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KevinF at Snowbird -- MA request

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
These are two clips taken at the Snowbird ESA. I'd be interested in your thoughts, what you see, etc. I have my own thoughts as to what's going wrong, but to avoiding biasing everybody, I'll save my impressions for a bit later.

Video1: I don't remember where this was taken. This was on my skis (K2 Apache Recon's).

Video2: This was on Regulator Johnson at Snowbird, on super fat demos (K2 Apache Chief's). I couldn't see a thing for the first few turns.

Thanks for your time! Be gentle!
post #2 of 32
Kevin,

I don't usually post on MA threads beacause others do a much better job, but since there are no responses so far I'll give it a bump.

In video1 you have "funky things" going on in your right-to-left transitions that don't seem to appear in your left-to-right turn transitions. Are you left footed by any chance? You're showing a stronger movement pattern with your left leg than your right.

I've captured a series of stills which demonstrate the same repeating movements as you finish your turns to the right through transition. You appear to almost fully load your outside ski (left) while allowing your inside ski to outrigger. Just before transition you push the tail of your outside ski as if to check your speed, then use the rebound to "hop" your transition, all of which is putting you behind the 8 ball.

I'll have to pull a few things together to post multiple stills, but you can watch what I'm talking about by pausing through 0.02 - 0.03 and again at 0.05 - 0.06. Initially I thought it was just due to sarting off around 0.02, but you repeat the same movement pattern again at 0.05. Here's a still of your transition at 0.06.
525x525px-LL-vbattach816.jpg
post #3 of 32
Kevin,

The only wrong in skiing is when you endanger someone else. There is nothing wrong with this skiing.

I'd like to see you spend more time in the fall line. Make your "C" shaped turns a taller shaped "C" instead of a smooshed shaped "C". I've previously described the "ten toes" exercise where you try to consciously think about having all 10 toes pointed down the fall line for a moment before you turn out of the fall line. This may work for you. It should give you much more of a sense of power through the turns and improve the smoothness and flow.
post #4 of 32
Kevin,
I don't have software on this machine that will easily let me patch the sequences together that I was describing above. theRusty hit it well with the suggestion not to rush the turn. What I see in the V1 clip is almost completely absent in V2. Again, it's only on the one side.

It looks like a speed check that causes the skis to diverge at transition, leaving your inside half behind and waiting for the rebounding up movement from the outside ski once it "sets". You catch up nicely and move through the turns smoothly.

Nice skiing and especially nice on the sticks that aren't your own.
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by medmarkco View Post
Are you left footed by any chance? You're showing a stronger movement pattern with your left leg than your right.
Thanks for the feedback! I saw some shockingly uglier transitions in one direction then the other in all of my ESA videos. I wasn't sure what might be causing it though.

I'm not sure if I'm left or right footed. I kick things with my right foot, meaning my left foot is taking care of the balancing. Whenever I stop on my bike I put my right foot down, meaning that starting again involves pedalling solely with my left foot for two or three pedal revolutions.

So my left leg is probably the stronger one, and I might be better at doing one-footed balance exercises with my left leg as the support. I'll have to try some balancing experiments at home this evening.
post #6 of 32
Stupid corporate web servers have blocked YouTube!:

Fantastic skiing! You rock!

(no I didn't see any of your skiing. Just thought I'd offer some encouragement )
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
Video1: I don't remember where this was taken. This was on my skis (K2 Apache Recon's).
KevinF, I think you have a very good sense of moving with your skis, solid balance, and overall I think you're very steady on your skis. Since you didn't share your intent in these turns, I'm just going to be really analytical, and would love feedback on what I offer (from anyone).

The first thing I notice in this video is how quickly you made your first turn, both in terms of how fast you were going since it was so early in your run as well as how quickly you got your skis across the hill. Were you nervous about the slope? Anxious to get turning for the camera? Something else? As a result, I think that you didn't have a lot of energy from the slope and gravity to help you, so you were forced to do a lot of the work yourself, including getting your body moving downhill.

