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Crossover Question - Page 2

post #31 of 59
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the comments. I am normally not this analytical - especially where it comes to something physical - it's just that skiing has been very hard for me to pick up. I have really been fighting it all the way - which is unusual for me and I know that I am working much too hard physically during the turns.

So I read the Harb and Elling books and can't wait to get back on the snow. Thanks again, this is really a great forum. I'll promise to contribute before the end of the year since I am sure I'll continue to 'pester'.
post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by bud heishman

I am not advocating drunk skiing! just relaxation. Maybe a green tea would do it????
Chamomile
post #33 of 59
Nice description of the crossover as a transition from one set of edges to the other. The lack of an up move will cause the skis to remain more weighted. Which at first will seem counter intuitive but the new skis do not require a big release move. Usually the flexing of the outside leg is sufficient to draw the hips and torso back to neutral and into the new turn. The leg extension of the new outside leg needs to be only strong enough to keep that ski in contact with the snow. Many people overuse this leg and rush the transition, resulting in that staccato feeling previously mentioned.
One sensation that has not been mentioned is that this sort of release feels very stable. I think it's because we are not re-establishing pressure and position on the skis and we are maintaining more consistant contact with the snow. I had a coach use the phrase "ski a heavy ski through the transition" to describe this movement.
The other thing that I feel is that I have all day to shape and finish the turn. At least compared to the old up unweighted method. Since we are on an effective edge much earlier in the turn, the need to rush the rest of the movements is mitigated.
post #34 of 59
Thread Starter 
Enough talk! (kidding, thanks) I'm going to scrape wax off a ski for the first time ever and get ready for Copper in the morning.
post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
One sensation that has not been mentioned is that this sort of release feels very stable. I think it's because we are not re-establishing pressure and position on the skis and we are maintaining more consistant contact with the snow. I had a coach use the phrase "ski a heavy ski through the transition" to describe this movement.
.

My instructor struggled through trying to get me to flex/extend whichever leg while extend/flexing the other & we got a big ZIP....
Then he tried getting me to be sure I felt the old insdie ski's outside edge engaged in snow & then try to extend from there while "keeping even pressure on the skis" ie I was not to let them get very heavy/light.... THAT seemed to work because a week or two later he was saying I was starting to get it .... (time off to ski with other instructor & we let stuff "simmer" in my ski brain in between quite often)
post #36 of 59
Disski,
A simpler way to describe what I am saying might be to say... "progressively relaxing the muscles of the outside leg will draw the body towards the new turn".
Without having to add any extension of the inside leg, the body will naturally move downhill (the converging part of the two paths taken by the feet and the body). We can exploit the momentum created by allowing the body to continue moving into the next turn. At which time both legs extend (although at different rates) to maintain contact with the snow. However, I want to point out that this is after the edge change, not before.

Extending both legs before reaching neutral redirects the body uphill or at best vertical.
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasp
Extending both legs before reaching neutral redirects the body uphill or at best vertical.
Generally, yes. But what if we extend our feet/legs behind us during crossover?

.ma
post #38 of 59

crossover

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA
Generally, yes. But what if we extend our feet/legs behind us during crossover?

.ma
Michael A:

One subtle variation in the cluster of crossover movements that I was introduced to is to try to slide your feet ahead as the skis release and flatten. This of course seems counterintuitive because you feel as if you are heading for the back seat. But, paradoxically, after you have pushed the feet ahead and as you extend against your new edges, it feels as if your feet are behind you. In fact that was what the coach was saying. "Feel as if the feet are behind you." Another sensation associated with this is the feeling that you have caught the skis rather than the skis catching you. It's a great sensation and seems to produce strongly linked, smooth transitions with very early edge. Perhaps this is what you are referring to in your quote.

There is a technical explanation for what I have described above that involves the shorter path taken by the CM compared to the feet. What I want to stress, however, (keeping in mind janesdad's original post to start this thread) is the power of the sensations in the learning process. Getting the feeling that the coach described made the whole thing "click" for me. In reality, your feet are probably not behind you. The effort to do something that makes them "feel" as if they are made me a better skier.

cdnguy
post #39 of 59
You get a taste of cdnguy's sensation doing Pierre's bulldozer turns or telemark-like turns with fixed heels.
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
Disski,
A simpler way to describe what I am saying might be to say... "progressively relaxing the muscles of the outside leg will draw the body towards the new turn".
Without having to add any extension of the inside leg, the body will naturally move downhill (the converging part of the two paths taken by the feet and the body). We can exploit the momentum created by allowing the body to continue moving into the next turn. At which time both legs extend (although at different rates) to maintain contact with the snow. However, I want to point out that this is after the edge change, not before.

