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What gives you anxiety?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
As a newcomer or intermediate, what makes you anxious and fearfull? Is it speed, steep slopes, moguls, or something else?

My biggest anxiety is not being in control and feeling like I don't have control of the situation while skiing. Also, when I start going fast I think "boy if I were to fall down now..." and get defensive.

I am also afraid of skiing near trees or lift poles, as I worry if I slip and fall I would go right into them.
post #2 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulR View Post
...My biggest anxiety is not being in control and feeling like I don't have control of the situation while skiing. Also, when I start going fast I think "boy if I were to fall down now..." and get defensive.
from reading some of your other threads, I'd say work on your technique on some easier terrain first, thinking of using your turns to go where you want to go rather than for control. When you get used to using turns to "go there," take that to the terrain that you want to ski, using that same technique, using your line for control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulR View Post
...

I am also afraid of skiing near trees or lift poles, as I worry if I slip and fall I would go right into them.
I'm sure others will chime in here as well; but, don't ski near ski poles and trees - ski near the spaces between the trees and the spaces around the poles. What you focus in on is what you will ski toward. Look at the spaces, not the objects adjacent to the spaces. Definitely a mental thing, but that and practice is what dispelling anxiety is all about.
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
from reading some of your other threads, I'd say work on your technique on some easier terrain first, thinking of using your turns to go where you want to go rather than for control. When you get used to using turns to "go there," take that to the terrain that you want to ski, using that same technique, using your line for control.



I'm sure others will chime in here as well; but, don't ski near ski poles and trees - ski near the spaces between the trees and the spaces around the poles. What you focus in on is what you will ski toward. Look at the spaces, not the objects adjacent to the spaces. Definitely a mental thing, but that and practice is what dispelling anxiety is all about.
Tha all makes sense. Now that you mention the turning thing I would say I definately turn to 'slow' my progress rather than go where I want. I can turn to move out of the way of something or head in the direction I want but I think mainly I turn when I feel I go too fast and want to slow down. I guess this would be termed 'defensive' skiing rather than taking the initiative.
post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulR View Post
I turn when I feel I go too fast and want to slow down. I guess this would be termed 'defensive' skiing rather than taking the initiative.
That defensive skiing sounds like a very good idea. I turn up the hill too if there is a crowd of people down below or some big nasty bumps and I'm going 50 mph on my way to 70 mph, or if I'm on a pair of skis that can't handle the speed I would get by going straight down. There is nothing wrong with that in my book.

The only thing that makes me feel anxiety is watching my kids ski when they are pushing their luck, especially if they followed me onto a trail that might be a little above their level.
post #5 of 35

Anxiety

Like you, Paul R, not feeling in control can make me feel anxious.

That could mean being on a slope that seems steep or hearing the sound of ice under my skis (I don't recognize ice when I look ahead...unless I'm alreay familiar with the trail and know it's an icy area). The more exposure I have to both though, the more familiar it seems and the less anxious I feel. Over time, a slope that looked steep to me starts to look flatter and flatter. The most helpful thing seems to be to spend time focusing on how everything feels...to reinforce what feels right and what doesn't.
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
That defensive skiing sounds like a very good idea. I turn up the hill too if there is a crowd of people down below or some big nasty bumps and I'm going 50 mph on my way to 70 mph, or if I'm on a pair of skis that can't handle the speed I would get by going straight down. There is nothing wrong with that in my book.

The only thing that makes me feel anxiety is watching my kids ski when they are pushing their luck, especially if they followed me onto a trail that might be a little above their level.
Wow ! 70MPH . When I refer to fast I am talking perhaps 20mph....thats enough for me and I start getting nervous. I dont think I will ever be a high speed or fast skier, simply as a matter of level of comfort rather than anything else.

Did you ever fall down going that fast?
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulR View Post
Wow ! 70MPH . When I refer to fast I am talking perhaps 20mph....thats enough for me and I start getting nervous. I dont think I will ever be a high speed or fast skier, simply as a matter of level of comfort rather than anything else.

