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Adult beginner question [a Beginner Zone thread]

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I havent been on ski's in 27 years (13 years old).The first shaped ski's I tried were rentals and was amazed at the geometric improvement so I purchased a pair of solomon x-wing 4's and immediately noticed that they are not as forgiving as the rentals and feel kind of heavy.My confidence level increases every time I ski but fatigue sets in fast after about 3 or 4 hours.I am bored with the greens but sometimes panic on blue runs because the ski's seem to have a mind of there own and I am working to hard to control them.I also have this problem on some green runs sometimes. I am 160 lbs 5'5" skiing on 154cm I know there are many variables here but should try different or is it my skill level ? Any input would be great thanx !

post #2 of 19
I had the same exact problem. While this worked for me, I realize its dangerous and not optimal. I just kept on skiing. I spent more time eating snow on those easy blues than actually skiing. I tried to follow and mimic anyone who went ahead of me. I am sure the instructores wont agree with my tactics, but like I said it worked for me. Would realizing the errors of my ways and trading my expert skis for novice skis have been better, probably, but its not what I did and its worked out. Just make sure those bindings are set way low!

Oh one last bit of advice, greens and blues vary a lot between mountains. If you have only been skiing at the same place, try another. Someone else's green might be longer and much more difficult than where you have been skiing. Alternately their blues might be easier for you to handle.

Good luck
post #3 of 19
Have you taken any lessons since getting back into the sport? Your experience could very well be related to how you are skiing instead of the gear that is on your feet. Without seeing you ski it is impossible to pinpoint the problem, but I can offer some general advice.

First of all relax. When you tense up on any terrain everything becomes more difficult and you will tire much more quickly. Not only that, but as soon as you tense up - you stop moving with your skis, and start moving behind them. This will make the skis feel unresponsive and difficult to turn. You statement below makes me think this could be one of your problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vwr1vwf View Post
I am bored with the greens but sometimes panic on blue runs because the ski's seem to have a mind of there own and I am working to hard to control them.I also have this problem on some green runs sometimes.
With regards to technique - what kinds of turns are you making? Are you out of the wedge? Parallel? Windsheild wiper? Linked skidded turns? One thing I can tell you to watch for is pressuring the skis all at once below the fall line in your turns. This is like doing repeated hockey stops all the way down the hill and it is tiring. Aim for early and gradual pressure in your turns and you will find yourself able to manage speed much more effectively without tiring yourself out.

Later

Greg
post #4 of 19
This is my first season skiing, ever. I'm old, not athletic, barely run and fast walk 40 minutes on treadmill. I can ski 8-4 3 days in row and then drive 6 hours back home in pitch darkness.

If you tired too quickly, it's probably due to poor technics, like sitting back or something. Not all blues are created equal, pick some easy ones.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
Have you taken any lessons since getting back into the sport? Your experience could very well be related to how you are skiing instead of the gear that is on your feet. Without seeing you ski it is impossible to pinpoint the problem, but I can offer some general advice.

First of all relax. When you tense up on any terrain everything becomes more difficult and you will tire much more quickly. Not only that, but as soon as you tense up - you stop moving with your skis, and start moving behind them. This will make the skis feel unresponsive and difficult to turn. You statement below makes me think this could be one of your problems.



With regards to technique - what kinds of turns are you making? Are you out of the wedge? Parallel? Windsheild wiper? Linked skidded turns? One thing I can tell you to watch for is pressuring the skis all at once below the fall line in your turns. This is like doing repeated hockey stops all the way down the hill and it is tiring. Aim for early and gradual pressure in your turns and you will find yourself able to manage speed much more effectively without tiring yourself out.

Later

Greg
Greg'thanks your reply is very helpful.My turn technique might be windshield wiper trying to parallel. I am practicing pole plants and am starting to get a nice rythum going ,but sometimes the ski's don't cooperate and snow condition dosen't seem to be my problem.I am not turning with the ease of the soft rentals so should I try a softer ski ?
post #6 of 19
vwr1vwf,

Welcome o epic!

