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Video MA Please (March 18, 2005)

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Medium steep slope (ridge run at Sugar Bowl)
Firm pack snow with some small mounds of packed and loose powder.

The task medium radius turns. Trying to be more "2 footed". When we started, this skier was barely engaging (if at all) his inside ski. (diverging and skidded) and was very outside ski dominant.

video
post #2 of 19
Observations:
Close stance
inefficient steering
Limited ankle movement
Extension (coming mainly from the knee...) is UP and slightly BACK
Rotating upper body to assist in steering
Late turn pressure
Following skis
Head down
Possibly 'over equiped'
post #3 of 19
Not evenly shaped skidding turns. No determination. When one turn ends he should start the next one. Also the way he is initiating the turn, a small stem or step, is not very stylish. Far from 2 footed skiing but I guess that is what you are working at. I would also like to see more hip work in the sence that the skis should arc further away from underneath him and that he should not let his hips rotate as much as they do. Causing too much skidding. I would like to see a little less skidding throughout the whole turn. Polework is also a little lame. Not a bad run but not a great one eather.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shen
Observations:
Close stance
inefficient steering
Limited ankle movement
Extension (coming mainly from the knee...) is UP and slightly BACK
Rotating upper body to assist in steering
Late turn pressure
Following skis
Head down
Possibly 'over equiped'
AA lot of this is good but "close stance". Thats BS.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidecut
"close stance". Thats BS.
I'll stick with it.......take a look @ phase I of the turns.....no daylight......this should be carried out as an OPEN parallel turn.
post #6 of 19
Its not open but its not closed eather. Did he go straight to parallel? No micro wedge here or?
post #7 of 19
There's no inside foot involvement in the initiations other than a lead change, dchan. I'd take this guy and make a bunch of turns with extensions using both legs to make the extensions and seeking to get the skis flat on the slope during the extensions. After that, I'd go into rolling through the flat-on-the-slope position to the new edges. It takes something like two-legged extensions to feel the inside leg involvement he's missing. He's been doing a new-outside-foot initiation too long.
post #8 of 19
I see a fellow with good potential for rapid improvement. Pretty althletic in his efforts, just misapplied a bit. My own take on his lack of twofootedness (is that a real word?) is that it's an after-effect of his turn initiation technique.

Specifically, the skier makes a big move to initiate, then deals with the aftermath. His move is body-upward with to unweight and then he twists the skis to an edge under him.

When he does this he can't help but pile onto the outside ski to catch himself and continue around. If he does get on the inside ski too much it will catch and chose its own path unpredictably so he keeps it light. Try to duplicate his 'Z' turns yourself and I bet you find yourself predominately on your outside ski until the turn stabilizes.

His for/aft balance seems pretty good and he does get onto the front of the ski quite a bit. Still, the tails of his skis are skidded around to get to the new edges which he then rides & feathers for turn shape and speed control.

Were it me working with him I'd first work on a more progressive initiation movement pattern regardless of his current outside ski dominance. Once his turns are entered more gracefully, I suspect he would be a lot more twofooted.

.ma
post #9 of 19
michaelA, do you see a big move upward to initiate the turn? I dont. To me it looks like he is initiating the turn with a small stem or step and then unweightning the new inside ski by raising it up causing less pressure also on outside ski. There is now up and down movement.
post #10 of 19
The skier here is a nice strong athletic skier.

I see some alignment issues going on. The skier either has a short right leg, no footbeds, improperly built footbeds or worn boot soles. These things should really be addressed before this skier with be able to engage his inside ski with any consistency.

The skier is skiing the Fast line Slow approach. The top half of his turns are much faster than the bottom half of his turns. That means that he is initiating quickly and braking throughout his turns (comma shaped). Encourage him to turn downhill more slowly and let the skis accelerate throughout the turn.

Encourage him to flex at the ankles and move the hips up over the feet at turn initiation. This, along with the Slow Line Fast approach, will eliminate most of the other problems going on.
post #11 of 19
I see a pretty strong skier.

I would like to see this skier continue steering through the finish of the turn developing some counter and a little more angles as a result of upper and lower body seperation.

I would like to see a more two footed extension as Kneale said, but I would like to see this originate in/with the ankles both opening through the first half of the turn and closing through the second half of the turn. This should get the knees and hips also opening (legs getting longer, with hips more centered over the feet) and get an earlier engagement of the skis also. this should allow more effective blending in of the steering and edging throughout the turn, espsecially as the legs get shorter and the ankles close, reducing the upper body rotation into the turn and the banking. Later, RicB.
post #12 of 19
Heel pusher. All of the symptoms noted here come from this skiers heel push brake move.

