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Speed control problem w/ kids

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Went skiing for the first time this season with my daughter (9yrs) and had a great time. I bought her a one hour lesson as a refresher and to give her some pointers. Afterwards we skied together. I had two problems.

1. She is intimidated by the skiers and boarders who come bombing down the trails and cut in front of her and those that use us as personal slalom poles. I know there is not much we can do here.

2. Because I am 120# heavier (180# vs 60) than she and have longer/bigger skis, I find it hard to ski as slow as she does, especially on steaper trails. I watched the instructor, and he seemed able to do it. We do not venture onto trails that are above her ability and try to stay away form the middle of the trails.

I ski well, not expertly, and can follow directions well. I can control my speed while skiing to the velocity that I want to ski at, but skiing with Sydney, it is sometimes hard to ski that slow. I've been making tons of back-to-back small radius turns. The instructor made very few turns, and with larger radii. I am obviously doing something wrong.

Please tell me what to do to keep my speed down when I am with her.

Thanks,

Scott
post #2 of 20
Good job skiing with your daughter. Maybe if you were a bit closer behind her (without scaring either of you), others wouldn't use you as human slalom poles.

Sounds like you need to finish your turns more. Stay with each turn until you're on the point of skiing back uphill. This will slow you down. If you ski into a more anticipated position (skis keep turning while the torso doesn't), entering the next turn is easier.
post #3 of 20
What Kneale said - ski UPHILL more in the longer turn shape.....

Think of a jigsaw puzzle piece... imagine the bit that locks to the next piece.... remember its shape? try to ski THAT shape - right around & uphill until you are going the speed you want to be at BEFORE you turn down & accelerate (can be almost to a stop because you will pick up speed going DOWN and around)....

Now just make them less curvy if you want to go faster
post #4 of 20
Kneale's advice is right on.

Quote:
Sounds like you need to finish your turns more. Stay with each turn until you're on the point of skiing back uphill. This will slow you down. If you ski into a more anticipated position (skis keep turning while the torso doesn't), entering the next turn is easier.
If this is something that you are unsucessfull at doing, in my experience, it may be b/c you arn't creating a solid platform on your outside ski long enough during the turn (or early enough in the turn). Essentually, you are out of control if you can't ski slowley

Without sounding too much like a pompus ---, it could be worth while for you to also take lesson. The benefits would be well worth it both for you and your daughtor.

RW
post #5 of 20
The simplest answer I can suggest is to skid the turns more, and work sidesliping into the turns as well. By skiing a flatter ski and skiiding, you will be slower, and able to make larger radius turns as well as maintaining a slower speed. Furthermore, this can actually be good practice in general becuase it will help reinforce staying forward on the skis and controling the skis ( it can be very difficult to skid flat skis through turns if your balance is aft).
post #6 of 20
As people say "Complete the turn": continue turning until the skis are pointing directly accross the fall-line. That is a "complete" turn -- you cannot continue to turn left if your skis are pointing all the way to the left with respect to the fall-line.

Turn LESS than completely, and you will speed up. Turn MORE, and you will slow down.

The problem is that when you are following her, you are looking at her, and your skis are naturally drawn to point downhill towards her.....
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, I am not good at explaining the problem. What I want to do is make larger radius turns and keep my eye on her. If I finish my turns I am now facing either slightly upslope or across the slope and she is going the other way. The instructor was following behind her, making large radius turns and kept body position forward more than I am. I was watching from the base, at the chair lift, for the hour.

I usually take 3 or 4 lessons per season, but never when I am with the kids, because I cannot get a free hour by myself. But the advise is well taken. I will try to skid the turns more to bleed off speed.

Thanks,

Scott
post #8 of 20
Also guys - IMHO - instructors love to say "complete your turns" ... which is great - if you are an instructor or a very lesson addicted student (like me).....

For years people told me to do this - but no-one REALLY explained to me what they meant.....

So I skied around thinking "but I am" and was not even close!!!

I would then be terrified of the speed I developed within a couple of turns & so try to "turn faster".... yep - dreaded Z turns guaranteed.....

the trouble is that the line the instructor skis is only JUST completed.... for a dunderhead ski student to see it (like everything else) you need to OVERDO it.... make it REALLY UPHILL... so they can actually see & FEEL the speed control....

