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Falling - Page 2

post #31 of 72
Yes, i do know!
My big fall this year was at the top of Spring Dipper (it's FLAT), I was on one ski, as that was part of the exercise. Turned to look and speak to my kid, caught the downhill edge and BLAM.
(and then the little rat told the boss later, who got on his radio...grrrr. You should have seen all the clowns trying to scam beer off me for nights to come).

Actually, showing off is bound to result in a fall too. This is one of the Laws of Physics and The Universe.
post #32 of 72
I always thought you were supposed to fall sometimes, which is why God made the snow soft.
post #33 of 72
The idea that, "if you fall, then you're doing something wrong", is ridiculous. It comes from people who NEVER venture into extremely variable terrain or snow conditions. It also comes from people who rarely approach the 'edge' of their abilities in order to expand them.

If you DO move off the beaten, unmanicured path occasionally, you'll realize that snow and terrain can change very abruptly - without ANY visual clues - and can change what might otherwise be a balanced stance into an unplanned forward sommersault. A good skier can take this in stride by tucking their head & arms and carry through the roll to completetion where they can segway into the next turn without missing a beat. A skier who "doesn't need to fall" (as per Ott), or a skier who "can't learn anything from a fall" (as per Barnes), will never develop this (and tons of other) simple recovery techniques which involves........ FALLING.

The same goes for people pushing the limits of speed, or steepness that they are comfortable with. There's many variables at speed and in steeps that can NOT be duplicated by going slowly on smooth green groomers. When you're suddenly faced with these variables for the first time, you either luck out in making the correct adjustment... or you don't. In case of the latter, it sure is nice to have a bombproof recovery technique already engrained.

Unfortunately, instructors (who think as the above) steer subtly around the issue and end up doing a great disservice to students - especially beginners whom are most bound to end up taking a tumble. But how can an instructor even know this if they spend all their time avoiding falling because of the need to 'look good' on the slopes?

Rather than trying to avoid it, If you learn how fall correctly so as to minimalize the potential for injury, and be able to use the fall to your advantage, your confidence will go up considerably in ALL situations on the mountain.

And a good fall can sometimes be the best part of a day!
post #34 of 72
I am all with cheap seats on this one.

This thread had many humorous responses in me come out, but never make it to post. I guess the subject is too significant to jest away. 'a self image thing.

I do not mind a fall, and I search for the extremes in variable conditions when I ski. That is my pleasure, and sometimes the mountain gets the upper hand. But, as with the thread on an adventurous life style, I prefer not getting hurt. For me, falling does not imply getting hurt, or even making an error. (though often errors (apprehensions) are why the fall).

I recently attended an open house for the new Akaido Dojo in my town. I noticed that The Fall is part of the practice. The fall is part of the harmony of the discipline. From this brief exposure, I find I would like to learn to fall. I may even pay money to take lessons to learn to fall correctly. I would do this to better my skiing and feel that it would be a wiser move than to take ski instructions to learn how to "not fall"

Hmmm... That is significant!

post #35 of 72
Thread Starter 
Cheaps, that is what I think about it...

Coming off an acl recon, i almost NEED to fall, or im going to ski ultra-conservatively untill I do, fearing the worst. Taking a good header will actually HELP my confidence. I need to realize every fall does not result in an injury, and I guess i need to learn how to fall CORRECTLY.

Speaking of, Im surprised more people did not vote for the putting the hands in front and leaning forward answer, a la Vermont Ski Saftey video.

What would an instructor do if, when He/she asks what I want out of a lesson, I answer, "I want to learn how to fall correctly?"

If the answer was "you just dont fall" I think at that point I would need to find another instructor? What is the answer?
post #36 of 72
>>>A good skier can take this in stride by tucking their head & arms and carry through the roll to completetion where they can segway into the next turn without missing a beat. A skier who "doesn't need to fall" (as per Ott), or a skier who "can't learn anything from a fall"<<<

There hardly is a situation where, if caught unexpectantly, you can't hop, sidestep, shift weight to the uneffected ski, drop deep, release or jam edges, etc. to get you out of trouble.

And if you can't, you need to learn. And all you can learn from falling is that you've made a mistake. You learn from not falling and recovery.

>>>it sure is nice to have a bombproof recovery technique already engrained.<<<

Right. And contrary to your belief, I think when on steeps or in snow conditions above your head, or when making tight turns in a dense hardwood forest it is imperative NOT to fall.

