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Looking for tips to improve my bump skiing - Page 2

post #31 of 63
Wally,

Skiing with the boots unbuckled/loosened is a classic exercise. Doing this in the bumps as a means to improve bump skiing is unconventional and risky. Why, a student might even come out of their boots and crash. Skiing with unbuckled boots on otherwise comfortable terrain can improve one's skiing in steeps and bumps. Taking away a crutch and adding challenging terrain is not smart risk management. Maybe people are not really understanding what you are saying, but when different people fight with you for years on the same topic maybe you are not understanding what they are trying to say.
post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by wally01 View Post
I'm cool with all the negetive comment about unbuckling boots. I have people fight me on this techic for years and I still make better skiers every winter by challenging them to give it a try. As alpine skiers we all clamp hard boots on and go out and lean on them to perform turns. I see a ton of people that are just plain out of balance but are saved by those same stiff boots that they are wearing. We are too dependent on those boots to hold us up. I can walk and run just fine barefooted so why do I need boots to hold me up when I'm skiing? The answer is I don't.
I take folks out and have them unbuckle their boots to show them how out of balance they really are. You should be able to ski without hte dependence of those boots. Your boots should enhance your performance once you find your balance point and can stand up on your own. After you find your balance, which may happen within a hour of unbuckling an dthen rebuckle you will find that your skiing has improved tremendously.
My challenge to all you nay sayers is give it a real try this winter and then let me know what you think. I work with all levels of skiers from newbs to racers and they all have become beleivers.
Try it before you tell me I'm wrong. I mean REALLY try it!

Come on SNOW,
Wally
i am one of those "naysayers". help me to understand. in your previous post, you suggested that keeping your boots loose was a fundamentally good idea for mogul skiing. now you seem to be saying that this unbuckling idea (which is not even remotely original, btw) is more of a short-term gimmick for general balance training. which is it?

regardless, my real objection to your first post concerned your suggestion that absorption and extension were somehow optional for good mogul skiing.
post #33 of 63
pbf, great foot pivoting (not a dirty word but actually something that is essential for short turns in moguls). And you keep the upper body facing down the fall-line really well. Nothing wrong with your hands and pole-plants that a pair of shorter poles wouldn't solve. (When you actually learn to absorb the bumps by bending your body, you'll find your hands even higher up around your ears.)

All in all, a fine testament to how well an athletic skier can learn, simply by hanging out in the bumps and watching better skiers.

Another idea to try, to attain that "absorption" you need: imagine that your "default position" is fully flexed, in the lowest crouch you can assume. Then look ahead and see the mogulfield not as a collection of bumps, but as a collection of ruts or troughs. Starting from your default position, try to actively extend into each trough as you turn through it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wally01 View Post
One one last thing if I'm going to be bumping for a bunch of runs I unbuckle the top buckle and loosten the power strap for greater range of motion.
There was some disagreement on the "backpedaling" thread about how big a role ankle flex has to play in mogul skiing. If you are one of those people who does happen to believe that ankle flexing does play a role, then this would certainly help. I don't think there would be safety issues in easy bump terrain. We're only talking about opening one of your 5 buckles here. (The power strap being the 5th.)
post #34 of 63
Coming late to this thread. I watched the middle one. I get the impression that the OP has watched freestyle bump skiiers and is trying to copy them.
What I saw: whole body is quite stiff and held in a set position. The waist is bent forward, and the hips are quite a way back. So, first, stand up!
Then, the knees and ankles are also quite stiff and set in their pre-bent position, and all the movement is in the hands whipping around. You'll lose a few teeth doing that.

I'd dial it right back to a non-bumpy slope, to get that basic stance and movement over the feet locked in. How? Stand up! Then jump up and down about 5 times. By the 3rd, 4th and 5th jump, you'll be landing in a balanced way with every joint working in sync to land you properly. The ankles, knees, hips and waist will be working together which is what you need for better balance in the bumps.

Then, do your jumping while the skis are sliding (you are young and brave... don't give this one to your mum though unless she's very gung ho).

Then, do your jumping while doing some slow turns on a very easy slope. This will help to dial the flex/extend thing into your basic skiing.
post #35 of 63
Found this bump video on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Kq8hbxjYXw

It's amazing watching the pole swings. Mine definitely suck and need work, I know lazy hands holds me back in the bumps.

And heres another showing a wider array of skillsets...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iG3JlRJKKk

As an aside for the second video. Did the guy get better over the five days? What has improved?
post #36 of 63
in the second video it the best live action of back pedaling I have seen.
post #37 of 63
I agree, Bushwacker--that video shows the backpedal motion clearly, especially in the videos from the side near the end and the slow motion segment at the very end.

