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Overview of how to ski (my 04-05 notes) looking for feedback - Page 2

post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA
One-ski skiing is another good way to detect how well we’re operating the skis. Stalls at initiation, getting stuck in a stiff position mid-turn and skidding at the last moment for speed control reveal patterns of movement needing more investigation.

.ma

How about just plain old falling over?

I just cannot stay balanced on 1 ski long enough to do zip!!

My brain/body combination is working so hard to not get damaged it is impossible to do anything else
post #32 of 48
Disski,

I understand you have physical limitations, but I don't understand if these would PREVENT balancing on one ski or simply make it hard to do. If the latter, here are two suggestions:
1) Use a balance board (flat surface with skiiny piece of wood down the middle underneath so that it can teeter totter). Practice teetering forward and back as well as side to side. Pause in the middle (balancing). Start with both feet on the board and work your way up to one foot at a time. Here's the important point: use your hand against the wall for support when starting. This will help you "hold" the balanced position. Work your way up to using just a finger instead of your hand and using the lightest pressure possible to support, then to no touching if possible.

2) Try "one ski" skiing while leaving the other ski on the ground (just not pressured)!
post #33 of 48
Thread Starter 
Skiing on one ski is a great exercise. I tried it with one ski off and fell on my hip right away, so from then on I left the other ski on and would find nice gentle terrain and keep the other ski off the ground, but there as a safety net.

The experience of turning both left and right on the same ski is fantastic, it really forces you to have your center of mass in a good place and it is great for getting a feeling of using the little toe edge.
post #34 of 48
disski, seems like you'd posted something a while back about a few proprioceptors being on vacation. As recalled, you had sensory input from pressure, et al, but not spacial positioning? Does this also mean a lack of inner perception for the pull of centrifugal-force as you round out a turn?

I can see where this might make one-ski antics more challenging.

Do these limitations mean you attempt to keep your CM centered between your feet at all times to detect individual foot pressure-change as your gage of lateral balance alignment?

How you detect centrifugal force? Do you allowing relaxed arms to sway with the magnitude of pull to the side? Do you hold elbows/arms more out to the side than the rest of us to increase lateral force detection?

I learned something along these lines from a 7 year-old student. She seldom stayed with us when the whole group turned toward a new run - she just continued along her old direction. I asked her brother about it. He said, "Oh, she just always skis with her eyes closed..."(!) I'd not noticed because of her goggles. I tried it, and by golly, it works.

I bet you're already doing something like the balancing ideas above. Personally, I built a whacky device by cutting a 3.5" hole in the middle of a hunk of plywood and put a softball under it. Ends up standing about an inch off the floor. Also tends to settle into the carpet and so limits the range of tippage to topple.

HMmmm... would three ounces of weight at the ends of you ski poles increase detection of lateral and acceleration forces through your wrists?

.ma
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA
disski, seems like you'd posted something a while back about a few proprioceptors being on vacation. As recalled, you had sensory input from pressure, et al, but not spacial positioning? Does this also mean a lack of inner perception for the pull of centrifugal-force as you round out a turn?

I can see where this might make one-ski antics more challenging.

Do these limitations mean you attempt to keep your CM centered between your feet at all times to detect individual foot pressure-change as your gage of lateral balance alignment?

How you detect centrifugal force? Do you allowing relaxed arms to sway with the magnitude of pull to the side? Do you hold elbows/arms more out to the side than the rest of us to increase lateral force detection?
.....

I bet you're already doing something like the balancing ideas above. Personally, I built a whacky device by cutting a 3.5" hole in the middle of a hunk of plywood and put a softball under it. Ends up standing about an inch off the floor. Also tends to settle into the carpet and so limits the range of tippage to topple.

HMmmm... would three ounces of weight at the ends of you ski poles increase detection of lateral and acceleration forces through your wrists?

.ma

Ummmm not sure about "detecting" centrifugal force.....

Yes - no input from proprioceptors ANYWHERE (the nerves to brain got mashed they think)....
I do not detect body position nor muscle tension..... sense of touch (light touch and pressure) work VERY well.....

