Originally Posted by whtmt
Hi Tdk6: Let me try to clarify my previous comments when you skied the wind slab. Take a look at the first turn to the left (facing camera). Now stop the film half way through the first turn left turn. You will see that you're looking straight at the camera and your upper body is facing directly at him as well. Now observe your inside hand, arm, shoulder, and hip. Their all tipped to the inside and in particular your hand, arm, and shoulder are lower then your outside hand, arm, and shoulder. The only way you can be in this position is to lean or tip to the inside. When you do this you place too much weight on the inside ski. You should be in a more angulated position to counter act the forces created in the turn. Now look at your lower legs. The outside ski and foot have slid away from your inside foot with your stance width becoming "A" framed. This has occured due to the weight being on the inside ski (uphill), coupled with the rotary forces caused by the upper body rotational effect on the hips, thereby moving the hips to the outside trying to come around also. When this occurs there is no way your body can stop it bio-mechanically.
Try this exercise with a friend. Set yourselves up with you above your friend on a steep slope in a typical traverse position. Have your friend and yourself grip two ski poles held together for strength and between yourselves in the middle of the poles. Both of you are facing the same direction and both are on skis. Now first try this without moving. Have your friend try to pull on you with greater and greater force until you begin to slide toward him/her.
Observe where your hips are relative to inside or outside of the center line between yourselves. Now this time do it again and actively resist your friend by moving your hips inside and uphill while you face your upper body more downhill toward your friend. Now have your friend pull as hard as possible and you try to resist so you don't lose the edge grip.
Now do it all again and this time actively rotate your hips to the outside of the traverse position and see if you can still hold your friend from pulling you downhill and losing the edge.
Finally, do in all again in an active traverse with active movement of the hips toward the inside first and feel the strength of the edge grip and then when you move the hips to the outside of the traverse you should feel the edges begin to lose their grip.
This is exactly what is happening in your turns when you face your ski tips along with the strong rotary forces applied at the start of each turn initiation.
Now look at the film of turn #5 to the left again and facing the camera. Put the zoom up to 800 so you can really see what's happening. You'll notice that the same things are happening again. The outside ski is once again sliding out away from the inside ski until it's far enough to have a high enough edge angle to grip the snow. The characteristic "A" frame shows up again. Notice your outside hand, arm, and shoulder. They appear to actually be leading the turn not following it, and this causes the over turning. The real problem this causes is that you have a weak inside half instead of a strong inside half, so you have nothing to counter act the forces you started at turn initiation. Finally, this causes your turn shape to be a "J" instead of a "C", because the forces build up and then when you want to go the opposite direction you must do an abrupt edge set, create a platform to move off of and then try to rebound toward the new direction.
So here are my thoughts to help with these items. First try to ski for a while in medium and short radius turns on somewhat steep groomed terrain and then finally small bumps without poles. Based on the video of being in the back seat you need to move your hips up and over your feet. To do so skating and blades are both great ideas. They will help you re-center your stance and thus improve balance. To be sure you're in the back seat watch the angle of your femurs in the turns. You will see it is frequently nearing 90 degrees. That means you have little or no flexion remaining if you need it. You need to stand much taller even on the steeps and observe your femur angle. The higher and steeper it is the greater the range of flexion and then extension you will have. Your bump skiing gets in trouble because you're lowering your hips (ie-flexing) too much instead of starting your first bump turn by extending your legs torward the bottom of the trough to meet it before it hits you and throws you off balance because you have already absorbed too much and have no place to go.
Here's another simple exercise: Stand on flat ground in just your ski boots with your feet in a naturally open stance and parallel. Now bend your knees until you look like you do frequently in the film with your knees at almost 90 degrees. Once in this position try to actively pick either foot off the ground. Now, do it all again but this time stand naturally tall like when you run or walk up a hill. Now try to lift either foot off the ground. It was easier wasn't it??? Why? Because you had not used up your entire range of motion in the knee and hip joints. This is also why your back is hurting when you ski bumps. Not enough extension and too much pre-stressed flexion.
Good luck with it all and I hope this helps clarify it better for you. Thanks again for your interest and patience in allowing many of us to comment on the great film you have provided.
whtmt & Mackenzie 911
Thank you whtmt once again for a great post. Im glad that you appreciate me posting the video but its really me that should be thanking you and everybody else posting here. It has been, and still is both fun and educating. I will also try to reply to every post here to show my appreciation.
Yes, you are perfectly right. I lean, tipp, into the slope causing too much weight to be shifted onto the inside leg causing my hips to rotate towards the outside and my outside arm to be pushed forwards causing my outside ski to skidd. Its like straight out of the roole book: classical misstakes. I live by the philosophy that difficult snow conditions brings out the best and worst in you and if you want to find out just how well you ski just try some offpist terrain with various snow conditions. This is exactly what is happening with me. I know that Im a good upper level skier but looking at the windslab video we can see I have lots of stuff I can improvel on that we cannot easily detect on easy terrain.
So why Im I leaning into the turn? There are severa reasons but the main reason and the most common one in general for all of uss is that Im a bit scared. Scared I might trigger an avalanche onto a lot of innocent skiers like my brother filming me because Ive done so before (triggered small avalanches). Scared I might fall and hurt myselfe. Scared I will loose my ski. Scare I will hitt a rock and have my skis ruined.... Fear causes uss, and me in this case, to lean into the slope because I dont want to fall downhill. The trick is to do the exact opposite, lean towards the outside so that my hipps and CM is kept on the hillside of our skis. This is why I teach wedging the way I do in chapter 5. BTW, what do you think of the rest of the clips in chapter 5. Proper stance and the wedging drill from the 70's?
I will deffinetly pay lots of attention to my week inside and try to keep my shoulders levelled and my hipps inside.
Connected ski poles drill
This drill has been one of my corner stones in my skiing and teaching. You seem to push me back to were Im comming from technique vise and Im glad because all of those things you are writing about in your posts are stuff I know from years ago. Really fundamental things. Without good fundamental skills it is hard to improve as a skier at upper levels.
I have been kind of a spokesman for the J-turn but that doesent mean that I shouldent be a master of the C-turn. Just need to detect this weekness and work on it. The reason I make J-turns really is that my mogul technique is built on it. For better or worse. You nail it when you say "...because the forces build up and then when you want to go the opposite direction you must do an abrupt edge set, create a platform to move off of and then try to rebound toward the new direction...". This is a combination of a J-turn and the counter turn. This is the way I natrually build up enough power to unweight and effortlessly bring my skis arround. Maybe I just have to get better at it.
Flexing and extending
This is interesting. You are say that Im bending my knees too much and that I should stand taller in order to be able to flex more when needed. This might be true but my neutral stance in moguls is a bit lower than normal so that I also can extend when needed. This I feel is equally important and Im thinking that mogul skiing is a highly dynamic form of movement and that I should be able to extend and to flex depending on the shape of the snow surface. If I had softer boots I could maybe flex forwards with my knees and not just by lowering my butt and braking at the waist. I think Im very close to my real problem here. Maybe new boots would improve my overall stance. Your last example of staning on one foot is great. I have been using the same argument trying to prove that the most weight should be carried by your extended outside ski.
All for now.