Does anyone know if there's a way to save video from YouTube.com to your hard drive, now that I've spent an hour downloading it with my antique dialup connection? I'll admit that I haven't logged in or explored that site much.

Best regards,
Bob
post #38 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH View Post
pbf,

And what ends up happening is that your stance is balanced equal to if you are standing on the front side of a bump,
this creates a powerful visual tool. thanks.
post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado View Post
Does anyone know if there's a way to save video from YouTube.com to your hard drive, now that I've spent an hour downloading it with my antique dialup connection?
http://keepvid.com/
post #40 of 63
Good stuff! An additional exercise that works really well is actually a racing drill. On a traverse (45 degrees to the fall line) allow your legs to flex and extend so that your head and hands remain the same height...
...An image that some use is to imagine skiing in a room with a low ceiling. I prefer the idea of skiing with a cup of hot tea on your head. Try to ski (or traverse) without spilling any tea. All in all exploring more range of motion will allow you to be more versatile and have more control in every phase of each turn.
post #41 of 63
Unbelievable--thanks for the link, V8!

Best regards,
Bob
post #42 of 63
Quote:
imagine that your "default position" is fully flexed, in the lowest crouch you can assume. Then look ahead and see the mogulfield not as a collection of bumps, but as a collection of ruts or troughs. Starting from your default position, try to actively extend into each trough as you turn through it.
I like that, Martin! One more tool in the arsenal to help students find this motion. While the concept of absorbing the bumps--being shortest on the tops and tallest in the troughs--seems simple, it is a notoriously difficult thing to teach, and a frustratingly difficult thing for some skiers to learn, so the more tools the better.

There are several reasons for the difficulty. One is that flexing in the transition of turns contradicts deeply ingrained movements patterns for many skiers. If you habitually start your turns with an "up" movement, you will find it hard to break the pattern in bumps. Practicing "retraction turns"--turns with no "up" in the transition--on the flats may help. But for many skiers, this "up" movement is inextricably tied to other fundamental movements--typically rotation of the upper body to start turns, along with all of the associated balancing and edging movements and familiar sensations--that work all together in their basic turning technique. If so, it's virtually impossible to change just one part. This is where good ski instructors earn their money!

We also have some hard-wired and learned reflexes that oppose the right action. "Stretch reflexes" tend to make muscles contract in direct response to quick stretching. They're useful for catching heavy objects, critical for balance, and important for walking. So when we jump off something and land on our feet, our knees bend a little to absorb the landing, stretching the quadriceps muscles in the thigh, which react by contracting. When the quads contract, they extend the legs at the knees. This keeps our legs from just collapsing underneath us, keeping us upright. The same thing happens when we hit a bump. Most skiers have no trouble keeping their legs "soft" to absorb the initial shock, but the active "retraction" movements needed to continue to flex all the way up the bump conflict with the natural reflex to extend the legs. It can take a lot of practice to learn the new movement pattern.

The movements aren't difficult or complicated. They're easy to visualize. But you should expect it to take time and lots of practice. And some skiers will need to rebuild their basic turning techniques from the ground up (a good argument for taking lessons and learning right the first time!). Don't be frustrated. It's normal!

Best regards,
Bob
post #43 of 63
two points.

V8......read some of the stuff you wrote about "weighting" at snowheads and was impressed. good stuff.

on the topic of boots unbuckled in bumps. did it in a 401 clinic at steamboat. fully unbuckled. it is a superb exercise.
post #44 of 63

post #45 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy View Post
two points.

V8......read some of the stuff you wrote about "weighting" at snowheads and was impressed. good stuff.

on the topic of boots unbuckled in bumps. did it in a 401 clinic at steamboat. fully unbuckled. it is a superb exercise.
Rusty,

Would you use the unbuckled boot exercise for someone who was not already fairly adept at bumps or would this be more for fine tuning already ok bump skiing?
post #46 of 63
Whenever I've been in clinics where we do boots unbuckled in the US, it's accompanied by the direction to pull our trouser cuffs waaaaaay down!
Outside the US, it's used a lot in advanced lessons.
post #47 of 63
Unbucked boots works well unless you have a true race fit. Toes hitting the front of the boot is a real problem when you ski bumps this way.
post #48 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy View Post
V8......read some of the stuff you wrote about "weighting" at snowheads and was impressed. good stuff.
Thanks! Nice to know someone informed is reading that stuff! :
post #49 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Rusty,

