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New equipment makes me realize I suck at skiing - please help

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I tried to schedule a lesson with either Bode Klammer or Ron White at Windham this weekend, but niether were availible. My next time to ski will be the weekend of the 10-12th of January at Bromley. I would like to take a lesson and fix my issues/problems. Until then, perhaps I can get some insight from others here about my problems.

Problem #1 - I am back on my heals. Partly due to too much forward cant built into my footbeds causing me to compensate by leaning back. The beds have since been adjusted... just standing in the boots in the basement I can already feel an improvement. Part due to an increased delta angle from my old equipment - this I think I need time on the new stuff to "acclimate." This but over boots position is leading to increadible quad burn by late morning.

Problem #2 - New skis and better boots with custom footbeds are allowing me to ski trails I could not accomplish before. The rub is they just ski ALOT faster than I did before and it is a bit intimidating. The edge grip/hold is phenominal on the steep/icy stuff, I am not worried about a ski sliding out, I am just not used to how quickly these skis get up to speed. Just looking at the fall line and away they goooooo!

Problem #3 - My turns are very sloppy - more so now with the new equipment. I think it is due to my lack of comfort with the new speed issue and my lack of confidence when approaching icy patches, crud, and ruts. I feel that I am skidding my turns too much and on real steep stuff I know I am side slidding more than turning. I also noticed my feet are too far appart (wide stance) on the turns - I don't know why. I also am not fluid (dynmaic), meaning I am making one turn and linking the next, but they do not flow. I scaled back to lesser terrain and this helps somewhat, but I think I am just being sloppy with the new equipment and need to get a lesson or two to get me back into correct position and technique.

Please chime in and tell me how to (1) get back into the right position, (2) become more comfortable with speed, and (3) "clean-up" my turns. I know what to do, I just do not know why I am not doing it - mental thing?

Thanks in advance,

Scott
post #2 of 25
I'm not a pro, but one thing that comes to mind when reading #2 and #3 is to make sure you're keeping your upper body pointing down the fall line on steeper stuff, such that your upper body is at least partially positioned over your downhill ski when turning across the hill. This will help your edges grip on the steep stuff, rather than slide out or skid, and will keep you in control and check speed. Everybody's tendency is to lean into the hill, but you really want your upper body out away from the hill. I like keeping my hips into the hill and my upper body out away from the hill, over the skis.

Of all the things I have learned/accumulated over the years, I'd say upper body position has the biggest impact on steeps. You'll see a huge improvement in edge grip and speed control by keeping the upper body pointed down the fall line, over the skis. Good luck!
post #3 of 25
Scott K,

Sounds like you are on the right path by tracking down Ron or Bode for a lesson. Having the first hand experience of a pro is your best course!

In the mean time, maybe you can provide a bit more information for the online instructors and boot fitters to work with.

Why did you change equipment? What was your old equipment and what did you get for new equipment - skis, boots, binding, sizes/dimensions? The boot guys, for example, often know the different lines/boots and may quickly be able to explain differences you might experience moving from one to another. You mentioned your delta changing from one setup to the other. Do you still have your old gear? ...can you provide the delta for each setup (from ski base), along with the matching boot sole length? What was the process you and the boot fitter went thru for fitting, balancing and alignment? ...was alignment and balancing part of the process or primarily fitting for comfort? What differences do you find from the old boots to the new?

You express that your turns are sloppier on the new equipment, you feel back on your heels, and the skis take off in the fall-line, yet - at the same time - you feel able to ski trails you could not accomplish before? ...how do you reconcile that? Do your turns feel sloppy and out of balance on all slopes and terrain or only on the more challenging terrain you are just beginning to explore? Where was the pressure underfoot in your old boots compared to the heel pressure you feel now in the new ones? Where do you feel the pressure should be underfoot? How do you pressure the cuffs of the new boots vs the old? You mentioned "this butt over boots position" and quad burn. Is the position a new one for you? ...or just the quad burn?

How far apart is "too far apart" for your feet in this wide stance? How do you feel this wide stance is effecting your turns? ...what symptoms do you notice?

