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Early Season Errors

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
As opening day nears, and my off-season fitness programs begins to pay off, I'm thinking more about the state of my technique at the end of last season, and wondering where I'll pick up this season. Will the progress I made last year carry through, or will I slip back into the same bad habits?

What early season errors have some of you experienced? What recurring problems will rear their annoying heads?

From the instructor's point of view, what are the most common errors you see creeping back into your student's technique?

Only 40 days until opening day...
post #2 of 14
Every single year I experience a high anxiety on that first ride up. Will I (my feet) remember how to do this?? And every year I am blown away at how those first turns come so naturally. I think most skiers out psyche themselves or overthink the moves.
Don't think about it...
Just do it!
post #3 of 14
Clip your toenails.
post #4 of 14
Most common error=not maintaining their equipment
post #5 of 14
I do not usually experience any first-day or early season errors. What I do experience for a few runs, until I get my feet back under me, is less comfort on my skis than I am used to in the regular season. It takes me several runs to get back to where I feel I have regained my balance and "feel" for the snow again. By my second day out I am usually back to where I left off in the spring, although the snow conditions do not allow for really pushing yourself. Western NY ski seasons come slow. Sometimes they even fake us out by coming, going, and then coming again... so you get to start your season twice. The same applies to ending the season as well. On my first day out I find it best to ski on a pair of longer skis, and a pair of very short skis to get the feel of both a GS and SL turn on the first day, as well as the balance situations that each presents you with. I work on turn size, shape, quickness, and transitions, and keeping everything with my upper body together. I am usually impressed at how much of this is all second nature, and that it can all fall into place so easily in just a few runs. Like riding a bike.
post #6 of 14
Colossus, the worst early season errors are human vs. obstacle, be it a rock, tree, or snag. Hazards may not be visible, so take it easy off the groomed and even on the margins of groomed runs. I have had a friend hit his head on a rock, another catch something with her edge and fly into the trees at the side of the run, etc. etc. These accidents led to near death experiences and caused injuries that kept them from skiing for years.
post #7 of 14
Here's a video of Ryan making the kind of mistake that nolo describes:
Cornice Bowl October 2004
post #8 of 14
I know that the first few runs, the skis will feel like they've grown several feet in the cupboard. I don't stress about it any more, just need puddle time to go iron out those cobwebs.
post #9 of 14
heluvaskier has good advice. Don't try to ski like you did at the end of last season. Do some skiing to get your feet back under you. The best way is to ski a little sloppy, meanning, skid a little so you can keep up with your skis. It also allows you to use less width of the trail which is often not covered as well early season, and keeps your speed down b/c there are a lot of other skiiers doing their first day and may be a little o/c. I have also found that something that I was working on changing (like a bad habit) from last season, went away during the off season as long as I had the proper focus on making a correction in my movements the next season. A bad habit will reoccur unless you have something to replace it.

post #10 of 14

Back seat driving

Like others have said, I usually go easy on my first few runs or first half day on the snow. I stay on blue groomers to get my ski legs and balance back. After that I'm usually close to where I left off last season. I have found that, for me, being in the back seat is a recurring early season theme. Old habits die hard.
post #11 of 14
The first day of the year should be about mileage and having some fun. Timing and technique should be off. Expecting it to be spot on is unrealistic but is the biggest early season error I see.
post #12 of 14
Originally Posted by Stache
Every single year I experience a high anxiety on that first ride up. Will I (my feet) remember how to do this?? And every year I am blown away at how those first turns come so naturally. I think most skiers out psyche themselves or overthink the moves.
Don't think about it...
Just do it!
Oh yeah!!!!

Took MUCH moral support from Man from Oz (via phone) (like lectures!!) to get me to spend my first day of the season on snow WITHOUT an instructor there....

ME: "I'll never be able to ski.... I can't remember how by myself.....yada yada"

Mind you - this was to spend the day on a BEGINNER slope - not a green run.... just a puddle of man made on a baby hill.....

Even then my instructor had to keep giving me "keep going" looks from the other side where he was teaching a lesson.......

I still cannot believe how much I sweat that first day - or more precisely the first run.....

Instead I need to do as Oz instructed me those 2-3 years back & just let the body do its thing..... as he said - I know what exercises help to wake it up - so I can easily do them if I need....

Funnily enough each season since then those first runs seem easier to do than the season before did
post #13 of 14
To me early season means taking it easy.

Taking it easy leads to relaxing a little too much, having a hand too far back, standing straight up or maybe leaning back and discovering that the back edges of my tails can indeed carve a tight turn even though the fronts are off the snow, looking behind me for my son and not looking where I'm going, slipping unexpectedly on ice, having the hill suddenly dissapear down from under my skis when I wasn't expecting a sudden drop.

These things also happen late in the season when I'm on easy terrain. They don't happen when I'm "going for it". The more tired I am the more likely they will happen.
post #14 of 14
Rusty will be glad to hear this:
Sunday I only concentrated on ONE thing: keeping my hands forward.

(For those who are wondering, I spent a lot of time last year in clinics with Rusty Guy looking at video of myself with my hands beside my CM, instead of out in front)
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