The up move is to disengage the skis so that he can swish them to the point where he can push the heels out for the new turn, the sequencial look is from rising of the old outside ski and wanting to come back down on on the new outside side ski. Train this skier to guide the tips of their skis and many of the suggested fixes will begin to happen in the skiers turns without ever having to specificly address them. There is an error in the fundimental movements of this skier which can be summed up as pushing heels rather than guiding tips. Until this is addresed every thing else is tinkering around the edges of the problem.

Heel pushing is the ultimate dead end movenent. There is only one thing that a heel push is good for and that is to spray snow at your friends.

yd
post #13 of 19
tdk6, I do see a minimal stem, but to me it's another after-effect of the effort to launch each new turn - he wants immediate support on that outside ski as he pops over to it and that outside ski just happens to get out there quickest.

ydnar's 'heel push' is another way to look at it, and fills in a good reason for the big unweighting move - to release the old edges quickly.

Methinks learning a better transition technique would be the ideal first step with re-evaluation of remaining issues after it's in place.

Pierre, how do you detect an alignment or leg-length issue?

Since the skier is essentially hopping from outside leg skid to outside leg skid, I can see where his stronger leg would create visually different turns on each side but I'm curious what elements signal alignment issues.

.ma
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA
Pierre, how do you detect an alignment or leg-length issue?

Since the skier is essentially hopping from outside leg skid to outside leg skid, I can see where his stronger leg would create visually different turns on each side but I'm curious what elements signal alignment issues.

.ma
MA the discrepency in alignment is not noticed so much during the transition but during the high force phases of the turn and how he is managing the forces. He favors an A frame on the left turns to get the outside ski to bite but on the right turns he favors an upper body rotation combined with banking. These imbalances between the two legs will cause him to automatically favor skiing on one ski as the discrepency tends to disappear when on one ski only.

There is more than one way to correct for this problem but the cause of the problem must be deciphered first. The cause directs the fix.

Until such time as corrections can be made I tend to work more with tactics and concepts to maximize a students money spent on a lesson rather than specific techniques. I would stick with the slow line fast and moving the CM. These things will not change when corrections have been made. They are universal to all efficient skiing whether aligned or not.
post #15 of 19
My observations:

I see a skier who is highly accomplished at skiing parallel and being exceptionally smooth on a surface such as this. Assuming that the video is not in slow motion, he demonstrates excellent control of speed. I see significant Z-shape to his path - ie, a quick rotation at the end of each straight descending traverse. While it's not a "ski the slow line fast" path, it is a relaxing way to lazily descend a slope, at least when conditions are good. Many (probably most) recreational skiers would be delighted to look this good on a hill this steep.

However, assuming that he was not intentionally trying to demonstrate flat ski, pivoted Z-turns, and that he understands and wants to be able to do "GO THERE!" turns, there are several aspects to his technique that could stand improvement.

Specifically, the edge angles that he is developing are not even close to being sufficient to allow him to stop skidding and start carving. Pause the video at each each moment when he is directly facing the camera, and you will see that he is using very close to zero angulation. There is essentially no "C" shape to his body. He is banking all of his turns.

In addition, if you go through the video frame by frame looking for vertical motion of his CM relative to his skis, he is amazingly static. His CM probably moves up and down only a couple of inches in each turn. Another thing that contributes to the image of "static" (ie, not dynamic) skiing is that his lower body is essentially rotationally locked to his upper body. There is only the slightest hint of "keep the torso facing down the hill", and this leads to a general turn-like-a-robot, stiff appearance.

Cncerning tip lead, stop the video right after he comes out of the apex of each turn, and you will see what looks like roughly 12 inches of tip lead. This is excessive.

Finally, FWIW, doing the frame by frame analysis, I do not see any trace whatsoever of the stemming that some previous posters mentioned. The split of his legs associated with the excessive tip lead may look a bit like A-framing or stemming when viewed at normal speeds.

Rx:

I'm not going to attempt a full discussion of this because many of these problems have been discussed on Epic in the recent past, but if I had to describe how I would start to work with him, I would:

0) Get him out on a recently groomed run, make some turns with him, and then walk back uphill to inspect his tracks and yours. There is nothing quite so convincing in terms of starting the process of improvement.

1) Practice carving single turns back uphill from a traverse. Attempt to regain as much altitude as possible. Have him look back at his tracks and make sure they are thin lines, not brushed.

2) Work on the components of an angulated position, including flexing more deeply allow the skis to be edged, and then extending to flatten them to initiate the next turn. It's OK to temporarily exaggerate this while practicing.

3) Incorporate the above into a fan progression, eventually crossing the fall line and carving back uphill in the opposite direction, still one turn at a time.

4) Start to link turns. Patience in turn initiation. Attempt to dial all rotary out of the transition.

5) For variety, RR tracks on the bunny hill.