At 0:02, you finish your turn by pushing out on your old outside ski and moving your body over it while directing your uphill/old inside ski towards the new turn. You match your skis quickly, break at the waist, and reach for the pole touch. You never finish the turn, and hop right into the new fall line. The next (right) turn you finish like the initial turn, including that stem, and again don't finish the left turn. Your transition from left turn to right seems to be with a nice simultaneous edge change, while from right to left you push on that outside ski, turn way across the hill, and stem. Until you get speed! Then, your transitions smooth out and you start to flow very nicely (from 0:09 to the end). I suspect that this latter skiing is you skiing "out of your mind" while the former is you trying to think your turns.

I know you've been to multiple ESAs, so I'm going to assume you've been balanced in your boots very well. I think at lower speeds you have a tendancy to keep your ankles pretty rigid, but when the snow started pushing back, you relaxed them and allowed for more consistent flex in all of your joints (leading to that smoother flow). I think the area I would encourage you to consider is the completion of each turn while maintaining that smooth flow into the next. The slow line fast. Still...
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
Video2: This was on Regulator Johnson at Snowbird, on super fat demos (K2 Apache Chief's). I couldn't see a thing for the first few turns.
These are smoother turns, even though you couldn't see. I think seeing to ski is overrated, especially when there's that much snow. Just as long as you can see the trees and other skiers, you're good.

I'm seeing a break at the waist in both of these clips that happens when you hit a chunk of snow the slows the skis. I also think that perhaps you are not allowing your weight to flow towards your outside ski in each turn, tending to bank a bit more than angulate. I think that the waist break may be due to those ankles, again, and not tending to flex the joints together. Allowing your weight to move to that outside ski is a matter of trust (I think), and knowing that it will hold you.

I am really interested in what the more experienced guys say about this skiing, since I know what I see, but I'm not sure I'm seeing it all, nor necessarily if my "causes" are accurate or complete.
post #9 of 32
I would just like to thank Kevin and all the other folks who put up their video for MA and those who provide feedback. watching the videos and reading the anlysis is a tremendous learning opportunity. It is amazing some of the things you all are able to see!
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
I'm seeing a break at the waist in both of these clips that happens when you hit a chunk of snow ...
Vic Gerdin (SSD-Aspen) gave our group some wonderful technical advice for skiing crud along the lines of

"If the crud is knocking your skis around, then ...
don't let it do that."

His point was to use what he calls functional tension to resist the forces that knock you around. If you can do it with your core, then you won't get wild swings with your extremities. The idea was to think consciously "don't do that" and unconsciously manage more pressure on the tips and use core and lower body muscles to resist sudden forces.
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
I am really interested in what the more experienced guys say about this skiing, since I know what I see, but I'm not sure I'm seeing it all, nor necessarily if my "causes" are accurate or complete.

C'mon Steve, sack up.
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB View Post
C'mon Steve, sack up.
After looking up the vernacular and asking someone...

Not intending to be wishy-washy. Just wanting to get feedback on my thoughts, too. I got a ton to learn...
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
I'm not sure if I'm left or right footed. I kick things with my right foot, meaning my left foot is taking care of the balancing. Whenever I stop on my bike I put my right foot down, meaning that starting again involves pedalling solely with my left foot for two or three pedal revolutions.

So my left leg is probably the stronger one, and I might be better at doing one-footed balance exercises with my left leg as the support. I'll have to try some balancing experiments at home this evening.
Kevin,
Don't let me mess with your mind too much. I primarily asked because I use my right leg for all of the activities you describe, but I think I know my own skiing well enough to know that I would have a more difficult time pushing my left ski tail out to that degree than my right in the situation you encountered in Vid#1. My right is stronger. I know I've had the same movement pattern in my own skiing at times, just on the opposite side.