Extending both legs before reaching neutral redirects the body uphill or at best vertical.

Yes - but it is VERY hard for me to control extension/flexion of limbs - due to not being able to sense muscle tension.... However I feel skis on snow much better.... so trying to keep contact with snow rather than letting the skis get really light & floaty during the transition sort of helped.... even better a canadian improved on that by getting me to remove the pressure developing at bottom half of turn & then reuse that(???? did I describe that right?)
post #41 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson
You get a taste of cdnguy's sensation doing Pierre's bulldozer turns or telemark-like turns with fixed heels.
I would love to know what "bulldozer" turns are!

cdnguy
post #42 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdnguy
I would love to know what "bulldozer" turns are!

cdnguy
Basically, push the outside foot forward while pulling the inside foot back.

Here's Pierre in his own words:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...ulldozer+turns
post #43 of 59
Disski,
I think we are saying something very similar about a weighted transition.
post #44 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
Disski,
I think we are saying something very similar about a weighted transition.
YES

Sorry - hard for me .... I sort of recognised that but was struggling with how to say it.....

Over the last 2 seasons with all these varied instructors I have discovered that they are mostly trying to get to the same end points....
So if I cannot do what they ask then I try to see if I can get something I recognise as being "sort of like something else" and try to do the something else & see if that is what they are after.... (oh that sounds stupid) .....

Some things are easy for me to translate - because my main instructor taught me words like "pronate" to match a certain feeling.... & no-one argues what "pronate" is really.....

Other things like "push foot down on accelerator pedal" come up a BIG ZIP.... because my skis are not rubber nor do they have a spring under them etc etc etc... ie I am really only aware of the feeling not the motion associated with same..... so what feels like xxx to someone else does not feel like xxx to me....

Any how....
For me the idea of maintaining the pressure onto the snow instead of going light was easier to understand than all the flex/extend guff....
post #45 of 59
Thread Starter 
Back from skiing yesterday! Had a nice day on the beginner's hill with Jane and I definitely benefitted from all the discussion here. I tried all of the following;

1. Releasing pressure (relaxing) on downhill ski to move CM into position for new turn while picking up the difference on the uphill ski and getting on the new edges as early as possible in the new turn. Yep, I felt it, but crashed many times trying not to 'muscle' my skis where I wanted them to be. This was a huge confirmation and probably the whole reason I started this thread.

2. Move 'into' the new turn (not 'down' the hill) - I felt myself 'aiming' for just outside the new inside ski toward the front of the ski - This had bad consequences at times in that I often ended up with too much weight on my new inside foot right at the point where my skis were pointed down the fall line. It felt like I was turning/skiing on the inside ski completely.

3. Feet first. I played around with the notion suggested here of starting all these movements with my feet - then knees - then hips. I 'experienced' why everyone uses the phrase 'progressive' when it comes to these movements.

Again, thanks, you have all been highly instructive and I am going to take a close look at/file to my edges this week because I am beginning to really believe that the skis are holding me back and want to be sure I have done all that I can to remove them from the equation.

When I 'tipped' the skis intentionally during the crossover move, one or the other would seem to 'catch' and send that leg straight on a tangent where I was expecting the elusive 'carve' that we are discussing to begin.
post #46 of 59
janesdad, somewhere above you mentioned you're on a 'stiffer' ski. One of the ...attributes... of a too-stiff ski (relative to your weight and skiing habit) is that it will not easily de-camber.

This can be a nuisance even on flat terrain since it will distribute excessive pressure onto the tip and tail. With tip and tail so well weighted (but not bending) they will tend to catch far more easily than a softer ski when turning or doing a simple 360. Stiff skis also resist boot-tongue leverage at turn initiation far more than a soft ski - which may be a reason for your skis to carve straight ahead while your upper body moves otherwise properly across the skis.

Another possibility is that your weight is behind your feet somewhat - leading to the same lack of cooperation from the skis. OR leaving too much weight on the Old Outside-Ski which leaves insufficient weight on the New Outside-Ski to bend it properly. Here, the Inside-Ski seems to seek the low road OK, but the Outside-Ski takes the high road. This scenario does fit your post's point #2.

At slow speeds I suggest trying to 'stay over' the New Outside-Ski. Make *no* upper-body move to the inside of the New turn until the turning of your skis forces you to - which you can accomplish by tipping just your boots and angulating everything else to keep you fully over that ski.

A quick experiment to determine if skis are too stiff is to try very slow carved turn initiations on a green slope. Severely over-do leverage against *both* boot tongues to initiate each new turn. Balance evenly over both skis and be sure to initiate very slowly. With such severe front-loading pressure our modern skis should both bend easily and begin arcing. We should be able to tip & bend them enough to produce a resonably short radius turn (maybe 10-15 foot Radius).