Quote:
I am not turning with the ease of the soft rentals so should I try a softer ski ?
Although rental skis are very forgiving, I suggest you take a lesson and learn the skills that will lead you to parallel skiing with the equipment you own. A qualified instructor will help you get better balanced on your equipment and then guide you technique that will be less tiring and make skiing more enjoyable.

RW
post #7 of 19
I'm just an intermediate but totally agree with Ron & Greg's comments re:take a lesson.

While green/blue definitions are hill specific, if you are getting tired after 3/4 hours on green runs and you are remotely in shape, then chances are you are applying wrong technique that tires you out quickly.

Are you hockey-stopping or skidding to a stop a lot even on green runs out of panic? That would be tiring.

From review I read about x-wing, I suspect the 4 is appropriate for beginner/intermediate meaning it should not be too stiff; though I have no direct experience.

Hang in there, relax & take some lessons - I'm sure you'll come to enjoy the ski soon.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies

I appreciate everyones advice it is all helpful.I was hoping for an easy solution to my lack of skill and ability,like "try this brand and model of ski it will make your proggression easier"but I suspect at my level all beginner skis are the same and the dimensional differenes are insignificant.I will take a lesson and stop trying to follow my wife and kids on the slope's.Thanks again enjoy the rest of the season !
post #9 of 19
Big welcome to epicski. Visit often and post your journey results as you are reintroduced to skiing....it will be very helpful to other new skiers who lurk here. You have discovered a powerful resource to aid you on your pathway to good skiing.

Skiing is a much different sport now due to the modern gear....much easier to master and much more fun. I would strongly suggest if you haven't already search these forums for video of modern skiing. A lot of good material is posted regularly by members.

If you want to see demo team level demonstrations you can view the Italians by clicking in my signature and you can also view the Canadian demo team demonstrations of various levels on the CSIA pathway by viewing www.snowproab.com.

Best of all?

Free.

I would encourage you to consider taking at least one group lesson at a good ski school - this will introduce you to how modern skiing is presented and allow you to hear the "lingo" associated with modern skiing firsthand. Taking a group lesson or two will not break the bank either. Tell us where you are from and you will receive some more specific recommendations.

Consider becoming an epicski supporter, this will allow you to view some nice premium material in the supporter lounge and you can consider attending an epicski ESA at some point.

Check out my "beginner tips bible" an evolving thread with many helpful comments. As others mention regarding gear, try to get properly fitted for appropriate performance ski boots as soon as possible....the skis you have are likely ok until you attain level 4 skiing. Make sure of course that they remain tuned, sharpened and waxed regularly.

If you want specific recommendations on suggested skis, ask in another thread - post the ski you are on now and list your height, weight and approx ability level after viewing the videos I've recommended and you will have folks chime in with their thoughts. We kinda like talking gear here.....

Enjoy your quest and keep coming back please to tell us all about it
post #10 of 19
Hi Vwr1vwf--welcome to EpicSki, and welcome back to skiing!

I'm glad you've decided to take a lesson, as it does sound like that's going to be the cure. These days, other than full-bore race skis, even the highest performance skis are relatively soft. If you're really having trouble, it's probably not the skis--although it certainly could be the tune, or possibly other parts of your equipment setup (boots are critical).

Be that as it may, if you think your "turn technique might be windshield wiper trying to parallel," it probably is. Soft, wimpy rental skis are really only easier for one thing--skidded, braking, "windshield wiper" turns. Once you change your technique, or at least your tactics, and make sure your equipment is well tuned and well setup, those new skis will make it easier, and you'll hate the way those rentals worked.

Although they can do them, "windshield wiper" parallel turns are not what today's skis are engineered to do well. They're meant to go the direction they're pointed, to bend into arcs that will slice and carve your turns with minimal skidding. If they're moving like windshield wipers, or if you even have that image in your mind as you try to make turns, you are skiing defensively, using your skis more as brakes to scrub off speed than as precision cutting instruments meant to scribe your line like scalpels.