6) "Follow-me" lessons to imprint on him that the desired path will feel nothing like the path he is currently taking down the mountain.

etc.

Just my $0.02. HTH,

Tom / PM


PS - In the interest of full disclosure, and so nobody thinks I'm a paragon of skiing virtue, I have been working on many of the same issues in my own skiing.
post #16 of 19
PS - After re-reading what I previously wrote, I realized that I forgot to comment on the stated goal of "more two-footed skiing".

IMO, this skier should first work on the issues I described above before nailing down "2-footed skiing". I subscribe to Ydnar's general comment about "tinkering around the edges of the problem".

For example, if this skier currently demonstrated a reasonable amount of angulation in his turns, but needed more, I would think about recommending that he widen his stance, as this might allow even larger angles to develop. However, since this skier is essentially not angulating at all, tinkering with his stance width and lateral weight distribution isn't likely to help - in fact, with his bent but static/rigid legs and all the banking that he is doing, widening his stance may result in him excessively weighting his inside ski.

Tom / PM
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Guess it's about time for me to chime in here.

When I first got this student, The goal was to be more two footed.

My first impression of his skiing (2 hours before this video) was a z turner, Old style skiing trying to move all the weight to the outside. I think in the earlier part of our skiing there was a little more extension and retraction than we see on this video. The video was taken on a somewhat steeper slope where it was pretty hard to get a good bite into the hill so I suspect he was being a little more defensive than during some of our earlier exercises. (partly my fault) I should have looked for a easier/softer slope for the video.

On very gentle slopes his turns were a little more rounded but the rotary component was there. The inside ski was very light and skidded rather than guided around the turn. Every so often he made a good turn so it was more like he knew what he was supposed to be doing, It just was not happening most of the time. Otherwise I saw a comfortable athletic skier that needed an "eye" some practice time, and miles.

To get him to feel that outside edge and initiate a turn with less rotary, We did some wider stance traverses trying to load the uphill ski, then extend the uphill leg (keeping down hill ski on the ground) and let the turn happen. This got him the feel of a loaded inside ski and made it harder to "rotate" the ski and got him making rounder and slower entries into his turns. We then did some turns where we would begin to load the inside ski as the skis entered the fall line. As the turn developed and reached the "crossover" point extended off the uphill ski, moving the CM down the hill to begin the turn and repeat. The other exercise I did with him was on very easy flat areas (like cat tracks and lift returns) we went to a very wide stance and began to roll both skis to an edge and began to play with making turns with no rotary or pivot type input. In this exercise I also began to introduce shortening the new inside leg to initate the turn rather than pivoting or twisting the skis.

Going to the looking at the tracks we did this. At the beginning of the lesson there was one track semi carved, one track totally skidded. By about half way through the lesson I did a second check and the tracks were mostly 2 evenly carved tracks. Huge improvement. On more moderate terrain and softer snow, the speed control was mostly completed turns, less skidding, rounder turns and the percentage of good turns to z turns was slowly getting better.

I suspect if I video taped him on an easier slope with no warning (video tends to stiffen us up too) you would have seen a totally different skier. If I took this video when I first got him, you would have seen a lot less control and a lot more "recovery" moves.

He and I both agree he needs more time to practice and put miles on his feet but I think we made good progress.


Reminder to those of you who chimed in early. I know it was an exercise here but when teaching, Positive before negative is helpful. We need to give something to our students before taking away things.

DC
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchan
Reminder to those of you who chimed in early. I know it was an exercise here but when teaching, Positive before negative is helpful. We need to give something to our students before taking away things.
DC
Agreed, IF we were teaching....I thougth this was movement analysis directed towards YOU.....
BTW, take a good look at the 'positives' that were stated........not much info there....

In the end....I agree....(in the teaching setting)
post #19 of 19
OK, I'll go with 'illusion' on the stemming thing. Watching in slower motion the (ctrl-P a lot) I don't see the skis themselves going wedge-like...

In motion, he has a leg-to-leg thing going on where he comes up off old outside-ski at turn finish (hmmm ...yes, quite stiffly) and over onto his new outside-ski, then his new inside-ski slides suddenly over closer to his new outside-ski. An A-frame appearance seems to come and go on most turns and maybe its the suddenly-increasing A-frame that enticed me to think the outside ski was moving out.

Even the size of the A-frame is a bit illusionary though - the excessive tip-lead exaggerates the appearance of an A-frame from side views. When slowed way down, side views clearly show a white triangle between the legs, but head-on not as much is there.

The skiers overall style/technique is commonplace on the hill with intermediate skiers, making this a really good video to analyze and debate. I'd like to discover more snapshot-ways to quickly recognize key issues. Currently, my technique is to put myself in their boots and try to imagine/perceive skiing their technique to figure out what's going on.

.ma

[edits for readability]
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