Any fall is dangerous and raises the possibility of injury, if it is on that steep, in that forest or off a ladder in your driveway. It's best to stay on your feet and progress gradually to learn terrain and conditions instead of jumping into it and fall.

Falling is a bad habit and is usually defended by skiers who fall a lot.

post #37 of 72
By the subtlety of some of your choices for answers, it sounds like you've spent wayyy too
many hours on ya' back in rehab!, or another way of puttin' it..*in paddler_talk*..ya' need to get out on the water and GeT TrAsHeD! a bit...
(on the beautiful Upper Pemi...that is..
*So how's the rehab coming...?

[img]tongue.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #38 of 72
Thread Starter 
rehab's good...ive been cleared for kayaking, rollerblading, hiking....wooo hooo! Upper pemi? no, Sea kayaking.....
post #39 of 72
Originally posted by Ott Gangl:

There hardly is a situation where, if caught unexpectantly, you can't hop, sidestep, shift weight to the uneffected ski, drop deep, release or jam edges, etc. to get you out of trouble.
How 'bout this:
...Hitting an unseen submerged branch or obstacle.
...Hitting a dense windpacked snow drift which blends evenly with the surrounding fluffy powder.
...Landing a small air into a pocket of powder, the depth which you misjudged.
...Having an uncontrolled young skier come flying airborn out of the woods directly into your path, leaving you the option of collision, or releasing your edges while laid way over in a heavy carve.
...Having your downhill ski prerelease just as you're about to pressure it to avoid a big, solid aspen while tree skiing.
...Catching your tip on a gate because the rutty course you're in is bouncing your tips around like a 3-year-old firing a machine gun.
...Popping a perfect 30 foot parkstyle jump but coming up just short of the landing transition.
...Popping a perfect 30 foot parkstyle jump, but over shooting the landing transition.

Originally posted by Ott Gangl:

I think when on steeps or in snow conditions above your head, or when making tight turns in a dense hardwood forest it is imperative NOT to fall.

Falling is a bad habit and is usually defended by skiers who fall a lot.
When skiing in steeps, or steep trees... a modified falling technique (that some have termed 'shmearing') helps greatly in reducing speed in tight places that don't allow for conventional speed-bleeding. The major controlling surface is NOT your skis. It's a great bail-out move that kids should learn from day "one"! It's literally saved my life more than once, it's fun and blends in easily with conventional turning technique. You won't be able to learn it from an instructor tho - they wouldn't be caught dead touching the snow with anything other than their skis or poles... even if it were functional.

Yeah, I've fallen plenty in my life. I even spent two years just learning how to fall. I don't regret it a bit. I'm never embarassed when I fall - quite the opposite. When I fall it means i'm trying something new and am in the learning process - something I hope I never stop doing.

Learning something new is quite different than refining technique that you already have, but i'm sure It's probably been too long for *some* people to remember that.
post #40 of 72

It is not a real fall unless'
You are on your butt and....
Both feet are off the snow!

When I take a real fall, I usually can't remember anything anyway, so, no.. I can't remember having ever fallen.

Help.. I've fallen and can't reach my beer!

post #41 of 72
Cheaps, hitting branches and submerged rocks can be rough on the skis but need not trip you, neither do changing snow conditions, there is time to react.

As far as another skier or boarder crossing your path, it's just like the rocks, as a former SSD of mine used to say: "When you need to set your edges, they will hold, on ice, on rocks and on human beings". [img]smile.gif[/img]

As for your airborn maneuvers, you need to judge while still on the snow, once you are in the air there is nothing you can do since that is the only place your edges are useless.

Laying down intentionly is not falling, hip checks are used sometimes, though they get you off your edges and I do think edges are more effective, but I do remember skiing in Europe where the lower slopes go through farmers fields encountering some fences which were too high for the galendesprung anticipated and the only good out was to put them sideways, lay down and slide underneith that barbed wire, though it's tough to explain to mom that rip in your good jacket you got for Christmas...

But to each his own. Have you ever considered what would have happened had you spent those two years practicing to stay upright?

post #42 of 72
It is not a real fall unless'
You are on your butt and....
Both feet are off the snow!
That puts falls into good perspective. Most of us will recall that Bode Miller had a qualifying fall, by these criteria, and ended up with an Olympic medal around his neck! Ingemar Stenmark won at least one race in which he fell too, as I recall.

That's how unimportant falls are!