Did you ever fall down going that fast?
The more you ski the more used to speed you become. It also depends on the skis you are on. There are some skis that don't feel particularly safe at 20 mph. In the meantime there is no need to go on hills that are too steep for you. If turning where you want to go and making lots of turns has you going faster than you want to go, then ski on less steep runs. Wait until you are confident in your ability to control your direction before you go faster. That should prevent bad habits from developing.

When I was a young man, I always wanted to go faster. Now I'm a little more sensible. I have fallen on a motorbike at about 170 kph. It hurt, a lot. As for skiing, it's hard to say; the speed wasn't measured. I was going pretty fast and realized I was going to crash and put the brakes on for a while before lining up for a jump over a wind ridge that had blown up across my path. I was still going scary fast when I hit the ridge. I remember being careful that my knees would hit my shoulders and not my chin, as I tried to absorb as much of the ridge as I could. I don't remember what happened next, just waking up in the air. Lucky for me, I regained consciousness before before coming back down to ground level. Also lucky for me the snow was about 20 feet deep and soft. Also lucky I didn't hit anything other than snow. Also lucky the slope was still steep where I landed. Some people have all the luck.
post #8 of 35
Remind yourself of the paradox of skiing...the more aggressive your movements are, the more control you have to ski any speed you want. The more timid your movements are, the less control you have. Learn the correct movements, then apply them very aggressively on easy slopes for drill. When the situation isn't that easy, you'll have these movements available to you, hopefully automatically.

Keep in mind that equipment can contribute big time to lack of control. Sloppy boots, skis that are too stiff/long, or anatomical problems keep you from being in control.
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
The more you ski the more used to speed you become. It also depends on the skis you are on. There are some skis that don't feel particularly safe at 20 mph. In the meantime there is no need to go on hills that are too steep for you. If turning where you want to go and making lots of turns has you going faster than you want to go, then ski on less steep runs. Wait until you are confident in your ability to control your direction before you go faster. That should prevent bad habits from developing.

When I was a young man, I always wanted to go faster. Now I'm a little more sensible. I have fallen on a motorbike at about 170 kph. It hurt, a lot. As for skiing, it's hard to say; the speed wasn't measured. I was going pretty fast and realized I was going to crash and put the brakes on for a while before lining up for a jump over a wind ridge that had blown up across my path. I was still going scary fast when I hit the ridge. I remember being careful that my knees would hit my shoulders and not my chin, as I tried to absorb as much of the ridge as I could. I don't remember what happened next, just waking up in the air. Lucky for me, I regained consciousness before before coming back down to ground level. Also lucky for me the snow was about 20 feet deep and soft. Also lucky I didn't hit anything other than snow. Also lucky the slope was still steep where I landed. Some people have all the luck.
Wow..you are like a cat with nine lives ! Glad to hear you were ok from your motorcycle accident. Those are scary stories.

I found the older I get the more conservative I get. I don't think even if I had the skill to ski 'fast'(a relative term I guess) I would be comfortable with it. Thats just my personality. I am pretty cautious and conseravative in my approach to most things. As far as skiing I probably ski around the 5-15mph range most of the time on green runs and blue runs that are not overly steep and dont have lots of bumps on them. I have never measured my speed but like I said 20mph is probably the top end of my comfort level before the thought of the consequences of falling or colliding with someone or something creep into my mind.

