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TomB skiing ... MA anyone?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
So here is what I ski like after 15 years of skiing. Started at 29 and I am currently 43 years old. I have never taken a lesson, but attended ESA I and II.

I posted the videos on HeluvaSkier's thread as well, for reference only.

Slow Turns

Normal Skiing

So what do you think? I realize you don't have much to work with. Eventually I need a camera with zoom in video mode, so one can see more than a few seconds when I am in good camera range. Unfortunately there is no video of me in more difficult terrain such as off piste powder, trees, bumps. My wife cannot handle that terrain.
post #2 of 18
scheisse! It's not playing for me.
post #3 of 18
: Not playing for me either, Tom.
post #4 of 18
TomB, thanks for posting your video. Nice skiing and absolutely beautiful scerery .

You seem to be able to handle good even terrain without any problems. Good rhythm and good balance. What I would like to see more in your skiing is a bit more counter in your upper body. Now your upper body is following your ski tips through out the turn creating a slightly rotated apperance. This is all style and taste but that is the way I ski and teach. With a bit of counter you will be able to use your hipps and knees better in order to create bigger edge angles and recieve better edge hold. Also if you look very closely you will find that you raice yourselfe as you initiate your turn and from there you lower yourselfe down all the way to the end of the turn (not much but its there). I have seen this in our own demoteam members skiing and Im not really shure if I find that efficient. I like to extend more through out the turn insted of lowering myselfe.

Also, back to your hipps.... since you keep your upper body and hipps centered over your skis facing in the direction of traweling you dont get that nice upper/lower body separation where your upper body stays pritty much uppright and your leggs and skis trawel away from your body only to come back at the end of the turn and cross under. What Im saying is that if you worked a bit more with your leggs and countered a with your upper body a bit more you would get much better edge hold and reboudn from skis and terrain.

Im a bit hard on you here since you ski very very well and much better than many ski instrukters I know.

TomK
post #5 of 18

nice

tomb,

vids work perfect for me....

Real nice job esp for someone who started late in life...turns flow smooth and easy. Excellent job! Assume those are the m 662's? If so I think a ski with more sidecut would create more angles for you....so hard to find fault with technique cause that ski is meant more for riding than creating huge angles. ( I want a pair BTW or M 666)

Agree with tdk6 on counter esp in the slower footage, but again for a demo not for the free smooth skiing you present here. Assume you have been viewing the free vids avail from the italian demo team and csia?

I say sweet.....: I like your skiing a lot. I'll watch this with interest as I am real curious to see what our "heavy hitter" MA experts have to say. I actually see quite a bit of my own skiing in some of your turns.

Thanks for posting.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
tdk6,

Thanks for the very generous comments. I agree that in the video (especially in the slow turns) I am painfully following my skis with no counter. I cringed when I saw that, so I definitely agree with you. I do raise myself too much also, but that happens when I ski slowly. When I go faster and have my short SL skis that gets replaced by an extension. I wish I had more video of a variety of situations. But your comments are bang on, I think.

hrsstrat57,

Thanks for the nice comments. Yes those are the M662 skis I brought to Big White. I do have short SL skis here in Toronto and indeed I ski them a little different - more carving, more angles, faster than what you see in the video. By the way, I do try to immitate CSIA skiing. I wish I could ski like those in the CSIA video. That is my goal, even if it seems a little too ambitious.

I apologize to the rest of the viewers if you cannot see the video. I have no clue what I can do about that. If dchan would accept video files to put in his library, then I would gladly send him the videos. Otherwise, I am clueless.
post #7 of 18
Nice turns!

The slower turns show that you remain fairly square to the skis. I'd suggest that you show more upper/lower body separation, by keeping the upper body facing the bottom of the hill (face the fall-line).

A good drill to enhance your separation (amoung other things) is without poles, cross your arms arms and raise your elbows to eye height. You should be able to see over the low part of the "V". Then, while skiing, consciously push your upper body a bit forwards, and keep that 'V' aimed down the fall-line. Don't stop doing all the other extend-flex/up-down, edging, timing, pivoting skills. It's a real simple and real nice drill.

