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Adjusting to shaped skis

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm pretty new to the forum. I know I'm a little late to the party, but I need some advice making the transition to shaped skis.

A little about myself:
  • 5'8''
  • 185 lbs, in fair shape
  • Skier level - 7
  • Age 31
I skied twice a week just about every week locally in NJ while growing up ans some in NE. Then through college, marriage and a few kids being born, fell out of it for 12 years. But, I started again last year. I dusted off my old 185cm K2 Gyrators (yes, really - I was definitely the coolest looking guy on the mountain because I even had neon poles to match) and got out three times. By the end of my third day, I had gotten back to (or reasonably close to) what my abilties were when I stopped - it really was like riding a bike.

So, I went out in the offseason and got all new equipment, including 168 cm volkl 4 stars. I've been twice so far this year and am headed to Utah next week. I have adjusted (I think) reasonably well overall to the new gear considering I have not taken a lesson (I amy do so on my trip), but am having some issues I thought you all might be able to give me some advice on.

First, I feel like I'm fighting the skis a lot of times - maybe like I'm working to hard using a technique more suited for the old school straight boards. It seems when I concentrate more on rolling my ankles than using the straigh up and down, weight unweight style, everything goes a lot easier. I'm trying to trust the skis more. Is that the right direction to head in?

Second, I'm having difficulty getting that "pop" at the end of the turn, even when I do feel as though I'm in a pretty good rythm - am I not finishing my turns, or is it something else?

Any help would be appreciated.
post #2 of 13
Welcome back to skiing and to epic. My advice is to not wait until Utah to take a lesson. The sooner you make some changes in your movement on skis, the more you will enjoy your trip. You are on the right track with the rolling of you feet/ankles. Shaped skis have some other issues that are causing you to not finish your turns and actually end up in the "back seat" at the end of your turns. The skis move more forward than streight skis do, and tend to ski out from under you.

Make an effort to get to a ski area before you make your Utah trip, and book a private lesson with a highly qualified instructor. Tell him your history and plans, so the instructor will know how to help you most effectivly.
If you ski in the Catskills, I am at WM.

post #3 of 13
Take a nice relaxing lesson over at HV away from the madness and on terrain that is well into your comfort zone. Explain to them that you need someone who is good at motion analysis (level 2 or 3 PSIA).

Spend some time having the pro look at the things that you are doing ... I expect that you are doing way too much.

Work on the new round turns and technique on easy terrain for a few hours. It will be mutual .... you will learn the skis .... or sometimes the skis learn us?

Your thinking should be .... smooth and round and flowing down the hill ..
post #4 of 13
Another concept to consider is that on older skis we used a higher range of pressure, and a lot more fore/aft levering than the new shorties tolerate.
What they do like is getting out from beneath us laterally. Some like to do so using angulation. While others like to do so using inclination. While others use countless combinations of the two.
Try skiing a heavier ski throughout the turn (less unweighting). Because the skis are softer longitudinally but stiffer torsionally, a strong unweighting, followed by a strong weighting, will usually create a very short and explosive turn. Which might throw you if you are not prepared for it.
After a while you will notice everything can be (and in most cases should be) more progressive. There is no need for the old "pop" off of a platform (edge set, rebound release).
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 


Valuable suggestions eveyone, that's why I like this place.

I definitely would love to get out to take a lesson before the trip, but I have a number of other thigns to do before then - just can't fit it in.

I do definitely find myself in the back seat more than I did on the straight skis and find it more difficult to manage where on the ski I center my weight through the turn. That seems to go away a bit when I add more angle, but soemtimes I forget to trust the skis enough to do that.

My quads definitely agree that I am doing too much work.

Thanks again guys.
post #6 of 13
Dave you might not be in the back seat as far as you think. The new skis just have such a small tail that the feeling is more pronounced. BTW Tail carving is much harder because of that fact.
post #7 of 13
Ready for a polarizing reply?

I highly recommend the Primary Movements Training System (as do several others here, and scoffed at by many.) Work your way through all of these lessons...http://www.harbskisystems.com/ol3.htm If you think there is something here, try one of their coaches or camps, or buy a book or DVD...I recommend the "Instructor Manual."

I, and many others, have found PMTS to be the easiest way to good skiing on modern equipment. My feeling is that those who scoff have not given it an honest try, but I may be mistaken in that feeling. Anyway, I am a very satisfied student of PMTS and recommend it very highly.

post #8 of 13
DaveM, welcome to EpicSki!

Where will you be skiing in Utah? It may be that we could make a suggestion for a solid coach to guide your re-entry (especially since a number of us just returned from the ESA in Snowbird/Alta).
post #9 of 13
I am 3 hours from you, PM me if you ae interested in a pre Utah lesson. OOOh, I am PSIA L3.

post #10 of 13
hey Dave ...

One of my favorite things to do is this silly little exercise (best on snow, but plush carpet will do)

take one old straight ski and one new shaped ski. use a fat rubber band to hold the brakes up (as if you're skiing or waxing), then tip the ski on it's side and give it a little push. notice the dramatic difference between how the straight and the shaped ski moves across the surface?

there's a lot you can learn from watching the way your new ski moves.

good luck!
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks. We're staying in Park city. We're kind of taking it as it comes, but want to ski PCMR, Snowbird and matbe solitude.

I hope to attend the ESA East next year - sounds like a great program.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks, but won't be able to get out before I leave. Maybe later this year or next. It takes me about two hours to get to the thruway from where I am, though.

Appreciate the tips.
post #13 of 13
who cares about the thruway?
I 'm at mountain creek several days per week (sadly, i'm rarely on the snow) i live half-hour away from the "resort".
(as i've said, my dad started the original school there in '70, and i started the original snowboard school there in '88)
when can you get to 'the crick'? i'll meet up with you and take you on a carving lesson (NO, I do NOT work in the "school" at MC) for free, anytime you like.
exploit my 29 years as an international ski/snowboard professional
i guarantee you'll improve dramatically in an hour or three with me.
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