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Whaddaya do when one ski comes off?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
What's the best way to handle a prerelease when you're in sketchy territory? (I know, Trade in your Markers ...).

I was skiing yesterday and somehow lost a ski (possibly due to snow buildup?) on a somewhat steep part of Drainpipe at Copper Mountain. It was my left ski, and I was turning right, with a decent amount of speed. I turned back to the left on my right ski, hoping to sort of keep turning uphill and stop that way, but it didn't quite work. I turned fine, but then somehow I ended up with my right ski tip stuck into a big soft bunch of snow, straight up and down, binding toward the uphill.

Of course, this ski did NOT come off, and I had to release my foot from the binding and then wrench it out of the snow (it was stuck all the way down to the toepiece). Needless to say, I twisted my knee and ankle pretty good in the process of the ski stopping and my body continuing to travel, and feel lucky to have escaped serious injury.

Any tips? This is really the scariest part of skiing for me, going fast on only one ski. It doesn't happen often, and usually only in moguls, where I'm not going too fast.
post #2 of 27
I always throw in a boatload of rotary and bring myself to a stop in a hockeystop. The key to keeping your balance on one ski is staying forward, and absorbing any terrain that you are on. Usually I will traverse to slow down and then throw in the hockey stop... then try to find the ski.

I have only lost skis a few times while skiing off-piste, but it is pretty common in a race course if you hit ruts wrong at high speeds, or for several other reasons (usually user induced). When it happens in a course usually I am SOL. When it happens on a groomer I finish the turn, stop, and catch the ski if it is still moving.

The bottom line is that your skis shouldn't release (technically). You may need higher DIN (slightly) - I am not sure what you're running right now, but you might want to consider something higher, especially if skiing rough snow at speed is going to become a habbit.

Later

GREG

EDIT: Have your forward pressure checked (or check it yourself).

EDIT2: I double ejected Thursday (at the same time)... anyone got any solutions for that?
post #3 of 27
Segbrown,

This is one of those "you make the call" moments. If you've practiced one ski skiing and the terrain is not too sketchy, some times you can ski it out to a standing stop. Sometimes, if you can ski to a stop, you end up going much farther down the hill vs just giving up and falling over. Sometimes if you try to ski to a stop and screw it up you can get hurt worse than just letting yourself fall over. Sometimes letting yourself fall over you can get hurt and sometimes falling on purpose is the quickest and safest route to continued skiing. You can't worry about making the "right" call, you just make one, then hope for the best.

The only sure thing is that when you do fall, don't fight it going down, then use a safe means of self arrest to come to a stop.

I had one of these moments a couple of weeks ago at Stowe. Following someone else at good speed, I came out of a couple of bumps with only one ski on. I found myself on some hard scraped off snow and did not like the results of my first attempt at a one footed turn. My next thought was protecting a bad shoulder. I laid on my good side and slid into an unceremonius heap. I got credit for the crash of the day, but I came away uninjured and someone brought my ski down to me. It happens. No big deal. Pick yourself up and ski on.
post #4 of 27
If I'm not doing a superman, I usually stop (hockey stop) as soon as I can so that I don't have too far to hike up. The statistical data bank is small, but it usually works, and when it doesn't the ski, being flat sideways to the direction of motion, will release from the binding fairly easily. Sans ski on hard snow I run/skid for a few paces, or try a foot forward three-point landing if the snow is deep.
post #5 of 27
I don't know if its because my balance gets worse as I get older, but it seems that now what usually happens is one or both skis comes off and I instantly hit the ground rather hard, usually on my chest or shoulders.

Most recently I came across a rut wrong in a GS course and it yanked my downhill ski clean off right below a gate, via twisting at the toepiece, with a DIN of 12.5. I probably made it another five feet before I augured in. The next guy after me actually hurt himself coming across the same rut and auguring in.

It might be just because I ski less now. Sometimes now its almost like I'm shocked when it happens, and I just forget to continue standing up. Weird. Hurts like heck usually.
post #6 of 27
It's nothing to do with age skiingman. The blow that takes off the binding also chops your feet out from under you, sending you rotating forward about your cm. Just do a good front breakfall with your forarms, avoid damaging your thumbs, use the shafts of your poles to reinforce the arm bones, protect your head, and try not to hit anything solid.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
It's nothing to do with age skiingman. The blow that takes off the binding also chops your feet out from under you, sending you rotating forward about your cm. Just do a good front breakfall with your forarms, avoid damaging your thumbs, use the shafts of your poles to reinforce the arm bones, protect your head, and try not to hit anything solid.
The few times I've lost the outside ski of a turn, I had no time to do anything but fall down. And I don't ski all that fast.
post #8 of 27
not sure on what to do but i cant tell u from experience what not to do. i was skiing about 12" of fresh and blew out one of my bindings. i thought im gonna be cool and ski out, 500ft later i realized the one ski was still where i left it. man im glad i was at the front of the group and one of the guys further back grabbed my ski and brought it down to me....that would sucked having to walk all that way back up to get my ski.
post #9 of 27
Fall.
post #10 of 27

I sorta slide.

