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MA request Marmot Dec 22

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Open to comments, suggestions for improvement, general feedback.

post #2 of 31
Gooday Marmot and Merry X-mas. I like your skiing, looks like can ski in any snow condition you please in control. I did notice 1 thing that kept cropping up IMO. Getting tossed (imbalanced) occasionally. Any ideas on that? Flat-light? Thanks for the ski clip.
post #3 of 31
Overall that's some pretty nice skiing. You can obviously handle pretty much anything that's thrown at you. The next step is to smooth out the rough bits and get you more consistent.
There are two things that I would work to improve in your skiing: your transition, and initiating the turns with the legs rather than upper body.

First off, the transition. In a lot of your turns, there isn't really much of a transition between each turn. When you do get a good one, it's quite obvious and pretty much guarantees your next turn will be a strong one.

The transition basically functions to "reset" your body to a neutral position so you can start each turn strong. At the end of each turn, think about having a brief "glide" phase where you just think about running with your skis flat, and your body stacked upright over your skis - hips knees and toes all lined up at a right angle to your skis. Then once you get that neutral position, start to move into your next turn. At first it's easier if you take your time with it, but as it gets more familiar, you can shorten it up, until it becomes pretty much automatic. If you watch good skiers, they all have a good recentering phase, even if it's only for a split second.

The second issue is starting your turns using your lower body rather than the upper body. At the moment you can do this fairly well, but not consistently. I especially noticed it in the section where you're on the steeper section with a couple inches of fresh (about 2/3rds through i think). You tend to turn and tip your shoulders in an effort to get the feet to follow, rather than starting your turns by steering or tipping your skis onto edge.

You certainly have the skills to do it, so it may be just as simple as actively reminding yourself to start with your feet instead of your shoulders, but if you want a good drill, try some pivot slips. Find a groomed slope, and side slip down, with your upper body facing down the hill, then extend up and pivot your skis around 180 degrees, while your upper body remains stationary. This promotes steering in the legs and a quiet upper body.

Hope thats not too longwinded and helps a bit. Feel free to ask if you have more questions.
post #4 of 31
It seems to me like you are not really using your poles. You are planting after you make the turn instead of reaching for it.
post #5 of 31
You're good at turning your skis, Marmot. You need to become good at using the skis as a tool to turn you.

Canuk has the idea regarding neutral, but neutral should be something you pass through, now pause in long enough to actually feel it. Neutral means equally weighted skis flat on the snow with tall body square to the skis. Neutral, again, is a moment you pass through after you stop turning and before you start turning again. It puts you in position to roll onto the new edges for the next turn.

You tend to jump from one set of edges through the first few degrees of turn to the next set of edges. This is appropriate for the really challenging stuff you skied in part of your video, but where ski reorientation is not so important, you don't need to keep making that kind of move.

I'd suggest you spend some time developing a feel for letting the skis do the turning through your edging and pressuring them. Find a flatter slope where you can traverse and edge. First just edge and pressure the fronts of the boots some. Traverse steeper and steeper and develop a feel for the way changes in the pressure and edging changes the turn characteristics.

Then stand on equally weighted flat skis and wait for them to begin seeking the fall line. They'll always start to turn downhill if you're patient. When you get a good feel, still on flat terrain, for the skis starting to turn toward downhill without you actually turning them, start adding some new edging. Learn to finish one turn with the skis beginning to flatten and start the next one with the skis starting to roll onto the opposite set of edges.
post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
boy the bears are good. Thanks for all the replies.

Common not one comment about the cheezy music :

Slider: Yes imbalance comes up alot, not sure if it's boot alignment or just me. I am going to try experimenting with shims under my boots front and back. I've heard playing cards work well for this as they generally remain slippery and remove some of the danger of Jerry rigging bindings. If I watch the last three years of video upsetting gremlins always seem to be lurking just under the surface.

Canuk Instructor and Kneale Brownson: I have been working on the resting stage inbetween turns alot as past video made it very evident I rushed too much. The "working on" goes on at my local hill and I am trying an approach that I "think" at the local hill and just let it happen in the mountains. I am there to have a great time and got tired of beating myself up while I'm supposed to be having fun. In the end I hope the working on takes over the bad habits at the mountains.

after you pointed it out the times I had a good neutralizing I had stronger turns. Good observation and thanks for pointing that out.

