Originally Posted by Gary Dranow
One more question Dean. So, are you saying that you actually took some concepts or notions
from some posts somewhere and were able to apply it on the hill and experience some sort of result? Just curious, I'm doing some research
I absolutely took a lot of things away from a lot of posts, and definitely used them, Gary--
But I'm probably something of an extreme case on that front (an outlier) in that (A) I live away from the hill, (B) I start obsessing about ski season and racing technique way before there's any snow to practice on, (C) I'm something of an ambitious fanatic, for the number of days I get to ski a year, (D) I'm an intellectual learner and an analytical guy, and (E) I've been thinking about this for a long time, so there are some convenient "hooks" already installed to hang new knowledge on.
I also have some sense of some of my issues, so that (for example) when I see Rick's balance (and balance point) -oriented exercises for first day skiing, I know I want to try them, because I know a huge first day issue for me is getting sufficiently far forward.
Someday soon, I should put together a (characteristically, frighteningly long) post on some of the things I've picked up from posts, and elsewhere, to apply to my issues in skiing. As I think back, some of the most powerful of them were discussions linked or tied to pictures of WC racers, so it was easier for me to get it. And some of the other most powerful learning came from things I posted, which were not entirely correct, and when someone gently challenged me or nudged me in a different direction, it really made me turn things over in my mind for a while and reexamine some of my approaches.
My personal view of learning is that it's kind of idiosyncratic. When you tell a student/racer "get more forward," for example, he may bend at the waist, or stick his hands forward, but drop his behind back. But if you go through a litany of different mantras to get the same result, student A will get it from one form of words, and student B will get it from a different form of words.
So, in my example of just one of my issues, for getting forward, I've seen all the following on line, some of which were helpfull to me on this issue, and others of which might work for others:
If I'm trying to bend the front of the ski, I work on moving the body into the turn early, flexing the ankles, and generally making things happen at the top of the turn. --Alaska Mike, NASTAR forum.
“Try to feel equal pressure on your shins as you push into your turn. One way to do this is to find a letter on the tip of your ski and push it into the snow. Pretty soon, you’re standing on your toes without thinking about it.” --Picabo Street, USA Today, February 18, 2003.
It’s easier for your skis to catch up with your body than it is for your body to catch up with your skis. [EpicSki, somewhere, but I never copied down the source]
Move more than you think you should, more than you think is necessary, and more than you think is safe. At the start of the turn, move your shins against the front of the boots. This pressue will transfer to the front of the ski. Your goal is to make the edges bite into the snow by putting pressure on the shovel of the ski at the moment of edge change. --Weems' Web site, as quoted on EpicSki.
Early forward pressure: This is accomplished via ankle flex for some, waist for others. --Ron LeMaster's 11/06 Boulder talk, as quoted on EpicSki by SSH.
You want to move your center of mass FORWARD and into the turn for proper edge engagement. I focus on flexing my new inside ankle (left ankle in left turn) toward the turn at the beginning to start my COM moving forward as well as inside. If I flex my knee, I tend to move more laterally, and then I'm behind the skis. --Kneale Brownson, EpicSki.
Also know that the more pivot you execute, the more opportunity it offers you to auto move your fore/aft balance point from tails to the tips. --Rick, EpicSki, specifically on slalom technique in the gates.
No matter how much of the tail you use at the end of the turn, get back to the tips for the initiation of your new turn. --Rick, EpicSki, same.
Instead of thinking "hands up and hands forward" think "get your elbows forward". It pulls your center of mass naturally forward into the athletic stance. --Deb Armstrong.
Another way to think about keeping the weight forward is (especially in slalom) focusing on pulling the feet back to keep them under you so that your position is forward at the initiation of the control phase of the turn. --Olle Larsson.
"You're not bent over at the waist, it's more like there's a curve through your back and down through your glutes just like you would sit on a road bike. It's got to be obvious that forward can't be just shin pressure..it's got to be the hands and chest as well." --Richard Malmros (SkiRacer55) "Sharpening the Saw"
(All of which leaves me with no good excuse for NOT getting forward at turn initiation)