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Need Help With Sideslipping

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I'm a level 6/7 skier, and I want to learn how to ski in moguls. My plan is to start out sideslipping down them, pivoting at the tops, while working on absorbing and extending. The problem with this plan, is that I suck at sideslipping. So, before I get in trouble in the moguls, I want to improve my sideslipping skills.

Here's the situation: I turn my skis perpendicular to the slope, face down the slope, and try to relax my feet to get my skis off their edges. The tips drop a bit and I start sliding diagonally towards the tips. When I try to do this with the tails, I don't go anywhere. My feet are as nervous as I am about going backwards.

I could use some exercises or pointers on 1) how to keep skis perpendicular to the slope during the slipslide, 2) how to slide diagonally backwards, 3) how to begin to approach moguls. I truly appreciate any advice you all have for me.

Thanks!
post #2 of 27
first you should be trying this on unbumped groomers of a pitch similar to that which holds the bumps you want to ski. I think trying it out on the bumps just complicates the mechanics and the muscle memory.

you can try a number of exercises to learn the sideslip. the one that has taught me the most is a variation on the basic traverse. simply start out with a cross-slope traverse, using a shallow angle so you don't generate speed... then simply soften your edges as you head across. keep the angle shallow and you shouldn't have any speed/fear problems creeping up too quickly. if speed becomes an issue then move to a slope with a shallower descent angle.

you should be able to get a feel of where underfoot you need to relax more in order to release more tip, or more tail... then in the middle you'll find that spot where you can basically make the ski flat enough that it simply sideslips directly downhill.

once this becomes something you can control pretty well, increase the traverse angle to head more downhill. then you can begin to insert the flattened edge at various points in your turn... still on unbumped terrain. then take it to the bumps.
post #3 of 27
Sonja, let me ask you if you are able to stand on one ski? Side slipping doesn't come easily until you are able to transfer all weight, at least momentarily, onto one ski.

Secondly, it is much harder to sideslip on flat terrain than steep terrain. It is also much harder to sideslip on loose snow than on hard pack. To learn to sideslip, try getting yourself on terrain that is as steep as you find within your comfort zone. Also, the icier the better. Stand in a solid stance. Skis that are held too far apart are hard to flatten simultaneously. That's because you end up straddling on both skis if you hold them too far apart (see comment in first paragraph). Conversely, skis held too closely together will form a less stable pattern. Best are skis held shoulder width or slightly narrower.

First try a shallow traverse with edges set. As you slowly traverse, soften your edge angle until you start slipping diagonally sideways. Next, as you are traversing/slipping with the soften edges, turn your skis so that they are either straight across the fall line or even pointing slightly up hill. Keep edges soft so they will give and let you slide. Play around with moving your hips forwards and backwards along the ski. In addition to softening your edge angle, it also helps greatly to break the edge set by transferring most of your weight on the downhill ski to start. (Again, see comment about being able to put all weight on one ski).

With that said, I am not sure the sideslipping is a technique to use as your default and first way to ski bumps, since you will have increasing difficulty to execute sideslip, especially with the directional control you need to navigate bumps, unless the moguls are very packed up with little loose snow. I think it's probably best you invest your time in learning to steer your skis through moguls than trying to sideslip.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonja_sonja
Here's the situation: I turn my skis perpendicular to the slope, face down the slope, and try to relax my feet to get my skis off their edges. The tips drop a bit and I start sliding diagonally towards the tips. When I try to do this with the tails, I don't go anywhere. My feet are as nervous as I am about going backwards.
First, as others have said, find a well groomed single-fall-line intermediate trail to practice side-slipping. Side-slipping through bumps can be tricky!

If you find even on the above mentioned well-groomed single-fall-line trail that it is difficult to side-slip straight down, then it might be time to have your fore-aft alignment checked. That is, where are you feeling your weight on your feet? Is it over the whole sole of your foot or is your weight concentrated on the balls of your feet? It's pretty hard to side-slip straight down a slope unless your weight is evenly distributed over your foot.