I will try the sliding down hill with upper body faced down and sliding or turning my skis (lower body) back and forth across the fall line to ingrain the lower body turning feeling. Sounds like a fun excersize thanks.

"You need to become good at using the skis as a tool to turn you." Great short phrase to repeat to myself 10, 000 times.

I used to ski 200 cm's and I think those were too long for me and I had to force them around with upper body and that bad habit has stuck with me. Again another thing I have been working on but it's still there.

Is this perhaps partly due to my poor pole habits (doing it late) to PhilT on that one.

I'd appreciate even more feedback from others as the more eyes the better, so far all comments are great ones.
post #7 of 31

There's a lot to like in these turns. You clearly can handle more difficult terrain and gnarly snow too. You've got good rhythm going in many places and at times you are also getting nicely on edge well above the fall line and developing some nice angles too (e.g. 4 minutes 20 seconds). Your getting good movement in your ankles and legs to help you stay in balance and your edge angles stay pretty equal through out the turn.

If you look at some of the side view frames, you can see your butt well behind your heels and a rounded back (e.g. 4 minutes, 5 seconds). Throughout most of the video, you can see your arms extended wide to the side and a lot of banking. Like CanuckInstructor, I see most of your turns starting with the upper body. More specifically, I'm also seeing a lateral movement of the center of mass and some pivoting as part of your turn initiation.

I'd like to see a taller stance with less rounding of the back. Think about exposing your belly button to the wind more. With your weight stacked more, you won't need your arms extended laterally as much for balance. This will let you bring your hands farther forward. With your hands more forward, your pole touches won't pull you into the backseat as much (e.g. 2 minutes 14 seconds & 5 minutes 1 second). Along with this, I'd like to see you do a pole touch where your thumb moves from vertical to horizontal instead of a pole plant where your thumb stays vertical, your fingers rotate and your arms straighten. Like CanuckInstructor, I'd like to see more involvement of the lower body in the turn initiation. But I think concentrating on the hip instead of the legs will give you the biggest payoff. Compare the skis beginning to accelerate as they enter the fall line to what would happen if someone were to push your boots while you were standing on flat ground. Your only options are either to bend at the waist or move your core forward (either your belly button or your hip). When you bend at the waist, you will end up in the back seat. When you move your core forward you can stay centered and stacked. When you move your core forward to start a turn, you can use the forward position of your body as a lever to resist the acceleration and stay with the skis.

With a taller stance and a pole touch that keeps your hands in front of you, you should find it much easier to move your inside hip for-aginally into the new turn (forward and diagonally into the new inside). Getting your left hip forward and laterally inside your left toes for a left turn will seem weird at first, but this will help you get the skis on edge early in the turn. This will give you extra turning power and eliminate the need to pivot to get the turn started. It will also help you stretch out your change of direction across the fall line. A shortcut for Kneale's exercise is called 10 toes. Make sure you've got all 10 toes pointed down the fall line before you turn out of it. Take some vertical with each turn. Sometimes 10 toes can make the hip movements happen automagically, but sometimes you need the hip movement in order to make 10 toes happen. Getting your hips more involved in your turn initiation will get more of your turns looking like the one at 4 minutes and 20 seconds. There are many different exercises that can help you get you there. It does not matter which ones work the best for you, but this is where you need to go to take your skiing to the next level.
post #8 of 31
Thread Starter 
Rusty, Wow thats alot to soak up. One of those that gets printed and tucked into the jacket for a read a few times when going back up. Great stuff.

Would you have video of someone doing a pole plant as you explained with the thumb moving from verticle to horizontal. I have heard this referance many times and just can't seem to get the metal image of what it's supposed to look like. PM me with those links or post them here.

I get your concept about getting the belly button more into the wind. Yes I stood here at home like a moron making imatation moves of being pushed from behind on my boots. Ahhh I see what you mean. bending foward is bad, moving mass forward is good. Thanks.

