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The ONE thing

post #1 of 130
Thread Starter 
In City Slickers, Curly (Jack Palance) shares a nugget about life, that each of us needs to find one thing to really care about to give our lives meaning. (Explaining the title header.)

In Brilliant Skiing, Weems tells the readers that the "mother of all pointers" is "Every turn needs an edge change, so learn to do it perfectly."

This thread asks: What's the ONE thing above all others that you strive to do technically in your skiing and why?

(I agree with Weems, a seamless edge change is uppermost of what I do.)
post #2 of 130
fore/aft balance is my focus now; it was last season and will be numero uno in this year's self-guided lesson plan. it's coming slowly but being actually centered over the skis into, through, out of turns, over bumps...is revelatory.

my intent is allowed clearer passage to my skis.

and so i'm more attuned to what throws me off the horse, so to speak.

balance is the hub from which the connected spokes (weighting/unweighting, pressure application, etc.) extend, for me, now.
post #3 of 130

Allowing the CM to move freely across the skis and into the next turn -- regardless of turn radius.
post #4 of 130
I'm in the nolo / weems camp on this. To me, engaging the new set of edges without twisting / skidding the ski first solves all kinds of problems.

I have far more experience on the Ice Coast then I do in the west, so my thoughts are a bit biased to the really slick though. My time at ESA-Snowbird though taught me that a lot of the same principles hold true.

Starting a turn with a skid is really easy; balancing and controlling that ski through the remainder of the turn is devilishly hard. Starting a turn with a clean tip-'em-over motion is really hard (at least for me !); balancing and controlling that ski through the remainder of the turn is pretty easy. I prefer to master a difficult split-second of edge change then to master a host of recovery techniques.
post #5 of 130
All the other stuff just helps me do it more often.

Other than that, I think Weems pretty much has it down to the essential.
post #6 of 130
Starting the new turn by releasing/relaxing the old outside foot (which ends up initiating the edge change). For me this tip really helps on steep stuff 'cause it keeps me foward and heading down the fall line.
post #7 of 130
I learned to ski 30 some years ago on 210's. For me, it's getting rid of a lot of up motion, and flowing into my turns.
post #8 of 130
post #9 of 130
I detect a theme of turn initiation, with fun pulling up 2nd.

I'm in the first camp, but my bent on it is the direction of movement into the new turn (not too lateral, not too forward). I find that as I've been skiing less and less over the past few years, this is one thing that has the biggest impact on my turn quality when things just don't feel right.
post #10 of 130
post #11 of 130
I'm with Heluva and Ryan...

Balance (for me...all balance Ryan.. not just fore/aft for me... although that was the one I worked longest and hardest to get any of, as it was the first I had to tackle to ski)

Without balance a seamless edge change would be mighty complicated to achieve I think....
post #12 of 130
O cripe, I thought the question asked about the ONE thing you'll do "this year". Talk about missing it....
post #13 of 130
Here is an interesting/useful article on balance, by our very own Rick/Fastman on the MSRT site.
post #14 of 130

loosen up...

...stay in the fall line, and punch it...
post #15 of 130
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
I learned to ski 30 some years ago on 210's. For me, it's getting rid of a lot of up motion, and flowing into my turns.
and shorter poles

you move up to get past those bad boys.

mine is to quit thinking about technical matters and go ski
post #16 of 130
I think that for me, the edge change is the key to the turn, and Weems is the person who most helped me see that.

This year, however, as a result of that focus I'm visualizing moving with the skis more than I had been. The ESA Montage video is helping that a lot, actually...
post #17 of 130
I agree that initiating turns on edges is imperative. I think the follow through is just as important, in letting the skis complete what is ahead of them without overanticipating the next turn. I think that is in a similar vein to ssh's comment about visualization. Sometimes I have a problem with that. But only on Mondays.
post #18 of 130
The one thing that I really care about in skiing is:
still breathing when I reach the bottom.

An edge change is something the ski does. It's not something you do. Now it's fine to think edge change and let the body automatically translate that into specific muscle movements. It also happens to be a very efficient means of making mutliple simultaneous muscle movements. But it's not a good way to learn a new movement/fix something.

