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Arm position in turn?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
As I am getting more comfortable on steeper pitches I noticed some nuances I am developing with my arm position in the turn.

My outside arm likes to rise and the inside arm descend. Is this something normal that results out of a latent tendency of the body to balance itself or is it something that should not occur? I have heard it is important to keep the inside arm raised. I am slightly countered and the inside arm is ahead of the outside but the outside arm raises above the inside.
post #2 of 13
Our hands should mirror the pitch of the slope when making all but fall line short radius turns. When we do this we are able to keep our shoulders and hips level.

You are right on about a strong inside half! The inside arm should still lead through the turn.

Try this:

Keep your arms forward, drag your pole tips at approx. your toes (this of course is dependent upon your height and length of your poles), and feel as if you are bending your poles by cocking your wrists.

If the pole tips remain on the snow your hands will match the pitch you are skiing and achieve the correct hand position.

The steeper the terrain the more noticeable the difference.
post #3 of 13
Good drill and a great explanation about why it is important to keep the shoulders parallel to the snow surface! Although I would add that all of this needs to be part of our movement pool. Being inclined verses being angulated becomes a question of intent and which part of the turn we are talking about. Inclination early is not a bad thing but later in a turn it tends to be less desirable. Mostly because it leaves us too far inside the turn. Which, in turn, requires the transition to a new turn to be a bigger move.
post #4 of 13
You should be reaching down the hill with your down hill arm like this....my inside hand and arm could be little more forward but lets not talk about that..

post #5 of 13
A high inside arm indicates more angulation, a low inside arm indicates more banking. The arm position is not really that important in its self its just a feature of other things you are doing. Its the things you are doing with your feet and hips that you want to change (or not). Changing those will inevitably lead to improve arm placement (or not). HTH
post #6 of 13
A higher outside ski hand will aid in keeping your shoulders level with the slope which will in turn help engage both skis into the turn. Hand position does matter. Try it both ways and see how it feels. The response of your edging with very little lead change is obviously improved with good hand position.
post #7 of 13
In my experience, a higher outside hand moves the hips to the outside and flattens the ski. He wasn't inquiring about racing techniques.
post #8 of 13
Flatten the skis ,engage the edges and off you go. What does Weems tell us in Brilliant Skiing ? Make a nice edge change , make round turns. this makes them both happen with little else going on to get in the way.

All of us need to make a clean edge change
post #9 of 13
If your hands are moving like you say, you are more than likely tipping your shoulders into the hill a bit, or rotating your shoulders into the turn, or not allowing the shoulders to move downhill through the last half of the turn. The steeps bring this out more but it is probably something that happens all the time. The solution? Well without actually seeing you ski that would be difficult to determine. What I would say is it sounds like this is a habit you want to change. So before you can change a habit, you need to understand why it is happening in the first place.

Think about your movements as "3D" skiing movements.
Deliberate (are you doing the move on purpose, or is it unintentional), Directional (moving only in the direction you chose)
Disciplined (appropriate "DIRT" for the terrain).

Some suggested activities would include double pole plants, single (outside) pole drags, double pole drags, holding your poles level to the snow, or maybe just raising your inside shoulder. All work on one issue, upper body discipline. Your hands are part of that and very important. Watch any racer trying to recenter. The first thing that they do is drive their hands forward into a disciplined (quiet) position.
post #10 of 13
skierxman,

I agree with jasp. Think of your hands and feet having the same relationship. Lower ski, lower hand, higher ski, higher hand. Then switch during transition as your feet move into different positions.

RW
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkierXMan View Post
As I am getting more comfortable on steeper pitches I noticed some nuances I am developing with my arm position in the turn.

My outside arm likes to rise and the inside arm descend. Is this something normal that results out of a latent tendency of the body to balance itself or is it something that should not occur? I have heard it is important to keep the inside arm raised. I am slightly countered and the inside arm is ahead of the outside but the outside arm raises above the inside.
In my opinion, its caused by trying to get too much out of Mt. Mansfield and carrying that to steeper terrain. There is only so much you can get out of a green run labled black in Ohiya. In trying to get more out of the whopping 18% slope you are driving your outside hand across which rotates your inside shoulder towards the snow.

You are a very fine skier. Back off the throttle, run a lighter touch on the skis and the problem should boringly go away.

Try some tracer turns. Its pretty hard to drive into the turn with those.

I am also guilty as charged.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies.

FWIW

I took a private level 6 lesson at HV yesterday. The first 2 runs I asked the instructor to follow me, just let me ski and he can observe what I am doing.

The first thing he said was I am doing great until I pick up a lot of speed then I start dropping my inside hand and lean into the snow-a common problem with skiers at my level I guess. This causes my skis to push into the hill and skid rather than let the ski come around cleanly using the shape of the ski. Technically over the course of the lesson he was saying what everyone here was alluding to about the position of the hips, feet, hand, etc.

I had a couple of drills....airplane turns on steep sections and a drill where I held the pole groups with the poles pointing out like a sword keeping them always pointed downhill. It felt a little weird at first but drove the point home. After the lesson when I practiced I noticed I would unwind at the end of the turn and just let the skis seek the fall line instead of swining them around. At the beginning of the turn on steep terain I was also used to throwing my skis around to start the next turn. This would also put me in a position leaning into the hill etc..

Its starting to make sense...now I think its just a matter of more confidence with speed and getting more comfortable with speed and letting my skis do what they are designed to do. It's like I know I can do it, I know what to do but when the speed picks up some unconscious instinct automatically takes over and says slow down! When I let the skis follow their natural arc on steep terrain the speed picks up real fast so I start reverting to the bad habits to scrub speed.
post #13 of 13
It sounds like you got your inside and outside hands confused. The inside hand is the hand lower on the slope. It is on the inside of the turn you are making.The outside hand is on the uphill side of your turn.
Your instructor did a good job at finding a solution to your habit. When your new outside hand reverses at the end of your turn reverse the one which is higher keeping the uphill hand higher than the downhill hand. JASP suggested a dragging pole touch and double pole touches. These also reinforce the proper position of your shoulders.
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