BALANCE
My ears will tell me I am falling if I am not STRAIGHT.... I can learn to ignore ears if needed - but as I regularly fell over due to problem I tend to automatically want to react when they say I am falling. I do better if I DO NOT (my natural response is very often the wrong one as I do not know which way to move to correct)
As an example I would always scream when we skied up wind lips - my instructor got annoyed - I insisted I was falling - he watched. We discovered I stay at the same angle to my skis - so I am not doing the "natural" thing & moving forward to stay upright.... my ears notice & say I am falling... He had to stand at every windlip & tell me when to move forward until I learnt to react properly

I find skiing with 1 ski and 1 boot VERY hard - I just fall down....

We know from when I was learning to ski parallel that the lifting ski etc stuff worked BADLY for me.... I would spend so much energy & concentration on NOT FALLING that I rarely gained anything from the exercise.... WE developed a FIX... I would simply lighten the required ski... then work on tapping.... then extend the time between taps etc etc.....

Trouble with the 1 ski 1 boot scenario is tapping the boot works POORLY as an aid....

Generally speaking I ski BEST when I have NO POLES... then I can stretch my hands & so activate (prepare) my muscles a bit


HANDS/ARMS - No the instructors all LIKE my hand position... I may get the timing out in short turns a bit .... but they all commented this past season (all the non-regulars) on how much they liked the hands.... So it would seem I have a very standard type hand position for APSI type ski instructors


OH the other example - when I rollerblade they try to get me to extend time gliding on 1 skate. To do this we have cones & I lift at first cone & try to hold to second.... I can't really do this either.... UNTIL - instructor watched & noticed I do EXACTLY what I am told... ie they say "lift left foot" - I do - sounds easy yes? but NO.... normal thing is to weight transfer then lift (implicit in the lift) but I JUST lift - no weight transfer first.... we are working on using my hands as a guide to teach me the transfer for this - work still in progress at a halt due to being in Ireland atm
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
Disski,

I understand you have physical limitations, but I don't understand if these would PREVENT balancing on one ski or simply make it hard to do. If the latter, here are two suggestions:
1) Use a balance board (flat surface with skiiny piece of wood down the middle underneath so that it can teeter totter). Practice teetering forward and back as well as side to side. Pause in the middle (balancing). Start with both feet on the board and work your way up to one foot at a time. Here's the important point: use your hand against the wall for support when starting. This will help you "hold" the balanced position. Work your way up to using just a finger instead of your hand and using the lightest pressure possible to support, then to no touching if possible.

2) Try "one ski" skiing while leaving the other ski on the ground (just not pressured)!
Thanks Rusty - no NOTHING prevents me doing anything... I just have not learnt how to do all the things I want to do yet

Balance board - they are still too hard for me.....
I can stand on 1 leg with shoes - years of practice required but I can & I always stand close enough to tap something if required...(finger tap - like pole plant)
A few years back SnoKarver designed me a balance program for summer - worked a treat.... I had a 4x2 beam - started on the wide side in runners... then boots then ski boots.... then the skinny side.... the next step was to be a 1/2 round piece of pine log.... then rope on ground ..... you get the idea....

After a summer walking a piece of 2x4 I CAN walk on a kerb.. sort of

My fitball clas instructor informs me (after a few weeks when I had improved) that I was seriously the WORST person he had every seen when I started - I could not really sit on the ball with 2 feet on ground... it is a slow process

I was using a round balance thingy at the gym a while back & I use a dynadisc for lunges etc when I get the chance to go to the gym & they have one. EVERYTHING helps.... but mostly just repetition & someone with a good eye to spot the problem so I can get help with develpoing a solution
post #37 of 48
Hmmm, perhaps I'll reconsider... next time I complain about numb toes in my ski boots.

No intent to gum up your current systematic progress. Just got to thinking typographically on how one might telegraph changes in direction and acceleration while skiing with one's eyes closed.

Adding some weight to the end of ski poles and holding them with thin-palmed gloves on stationary arms (relative to skier) might increase effectiveness.