One sure way to tell who the novices and lower intermediates are in the bar at the end of the day: they know how many times they fell--and they talk about it, and may even brag about how few falls they took. The experts may or may not have fallen. Most would have to think hard to remember, because, unless they are truly "epic," most falls are truly insignificant!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #43 of 72
I'll step in here and say that I totally agree with what Cheap Seats has said. Skiing to not fall leads to mediocrity.

And Ott, how can you possibly stay upright when hitting a submerged branch with speed in powder? It would be DANGEROUS to try and recover. You're way better off letting your ski tip take its deflected route and roll over. Saves your knees that way - I know from experience. And, what about ice? Clearly any NE skier who skies aggressively is going to misread the snow once in a while and bash their hip into the ice after losing edge grip. That is unavoidable, IMHO. Or, maybe you get tired at the end of the day; this can also result in falls. It's a fact of life. I love reading your posts and I totally respect you and your opinions, but I really don't know where you and Barnes are coming from on this. If someone tells me they never fall, I say they're full of you know what. (sorry)
post #44 of 72
Tony, as I said before, I don't put myself in those situations, if it looks iffy, I stay out of it and I have reached seventy without a joint replacement [img]smile.gif[/img]

If you are learning and do so by daring, you will fall, as probably would I. I see skiers zipperlining bumps at speed and crash several times a run while others on the same hill keep constant cotrolled speed, with enough time to be able to judge the terrain and plan the turns and not fall. I'd rather go with the latter.

Why WOULD you want to fall? Sure, misjudgement or carelessness, inattention, etc. could make you fall, but some of us don't do that

post #45 of 72
On second thought, who am I to tell you what chances you should or should not take, it is up to you, really.

Since in almost all my posts I speak of first hand experiences, let me say that I rip where I can see my way clear and I am careful when things are uncertain.

I'm just saying if you fall, be careful you may hurt yourself.

I apologize if I sounded glib in some of the above posts....

post #46 of 72
I am not as old as Ott, but old enough so that most falls I take result in something I have to live with for usually a month or longer. I don't fall very often, but when I do it is usually a good one. I still accept that as part of my skiing and still take chances. Just don't like any down time.
post #47 of 72
I'm still behind Ott on this one, totally. Falling is NO FUN.

If my students state they want to learn how to fall, I congratulate them for wanting to be safe when skiing, and then we practise collapsing onto our hips.

One ought to be able to adjust to changing snow and terrain, or keeping enough in reserve for those "unexpected" eventualities, like people popping out. Falling in those situations puts everyone at risk.

What's the hurry? Why is it necessary to ski balls to the wall on your first descent of a run? Is it a race?
post #48 of 72
Originally posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />It is not a real fall unless'
You are on your butt and....
Both feet are off the snow!
That's how unimportant falls are!

Most would have to think hard to remember, because, unless they are truly "epic," most falls are truly insignificant!
</font>[/quote]Aye carumba! When you form a picture of Herman Maier in your head, where are his feet and what is he doing? Me, they are way over his head in what I think was the most important picture taken in his career. And it's a damn good bet that Miller, Stenmark, and every other racer has fallen plenty in their career . THAT is where they learned how to make an epic recovery, not by theorizing a remedy to a situation they feel they don't need to actually experience.

There are plenty of skiers out there (good skiers as well) that normally travel at a pace where a fall would not be 'insignificant' at all.

You know, Ott must have been extremely clairvoiant to have bothered learning the recovery techniques he's suggested without ever having first experienced the problems that lead to their need. I'm sure when he first tried windsurfing or waterskiing or riding a bicycle, he probably never fell either because he was completely familiar with all the problems he would encounter, and had already developed a remedy for them.

Falls often do NOT hurt if you've learned how to do them correctly. You aren't doing yourself or your students any good by shying away from them...

It's life:
you try something,
you may succeed,
you might fall down,
you get up and try again,
it makes you stronger

That "walk away to ski another day" attitude is no way to go through life
post #49 of 72
One thing is for sure now that I'm 37 and post ACL recon: I definitely don't take the risks that I used to, except maybe on a deep pow day. I don't get a lot of great skiing in, so when I get the chance to ski powder, there are no warmup runs.

I am definitely in a hurry to ski balls to the wall on my first descent in that situation. I will likely fall. Not because I like or want to, but because I am competitive by nature, am pushing my limits and really don't know the meaning of moderation. That is my personality shining through. Not gonna let everyone else get the goods.