Would you use the unbuckled boot exercise for someone who was not already fairly adept at bumps or would this be more for fine tuning already ok bump skiing?
i'm not certain i would ever do what we did with a student. it was in very, very easy bumps at a rip snorting two or three miles per hour. everyone had a great deal of difficulty in small soft bumps. i know the sole purpose was to get folks off the front of their boots and onto the center of their skis.

at a clinic run by bob barnes did the same thing on a groomed blue run AND tried to "lever" the back of the boot while keeping a fairly functional stance otherwise.

i'll tell you what i have discovered that helps my personal skiing more than anything and that is telemarking. bob booker at loveland is a dual full cert and has been after me for years to give tele a try. they were right. one of my many faults is that i get hung up on the front of my boots. can't do it on tele's.
post #50 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy View Post
i'm not certain i would ever do what we did with a student. it was in very, very easy bumps at a rip snorting two or three miles per hour. everyone had a great deal of difficulty in small soft bumps. i know the sole purpose was to get folks off the front of their boots and onto the center of their skis.

at a clinic run by bob barnes did the same thing on a groomed blue run AND tried to "lever" the back of the boot while keeping a fairly functional stance otherwise.

i'll tell you what i have discovered that helps my personal skiing more than anything and that is telemarking. bob booker at loveland is a dual full cert and has been after me for years to give tele a try. they were right. one of my many faults is that i get hung up on the front of my boots. can't do it on tele's.
It can also have the reverse effect. Many a tele skier moving to alpine uses the back of the boot way too much. They have a built in resistance to bending the ankle. It can be very hard to break through years of conditioning.

I can see it doing exactly what you are saying it did for you for an alpine skier though. We have at least 5 dual full certs in our locker room from memory, and it is interesting to see how similar they look in their "defaul movements" no matter what they are skiing on. I used to live on tele gear in the "old days", which is maybe why functional ankle movement is so critical for me. who knows, maybe it would have been anyway. Later, Ricb.
post #51 of 63
When I made the comment about loosening the tops buckle of the boots, you also need to read the part where I say that it's done at very low speeds. I fully agree that you shouldn't dial anything up with boots unbuckled. But at low speeds on terrain that you're comfortable on, it'll tach you that your ankles can actually flex without instantly getting thrown backwards as the ski tips ride up the front of a bump.

I also like the comment about assuming a low stance and viewing a bump run as a series of troughs.
post #52 of 63
I'm probably going to be repeating what was already said by others here because I don't have time right now to read the whole thread. So forgive me all if I do. Here's my 2 cents.

First of all, some nice bump skiing. The vast majority of skiers out there can't ski the bumps as well as you do. You obviously ski them a lot and have developed a very good feel and groove for them. That is a huge part of the battle for most skiers. Though your weight is on the tails a lot, I think that is a symptom, not a cause. I do suspect that in steeper bump runs you have problems.

Secondly, your self assessment is very good also.

POLES

I think your poles might be a tad on the long side, but its hard to tell for sure from the video, especially in such a small format video. Your right handed pole plants in particular seem more problematic in terms of your right hand getting pulled back behind you (thus giving you the wide arms look). I won't try to pinpoint, but just some food for though here..

plant the tip of the pole further down the backside of the bump. when you reach forward with each arm, reach even FURTHER forward with the basket of your pole. Your arm should not be completely outstretched forward for the "plant". A little bit of bend. Note that when you reach that far down the back of the bump, its kinda hard to actually poke it into the snow because the slope of the bump is steep right there. So just sorta set the edge of the basket down on the backside of the bump and as you zip by it will lever into the snow. Further to that, some other people have mentioned here about PUNCHING with your fist. So after you lay the basket onto the snow and start to zip by...then you want to PUNCH foward your fist. The "level" action I just mentioned is kind of like there is a hinge on your pole halfway up. As you slide past the bump, the pole should hinge on this imaginary point...fist going forward.

You do not need to swing your poles around to the side. Use wrist and forearm action to swing forward and back on that hinge. When you pull your wrist back, the bottom of the pole swings forward to prepare for the next bump. Then you plant it and push your wrist forward to swing on that hinge again. Try that.

