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short linked turns - please explain this drill

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
During a lesson at the weekend I wanted to concentrate on shortening the radius of my linked turns. I'm getting pretty goodat medium (and large) linked carved turns but the speeds they create on steeper slopes are beyond my comfort zone (I'm sure this will change with time). On steeper slopes I add a slight uphill traverse between turns.

My instructor showed me a couple of drills to practice on my own. One was side slip twist turns, twisting my skiis from side to side perpendicular to the fall line (as I slip downhill) whilst keeping my torso pointing straight at the fall line. I understand this to help train my lower body to move indipendant of my upper. I can do this on larger turns but that's probably because I have more time to think about what I'm doing.

Another drill was turning without any edge (not twisting but turning). He kept reiterating that he wanted me to get used to skiing not on edge and and to feel the difference between being on and off edge. Keeping my skiis flat but turning 'C' shaped turns. Unfortunately I didn't ask what this was for during the lesson. We covered a lot of ground and this was thrown in towards the end. Does anyone know what this drill was helping - the same as the other ?. Understanding the drills helps me to know when I'm doing it right.

Also, does anyone know why I'd have a much harder time keeping my torso pointing straight during a left turn than a right turn ?

Thanks
post #2 of 23
brit, as for your last question, I'd suggest that it could be an alignment issue, but I'll wait for the experts to answer!
post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat
brit, as for your last question, I'd suggest that it could be an alignment issue, but I'll wait for the experts to answer!
Possibly. But lets look for possibly a simplier explanation. Many folks are strongly one sided. It's okay with tennis, baseball, and even snow boarding. You throw the ball with your stronger side, and you ride preferentially on your stronger side. Skiing, on the other hand, is one of very few sports demanding both sides to be equally strong. Brit, are you strongly one sided? In skiing, everybody has a stronger side turn and a weaker side. My weaker turn is also the left turn, because I have a lazy inside left leg. The better one gets at the sport of skiing, the less the difference between the two sides.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by josseph
Possibly. But lets look for possibly a simplier explanation. Many folks are strongly one sided. It's okay with tennis, baseball, and even snow boarding. You throw the ball with your stronger side, and you ride preferentially on your stronger side. Skiing, on the other hand, is one of very few sports demanding both sides to be equally strong. Brit, are you strongly one sided? In skiing, everybody has a stronger side turn and a weaker side. My weaker turn is also the left turn, because I have a lazy inside left leg. The better one gets at the sport of skiing, the less the difference between the two sides.
We'll I'm right handed and footed and it took me longer to get rid of my left turn stem. Having said that I do have terrible boot issues - My right foot is smaller than left but the shop only measured my left foot. I've since been told that I couldn't find a worse boot for my feet (feet very narrow, boots very wide ) and the boots I have are a a size too big anyway - I have 1/2 inch of shimming around my right heel/ankle. However, there's nothing I can do about that until next season when the boots I need (lange 120 comp lf) are back in stock. I'm trying to be the best as I can with what I have.
post #5 of 23
I use this drill with my students to teach them how to control edges together in combination with femur rotation. If you teach them how to rotate and seperate upper and lower body but don't teach them how to control the edges it doesn't work. A hard railed ski can't be pivoted and a ski that pivots very easily is not edged. You need to be able to feel and adjust the edge angle to be appropriate for the turn. Shmeered turns like these give you real good feed back. We don't want to ski like this, it's an EXERCISE.

DC
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
DC

Are you saying that to tighten the turn, I need to reduce the edge angle to pivot the ski ? If so, at what point during the turn would this happen ?

At present, the only way I tighten a turn is to increase edge angle/angulation and guide the inner ski around with the toe. This obviously has a limit which I am reaching now. Am I right in assuming that the pivoting of a turn is for tightening beyond the limits of the skis carving ability ?

Thanks
PM
post #7 of 23
As you reach the limit of a skis ability to carve ie a 13M Radius ski trying to make a 6M the ski must skid or pivot some. If you are too hard on edge and try to pivot the ski the tails will wash out. See my thread on 50-50 /short radius here.

