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MA request from EpicSki newcomer

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I am a newcomer to epic (although lurking for quite some time). First of all congratulations to all (members, supporters, moderators …), it’s a great forum. The MA threads are particularly great. Amazing how much time and effort people put to help others improve their skiing. Just brilliant.

Let me introduce myself: Being from Bavaria, I learnt and practiced skiing in the Alps. Move to Brazil and knee injuries made me miss the carving revolution. Still living in Brazil, but back to about 20+ skiing days per year. Skiing for 35 years, I am an old schooler who is trying to catch up to modern technique

That’s why I have put a short video of me making some short/medium turns. The video was taken last September in Valle Nevado (off-piste in spring slush that was refreezing at end of the day).


Please, fire away with your critique and advice on what and how to improve my skiing.

Thanks a lot

post #2 of 11
Are you Bob Peters client?
post #3 of 11

While the video is loading on my slow dial-up connection, let me be the first to welcome you to epic. The interesting thing about a forum like this is different people see different things and offer a variety of advice. Although different ski schools around the world use different techniques, there are some common threads in the overall movement and mechanics of skiing. With that in mind, what in your skiing do you feel like you would like to change??

From the video, I love the fun and exciting short turns, espicially as you push it to the max while skiing close to the camera. I can see a little of the european influence in your skiing. To control the rebound toward the end of the turn, you need to involve both skis in your transition and into the fall line. You look very outside ski oriented which is causing everything to happen at the lower part of the turn including a bit of an abstem (outside ski tail breaks away and skids at the end of the turn). You can work on keeping your upper body more stable and allow the skis to pass under your body changing edges and into the new turn thus channeling the rebound into your new turn. From there start to soften your edges and weight starting at the fall line while keeping light contact to the tongue of the boots to keep the skis moving along the shape of the arc.

In a nutshell, less up and down movement and more diagional movement will allow you to better manage the rebound and stay better in balance. Eliminate the "heavy" part of the turn by more shaping early in the turn, then lighten up. Love your vid.

post #4 of 11
Boa Noiche Max,

Welcome to Epic! It's a brave man who asks for MA on his first post, especially in slushy snow. As you've probably seen from other such requests, you are likely to get many different opinions and some conflicting advice. With this kind of skiing, there are many different things that can help you. Use what make sense to you.

This slope is obviously much too easy for you. You have great rhythm and easy confidence. I like the way you get your skis out from underneath you, get them on edge and get some pop out of them.

You are starting your turns with your upper body leaning in to the turn (e.g. 7 seconds). This either gets you in the back seat and/or forces you to pivot the skis through the top half of the turn. When you get the skis engaged at the fall line, they rocket you in to the next turn. This is a fun way to ski, but you'll often get caught like the turn at 8 seconds with your weight way in the back seat and those skis hanging in mid air. And on your recoveries, you'll be in a banked position like you are at 9 seconds. I also see you changing your stance width several times throughout the run. You are bringing your feet in close together at times in order to help get your weight to the inside of the turn.

You have the beginnings of a great cross under move as an element of your bag of tricks. Although one usually wants to make shallower turns in slushy snow, this run has enough pitch and you're getting enough grab on the snow to make snappy turns. To get to the next level of performance, we want to get the skis engaged earlier in the turn. This will get even more power into the turns, but also smooth them out. To do this, you will need to get your hips move involved in turn initiation either directly a) by moving the inside hip forward and into the new turn or b) by letting the legs finish the previous turn more so that they cut across the path of the body.

Think about how you make your pole touches now. There is a lot of vertical motion in your pole touch. As you reach down with the touch, your head and shoulders follow downhill too. In order to get the hips moving with the upper body, you need to make the pole swing less down the fall line and more towards the tips of the skis with your hands in front of your elbows instead of outside of them (hold your hands in front of you like you are holding a cafeteria tray, now move your right hand 80 degrees to the right - this is what you're doing - now move the right hand so it's only 20 degrees to the right - this is what I want you to do). This new pole swing should fire with a flick of the wrist and have less vertical movement. This should make it easier to keep your hips underneath your shoulders as you move to the inside of the new turn and allow you to make this move earlier in the turn process. We want to get the skis engaged on their downhill edges above the fall line as early as we can.

Another way to get the same result is to take more vertical with each turn. Look at how short a time you spend in each turn with both feet pointing directly down the fall line. A rounder turn will have your feet spending more time in the fall line. This will give you more acceleration in each turn. Right now, you're getting all your breaking power in the portion of your turn right after leaving the fall line. We need to let off of the brakes in this part of the turn and put them on later in the turn by staying in the turn until your skis are travelling more across the hill than they are now. This is using turn shape to control speed and edging/bracing less. If you let the skis speed away from the fall line, across the slope, it's easier to let them cross under the body as the body continues to move down the slope. This technique gets your hips to the inside of the turn by letting both feet travel to the outside of the body instead of using your core muscle to move your hips with the pole touch technique described above.

Max, you are very close to becoming a much more powerful skier. A gente ta se divertindo?

I deleted your other duplicate threads.
post #5 of 11

I read your entire post. I understood all of it!
I think is really nice that you took the time to post that much information

I liked the reminder about (The flick) I seem to be missing that this year.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Guys, thanks for first quick answers.

volklskier1 - No I am not Bob Peters client. Unfortunately never been to JH yet.