A good instructor will help you fix that! But you can get a head start by thinking about why you turn in the first place. Intent dictates technique. If you think of turning as a way to slow down, that could already explain your difficulty. I'm sure you know that better turns are faster, not slower. Certainly, the offensive, gliding, carved turns your skis are meant to make are the antithesis of braking. They're built to GO!

But letting them do that could take a complete reversal of your thinking. To make the turns your skis "want" to make, you have to want to go faster when you start a turn--not slower--because that's obviously what they'll do when you point them downhill without the brakes on, without pushing those tails out into "windshield wiper" skids. They're going to go faster, and you've got to want that! So make sure you're going plenty slow before you start your turns, and also make sure you "finish" your turns sufficiently--even steering them uphill if necessary--so that your tactics will slow you down enough to start the next turn offensively again.

If you're like most skiers, virtually everything about your technique, especially as you start turns, is intended to get your skis skidding. Skidding is the sensation and the sound of "speed control," of braking, and for most people, it's the very essence of their sense of control. If you start your turns with movements that push or twist your tails out--to the right in a left turn, or vice-versa--you're skiing defensively. If you get better at it, you're still skiing defensively! If that's you, then you're in for a great breakthrough when you discover the joys--and the control--of offensive skiing.

A good lesson could be a real eye-opener, and it could transform the way you ski from the core. I look forward to hearing how it goes!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

PS--What the heck does "vwr1vwf" mean? It's not easy to spell!
post #11 of 19
Welcome to Epic!! Sounds like you are receiving excellent advice from very good sources.

As another skier trying to progress to higher levels, I would echo the advice to take a lesson. Some group lessons are better than others.

If you can manage it, a private lesson with a really good instructor will be totally focused on you and provide the maximum amount of benefit. That and trying to have as much on snow time as possible!!!!
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

McCauley Mtn.Today

Much better today,just a Mom and Dad trip.I focused on the advice from the replies and it was very helpful.I did not take a lesson but I was able to get some free pointers from the rental shop about how to properly ski my ski's.I'm still wondering about my skis it seems i'm only able to comfortably control them at a speed that I am a little uneasy about because of the steep terrain required to obtain that speed.Today's snow was very hard corduroy surface and at slow speeds on the greens the ski's were a little darty.I did achieve a level of comfort on Upper Gods land ,Sky ride and Upper Helmers after a few runs. Although when I realized how steep upper helmers was if there was a way out I thought of turning back but it was too late.That is when I concentrated on offensive turns and the edges of my skis I surprised my self and after about the third run it was pure fun ! It was a good day to push my envelope because of the sub zero and single digit temps I think since ther was only about a dozen people on the whole mtn until we left at 1:45 to pickup are children from school.I'm still confused about the low speed darting.Skiing faster is key but then they get wobbling unless they are constantly on edge .Thanks for your patience,hopfuly someday I will look back on these posts and laugh at my description's and question's P.S. vwr1vwf is just a log in randomly given to me by are IT dept. at work.I'm trying to simplify my life
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