All in all, it looks pretty good to me!
post #8 of 18
If your goal is to look CSIA then the flexing movements you are doing slowly through turn completion is consistent with what they are doing. I agree with everyone else, focus on your countering skills. Many ways to work on that. You are balanced, stable, smooth, etc.. Roundish ski-instructor turns. All looks nice. Work on the counter though.

Another way to think about it..if I recall correctly from CSIA days, think about pivoting your leg in the hip socket a little bit more after the fall line. What I see in your video is that you are wanting to get a nice smooth turn completion and to complete your turn across the fall line...again...like a nice CSIA demo would...while flexing/absorbing at the same time. But unfortunately, as some others emphasized, you are accomplishing this by turning your whole body. You are not separated top/bottom as they put it. Not countered. You're attempting to "pull" the last little bit of your turn around to completion with your upper body. This is a common syndrome that is much more pronounced in other skiers and you're keeping it very subtle especially in this groomed skiing, but its there.

Telling you what you're doing wrong is not entirely helpful I know. So as I was saying, try driving your skis with your legs a bit more during the last half of the turn. pivoting drills will help here. The idea is that instead of "pulling" your skis around the last part of the turn, "drive them" with your legs while attempting to keep your upper body quiet and countered in relationship to what your legs are doing to the skis.

I think that will work nicely for what you are trying to do here, which is look CSIA, not race turns. Pivoting skills are also extremely valuable for all mountain skiing in bumps, steeps, etc..
post #9 of 18
Tomb

Clearly with what you have achieved with no lessons indicates you are a strong visual learner, as I am. Dialing in the movements on the CSIA and www.amsao.it sites is an excellent strategy. You have done very nicely with it. I recently spent a lot of time with Harb's 2 videos:....no koolaid for me mind you but the slightly different focus regarding the LTE I found very helpful. I am now engaging my edges earlier, simultaneously and with much more power and creating greatly steeper angles. Thus more fun.

Further, I would ultimately suggest to you to do as I did about 15 yrs ago and try out for your local ski school. I assume a CSIA Instructor training class would be avail. Take it. If you get into it and decide to teach a bit you will then become an insider. If you don't and the ski school does a good job with ITC it couldn't hurt. I ended up teaching skiing for about 10 yrs. I was initially motivated by free skiing and cheap gear. Turned into much more than that for me.

Think about it....you have a huge passion for the sport, obvious via your fantastic self taught technique. Why not consider sharing it, and getting better in the process?

Worked for me.....and worked for most of the instructors on epicski I bet:.

Cheers!!!
post #10 of 18
I second all of hrstrat's comments. I think you are a prime candidate for CSIA level I. You'll learn a lot and if that is the direction you want to go then go for it!

Regarding PMTS and HH I also heartily reccomend you check it out, except if your goal is to get involved with CSIA and perhaps become an instructor or at the very least you want to look the way they look..I'm not sure I would get too deep into PMTS stuff. Its definitely useful stuff, I had some breakthroughs of my own, just from listening to HH break down turn transitions, which I think he has analyzed very very well and presented in a frame by frame, step by step process. Skiing is much more fun with big edge angles and a solid outside stance ski getting carvage I was missing before on steeper lines. However, you may find some conflicts between that approach and the CSIA approach. Eventually it all merges and when you have a sufficient understanding of what everyone is teaching you can mix concepts from many schools of thought to enhance your skiing. However, I sense you are just breaking into the idea of trying to become CSIA certified and really nail that approach..in which case I think if I were you I would stick to that for now.
post #11 of 18
Second clip:

Same comments: try looking downhill instead of at the next turn.

Regarding the pole plants, try reaching further downhill with the pole. The plants appear to be pushing you up and back a bit, and hindering the flow of your CM across the skis and downhill. With more flow, you should see more angulation, and the turns will become more dynamic.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Again, thanks everyone for the nice comments.