Last year I lost it a few times and I did one of two things..
If it was slow enough, sit on my ass and start sliding on my side and try to hockey stop with the other ski...

The one exception happened on a farily long steep trail which was half groomed and half icy modguls... I was moving pretty good and while doing a left turn, my right ski hit the side of a mogul hard and released... I generally unweight my inside ski a lot and boom, I lost my footing, released the other ski and slid about 200 ft, half of it head first on my back... Without any means of self arrest but for my boots and that not too hard for fear of jamming my knees, it took a while to stop.. I was undoubtedly the biggest spill there that day ... Thankfully couple of gentlemen picked up my skis. The pleasures of learning...
post #11 of 27
I was watching the recap of this week's skiing on CBC (Canadian channel) and it was showing some aerials competition at Mont Gabriel (sp). One of the Canadians who placed on the podium (they placed 1 through 4) landed his last jump and his ski came off. Apparently the rule is that you have to be able to ski about 10 metres in order for the landing and jump to count. The guy landed and skated all the way to the bottom then did a hockey stop on the side where he didn't have a ski. Later he said that he does a lot of waterskiing and that helped him stay up and in balance. Maybe you should give that a try and get in some practice
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
Segbrown,

This is one of those "you make the call" moments. If you've practiced one ski skiing and the terrain is not too sketchy, some times you can ski it out to a standing stop. Sometimes, if you can ski to a stop, you end up going much farther down the hill vs just giving up and falling over. Sometimes if you try to ski to a stop and screw it up you can get hurt worse than just letting yourself fall over. Sometimes letting yourself fall over you can get hurt and sometimes falling on purpose is the quickest and safest route to continued skiing. You can't worry about making the "right" call, you just make one, then hope for the best.
LOL -- well, that about covers all the bases!

Quote:
The only sure thing is that when you do fall, don't fight it going down, then use a safe means of self arrest to come to a stop....
I don't mind falling -- I'm a good faller. I never fight: just relax and let it go. But something about the one ski, I can't decide if it's skiing or falling. If I decide it's skiing, then am I fighting the fall?
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
.... I double ejected Thursday (at the same time)... anyone got any solutions for that?
Tuck and roll?
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown
Tuck and roll?
That is a fair representation of the situation... you make it sound so much less dramatic than it seemed to me while it was happening though.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown
Tuck and roll?
Tuck and roll at low speed; slide and guide at high speed.
post #16 of 27
Hmmmm, I think it may classify as a slide and glide then...

...although I have had some slide and glides that ended as a tuck and roll, or had a tuck and roll somewhere in the middle of them...
post #17 of 27
I have also done the rag doll and the sleeping man .
What I want to get across is that doing a roll is a good idea only if you are not going too fast. If your going fast, the part that hits the ground can stick, and the speed differential will break it; your better off trying to slide on a large surface, making sure not to stick anything.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown
But something about the one ski, I can't decide if it's skiing or falling. If I decide it's skiing, then am I fighting the fall?
SegBrown,
It's skiing until you are not in control. If you can come to a stop (standing up), it's skiing. If you can't, it's fighting. In my last situation, I was skiing on one ski for one turn. When I got to the point where the next turn was going to take some work, I decided continued effort to ski was not worth it.
post #19 of 27
segbrown, I suggest playing with one-ski skiing on cat tracks and run-outs. The key is to get comfortable on that uphill edge of the uphill ski. Then, you can just ride it/carve it up to a stop.

I do disagree with HeluvaGreg about the DIN, however. I'd rather lose a ski than break a leg. But, that's a personal call. If it happens frequently and you're convinced that you didn't hit a chuck of snow/ice, rock, or rut to cause the release and you'd like to keep the skis on more, you can increase your binding settings...

