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I'm an ugly hopper, please help

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
We'll I've got a nasty habit of kicking my tails up and around on steep terrain while hunting for an attractive line. It's ugly and inefficient....the steeper and more intimidating the top of the run is the more I do it. Seems to be less of a problem after a little rhythm and feel for the snow is established. Can anyone offer some tips on how to properly start a steep run in variable conditions and keep speed in check. Thanks for any help.
post #2 of 12

virage sauté-pédale

or the pedal hop turn


As their routes increased in length and commitment, Vallençant and Baud developed an even more advanced technique. Their descents became so demanding both from a physical and technical standpoint that they were forced to find the most effective maneuver, one that was energy-efficient and generated the least momentum. Their high altitude descents exceeded 55 degrees, sometimes tipping the 60 mark. Some were up to 4,000 feet in length. Their maneuver has been called virage sauté-pédale, or the pedal-hop turn.



(check links at bottom of page, too)
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
OK, so maybe not quite that steep of terrain. The face runs at the top of Mammoth is the pitch I'm working on. I see others on the same run using less much energy and verticle movement during their turns. Maybe I'm not committed enough to start a more conventional turn. Any tips on what I might focus on as an alternative to the pedal hop turn? Thanks again.
post #4 of 12
As you shift your balance to the new outside ski (uphill ski) keep your old downhill ski on the ground and roll it to the little toe side and allow it to rotate into the new turn. Think of it like pointing your knee in the direction of the hill.

This is similar to the pedal turn but maybe not as extreme.
post #5 of 12
it helps me to add to that rolling of the toe (old downhill ski) a little flexion of that knee, which - for me, anyway - brings the ski back, continues that release down the hill, and engages the edge of the uphill (stance) ski.

i have been trying in similar situations to also get the carve started early, or high, in the turn. in fact, i'll be working this stuff at mammoth on the terrain you're talking about this weekend.
post #6 of 12


Ask yourself why you hop. Why do you feel the need to "get them around" so fast. (Im assuming you are on shaped skis, and they arent too long, too straight, or too stiff?)

I have been working on the same thing you are describing. I have found that keeping both feet under me helps a great deal.

Try this next time your out. Let me know if it helps

We used to call this the shuffle, ( where we would shuffle both feet back and forth 1/2 a boothlength or so throughout a traverse or turn) but I think it can be modified for modern equipment by simply controlling the amount of tip lead between your ski tips as you go through each turn. Some (uphill ski) tip lead is natural and functional, but too much will get you out of alignment and make you feel like you have to hop over or around your downhill ski to start the turn.

start with a traverse to get the feel of this. focus on the downhill ski. as you traverse across the hill, pull your downhill ski back under you by flexing at the ankle and bending your knee while moving your leg back slightly. then let it come back forward (total distance is only 1/2 bootlength). do this on and off across the hill. feel the pressure on your boot cuff with your shin.

Heres the important part as you take this into a turn: as your downhill ski becomes your uphill ski, keep it pulled under you as your turn develops and find the right amount of pressure/flex/lead to allow a smooth transition.

This will keep the uphill ski from getting too far ahead. You can be centered over your downhill foot the whole time, but if you let your uphill ski get too far ahead, you will not be centered over it with the inside half of your body. (strong inside half ) This opens your hips too far to the new turn and makes your downhill ski feel like its "in the way" as you start your next turn.

This is only part of it but addresses defensive movements. Look for them in your skiing, and improvement is not far away

Good luck and happy skiing
post #7 of 12

PS, Igor

Oh, PS, this also helps with speed control because you have control over both skis right from the beginning or even before the turn starts!
post #8 of 12
hue aynt no fugly hopper. these heah be fugly hoppahs.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input everyone. I got no excuses as far as equipment goes. I'm really happy with my setup. Something hits home with jpski's comments. Perhaps more snow contact and earlier turn initiation would help keep my speed in contol and add confidence. Can anyone recommend links that might focus on this?
post #10 of 12
Spend the money for a lesson. We can't help you with the ugly part, but a good instructor can help you get rid of the hop.
post #11 of 12
These are very complicated tips...

I'll try to keep it simple - too many skiers weight thier uphill ski too much on steep terrain which makes it hard to get to the next turn - and many don't have their bodies in sync with their legs...

on the steeps make sure you have adequate weight on your downhill ski and reach your downhill arm (left turn, right arm, etc) across your body...

the added weight on the downhill ski will help get you to the next turn and the arm thing helps it engage (which controls speed) and adds control through the turn...
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips everyone! I'll report back with the results,

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