What is your skier profile:
  • age=
  • ability level (if you know)=
  • number of years skiing=
  • gear=
  • lessons taken=
  • most frequently skied terrain (green, blue, black, bumps, trees, etc)=
  • average number of days skied per year=
  • other sports/interests=
  • home mountain/location=
  • focus(drill/thought/turn type/etc)=
  • conditions=

Best,

Chris
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
cgieb-good points.

age= 41
ability level = 6 (supposedly)
# yrs skiing = this will be my fourth season, third full season
previous gear = Fischer Rx4 @ 165, Dalbelo 6.6 boots, superfeet (blue) off-shelf foot beds
new equipment = Elan Magfire 10 @ 168, Nordica Beast 10 boots with custom soft orthotics (not hard cork)
lessons = two last season, two the year prior to that
most frequent terrain = blues
ave # days skiing = 10 per year
ski most often = Windham, Hunter, Belleayre (Catskills)
recent conditions = groomed ice in am softening to icy/snow mix

I know I am hard on myself, but I think what I am feeling is an uneasy with the new equipment; and equipment that is higher performance than before. The edges are sharp and probabally a different bevel than before.I think it is a matter of adjusting my technique some. The wider stance I am referring to is greater than shoulder width apart.

The boots and footbeds were chosen for comfort and adjusted for balance and alignment. I did go back and have quite a bit of the forward cant removed and this did help a great deal.

I skied this past weekend with friends who are significntly better than I am. We spent the entire day on the blacks at Hunter. I did not do many blacks before, especially when icy because the Rx4's would chatter too easy, become unstable and track all over the place at speed, etc...That is why I said I can now go on trails I did not go to before.

Thinking about it now, I think my problenms are a combo of new gear I need to get used to and too much pitch causing too much speed. This combo is causing me to ski with bad form and technique. I should probably scale down the slopes a bit and realy focus on technique and work my way back up.
post #5 of 25
Scott,

Quote:
Thinking about it now, I think my problenms are a combo of new gear I need to get used to and too much pitch causing too much speed. This combo is causing me to ski with bad form and technique. I should probably scale down the slopes a bit and realy focus on technique and work my way back up.


RW
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
Scott,



RW
Second!

Always best to dial it back, especially when you're adjusting to something new or trying to develop new habits.
post #7 of 25
Scale it back and .... (you knew that was coming) back to the blues for a reality check.

Back to some basics with as Chef Emril would say ... let's kick it up a notch with some spices!

Let's see if you are skiing with full commitment to the fall line ... is your basic movement pattern on a groomed blue ... into the future ... good healthy level of confidence and agression .... down and dirty ... is that upper body mass headed down the hill?

Once you get used to movement and full commitment .... you need to know, really know what that feels like .. driving your upper mass down the hill, you can then begin to translate that to the blacks.

The skis ... they are dumber than dog schizz! Skis are sooooooo f'in dumb that guess what they do? It's real simple; they are so dumb they follow the upper body down the hill.

The skis you came from were around 13m and the new skis are about the same so you can do lots of those nice short radius turns for speed control but don't overthink it; it's not something that you can study .. at this point .. back to the blues ... and ski them with the heat on full high.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yuki,

I agree with what you are saying. It doesn't matter to me green-blue-black. I was primarily on blacks because I was skiing with friends (who are far better than I am).

After reading responses and thinking more about it, I think I am not comfortable yet with the new equipment - they grab and turn very different than before. Also, with the previous stuff, there was alot of slop, if you will. With the new gear, once I start leaning in my boots, things happen. I am not used to this-things happen alot faster. And I agree, scaling waaaay back to a less steep slope and getting used to the speed factor of the new skis will help as I am not at ease with the speed yet - I can feel I was tense when I was skiing. I should be more relaxed and "going with it."
post #9 of 25
Before you whup too hard on yourself, consider those conditions!

"Groomed ice" is fast ..... "softening to a icy/snow mix"

Those are challenging conditions and If I read it right there were probably some nice piles of crap building too?