The last part of your post is going to be a read, then ski a run to try, and then repeat probably 100 times. but I get the idea.

It's officially xmas now so Merry Christmas everyone.
post #9 of 31
Hi Marmout mb, and merry x-mas. I did not have time to read all the replies (I should be preparing the turkey) but I looked at your video and scrolled through some replies, that were very good by the way, so I might be repeting a lot what has been said before.

Great filming and great music . Did you do all that in just one day? If so, it must be your brother behind the camera. I too like your skiing. You go everywhere and you clearly manage so ski well in all sorts of snow and terrain. I liked the cliff jumps they seem so big and dangerous there at the spot and then on video you go - oh nooo, I which I would have just had a little bit more speed....

On gromers I see some flaws in your technique that cause you problems at more difficult terrain. Like canuk and others have pointed out, you really need to start working with your leggs and stop using your upper body for turning. You extend from your waist up and throw your hipps out in the turn to get your skis skidding and turning. When you throw your hipps out in the turn you at the same time lean your whole body in to the turn, we call that banking, and that puts unfavorable weight on your inside ski. In deeper snow you can see how you get caught on the inside ski all the time and you keep loosing your weight uphill. You need to start working with your leggs, flexing and extending. As you come into a trasition you should flex and then you should extend into the turn and reach maximum extention just before retracting your leggs going into the following transition. This way you will have power to unweight while your upperbody remains fearly still. In softer snow this kind of technique gives you fluedity and helps you keep your balance. Hipps should be pushed slightly into the turn and you should angulate so that your shoulders are level with the horisont. You are also in your back seat.

Your polework is a bit off but what disturbes me the most is that turning right you keep dragging that righthand pole in the snow for balance. Practise skiing without poles and you will find out its difficult because you rely on that pole drag (part of banking and back seat skiing). I had that problem too so I know. Your left hand pole is getting ripped and pointed straight backwards after each pole plant giving a fearly flimsy appearance of otherwise good skiing. IMO you dont need to bring your hands further forwards, only thing you need to do is to put your arm vrists at angle towards your body making them look like they are closer to your body and giving a more round appearance. You now have a habbit of turning your wrists outwards and in my book that looks baad. You could also try to push your elbows outwards a bit but I think the only thing you need to do is turn your wrists, stop dragging your right ski pole behind you and after pole plant let the poles just rest in a diagonal position.

Thats all for now.

post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 
Merry Xmas TDK6

Thanks for the input. I really do think more bears should expose their video as you guys can really find the things that matter to improve on.

Yes that was one day of skiing. We each have a vid cam and we have it down to a science. We leap frog. we have our cams on our chests, easy to get out use and put away. We use Two way radio's wired to our helmets and as soon as I stop I grab the cam get him in frame and radio him to go. We loose very little time now. A few years ago, we would get 5 mins of vid and hours of lost time. He is far better with the cam and has hours of vid of me now. I find the vid very helpfull over the last few years.

The cliff stuff I am just easing myself back into. I used to jump off lots of crazy stuff but it has been years and I don't have the legs I used to. Something about being in the air just makes me happy.

The last cliff my buddy told me over the radio to just "Hit it hard" but he has said that before and it not be to my liking. He certainly doesn't want to get me hurt and I trust him completely (20 years plus skiing together) but I have a rule I don't jump something I haven't inspected. A real bummer alot of times when he says it's safe, I pansy out and it is safe, but I am still here and so far no broken bones.

The first cliff back in the day I would huck that full tilt from the nice pointy lip that I went beside. in fact I destroyed a pair of skis off that lip. Snow colapsed when I hit it and it took a chunk out of the base about the size of a pack of smokes, beside the edge, and on landing it destroyed the edge. I still have those skis. mmmmm 200 cm Fisher RC4 Vacuum.

Poles yup, it's my mission to fix that this year along with lower body seperation and get the shoulders in check. The dragging is a ingrained bad habit I can't break. Perhaps you are right a day at the mountain without may be in order. (does that make me a snowboarder ?)

You mentioned elbows out more? It seems to me I have them too high and out already. Where should they be? Is there a easy reminder of where to put them to allow the rest to fall in place? vid link of good style?

