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Technique/How to

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Could some of you really good instructor/skiers help me out. I don't actually know the right terminology for this question so please bear with me.

We see pictures/videos of really good skiers and racers with their uphill ski/knee collapsed(up) and their downhill leg either straight or almost straight. This is obviously a very dynamic way to make a turn.

My question is how do you learn to do this? Is there a step process to this dynamic movement? How would you start learning this movement? Does it take speed or ................. Do you have to trust something........... so you can do this. I'ver tried to visualize this movement and feeling but am dubious about my mental accuracy. Anyone know how I can start towards this turn achievement?

If you can keep it as non technical as possible I would appreciate. thanks
post #2 of 18
Pete,

This is high performance skiing. It's not something that an average skier can just do. A lot of things have to come together before you're ready to learn how to do this. Do your boots fit? Have you had your alignment checked? If no to those two, it can be very hard to make progress. Can you carve a turn (i.e. leave pencil thin tracks from turn start to turn finish)? If not, we need to work on balance, edging, rotary and pressure control movement skiils (PSIA methodology).

Do you need speed? Yes. This position is designed to manage the forces involved with turns at speed.

Do you have to trust something? Yes. Your edges!

To help you visualize what is going on, study the montage photo's at Ron LeMaster's web site. Make sure that you also find some full speed racing video so that you can get an appreciation for how fast these mena and women are really going.

To help you learn these movements at slower speeds, you can practice on skiboards (aka snowblades). Because these have much smaller turning radii than full size skis, you can develop the same turning forces as regular skis at a fraction of the speed required for full size skis.

Although most skiers learn the extreme positions you've been envying only within the context of ski racing, advanced skiers also use a "long leg - short leg" technique for efficient skiing. You'll learn this technique quicker through a race program, but you can learn it through regular lessons also. Part of the reason you'll learn it quicker in a race program is that the course itself helps to motivate you into this position and being in the closed off environment of a race course makes it easier to practice these movements without the fear of killing tourists.
post #3 of 18
I don't fit the description of the first sentence, but I might have something for you.

The position you describe is normally encountered at very high speeds. The g-forces that load the ski and act on the body require a more angulated position to counter those forces. The turn is seen a lot in DH and GS race courses where the turn radius, line, direction, strategy, etc. all dictate an agressive stance on the downhill ski. It sort of comes naturally.

But it can also be a bit of laziness on the skier. It takes less energy to hold that level of angulation than when the knees are more flexed. At least it was for me. I had to work on not getting so angulated because it was slowing me down in the course (not going straight enough). Basically I was being lazy instead of aggressive.

There's an old 70's era free-style move called the out-rigger. Basically it puts you in the position you describe. However, when doing it, more weight is on the up-hill ski. Do it on a traverse of gentle groomed run. Then as you pick-up speed, just stand more of your weight on the downhill ski. You'll be amazed at how angulated you can get even at moderate speeds.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

How to

Rusty, ok but I used to race, all disciplines and ran SG off of Climax at Mammoth but I racedd when Stenmark was on top. I have the skills you listed but do you have a starting point or at high speeds do I "just try it"?
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

How to

Bullet 270. Thanks, I never thought of this as a lazy move but I see your point. I will try what you suggested on an easy slope, might give me a little feel for it. Flat trajectory and very fast muzzle velocity a 270 thanks. Pete
post #6 of 18

Join a race program

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
Could some of you really good instructor/skiers help me out. I don't actually know the right terminology for this question so please bear with me.

We see pictures/videos of really good skiers and racers with their uphill ski/knee collapsed(up) and their downhill leg either straight or almost straight. This is obviously a very dynamic way to make a turn.

My question is how do you learn to do this? Is there a step process to this dynamic movement? How would you start learning this movement? Does it take speed or ................. Do you have to trust something........... so you can do this. I'ver tried to visualize this movement and feeling but am dubious about my mental accuracy. Anyone know how I can start towards this turn achievement?

If you can keep it as non technical as possible I would appreciate. thanks
If you really want to get there sign up for a few week long race camps or season long programs where you get instruction/coaching for at least a day or two a week (ie Sat and/or Sun)...that would be the best way....reading Epic ski posts and taking the odd one hour "refresher" lesson wont do it.

The beauty is...the race weeks and race programs for adults are usually the best value on the mountain.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
Rusty, ok but I used to race, all disciplines and ran SG off of Climax at Mammoth but I racedd when Stenmark was on top. I have the skills you listed but do you have a starting point or at high speeds do I "just try it"?
Pete,

Really OK! I am NOT a racer. We've got a few around here. So if they chime in, by all means they know better.

In my mind, I don't see as much of this move in the speed events (e.g. this super G sequence from Ron). I did find a couple of DH pics that looked like they had the move in them, but I associate this more with the "turny" events.

Another point is that one reason this move did not exist in Stenmark's time is the gear could not do it. Did they really have metal edges back then in 1940?

A good starting point is LeMaster's pics. Visualize how this happens through the turn. Next feel the long leg short leg movements in your free skiing. Then get on ski blades and experiment with the move. Then practice it on your full size skis. Then take it to the course. Having someone video you will help because it's difficult to tell how much or how little you really are doing. Having a coach will help more.

If you have trouble doing this, the most common issue is leaning into the hill. Try trying to keep your shoulders more level to the pitch of the slope and the extreme portion of the move should happen naturally.
post #8 of 18
On a more mechanical level, how does the position actually develop? Is the real operative movement extension of the down-hill ski or is it more a matter of exagerated retraction of the uphill ski there-by inducing increased angulation as one "falls" into the turn? And, does recovery/new turn initiation involved forceful extention of the contracted inside leg or more a matter of "giving way" to the building forces on the extended out side leg?

