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Both skis on the ground at all times?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
So yesterday I went up skiing, and felt like a complete newb again. I wiped out twice which is pretty rare for me, even on the first day when I wasn't skiing anything difficult or doing anything stupid. My wipe-outs were on turns when my uphill ski caught some snow and spun me out. Now last year, I took a lesson and the instructor said my basic fundamentals were good but I needed to focus on keeping both skis on the snow no matter what the conditions. Since the lesson was near the end of the season last year, I really didn't have much more of a chance to work on it. So yesterday I was focusing on that and other basic fundamentals again, and found myself wiping out. What am I doing wrong? Am I not applying enough pressure on the edge of my uphill ski? Thanks.
post #2 of 16
In general, you don't want pressure on your uphill ski. From what the instructor advised you to do, it seems like you were lifting your ski to turn. What he was trying to teach/tell you was to unweight your skis to initiate the turn. In order to accomplish that you need to maintain contact to the snow with both skis.
post #3 of 16

Everyone feels like a spaz on the first day out. Wipeouts happen to everyone. It takes time to regain your balance on skis. Think of your outside ski as being your load bearing ski and your inside ski as your guide ski. If your guide ski was catching snow and spinning you into the snow, it sounds like you are over rotating your hips and sholders as you turn. Your hips and sholders should follow (more or less) the path your skis are taking until you are ready to turn again. The guide ski (inside) should be moving slightly ahead of your load bearing ski as you move it through the turn as your hips and sholders follow. This is called skiing into a countered position instead of leading with your outside sholder (rotating). As Brumos stated, keep both skis on the snow (espicially through transition). Turn more by guiding the tips of the ski where you want to go with the feet and tails of the skis following the path.

Hope this helps.

post #4 of 16
Thaar, what level are you? What kind of drills did the instructor have you do?
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
According to my instructor, he said I was a 6, possibly a 7. And I don't really remember what drills we did, since we mostly spent time learning moguls after going over the fundamentals.
post #6 of 16
Sounds to me like you're doing what I've jokenly called 'The Flying V'. I am amazed at how many people I see on groomers early in the morning doing practice turns not noticing their inner ski is pointing significantly away from their outside ski. I even find myself doing them. For me the number one cause is my weight is too centered on the middle of my foot and I'm not initiating my turns on the tips of my skis. If I focus on getting my weight back on the balls of my feet, putting a little pressure on the front of my boots and making sure I engage the front edges of my skis at the beginng of each turn it always goes away.
post #7 of 16
What type of terrain were you on. You should have both skis aimed in the same direction, but even if you do should one of them hit a bump or pile of slush when the other one has clear sailing you will get spun around.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
It was man made snow, but not groomed, so I suppose packed powder. And I think Rio may be right. I found myself in the backseat every so often yesterday.
post #9 of 16
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the inside side lazy ski foot and leg. Did you feel your self in a little A-frame, with your knees closer together than your feet? Being lazy with the inside ski results in a flatter inside ski with less angle on it, which means that any variation in the snow can catch on the inside edge of the inside ski. So play with leading with your inside ski by tipping it in the direction of the turn first. In other words tip the inside ski's little toe edge into the snow, or lift the inside ski's big toe away from the snow. It's the same movement, just play with doing it first, before you tip and dig in the big toe edge of your outside ski.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Cool. Thanks for the tip. I'll try it next time I'm out.

And should my knees be closer together than my feet?
post #11 of 16
Originally Posted by thaar View Post
And should my knees be closer together than my feet?

For parallel skiing no. For snowplowing yes.

You can try it at home and see the effect.
Put your boots on and stand in a good athletic stance with feet slightly wider than shoulder width and knees bent slightly. Now, without lifting either feet bring your knees closer together. Now look down at your feet. What do you see/feel?

Most of the pressure is on the insides of your feet (ie. the inside edge of both skis)
post #12 of 16
Thaar, Im not completely sure offcourse but from what you tell us you should in conditions like that keep a close stance, weight both skis and unweight. You should work more with your feet and get some momentum and force going to overcome the obsticles in the uneven snowconditions you mention. Simply tipping will not do the trick. Very typical misstake that has its source in modern carving and tipping to turn is that people do not understand how to use ski rebound and other means of unweighting to turn.
post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by thaar View Post
Cool. Thanks for the tip. I'll try it next time I'm out.

And should my knees be closer together than my feet?
Generally no. Usually this shows up as the inside knee being closer to the outside knee and less than the feet are apart. Now there are multiple reasons this might happen, but the result will be that the inside ski has less angle on it than the outside ski. Your inside ski can easily get tripped up by irregularities in the snow in this situation. In this situation whether you are arcing or skidding, your only means of keeping the inside ski tracking will be through steering effort, because your ski geometry is unequal due to unequal edge angles. Further, this is quite often associated with little to no pressure on the inside ski as well, which further compounds the problem. the inside ski may be scissoring too far ahead or it may be lifting off the snow, or both. So your previous instructor may have been trying to get you to realize some change in this direction. So keep the inside ski on the snow, but focus on tipping it as well. An effectively edged will track better through the snow. Have fun and play with it.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Awesome, thanks for the help guys.
post #15 of 16
One idea that's always helped me relative to the issue of on the ground or not--and I learned it jumping. You (or a body part) can't change direction in the air. You can only change aim. When you (or the inside ski) reengages the snow, you have to negotiate it's change of direction in an interaction with the snow. If you've changed it's aim in the air, the impact of the landing can be kinda harsh.

Therefore, whether A-frame or not, pressure on both or on one, when the skis are touching snow they interact with it better, and more predictably.

Having said that there are many instances when one ski (or both) come off the snow for many different purposes. But when you've got ski/snow contact, you're generally in a more controllable place.
post #16 of 16
we fall because.. we get out of balance! If you are a level 6..(open parallel on blue terrain) early season, work on your balance on one foot. Make some long traverses on your downhill ski. When you can leave a straight track in the snow (hard to do because the ski doesn't want to go straight) then you'll know your in balance. In the begining Don't worry to much about the uphill ski. Your connected in the middle, it will find its place. Trick; as your traverseing lift the tip of the uphill ski, feel what it does to your balance. Next traverse, lift the tail of the uphill ski, feel what that does to your balance. Good exercise to find your "Sweet spot"
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