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MA request - cgeib

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
If you would be so kind (or at least honest!), I would appreciate your feedback on the attached video of several clips of my skiing taken during ESA in Snowbird last January. What do you like, dislike, and what would you have me focus on this season?

These were parsed & combined from several of the clips ssh & Faisasy recently uploaded, so may not be new material. All the files are the same material, just different formats and sizes:

QuickTime_3.2MB
QuickTime_8.9MB

WindowsMediaPlayer_2.0MB
WindowsMediaPlayer_3.5MB

Please select one and download to save bandwidth!!!!

Thanks,

Chris
post #2 of 65
Chris... is this the guy with only 3 seasons under his belt? Great skiing. I was wondering if you could go through the clips and let us know what the terrain is that you're skiing. In many the light is flat and it is hard to see if it is powder, crud, or a groomer. I suspect the first one is the closest to a groomer though. The rest look like off-piste skiing (very good at that). Very few skiers with your experience have such a balanced and controlled upper body. It is quite impressive to watch. ...More later after we hear back... although I suspect it will take a better technician than I to give you tips...
Later
GREG
post #3 of 65
Cgeib, I think your skiing has a great foundation to work from, here is one thing I noticed...

Do you ever get the sensation that you are falling into the middle of the turn? You are doing a good job of moving into the turn and generating angles in your skiing. However, if you watch the first clip of your skiing in slow motion you will notice that you are extending your legs and standing very tall at the edge change. This upward motion means you have to come a long way back down to get inside the turn again.

The other thing this is doing is disconnecting you from the top of your turn. You are clearly using your edges, but I don't see the skis engaging in the top part of the arc from edge change to fall line as well as I think you could be doing it. You tend to slide the skis a bit at the point and then dig in with the edges in the bottom part of the arc.

This is a simillar critique to the one I gave on WTFH's clips, and I think its a movement pattern that would help you both reconnect with the top of the arc. Try flexing your outside leg as you roll the ankle into the new turn. Flexing will remove the base of support on that leg that prevents the body from moving into the next turn. Once the support is removed, the body will want to continue across the skis which will assist the ankle in rolling over and engaging the edges at the top of the turn.

Two ways I practice this are to imagine skiing over a bump at the edge change and using the legs to absorb it. This will put you flexed at the edge change allowing you to extend naturally into the next turn and putting you in a good position to support the building turn forces. The other is to make a strong movement down the hill and across the skis into the next turn. The key to this is to not just move laterally and forward into the next turn, but actually think about moving down the hill as well. This is the path your CM is going to want to go, so if you don't beat it there you will get behind in the turn.

You might notice as you start to integrate this into your skiing that you will wind up in the backseat. This is a result of the skis accelerating away from you as you carve the top half of the turn as well as the bottom. Remember to keep moving the body inside the turn to always stay a split-second ahead of where it will be going instead of trying to catch up with where it was.
post #4 of 65
Thread Starter 
Greg,

Nah, this is me ...with more like 33 seasons.

You are correct, the first clip is the only one on groomed terrain. However, it was more like someone pulled a rug over several inches of Utah powder. The rest are off-piste and I can only generally describe them. The second & third clips are on the way back from Alta into Snowbird via the Keyhole, and I'd describe conditions as Powder & Cut-up powder. The fourth and fifth I have no idea where they were, and again Powder & Cut-up powder. The sixth clip is in Mineral basin between the Mineral Basin Express & Baldy Express chairs, and I'd say it was a little cut-up but not bad at all. The last clip is coming right down under the bottom of the Baldy Express chair, this had gotten full direct sun and was kinda cruddy ...not that ya could tell by the way Nick danced thru it!

Hope that helps,

Chris
post #5 of 65

My Mistake Regarding Time Skiing

I must have confused you with a few other skiers we have here (who were at ESA) with less time under their belts. I will have some MA tomorrow for you.
Later
GREG
post #6 of 65
One hint for tonight... more tomorrow: Look at Faisasy's montage and compare Shanzy skiing on that same terrain (at the bottom of the Baldy chair) to yours. Tell me what you see different about the skis' motion through the snow on the two skiers.
post #7 of 65
Thread Starter 
Thanks ssh, I've got lots of thoughts on my skiing ...I'm going to hold my tongue for the time being though.
post #8 of 65
Nice skiing Chris. Strong, with good turn shape. Looks like fun conditions and terrain. As for refinement, I would say that your legs looked too rigid. Could be jsut being on camera. Anyway,try to always keep some movement happeing in the ankles, knees, and hips. How much would depend on terrain, turn shape, and speed. This would probably remove some of those balance bobbles I saw in your runs, and allow better blending and use of your edging and rotary skills, including inside foot and leg activity. Really though Chris, nice skiing. Later, RicB.
post #9 of 65
Chris,