ABSORPTION

Regarding absorption, you do seem a little stiff in the knees. I noted that you got air a lot and landed on the next bump each time. That is one way to do it. I am of the opinion that bump skiing is better if you keep your skiis on the snow as much as possible. This comes down to timing an extension move and actively making that happen. As you crest each bump, actively extend down the back and side and reach with your toes to dig into the backside of that bump. Basically, you want to start "carving" your turns the minute you start going down the backside of the bump. When you're airborne you have no speed control at all. When you are on the snow and edging, you can provide speed control. As you go down the backside, be on your edges, turning, and actively extending in order to keep your skis not only touching the snow but weighted on the snow. Besides giving you more speed control, this will also set you up so that when you hit the next bump you will have more room to flex to absorb it.

I personally prefer a mental model where I am visually focusing on the "holes" rather than the bumps. The bumps are obstacles. The troughs/holes are the path. So I focus on the path. And what do I want to do in the holes? I want to EXTEND. I think a lot of skiers think about the bumps. They focus on each bump and how they are going to make sure to absorb it. I prefer to think of the holes and how I am going to extend into them. I base my timing on the extension move rather than the absorption move. Try it.

Actually, to be more accurate, the trough is the zipper line you are following down that weaves between the bumps. Hopefully you're at least trying to stay in that zipper. But inside each zipper trough there are high points and low points. there is no getting around the extension and flexion needed. So just focus on the low points or "holes" and extend into them....ACTIVELY and aggresively.

I think you may have your feet a tiny bit locked together also. A very narrow stance in bumps is a good thing, but in my view there is a subtle foot seperation that still needs to be there. Don't lock your feet together. Force yourself to make sure they are 1 inch apart for a while to make sure they are independent.

I think you are already doing this, but I'll say it for others, make sure you're looking 2-3 bumps ahead, not the bump in front of you. Ooops. 2-3 HOLES ahead. ;-)
post #53 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
Basically, you want to start "carving" your turns the minute you start going down the backside of the bump. When you're airborne you have no speed control at all. When you are on the snow and edging, you can provide speed control.
I see you put "carving" in quotation marks. It all depends on your definition of carving. There was a lot of discussion about that a few weeks ago:
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=43419
post #54 of 63
the point is, that mentally I want the skier to TRY to carve as much as they possibly can. Whether they are executing a pure arc or not is pointless. Of course they aren't. Especially in the bumps. What I don't want is for them to pivot and skid intentionally. I want them to engage their edges, extend, and try with all their might to carve their skis down the backside of the bump. They have maybe one second of time to do whatever turning or semi-carving they are going to do. I know there are many debates and discussions on what a carve is. That was not my point. Attempting to carve, even if you don't get it completely pure is better than just throwing in the towel and pivoting the skis. In the bumps there will be plenty of pivoting and skidding that will happen. But try to reach and edge and at least ATTEMPT to carve.

Any discussions about pure carving are kind of meaningless in bumps.
post #55 of 63
Thread Starter 
just wanted to thank everyone again for the advice/tips. The banging method is so ingrained into my bump skiing that it may not be as easy as i think to change it but i have a pretty good mental image of what i need to do now. I'd like to post a follow up video once the season is underway to demonstrate any progress, or lack thereof. hopefully the former.

As far as poles are concerned, i guess the old method of turning the pole upside down, hold below the basket, 90 degree elbow is not what i want. I'm going to drop down 2 inches from my current length and give that a shot.

thanks again.
post #56 of 63
The pole advice is something Dan touches on in his book. It's not that the old method for measuring is incorrect. It's just that when you're bump skiing, your pole touches tend to be on higher ground than where they would be on a groomed slope.
post #57 of 63
I wish I had been back online a few days ago with this thread, but my opinions. For being self taught, you have a good foundation to work on in your bump skiing, and the best thing is that you do not seem to have the "fear of bumps" that holds many people back.

What I saw was in the first video, you appeared to be rather back (just look at hos the tips of the skis are hanging in the air instead of reaching into the oncoming trough), the second, your pole plants seemed to be late, you didn't seem to be reaching to the bump (which will help keeping your core move into the turn/bump), and in the third video, your skiing seemed reative, and not proactive. Some common things I saw were a lack of full body absorbtion (which has been said already), you seemed to be generally aft or on the heels and not moving your core over the feet, but you seemed to be keeping your core behind your feet, and I would look into your stance alightment (boots) to make sure that you are skiing on flat skis to allow you to properly pivot the skis under you instead of pushing them out the side to force the pivot.

To me, the way that you react is a good thing, it'll only help you in those "oops" moments that are bound to happen and it shows that you are adapting to attempt to regain control. If I were you, I'd play with this in some little jumps to get the idea of getting into the air off-balance, and being able to correct it in mid-air.

