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"Just one thing...."

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
So, last week while out at Beaver Creek, I was able to sneak in a couple of group lessons. Both were classified as "Levels 7/8/9." I'm probably a 7/8. Had one good instructor and one very good instructor. [The second instructor would have been "great" if the class had been smaller and had more similar goals].

As background, I had previously limited my time in moguls because I was aware that to ski them well, I needed to greatly improve my balance and carving skills. Oddly, it was spending most of one day in the bumps that greatly benefitted my carving skills.

Being the clueless indiviudal that I often am, I have always focused on maintaining a strong downhill ski. Not necessarily bad advice, but to me, my lower body was so tensed and focused on digging that edge into the hill, that I had almost no feel for the slope. Of course, I didn't know I had no feel for the slope because I had never experienced any other type of sensation while skiing.

On the second group lesson day, I spent a fair amount of time in the bumps with the instructor screaming at me to absorb the bumps more. Everytime I approached a bump, I would focus on pulling up my knees and I couldn't get it done. Of course the reason I couldn't get it done was because my legs were so tense, they couldn't absorb anything. Finally, after being told to try a bunch of different things by the instructor, I came to realize that I didn;t have to dig the edge of the ski into the slope, Instead, I could carve just as good a turn by standing on the edge and relaxing my legs. To most skiers at these levels, this is probably blatently obvious. but until I felt it the right way, I had no idea that I was doing it the wrong way.

When I got back to the groomers, turns were much more fluid, more relaxed. less tiring and much more enjoyable.

Am I a much better skier than before. Not really. But for the first time in a while, I feel like I found something that may help me get to that next level (whatever that next level is). I just wish I could better express what I was doing before and what I'm doing now. Now, if the temps here in DC would get back to the low 30s, I may be able to go try it out.
post #2 of 4
sounds like we're similar skier level.

i don't know if this connects to what you spoke of, as far as not having to dig the edges, but your epiphany sounds similar to something i've been playing with a little, having to do with relaxing the feet and ankles; the closest thing i can compare this to is...something like collapsing into the fronts of your boots.

for me, this new "relaxed" guidance has kept me more centered over the skis, as well as making for quicker response from my skis to my input.

gets back kind of to notions of stacking up the skeleton over the skis and - for me, now - focusing on what it takes to stay there.

bumps have become much more do-able as these newly relaxed feet/ankles absorb much better, and the skis more readily slide through the troughs. not there yet but getting closer all the time.
post #3 of 4

right on Ryan

I have found a very similar experience with the bumps. The harder I tried to ski them, the stiffer my legs got. (defensive) As soon as I began relaxing and flowing with the terrain, I had much more success!.

I was always envious of those folks who could smoothly and calmly run the bumps. I have good runs now and a couple of bad ones. Some good turns, and some bad ones.

Oh well what the heck, The bumps are calling me right now, too bad I cant answer them till the weekend!
post #4 of 4
My physiotherapist & I ahve been discussing skiing while she mangles me (or unmangles me.... )

She was asking me the other day about "weighting the downhill ski"..... she is quite athletic but admits to being a "so-so" skier.... Rides horses plays lots of sports... Sports physio doing a Masters in animal physio....

She has trouble "weighting the downhill ski".... I explained to her that she really wants to be "balancing weight over" the down hill ski (especially the edge) rather than "pushing on" that edge.... Her eyes lit up & she said "oh yes that is what I do" .... everyone is telling her "more weight" & she can feel the edge slip & tries to "dig in"

When i learnt this my instructor explained it to me as "stop trying to dig the ski into the slope - you make the ski less stable" & instead he asked me to think hard about a nice simple balance point.... reminding me that my ski is a knife cutting an edge & if I cut "down - bang" with a knife on a hard board it will skate around a bit... so instead cut with finesse always moving forward in the direction of the cut...
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