I joined the Adult Masters racing club at our tiny local hill. No real racing but race training (GS and SL drills and gates) and first day he harped on me to stop banking.

Time and futher video's will tell but hopefully all the great info here will again go to good use as I think it did last year from posted vids and advice from yourself and others.

many thanks and another printing for the ski pocket.
post #11 of 31
Originally Posted by Marmot mb View Post
Would you have video of someone doing a pole plant as you explained with the thumb moving from verticle to horizontal. I have heard this referance many times and just can't seem to get the metal image of what it's supposed to look like. PM me with those links or post them here.
.... Thanks.
You're welcome. Our Canuck ski instructor friends to the north have some wonderful video on their web site. It takes a while for the level one clip to load, but while you are waiting the first part of the animation in the window above shows some decent pole plants done hard. But pay attention to the level one clip when it first pops up because the first bit shows pole touches more like how you are doing them. After the title is displayed, the basic parallel turns show pole touches exactly as I described them in the earlier post.

The Canadians ski with more of an up move than I prefer. The level 4 clip shows dynamic parallel turns that have more hip in them than how you ski. The Italians have some good video lesson clips. You can see even more hip in their oro avanzato clip.
post #12 of 31

Fun skiing. As your skills improve even more I would expect to see some really hot skiing. I can't really point out any flaws that others haven't already noticed. There actually are quite a few flaws, but pointing them out is not going to help you much. These are not quick fix things which can be easily fixed by a comment. I would recommend you get back to groomers and focus on basic turn technique for a while. All this footage on steeper terrain is fun to watch and I'm sure fun for you to film. If you're serious about getting to the next level, you need to reconstruct the way you turn your skis.

I would suggest a few things.

One, think about angulating a bit more. What I mean by that is to lean your upper body out over your outside ski during your turns instead of leaning/banking in so much. However, some of the reason you're doing this is because you over-rotating your upper body in an attempt to pull your skis around. But why do you do that? You do that because you are not effective at getting them to turn on their own.

- The up unweighting you are using a lot of to lift your skis up and swing them around, etc. These are all not necessary or desirable in much of the video you have here, yet you are so used to skiing that way that you use it all time. Right now you fundamentally have to ski that way because of missing skills in other areas. The energy from each turn is dead by the end.

- you tend to make a "defensive" pole plant a lot. elbow out, forearm in front of you, reaching way across. try to make more of a palm-out pole plant and keep your arms out to the side. Don't reach across your body and especially that elbow out defensive posture. One of the things you're doing wrong is over-rotating your upper body. This pole fix will probably not correct that problem, but what you're doing now is definitely not helping either. stop doing that.

- Try to think about flexing your legs in between turns (ie, in the transition). Think about bending your legs to allow the skis to rise to the surface of the snow at the transition. This is backwards from what you've been doing. Do NOT try to pop extend to up-unweight. That is what you're doing now. Do the opposite. If you do nothing else but go out and try that for a while, you're going to feel really stupid and clumbsy at first, but keep at it...there are big payoffs as you learn to ski effectively that way.

If you really want some quality MA from guys here, get some groomer vids, this stuff is fun to watch and love to see someone love skiing as much as I do, but for MA purposes its almost useless. Way too much wrong stuff going on there to really give you much to work with. A lot of the wrong stuff is survival stuff you are doing because of some fundamental flaw or two that you are missing. You miss some crucial skill and then it starts to fall apart, you do one survival move after another until its ingrained in your pattern as habit that you are comfortable with.

Get back to some groomers, let us spot the flaws and then work on it one step at a time. You have a lot of potential and natural athletic ability. Work out these kinks and prepare to be amazed with yourself.
post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 
Borntoski683. Lots of good stuff there. yes lots of the same but put in another way strengthening and adding to the others comments.

"more of a palm-out pole plant "

I have heard this referance as well as the thumb going from horizontal to verticle. I did watch the CSIA level 1 vid therusty stated and saw what he meant by Horx. to Vert. but I didn't see a palm out. am i looking for the wrong thing? or misunderstand "palm out" or two differences of pole planting?

