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Skiing down the fall line

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I took a class the other day and the instructor told me that

a) I was crouching down when the slope got steeper
b) I need to look straight down the fall line

What is the best way of curing a) ?

For b), how can you keep looking down the fall line if you are skiing bumps/powder. I mean, don't you need to look where you are going. The instructor told me (after I asked him), that no, you "feel" the bumps and ski them that way but you look straight down.

Is this correct ?
post #2 of 13
That so-called instructor is seriously misinformed.

You don't want to crouch, but you do need to angulate more on steeper pitches. You need more edging of the skis, and you do that with more angulation...tilt both feet more on edge (pull your inside foot back allows more tilting angle of that foot), hips set toward the hill, shoulders angled with the downhill shoulder lower than the uphill shoulder. Look in the direction you're travelling; don't focus but look generally with the next turn and the turn after that all in view.

Something much like this


Ken
post #3 of 13
Crouching? As in hunching over at the waist and over flexing the legs?

My guess would be this either an alignment issue that is causing you to compensate by leaning forward or you are intimidated by the steeps and trying to back away from them. Get your boots looked at and build your confidence on the easier terrain in a good posture so that you will be confident to ski the steeps without fear. Even if you aren't "afraid" of the steeps you can still be subconciously shying away from them.

As for looking straight down the fall line. I would guess that your instructor was trying to prevent you from turning your upper body into the turns and following your skis. By looking down the fall line you will keep your upper body ready to move to where it will be in the future and also build up some tension that will help you unwind your skis into the next turn.

Do a search on this board for "anticipation" or "balancing in the future" for a good explanation of the ideas. In the book "Ski the Whole Mountain" by Eric and Rob DesLauriers it is recommended that you keep your eyes, shoulders, and hands focused on the center of the next turn. Although I have also heard it is good advice to always look 3 bumps ahead in the moguls.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy
That so-called instructor is seriously misinformed.

You don't want to crouch, but you do need to angulate more on steeper pitches. You need more edging of the skis, and you do that with more angulation...tilt both feet more on edge (pull your inside foot back allows more tilting angle of that foot), hips set toward the hill, shoulders angled with the downhill shoulder lower than the uphill shoulder. Look in the direction you're travelling; don't focus but look generally with the next turn and the turn after that all in view.

Something much like this


Ken
:: Since when does carving come in to play on moguls? That is misinformation as well. Good mogul skiing is practice of a quiet upper body the hips being part of this upper body. Skidding is the main technique in the troughs when you are learning. You do look where you are going, which is usually down the fall line. I am always looking a couple bumps ahead of myself. Skis should be close together as to go over the terrain as one unit. Not one ski higher than the other due to a wide stance. Obviously more in depth than that but I don't feel like typing. Beware of the information you get on the internet. Go to a good resort and ski with a seasoned instructor who specializes in mogul skiing.
post #5 of 13
Pole plant - keep them in line with your target....
You can see what is ahead & still look at target.... do you drive down the road only watching the few feet in front? Or do you scan ahead & watch what all those cars are doing etc as well? Same thing on skis.... You do not need to watch your ski tips or anything that close - you can feel that bit

& remember - you can't absorb if you can't flex & to flex again you need to extend.... ie keep moving
post #6 of 13
Something to keep in mind is that the body will always seek to align itself wiht the vision. If you look across the hill then the upper body will tend to align itself across the hill. When skiing short turns on steeper terrain, it is important that we keep our vision and focus of the upper body more in the direction of the movement of the upper body DOWN the hill, steering the skis farther across the hill than the upper body.

Your instructor was right in that we can't micromanage each turn and movements in these situations. Keep your vision moving from large focus to the occasional or nessasary short focus. He is also right in saying that crouching is counter productive if it is where you stay. It locks up our ability to blend in the movements wiht flow and versatility, not to mention pressure control. The legs shold grow both short and long in each turn. Did the insturctor help you get out of your crouch. Later, RicB.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomad555
Is this correct ?
Yes it is correct.

You need to look and plan ahead. In powder you are supposed to ski very close to the fall line and here it is easy to look ahead since this is the dierction you are mooving. Same in moguls and at very steep terrain. If you deviate too much from the fall line you are losing the momentum building up during a turn and stalling your skiing. This will make you consentrate too much on where to turn and this is when you start looking at your ski tips. Your body will follow and you downhill hand will prepare for poleplant. Hipps will rotate towards the outside and your downhill ski will skidd. You will get causious and lean into the turn wich in turn will make everything even worse.

Use angulation, look and plan ahead and feel the terrain. Keep on taking lessons .
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6
Yes it is correct.