Really my biggest anxiety when skiing is not hurting myself but hurting someone else - especially a little kid. Lots of people at my skill level I think like to straightline runs and pick up the speed but I like to 'keep it real' as they say today. I would rather look like an old coot taking his time than having to explain to a parent how I ran into their child.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulR View Post
I would rather look like an old coot taking his time than having to explain to a parent how I ran into their child.
I agree with this statement 100%. Running into a child is the last thing I would want to do. What skis do you have?
post #11 of 35
Guys, this is the "Beginner Forum." Is it really the place we should be discussing 70mph ski speeds or what ski someone is on?
post #12 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
I agree with this statement 100%. Running into a child is the last thing I would want to do. What skis do you have?
Well, besides my old Nordica straight skis I have a pair of Atomic E-7 skis I rchased 3 years ago when I got back into skiing. I also have a brand new pair of Fischer RX6 I just purchased from last years discunted inventory for only $325+ free shipping. The last lesson I had the instructor said the E7 model will not likely be a good tool to work on edgework as it is a bit wide and a very soft beginner ski. I also have Atomic B80 boots with custom footbeds.

I wasnt meaning to imply you woud run into people - just me. I really have no business going fast IMO. I am pretty realistic about my abilities and got over my adreneline addiction many years ago so I am pretty content in the slow lane learning as I go. I see too many people at my relatively new level trying to hotdog it - none of my business but I don't like being near these skiers. In fact the only people that have run into me are these skiers at my level, not the experienced guys going fast. I know it sounds weird but I am afraid of my own kind! It really doesnt make me nervous when I see someone who obviously knows what they are doing blow by me. Someone in a wedge or skidding down the hill like me gives me pause when i see them heading my way at a fast clip.
post #13 of 35
PaulR,

For me (no beginner), what makes me nervous in skiing are things out of my control, such as sudden stops while riding the lift and reckless skiers near me.

From my experience, things that make other skiers nervous or anxious are:

not feeling in control
fear of falling and hurting themselves
fear of hights
ungroomed terrain
getting on too diffucult terrain
getting hit by another skier
hitting another skier
fear of the lift
someone taking their equipment
flat light conditions
to name a few.

RW
post #14 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
PaulR,

For me (no beginner), what makes me nervous in skiing are things out of my control, such as sudden stops while riding the lift and reckless skiers near me.

From my experience, things that make other skiers nervous or anxious are:

not feeling in control
fear of falling and hurting themselves
fear of hights
ungroomed terrain
getting on too diffucult terrain
getting hit by another skier
hitting another skier
fear of the lift
someone taking their equipment
flat light conditions
to name a few.

RW
My two biggest fears are not feeling in control while skiing and fear of getting plowed into by another skier.

Lifts don't bother me accept when someone starts bouncing the chairs on purpose. One time last year at Hpliday Valley a group of teens thought it was funny to bounce up and down in a line of 3 successive chairs. I looked up at the cable bouncing up and down and there was a wave pattern going on and i was hoping it didnt disconnect when I got to one of the crossover towers. I looked back at one of them to ask them politely to stop and they just cussed me out.
post #15 of 35
PaulR,
No worries, no implication read into your statement. I'm just agreeing with you. I'm also pointing out that no matter how many decades someone's been skiing at what other's might consider insane speeds, your decisions would still be appropriate.

I asked about your skis, just because I suspected they could be contributing to your level of discomfort at speed. Those E7s for example were designed to be forgiving and soft and easy, but not to go over 20 or 25 mph. You feel like you're not in control at faster speeds partly because they do not provide much in the way of control at those speeds. At 20 or 25 mph on those skis I would be doing the same thing you are, turning uphill.

The RX6 is no racing ski, but it will probably expand your comfort range quite a bit. They should also manage a better uphill turn on the steeps.
post #16 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
PaulR,
No worries, no implication read into your statement. I'm just agreeing with you. I'm also pointing out that no matter how many decades someone's been skiing at what other's might consider insane speeds, your decisions would still be appropriate.

I asked about your skis, just because I suspected they could be contributing to your level of discomfort at speed. Those E7s for example were designed to be forgiving and soft and easy, but not to go over 20 or 25 mph. You feel like you're not in control at faster speeds partly because they do not provide much in the way of control at those speeds. At 20 or 25 mph on those skis I would be doing the same thing you are, turning uphill.