clearification

Quote:
Originally Posted by vwr1vwf View Post
Much better today,just a Mom and Dad trip.I focused on the advice from the replies and it was very helpful.I did not take a lesson but I was able to get some free pointers from the rental shop about how to properly ski my ski's.I'm still wondering about my skis it seems i'm only able to comfortably control them at a speed that I am a little uneasy about because of the steep terrain required to obtain that speed.Today's snow was very hard corduroy surface and at slow speeds on the greens the ski's were a little darty.I did achieve a level of comfort on Upper Gods land ,Sky ride and Upper Helmers(these runs are blue and black.Sky ride and Upper Gods land are very steep the bottoms are not visible and are 50 to 60 yds in length) after a few runs. Although when I realized how steep Sky ride was if there was a way out I thought of turning back but it was too late.That is when I concentrated on offensive turns and the edges of my skis, I surprised my self and after about the third run it was pure fun ! It was a good day to push my envelope because of the sub zero and single digit temps I think since ther was only about a dozen people on the whole mtn until we left at 1:45 to pickup are children from school.I'm still confused about the low speed darting.Skiing faster is key but then they get wobbling unless they are constantly on edge .Thanks for your patience,hopfuly someday I will look back on these posts and laugh at my description's and question's P.S. vwr1vwf is just a log in randomly given to me by are IT dept. at work.I'm trying to simplify my life
McCauley Mtn is in Old forge NY.
post #14 of 19
I think you may be hard on yourself as you stated after skiing 3 or 4 hours you get tired. Do you do other sports for 3 or 4 hours? That is a pretty long time. Fitness counts. Do you train in other sports for strength and endurance? Do you fuel yourself on the hill? Consider an energy bar.
Also, perhaps I missed it but how come no one mentioned boot fit? Get an orthotic, preferably a custom one (though there is a great generic one on the market that comes from Massachusetts, called ALINE if I'm allowed to talk up a product). If you are struggling with control the place to start is where you interface with the planet and that is the bottom of the foot! Your skis aren't too long and Salomons aren't by reputation particularly heavy but your skis have all mountain versatility which means they are a bit wider and therefore a bit heavier. Get the footbeds, get control, THEN take a lesson.
EJ
post #15 of 19
I was in the same position as you several years ago. I took an intermediate lesson and the results were amazing. All my problems (and it sounds like yours) were technique related. My eyes were quickly opened and skiing became much more enjoyable. I think you will find an improvement in technique will solve your "tiredness" problem also. It did mine.
post #16 of 19
Technique and gear, actually. Your fore/aft balance on your skis can make a very significant difference in your energy utilization. I strongly recommend that folks who are going to ski more than once or twice a year actually get their own boots fitted to their bodies (not just their feet) by a boot balancing specialist like many of the EpicSki "Boot Guys". It's not just how they feet your feet, but how you are balanced (fore/aft and laterally) when you are in them. Very important!
post #17 of 19
I will vouch for comments on footbeds and boot fitting from personal experience....really, really big difference. First set of boots I swam in, had to do many weird things to attempt to control skis not to mention foot pain that was major. Saw a highly recommended boot specialist, got footbeds first ----the end to all foot pain, got fitted for boots...yes, there were some adjustments--but the difference.....much, much better.
Being a hard case, I need private lessons...but again..what a big difference! If you're more of a natural, you'll learn more quickly...but boots are the single most important aspect and they can hold you back, make it a lot more difficult...or they can help you feel much better what you need to do........
post #18 of 19
Did the shop actually grind the skis and tune their edges? There is a "demo" place in Blue Mountain Ont that lets their demo skis out without tuning the edges or waxing the bases.

Could it be that this has happened to your pair? If that is true, the lack of a proper edge tune would make them very grabby. There should be a 1 degree bevel on the base edge, so that the edges are slightly above the base. This means you have to tilt them more before they'll react.

A one degree base bevel would make them more forgiving than what could be a zero degree bevel. ( 0 degrees means the edges and bases are totally flat. The smallest tipping movements will make the skis grab )
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by vwr1vwf View Post
 

I havent been on ski's in 27 years (13 years old).The first shaped ski's I tried were rentals and was amazed at the geometric improvement so I purchased a pair of solomon x-wing 4's and immediately noticed that they are not as forgiving as the rentals and feel kind of heavy.My confidence level increases every time I ski but fatigue sets in fast after about 3 or 4 hours.I am bored with the greens but sometimes panic on blue runs because the ski's seem to have a mind of there own and I am working to hard to control them.I also have this problem on some green runs sometimes. I am 160 lbs 5'5" skiing on 154cm I know there are many variables here but should try different or is it my skill level ? Any input would be great thanx !


@vwr1vwf : you started this thread several years ago.  Any suggestions for folks who are in a similar situation who will be on the slopes soon after a lengthly hiatus (>20 years)?

 

Mod note: remember this thread is in the Beginner Zone before replying 

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