If you want a scarved turn, (skidded carved) you need to manage your edges better and give the skis a little bit of rotary input as well. (steered) in the direction you are trying to go. It's all a balancing act. Better management of edges and rotary will result in the types of turns you intend. This exercise is one of many thad addresses this specific blend.

DC
post #8 of 23
You need to steer the skis in short radius turns. The drills are designed to turn your feet. They are also designed to improve stance/balance, while sliding on an unedged ski -- where most folks lock up and ride: they partially edge it, and wait for it to turn.

As for the left/right problem, others suggest that it may be related to the boots, it may not.

Bear in mind, I have not seen you ski.

How did you get rid of the stem? Do you simply transfer weight to the right leg earlier? This works for long/medium turns just fine, but for really short turns, is very very hard.

If you favour the right leg, then the right ski may already be engaged and refuse to pivot/turn left. The left hand turns/pivots are harder, and have less upper/lower body separation, probably because the right hand edge is already engaged, before you try to turn the feet. So, you need to twist tjhe skiis forcefully with the whole body to get them to turn.

The right hand pivot is "ok" because you may want your weight to be onto the outside edge of the right ski after you've pivotted it. To get it there, you are flattening the right ski then pivotting.

In short, your weight distribution may simply favour the right leg all times, and you are not releasing the right hand edge before you pivot the skiis. It's a bit scary to be slipping with no edge, and pointing down the fall-line, so you may also straighten up and reel backwards a bit too, making it even harder to turn the feet.

I suggest yuo practice all drills on gentler terrain, untill you are happy with them. Then onto the next steeper hill. repeat....

I also suggest that you avoid the lange 120 comp l/f, unless the bootfitter is also going to soften it (a lot) for you. If you are "over-booted" by a too stiff boot, you will have a very very hard time skiing. It's definatlely not something you "grow into"; a too stiff boot will stop you from growing. (Or at least lengthen the process CONSIDERABLY! I'm talking years longer here....)

I would consider using a soft boot, like those of the the Rossignol Soft series for example.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies

DC, so are you suggesting less edging all around to guide the skis around the whole turn when I want a really tight turn ? As opposed to steering at the point of transition from edge to edge ?

In trying to speed up/ reduce size of my turns following my instructor, I did introduce a rear skid , particilarly on a right turn.

BigE, I got rid of my stem by early weight shift and crossover to initiate the turn.

The Lange boot was suggested by a respected bootfitter so I'm assuming he'll be doing a lot of work to it. He did suggest as an alternative the Saloman Xwave 7 and not the 8 (e said the 8 is probably too stiff for my weight) so he's aware of the need for a softer boot.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by britinnyc
BigE, I got rid of my stem by early weight shift and crossover to initiate the turn.

The Lange boot was suggested by a respected bootfitter so I'm assuming he'll be doing a lot of work to it. He did suggest as an alternative the Saloman Xwave 7 and not the 8 (e said the 8 is probably too stiff for my weight) so he's aware of the need for a softer boot.
Thought so! The early weight shift and cross-over turn usually has no pivotting but does have an early edge in it. You are right footed, as I'd suspect that the right hand pivots work better, since the left ski is not as fully engaged.

Try this: in socks, on a slippery floor, do "the twist". Pivot the feet so that if you were in show, they'd make bowtie snow angels. (The pivot point being mid foot). Do this WITHOUT moving your hips -- keep the hips and the toes in a perfectly straight line. THAT'S turning the feet. Kind of like putting out a cigarette. Look in a mirror if you can to help.

Then do it on a carpet, but HOP between pivots, always keep the hips stationary. That is full upper/lower body separation. That is needed for steep SR turns.

Do 100 hops a night, until you own the move -- about ten days. Your skiing will improve alot...

Beware the Lange 120. Ask the bootfitter if they intend to soften it. It is one thing if your feet fit the boot. It's quite another thing to be able to bend it, regardless of your weight. Lange actually advertises the wider (but no less stiff) 120 comp MF as the boot for racers when they free-ski.

Hope this helps!

Cheers
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
Thought so! The early weight shift and cross-over turn usually has no pivotting in it. Try this: in socks, on a slippery floor, do "the twist". Pivot the feet so that if you were in show, they'd make bowtie snow angels. (The pivot is mid foot). Do this WITHOUT moving your hips -- keep the hips and the toes in a perfectly straight line. THAT'S turning the feet. Kind of like putting out a cigarette. Look in a mirror if you can.