My perception is that you're using the movement as a way to scrub a little speed on that side because it isn't happening higher in the turn. The result is the "stemmed turn" SSH noted, but not because you are actively stemming the uphill ski.

I saw the break at the waist (especially pronounced at 0.08 IIRC) but I think that is the result of conditions we don't normally get to ski here in the East and a little bit of "striking a pose" for the camera. As Steve noted, the stiffness started to go away as you moved away from the camera. You seemed a lot more relaxed in Vid#2.

The key is that you skied both runs with good control and very competently. The transition issue is just something that adds complexity to the turn and requires more energy to bring the turn around.

Thanks for allowing me to nit pick your great skiing. It looked like you were having a lot of fun! Maybe I'll get some skiing on video and then there'll really be some hacking to do!
post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 
Steve- thanks for your analysis.

The "breaking at the waist" thing is something I've been guilty of for practically forever. I don't know why I do it, but I'll do it on a perfect groomer as well. I have a pretty weak core (Lisamarie would be after me...), and I'm going to work on that in the Fall months. I also don't have those boots anymore; whether that's made any difference, I don't know. I'm sure I'll find out at Stowe ESA.

Quote:
If the crud is knocking your skis around, then ...don't let it do that.
Sounds like something Bob Barnes told me at the Snowbird ESA (after he worked with me at the Big Sky ESA): you didn't do such-and-such last year, I don't want to see you doing it again! : Yes, sir!
post #15 of 32
KevinF,

Quite simply, you aren't releasing the outside ski from the turn first consistently. If you aren't releasing with the outside foot first you are delaying your entry into the next turn until you do. Practice some garlands where you ski into and out of a sideslip initiating that sideslip with the downhill foot and initiating a carve with the uphill foot. When you get that bow-legged feeling you are doing it right.
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
The "breaking at the waist" thing is something I've been guilty of for practically forever. I don't know why I do it, but I'll do it on a perfect groomer as well. I have a pretty weak core (Lisamarie would be after me...), and I'm going to work on that in the Fall months.
Ummm... Kevin?

It's fall, dude...
post #17 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Ummm... Kevin?

It's fall, dude...
What calendar do you use? Summer still has 15 days. That said, some classes I'm taking at the gym start tomorrow (Thursday).
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
What calendar do you use? Summer still has 15 days. That said, some classes I'm taking at the gym start tomorrow (Thursday).
Ha! The school one. Our kids have been back for almost 2 weeks...
post #19 of 32
BTW, I just noticed one other characteristic of your skiing. It seems that you keep your upper body pretty aligned with your lower body; pretty blocked. Have you played with pivot slips or other drills that really get your upper and lower body separated.
post #20 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
BTW, I just noticed one other characteristic of your skiing. It seems that you keep your upper body pretty aligned with your lower body; pretty blocked. Have you played with pivot slips or other drills that really get your upper and lower body separated.
Bob Barnes takes special pleasure in making me do pivot slips whenever I see him. I don't think I've ever come close to doing one to his satisfaction. I try 'em. It's interesting that you say this (although when I look at the video, I see your point) because short turns -- where I think upper / lower body seperation becomes really important -- is something I've always been told I do really well.

But then again, I can't do a pivot slip to save my life, so... Maybe I try too hard instead of just doing it.
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post
I would just like to thank Kevin and all the other folks who put up their video for MA and those who provide feedback. watching the videos and reading the anlysis is a tremendous learning opportunity. It is amazing some of the things you all are able to see!
You beat me to it. I was just going to say I'm learning more from this forum than I would have believed possible (including, pleasingly, that I'm perhaps not quite as big a muppet on skis, or ski analysis, as I occasionally think).

I believe the expression is: You guys rock.
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
...I also don't have those boots anymore...
Hi Kevin,

Nice turns! Not quite the same conditions we had at Stowe, huh?

I'll leave the pro's to pick on ya (seems like they're being gentle!) but I was wondering if there was any particular reason ya switched boots?