The poles would act more forcefully on our hands with every change in direction or acceleration. Accelerations downhill are detected by our pole-point twisting to the back a bit. Decelerations detected by the point pulling forward. Similar idea for centrifugal effects.

Whichever way the pole tries to twist in our hand, we want to move our whole body the opposite way - toward a position where the poles would again 'feel' like they're hanging 'straight down'. Overall idea being to re-align ourselves with our ski-pole angle which by nature will remain 'aligned' with the average of all the forces acting on us.

Linear momentum of the pole mimics our own momentum pretty well. Rotational momentum issues exist because the outside-pole is accelerated around us more than the inside-pole. Gotta split the difference to get inclination right.

'Course, this concept largely eliminates the technique of dragging our poles on the surface as detectors. On the other hand, dragging poles can be pretty ugly too.

Just thinkin' out loud.

.ma
post #38 of 48
That's OK

All ideas are potentially useful.... as they may hold the key to a new solution at some point.....

I do ski pretty well all things considered - well enough that every new instructor has tried to recruit me to ski school.... but I'm still a HUGE chicken.... I really need to get some control on the mental stuff - like believing I ski as I am told & not as I feel I ski.... I hate the feeling of how I ski most of the time - I want to ski so much better than I do.... sometimes I get frustrated that it takes SOOOOO much work to master each small step - I envy those that can "just do it" with a vengeance .... then I have to remember how much more VALUE I place in every one of those small gains - because they ARE hard to earn....

My last surf lesson in the canaries the coach was giving me a talk about what fun I am to coach - because when I get it you can REALLY see the buzz I get from it - I have to remember my positives as well as the negatives
Hands/poles - I dunno I will try to sense the pull but can't imagine it. I DO know that I ski my best long turns when I can keep those pole tips in constant motion.... any stalling really does affect my skiing....
How easy is it to feel the change in the swinging pole?
post #39 of 48
Medium radius turns on groomed Blue runs provide an easy way to detect pole-pull. Super-light poles work poorly but the typical cheap metal ones are OK. Thick gloves also mess it up.

Just make a few turns at moderate speed with the pole tips 3 - 6" off the snow. Shoulders/elbows continuously level with the surface helps keep the points from touching down.

Hold them lightly (the way we always get harped at to do - loosely, from firstfinger and thumb) with light palm and lower-finger contact. Also, they'll swing overly much unless you apply a bit of damping.

At first, you'll just notice the pole's torque to the outside of the turn - and forget to adjust anything. Probably just as well. Let your wrist follow the pull independent of a firm overall arm.

Get confident that this actually works first. Note the angle it arrives at at each turn apex and imagine yourself (CM) at that angle over your skis. Note its angle at other points around the turn. Then try to emulate its changing angle a few times. Lateral pull is easiest to see and physically detect.

Of course, this doesn't provide any means of signaling when to change directions. Pretty much a conscious choice there.

I never spent the time to get good at this. Just played with it trying to figure out how my student stayed so balanced with her eyes closed. I learn a lot of cool things from students who don't know what can't be done.

.ma
post #40 of 48
OK - so how do you pole plant doing this?

I normally try to keep poles moving - then when you run out of range it is time to turn - plant & go.... ie I seem to use them as a timing cue - that is why I ski better long turns when I keep the poles moving
post #41 of 48

...pole... plants?... ...

...Pole Plants?!
...We don't need no Stinking Pole Plants!...

.ma
post #42 of 48
I've been accused of 'lazy arms' many a time for lack of pole use. Have finally gotten into a solid habit of Display Use when in front of peers, students and clinicians. Still, sometimes I think we come up with make-work uses for poles just because we carry them.

Personally, I don't desire the nuisance of needlessly 'touching' the snow with a pole on medium and long turns like I'm trying to bless my next turn entry or something. Sure, I do it from habit after all the drilling-in I've received and because I have to carry them anyway for when I do want to use them, but frequently I put them both in one hand so I can just ski.

