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Thank You Weems!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
One of the most helpful, and liberating, skiing concepts I have ever learned was taught to me by Weems at Epicski Academy last year. Before that event, I was very afraid of skiing in powder. I tried the same techniques I used on groomed terrain: tipping the outside ski, carving arcs down the hill. Problem was, I wanted more responsive speed control. I really couldn't figure out how to slow down as much as I wanted to, or even how to stop with any confidence. Weems showed our group a single move that revolutionized my attitude to powder skiing. The move went like this: point body and skis straight down the fall line; then, when you want to slow down, or stop, gently bend the knees and bring the tips up through the snow (using ankle flexion), and pivot the skis a little. This may be the "dolphin" move that many people dislike, but I have to say it's an incredibly useful tool. Just knowing I can control my speed so easily has given me confidence to ski powder without fear. In fact, I feel comfortable using my carving skills in those conditions because of having this other move available as a backup plan.

I had an awesome powder day on Friday 1/5 at Snowmass, and I felt so grateful to Weems I wanted to tell him and the Epicski community. Skiing powder is a spiritual experience. Thank you SO much for opening up that world to me.

-- sonja
post #2 of 5
Nice solution. Now if I us eastcoasters just only had that problem :-(
post #3 of 5
Good to hear sonja_sonja.... lucky you and congrats to weems for a job well done.

Yesterday I watched some of the ESA2006 videos and saw much of the kind of skiing that you described as problemtic prior to weems lesson; intermediate adults trying to turn in powder with little or no speed, no rhythm and with no unweighting or other functional form of relese. The way I have been thaught in Austria and the way I teach and ski myselfe is to pick up speed in the fall line just like weems instructed and let everything just happen and dont forget to do every move very carefully in slowmotion at first but with strict determination and without fear. I instruct my students to try to get the rhythm of turning going on in their head even before then start down the hill.

One thing that is very important to understand is that depending on your gear, your company, visiability, the snow consistance, the depth of the snow, the base beneeth, the shape of the base and the pitch all are going to have great impact on how you should ski and what kind of technique or special moves have to be used.
post #4 of 5
I'm totally delighted that you've discovered the magic of powder. This is the ski instructor's dream--to have you "get it".

It's interesting how sometimes, you have to focus on issues that build confidence before you get to other ones. Now that you've got your bombproof stop, you may never need it again!

And if you get to Snowmass again, and don't call me and say, hey, I'll have your lift ticket pulled!!!
post #5 of 5
Sonja, I remember that day, too. Needless to say, I've had no powder since Utah! Still, it's coming later this week. Whee!
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