The RX6 is no racing ski, but it will probably expand your comfort range quite a bit. They should also manage a better uphill turn on the steeps.

Exactly. The E7 is really nice to start with, especially when the snow is soft, but when it gets harder or steeper they feel like I have no control when I pick up speed, even skidding at higher speeds makes me nervous as they tend to do their own thing at higher speeds, and they bounce around easily when skidded in any broken snow. The ski served me well in my transition to modern skis but there is something definately lacking in it once I pick up the speed a little. At the end of the season I rode on a Fischer RX8 last year in size 165, at Holiday Valley rental. Thats why I got the idea I really want to learn the new technique. Everything I tried was much more solid feeling and I was edging pretty much like on my old straght nordicas. I was much more comfortable in the 15-20mph range on those. I decided to get the RX6 as it probably will be a better advancement tool and more forgving in this regards, and was cheaper too.
post #17 of 35
Interesting question (original one: what gives you anxiety). For me personally it's not so much the pitch of the slope (within reason for my skill level) as long as it's groomed. But give me an even less steeply pitched slope with cut-up snow or deep stuff where I feel tossed around and out of control, and I get really anxious. The fun level drops considerably. I need to develop additional skills. That's the thing (deep snow) I want to work on this season.
post #18 of 35
Several Things...

1) The first season's day at the mountain;
2) The first black;
3) A fog day;
4) A cross-trails with no signals and the feeling that you have right and wrong way to chose;


That's it!!:
post #19 of 35

Anxiety

PaulR. Levels and types of anxieties differ with all of us. 20 mph is fast for you and causes you anxiety. I was there once, many years ago. One of the unique elements of skiing is that fact. Your anxiety in regards to speed will change as you get more experience. 1 or 2 years/seasons from now you will look back at this question and smile to yourself. Why because by then (if you ski enough) you will be able to straight tuck that same run at 40 mph and be confortable doing so.

I can distinctly remember looking up at the hill of Sierra Ski Ranch (Tahoe) when I was a new skier and saying to myself; "No way will I ever do that". That was then and today is now and those runs are easy for me now. Enjoy your growth through the years and savor the thrill of 20mph, don't worry aboout it, challege yourself once in awhile and ski 25 mph - the thrill will capture you forever to this great sport.

Anxiety from speed, moguls, cornices, steeps, racing, powder, chutes, trees all are part of the life long experience. Don't Worry just savor the years.
post #20 of 35
As a long time ski teacher and longer time skier, one thing that I think I have in common with my students is I fear being the worst skier in the group....


Which might be one subconscious reason I like to teach...
post #21 of 35
the number of beer cans i find lying around the bases of lift towers
post #22 of 35

What gives me anxiety?

The technique and analysis forum.
post #23 of 35
Wow, my first post ever here. Can't believe I didn't try this skiing thing sooner, even if the first day was work friends saying "pizza to slow down, sidestep to climb small gradients. Step on that thing on back to release your boot. Now get on the chairlift. Now ski down this 'easy' run". Something like 8 or 10 falls later... I was back on the chairlift I feel really bad for the guy who took pretty much all day to get down the same slope, or the other guy who was too scared to even try and had to be snowmobiled back down. Obviously not a good way to get people hooked on the sport, but somehow I actually had some fun. What was I thinking? :

I've gone exactly 5 times total now, and so far I actually feel pretty good on blue runs (and even some of the blue/blacks at Breckenridge). Yes, playing hockey for a while (couple of years) does help with balance and stopping, but it's still not quite the same. I'm sure I should take lessons to ski properly but for now I'm usually having too much fun anyway to worry about it.

Now what gives me anxiety more than anything else, is when my skis start bouncing because I've hit some small bumps that weren't there when the day started and things were freshly groomed, and I failed to notice before I hit them. My only hope is that I somehow stay upright and the bumpy part ends before I faceplant.