I notice that I ski much, much worse if I worry about falling. I don't know what it is, but if I put powder cords on, invariably I will crash and burn, and then it can take forever to get moving again after jerking around with the cords, so I worry about falling with the stupid cords. When I don't wear the cords, I am not thinking about it, and I ski better. Makes no sense, really, since I should be more worried about losing a ski than being inconvenienced by the cords. Just thinkin out loud.
post #50 of 72
Cheap seats. there is no reason to get sarcastic, this is just a civil discussion, at least I think so.

To answer some of your concerns I will quote from my first post in this thread, it should explain some things:

>>>The reason is that many years ago I decided that it just wasn't necessary to fall and I worked on that for a very long time with the payoff that I just don't fall anymore.<<<<

I have been seriously skiing since I was thirteen, and putzing around before that, that is 57 years now, and was falling plenty for 15 years or so, long before I became an instructor.

Then I told myslef that falling has to stop!

And that where the above quote comes in. I practiced NOT falling a lot longer than you practiced falling, believe me.

I learned to ski blue ice, slow and fast and slide and jam the edges and hockey stop on that ice. I learned that when my skis started to slide out from under me I could regain balance by throwing my arms in the direction of the slide just as it started and slide in control with the skis until they gained a purchase.

I learned that sliding into or getting caught by a rock or branch I could jump up and displace my skis downhill or simply lift my downhill ski until I was past.

I learned, the hard way,that when hitting unexpected patches of slow or fast snow I could collapse with my chest to my knees and hands driven forward and keep balance. The hard way, because I once hit some mashed potatos unexpectantly on a sunny patch of snow and collapsed and drove my fists into the snow and skied over the outside of my left thumb and the burred edge cut through my leather glove and cut a deep wound and I still don't have feeling on the outside of that thumb.

I also learned that I better not get myself into situations which are potentially crippling. Favorite runs in Aspen for Ann and me were the trees on the face of Bell and Silver Queen until coming around one of those pines on Bell I skied over a man just laying there, though I cut up his clothes pretty bad I didn't injure him. But I stayed out of those trees since.

In the late 70s our ski school uniforms were the Bonnie Bell wet look and one of our lady instructors fell on top of Silver Queen and slid all the way to the bottom, when we got to her, both of her arms were dislocated, she broke one shoulder and had numerous sprains, I have not skied Silver Queen sice.

So you see, I learned and I learned and I learned. I was not born, as you suggest, knowing how not to fall but rather put myself into rough situation on purpose to learn how to recover, it really isn't that hard.

post #51 of 72
Ott, you're right. My parents rarely, if ever, fall. It's experience and being savvy enough to know to avoid injury. Smart. That's why some can ski beautifully into their 70's.
post #52 of 72
Ryan, I was just about to answer your post, what happened to it???

post #53 of 72
Originally posted by Ott Gangl:
Cheap seats. there is no reason to get sarcastic, this is just a civil discussion, at least I think so.
Yeah, it was sarcastic, but it's pretty hard to listen to someone who, on the one hand is trying to convince people that you don't need to fall while learning to ski, yet on the other hand freely admits that falling was part of their learning experience.

A boxer learns to block punches, but he also learns to roll with punches because it's not always possible for them to block every punch. Same with a skier. Myself, I could go out and ski the rest of my life without ever falling again but, i'd probably die of boredom. It'd be like a boxer boxing with a one-armed stroke victim.

All I'm saying is, falling IS part of the learning process *at any level*. So why not learn how to fall correctly from the start so that when you screw up it doesn't hurt as much? (and everyone does screw up unless they are no longer willing to push their limits). If you're comfortable with your ability to fall correctly, you won't think as much about falling, and as most people here have pointed out -- you do much better and can push yourself further if you don't have that extra worry to deal with.

CS out
post #54 of 72

sorry, it ran WAY long-winded. hopefully, you got the basics and realize i was simply seeking some clarification. anyway, don't worry about it. i WILL pull an example from the previous post...

given the speed (lack of) and terrain (lack of) i encounter skiing with my girlfriend, chances of me falling are considerably diminished. but i try to make the most of the time on skis. for example, i might try spinning 180's or 360's. it might look like hot-dogging, and if i fall doing it, i'm sure it looks like a showoff getting his just desserts (namely, a face plant pie). but while showboating might seem the intent, it's really me playing with the feel of flat, or edged, skis. it's me learning some subtelty and a bit more about balance. i can almost always do this without falling now but it took several attempts before i got the feel. in other words, i was falling, yes, but also learning.