Chris
post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib View Post
Nice turns!
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib View Post
Not quite the same conditions we had at Stowe, huh?
Stowe's conditions weren't too bad either, although it wasn't Snowbird-deep. Heck, the ESA-Stowe weekend was about as good as it got in the northeast last season! I need to move to Utah.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib View Post
I was wondering if there was any particular reason ya switched boots?
The liners were beginning to pack out a bit, and my skinny calves felt like they had a bit too much fore / aft motion without really pushing against the boot at all. I got the new boots back in February; it took multiple visits to the boot fitter before my toes were comfy for all-day skiing, so I never really had a chance to let loose. My legs and feet are definitely held a lot tighter in the new boots though, so we'll see what sort of difference this makes. I know I was able to lay down railroad tracks with uncanny ease from my very first run in the new boots, so I'm hopeful that that equipment change produced some nice other changes.
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
...I know I was able to lay down railroad tracks with uncanny ease from my very first run in the new boots, so I'm hopeful that that equipment change produced some nice other changes.
Thats gotta make ya

Ya think its all the more responsive fit? ...were there any other changes
between old and new you think might help produce the nice changes? Angles? Flex? Color matches your coat better?
post #25 of 32
...balancing...?
post #26 of 32

MA on KevinF

First, I want to thank you for letting me have a look and start to think like an instructor again.

Second, the thing that really jumps out at me in Video 1 is that there is sequential edge change to both directions. I see that as the result of two reasons. One is that your hips are consistently behind your feet at the end of the turn. The other is that you are inclining your body to achieve an edge angle.

Hips over feet
I feel that if you were to keep your core stronger at the end of your turn and resist the "collapsing of the waist" that we see, you would be more effectively balanced and require less movements to initiate the next turn.

Once you find yourself in a more balanced position at the end of the turn, then you are more able to make a coordinated directed extension of the hips into the direction of the new turn. This movement should help to relieve the necessity for the stem, because bringing the center of mass from slightly inside the feet--to over the feet--to dowhill of the feet should help to coordinate the rolling of the skis simultaneously to build a stable platform to arc the turn.

Inclination
It looks like the conditions in Video 1 were chopped pow/crud. It seems towards the end of the turn the outside ski washes out because there is not enough weight being directed to the turning edge of the outside ski. I would attribute this to inclination.

If you were more able to angulate effectively with your side to side movements you would feel much stronger edge contact and grip with the outside ski. That may help to prevent washing out.

One way to feel that is through feeling a stretch in your inside half of your body to bring your shoulders more to parallel with the slope of the hill.

So to summarize, I think that improving where your hips are in relation to feet and improving your angulation should help.

Any comments welcome.

Thanks again for letting me be a nerd!

-nerd
post #27 of 32
KevinF, would you be willing to help us understand the various thoughts and/or emotions going on behind this skiing?
post #28 of 32

As a bunch of other people have said...

...pretty damn good skiing. Anybody who can ski Regulator Johnson at all, and especially in flat light/falling snow, has my undivided attention.

So are there some things you could try that would make everything go into high gear and consequently have even more fun. Yep, and here they are:

- As a bunch of people have noted, you're pretty two-footed and you're following your skis. Are we supposed to ski more two-footed in powder and junk? Maybe, maybe not. I think you still have to carve turns, it's just that you feather the whole thing a lot more than on boilerplate. As somebody else said, more fall line. Get the ski on whatever edge is appropriate, early and in the fall line, and make the sucker bend. That's what "committing" to a turn means. In general, tactically you're a little passive and tentative. You're a good enough skier, stick your nose in it and see what happens. I had a GS run last year that I though was perfect, only it turned out to be Perfectly Slow. One of my coaches said "Stop patting yourself on the back every time you make a good turn, Richard. The idea is to get from gate to gate as fast as possible, and to the bottom faster than the other campers. To do that, you have to attack the course, not just ski it clean." I think that applies to high-end free skiing, too. Amp it up and see what happens.