Then do it on a carpet, but HOP between pivots, always keep the hips stationary.
Thanks BigE, well spotted. I definitely felt my hips moving when trying to pivot and that caused a rear skid. I'll practice in front of the mirror prior to next weekend (when my wife's not around).
post #12 of 23
It would be a combination or blend of all the skills you are thinking about depending on your intent.

The exercise you were introduced to (shmeered turns) hones these skills to a much higher level.

If you pivot your skis at the point of transition you may find you can not get an edge to grip once the ski starts skidding but if you get the edge to grip first and then let up on the edge to allow some skid, you will have a better chance of controlling how much skid you have.

We are talking very minute and precise movements with very precise quick adjustments. BigE brought up another great point. Balance and stance while skidding turns can be a fleeting thing. The drill really drives these skills home.

DC
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone, I'll definitely spend a lot of time on these drills next time out. It's far easier when I know what I'm trying to acheive.

BigE, you said not to move my hips but to keep by toes and hips in a straight line. If I pivot my feet in the middle without moving my hips, would that not move my toes out of line with my hips ?
post #14 of 23
britinnyc,
You can keep your feet and hips in line while doing that. All that aside, can you do a pole plant and has anyone ever worked on blocking pole plants with you?
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Sir Turnalot

If I rotate my feet so my toes are pointing right WITHOUT rotating my hips, surely my hips will be pointing straight ahead and my toes to the right ? I'm getting very confused with this one.

BTW, I have started to work on bpole plant blocking to stop my torso twisting back with my lower body.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by britinnyc
Thanks everyone, I'll definitely spend a lot of time on these drills next time out. It's far easier when I know what I'm trying to acheive.

BigE, you said not to move my hips but to keep by toes and hips in a straight line. If I pivot my feet in the middle without moving my hips, would that not move my toes out of line with my hips ?
Ooops! Bad description alert!

The point is not to swivel the hips when you turn the feet.

The toes will move. You want them to land lined up on a straight line. It's not the same line as they started, nor the line through the hips. That's the confusion.

If you drop your pole on the snow, and line up with left and right boots each 6" away from the pole, your hips will also be parallel to the pole. Now, when you hop and pivot, the boots land on a different line, maybe 7" from the pole. But the hips and toes remain parallel to the pole -- the hip position did not change -- each hip socket is the same distance from the pole.

Just keep in mind that the point is not to swivel the hips when you turn the feet.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Ooops! Bad description alert!
I was wondering if that was the case. I have heard the description and have used it but something didn't sound right.

DC
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Now it all makes sense.

Thanks again everyone for your advice, now I'm off to spend some time in front of the mirror.
post #19 of 23
I smell a troll - he is having a good time goading you all with his paraphrasing.

:-)
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by klkaye
I smell a troll - he is having a good time goading you all with his paraphrasing.

:-)
Could you please elaborate ?
post #21 of 23
I'm curious if they mentioned a 'long leg/short leg' awareness in these drills, or if such fits into this?

I took a lesson last weekend, and it sounds like they showed me some drills similar to yours.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
ElkMountainSkier

My instructor didn't mention "long leg/short leg" awareness.

Trying to rotate my feet in socks on a wood floor proved I have a much easier time turning right than left. Turning left, my feet won't rotate as much.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by britinnyc
ElkMountainSkier

My instructor didn't mention "long leg/short leg" awareness.

Trying to rotate my feet in socks on a wood floor proved I have a much easier time turning right than left. Turning left, my feet won't rotate as much.
Can you try this?
Stand on your left leg alone, stump your right side bottom ankle on the wood floor 3 times. Will you feel any pain at the bottom of your right ankle?
Try the other side for difference in the pain level.
If no pain, try press around your right knee around the "8:30pm" direction
which is inside slightly on the back..

It sounds like you have a "weak right" side.
In skiing terms it is "alignment" issue.
In my dictionary, it is lower_back, knee, upper_back issues, in sequence of
chinese chiropatic isolation.

-Kin.
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