Nice skiing. There's a lot of power in those turns. I've started working on a more detailed analysis with some stills, but it's a holiday weekend baby and I'm burnin' daylight. In the meantime, what's jumped out quote dramatically is the stance width change from the beginning clips to the end clips. I was going to comment on feet being too close together, but it looks like you had that beat into you already. Nice job.
post #10 of 65
Chris, these comments are made without reading others' comments first. As you know but others may not, I'm currently a L II working on my L III. I am not as qualified as others, but I am actively working on my comprehension of this level of skiing...

The first thing I'll note is that you are a very strong skier. Even though you seemed to be lacking some confidence in these clips, especially earlier in the week, your overall strength and skill level are clear from your ability to handle the terrain and conditions shown in this collection of videos. I really like your sense of the skis and your ability to make them do what you want. You also seem quite soft on your feet, which contributes to that steady tracking of your skis. I think that the skills are in-place to move you into higher levels of skiing.

I would suggest the primary focus be how you are moving with your skis. It appears to me that your body is primarily following your skis rather than leading them. At transition, your torso is consistently behind your feet and skis, rather than free-falling at the edge change. I would refer you to pages 122-124 of Brilliant Skiing Every Day for some thoughts on this. For example, Weems suggest that there is a point of diminishing returns when we loose contact with the skis and fall downhill... and says to go just less than that. Also, his recommendation to move the hips aggressively forward and downhill (my emphasis) to keep the tips in contact with the snow align well with what I would recommend as your primary focus.

My suggestion from above remains, as well. You have the advantage of comparing your skiing to Nick's and Shanzy's on the same terrain. I would suggest that you compare yourself to Shanzy on that run and focus especially on how his body moves as compared to yours (5:39-6:05 on the Montage). It's not dramatic, but it's there. You seem to hold your body back, his moves with (and perhaps even slightly ahead) of where his skis are going.

Now, I'll read the other comments here. Also, if any of you would like to comment on these comments of mine, I would appreciate it. Thanks...
post #11 of 65
For others looking at these clips, the conditions are the result of about 7 feet of snow in 5 days. The snow was more like Sierra conditions than mythic Utah fluff. Depth on the terrain that Chris was skiing ranged from boot-top to knee-deep. The "groomer" was on top of overnight snowfall of a foot or snow, and it was still snowing. The "groomer" is the most gentle terrain here (and it's a black: Harpers Ferry/Harpers Ferry East). The Keyhole area is double-black, and snow in there during this video was easily knee deep plus. The Chamonix Chutes are single black, but narrow and steep. (Keep in mind that these are Snowbird black/double-black!)
post #12 of 65
Very nice. How tall are you and how long are your poles? The reason I ask is your hand position is on the high side.
post #13 of 65
Good eye, Phil.

Do not forget to factor in associated riser heights and arm length x height ratio.

The variety in extant arm length x height ratio might surprise you.

A skier with long arm x height ratio will appear to have poles which are too long even though the pole length matches their height requirement.

Hem
post #14 of 65
Thread Starter 
Phil,

I'm 5'6". Poles are 46" Leki triggers. In bare feet, poles upside down and held under the basket, forearm slopes down from elbow to pole. In bare feet pole is 1.25"-1.5" below sternum.

Other equipment:
Boots=Nordica K9 (marked 130 flex), ZipFit Liners, custom foot beds, 8mm riser under toe.
Skis=2005/2006 Nordica Modified 170cm

Hem,

What measurements do you want? (from where to where?)

Thanks,

Chris
post #15 of 65

Onyxjl, Steve - Spot On

I really liked what onyxjl pointed out in his post. What I noticed when watching your skiing (and the reason I asked about terrain) is that you were making the same turns throughout the entire video (same speed, same shape, etc). This is not necessarily a bad thing - just something I noticed. Your groomer turns are really not that different from your powder/crud turns.