BigE,

My poles are on the long side, so I can see how it appears that plants may be pushing me up. Frankly I think this "up" move is more an artifact of my self-taught skiing. I love to pop up. I do it much less on SL skis, I think. Nevertheless, you are not the only one who made that comment, so I am working to cool it a bit.

Dewdman42,

Thanks for taking the time to provide some feedback. I certainly do agree about the upper/lower body separation issue. In the slow turns I look stiff as a board. Yet I was trying to immitate the CSIA guy who was demoing Level 1/2/3 Parallel Turns Here.

Notice that even he has minimal upper/lower body separation. I think this follows the view that "artificially" facing the fall line may not always be a good thing - especially in long turns or very slow short turns. I am not making excuses here, just wondering about all this.

But in the end I agree that it looks stiff. Heck, now that I look at the CSIA video, I even feel that he looks a little stiff in the midsection. Slowly I am confusing myself here.

As for pursuing CSIA certification, I am not too sure about that. Maybe one day. But it is nice to be told that I could consider it.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB
Thanks for taking the time to provide some feedback. I certainly do agree about the upper/lower body separation issue. In the slow turns I look stiff as a board. Yet I was trying to immitate the CSIA guy who was demoing Level 1/2/3 Parallel Turns Here.
Do I dare go there?

First of all, yes in the classic ski instructor "open parallel turn" there is not going to be excessive body separation. However, if you look very very closely at this CSIA video, there *IS* separation. What you should see is that the hips are facing JUST SLIGHTLY outside of the direction your skis are sliding at any given point of the turn. Think about having your hips squared to face not the white space between your skiis, but rather to face the tip of the outside ski. Just slightly outside. That is a countered stance and even this CSIA guy doing open parellel turns has a slight countered stance.

You can let the side cuts drive the skis through the turn and follow your skis with a countered stance, or you can help the process along by using just a small bit of pivoting skills to drive your skis ahead of your hips. This video clip is very close right on the edge of being pure carve..but not quite. I think he's pivoting just a little bit. Classic ski instructor round controlled turn. Anyway, regardless of whether you carve or pivot or some combination, you want to make sure that your hips are facing just outside of the direction your tips are facing...aka...countered.

Quote:
Notice that even he has minimal upper/lower body separation.
I think he has good upper lower separation, but its hard to see because for this type of turn its a subtle difference. Small countering. But they are seperated. In a couple of the turns, watch his knees drive to the inside of the direction his upper body is facing as he is using pivoting a bit to drive a tighter turn.

Quote:
I think this follows the view that "artificially" facing the fall line may not always be a good thing - especially in long turns or very slow short turns. I am not making excuses here, just wondering about all this.
Good to wonder. Be careful about that whole "face down the fall line" concept. Many people latch on to that idea in the wrong situations. In fact it is the wrong idea for medium/large turns. However, that concept is not the same thing as countering. Countering is defined above. Countering is keeping your hips/upper facing to the outside of the turn rather than straight ahead or worse yet, inside. Outside. For relaxing turns like these, it does not take a lot of counter to get the job job. Opinions vary on how much is the right amount. Just do it, feel it and you will know how much you need.

Quote:
But in the end I agree that it looks stiff. Heck, now that I look at the CSIA video, I even feel that he looks a little stiff in the midsection. Slowly I am confusing myself here.
I don't think you look as stiff as you're making yourself feel. Just not countered. Try to get a little counter and things will improve.

Quote:
As for pursuing CSIA certification, I am not too sure about that. Maybe one day. But it is nice to be told that I could consider it.
In that case I think you could learn a lot from Harld Harb and you should check it out. Seriously.
post #14 of 18
TomB: CSIA level 1 is without question well within your grasp. The course is well worth taking -- it clears up alot of misconceptions about what instructors do.

Two points:

1) I'd reach further with the poles even if they were shorter.

2) My post that used the term "face the fall-line" to help introduce the how the drill is to be performed.

This is a key idea: A drill can isolate specific movements that are found in skiing. Often their severity is exagerrated, and body positions are adopted that you will not find in daily skiing ( like the crossed arms ). What I was hoping to acheive with the drill was that TomB should try it and find out what movements he sees are of value in that drill -- what they do, what effect they have, and what muscles/forces cause the movements and what it feels like. Perhaps, he could learn something of value from it.

