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Looking Ahead

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
How far ahead should one be looking while skiing, directly in front of skiis, or looking way ahead to were you want to go?
post #2 of 20
I'd say to look at least 5 miles ahead.
post #3 of 20
somewhere between directly in front and gonz's 5 miles would be better...

otherwize, depends on speed, terrain, turn type, etc...

in slow bumps, steeps, I like to scan ahead and often look for my next turn finish.
at faster speeds and on groomers, a few turns ahead could work.
post #4 of 20
Just know that you go where you look, so look where you want to go.
post #5 of 20
rvdv, welcome to EpicSki!

Where do you think you should look? Why? Do you think that you should look where you want to go, or where you don't want to go?

There are a number of rules of thumb, but why are you asking?
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rvdv
How far ahead should one be looking while skiing, directly in front of skiis, or looking way ahead to were you want to go?
Same rule as in driving or bicycling. Your eyes should aways be moving, scanning ahead, to the sides, behind you and in your immediate path. Your eyes should never locked on any one place. Anticipate stupid moves by others to help avoid the need for last minute avoidance maneuvers.
post #7 of 20
Where ever you are looking always be looking eslewhere out of the corner of your eye. Never devote 100 percent of your attention to one area.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
The reason why I ask this ssh is because when I took a Formula Ford race car driving school many years ago we were taught to look ahead to where you want to go not to look directly a few feet in front of the car, they said you would be much smoother and quicker that way. I have taken up skiing again after a 30 yr. hiatus and I tried this technique of looking far ahead but found that the snow base changed so frequently from ice to snow and back to ice I had to look almost directly in front of the skiis to stay in control, didn't feel very smooth. I remember when I taught my son to ride a bicycle, the front wheel was very wobbly until I told him not to look at the wheel but to look at where you are going.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rvdv
The reason why I ask this ssh is because when I took a Formula Ford race car driving school many years ago we were taught to look ahead to where you want to go not to look directly a few feet in front of the car, they said you would be much smoother and quicker that way. I have taken up skiing again after a 30 yr. hiatus and I tried this technique of looking far ahead but found that the snow base changed so frequently from ice to snow and back to ice I had to look almost directly in front of the skiis to stay in control, didn't feel very smooth. I remember when I taught my son to ride a bicycle, the front wheel was very wobbly until I told him not to look at the wheel but to look at where you are going.
rvdv, you have it right (look just as you learned for driving). The issue that you're having is a balance issue: if you were more evenly balanced on your skis, the changes in snow surface would effect you less. Also, as you look ahead, you can learn to anticipate these changes. But, much of this balance and anticipation is best gained through time on-snow, so it may just require time to develop.

All that said, look where you want to go, and keep looking farther ahead than one turn. In my case, I often find it difficult to keep in my mind the turns between where I am looking and where my skis are right now! But, that's undoubtedly just my failing memory coming into play!
post #10 of 20
as a point of clarity: I said "5 miles" because whenever I've tried to simply "look further ahead" it isn't far enough ahead.

the point of looking is NOT to see what is immediately in front of your skis, or your car, or your truck, or your motorcycle or bicycle

the point of looking is to see what's ahead and to give yourself time to plan for what's ahead.

if you're looking too near yourself, you easily become "bound up" in micromanaging the little changes that essentially are irrelevant. relax and have dynamic balance, as ssh said, and you'll find that you will feel less need to see what's coming up right in front of your ski tips.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzostrike
if you're looking too near yourself, you easily become "bound up" in micromanaging the little changes that essentially are irrelevant. relax and have dynamic balance, as ssh said, and you'll find that you will feel less need to see what's coming up right in front of your ski tips.
'Sides, if it's just in front of your tips, it's too late to do anything about it, anyway!
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
'Sides, if it's just in front of your tips, it's too late to do anything about it, anyway!
nuthin' worse than turning NOW to avoid something that you passed 20 yards ago!
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by banshee
Same rule as in driving or bicycling. Your eyes should aways be moving, scanning ahead, to the sides, behind you and in your immediate path. Your eyes should never locked on any one place. Anticipate stupid moves by others to help avoid the need for last minute avoidance maneuvers.
I try not to look behind me when I'm mountain biking . I've also found that when mountain biking, it is a good idea to be quickly alternating between looking some distance ahead and at a point about 10 feet ahead. Nothing like a little unseen stump to remind you of that. Same goes for skiing on vairable conditions and in bumps. You need to know what's about to happen in the very immediate future as well as the general direction you want to go and how you plan on getting there.
post #14 of 20
if i am coming up to a point where i do not know what might be on the other side (people)i always slow down and then check out what condtions are and what line i am going to go down on. it is usually crowded where i ski (on the weekends)
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Where ever you are looking always be looking eslewhere out of the corner of your eye. Never devote 100 percent of your attention to one area.
Ghost hits on the crucial element: PERIPHERAL VISION

Place the center of your visual focus on the placement area of the turn that will follow the one you're currently in, then use peripheral vision to guide your journey there and plan your departure. As you continue down hill remember to advance your visual focus area at the same rate your current location advances.

On crowded slopes, or challanging terrain you may need to look ahead even further to plan an appropriate route. Here, peripheral skills are even more needed.

Work on it; peripheral vision needs to be practiced to be refined.
post #16 of 20

more than vision

You need to vary your scan to suit the conditions. Steep eastern icy trail that's very narrow and has a high potential for "death cookies", will require a scan of the more immediate area.

Wide open fresh groomer with no traffic when you are letting them run, it's a whole different story.

MIG Alley with SAMS in the air ....... dodge and jink just like in Top Gun with the emphasis on evasion. Actually, the best thing here is to wait and pick your spots befor starting. Let the pack run off like a herd of turtles, wait for the crash and slalom through the immobile carrion.

Most importantly ..... no kidding .... use all of your senses. Listen to the snow under your feet for changes and the feel and chatter of the ski.

Resist all temptation to look UP the hill (behind you), instant crash when you catch that up hill edge.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki
Most importantly ..... no kidding .... use all of your senses. Listen to the snow under your feet for changes and the feel and chatter of the ski.
And sniff for snowboarders?
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
Just know that you go where you look, so look where you want to go.
I said this once to a crowd of Carharrt boys in a never ever class once and added "So don't look at trees or people, look at the snow spaces between them." At that point a 13 year old piped up to a 300 pounder with the comment "Jah hear that Bubba, don't be checkin out no women." To which the 300lb Bubba clocked the grinning kid in the head with his pole.
post #19 of 20
when I teach kids, I ask them where Daddy or Mommy look when they're driving the car. No one's ever said that their parents look at the floorboard.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki
You need to vary your scan to suit the conditions. Steep eastern icy trail that's very narrow and has a high potential for "death cookies", will require a scan of the more immediate area.
Yep. I went down that road on an icy steep last week. I didn't go down, but I bet an instant replay of the whole thing would be quite entertaining. Damn thing was about the size of a large brick.

I'm of the opinion that you have to be continually scanning both down the hill toward the next turn and glancing at the terrain a little closer, at least in varying conditions and terrain. If it's wide open and groomed, just look down the hill and let it rip.
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