As was pointed out above your primary method of turning the skis seems to be to wait for the turn to develop and the push them out, using a large pushing/redirecting movement toward the bottom of the turn. I think this ends up causing a slight up movement as you move through your transition - as a result of keeping a straight outside leg for most of the turn. As Steve pointed out above, you seem to be following your skis through the transition. This is putting you slightly toward the backseat (hips behind your bindings slightly). When you end up in this position the quick thrust on your edges toward the base of the turn acts as a braking mechanism and allows your body to catch up with your skis again. You clearly have excellent control and balance so probably would have never picked this out as something to fix on your own because it works very well for you in most conditions.

The reason I underlined most was that what you are doing does not work in the conditions that are in the tail end of that video. I know those conditions well and have skied that line that you were on many times. The sun beats on Mineral Basin all day and quickly turns fluffy powder into thick, heavy, hard, crusty, snow. The snow is heavy, making it nearly impossible to push your skis through it. If you notice, that is the only clip where you look like you are out of your element (backseat, lost your rythm, huge inside tip lead, etc.). You may have also been tired since it is toward the end of the run, but it looks like the conditions are just beating you up.

What will likely help your skiing (in all conditions) is to focus more on developing the top of the turn - versus sliding your skis into the bottom of the turn. Rely more on the sidecut of the ski to do more work for you toward the top of the turn so that you can forgo extra muscular effort later in the turn. I really like both onyxjl's and Steve's comments. Onyx stated to start the turn earlier by moving down the hill, ahead of your skis, while still allowing them to turn in an arc. I would suggest combining this with a little more retraction (not crunching up) through the transition and not treating it as a one or the other situation. This will tie in with what Steve suggested about getting your hips forward in the turn - because your body will be leading the skis through the transition and top of the turn versus the other way around.

Watching Shanzy's skiing as Steve pointed to would be a very good exercise.

Later

GREG
post #16 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese View Post
Very nice. How tall are you and how long are your poles? The reason I ask is your hand position is on the high side.
It could also be where he's planting. I notice that especially with his right pole, he tend to plant closer to his feet and not reach downhill (probably as a result of holding his torso back). For example, compare the touch at 1:43 (really a blocking plant right at the foot) with the touch at 1:44 or, even better, the hand position at 1:46 that didn't result in a nice touch there, but got held up for another blocking plant at 1:47. Those blocking plants are also encouraging the upper body to stay back instead of moving into the turns.

At 5:54 of the montage, Shanzy is skiing virtually the same line. Notice his pole touch. Again at 5:56. He's not blocking with them, but rather moving his body over his skis and just touching for rythm and snow sensitivity.
post #17 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
It could also be where he's planting. I notice that especially with his right pole, he tend to plant closer to his feet and not reach downhill (probably as a result of holding his torso back). For example, compare the touch at 1:43 (really a blocking plant right at the foot) with the touch at 1:44 or, even better, the hand position at 1:46 that didn't result in a nice touch there, but got held up for another blocking plant at 1:47. Those blocking plants are also encouraging the upper body to stay back instead of moving into the turns.

At 5:54 of the montage, Shanzy is skiing virtually the same line. Notice his pole touch. Again at 5:56. He's not blocking with them, but rather moving his body over his skis and just touching for rythm and snow sensitivity.
So where are you guys seeing the other skiers? So Steve, you thinking of going for III this year? Later, RicB.
post #18 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB View Post
So where are you guys seeing the other skiers? So Steve, you thinking of going for III this year? Later, RicB.
Did you download the montage? If not, click the link in my sig.

Yes, my goal is to achieve L III this year. It's admittedly very aggressive.
post #19 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Did you download the montage? If not, click the link in my sig.

Yes, my goal is to achieve L III this year. It's admittedly very aggressive.
Thanks Steve. Downloading it now. Sure is great to finaly get DSL.

You'll do fine I bet. later, RicB.
post #20 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib View Post

Hem,

What measurements do you want? (from where to where?)

Thanks,

Chris
I didn't request any.

Consider the only accurate gauge of pole length determination:
The height of your hand, forearm at a 90o angle from your body,
upper arm relaxed, in full gear:

Skis
Boots
Footbeds
Riser plates


Hem
post #21 of 65
I like the consistency of timing in your movements, Chris, the fact you deal equally with a variety of conditions and challenges.

What I see is the somewhat back positioning that others mention because your knees flex, but your ankles don't seem to keep pace. Every once in a while you need to flex at the waist to maintain balance.

