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MA request --- Looking forward to your feedback... Thanks!!!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hello!:

I realize that the feedback on this forum can be brutally honest at times, but I am willing to throw myself into the flames and learn a few things. Here are my stats:

Years Skiing: 16 years --- although for the past 10 years, I'm averaging one ski day/year.
Skis: 2007 Volkl AC4
Boots: Salomon Falcon 10
Mountain: Stratton, VT (12/22/07)
Trail: Groomed black diamond (North American)
Conditions: Packed powder (before the rain hit New England)
Favorite type of turns: Small radius bullet turns (it appears that I'm a "scarver" based on the video)
Skiing level: ??? I am comfortable skiing any terrain on the mountain, but my mogul skills need a lot of work, without question...



1-week Alta/Snowbird trip coming up this year in February. Looking forward to any feedback that I can take to the slopes!

Thanks!!!
post #2 of 26
How do you turn?

Why do you turn?

What is your intent as you make the turns on the video?
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
How do you turn?

Why do you turn?

What is your intent as you make the turns on the video?
How do you turn?

I learned to ski myself without instruction; as a result, I ski mostly by feel. I attempt to separate my lower body from my upper body, keeping my upper body facing down the mountain while my lower body rhythmically angulates back and forth. If you are wondering, I learned how to ski on long straight skis, which is why my legs are locked together. Actually, this is my first ski day on the shaped Volkl AC4. I skied on the Volkl AC3 for two days at Vail last year (first time out West) and loved every second of it. Bought myself the Volkl AC4 shortly after...

Why do you turn?

While the downhill tuck position is fun every now and then, I would rather be in control of my skis at all times. Much more enjoyable...

What is your intent as you make the turns on the video?

Not much thought, just enjoying the skiing... Unlike the majority of posters here that live out West or in the Northeast, I'm currently living in NC, so my ski days are limited each year!!!
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
How do you turn?

Why do you turn?

What is your intent as you make the turns on the video?
SSH, I know you always strive to help the OP by helping him and the other reviewers understand/appreciate the intent/desire/approach,..etc. But I had to laugh. Sometimes it feels like Dr. Freud meets MA:..."Und, now Herr Skier...tell me how you FEEL about seez turns....Half you ever dreamed about a turn like ziss, Ja, mit your Vater perhaps...."

No offense intended...just struck me funny.
post #5 of 26
What I see. Athletic skier,connecting turns. I also see. Stance to tight,pushing/skidding the tails of your skis to make your turns. This skier is using modern ski technique. From website Skiing Skeletally. http://www.snowsportmoves.com/skeletally.html Hope that wasn't to brutal.


post #6 of 26
You want to know how to do better shortswing turns? Try pulling the feet back when starting a new turn. And flex the legs more. This will help you in the bumps, because you are getting all your speed control from the edgeset at the end of the turn. Thus you will need to absorb more impact.

Now if you want to learn to do something different than shortswing, that is going to take more than you will be able to realisticly accomplish with only a few days per year. There are more efficient ways to ski, but what you are doing can get you down any slope, as long as you don't wear yourself out. Also, those skis you are on are kind of short for your skiing, ideally you want a fairly long straight edge (at least 180 cm) to dig in on the edgeset. Especially on steep stuff, it's easy to overpower either the snow or the edgegrip when the skis are too short.
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesB View Post
You want to know how to do better shortswing turns? Try pulling the feet back when starting a new turn. And flex the legs more. This will help you in the bumps, because you are getting all your speed control from the edgeset at the end of the turn. Thus you will need to absorb more impact.