I know, the answer is probably yes and yes--some of each, I was just wondering how most people think of the steps of initiating and completing the turn as the forces change.
Thanks
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

How to

Rusty, thanks that makes sense to me

RiDeC58, good comments thats sort of why I was asking the question. As yu state, Which occurs first. Is there a method? I really don't know which initiates lst, the inside knee or the outside leg. What do you think?
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

How To

Ghost, thanks for comments. Makes sense to me. Leaning over the bike at speed, and/or motorcycle. Done both and the correlation makes sense, thanks. Pete
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiDeC58 View Post
On a more mechanical level, how does the position actually develop? Is the real operative movement extension of the down-hill ski or is it more a matter of exagerated retraction of the uphill ski there-by inducing increased angulation as one "falls" into the turn?
It is a continuation of the mechanics that start a release. The outside leg is retracted to allow the body to move into the next turn and continues its retraction while tipping the, now inside, foot on edge into the new turn. As the body moves into the turn the old inside/new outside leg extends to keep contact with the snow and is pulled onto edge by the inside foot tipping. The inside leg has to retract higher and higher to allow the outside leg to continue increasing edge angle without getting blocked by the inside leg.

The important thing to note here is that this position really developed starting way back at the release of the last turn starting with the outside leg retracting.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

How To

Rusty, I just spent some time on the LeMaster site you mentioned. I have quite a few race picture hanging in my Ski Room and understand the application etc. of this turn but thought I would query you epic guys on starting to do this. I think I better understand now and thankyou for your help along with the other posters. Question? Do you happen to have LeMasters book, Skiers Edge. Looks pretty good but I shy away from too technical stuff as #1 abov e all I ski for fun and the thrill. What do you think of it ', if you have of course. thanks again Pete
post #13 of 18
Pete, it's very much a learned confidence thing. Laying the skis over so far that your CM is well inside your feet and close to the snow can be an intimidating proposition for those unfamiliar with the position. You have to believe in the centrifugal forces a small radius turn will produce to keep you in balance, and the integrity of the skis to hold their edge. The mechanics of the turn have already been explained here, but it the mental barrier of tipping in that far for the first time that needs to be overcome.

First, I would suggest first attempts be on small radius (10m-13m) slalom type skis. They produce turn shapes and forces that allow you to experience these body positions on moderate pitch slopes and reasonable speeds.

Second, I'll suggest a drill that offers a degree of security for first attempts. Similar to gorilla turns, keep your feet very wide through a series of turns and transitions. As wide as you can,,, well beyond shoulder width.

It will be an awkward feeling maintaining the stance.. Through the transition this stance will put your hips/cm in a very low position, and feeling as though you're riding a very fat horse. To turn simply counter your upper body severely away from the direction of the turn and lean over the outside leg, keeping the outside leg as extended as possible. The lean will pressure the outside ski and it will begin to crank a powerful, small radius, high edge angle turn like nothing you've ever experienced.

To transition into a new turn simply rotate your upper body 180 degrees, extend the opposite leg, and lean toward the opposite foot. Immediately you'll rocket back in the opposite direction.

The idea of the drill is that the super wide foot separation leaves the inside foot under the body so that the skier feels he/she has something ready to provide support in case things don't work out. A security blanket so to speak. This drill does not replicate perfect form. What it does is provide a training wheel so the new high edge carver can gain confidence in the new sensation. Then the training wheels can be discarded (return to normal stance), and real skiing utilizing the mechanics explained in earlier posts can begin.

Final hint; the drill above creates such a powerful turn it can be done on moderate terrain with with any radius ski.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

How to

Rick, thanks I think that will help a lot, expecially giving me a starting point.
post #15 of 18
Pete No Idaho,

It was this "Gorilla Turn" exercise (legs WAAAAAAAAAAAY far apart - wider than shoulders) that first taught me to carve. I did it once with a very knowledgeable friend who was giving me some instruction, and the proverbial lightbulb went off after only one turn. I immediately understood how to ride the outside ski through a carve, and I knew I hadn't been doing it before.

I could then trust the ski to do the turning, and all that was left for me to do was lean my torso in the right direction and wait for the action. Nothing was so amazing as that moment. Because I did those gorilla turns that day,now I can confidently lunge my torso over my skis and downhill at transition and I know I can trust that outside ski to do its thing. Along with that trust comes the potential of high edge angles and the deeply bent inside knee and the whole thing you are looking for.

Good luck in getting snow soon so you can try this out. You can do it.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
Ghost, thanks for comments. Makes sense to me. Leaning over the bike at speed, and/or motorcycle. Done both ....
Since you've riden a bike, you know that a turn on a bike can be tightened up by pushing the inside bar forward, and dropping in. How do you tighten a carved turn on skis? For me, the movement has a lot of similarity.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post
Rusty, I just spent some time on the LeMaster site you mentioned. I have quite a few race picture hanging in my Ski Room and understand the application etc. of this turn but thought I would query you epic guys on starting to do this. I think I better understand now and thankyou for your help along with the other posters. Question? Do you happen to have LeMasters book, Skiers Edge. Looks pretty good but I shy away from too technical stuff as #1 abov e all I ski for fun and the thrill. What do you think of it ', if you have of course. thanks again Pete
Pete,

I have his book. I like his book. It has a lot of technical stuff in it. I have an engineering background so it's no big deal for me. I think you might enjoy Mark Elling's The All Mountain Skier better. The cover pic even shows exactly the position you are interested in.
post #18 of 18

There's a thread in the racing forum...

...how to get lateral. Take a look at that, it'll probably help...
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