I'd like to see you open and close the ankle joints more and the knees less. I'd like to see your hips move toward the turn before the skis start to change direction.
post #22 of 65
Chris,

Really fun skiing to watch! Nice skiing on some interesting conditions.
Some good comments above, especially about the extension up at the turn initiation and the unnecessary knee flexing toward the end of the turn. Make those movements so you get longer and shorter without moving your upper body up and down. This will give you better balance and control.

What I am seeing is two things--- the first is related to your up extension on your new outside ski. It is very strong (not bad), but not in the direction of your new turn and it also lifts your new inside ski off the snow. Replace this with a smooth and even transfer of weight from foot to foot and delay the transfer a little so you can use your new inside ski to help change your edges.
The other thing I see besides a tip lead at the end of your turns is that you are lazy with your inside ski (and leg). There is little guidance from turn initiation and what guidance there is, is sequential, followed by your outside ski. That is why your outside ski runs away from you at times and why you lack directional movements from the turn initiation. Where it is most evident is the part of the clip where there is wind slab and some lose snow underneath.

1. Less up and down, but longer and shorter.
2. Keep both skis on the snow.
3. Delay weight transfer, change edges in the process.
4. Stronger directional movements and better use of the inside ski.
5. There is more, but 1-4 is enough for now, some of the other things are symptoms of above.

ssh-- not a bad eye, but you pointed out symptoms of Chris's skiing. You need to look at cause and effect. I hope this is helpful feed back for your level III.

RW
post #23 of 65
Chris,

I'm going to echo Kneale's post. But first I want to share a visual about one aspect of strong skiing. Here are some stills from the last section of the clip:
1
Angulation measured below 155 just looks like good skiing. Angulation in the low 140s starts to look like good racing.

2
Notice the upper body lean into the new turn

3
Notice the positioning of the hips more over the uphill ski

4
Good recovery - now you're driving forward

5
Strong finish to the turn. You park and ride a bit to get around the tree. Your hips get stuck in this position for the start of the new turn.

6
Look at the head angle. Downhill hand and upper body rotation initiate the new turn.

7
5, 4, 3 ... (reaching)

8
2, 1 ... leaning

8
then whammo - edge change in the new direction

In pic1, you are at the point in the turn where you should be "steering" into a new countered position (letting the skis turn more than the shoulders). But you don't. So you end up in a position like pic #2 (ok this is an exaggeration, but there are many other similar positions earlier in the clip, just not as extreme). Notice how far your hips are away from the inside ski in pics 2&3. From there, you have to throw your upper body down the hill to get mass to the inside of the turn like we have in pic 4. And that lets you get the strong finish in pic 5.

Pic 6 is a slightly different variation on the theme. By doing a pole touch without an accompanying hip movement into the new turn, you get the right hand/arm opening up screen door style from the body and the upper body pulled into a lean. This allows the sharp Z turn that follows (pic 8).

Yes, there are bumps underneath this soft snow. Yes, these sharp edge sets and quick pivot turns are effective in the bumps. And yes, snow this deep is not easy to ski in. Yes, these are very nice turns. Yes, I cheated by taking stills from a difficult steep and narrow section. But in snow this soft, you can ski more efficiently and smoother (to whit we have Schanzy). To get to the next level you got to have the hip movement during turn initiation. As Kneale has noted, you won't get the hip movement without the ankle movement. But ankle movement is hard to see in stills or on video and if you're like me, telling your ankles what to do gets less results than telling your hips what to do and letting your ankles figure it out by themselves.

So here's an exercise you can try at home. Stand to the left side of a door way facing it so that you are centered on the door frame and so you can grab the door frame without leaning forward. Now turn your feet about 65 degrees to the right, then rotate your shoulders back so that they are pointing about 15 degrees to the right (i.e. you've got 40-50 degrees of counter between your feet and your hips/shoulders). Now park your butt over your right foot like we see in pic 3. From there, try to turn your left foot (i.e. your inside ski). You should feel some slight tension below the left knee, more weight on the left heel then on the toes and a pivoty type of turn. Starting from the same position, move your hips forward, especially your left hip forward towards the door jam (you'll need to hold the frame to support yourself). You should now feel more weight just behind the left pinky toe and no tension below the knee. You should also feel a much more powerful and smoother turn of the inside foot. And if you repeat the exercise and focus on the ankle position, you'll notice that your ankles are more open in the first try and more closed in the second try. This is what we feel/do at the next level.