Now if you want to learn to do something different than shortswing, that is going to take more than you will be able to realisticly accomplish with only a few days per year. There are more efficient ways to ski, but what you are doing can get you down any slope, as long as you don't wear yourself out. Also, those skis you are on are kind of short for your skiing, ideally you want a fairly long straight edge (at least 180 cm) to dig in on the edgeset. Especially on steep stuff, it's easy to overpower either the snow or the edgegrip when the skis are too short.
Thanks for the feedback - good stuff! I am skiing on 170 cm Volkl AC4. My legs do get tired through the day with my style of skiing, but I am rather out of shape right now. I am going to start my Alta/Snowbird cardiovascular training shortly w/ some running, lunges, and squats (February 1-week ski trip). Thanks for the bump tip!

Keep the feedback coming! I am learning here --- I guess this qualifies as my first lesson ever....
post #8 of 26
SkiSkiSki, since you recently got your first shaped skis I suggest you learn how to carve with them properly. That means finding a very easy slope not much steaper than a bunny hill but wider and longer and try to arc turns along your edges without any skidding at all. This will take some time but its worth learning properly. The reason Im telling you this is that you are mentioning the word scarivng. It is impossible to scarve if you cannot carve. A scarve is a carve (arcing) with some drifting in it but still shaped the same way. For that word to have any meaning you need to learn how to carve first.

Your skiing is not bad at all and only goes to show that one can learn how to ski without any instruction. You must be very talented. However, here are some of my observations. Since you learned to ski by yourself you jumped the basics and landed yourself with the perfect short turn. I think you analyzed it pritty well earlier yourself when you said that you "body is rhythmically angulating back and forth". You call this upper and lower body separation but what it actually is is just two angulated positions, one to the left and one to the right, altering. There is nothing inbetween. There is no proper upper and lower body separation where both parts function independently. Now you simply crank your skis from side to side "skidding" not scarving. I see no arc. I see ski pivot and tail washing ending in your skis running straight for a fraction of a moment before being pivotted over to the other side again. As you come to this final stage in your turn where your skis hook up and the skidding stops your body is left in an angulated position where you are totally static. This is what causes you problems in bumps. There you need to be dynamic. You need to be able to flex and extend and to time your turns according to the bumps and not your own agenda. Your poles are also swinging up front and getting slammed behind. Poleplant should be made slightly wider and more compressed.

Buy some of HH's books in combination with your get fit program and you will become a much better skier.
post #9 of 26
I see the same as TDK6 and Miles.

To get full enjoyment out of the new skis you have to learn to ride the edges in a nice cutting arc. Currently you overload the tails and push the skis into position. To arc you will have to move your body forward or pull your feet back (same result) so that you can have enough weight on the front edges to make them do their thing. Let the shape of the ski draw you into a turn when you tip the skis over onto their edges. Flex your legs as needed to control the pressure on those edges and try not to slip sideways.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSkiSki View Post
What is your intent as you make the turns on the video?

Not much thought, just enjoying the skiing... Unlike the majority of posters here that live out West or in the Northeast, I'm currently living in NC, so my ski days are limited each year!!!
To all:
Intent is important, but as the above response demonstrates, often there isn't any specific technical, and it's up to the instuctor to provide one. That's one of the reasons they come to us. Self directed technical intent follows the acquisition of technical knowledge and understanding. When you guys watch these MA vids, try guessing which skiers actually have a detailed intent, and which are probably just doing what they do, the way they do it.

To Ski3:
Before you start learning to carve, I'd suggest you first modify the shape of your current (steered) turns. Take another look at your vid. Notice how right at the beginning of your turns you aggressively twist your skis in the direction of the new turn, such that the ski tails are tossed sideways, then throw snow. Also notice that while your skis are turning from side to side as you ski, your body is not moving much laterally across the slope as you travel downhill. In essence what you are doing is moving pretty much straight down the hill, while injecting what you probably think are turns, but are actually just little straight-line speed checks.

OK then, try this as an alternative. Slow down the direction change your skis make at the start of your turns. Squelch the tail tossing. When you start your turn try to very gradually steer them toward the falline (straight downhill) such that while you're softly steering them downhill they continue travel across the slope (the direction you were pointing before you started your turn) for a good spell. Then continue to steer your skis at the same gradual/consistent rate through the rest of your turn till you are 90 degrees to the falline (skis point straight across the hill). Start a new turn and repeat the same slow/gradual direction change at the start/top of that new turn.