This is all a challenge in anticipation and fore and aft balance. Zoom and accelerate on the hard stuff and then get slowed down in the soft zones. It's like someone flushing the crapper when you are in a hot shower.

Wait for a "nice normal" Hunter day when the groomed is actually nice smooth (chopped and refrozen granular) .. and get out early before the ice spots and piles emerge ... then you can beat up on yourself.
post #10 of 25
You are trying to do too much at once. Get to know the skis and boots first, then take them to the challenging conditions. While not a race ski, the Magfire is less forgiving than the RX4, and won't let you get away with as much. On the plus side it will reward proper technique more and should improve your skills at your current level.
post #11 of 25

My skiing sucks too............

When I started, it kept getting worse the more stuff I tried! Until one day I admitted to myself that I too sucked at this! Like yourself it was at the purchase of very new and nice equipment when I came to grips with it. And like yourself I had a good idea of alot of different things I needed to do, but my problem then was that I had too many issues to work on that I knew about AND a few more that I had no friggin' idea about. So where is this going here.....It was a very hard admission for me to face for sure! I'll tell ya,.........after being depressed about it for a season, I decided that I would completely fess up to sucking and Actually go try to take lessons.....thats right I was going to actually listen to someone else tell me what to do and what I needed to do to correct my errant ways. Well after that, it got a little better but I still sucked.........couldn't figure that one out for a while.........Somewhere along the line someone had said to me the only way to really improve was to take a weeks worth of lessons (5 days) at a time. After resisting this notion and doing sporadic lessons here and there over time, I finally tried it and have never looked back Scott.
Five successive days of lessons or as close as you can assimilate this with consecutive days will radically improve your skiing ability after practicing diligently the skills he teaches you. I used to take the 2-3 hour group lesson in the morning (I liked the small group (2-5) setting better). and pair off with a classmate or by myself practice for an hour or two after lunch. Month or so later I was actually much better and at that point got hooked on lesson improvements(week at a time as often as possible).

There is no substitute for a skilled instructors working with you over the course of consecutive days for spotting areas you need to work on and making you improve your skills. Combine that with sacrificing some time in the afternoons to "ski improvement runs" and you will be absolutely thrilled you took the steps you did. Many instructors can make suggestions regarding your equipment, adjustments and fit issues also. He will put you on track and prioritize the most important areas for you to change.

So why does my title here say my skiing sucks? Well it does, but it's all relative to who you ski with buds! :} I still suck compared to the level three professioanl examiners, they patiantly wait for me at the bottom by the lift and bust my B's when I get there...........but nobody else does.... It took me a while but I'm finally happy with my skiing and yes I still take lesson weeks whenever I can. Scott I know you will too, your already here looking for advice, getting it at the mountain is best.

I've never met Ron or Bode, but from what I hear them speak about here, your defiantely on the right track with them, either hook up with them or someone they recommend,........times a wastin! Good luck bud, Hope this is helpful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott K View Post
I tried to schedule a lesson with either Bode Klammer or Ron White at Windham this weekend, but niether were availible. My next time to ski will be the weekend of the 10-12th of January at Bromley. I would like to take a lesson and fix my issues/problems. Until then, perhaps I can get some insight from others here about my problems.

Problem #1 - I am back on my heals. Partly due to too much forward cant built into my footbeds causing me to compensate by leaning back. The beds have since been adjusted... just standing in the boots in the basement I can already feel an improvement. Part due to an increased delta angle from my old equipment - this I think I need time on the new stuff to "acclimate." This but over boots position is leading to increadible quad burn by late morning.

Problem #2 - New skis and better boots with custom footbeds are allowing me to ski trails I could not accomplish before. The rub is they just ski ALOT faster than I did before and it is a bit intimidating. The edge grip/hold is phenominal on the steep/icy stuff, I am not worried about a ski sliding out, I am just not used to how quickly these skis get up to speed. Just looking at the fall line and away they goooooo!