While I'm at it, what do people think separation means? Is it only rotational, or is there more to it than that? You may want to experiment with the drill....

Cheers!
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Wow, so much good advice and a really good explanation about the counter. I do see the hip counter on the CSIA guy and I think I know what I have to do. It is subtle, but looks different than my video. Good stuff dwedman42, much appreciated!

And now about HH. Funny thing, but long before PMTS was defined or before anyone here talked about HH and PMTS, I was reading articles in SKI (or could have been SKIING) about using the new shaped skis, circa 1997-1998. HH was talking about the Phantom Move at that time and that is how I learned to take advantage of shaped skis and buy a better turn. I moved away from that as I realized that I need to use both feet. Of course, HH and PMTS evolved the phantom foot and the "lift and tip" became "lighten and tip" and so on.

What turns me off a little about PMTS is the dogma associated with it. But maybe I need to get over that and give it a better look. After all investing in a book or a video is peanuts compared to what I spend yearly on skiing.

One thing is certain, I absolutely love the way HH skis. I may be wrong, but for me the skiing in the CSIA videos resemble HH's skiing. HH's use of A&E is just beautiful, I think.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
BigE,

I will work on some of those drills, no doubt about that. I am (like hrstrat57) a visual learner. Now that I have the drills, the counter explanations, the video of CSIA, I can pound it all into my muscle memory. It will take time to make it completely instinctive.

As for the poles, I will try to reach further. I think this will also help with my tendency to have the poles lag behind in the bumps. Ding! I think another light went on for me.
post #17 of 18
There is unfortunately a lot of dogma with PMTS....and CSIA....and PSIA...and none of them think of themselves as being dogmatic either..but you will find a lot of domatic koolaid drinkers all over everywhere..no organization is exempt. You can also find some people in all of those organziations or groups of followers who are not overly dogmatic and are truly just seeking ski improvement from any place they can find it.

HH has a lot of truth. He's a colorful individual to say the least, but don't let that turn you off from what you can learn from him. I myself have still not completely bought into the whole ski on one ski to learn how to carve idea. Though I want to spend more time working with it to see if I should teach that way. Its a bit controversial. However, I will say, that I got his #1 and #2 DVD's. The #1 video in particular goes into less detail about his phantom turns and exercises and spends more time just discussing turn transitions and what WC racers are doing during this critical part of skiing. He is of course doing it in order to explain his phantom turn idea and justify it, but showing on a frame by frame basis what the WC guys are doing with their variuos body parts.

For me that breakdown of the transition had a major breakthrough on my own skiing as I went to the hill and the visualizations he put in my head by getting me to focus on certain body parts doing the right things in the right order. I was and am impressed. It added a whole new cool factor to my skiing..particular for hi speed groomed skiing...and on steeper and icier pitches I am carving better than ever.

He is a beautiful skier to watch. I can not agree that CSIA guys look the same, but let's not go there please. HH has adopted a racing style turn into a format that works well for recreational skiing. That is the beauty of his method. You don't have to ski like a recreational skier. You can ski like a racer without going at break neck speeds. That is what PMTS is all about. There are many subtle differences. Go to Realskiers.com to get nice info about it.

All that being said, I think you can learn some other concepts from a program such as CSIA related to other areas which aren't emphasized as much in PMTS. For example, pivoting skills. That's why I think its good to get information from many different sources. Understand how and when certain skills are applicable.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB
tdk6,

Thanks for the very generous comments. I agree that in the video (especially in the slow turns) I am painfully following my skis with no counter. I cringed when I saw that, so I definitely agree with you. I do raise myself too much also, but that happens when I ski slowly. When I go faster and have my short SL skis that gets replaced by an extension. I wish I had more video of a variety of situations. But your comments are bang on, I think.
Glad I could be of any help. And nice to hear that you think my comments were justified. Good input here by others as well.
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