When you get it down pat, and can link a series of these smooth, consistent, C shape turns,,, you'll notice that you are moving quite a bit to the left/right across the slope as you travel downhill. You'll actually be turning, and you'll be doing a lot less skidding and snow throwing.
post #11 of 26

As above...

...what you're doing will work, especially in soft snow like this, but it's maybe not the most effective use of today's equipment, and it's maybe not the most efficient...you're working awfully hard to get the skis to do what you want. The stuff that sticks out is:

- Very narrow, high stance...it'll be hard to get much edge angle, or develop/control the forces to carve rather than skid the ski.

- Lots of up and down movement. Yep, we used to have to do this, because it was the only way you could take pressure off the ski. Now what you want to do is move down the hill and forward, keeping your hips more or less level...pure up and down is a quick way to end up in the back seat at the end of the turn.

- Lots of heel pushing going on. This'll work, sort of, until you get on something firm, and then it'll turn into windshield wiper turns very quickly.

But, as somebody said, it's your skiing, and you have to figure out where you want to go with it...or, if you're happy with what you're doing...enjoy. I think TDK6 talked about getting into HH's info, and that's certainly one avenue...I'd also recommend The Skier's Edge, by Ron LeMaster, if you want to modernize your skiing...
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiDeC58 View Post
SSH, I know you always strive to help the OP by helping him and the other reviewers understand/appreciate the intent/desire/approach,..etc. But I had to laugh. Sometimes it feels like Dr. Freud meets MA:..."Und, now Herr Skier...tell me how you FEEL about seez turns....Half you ever dreamed about a turn like ziss, Ja, mit your Vater perhaps...."

No offense intended...just struck me funny.


Thanks, RiDe! That was awesome!

post #13 of 26
Ski3, you have got a ton from some really talented folks to consider the next time you're on snow. I encourage you to absorb some of it, and consider one thing you can play with next time.

BTW, I asked those questions of you for a number of reasons. The obvious reason was so the readers of this thread would know the answers that you could give to them. Another was to have you consider that there might be more than one answer to the questions. There are others, too...

That said, consider that there might be different answers to those questions for you. Answers behind the ones that first came to you as you considered the questions.

For instance, there's nothing about a tuck that's inherently unstable or out of control. In fact, I could argue that it's actually a more stable, controlling position than a more typical upright stance! So what would be behind your thinking that the alternative to making the turns you are making is a "downhill tuck"? What might be some alternatives?

Are you aware that the sides of your skis are shaped a bit like an hourglass? Do you know that tipping your skis up on one of those edges and pressuring it will cause the ski to create an arc in the snow? Have you ever played with that sidecut of your skis, perhaps on gentle terrain, on a cat track, or on a runout at the bottom?

Consider ways of using that sidecut even if you aren't riding your edges as though they are the rails of a train track. Those edges can be the primary impetus for changing your path down a slope even if you aren't digging trenches with them.

...of course, it is fun to dig trenches with them, too.

Any thoughts on those questions?
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 

Great feedback!

:ssh, skiracer55, rick, ghost, tdk6, milesB, and slider --- Thanks for the great feedback!