Do you know the falling leaf drill? Others here can explain it much better then I can, but essentially it's a side-slipping drill where you first slip tips first, then tails first, then tips first, then tails first... You get the idea. It shouldn't take much of a weight shift or movement on your part to start slipping the "other" way. If you're finding it difficult to do the falling leaf drill, then again, it might be time to see a boot fitter.
post #5 of 27
When I saw you were sideslipping diagonal toward your tips, i immediately thought about fore-aft balance like kevinF. Sounds to me like you are too far forward.

When you're on the fairly steep slope that everyone else described...

start to sideslip like normal.... which way do you go? stop and reset

apply forward pressure to your boots/ move center of mass forward and repeat

Now move center of mass back so you feel your weight in your heels, what does that do to your sideslip?

My suggestions are to do each trial separately, if you were to do them together you'd be doing the falling leaf and hopefully you'd be alternating between tips diagonal and tail diagonal. its a fun thing to do on the side of the trail.
post #6 of 27
Hi Sonja,

You have already gotten some good pointers but I will try to add a different way of doing the same thing.
As already said above find a smooth harpack area that is just a little steeper than the rest of the "Blue Square" it is on. This will probably already be scraped clean. Get in the position of side stepping up it (as mentioned above feet hip to shoulder width apart and looking straight ahead for now) two side steps up and with equal weight on both feet just let the knees rock away from digging the edges into the hill and let yourself slip sideways just six to sixteen inches. Roll the knees back into the hill to stop yourself, and if the tips or tails slip first shift your weight fore and aft and play with it until you find you can slip further and further without getting tips or tails first. Then as already mentioned above try to slip a long way shifting the weight fore and aft fluttering between tips first and tails first like a leaf falling down from a treetop.
post #7 of 27
Just a question, how can you be a level 6/7 and can't sideslip?
post #8 of 27

Play soccer slip

I agree with all posts re sideslipping here, good stuff.

To add a little fun to this excersize, I came up with a soccer analogy, though you could tailor it to any sport, even golf, basketball, volleyball etc.

Stand sideways on a hill with adequate pitch, etc.

feet hip width apart, maybe a little less

pretend you have a soccer ball between your ankles and you are holding it there with the bony part.

if your skis come apart at the tips, the soccer ball shoots out the front, and the mountain scores a point.

If your skis come apart at the tails, the soccer ball shoots out the back , and the mountain scores a point.

If you hold your skis parallel for 3 seconds while slipping, you score a point.

This is fun for a large age range and keeps most students from thinking too much about what they are doing and focussing on the "score"

PS also find some friendly bumps and slowly make large, round turns through them, soaking up the terrain with your legs (flexing appropriately in the hips, knees & ankles) as you go. (very friendly terrain, please) Focus on balance fore and aft, and try and find the most efficient stance for yourself. Keep switching back and forth between groomers and bump runs. (the fastest turns you can make on the groomers will help get you moving the way you need to in the bumps. (Turn the feet, soak up the terrain, turn the feet, extend your legs to keep the skis on the snow, turn the feet soak up the terrain, etc.)

Most of all take your time in them at first, and go at a pace that is.....FUN
post #9 of 27
As others suggest, sideslipping may not be the best introductory technique for moguls ...and sideslipping backward around and through them may be even less ideal...

Backward traversing (away from traffic or with a spotter) would help adjust your technique for moving backward and improve your sense of comfort doing it.

A continuous shuffle of your feet (fore & aft a few inches) during sideslipping can improve our sense of balance and directional control. Helps to keep the legs as relaxed as possible while shuffling.

I too would pursue a different method for introductory bumps. Short-Swing turns are an ideal entry-level bump turn and are likely described in detail somewhere on this forum.

.ma
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great suggestions about sideslipping! I'll try them out on Friday at Park City. As for the best approach to beginning skiing moguls, I have no clue. I'll try sideslipping, steering, and swing-turns. Any other ideas? I'm concerned about keeping both feet together at turn initiation. I don't stem on groomed trails, but I've noticed this cropping up in bumpy situations.
post #11 of 27
Not sure if I missed it in an earlier post, but if you are sideslipping down a slope, make sure to keep your upper body focused down the fall line and start the sideslip by rolling your downhill foot onto its little toe edge.
post #12 of 27
I do agree with everybody who said to start on a groomer with sideslipping. I suggest though to start from a standstill. Make sure you are facing downhill at least somewhat. (And not only your head and shoulder but your pelvis also.) Now start out on edge with your weight on the balls of your big toes. Slowly press the little toe down until the ski is flat enough and starts to slip. Make sure you are NOT tilting your shoulder uphill. After you tried the little toe approach on both sides try how it feels by pressing your downhill ankle downhill. (Make sure you are trying that also on both sides.) The result is usually the same – but one might feel better than the other. Some students of mine use the knees as a focal point. (Tipping the knees downhill) Bottom line: the flattening of the skis should come from your femur tipping your flexed leg downhill so your skis are slipping downward rather than travelling on the edge forward across the hill.