I still think "finish turns" and "point skis downhill"(in a traverse) are the worst examples of this..... In a traverse across steep areas the student is terrified of going "down there" .... yelling at them to point downhill gets there brain going "is he MAD?" .... we know we don't want to BE THERE.... no one says "point skis 1 degree further down the hill" which is probably what they really want (so you have a tad more speed) .... they just yell at you to go DOWNHILL - where you know you do not want to be....
post #9 of 20
If you want to ski the same line as her, and right behind her, you're going to have to introduce some sliding into your turns. By this I mean keep your skis constantly pointing at an angle to the inside of the direction you're actually traveling. The bigger the angle, the slower you'll go.
post #10 of 20
Another option to slow down would be to not be afraid to break into a wedge if you need to. Granted, it's not the ideal way to ski, but when it comes to the safety of you and your daughter, you need put pride in the trunk of the car and do what you need to until you can become proficient enough to make clean parallel turns at the proper speed and distance behind her.

When I ski with my 4 year old daughter, I always take the position of blocker. I guard her back and I'm always looking behind us to make sure no unguided missles are coming at us. When it gets crowded and she starts getting nervous about people buzzing past, I tell ther that I'll be right behind her and not let anyone touch her, so she can go whatever speed she wants. I haven't had to take anyone out yet, but I'll put someone on the ground before I let them hit my daughter. She feels safer about it, and becomes less inhibited.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Another option to slow down would be to not be afraid to break into a wedge if you need to. Granted, it's not the ideal way to ski, but when it comes to the safety of you and your daughter, you need put pride in the trunk of the car and do what you need to until you can become proficient enough to make clean parallel turns at the proper speed and distance behind her.

When I ski with my 4 year old daughter, I always take the position of blocker. I guard her back and I'm always looking behind us to make sure no unguided missles are coming at us. When it gets crowded and she starts getting nervous about people buzzing past, I tell ther that I'll be right behind her and not let anyone touch her, so she can go whatever speed she wants. I haven't had to take anyone out yet, but I'll put someone on the ground before I let them hit my daughter. She feels safer about it, and becomes less inhibited.
. Every kid should have this smart/good a parent. God help the fool that ever hits this girl.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Another option to slow down would be to not be afraid to break into a wedge if you need to. Granted, it's not the ideal way to ski, but when it comes to the safety of you and your daughter, you need put pride in the trunk of the car and do what you need to until you can become proficient enough to make clean parallel turns at the proper speed and distance behind her.

.

Yeah - I forgot - I had to do that when I skied with Man from Oz's smallest back when he was still in a snowplow..... As we skied around trees & he got closer to parallel I got to close it up again too....
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
When I ski with my 4 year old daughter, I always take the position of blocker. I guard her back and I'm always looking behind us to make sure no unguided missles are coming at us. When it gets crowded and she starts getting nervous about people buzzing past, I tell ther that I'll be right behind her and not let anyone touch her, so she can go whatever speed she wants. I haven't had to take anyone out yet, but I'll put someone on the ground before I let them hit my daughter. She feels safer about it, and becomes less inhibited.
I had a pair of guys from the lodge that used to do this for me when I was a newer skier....
One would ski in front & one behind me....

Trouble struck when the one behind let an old man through - thinking he would not hit me WRONG - bastard cleaned me up & then tried to put on one of my skis with one of his - totally different skis - different colour size etc.... then he could not get his foot into the binding (way too small).... I am lying on the snow with 2 young males trying to get me back on my feet & me muttering(sobbing ) at them to save my ski before he smashed the binding as he tried to put his hooves into it!!

The following year we needed to almost form a possey to stay safe... & then our 2 older group skiing friends(>65) got knees & pelvis fractured by runaway snow sliders!
post #14 of 20
We had an ex-SS director who's wife was a damn good skier (ex racer, I believe). One day she was skiing on a beginner run with their daughter and someone took the kid out and skied away. The mom (not a big woman by any stretch) skated after him, tackled him while going full speed and proceeded to pummel the guy. It was quite impressive.

I take that as my precedent. Except that being 6'2", 200#, I need to make sure I'd have enough self control to not kill the person who runs over my daughter.

