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How to get air? - I want to fly (just a little)

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
So I've always avoided taking air, but my skiing has improved so much in the last two years that I've gone off a few lips, most recently getting about 3 feet high and flying for about 10 feet - and I really liked it! Too much I'm afraid.

I'm not young enought to get wild, but want to do it more, maybe even learn to do an airplane turn.


MY QUESTION IS: what is the proper method (body position, etc.) to take off and to land?

For now assume a smallish lip on a groomed blue run (Lodgepole at Vail has a great example of what I'm comfortable getting airborne on.)
post #2 of 19
I don't have a clue what is "right"....

but as I hated getting skis off snow I can tell you what sort of "training" I got put through...

1)Practice jumping up & landing softly - tips leave last & land first.... repeat - land SOFTLY

2)Practice "bouncing" on top of small hill-lets on flatish easy runs.... gives you a feel for going up & down & keeping weight centred....

3) Find small lips wsith good ski outs... ski over... do again & jump.... do from higher up take-off.... etc.....

Note - if lip has bushes on far side (so you need to land & turn) then make sure bushes are soft & smell nice (no I never actually landed in them - but I did check what I thought was my possible "failed" landing spot.... the closest I got was a wobbly turn as the skis ran over edge of bushes...

I don't know any more - have not done much more "jumping training" left the jumping instructor at old resort.... & we have been busy teaching me other skills - I jump well enough for the little lips the boys want me to jump over...
post #3 of 19
when getting into the air, balance, balance, balance.

You need to make sure that you are balanced on the take off, during your "pop", in the air, and as you land (landing softly is a good description - especially for smaller jumps).

Go slowly over some small jump/rolls, and try to feel when the slope will let go of your skis. Once you can kinda get that idea, try the old step-up technique - jumping off one foot like taking a layup in basketball. As you ski (and this needs to be a fluid movement) up the take off/roll lift your non-jumping foot up a bit and as you hit the point where the snow will let go of your skis, bring your jumping foot up to the other with a move similar to a one footed hop (you should be able to remain in balance).

Once you start getting those, try "poping" with both feet, not too much, but enough to get a little boost off the jump/roll. But as you do this, remember to always pop and and err on the side of foreward in balance (poping up and back typically leads to bad things, falls, injuries, stress cracks/delamination due to slapping the tips down), remember the idea is to place the whole ski down at the same time on the landing. Ideally your landing ramp angle should be about the same as your takeoff (this is true of rolls too, you don't want to overjump a roll or your knees/back will not be happy with you).

These ideas should at least help get you into the air. Remember though, jumping ban be the most dangerous, highest risk activity on skis, so take it slow and get comfortable with being in the air before stepping it up a notch. Getting in the air in a controled way is an incredible feeling when you do it right and safely.
post #4 of 19
if you want to get some serious air, then you have to learn how to "pop" off the jump. What this means is that just before you are ready to take off the jump, you should bend your knees slightly. Then, at the top of the jump, you expand your legs, and try to push off the jump.

You can practice this technique going slower and off small jumps, as you feel more comfortable, you can increase both speed and then jump size.

As for landing, I don't really know how to explain that, for me it was something I just got used to. I guess I try to stay centered over the skis when landing. Try not to lean back too much (you'll know if you do because when you land you'll be way back on the tails of your skis.
post #5 of 19
All I know is that whatever distance I think I get off the ground, if you divide it by 3 then you get my actual amplitude.

This is according to my wife at least.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
All I know is that whatever distance I think I get off the ground, if you divide it by 3 then you get my actual amplitude.

This is according to my wife at least.
LOL - you're probably right, and my mention of being 3 feet in the air probably means I was only 1 foot up
post #7 of 19
I would go to the mini terrain park (assuming your ski area has one) and try out some of the jumps- most places have a good progression from smaller to larger. The good thing about the park is that all the jumps are designed to be easily landable and are maintained.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. The one question no one has addressed is the compression or lack thereof of the body on landing.

Taking off starting bent down, then extending, hands down at feet.