I also appreciate you explanation of using the legs flexing them in between turns and pushing them out towards the apex of the turn. I do agree I am doing the opposite. I assume if this is addressed then the lifting up and swinging around of the ski would have to go away.

"you do one survival move after another "

Sadly I have heard this before andI beleive it rings very true alot of the time.
post #14 of 31
"~I 'm the one who said 'Just grab 'em in the biscuits'~"

The music ROCKED!
post #15 of 31
By palms out, I mean, more like palms forward. right now you swing your elbow forward and your palm is facing back towards your body, knuckes forward. its very defensive posture. open up your arms and hands a bit. for now, exagerate it so that your palms are literally facing down the hill when you plant your pole. After a while you can come back to palms facing the side of the hill... but definitely stop doing what you're doing now..which is...palm facing your body when you plant. Once upon a decade I used to do the same silly move and I actually thought I was being stylish. Its bad for your skiing though.
post #16 of 31

Do you have any video of what you are talking about? The danger with doing pole touches with the palms facing down the hill is that the shoulder can get pulled backwards. This destroys a strong inside half. The Level 1 Canadian video I linked to shows both styles (palm out in the section before the title appears), but emphasizes the knuckles down the hill style. The knuckles always facing down the hill style is much better at promoting a strong inside half.

Can you point to a specific example of Marmot making a turn with palms facing the body? An example of what I would call "palms out" is at 2 minutes 39 seconds.
post #17 of 31
why don't you provide a better alternative if you can think of one of how he can break his habit.
post #18 of 31
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Can you point to a specific example of Marmot making a turn with palms facing the body? An example of what I would call "palms out" is at 2 minutes 39 seconds.
Yes, every time he has his elbow facing out.
post #19 of 31
Hi Marmot,
You are very lucky to have some snow. Things are pretty green here.

I'm not a ski instructor, but I do have something you might have fun playing with. Do you notice that it's easier if you go a little faster? You seem to concentrate a little less on turning your skis when your going faster. It's almost as though you are turning via a different mechanism (though not completely). Here's a little game to explore that. Find a fairly open comfortable slope and try to not bother turning your skis; just tip them and play with where you pressure them near the front or near the tail, and ride them where ever they take you. See what tipping and pressure alone can do. Also try to put most of your weight on the outside ski and concentrate on where you balance on it as you pressure it (tip-middle-tail).
post #20 of 31

I'm having trouble visualizing what you are talking about. I can see two examples of elbows out. One at 2 minutes 27 seconds and another at 6 minutes 2 seconds. Otherwise I don't see a lot of positions where Marmot's elbows are definitely outside of his hands.
post #21 of 31
well fortunately I'm not trying to help you rusty.
post #22 of 31
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post
why don't you provide a better alternative if you can think of one of how he can break his habit.
Before we go to alternatives, I'd like to see if we can agree on terminology and exactly what habit we're trying to break as we appear to be giving conflicting advice.

I'd like to see Marmot "land the airplane" by getting his hands in front of his elbows. One way to do this is to keep the palms of both hands facing each other and the knuckles/fist pointed down the hill. The way I read your posts, you want the palms facing down the hill. I believe that this promotes getting your hands pulled outside of your elbows (albeit with the arms with a 90 degree bend instead of an straight "airplane" formation). I agree that this does not have to happen (as the Canadians demonstrate), but it's not easy to prevent. We can agree to disagree, but I'd like to make sure that I understand your position correctly.
post #23 of 31
Thread Starter 
I was fortunate enough to get a 30 cm Powder day in yesterday.

I am going to put the cart before the horse and give my feeling on how the day went before I have even seen the video taken.

I used "palms out" as a constant phrase throughout the day and realized it may be exagerated for now, but perhaps a exageration is needed to break old habits.

I also mentally reminded my self to not put up my forearm or elbow out defensivly.

I tried to keep my elbow closer to my body and not so high up.

I also tried to make my pole plant at the end of the turn rather than past during.

I tried to compress in the between turns and extend to the apex of each turn.

