames I also so a diverging inside ski, but like the zapruder film, we can't draw any firm conclusions.

Good luck,
post #11 of 17
Ski deep - what I noticed was the amount of snow coming off the ski during the turn... next video let's see your tracks - I bet they tell the whole story.

This is a skill that I too have been working on and what I am told is "get on edge, balance on it, guide it"... the tendancy is to "turn" before edging.

Spend some time on easy terrain practicing the "pure carve".

Have fun,
post #12 of 17
PS. I meant to add a note about the pole plant/touch...

Different types of turns warrant different pole use... where the touch occurs and it's timing. I see you using more of a "blocking" pole plant which is prohibitive to the longer flowing carved turns you're looking for.
post #13 of 17
Its nice
Good rythmn
Good timing
Good hands
Good angles
Instead of gross flexing (I agree with JohnH)
Think extension
and retraction

Let the skis come back up under the body on transition and extend them away from the body progressivly through the body of the turn.

The other main thing I see is a reliance on the uphill ski which shows up as a small A frame in the lower legs and a diverging ski entry to the new turn. This to me also highlights a slightly "into the hill" basic position which requires a gross lateral movement of the CM at transition to compensate for. (look at your hips vis legs in the first turn coming towards the camera and the last turn going away)

A lot more suptle and parallel ankle flew awarness will assist your balance position and help fix the A frame and divergence.

IMHO Keep the CM travelling a little more downhill but without the pronounced "pop" at the transition should smooth out the diverging skis although when doing slow wide turns on a flatish groomer your CM may follow the path of the transition just a little more than on steep terrain and shorter turns. Maybe think "glide\float" a little in the transition for the terrain and speed chosen for your demo.

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments, lots of information for me to absorb. I'll try to get another video shortly but with the snow conditions around here it may be awhile...otherwise I will be back in Sun Valley in a couple months. I will also shoot on a steeper run that might help get more insight. Thanks again.
post #15 of 17
You are bending forward at the waist to an excessive degree. It looks uncomfortable and is a weak position. It looks like your boots may be contributing to this, by being too stiff and/or not enough forward lean, and you are alternately in the back seat (tails), or compensating by bending at the waist. I think you have to deal with this before you can work on the finer points of precisely slicing a slope. JohnH probably knows a lot more about this than I, and I would suggest trying his suggestions before anything else. If you are having boot problems you might want to direct this to Jeff Bergeron, one of our resident boot gurus in the forum.
post #16 of 17
I haven't posted because the video does not work for me. I can see it though through others descriptions. Lets go back to what John H said about getting back. Try this focus point. As soon as you pass through the fall line start lifting the top of your feet towards your shins and getting taller. This would all happen in the last third of the turn.
post #17 of 17
Skideep - you are lacking dynamics in your skiing. Your up and down moovement is working against you. Once you transfer weight to the new outside ski you go down and then you stay down until shortly before the next turn. Wrong. You need to finnish your turn and go more cross the slope. This way you automaticly get more power out of your skiis in the beginning of the turn.

BTW, sorry but the cameraman is much worse filming than you are skiing....
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