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Opening day drills?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
What do you experienced skiers and instructors recommend for the first few days as far as getting back into the skiing groove?

I'm thinking that the first few times out, when there's basically nothing but blue groomers open, I should work on the basic techniques (hockey stops, side slipping, etc.).

If anyone would recommend a bit of a "get back to basics" starting program/routine, I would appreciate it.
post #2 of 26
I fall down alot
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by spindrift
I fall down alot
Do you have to practice to do that well?
post #4 of 26
Just like doing kata in the martial arts. Make sure that all of your "essential mechanics" are true and correct.

Take a "body inventory".

Is my CM (movement pattern directed down the hill) correct? You may find that you are in the back seat or behind the skis those first few runs.

Hand placement, pole reach and timing (related to above).

Am I relaxed .... focused at this point, but relaxed.

If you start off the first of the season with good mechanics you won't be puilling things apart as the season progresses.
post #5 of 26
Originally Posted by Colossus178
Do you have to practice to do that well?
You do if you want to be the best at it!
post #6 of 26
i ski the slow line half-fast.
post #7 of 26
Icy bumps, if you can find them.
post #8 of 26
1000 steps....
post #9 of 26
Check out you symetry, left side - right side. Is one side better? Work them both.
post #10 of 26
ski with almost all your weight on one foot for as long as you can making slow deliberate turns. When you get tired switch to the other leg. Not all the weight but lets say 90% on one foot and fake it with the other. do that for a few runs have a shot relax and then just let things start happening. Most people suffer from the too far inside problem on the first few runs. this will fix ya up in a hurry. Oh yeah try to have just a little fun while bursting synapses on the first day.
post #11 of 26
Originally Posted by Colossus178
If anyone would recommend a bit of a "get back to basics" starting program/routine, I would appreciate it.
On your first day, do the skis feel like sticks attached to your feet or do they feel normal? Do you work out to get in shape for the season or do you ski yourself into shape? What are your goals for the coming season? What are the things that you are working on? Do you plan to ski about 35 days? How much "work" (vs fun) do you want to do throughout your season percentage wise? Do you want to front load that in the beginning or mix in the work throughout the season?

Back when I opened the season with "what are these things on my feet feeling", I would just take a few cruiser runs in the morning until the weird feeling went away. After that I would just ski. I always try to tailor day 1 level of effort to the shape that I am in. Poor shape=easy day, good shape=turn till you drop day.

Your mileage may vary. If you have limited terrain open, the beginning of the season can be a great time to do drills on easy terrain, learn to ski backwards, etc. But if it's an early season powder day, it could be a great time to break out the rock skis and rock and roll.
post #12 of 26
I'm thinking...I should work on the basic(s)
Yep. Ski slowly, experience the sensations, and remember cues from last year.
post #13 of 26
Don't try to ski the way you did at the end of last season. Start by doing some sloppy skidded turns so you can keep up with your skis. Tune-in to your balance point fore and aft and see if you are using your poles as a crutch, if you are, keep them off the snow until you regain your balance. As you feel more balanced, start to tighten up the radius of your turns. Then start to use cleaner edge engagement. I also look for a small bump to jump off of (woo hoo! ) to get my balance on the skis more dynamic. Then, it's time to have some fun and mix things up a little (a few whirly birds too).

post #14 of 26
Usually, my first run of the year is at Hunter. I say a little prayer and a pole click at the top to one of my fallen ski heros then its Hellgate to Eisenhower to the Quad. Repeat.

I plan of my first day this year to be Killington, not sure what trail, but the prayer will continue.
post #15 of 26
I ususally Take a few easy warmup runs nothing too fancy - just get the feel again . I'm checking balance fore /aft and the rhythm . After theytstart to feel like they "belong' on agaim istart to work on crisper turm technique and tey ramping up the speed . ----AT LEAST THIS IS WHAT I SAY TO MYSELF as i'm driving to the Hill

BUT then once i'm finally booted up and ready to go the "ski pig "in me takes over and after one run a says " YEE HAA point-em south and let em run"
post #16 of 26
First snow in the Catskills last night. We have had only 2 frosts so far this fall. Wokeup to 2" on the ground. I was at Rutland yesterday and found out they got 4" or so just after I left. Time to get the winter cloths out!

post #17 of 26
I'll tell you what I'm going to do this friday on austria glacier
After short warming up I will let my buckles open and go to very gently slope. I'll try to make easy turns in middle speed, play with the edges and shape of the skis. Because the boots wont give me good support I will try to find natural middle position and balance over my feet. Next I will fasten my boots, not much just to feel comfy, and go to little steeper terrain and try some hop-turns. Its good exercise to catch up the balance. I will focus on my pole plant and vertical movement. In run out of the slope I will take a tuck and go with longer turns and wider stance try to keep my hands forward in the direction of the turn. Then I will try some exercises in snow plow, and basic parallel turns, javelin turns and etc. For the very first day I skip bumps, deep snow and very steep terrain. But later...
post #18 of 26
I made the mistake of using race stock GS skis on my first run of the season last year at Killington. I fell no less than three times, and crashed into my teammate who was making perfect slalom turns (how, I don't know). I could not believe that I was so far back and unable to carve. I would advocate the first day being spent on easy terrain concentrating on being forward, for all levels of skiers.