I skied out of my skis a couple of times last week while skiing with UL and some friends at Breck. One time I came about 6" from landing in the creek below lift 6! : But, I don't think I'll tighten the bindings, yet; I may have caught the skis on something...
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
SegBrown,
It's skiing until you are not in control. If you can come to a stop (standing up), it's skiing. If you can't, it's fighting. In my last situation, I was skiing on one ski for one turn. When I got to the point where the next turn was going to take some work, I decided continued effort to ski was not worth it.
Well, I thought I was in control until I skied into that half-formed mogul or whatever it was. I can't even tell you what happened at that point. I was probably half skiing and half stopping, and didn't absorb anything.

But it looks like common sense is basically the answer -- which is fine.
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
segbrown, I suggest playing with one-ski skiing on cat tracks and run-outs. The key is to get comfortable on that uphill edge of the uphill ski. Then, you can just ride it/carve it up to a stop.
That's what I was trying to do, except it was the uphill edge of the downhill ski.

Quote:
I do disagree with HeluvaGreg about the DIN, however. I'd rather lose a ski than break a leg. But, that's a personal call. If it happens frequently and you're convinced that you didn't hit a chuck of snow/ice, rock, or rut to cause the release and you'd like to keep the skis on more, you can increase your binding settings....
I don't think I'll change my setting. It's at the highest recommended for my height/weight/age, and I'm certainly no racer or extreme expert. Even thought I've never hurt my knee skiing, until the other day, I would guess the risk is greater with skis on than skis off.
post #22 of 27
Risk of knee injury is much higher with skis on rather than off.

Unfortunately, most things that will injure your knee won't result in the binding releasing, even at Type II or Type III DIN settings.

Beginners tear knees up all the time at Type I settings...

Ski bindings were designed to protect lower leg bones, not knees.
post #23 of 27
segbrown, I'm talking about when you first lost your ski (you lost your downhill ski, then turned so that it was your uphill ski, right?). Instead of making that turn, I would have just held on to a stop, but you have to be comfortable on that uphill edge of your uphill ski.

Or do I have it wrong?
post #24 of 27
Last weekend, my first day on my new race skis (I haven't owned race skis in over a decade), I found out that they aren't nearly as flexible as my old mid-fats, and some of those steep, sharp bumps can have a negaitve reaction to a stiff ski. At one point, my right ski decided it wasn't having any fun, and decided to stay right where it was - on the front of a bump. Luckily, I didn't pull an osterich and bury my face in the ground. I was able to make a couple of turns and stop before I got too far down hill from it. I have had some instances, where i was able to keep skiing, and I would either make a lap and pick it up on the next run, or someone would bring it to me. If you are on a "real" mountain, you might not want to do this.

If those aren't options, I'd suggest that you do whatever is the safest. If that means going down easy on your side then do that. If you can finish the turn back up the hill to a stop, or just throw the ski you are on sideways and do a hockey stop, then do that. What you don't want to do, whether you try to stay vertical or not, is to put your skiless boot in the snow. It WILL have a bad effect. If you are going to bail, just get your ski pointed across the hill and go over on your side and keep your feet off the ground for a second. You don't want to hurt yourself. If you decide to try to ski it out, but the trail is crowded, it might be safer to bail, than to possibly take out someone else.

Every situation is different, and you need to be prepared to make a split second decision if something like this happens.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
segbrown, I'm talking about when you first lost your ski (you lost your downhill ski, then turned so that it was your uphill ski, right?). Instead of making that turn, I would have just held on to a stop, but you have to be comfortable on that uphill edge of your uphill ski.

Or do I have it wrong?
No, I think that's right. I'm confused by now. So does this mean it's better to lay it down with your uphill ski on than your downhill? Or just that it's better to not try to turn at all? I made a fine turn. It was that thing that got my tip at the end of the turn that I needed to avoid.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown
No, I think that's right. I'm confused by now. So does this mean it's better to lay it down with your uphill ski on than your downhill? Or just that it's better to not try to turn at all? I made a fine turn. It was that thing that got my tip at the end of the turn that I needed to avoid.
I think it's better not to turn, since the turn will increase your speed and thus introduce greater opportunity for error or unexpected events (like yours). If I lose a ski, I just arc uphill from wherever I am.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
I do disagree with HeluvaGreg about the DIN, however. I'd rather lose a ski than break a leg. But, that's a personal call.
Sorry, it's the racer in me coming out again... sometimes I can't help it. It's true though... for a non racer it is probably not necessary to raise the DIN, unless like you said, it is an emergency.

Later

GREG
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