Any hints... or should I just fall down as gently as I can before too many bumps force the issue, and start hiking to a smoother area?
post #24 of 35
Hi Justin,

Welcome to Epic!

Quote:
Any hints... or should I just fall down as gently as I can before too many bumps force the issue, and start hiking to a smoother area?
A few things come to mind as I read your post. First, look a little farther ahead as you ski, this will allow you to see any uneven areas before you ski into them. Once you see it, you have the option of taking a path around the areas or slowing down so you are better able to keep your balance as you ski over them.
The second one is if you tighten-up as you encounter these bumps, they will bounce you around much more than if you stay more relaxed and use your legs as shock absorbers (easier said than done at first). Our built in defence to situations that cause us stress is to stiffen our joints (ankles, knees, legs) and this just makes the situation worse in skiing.

So, the next time you ski, look a little farther ahead, slow down before you come to the bumpy area, stay relaxed and allow your feet to follow the contour of the snow as you turn.

Hope this helps.

RW
post #25 of 35
I'm afraid of falling. Always have been and after only one major accident in 35 years, that is not going to change.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
So, the next time you ski, look a little farther ahead, slow down before you come to the bumpy area, stay relaxed and allow your feet to follow the contour of the snow as you turn.

Hope this helps.

RW
Got it. I think I was taken by surprise because the run was fine just before lunch. Now maybe when people are stopping to look before charging down each section, I will too
post #27 of 35
For me its the skiers/boarders behind me,deep chowder,and ice" last 2 i can and have been working on"
post #28 of 35
PaulR: You nailed it for me with your being in control comment. When I think back to the anxiety associated with my first blue, black, double-black, moguls, ....... the common thread was and still is control.

Pete No. Idaho: Nice post, and your Sierra Ski Ranch (now Sierra-at-Tahoe) comments made me smile. Think you're referring to "Lower Main" - a nasty looking blue when you're not ready for it. I stared down it many times before bailing into "Corkscrew". Thanks for the memories.

Cheers, rickp
post #29 of 35

Fear of turning

See this A LOT in new skiers - you'll do anything NOT to turn. Traverse left until you have to turn - traverse right until you have to turn - repeat. After a certain point in the learning cure you figure out that you have it backwards and pretty much are always turning. Cheers, rickp
post #30 of 35

anxiety

I'm just going through old posts as I'm new here and this one struck a chord with me because the primary thing that kept bringing me back to the slopes for my first two seasons of skiing was simply to overcome anxiety. (Now I keep coming back because I'm just plain hooked...) I hope that my comments can be encouraging to others who may be in the same boat.

I think the primary thing that has caused me anxiety in the past was heights. Looking down from the chairlift or looking over the edge of a trail from the top used to be pretty unnerving. Second to that was the sensation of losing control. My solution was just to keep at it. Once I had some familiarity with what I was looking at in those situations, it was something I could deal with, but it was still there. The next thing that I learned was that falling down is not the worst thing in the world. (I'm certainly not advocating recklessness, but trying new things does require taking some risks.) From there, I practiced until I learned enough basic skills to give me confidence that I would be able to stop on any reasonable grade if I got into trouble. Another thing that helped me was to to remember that the trail doesn't look quite so steep once you're on it as it did when you were standing at the top looking over; so, if the trail is something that is reasonable for me to be on, I'll try it. The bottom line, though, was not to let my anxiety stop me. There are moments that I still have a twinge of anxiety or two, but they're generally passing thoughts. I'm certainly a long way from expert, but I have fun.

Incidentally, I do think that a lot of folks would be better off spending a little more time doing drills rather than simply going up the lift and back down again. My confidence went up a million times after I had developed the muscle memory to have decent edge control.

One last comment: stay out of the blind spot of snowboarders. They don't have the same orientation going down the trail that skiers do so it is more difficult for them to keep track of who is around them.
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