Problem #3 - My turns are very sloppy - more so now with the new equipment. I think it is due to my lack of comfort with the new speed issue and my lack of confidence when approaching icy patches, crud, and ruts. I feel that I am skidding my turns too much and on real steep stuff I know I am side slidding more than turning. I also noticed my feet are too far appart (wide stance) on the turns - I don't know why. I also am not fluid (dynmaic), meaning I am making one turn and linking the next, but they do not flow. I scaled back to lesser terrain and this helps somewhat, but I think I am just being sloppy with the new equipment and need to get a lesson or two to get me back into correct position and technique.

Please chime in and tell me how to (1) get back into the right position, (2) become more comfortable with speed, and (3) "clean-up" my turns. I know what to do, I just do not know why I am not doing it - mental thing?

Thanks in advance,

Scott
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott K View Post
After reading responses and thinking more about it, I think I am not comfortable yet with the new equipment - they grab and turn very different than before. Also, with the previous stuff, there was alot of slop, if you will. With the new gear, once I start leaning in my boots, things happen. I am not used to this-things happen alot faster. And I agree, scaling waaaay back to a less steep slope and getting used to the speed factor of the new skis will help as I am not at ease with the speed yet - I can feel I was tense when I was skiing. I should be more relaxed and "going with it."
Hi Scott,

Lots of good advice above and a good plan to dial it back and get comfortable on the new equipment!

I may have this timing wrong, however, in reading your historical posts, it seems your calf and quad fatigue appeared with the new boots? Maybe it is a result of the tension and defensiveness mentioned above. Alignment could also contribute. I would encourage you to continue to explore your alignment with the new gear and experiment to learn how changing delta and/or forward lean effect your stance and ability to balance through a full range of flexion and extension. Sometimes big differences are felt simply by adding, moving, or removing spoilers. Same with a shim under the heal or toe. Or not!

Best,

Chris
post #13 of 25
Great points, Chris. The other possibility could be the balance on the skis themselves (effective binding mount point). You could possibly try moving the bindings fore or aft and see if that impacts your balance, too, Scott.
post #14 of 25
Didn't read all the replies. Did anyone mention completing the turns more when getting on steeper terrain,,, thus controlling speed better,,, keeping in the comfort zone,,, and thereby staying better able to focus on technique (edge control, balance, etc) ????

And a big on the idea of going back to comfortable terrain and working on fundimentals. Will need some good quidance in doing that though.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Great points, Chris. The other possibility could be the balance on the skis themselves (effective binding mount point). You could possibly try moving the bindings fore or aft and see if that impacts your balance, too, Scott.
This isn't as easy as you would hope with the Magfire 10. The Fusion binding adjusts from the center. It can be confused, example: I ski a 305 shell, I set the binding for a 295 shell then backed off the heel, now I am 5mm back. The can be done to move the center up, although I don't suggest this, this series of Elan is already a forward mount. Personally, I like the Magfires adjusted back a bit, but reading his concerns, I don't this is part of the equation, knowing how these Magfire 10's ski.
post #16 of 25
Thanks, Phil. Boot sole length enters the mix, too, then, right?
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies - it really helps me.

Changing the cant on the footbeds absolutely fixed 95% of the quad burn issue. After skiing with the adjusted beds my quads did not fatigue until late afternoon and were marginally sore the next day.

I bought last years model Mag 10 - the orange and black ones as opposed to the red ones - and I asked them to be mounted 10 mm forward of center as suggested by Dawgcatcher (he suggests +15mm). I do not know enough about this, or its effects. Should I consider moving the bindings back to center?

I truly believe at this point I need to scale back to lesser slopes and get acclimated to the new gear. I made an appt to have my alignment checked again with the footbeds/boots. By scaling back and focusing on the basics again, I will regain the confidence I need and the fear of speed and defensiveness will hopefully go away.
post #18 of 25
I am pretty sure dawg suggests moving the bindings back (ie, -10mm). As Phil notes, the Mag's center position is already very far forward compared to other skis, and I would not want to go even more forward.