When I'm working on my skiing, I'm alternating between focusing in on specific movements and just focusing on where to go/having fun (i.e. trying not to think to let things come together).
post #19 of 130
Seamless edge change is essential. I am working on stronger directional movements throughout my skiing along with precise edging skills.

post #20 of 130

Working On - One Thing

Nolo, funny you should ask this. I read a post last year from you and that is what I will work on this year "stay connected". Maybe not synonymous with a seamless edge change but certain one of the main/primary ingrediants.

Also along with this; I can see for miles' eliminate up and down motions. Rustys "just do it" and stay away from all the technical stuff. After teaching for 6 yrs in a row, I'm going skiing and have some fun and learn especially how to stay connected and do it smoothly and naturally. Hey seasons on its way, ordered Bro's today and it was 44 degrees this morning in N. Idaho.
post #21 of 130
smooth flow
post #22 of 130
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy View Post
and shorter poles

you move up to get past those bad boys.

mine is to quit thinking about technical matters and go ski
Well, thanks to you, I have cut my poles down!
post #23 of 130
Gosh these are good. I think that if you put all these answers together you have what Hem just said, "smooth flow". That's my goal this year, to work on refining all the things that will smooth things out, increasing my flow down the mountain.

Flow in my movements, flow in my intent, flow from edge to edge, and more flow in my enjoyment. Later, RicB.
post #24 of 130
For many years that question would have been easy for me to answer, and the answer would have been keep perfect non skidding contact between my ski's edges and the snow (whatever edges I happened to be on at the time). Last year I changed tactics and decided to explore new ground and learn how to ski slowly in big bumps using a skidded active extension retraction technique as advocated by the ziper-line mogul skiers. I didn't see any big bumps last year, just a few small and medium sized ones, but i did find some deep (for the east) soft snow to try and ski slowly in and also spent a little time doing the medium sized icy bumps (not much). This season I had resolved to just go and have fun doing a bit of everything, but your question provoked some introspection as to what would be a good thing to concentrate on.

I think I will focus (when I feel the urge to work on points for style) on the balance between absorption and cm path deflection. Looking at my skiing and the potentially embarasing moments, two incidents come to mind. In one I was surprised at the last moment by a sizable bump while going about as fast as you can go on freezing rain ice at Blue Mountain (straight-lining spectacular on the SGs ); my goggles were covered with snow-gun spray at the time so I could see other skiers as a blur but some of the terrain irregularities were a little hard to see. At the last second I instinctively tightened my leg muscles to push against the bump. I overdid it and ended up too far back. Though I'm feeling pretty smug about my recovery, I shouldn't have needed to make one. I saw a crash video somewhere of someone (who looked like he was skiing terrain beyond his abilities, but hey we've all done that and had fun doing it most times) doing pretty much the same thing. The first bump put him out of shape too far back and the next thing you know he was taking a wild tumble. Later that same day, they had set up some sort of speed bump by aiming their snow guns at pretty much the same place near the bottom of a black where it met up with other trails. I didn't realize the extent of the bumps until I was in them. I over-absorbed and put my cg way ahead on the first bump which made the second one kind of rough. So there you have it. A bump comes along and you balance doing a lot of absorbing and having your cm not notice the bump, or you use it to deflect your cm's path so that your not too far away from being centred. Well it makes sense to me.
post #25 of 130
focus on focusing less
post #26 of 130
Originally Posted by nolo View Post
This thread asks: What's the ONE thing above all others that you strive to do technically in your skiing and why?
Another vote for balance - then "feel". Like the princess, when you're sleepin' on 20 mattresses and can still feel the pea... it's gunna be a good day.
post #27 of 130
Keep the inside foot active and in the right spot.
post #28 of 130
The reason I went with Weems was that what happens right on the snow is the only thing that really matters. Everything else just supports it, and if you could just change edges seamlessly (as in a simple, single thought), then we wouldn't have any reason for this forum. Rather, it's a combination of a lot of things (like balance) that allows you to change edges seamlessly.
post #29 of 130
Stay centered.
post #30 of 130
Thread Starter 
It's not a competition to find the ONE thing that would be best for all of us, just an opportunity to share what ONE thing seems to leverage your skiing to a higher level.

Though I say perfect edge change is my thing, this is not a mental focus but a tactile one. I don't think my feedback loop goes to the thinking part of the brain. I read a great quote in a golf magazine that applies: "There's no place for conscious effort in golf." That's what I mean about my skiing focus, if that makes sense. It's not conscious. If it becomes conscious, my touch and timing go haywire.
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