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Proper Pipe Technique

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
This might be the wrong site for this type of question, but I am looking for advice/tips on riding a pipe on skis.

When I do venture in, this is one of the only places on the mountain I truly struggle, and interestingly, I can ride a pipe okay on a board. I think part of it is simply lack of practice, I spend probably less than one thousand of a percent of my time on skis anywhere near a pipe. But I also think my technique is just plain bad. For some reason, I want to transition on a 90 degree angle...when I watch accomplished folks in the pipe, they are clearly traveling great distances down the pipe during their airs, which would lead me to believe that their transitions are not made at 90 degrees...

Again, I know there probably are not a ton of Epic folks who are in the pipe on skis, and I myself am not doing it much, but I thought it might be an interesting discussion.

Any thoughts on skiing technique in the pipe??

post #2 of 5
you're right, more accomplished skiers are traveling down the pipe while in the air. However, what you are describing is rather common. Many people feel more comfortable going straight up the wall, turning 180 degrees (or close) and coming back down the wall. Often times the best way to get used to not just going straight up and 180's is to "ride the walls" for a while, get used to going up the walls, even into the vert, and transitioning down the wall without any dramatic change in direction up top. Gradually as these become more comfortable, you can "let go" of the wall and transition. The next step is to hold your line all the way up the wall and just clear the deck as you transition back down. Skiing the pipe is a lot like skiing in general whereas you need to build confidence. Often times you can figure a way out by just jumping in headfirst, but often times you're better off taking your time, building your skill level and confidence and approaching everything logically.
post #3 of 5
I think that what you do on the lip can depend on the pipe too. If the pipe isn't perfect it seems to be better to play it conservative and go straight-in/straight-out. You don't want an undervert pipe to put you on the deck or have an over vert pipe make you miss the tranny.

Anyway, my feeling on learning to ski the pipe is that you have to start with a good entry and that sets up the rest of your run. What I like to see when my students enter the pipe is that they are entering while traveling down the pipe, not perpindicular to it. So they will approach from one side or the other ride up towards the deck and then angle off into the pipe. They will absorb the lip as they ski over it and press the tips down into the wall so that the skis never leave the snow. As they get better at absorbing that, I want to see them enter higher and higher until they are dropping the full height of the pipe.
post #4 of 5
I am interested whether anyone has put a teaching series together regarding pipe and park teaching. i understand there is a lot of trial by error and the "i need to build confidence" idea is obvious at the pipe and park. What are we doing as an instructor group to obtain more lessons in this area of skiing? and do we have a teaching guide?
post #5 of 5
Reaper, some divisions of PSIA do have Freestyle/Freeride Accreds. I have an eastern accredidation (all levels, beginner, intermediate, and advanced) and RM separates them out into three separate accred's. PSIA and AASI have worked together and with Burton (Smart Style) to come up with a lot of progressions. In terms of teaching park/pipe, its been more about which areas are comfortable offering the lessons (insurance costs) and yes PSIA offers guides for teaching park/pipe (and believe it or not, there are actually some great trainers too).
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