The next important piece to the puzzle is that you will have to commit your weight over your downhill ski.
Now try to connect some pivot- slip – pivot – slip moves. And in the moment your skis are travelling across the fall line start thinking: Little toe downhill – or - downhill ankle downhill (whichever worked better for you.)

Have fun and see you in the bumps,
Little Bear
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by zion zig zag
Just a question, how can you be a level 6/7 and can't sideslip?
Because although no one else seems to have mentioned this, some skis simply don't slide sideways very smoothly or easily.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
Because although no one else seems to have mentioned this, some skis simply don't slide sideways very smoothly or easily.
Especially my favourite pair that had zero base bevel..... (I dunno instructor did that to them!)
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonja_sonja
I'm a level 6/7 skier, and I want to learn how to ski in moguls. My plan is to start out sideslipping down them ....

Here's the situation: I turn my skis perpendicular to the slope, face down the slope, and try to relax my feet to get my skis off their edges...
On the slipping, if you are truly facing down the hill, you are way too countered. That might be a problem. Try facing only a few degrees more downhill than your skis.

I don't think that side-slip in the bumps is that viable a strategy but slipping excercises outside the bumps can help you get a feel for your edges and that will help you in the bumps.

Now here's a progression:

1. Starting skiing some medium or medium short turns with flat skis, very soft edges; Skid around the entire turn but make sure the turn is round. Think about a car going thru a four-wheel drift in a turn. Practice this for a run or two.

2. Now at the end of your turns, try some diagonal skids across the hill (like a slipping traverse described above). Play with your balance and edges. Try to get a feel for how your edges and balance affect which way you go. Try getting your skidding direction to go mostly across the hill and then try getting it to go mostly down the hill. When you get to the side of the slope, turn and try it on the other side. You are getting a feel for blending edging and balance skills.

3. As you get a feel for your edges, try getting the slip going straight down the fall line. Eventually try this from a dead stop. See spefics from other posts on technique.

4. Once you can do that, throw in some pivots where you swing your tips down the fallline and thru 180* so you end up slipping on the other side. Tips: one side is easier for everyone; don't let if frustrate you that your weaker side is harder. Tip: when you try to pivot slip, if you come out of the slip and go into a turn, your balance is off. Now do consecutive pivot slips. Side slip 10-15' on one side, pivot, side slip on the other side, repeat. Learn the feel of blending your edging and rotary skills.

5. The next thing to try is drifting forward and backward in a side slip. This is called a falling leaf. Start sideslipping and play with your balance. See if you can't drift slighly foward and backward in your sideslip. Practice that for a while; you'll get a feel for blending your edging and balance skills expanding on what you did in step 2. Once you have it, throw in a pivot slip every once in a while to change sides.

6. Now go ski. Start back at step 1 with soft edges and gradually add a bit more edge. Go back and forth. Play with it. Feel how different amount of edging affects your skiing.

All this stuff is all skill building. You won't use these exact moves in the bumps but the skills will help you. Bumps would be another progression.

One thing to keep in mind is the first time you try anything of this, you won't be able to do it 100% correct. You will have to practice and keep trying. Also, don't expect to get the feel for all of this in one hour or two practice session. Go back and practice this stuff every now and then for part of a run.

Another thing to keep in mind is ski instruction via the web is almost worthless. See if you can't get a lesson. Got $ for a private, take one. Even if you get in a group, at level 6/7, you may only have a few students in the class. Think about the responses you got to your question here and tell your instructor what you want to learn. In a group, the instructor has to come up with a topic for the lesson that is suitable for the class. If you mention a topic and everyone else say "I dunno, I just want to learn somethin", you may get exactly what you want even in a group lesson.