The best part of that day was seeing my best friend double-eject from his new SL:11s as he hit a patch of ungroomed manmade snow, which is akin to superglue. He was a little bit ahead of me, skiing normally, when all of a sudden he ejects from both skis and flies headfirst into a ditch, with his body parallel to the ground. I have never laughed that hard since. His skis were left next to each other, flat on the snow, ready to be stepped into. Good times
post #19 of 26
What do I do in staff clinics on opening day?

lots and lots of slip-pivots or pivot-slips!
post #20 of 26
I anticipate massive amounts of wedges and wedge christies - at a new area this year, thankfully we start work in about 2 weeks.
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking I'll start with a half a day of basic easy skiing, cruising the blues slow and easy, getting a feel for my ski and balance. I'll move to doing garlands for a while, until I start to get a good feel for edge release and engagement. Next comes hockey stops, followed by pivot slips. Finally, I'll try some one footed skiing.

How does that sound to the experts in here? Is that a good way to get started? I'll probably ski four days the first time out.

Incidentally, is there any difference between pivot slips and braquage?

Of course, as Rusty says, if conditions turn good, I will have to forget the "early season training" routine and just rip it up as best I can.
post #22 of 26
Originally Posted by Colossus178
Incidentally, is there any difference between pivot slips and braquage?
well I'm no instructor but I'll take a go at it.....

pivot slips = drill

braquage = skill

eg when you do pivot slips you utilise braquage to rotate skis to 90 degrees to fall line
post #23 of 26
Maybe I have the wrong idea of this thread.
Most of this is headed in the direction of getting warmed up on the slopes.
I know the importance of making a few leisure runs before cranking it up.... but I'm a believer that a good strength training program in advance of the ski season is imortant.
If there is a spin class in your area, try it out to get your legs in shape. I also do a serious ab work out to get my lower back in good shape.(I've found that my lower back is easier to strain when my abs are not at their best)
Most important.....Don't forget to stretch out after you ski, while your muscles are warmed up, to maintain that ever important flexibility.
post #24 of 26
Me and wife (both skiinstructors) start of with wedges, wedge christies and parallell turns checking each other for position of arms etc..
Thats always the first run. Then for me its parallell skidding turns with minimizing the amount of power needed to initiate the turn. The less power needed, the more I'm in correct position.
Then Im probably fed up and makes some carving GStype runs for the fun of speed and to check that the skis goes into the turns correct. Thats also a check of position.
After that I try to get the skis to follow in some short turns, the more carve the better.. Reason? You've guessed it..
post #25 of 26
Theres 3 things I like to do when I warm up, not just on day 1 but just about every ski day.

Ski 1 legged (100% on 1 leg) for 10 minutes or so. For balance

Find a small jump, 6 in -1 ft, to get my legs moving up and down.

Ski some bumps, this gets my body moving around over my skis.

These arn't originals, Ive seen references to several in previous posts. I find if I am balanced and relaxed/fluid, the rest comes fairley easy. Kinda like building a house, ya gotta do the unsexy rough plumbing and foundation first.
post #26 of 26

List of Skiing Exercises

I'm sure this has already been posted somewhere...

Canonical list of exercises to prepare for the ski season

1. Tie a cinder block to each foot and climb a flight of stairs.

2. With the cinder blocks still tied to your feet, bind your legs together at the ankles and lie flat on the floor; then, holding a banana in each hand, get to your feet.

3. On a cold, windy day with an ice storm in progress, sit on the outside of a sixth-story window ledge with your skis on and your poles in your lap for at least 45 minutes.

4. Fasten a small, wide rubber band around the top half of your head before you go to bed each night.

5. If you wear glasses, begin wearing them with glue smeared on the lenses.

6. Throw a hundred dollar bill away—now.

7. Secure one of your ankles to a bed post and ask a friend to run into you at high speed.

8. Slam your thumb in a car door. Don't go see a doctor.

9. To simulate powder skiing, spend a great deal of money to fly to the Caribbean. Take a helicopter tour and throw a Krugerrand on the beach from the air. Then go look for it.

10. To simulate glade skiing, jog through the forest—with your eyes closed.

11. Visit your local butcher and pay $30 to sit in the walk-in freezer for half an hour. Afterwards, burn two $50 bills to warm up.

12. Go to the nearest hockey rink and walk across the ice 20 times in your ski boots carrying two pairs of skis, accessory bag and poles. Pretend you are looking for your car. Sporadically drop things.

13. Place a small but angular pebble in your shoes, line them with crushed ice, and then tighten a C-clamp around your toes.

14. Buy a new pair of gloves and immediately throw one away.

15. Go to McDonald's and insist on paying $10.00 for a hamburger. Be sure to wait in the longest line.

16. Clip a lift ticket to the zipper of your jacket and ride a motorcycle fast enough to make the ticket lacerate your face.

17. Drive slowly for five hours—anywhere—as long as it's in a snowstorm and you're following an 18 wheeler.

18. Fill a blender with ice, hit the pulse button and let the spray blast your face. Leave the ice on your face until it melts. Let it drip into your clothes.

19. Dress up in as many clothes as you can and then proceed to take them off because you have to go to the bathroom.

20. Repeat all of the above every Saturday and Sunday.

Go play.
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