I agree with all of your constructive criticism --- top-notch "first ski lesson". Although I initially felt that I was 50% carving/50% skidding (scarving), after a more detailed review of my video, I clearly see my tails pushing out snow on each one of my turns. As a regular reader of epicski threads, I remember more than a few debates regarding whether short-radius bullet proof turns can be achieved without some aspect of skidding. Regardless of the verdict of that debate, I agree that I clearly need to incorporate more carving and less skidding into my short-radius turns. Getting back to the topic at hand, I only showed one clip of my skiing. Unfortunately, I did not capture a video of myself carving large-radius railroad tracks during this ski trip on my new Volkl AC4 skis. Since I love the "feel" of my short turns, I preferentially skied with this turn style when my brother turned on the video camera. The question I'm asking myself right now is how I look on video when I "feel" that I'm making large-radius carving turns. Video tells the truth, so will it show me skidding or carving??? Let's place some bets! If I get a chance to ski before my Alta trip in February, I'll post the video as a follow-up. In regards to my understanding of technique, I understand a lot more about skiing since I started reading this epicski forum approximately one year ago, including skidding/carving, edge angle, angulation/banking, fore/aft balance, decambering, weighting/unweighting, etc... I thank everyone here for that knowledge. I should be able to apply a lot more concepts to the slopes in the future, since I will be logging at least 5 ski days/year with yearly ski trips out West. This may sound like a drop in the bucket for everyone here, but with my one day/year 10-year running average, it represents a 500% improvement!

Again, thank you for the feedback!!!:
post #15 of 26
OK, everyone can start the arguments now!
post #16 of 26

Look, let's get one thing straight...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSkiSki View Post
:ssh, skiracer55, rick, ghost, tdk6, milesB, and slider --- Thanks for the great feedback!

I agree with all of your constructive criticism --- top-notch "first ski lesson". Although I initially felt that I was 50% carving/50% skidding (scarving), after a more detailed review of my video, I clearly see my tails pushing out snow on each one of my turns. As a regular reader of epicski threads, I remember more than a few debates regarding whether short-radius bullet proof turns can be achieved without some aspect of skidding. Regardless of the verdict of that debate, I agree that I clearly need to incorporate more carving and less skidding into my short-radius turns. Getting back to the topic at hand, I only showed one clip of my skiing. Unfortunately, I did not capture a video of myself carving large-radius railroad tracks during this ski trip on my new Volkl AC4 skis. Since I love the "feel" of my short turns, I preferentially skied with this turn style when my brother turned on the video camera. The question I'm asking myself right now is how I look on video when I "feel" that I'm making large-radius carving turns. Video tells the truth, so will it show me skidding or carving??? Let's place some bets! If I get a chance to ski before my Alta trip in February, I'll post the video as a follow-up. In regards to my understanding of technique, I understand a lot more about skiing since I started reading this epicski forum approximately one year ago, including skidding/carving, edge angle, angulation/banking, fore/aft balance, decambering, weighting/unweighting, etc... I thank everyone here for that knowledge. I should be able to apply a lot more concepts to the slopes in the future, since I will be logging at least 5 ski days/year with yearly ski trips out West. This may sound like a drop in the bucket for everyone here, but with my one day/year 10-year running average, it represents a 500% improvement!

Again, thank you for the feedback!!!:
...skidding is not good. Is it a good idea to skid in your car in the winter? Right, not even close. Steering is another matter. Skidding is uncontrolled, steering is controlled pivoting of a flat ski. It used to be that the 4 basic skills were #1, your dynamic balancing act, steering, edging skills, and pressuring skills. Guess what? Skis have improved, but the human body hasn't changed, and physics is still what it always was, so the basics are still the basics.

So I think the concept you are searching for, and LeMaster describes this pretty well, is that unless you're making very small direction changes, as in on the flats in Super G or DH, you can't ski purely arc to arc. It's also not necessarily a great idea to ski purely arc to arc, because you're on your edges all the time, which is slower than gliding on a flat ski. LeMaster talks about the initial steering angle, which means you have to steer your skis to a point where you can start carving and effectively use whatever sidecut your skis have. Go watch some World Cup GS or SL, for example the recent Beaver Creek tech races. Where it's very offset, as in on the steep below the Golden Eagle jump, all the guys, and these are the best skiers in the world, are making a controlled "stivot" or steer to get the skis to an attitude where carving will actually keep them on line...
post #17 of 26
Rich got the best advice so far.