Ron WHite, therusty - Thanks for the analysis. I am currently trying to digest them.

therusty - o seu português é bom!
Regarding the duplicate threads. I had a problem when posting (the site gave me connecton time out error, so I reposted it. Only after the third time I checked and saw the other two attempts had gone through)

post #7 of 11
Abrigado Max,

(We have lifties from Brazil)

I forgot to add an important thing about getting the hips to the inside of the turn. As you are making this move, it helps a lot to let your new inside leg collapse/bend/get short and your outside leg get straight/long. If you look at your hips during the going away from the camera turns, you can see them get higher off the snow as you change edges. The long leg/short leg thing will keep the hips the same height throughout the whole turn. This adds a lot of performance to your turns.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just got back from work. After thinking about the advice given I have come with a couple of thoughts and questions:

1. What do I want to achieve in my skiing? Ski more effectively and efficiently by changing my olds school ways to a technique that is better suited for the current equipment. (less up move, less pivoting, carving my turns)

2. More stable upper body - ok I got that

3. Pole plant / arm position - When I watched the video the first time I was also appalled by my pole plants (especially my left arm). Got that, too

4. Relaxation of inside leg (long/short leg).. From my understanding relaxation (and tipping) of the new inside legand will help to bring my hips better into the turn, (with tipping) engage the edges in the early part of the turn and eliminate. Now, my question is: When do you start relaxing the new inside leg (shortly after the apex of the turn or later when the skis are close to crossing the fall line?)

5. Rounder turns - That's the hardest part for me. I also have perceived (not only in this video) that I am still pivoting a lot (although i am trying not to). Are there any exercises I can do to develop more patience and rounder turns?

I think it's time to get some lessons the next time I go skiing

Thanks again for your time, effort and helpful advice

post #9 of 11
Originally Posted by maxi View Post
Now, my question is: When do you start relaxing the new inside leg (shortly after the apex of the turn or later when the skis are close to crossing the fall line?)
Are there any exercises I can do to develop more patience and rounder turns?
There are some people that like to think about a turn starting in the fall line because some of the movements start there and there. Ideally (but understanding we never quite get to ideal), leg length is one of those movements. If you think of your outside leg as longest right at the moment you are in the fall line on one turn (using the normal definition of a turn) and shortest at the moment you are in the fall line in the next turn, then the movement of relaxing the inside leg does not really start when you change edges for the start of a new turn because it's a just a continuation of the relaxing movement from before the edge change. But it does help to think of relaxing the inside leg as soon as you start to change edges.

Two exercises I use to teach rounder turns are 1 turn and 10 toes. For one turn, from a standing position in the middle of a slope, make one turn and only one turn to get to an arbitrary point down the slope. You don't have to stop at the point, just cross over it. You get extra points if you cross over it travelling uphill. Pick spots farther down the trail (larger radius turns and higher speeds) until you run out of trail width or safety. For 10 toes, consciously hold your turns in the fall line until you get the feeling that all 10 of your toes are pointing directly down the fall line at the same time. Another exercise that is good for beginner slopes or flat cat tracks is called railroad tracks. This is making turns only by rolling your skis from one edge to the other. No turning of the feet is allowed at all! Check your ski tracks. If they are not pencil thin lines, you are turning your feet. Clue -> you have to move your ankles and your hips to make this work.
post #10 of 11

Now, my question is: When do you start relaxing the new inside leg (shortly after the apex of the turn or later when the skis are close to crossing the fall line?)
You want to keep your outside leg long and strong, but not letting the forces build up (that causes skidding). When you learn to involve your inside ski more by flexing into the outside of the tongue of the boot, that force that is building up will be directed into the direction of the turn. I think of softing that heavy feeling by using directional diagional movement into the turn. This keeps the skis moving along the length of the ski (toward the tips) rather than across the with of the ski (such as pushing down or adding weight). This should happen from the beginning of the turn, but it helps to think of being soft on the outside ski after the fall line where most of the forces we feel are building up.

Rounder turns - That's the hardest part for me. I also have perceived (not only in this video) that I am still pivoting a lot (although i am trying not to). Are there any exercises I can do to develop more patience and rounder turns?
Round turns are made by rotation the outside ski to form a half circle. An exercise I love is doing wedge turns on gentle terrain where the tip of the outside ski is rotated behind the tip of the inside ski. this may be hard at first, but once you get it, you will feel something very different from what you are used to. Next take it to more medium terrain, pay attention to where you are standing on the outside ski and how you move from turn to turn using this drill. Take it to parallel turns, but don't change how you are using the outside ski or how you move through one turn to the next. This is a wonderfull drill if done correctly, visit it often.

I am glad you answered my question, it helps us move you in the direction you want. I love your "old school skiing", you will love what the technology in the new skis have in store for you.

Hope this helps.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
therusty, Ron - Thanks for explanation of when to start the relaxation of the inside leg. I already was trying this move when trying to do carved turns but I think I was always stayed too long with my outside leg extended (almost until the skis were going across the hill) which made it hard to move into the next turn

therusty - thanks for the exercises, will try them out

Ron - thanks as well, but I don't think I understood the description of your drill, in particular, what do you mean by "where the tip of the outside ski is rotated behind the tip of the inside ski."?

I will be going to Whistler mid February. Hopefully I can post a video that shows some improvement after the trip.

Although this thread is better than private lessosns (wheredo you get two instructors per student), maybe I should get some real lessons at Whistler, too.


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