Though I teach it, I don't rely on that whole pole-touch timing thing to choreograph my own movements as it's just too cumbersome. Feels really artificial to me. Pole-Timing seems to resonate with other skiers though.

Reaching forward is often taught as a clever misdirection - to get students to adjust their CM into an appropriate position for new-turn entry and the expected acceleration. Reaching Toward the Next Turn is often a misdirection to trick students into moving their CM over their skis to effect a better edge change. I prefer to teach directly to a desired effect and so avoid such pole antics.

Poles seem pretty useful in short turns and bump turns since balance can be disrupted so quickly in these. Again, not so much as a timing thing for me as it is a temporary third point of contact for balance.

As you say, keeping the 'poles moving' can translate into better long & medium turns. I suspect this is because of the underlying core movements induced artificially, not the actual pole movement nor contact of the poles with the snow.

Of course in your case, actual contact of pole to surface may deliver needed information that is otherwise unavailable.

.ma
post #43 of 48
Where's that video, disski? Seeing's believing!
post #44 of 48

Patience, SMJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz
Hard for me to quote all of you (or should I say a lot of work) but I'm listening.

General thoughts: I know it sounds like I'm thinking too much, but bear in mind that that was a whole season of notes that I kept in my ski log condensed, I don't find myself thinking about most of that stuff often, some is second nature usually, some comes and goes.

I spent many years skiing without technical understanding of what I was doing and could cruise well on groomed conditions and skid like mad when it got steep. By learning the mechanics I have been able to ski in more conditions and with less fighting with the hill.

Kneale, I love the idea of focusing on the float phase, the skis flat on the snow. I've tried to get that feeling and it isn't easy for me.

Ron, I understand and agree that pressuring a ski on ice or hard snow won't do much to tighten the turn radius, my understanding of rotary skills was more foot steering than leg rotation, I will note that in my things to experiment with this year for sure.

JohnH, the reason I learned so much last year is from some time with Tom Burch who had the eye to give me good movement analysis feedback. I DO need more video however, I've seen a bit of my skiing on tape, but not enough. Usually it's not as good as it felt when I was skiing.

disski, yes, yes, yes - keep turning, do not give up. I used to be very guilty of being afraid to turn when I got going fast or in crud, and I've learned that when in doubt - turn!

Most importantly is that I learned the power of subtle movements. I ski out west for 2 weeks every year and in the deeper snow I've learned that I have to wait for the turn to happen. However I also know that it's more than JUST waiting for the turn to happen.

One biggie for me is the difference between almost thrusting my upper body over my skis to change my CM - and allowing my CM to come over my skis as a result of tipping and other motions. This is a hard one to master for me.


Question:

What do you think about the concept of rotating the inside leg IN, in effect already starting some of the body pressure into the next turn while the current turn is still happening?
SMJ, reading your initial post and your insights in response to the advice given to you, I am impressed by the sense that you are hurrying things. Your question reinforces that impression. Someone recently said that turn completion is often the weakest element of the turn, or the most in need of attention. Let the skis finish before releasing the turn. Sure the turn is all about the release, but don't be in too great a rush to get there.
post #45 of 48
Thread Starter 
Makes sense nolo. Soon - soon, skiing - work on all this stuff, or I should say - play with all this stuff. Yeah that's the ticket. PLAY!
post #46 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
Where's that video, disski? Seeing's believing!

I dunno - you know what an unreliable lot these ski instructor types are

They keep taking the footage & then forget to do stuff with it....

I think you are going to have to wait for Fox & that ski dome.... or the ESA (presuming we find me a replacement)

Off course that means you need to coach me to get me to ski well... then get me to do it with & without the poles moving to see the difference
post #47 of 48
I meant you seeing and you believing you are a good skier, dis. I have my fingers crossed for you to find that locum tenens and make it to ESA.
post #48 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
I meant you seeing and you believing you are a good skier, .
ummmm - I get to see (three times last season i think) but the believing will take a few more years of work I think.....

I want to ski like my instructors & friends - all have about 30 years on snow experience - I think it will take a while for me to ski like that
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