What I would do to work on your issues, first off, slow way down and focus on maintaining balance and driving the tips down (I teach it in bump traverses and have my students try to feel only the balls of their feet). A key thing to focus on is "feeling" smooth and not like you're being bounced by the bump, and that the tips are pushing down the backside of the bump and not floating and slapping down.

From there, I step up the speed a touch and make more GS oriented turns in the bumps attempting to keep the turns standard sized while maintaining a fluid body position. From there, tighten up to turning every few bumps at that same "middle" speed and focus on reaching into the bump with the pole touch, actively moving forward the whole time. Once all your focuses feel dialed, I'd go into the zipline again. By focusing on everything at a slower speed, you should have a greater sense of overall control when you go back into the zipline.


A fun way to play with learning to react and fix those oops moments in the bumps though is to air out the bumps on some easy bumps, jumping the troughs. First you can just try to be as smooth as when you are skiing them normally. Then, for some fun (but you have to be very careful) you can try getting into the air on your heels, and landing on the balls of your feet (actively moving your center while in the air). Personally, I have found this to be a great way to utilize the lack of edge/snow contact to get back to center when the situation throws me out of whack.

Just my $.02
post #58 of 63
pbf, Im not going to look at the other posts here so this is fresh MA.

Nice camerajob. Some of the best Ive seen here on epic and elswere. Keep up filming like that and bring us updates this year. Now, lets look at your skiing. Very nice bump skiing. If I saw you on the hill I would deffinetly chear you on. You stay in the fall line and your rhythm is nice and you keep on going and going and going. Important, bump skiing is not 10sec bursts or stopping as soon as you trip. This is zipper line bump skiing, never missing a bump. So why doesent it look like the pros then you may aske?

Well, first of all the bump slopes you are skiing on the videos are not very steep. Look at the part when you pass the camera in the first video. You are carrying little speed and you are trapped in a track with little diagonal space. Most skier here whent pritty straight down the hill creating long bumps in the fall line. Look for other type of bumps. In the third video top part you looked very good. Ok, its far away but still I think it looks much better.

Second, you need to get forward and work with your leggs more. I think that your entire alpine skiing could be caught in a nutshell on the last 2 sec of the second video. Look what kind of position you take as you come out of the last mogul. Straigh legs, leaning back and braking at the waist. You are offcourse allredy aware of this but maybe now we need to work that out of your system. You thaught yourself you say. Well, nothing wrong with that but taking a few lessons could not hurt. However, you would probably be discuraged taking lessons from me because I would start pritty much with basic stuff but I think it could be worth a try (not with me becasue Im far far away). Allso, get your boots checked out. Maybe you need new ones. From your stance it looks like you are wearing rear entry boots. Ok, you are in the back seat, I dont need to tell you that again but look at you landing in third video. Speaks for itselfe. You are not in balance.

Check out my bump skiing video as a ref to what you should try to do (2004). Here is a still from last year:
http://ski.topeverything.com/default...nt&ID=69B1A5FD
Compress and extend. Look for loose snow piles and crash through them and the moguls insed of going arround them. Important, maintain snow contact if you are not trying to jump.
post #59 of 63
pbf, look at this animation and compare to your stance in the last seconds of video 2 or as you pass the camera in video 1.

post #60 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post

Well, first of all the bump slopes you are skiing on the videos are not very steep. Look at the part when you pass the camera in the first video. You are carrying little speed and you are trapped in a track with little diagonal space. Most skier here whent pritty straight down the hill creating long bumps in the fall line. Look for other type of bumps. In the third video top part you looked very good. Ok, its far away but still I think it looks much better.
the trail in both video 1 and 2 barely has enough pitch to actually warrant seeding bumps on. Unfortunately, these 3 videos are all i have. That being said, i honestly think they demonstrate my ability level to a reasonable degree. Again, the day it was taken, given the lack of pitch and the shortness of the run, i was trying to make something out of it. So some things may be exaggerated a bit such as making turns where i dont really have to and over doing the hop, actually trying to air it out to the next face. But, considering i use that technique in steeper bumps, i thought it was a fairly accurate portrail of what i do and what may need to be corrected. I didnt think too much about that part of it until reading the responses in this thread. My main concern coming into this was my hands and what i had percieved to be excessive movement in my upperbody.

The interesting part for me has been the revelation that my absorption is not what i had always envisioned it to be and the amount of time spent on my tails. It really has given me something concrete to go after.

boots are front entry, skis are volant genesis gold, 175cm. not exactly great bump skis but for now, that is not the issue.
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