Higher speeds and the accumulated momentum combine with leg extension and CF to bend our skis far more, but on an easy green slope skis should still be bendable down to a 15 foot radius without having to ride them like a hood ornament.

If you find a need to put nearly *all* your weight on the Outside-Ski to get sufficient bend, I'd suggest softer skis.

.ma

PS: There's also the chance that very stiff, upright boots can prevent you from levering-forward properly. Combining too-stiff boots with too-stiff skis is a path I've already taken. Very unhelpful for a recreational skier.

When buying my current skis I really miffed the sales people by putting pairs of skis across two benchs and standing on them to see how easily my weight alone could bend two skis at once. I bought the pair that almost reached the floor before they catapulted the unsecured bench across the aisle. Skis that launched the bench too soon were ignored.
post #47 of 59
Thread Starter 
Thanks, but it's just the opposite that's worrying me. I bought a pair of k2 escape 2500 in 174 last year to avoid the hassles of renting without knowing that I would have such a great time skiing. Had I known, I would have definitely bought 'more' ski.

Anyway, I feel like these are way too soft and I am going to check the tune on my edges before going back up to be sure I remove the skis from the equation as much as possible.

I get it that they shouldn't be launching off on 'tangents' if they are decambered and pressured on an edge surface, but I got the distinct impression through my feet that no matter how slowly I increased the edging from my boots at some point, the ski 'took off' when it hit a limit.

Anyway, I had that feeling I was expecting regarding the crossover and getting pressure transfer onto my new outside ski above the fall line - I felt 'ready' to be patient at that point in the turn, but never got all the way 'round.

Don't worry if it doesn't make sense. I am having fun figuring it out and I can tell that I have been working MUCH too hard in the turns.
post #48 of 59
Interesting. Sounds like an external on-the-spot observer might be needed.

It's a long shot, but with really soft skis sometimes the torsional rigidity just doesn't cut it. Not usually a problem with modern skis but as you increase edge-angle and the ski bends, it puts considerably more torsional stress on the ski. Perhaps at some given torque threshold your ski-tips just give way, roll over and play dead?

I once swapped skis with another fellow during a clinic because he was having so much trouble and I thought his skis were the problem. For the life of me, I couldn't get those tips to do their part - they just gave way like wet noodles. After only 200 feet of bumps I demanded my own skis back.

---
Come to think of it, a super-soft ski on soft snow might actually bend so much from the weight in the middle that the middle sinks and the tip & tail end up off the snow, but maybe that's stretching it a bit. Still...?

.ma
post #49 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA
Perhaps at some given torque threshold your ski-tips just give way, roll over and play dead?
---
Come to think of it, a super-soft ski on soft snow might actually bend so much from the weight in the middle that the middle sinks and the tip & tail end up off the snow, but maybe that's stretching it a bit. Still...?

.ma
This is sure what it felt like. I am going to demo shorter, stiffer skis next time to have something to compare against. Tx
post #50 of 59
The quote clipping below just turned up in another thread and may also be relevant to your skis...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre
...Second, the more limited your ankle range of motion is, the further forward you had better place the bindings if you want to lower your times. If you do not have enough range of motion to reach the sweet spot you will load the boot tongues but fail to properly engage the ski tips when and where you want to.

Many recreational skiers ski on skis with the binding placement too far back to ever find the sweet spot of the skis and engage the tips. Suprisingly few skiers, even racers, have the physical ability to effectively suck their feet back under them to engage the tips...
.ma
post #51 of 59
Dad,
There is some point in the combination of speed and turn frequency where the skis cross under the center of mass. With lower speed and less frequent turning, the center of mass crosses over the skis. This transition from crossover to crossunder is smooth, it just happens when things are working right. A skier skiing straight down a steep section making very quick turns may have a center of mass that is travelling a straight line while the skis are making ess's under them.

So, if you feel balanced and in control, and having fun, let your skis turn more quickly and feel how the tension in your legs (and less so, the rebound of the ski camber) makes the skis bounce into the next turn (sometimes called anticipation) and the skis cross under you.

When I crossover, I feel like I'm gently diving head first into the turn. I'm trusting my skis to catch up to me...and they always do.


Ken
post #52 of 59
JD,
Try being more patient with everything. Yes we move inside the new turn and yes we want to re-engage the edges. You mentioned how the movement moves up the body but I noticed that you did not mention it moving higher than the hips. If this is indeed what you are doing, you are not allowing the upper body to flow into the turn along with the hips. The consequence of this is too much hip angulation instead of inclinating with the whole body. Thus causing too much edge angle to happen, too early.
The skis hooking up and going off line is usually a symptom of this and/or insuffucient pressure (an edged but not bending ski). A stiffer ski will only do this more, so maybe it is not the solution you are seeking.