-Ken the Kinesthetic Skier
post #16 of 27
sonja sonja I teach moguls as a specialty. I do not think that your approach is bad or misguided. Let me sum up many of the points that others have made.

First and foremost, the very first thing that I do in a mogul clinic is to check for fore and aft miss alignment. I would bet that you are to far forward. Your calf muscle is probably into the top of your boot and your ankle is probably lifting off the boot bed. I would consider a heel lift and make sure the power strap is on the inside of the shell in front and firmly clamping the boot liner. Second I would not over buckle the top buckle. Make sure the second to the top buckle is tight.

If you are not well balanced fore and aft you haven't got a prayers chance in hell of skiing moguls decently.

I always start teaching moguls with a good side slip and falling leaf. As someone else has mentioned, do not face directly down the slope. Only enough counter to take care of the slope. A steeper slope and learning from a traverse is easier at first. Have your feet not to wide or to narrow.

Once you learn a good side slip, take that to the next step. The next step is a decent pivot slip. Then add a pole touch and turn that pivot slip into a good short round skiddy turn.

Speed control in bumps comes from slowing your feet down. Make sure you slow motion the top half of your turns so they take three times as long as the bottom and you will ski round turns with speed control. Speed control is that simple.

Good luck.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre
Speed control in bumps comes from slowing your feet down. Make sure you slow motion the top half of your turns so they take three times as long as the bottom and you will ski round turns with speed control. Speed control is that simple.
Pierre, I am very much interested in your progression from this point onward for bumps. Now, having done the balance bit, having done the pivot slip, pole touch + skidded scarved turn.... how do you typically go from here. What do you do to get them to slow down their top of their turns in bumps for speed control? Thanks!
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by josseph
Pierre, I am very much interested in your progression from this point onward for bumps. Now, having done the balance bit, having done the pivot slip, pole touch + skidded scarved turn.... how do you typically go from here. What do you do to get them to slow down their top of their turns in bumps for speed control? Thanks!
The concept for speed control is very simple. The moguls dictate the size and shape of the turns. By slowing down the top half of the turn it takes longer to complete a turn. The overall speed through the bumps decreases because the overall speed is derived from distance skied divided by time it took to complete the turn.

The next step in the progession takes this concept to the slope. I set brush gates on a groomed slope in such a way that unless the top of the turn is done in slow motion with a continuous complementary pole swing a round finished turn cannot be completed and my student cannot make the next brush gate. A quick pivot and a skid will not give enough directional control to make the gate.

This simulates moguls. Moguls, like the brush gates, dictate the size and shape of the turns.

After this, I use a dye marker in the bumps to trace out the most efficient round line with the least amount of need for flexion and extension. I do not cover flexion and extension extensively in my clinics. I can ski bumps this way without much of any flexion and extension.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre
The concept for speed control is very simple. The moguls dictate the size and shape of the turns. ....
The next step in the progession takes this concept to the slope. I set brush gates on a groomed slope in such a way that unless the top of the turn is done in slow motion with a continuous complementary pole swing a round finished turn cannot be completed and my student cannot make the next brush gate. A quick pivot and a skid will not give enough directional control to make the gate.
I really like your progression, Pierre. Can you elaborate a bit more about how you set up the brush gates, especially the placement of the brushes? I really like that idea.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by josseph
I really like your progression, Pierre. Can you elaborate a bit more about how you set up the brush gates, especially the placement of the brushes? I really like that idea.
Its complicated. I ski the turns that I want and someone marks the points where I touch the pole. The brush gate goes where I touch the pole.
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks

I just wanted to thank everyone who offerred advice in this thread. I now can sideslip! Here's what made the difference:

1) Paying more attention to the uphill ski, to keeping it parallel with the downhill ski. Before, I was basically ignoring it, and the tip would start to tilt a little more downhill than it should.

2) Slipping down a steeper run. I was trying to refine this skill on green runs and it just wasn't happening. The steeper the terrain (if smooth), the easier it has been for me to sideslip.

3) Paying more attention to fore-aft balance--feeling my weight over the arch, not the ball of my foot.

4) Practicing soft, skidded turns. Getting used to the feeling of my tails skidding out, and my skis pivoting without much edging, really helped.