My feelings: more fluid, easier to ski the fall line, less tiresome. Pole plants made making turns easier to perform and less upper body torqueing required.

I will post the video as soon as I get it, I havent' even seen it yet.

My bud says I look different now, I guess we will see.
post #24 of 31
post #25 of 31
Thread Starter 
Drove 14 hours in a winter storm to catch 30 cm of fresh. Buddy phoned me at 7:10 pm and said "Southern Alberta is under a heavy snow fall warning" at 8:00 PM we were driving away to Pincher Creek, Alberta. We got there at 1 AM.

We skied for the day and drove back home. Left at 4:30 PM and got home at midnight.

I'll post this hear just to see what people have to say about my "effort" to make a change.

I saw snippets of better, short area's of a better pole plant, short area's of better flex and extend.

at the begining (litterly first runs of the day) my brain was short cirquiting on the change up of flexing, took a while to get it but I think I see some better stuff as the vid goes on.

I didn't concentrate too much on the banking so it's still there, I kept it simple for my tiny brain. Pole plant and flexation.

wasn't expecting perfect overnight but am interested to hear your opinions if you saw a change or not.

post #26 of 31
I need to watch it again. From the first viewing

- love the head cam!! I want one.

- nice conditions!

- I noticed you did not do the defensive elbow out. Good job. You can bring your hands back in a little bit so that your palms are facing each other in a comfortable way...but if you start to stick out the elbow again, then you know what you gotta do.

- I noticed towards the end, a few turns where you were making a conscious effort to flex your legs when you finish each turn. Good job. I think maybe you were struggling with wanting to still do a pop extension at the top of every turn. (By the way, a book that has great coverage of this concept is Litos book). In any case, keep practicing this because I think you have yet to experience the ah-ha moment that I know you're going to have when you change over from doing that pop-extension to up-weight, and instead are able to use the leg retraction to pull your skis up to your butt and unweight that way instead. Right now you're trying to do the knee flexing, but it seems like you're falling into a crouch at the end of the turn, as opposed to the idea of pulling your feet up out of the snow (conceptually). So the leg flexing is not giving you the unweight..its actually dropping you lower into the snow, then you're still having to pop extend to start the next turn. Try to see if you can get some turns where as you finish the turn you suddenly retract your feet upwards in a way that is more like pulling your feet up and making yourself weightless and make your turn right at that time. Then extend as you approach the fall line.

- In powder try to weight your skis a bit more evenly, I think I saw you skiing on your outside ski a lot.

- More pole planting tips. Your hands are getting dragged behind you a little bit. After you plant your pole, drive your hand forward and don't let it get dragged behind you. Partly this is pulling your upper body back inside and into over-rotation. Partly I know you're just trying to avoid the elbow out thing.

That's already too much information for now. Glad to see you trying this stuff with an open mind!!
post #27 of 31

I like the first five turns in the latest clip with respect to turn shape. That's what we mean about not rushing them. There's another section where you are taking decent clumps of vertical with each turn, but you also go back to rushing the turns a little later on. Still, it's good progress.

There's a lot less airplane flying going on and your pole touches are getting better, but BTS's observation about getting pulled behind is spot on. BTS's tip about driving the hands forward is what I try to achieve with moving the thumbs from vertical to horizontal. You can measure your success by how well you keep the elbows in front of the hips.
post #28 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feeback guys.

I will keep the idea's in mind when I hit my local hill to practice. I'm sure things will be easier to work on with harpack groomed runs. I tried to find some at Castle but all I found was Powder. Poor me.

BTS actually that was me holding the camera, not an easy task. I gave up on that a while ago as mostly you end up with junk footage but the pow was too nice not to try it again. Holding the cam while tree skiing is not reccomended. Tree's always win. I too want a headcam.
is a nice unit.

Once again I have received some very usefull information from video postings, hopefully I am able to put it to good use. I will try to get some groomer footage for better MA I am sure the conditions and terrain in the last two were less than desirable for that.
post #29 of 31
groomer footage will help a lot.
post #30 of 31
Thread Starter 
I goofed a bit on my previous Castle Mountain vid, I left out a few clips. All fixed and up for viewing pleasure.

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