Landing - flexed or extended? Upon impact should one be flexing more or extending more?
post #9 of 19
When you take off you do not want to be bent over at the waist you want to be balanced in the middle of your skis and bend your knees slightly and when you hit the top of the jump straighten your knees so you as people have previously put it "POP" off the top of the jump. If you are starting jumping and you are bent over you are probably not going to land too nicely. If you take off balanced in the middle of the skis retain the same position in the air, as leaning forward or backward would not result in an nice landing. You also want to land on a slope not on flat ground and you should absorb some of the impact by bending your knees slightly. You dont want them too stiff because your joints will hurt and if they are too loose than you could fold up and possibly hit your face on your knees. There is a balance that you must find in practicing by starting out on small jumps and learning what it feels like and becoming comfortable with that then moving on to larger jumps.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks Zapp. I didn't mean bent at the waist, bad wording. I meant bent or flexed knees.
post #11 of 19
NP. I figured that but just wanted to clarify. Your hands should come up from by your knees to eye level when you take off to help out with that "pop". They should be straight out in front of you when you do "pop" and land.
post #12 of 19
Killington is having a "Learn to Fly" clinic to address what you seek. check their website for details.
post #13 of 19
all i got to say is *CoUgH*SEARCH*CoUgH*
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
Thanks all. The one question no one has addressed is the compression or lack thereof of the body on landing.

Taking off starting bent down, then extending, hands down at feet.

Landing - flexed or extended? Upon impact should one be flexing more or extending more?
Sorry SMJ - I did not explain it well...... that is why I got taught to just jump up & land first..... when you learn to land "softly" you learn the movement you need to do to absorb... it is just less (or at least that is how it felt to me)....
My instructor used to make me try to make no noise as i landed... but the tips MUST land first (& take off last) .... I have no idea why that worked.... but quite honestly after practising that to death it felt not so bad to have my skis go off the snow - because I landed in balance & so in control....

Note the bush comment - it was real we were jumping up a lip ONTO a run that was suffering for lack of snow I had maybe 2 ski lengths to get that landing & turn or I landed in bushes..... I made every turn easily.... it made me a lot less worried about jumping - because I realised that the "windmill outa control" move was not a necessary part of the exercise.... (OK I am a BIG chicken.... but I LIKE control)
post #15 of 19
I always built my own jump when learning. The terrain jumps are huge and most people tend to just ride em. A smaller jump makes you do the work. It forces you to practice timing.

I'm 51 and started jumping when I was 11. I built a jump across the street from my home and went over every night to practice. It was "tip drops" and "side kicks" for me in 1966. It still is today. Kids today don't know what that is. When they see an old boy line up they get concerned. But I can still fly - its the landing that concerns me.

One important point is choosing the landing. It should be steep. The closer to flat the more likely an injury or damaged ski. That's why we often look for pops out of the terrain park. We also carry a small shovel. Often all you need is for a bump to be tuned up. Especially if it drops off in the back.

Be smart and exercise judgement - this is a great way to get hurt. Just because others can do it doesn't mean you can do it. Know your limitations and practice.
post #16 of 19
It dawned on me after my post that I felt it should be mentioned that the step up tactic is more suited to rollers/whales than to formed jumps.
post #17 of 19
Too many posts here are providing incorrect advice regarding how to "pop" off a jump. If you try to jump off the top of a jump you will never get a smooth take-off and always have balance problems. What you really need to do is to jump out of the trough of the jump (aka "the base of the jump"). To do this you flex your knees and "absorb" into the base of the jump at the beginning. Then you extend and jump up as the slope of the jump moves you higher. How fast you extend depends on the length of the ramp - your goal is to be fully extended as you leave the top of the jump. If you try to wait and jump off the very top of the jump you'll most likely get kicked out of balance since your timing has to be too perfect to push off right at the top (you also won't go as high).

If you've every taken a dive off a springboard at the pool then you'll know what it should feel like when you take a jump skiing. The feeling to me is very similar.
post #18 of 19
Read this earlier thread:
Little Jumps and Tricks - *Really* Getting Started

Several excellent tips - many of which I used to some limited success :

The main problem was finding somewhere to repeat the exercise. You need a short run with a quick lift!
I did venture onto the terrain parks and found that jumping diagonally over the rail launches worked well (nb I did this when there was no-one else nearby!)
post #19 of 19
Take a quick look at this post from "general humor" and watch the video. This guy definitely did not follow some of the good advice from this post.

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...ight=lawn+dart
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