(now, of course, there might be other ways, less likely to result in a fall, of making these small discoveries; but this has worked well. and it's fun.)

anyway, you get the idea. and you read my note on learning powder. kind of hard to avoid falling when moving off the groomed into an entirely different way of skiing. and i know of no way of simulating this apart from getting in the powder. maybe it comes naturally to some, and they're up and floating right away but it has not been the case for me.

but after the trail and error - the feedback from the hill - i have improved my powder skiing. the process has, though, involved a little "getting some on me." i can barely conceive of a way around that.

thanks for your ear.

(you'll get it back in the mail )
post #55 of 72
>>>>who, on the one hand is trying to convince people that you don't need to fall while learning to ski, yet on the other hand freely admits that falling was part of their learning experience.<<<<

Well that's where we differ, all I ever learned from falling is that I didn't want to do it.

The learning started when I made a concerted effort NOT to fall. I skied quite well before that but never analyzed why I fell, and then I found that I was letting my attention lapse, was not paying enough attention to the conditions or terrain, fooled around and basically was too young.

Only when I was determined not to fall much anymore did I get disciplined in my skiing, no more flailing arms or looking around or being surprised by upcoming terrain.

Now, in my waning years, I try not to lose too many of my skiing skills or take any uneccessary chances, if I fell now it would probably take me a while to get up.

I have explained now in many ways my take on not falling, now I would like to hear from you why you fall and what you learn everytime youfall.

post #56 of 72
post #57 of 72
OK, ryan, skiers at your stage who try new things like powder skiing without help, which preferably would come from an instructor, has to experiment by trial and error. Mostly error.And since you really don't know what and how to do it, you fall.

An instructor could put you through a few turns at a time until you get the feel, but learning anything on your own you takes your chances.

Except for instructors on the job, there is no penalty for falling except a possible injury. But we are talking about practicing maneuvers, not free skiing.

And moe people fall on the flats than on the hill. On catwalks or on outruns good skiers make long gentle turns, but turn all the time unless it is poling flat. That puts you always on somewhat of an edge and you cut across the ruts left by skiers running straight. Straight runs in a rutted area are not as easy as you might think, the skis always wanbt to deflect and it is easy to catch an edge.

Your 180s and 360s are something for you to play around but how many ripping skiers do yousee doing them?

Also, falls by experts are fairly rare, you can go all day at A-basin and watch skiers come down the steeps and from the east wall and rarely will you see someone fall.

But falling, weather I walk on the street, climb the stairs from the basement or ski is someting I try to avoid. But coming up the stairs from my basement I at least wont get hit by a snowborder

post #58 of 72

we'll leave it there. I do respect your two cents. I'd submit that the instructor isn't going to stop a newbie to powder from falling. he/she can say all they want, but it's a very different feel. speaking only for myself, all the words in the world might help a little - my brain will "get it." but the body must still be shown the way and learn how the right moves feel.
and knowing what little i know, i'm not likely to blame the instructor for me falling. there's only so much he/she can do. and i ain't going down the hill with someone holding my hand.

all i'm saying is that i've learned from trial-and-error. some errors were falls. and i learned.
post #59 of 72
>>> there's only so much he/she can do. <<<

Well. I'll let the instructors on here answer that.

post #60 of 72
Currently nursing a deep purple bruise that goes around my butt, down my leg, encompasses my knee, a bit of the calf, covering the tailbone and sneaking up the spine.  Heh.  Can't remember the fall that did this to me....all I know is that about 3:30P my hip started to stiffen.  By next day it was sore and I didn't think it prudent to ski....bruise didn't show up for almost 5 days (and 48 hours of icing)!  Suddenly it was a doozy! Eggplant purple and very sore.  I was skiing very aggressively off-piste with an "8" class and do remember one, seemingly easy fall done purposely to avoid a tree about 2P.  Not any pain to speak of; got back up and finished the run, going on to several other mogul runs.  

I fall at least once a ski day because I push the edge of my capabilities.  They are almost always controlled landings, though.  Rarely do I make a spectacular biff - you know the kind, multiple somersaults, yard sale, head backwards slide to the bottom of the hill.  The only time I had a significant injury was coming out of the trees on an easy blue run.  Fell on a twisted shoulder and cracked the humerus.  Diamonds seem to focus a person's skills better than the easy stuff.....
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