Cross over/under is a tactical choice that depends on intended result but knowing which to use for a particular situation only comes with experience. Allowing the outside leg to melt away is a cross under move. Extending the new outside leg is a cross over move. Using both during a turn is possible but requires a good feel for each skill and precise timing of the appropriate sequence. Try simplifying this for now and only doing one or the other.

Feeling like you are completely on the inside ski means you are on the right track! It should feel different and a little uncomfortable. It sounds like you are in the early phases of unlearning old habits while learning new habits. Keep playing with this but don't expect ownership to happen in one day. In fact don't expect it to happen in one season, it is one of the bigger fundamental changes you can make. JASP
post #53 of 59
Thread Starter 

Epiphanies abound

Wow. Thank you all. I think I get it now. 3 trips this year and already its sinking in. Patience | Center of Mass | Balance | Gradual movements | Get on it early in the turn. I think the conditions today were what really let me 'let go'. It just felt like flowing for a while - long enough to make me go back tomorrow and get after it again.

Thank you all - now if I can just unfreeze my face ... where'd I put that beer.

Cheers!
post #54 of 59
JD,
How did the second day go?
post #55 of 59
Thread Starter 

even better - i love this sport

I had the whole day to myself - so much fun. No Jane, no wife.

I could really feel my feet moving away and coming back slowly - more and more, I just am trying to stay balanced all the time and work with my feet.

I cut out an old running shoe heel insert and put them in my boots last night with double sided sticky tape -and I am certain that my biggest problem last season was being too far back on my skis. Too much pressure on my heel all the time, not enough ball of the foot pressure in my boot.

I could really feel today being more 'forward' on my skis and leveraging my whole foot - flexing ankle heel down. I believe I was working sooo much harder before. Now I can feel what everyone talks about when the ski releases the stored energy and 'pushes' you forward into the next turn right in the middle of my foot.

What a gas. I am still 'skidding' all over the place when I get tired - which is often - so now, I am going to focus on getting stronger in the quad/knee and core areas. The first few runs felt great but I rapidly deteriorated. It felt great to just commit to a long section of a run without worrying and letting one turn start another.

I need to get stronger to continue to enjoy this at the next level.
post #56 of 59
Yah mahn! If I can suggest go see a boot fitting expert for a more permanent adjustment. It will improve your skiing faster than anything else you can do. Enjoy!
JASP
post #57 of 59
Thread Starter 
Thanks again. Last year I went to <removed name of bootfitter> and had a terrible experience. Since I really didn't know what to expect from a ski boot, and I had heard (and could tell by then) that a good fit was critical for performance, I walked in and handed them over, told my story and paid for the custom footbeds. I asked for my money back about 4 hours later (something I almost NEVER would do). It's a long story and I won't bother with it here.

Now I am really just trying to get them back where they were. When I took out the insoles last night, I noticed that the arch area plastic was weakened significantly underneath (probably in an attempt to provide a 'flat' surface for the new footbed to be placed). I have done a fair job of reconstructing a comfortable/stable fit inside my boot, but they are approaching Frankenbootdom.

I am going to invest in all new gear next year if I can reach my goals on the equipment I have this year. I was worried before that the gear was holding me back, but now I think I've got enough to work on for the rest of this season and the bigger part of it is physical fitness. Staying on the easier runs is probably good for me in the long run.
post #58 of 59
Sorry to hear about your boot fitting experience. Nonetheless, it is well worth it to take JASP's advice to have them looked at again. It could be your fatigue is resulting from compensating (or trying to) for an alignment issue. Post where you're at and get some feedback/recommendations for fitters in your area, so you don't repeat of last year.

Sounds like you're having fun making great strides
post #59 of 59
Thread Starter 

bump

Just a quick note - after tuning my skis myself, the vast majority of my problem (expending too much energy turning) disappeared - instantly. Equipment, not technique was a huge part of the problem. I had my skis done locally last year, but then bought some files and guides and did them by hand myselft - wow.

Now it is clear why I couldn't pull off the 'park and ride'/carving maneuvers - the two skis were completely different - THAT's why my inside ski was hooking up or my outside ski took off on a tangent when I tried to push down during the turn. All 4 edges were in different states of disrepair.

Now that this is out of the way, I was able to really feel the snow through my feet and for the first time felt what it meant to pressure the ski to result in a tighter turn arc.
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