On a similar note, a guy I used to teach with was teaching a class, and standing on the side of an intermediate trail one morning, when the racer kids were buzzing the hill. A couple of them had come very close to his students, and when one got too close, he leaned a little to his side and basically clothes lined the kid with his shoulder. It was a brutal take down, but when you are skiing at those speeds, close enough to be taken out by someone's shoulder, you're way too close.
post #15 of 20
Yes - my instructor got sick of me squealing when people went too close.... those who he thought were REALLY too close for comfort he would stick his shoulder/pole/ski etc out just a fraction more as they went close to him (after I had squealed & only if he saw the incident & thought I was right).....

Quiet a few people came a cropper before learning to leave us alone!

As he said - if they want to ski like that they need to have the control of the speed & line to be able to avoid those small movements.... or leave more room!
post #16 of 20
How long are your skis?

I'll be in trouble here ..... I have to force myself to say this ....
.... wait here it comes ..

When you are skiing behind them you may have to .... skid .. a few times while taking up the rear guard position.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott K
Went skiing for the first time this season with my daughter (9yrs) and had a great time. I bought her a one hour lesson as a refresher and to give her some pointers. Afterwards we skied together. I had two problems.

1. She is intimidated by the skiers and boarders who come bombing down the trails and cut in front of her and those that use us as personal slalom poles. I know there is not much we can do here.

2. Because I am 120# heavier (180# vs 60) than she and have longer/bigger skis, I find it hard to ski as slow as she does, especially on steaper trails. I watched the instructor, and he seemed able to do it. We do not venture onto trails that are above her ability and try to stay away form the middle of the trails.

I ski well, not expertly, and can follow directions well. I can control my speed while skiing to the velocity that I want to ski at, but skiing with Sydney, it is sometimes hard to ski that slow. I've been making tons of back-to-back small radius turns. The instructor made very few turns, and with larger radii. I am obviously doing something wrong.

Please tell me what to do to keep my speed down when I am with her.

Thanks,

Scott
Scott. Try to think of a "complete" turn as one that keeps you at the speed and or pace that you want to go. I find it very easy to add speed, skis in the fall line longer, than to take away speed, steering skis further up hill as needed. I use 2 approaches to this ,one way to practice this is to think you are a plane and you turn enough to almost stall out the motor, i.e. almost stopped, then dive back down the hill (turn towards the fall line) to start the motor. Another way to try to to manage speed control is to visualize a clock on the slope, 12 o'clock is straight down the fall line, eleven , ten ,nine, o'clock etc is the left turn, 1, 2, 3 o'clock is the right turn. Turn your (legs) skis to the time on the clock that slows you down to the speed you need to stay at pace with your daughter. She might only be going from 1-11 o'clock in her turns but depending on the slope you might need to work your ski tips to 3 and 9 or maybe 4 and 8 o'clock. P.S. great job on the protecting your child, block from the back and pull her over if there are a lot of skiers/riders coming down.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott K
Thanks for the advice, I am not good at explaining the problem. What I want to do is make larger radius turns and keep my eye on her. If I finish my turns I am now facing either slightly upslope or across the slope and she is going the other way.

Again, if you let skis turn more than torso, you'll be able to look downhill rather than at the trees, and you'll be able to start the next turn more easily.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
...When I ski with my 4 year old daughter, I always take the position of blocker. I guard her back and I'm always looking behind us to make sure no unguided missles are coming at us. When it gets crowded and she starts getting nervous about people buzzing past, I tell ther that I'll be right behind her and not let anyone touch her, so she can go whatever speed she wants. I haven't had to take anyone out yet, but I'll put someone on the ground before I let them hit my daughter. She feels safer about it, and becomes less inhibited.
Good advice from JohnH. My buddy and I do this when we ski with our daughters. I don't know what the attraction is, but people like to use them as moving gates. We've not had contact with any yet, but have shut several down. Why charge thru 3 little girls at mach one, when 3/4 of the slope is wide open?:

I love the challenge of skiing with my daughter and trying to match her line or guide her using a line I know she'll be comfortable with. Slow skiing is great practice.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib
Good advice from JohnH. My buddy and I do this when we ski with our daughters. I don't know what the attraction is, but people like to use them as moving gates. We've not had contact with any yet, but have shut several down. Why charge thru 3 little girls at mach one, when 3/4 of the slope is wide open?:

I love the challenge of skiing with my daughter and trying to match her line or guide her using a line I know she'll be comfortable with. Slow skiing is great practice.
I have a theory that taller bodies for some reason do not think impact with anyone below their shoulders is a reality.... I have never been hit by a midget/dwarf/small child.....they need to be teenage to be a threat!
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