- Somebody else mentioned inclination as being a Bad Thing. Yes, and no. Inclination is just whatever you have to do to get your skis on whatever is the appropriate edge angle...therefore, your lower body pretty much has to be inclined to some degree. Angulation is just using that universal joint where your spine meets your pelvis to get your upper body to balance on the outside ski, or wherever it's supposed to be at any point in the turn. How much is the "right" amount of angulation? Dunno, but one of my coaches says he just thinks about putting his nose over a spot slightly back of the tip of the outside ski. Worked for me...

- SSH noted that your ankles are pretty rigid; in general, I'd say that's true of your whole movement pattern on skis, which is pretty static. One of the things I figured out that I have to do this year is not necessarily be a better skier, I need to be a better athlete...quicker, stronger, faster, more flexible, more continuous movement. It's bizarre how most of us don't think much about being athletic in other sports, but as soon as we get on the hill, we turn into Frankenstein monsters. Stick and move!

So that's what I see...and remember, these are just things you might try to see if you can can get to a Higher Plane on Regulator, and have lots more fun to boot. If this doesn't compute or if this is not what you're looking for...space it out! You're skiing well, and you're obviously having a blast...that's the idea, right?
post #29 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib View Post
Ya think its all the more responsive fit? ...were there any other changes
between old and new you think might help produce the nice changes? Angles? Flex? Color matches your coat better?
I know the footbeds in my new boots are slightly different then the old ones. Something under the ball of one of my feet wasn't getting the proper support when I flexed forward (if I recall correctly -- it's been a long time since I got the diagnosis). The shells are ever-so-slightly smaller as they thought that one of my ankles had a bit too much room. My initial reaction is that the new boots are much stiffer laterally then the old ones (Dolomite Pro Z 110 vs. Lange L8), and probably a little stiffer fore / aft. Both are your basic black, so I doubt color had much to do with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
...balancing...?
Both old and new boots were canted to fix 1.5 degrees of bowlegged-ness on each foot. As both fitters came up with the same canting values, I'm assuming they did it "right". I'm not sure what else goes into "balancing". I did put my new boots on, and I was able to squat until my thighs were parallel to the floor. I wasn't in any danger of falling over backwards, although it did feel like my weight was slightly back on my heels. I don't have the old boots anymore, so I couldn't try the same experiment in them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
KevinF, would you be willing to help us understand the various thoughts and/or emotions going on behind this skiing?
Video2 was taken with demo skis which I detested until the moment this video was taken. We had been skiing trees and relatively narrow stuff; I still hadn't developed a good "feel" for them (i.e., short turns and slow speeds are out of the question). So I was pretty frustrated and I decided to "let it go" because the nearest tree was a long ways away.

I don't recall anything particular about video1. I do tend to ski new stuff pretty slowly figuring I'd rather be "surprised" at slow speed then at high speed. It would usually take a few turns before I'd remember that the chances of sliding out on a patch of New England ice at Snowbird was pretty much zero.

----------

Some others have mentioned inclination issues. I noticed that for sure in the video2 clip; in video1 I wasn't generating anywhere nearly the same edge angles, and the camera angle makes it a little harder to view any inclination angles. I've done the pole boxes drill many times, and I've never really had a problem doing it. I should probably work on it some more on steeper slopes or with higher edge angles to dial it in a bit more. It's a bit easier to remember to "get it right" on hardpack as getting the various body angles "right" definitely helps the outside ski grip. Nothing like a little immediate feedback of feeling those skis slip away from underneath you to remind you that something's wrong!

Thanks for all the valuable feedback everyone!
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_nerd13 View Post
It looks like the conditions in Video 1 were chopped pow/crud. It seems towards the end of the turn the outside ski washes out because there is not enough weight being directed to the turning edge of the outside ski. I would attribute this to inclination.
What he said...
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