I am man of little words and can tell you how to get better in you short turns.

Your not projecting yourself down the hill at all. skiiing is about moving down the hill. You have to want to move down the hill in everyway shape or form or you wont make great turns.

with out meeting you in personor skiing with you this is one my best tricks to get shaping in before the fallline to happen. have someone draw a line straight down the fallline. draw it with poles, by dragging them down the falline. your task is simple to ski down that falline and think about moving you body down it as quickly as possiable while your legs go as wide as possiable(in short turns of course). strive for equal turn shape on both sides of the line and moving your body down that line before you even finish your last turn.

All of this will help you shape the upper part of your turn and get more edging and pressure aka speed control right in the falline. its the most efficient way to ski and alot more fun than that skidded tail pushing your doing right now.
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
BushwackerinPA --- thanks for the drill ... I'll try it next time on the slopes. On my analysis, I need to keep my upper body more aggressive in forward press in order to better engage the tips in the initiation of each turn and then be a lot more patient in letting the decambered sidecut of the skis finish creating the natural arc of each turn. On the slopes, my perception of the "end" of the turn is clearly too early, which is most likely the reason I push out my tails in order to complete the turn in an effort to quickly transition to the next turn. Just my thoughts...:
post #19 of 26
S3,
Throwing the skis sideways and pushing to an edge set worked really well with equipment from the late sixties. You do that maneuver well but there are other, more efficient ways to get the skis to turn. Especially the Volkl you are skiing. See Rick's post for more details on this.
Anyway let's discuss what I see you doing and why.
The heel thrust short turn is not a contemporary movement pattern because contemporary skis do not require such a big steering input, or such a strong edge set to stop all of the angular momentum created by that much steering. I suspect the reason it works for you is that your stance is slightly aft and the joints in your legs don't seem to open or close very much. Which doesn't leave you very many options. Another two features of this manuever are that we can recenter and get out of the back seat through the transition, and speed is controlled by the force of the edge set (check).
If you are wanting to update your technique there are a three areas that you should consider.
A more centered stance,
progressive edging (not the all or nothing style you are using),
greater range of motion in the joints of the lower body.

A good coach can help you make those changes and give you plenty of exercises to help you learn to exploit the new equipment. If you are out in Colorado there are plenty of us who would love to work with you. If not, there are a lot of coaches closer to where you live that could help as well.
That is if you are looking to change how you ski.
post #20 of 26
Seems like a lot of information for a guy who skis 1 day a year. I'd probably try to get a nice tan, have a couple of Irish coffees, watch the girls and get a instructor to help me cruise a few runs and cut lift lines.
post #21 of 26
He asked for some feedback...
post #22 of 26
And he's going to ski at AltaBird for a week in February...

Let's make him chase BushwackinPA around...
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback --- great learning points.... Alta/Snowbird in February is going to be amazing... my one day/year average has now upgraded to one week/year with my annual ski trip plans (new tradition started last year) ... ultimately, I may end up back in New England to settle down, so the number of days on the snow will go up dramatically in that scenario... :
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
And he's going to ski at AltaBird for a week in February...

Let's make him chase BushwackinPA around...
would be willing to lead for a few runs....maybe a private at the bird?
post #25 of 26
skiskiski,

I agree with rick's ma and I do like your skiing. you need to learn to use the technology in the skis and stop using them like scrapers. If Strattom calls the terrain in the vid a black, then my front yard is a 3xblack. Be shure what you are getting into when you ski a black at alta.

RW
post #26 of 26
My advice---for this skier...I would start with...Get the tips past 5 and 7----if the fall line is 6. Meaning your goal is getting your tips to 3:15 and 8:45.

The guy has rotary....lets start there...the more the skis get across the fall line, the more they will edge naturally...he wont have the "need" to heel push to slow his speed. Another poster wrote "c" turns.

THINK FLOW---not 10mph to 60mph to 10mph to 60mph etc.
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