Being too far forward would give your tips more bite with less effort, but the tails would feel too long and enhance a backseat feeling. Even the slightest backseat balance would give the tails too much authority. They would hang up in turn transitions, and make you feel like a newbie.

I would suggest putting the bindings back to center and then go from there. At the least, this will go along with your idea to go back to a "baseline" and regain your composure on the skis.
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
skier 219 - thank you - I did a prelim search but could not find Dawg's suggestion of binding position. I will have them put back to neutral and will give it another go.
post #20 of 25
I think that will definitely help. When I was experimenting with binding positions on my various skis, going too far forward made the skis kind of unpleasant. There is definitely a sweet spot, and I think Elan is already at the forward range of that with their default mount. Going further forward may have been kicking you out of the sweet spot range.

What size are your boot soles by the way? It will be marked on the heel probably, or the bottom.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Still cannot find his post about binding position - it doesn't matter at this point, I am going to set them back to neutral. I'd do it myself, but I am not sure how he got the toe piece farther forward to start with, so I'll just bring them back to be repositioned.

I am in a Nordica Beast 10 boot, mondo 25/25.5 shell. The boot length is 295mm.
post #22 of 25
Picking at the little pieces that emerge on a second read.

You mention "leaning in your boots" .... hmmmmmmmmmm ??

I don't think of "leaning" ... good turns start with rolling the ankle inside the boot.

Be patient when it comes to finding the "sweet spot" and what works for you. It's good that you have a binding that allows you to play with the fore/aft/center and the mark on the boots.

Have you checked the bases of the skis? Additionally, is it possible that "out of the box" versus your old skis .... that the shop was detuning the tips and tails?
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Thanks, Phil. Boot sole length enters the mix, too, then, right?
The Fusion heel piece will give 10mm of travel, netting you 5 behind the center. No matter what your sole length is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott K View Post
Thanks for all the replies - it really helps me.

Changing the cant on the footbeds absolutely fixed 95% of the quad burn issue. After skiing with the adjusted beds my quads did not fatigue until late afternoon and were marginally sore the next day.

I bought last years model Mag 10 - the orange and black ones as opposed to the red ones - and I asked them to be mounted 10 mm forward of center as suggested by Dawgcatcher (he suggests +15mm). I do not know enough about this, or its effects. Should I consider moving the bindings back to center?

I truly believe at this point I need to scale back to lesser slopes and get acclimated to the new gear. I made an appt to have my alignment checked again with the footbeds/boots. By scaling back and focusing on the basics again, I will regain the confidence I need and the fear of speed and defensiveness will hopefully go away.
Scott might have talked about other ski/bindings being mounted "forward" i.e. Head, the Fusion does not have that capacity.
post #24 of 25
Hi Scott. I'm no expert, but I think most of us have gone thru similar things when we started getting more serious about skiing.

It sounds to me like you are used to skidding your turns and your new skis don't like to skid.

Take some more lessons with your new gear, I think a technique tweak is what you need here rather than a gear tweak.
post #25 of 25
I have not read the whole thread but I'll give you my two cents here

1: This is critical, as I can see you know. I would concentrate on trying to keep your skis under your legs. What I mean is don't let your feet get ahead of your torso. I find it helps to pull your inside foot back as you initiate your turns, and keep it held back for the duration of the turn. Also, ankle flex is what everyone will tell you, and it is very important, but don't overdo it because you can get so low that its hard to get back up. Which brings me to my next tip, which is an upwards hip movement after every turn. Just to get your edges released, and basically to get yourself back to square one, because a right turn is different from a left turn. As you make a turn, your body will drop lower as you try to keep yourself ahead of your skis. If you keep dropping lower without coming back up, you'll be in trouble.

2: It's all psychological. Take a moderately pitched run and get going fast. See how fun it is to go fast! Then voila, you've got no problems with going fast anymore! If you're scared of a trail, you're gonna skid in an effort to slow yourself down, which leads to terrible skiing.

3: Again, psychological. I had the problem with wide stance. The key for me was to take some long turns and just focus on getting my feet together through all parts of the turn. Just getting out there and doing it made it easier and natural for me.
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