You need to look and plan ahead. In powder you are supposed to ski very close to the fall line and here it is easy to look ahead since this is the dierction you are mooving. Same in moguls and at very steep terrain. If you deviate too much from the fall line you are losing the momentum building up during a turn and stalling your skiing. This will make you consentrate too much on where to turn and this is when you start looking at your ski tips. Your body will follow and you downhill hand will prepare for poleplant. Hipps will rotate towards the outside and your downhill ski will skidd. You will get causious and lean into the turn wich in turn will make everything even worse.

Use angulation, look and plan ahead and feel the terrain. Keep on taking lessons .
tdk6 - thanks for the reply!! What you describe is exactly my problem.
What happens is that, when I ski too closely to the fall line, I find myself going too fast - I think I need to get used to making short turns by keeping looking ahead. BTW do you have any links/recs for any video of a skier skiing *slowly* down the fall line ?
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy
That so-called instructor is seriously misinformed.

You don't want to crouch, but you do need to angulate more on steeper pitches. You need more edging of the skis, and you do that with more angulation...tilt both feet more on edge (pull your inside foot back allows more tilting angle of that foot), hips set toward the hill, shoulders angled with the downhill shoulder lower than the uphill shoulder. Look in the direction you're travelling; don't focus but look generally with the next turn and the turn after that all in view.
Wow! From that brief description, how did you get to this conclusion? You don't have any idea what nomad555 looks like when skiing, so how could you so quickly come to the conclusion that his/her instructor was misinformed.

FWIW, I wouldn't want to turn like that animation, either.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomad555
Hi,

I took a class the other day and the instructor told me that

a) I was crouching down when the slope got steeper
b) I need to look straight down the fall line

What is the best way of curing a) ?

For b), how can you keep looking down the fall line if you are skiing bumps/powder. I mean, don't you need to look where you are going. The instructor told me (after I asked him), that no, you "feel" the bumps and ski them that way but you look straight down.

Is this correct ?
Nomad,

A) is a reaction to fear. It causes you to assume a defensive position. It's a bad place to be because you lose a lot of your ability to properly control the skis. My suggestion to getting over this fear is 1) ski shallower trails faster for a while, to get used to speed and controlling that speed by slowing down from higher speeds, and 2) on the steeper hill, make longer turns at slower speeds. Get the skis moving forward across the fall line for a second, finishing the turn enough to slow yourself to a speed well within your comfort level. One way to do 2) is to have a leader, who is comfortable skiing the trail slowly, and can make nice round slow turns, and follow that person, staying right in their tracks. Take conscious notice of the speed, direction of travel, time spent in the turn, and how much you "finish" the turn, and try to emulate that without the leader.

As for B), your instructor needs to be a bit more educated in current ski techniques. You do not want to face straight down the hill all the time. The more you skid and move sideways, the more you will face your torso down the fall line. The more you carve and move forward, the more your torso will face the direction the skis are pointed. Notice, that in both cases, you are facing the direction of intended travel, or *slightly* downhill of the intended direction of travel.

I have to wonder if your instructor didn't say b) as an exaggeration, because being hunched over tends to make people ski very "boxy", and rotate around through the turn way too much. By asking you to face straight down the hill all the time he may have just been hoping you'd meet him half way, and face somewhat down the hill and not rotate uphill of the direction the skis are pointed. We instructors intentionally exaggerate stuff a lot, because if we don't most students wouldn't make any noticeable changes, because they'd *think* they were doing something, when in reality, it was all in their heads, and not observable at all.

When skiing bumps and powder (as with all skiing), you want to know where you are going to go, so yes, you need to keep your head up and look where you intend to go.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomad555
tdk6 - thanks for the reply!! What you describe is exactly my problem.
What happens is that, when I ski too closely to the fall line, I find myself going too fast - I think I need to get used to making short turns by keeping looking ahead. BTW do you have any links/recs for any video of a skier skiing *slowly* down the fall line ?
Im glad I could help. Here is a video of me skiing and although there is no powder on it some of it was made on very steep terrain. It has been analysed in an other thread here on epic a while ago but if you missed it take a look here....

http://media.putfile.com/Verbier_2004_Skidemo-1

If you have any Q regarding my skiing ask them here or PM me for a more private discussion.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6
Im glad I could help. Here is a video of me skiing and although there is no powder on it some of it was made on very steep terrain. It has been analysed in an other thread here on epic a while ago but if you missed it take a look here....

http://media.putfile.com/Verbier_2004_Skidemo-1

If you have any Q regarding my skiing ask them here or PM me for a more private discussion.
I take it you instruct better than you ski
Just Kidding, lol .
post #13 of 13
tdk6,
good job reading the origional post and nice answer

RW
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