Anyway, thanks again!
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre
I do not cover flexion and extension extensively in my clinics. I can ski bumps this way without much of any flexion and extension.
So, you ski bumps without pressure control? How do we do that? Range of motion and pressure control are key to effective and versatile mogul skiing in my experience. Limit the range of motion and you limit the other skills we blend together along with compromising our balance. Extension and flexion equals ski/snow contact and versatility. Later, Ricb.
post #23 of 27
Stand on your up hill ski or weight it more. Use the low section of the bump, the flat section. I often do it at the top of the bump but this is harder to do. Skiing the bumps for me is an opportunity to stand on both skis more. Sidesliping is weighting the up hill ski.
post #24 of 27
I've been teaching sideslipping to quite new skiiers lately, I like the way it adds to their understanding of how the ski works, it adds to their skiing bag of tricks, and it's an awesome way to develop some balance. So, confident first timers have been copping it, and levels just above that. Very pleased with the results. I also use hockey stops for similar reasons...they're fun to do, teach that useful combo of skills, and require really good skiing balance.

As for moguls, I reckon they are the test of where you are with your skiing; all the skills come together. What I found very powerful in my own bump skiing was learning *active* retraction and extension turns back home. Pulling the feet in under the body, and then extending them out to the sides, letting them come back in and then pulling them before sending them back out the other side. When I took these into the bumps, the effect was really fantastic, I was more aggressive than usual and could really "ride" the bumps, rather than reacting to them.
post #25 of 27
Sonja_sonja the biggest problem many have in keeping the skis from seperating is leaning into the hill too far with the upper body. The release will happen if you can get yourself to lift slightly the downhill big toe away from the snow and slightly push the uphill big toe down to the snow at the same time. If you are really having trouble with sideslipping, try lifting your downhill hip straight up without tipping your upper body into the hill and you will probably get it moving. This will move your hips and upperbody over the feet allowing things to move down the hill together.

Forward slipping happens by pressure more on the front of the foot, while slipping backwards happens when we have more pressure on the heels of the foot all other things being equal (cenrtered stance on flattened skis).

I start students into the bumps quite often by side slipping and then forward and back slipping (falling leafs) and then into pivots just like you were saying. The key to pivots in the bumps is to extend on the uphill foot and leg without brushing the downhill ski out to start the pivot. This uphill leg extention should start a release and then twist both feet around the bump. don't rush it but don't give up on the twisting of the feet either. Later, RicB.
post #26 of 27
sonja_sonja, Nolo did a couple of drills with her group at the ESA that I think really helped (both them and me!) in skiing moguls:
  1. Telemark turns
  2. The Waltz
Telemark turns are as you'd expect: pull back your inside foot during a turn as though you are making telemark turns. Note: this is a drill, not "real skiing". However, as you do them, you will find the ease with which you can direct your skis and shape the turn by turning the skis from your legs.

The Waltz is a bit more difficult to describe in types words. Start from a static position across a medium sloped blue run that is smooth. Point your tails downhill, and allow them to slide backwards down the hill. As they begin to slide, steer them uphill until they are pointed as far uphill as possible. As you slow to a stop and begin to move downhill (towards your tips), turn the tips across the hill in the direction the tails first went until you stop. This drill draws a "W" in the show (the left and right ends are your tips, the middle point is the tails as they go up the hill and then back down). Do this back and forth across the hill (some "W"s you draw from left to right, others from right to left). You'll get a sensation of pulling the tails up the hill in that middle point and turning your legs to form the arcs.

You can take this into the bumps, too. In the bumps, you want to get that same sensation as you crest a bump, "pull your tails back", and shape a turn down the side and front of the bump. If you can match the sensation of the Waltz, you'll find yourself balanced over your skis much more than you likely have been in the past. ...and balance is the key to good mogul skiing.
post #27 of 27
SSH

Teli turns are cool. Use it for fun. Never did the Waltz.

Here's another thing I learned when I was a kid. Practice on a shallow slope with real small bumps. Practice pivoting at the top of the bump - real slow. Play with your sidesliping in that situation. With less ski on the snow it will be easier. Practice using both skis to slip - one at a time and both together. Move the progression to slightly tighter and larger bumps. Maintain control and go ultra-slow. Bring the heals under your butt. Finish the turn big time. This is not the correct way to ski bumps - this is a drill.
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