You can get to the hips forward position on skis either via a cross over or a cross under move. For the cross over move, it can help to think of the pole touch as a reach forward and down the hill where the elbow pulls the inside hip during the reach. If you catch your pole touch arm "screen dooring", you're not doing it. On snow, an effective exercise for working on hip and ankle movements is "cowboy turns". Ski with your feet greater than shoulder width apart and make turns. You'll either ski smoothly via hip and ankle movement or you'll jerk wildly as you try to cheat.

Thanks Chris for letting us work you over. Was it as good for you as it was for me?
post #24 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by veeeight View Post
Without going into that particular MA (I haven't got to it yet) - and if you plan on working on this for your LIII, may I give a little beginner example?

Beginner snowploug turns. Skier is using shoulders to initiate the turn.

First stage - most members of public will try and cure the symptom. So they will say "stop turning those shoulders".

Second stage - newly qualified instructor will say - aha! - the turning of the shoulders is merely a symptom, what is actually the cause that is the skier is not turning their feet/legs. So newly qualified instructor sets about prescribing drills to improve pivoting.

Third stage - more seasoned instructor will say - aha! Very good, young Jedi. Lack of pivoting is indeed a cause of why the skier is hurling their shoulders around, but, before they can pivot, they need to get off the tails of the skis! Go back up the checklist, and fix their stance and balance first, get them centred (centered) !!! *That* is the root cause.

Fourth stage - old hack instructor - aha! Excellent work my friends. All very valid reasoning. Now look up at earlier in the turn, or even at the finish of the previous turn. Tell me what you see....................


*The above is a very real scenario, I see it all the time*
I think this guy is right-on, Chris. Look earlier in the turn, even at the end of the previous turn. For example, pause the video at :26, :36, :38 and 1:23.
post #25 of 65
therusty,

Give me any LIII instructor in these conditions and I will be able to find "faults" such as the one you describe for Chris. Not only do I find his skiing to be excellent, but there are many LII instructors here who only wished they could ski like that.

I think Chirs' tactics in the steep terrain are very good and any non-perfect move reflects the terrain or some recovery. Park and ride? Upper body rotation? Leaning? With all due respect I think you are reaching and pointing to problems that are just about non existant.
post #26 of 65

I'm coming at this another way

Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib View Post
Boots=Nordica K9 (marked 130 flex), ZipFit Liners, custom foot beds, 8mm riser under toe.
Chris, if I may ask, what's the history behind the 8mm riser? Also, do you have a heel lift in your boots, or changed the ramp angle of the bootboards?
post #27 of 65
Coming from the vertically challenged state of Ohio makes your skiing even more impressive! Great job.
post #28 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB View Post
Give me any LIII instructor in these conditions and I will be able to find "faults" such as the one you describe for Chris. Not only do I find his skiing to be excellent, but there are many LII instructors here who only wished they could ski like that.

I think Chirs' tactics in the steep terrain are very good and any non-perfect move reflects the terrain or some recovery.
Do I interpret this as you thinking that Chris has no room for improvement? Or what? I don't disagree that Chris is a very accomplished skier, but, as with all of us, I also think that he has adjustments that he could make. In fact, he asked for those in his opening post. Do you think that he has done all the improvement that he can? Or what?
post #29 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB View Post
therusty,

Give me any LIII instructor in these conditions and I will be able to find "faults" such as the one you describe for Chris. Not only do I find his skiing to be excellent, but there are many LII instructors here who only wished they could ski like that.
.
Not saying that you don't know of what you speak, but that's a pretty bold claim. Just curious to know if you've skied with most of the L2's in the forum or have video from which you draw the conclusion?

It is great skiing. However, same run, same day video of Nick Herrin skiing it shows him to have a little more fluidity and power. Think Chris was asking for input on how to raise it to the next level.
post #30 of 65
I think I posted something about this in another thread. Steve posted a quote of his, and I replied to that. I just now saw the clip, and I agree with myself (: ).

What I basically said in that thread was that it's all about the direction of movement into the turn. What I see here is the same thing. It's a mostly lateral move to get across the skis. You have a very wide arm position, probably due to the balance issues involved with that type of movement in those conditions.

I've done a lot of this in my past, and it's still my biggest conscious thought. I got so used to moving that direction, that to move in the proper direction, I had to get the feeling of going straight forward over the tips. Granted, it wasn't really that way, and didn't look it, but that's what my body was telling me when I moved the right way. Once I realized the feeling I had to go for, it became easier to know when I was spot-on and when I was off.

BTW, those are some really nice turns , and I'll admit that when I passed my L3 back in '95, I was probably skiing about the same way you are in the clips.
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