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What the heck happened to me? Deep snow - Page 3

post #61 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
There are many built-in assumptions in the above statement. The big one being that you are using the same ski in both environments and that said ski is a rather conventional reasonably stiff, sidecut ski. This introduces a great deal of bias. There is no doubt in my mind (based on both experience and geeking out about designs) that I can spend a day on Praxis Powders - in powder - and suffer less wear and tear on my body than on any ski whatsoever on a "comparable" set of groomers - perfect or otherwise - in terms of pitch and difficulty. And as you know - I'm still in the mode of minimizing wear and tear

That was a long way of saying you are wrong.
I never said the skiers were on the same ski that is YOU assunming that. I don't care what ski your on. And you guys are just proving my fat ski crutch theroy!!!!

And if you take your Praxis out on the groomed, yes I agree you will get the SH_T beat out of you!

We'll have to agree to disagree!

Do you think it may have anything to do with you fellers groomer technique???? (back seat maybe??? (narrow stance?
post #62 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
depends much on the quality of the snow! I am sure you know that from living around here! And I hope you were not insinuating I am new to Powder:
Nope, not insinuating anything at all... wasn't even your post I responded to. And I agree, snow quality has a huge amount to do with it. Some of the heavy glop we can get up here in the PNW will wear you out so fast, no matter how good your technique is, but of course, that's not powder.

I said what I said in response to RMP's post that both fitness and experience in powder plays roles. I think that it's primarily poor technique due to lack of experience that tires out newer powder skiers, not the fact that it's actually more physical. Since they are a normally strong skier, when they're done, they say "man, powder is *hard* work" 'cause they've been doing it wrong.

I'm actually not sure I agree that skiing powder is more work than hardpack. I think it depends on how light the powder is and how aggressively you're trying to ski the hardpack. Now, sometimes it can be tiring, depending on how light the snow *actually* is... I'm very familiar with days that I think are going to be nice powder days, and turn into anything but that once the sun comes out.
post #63 of 78
Fellas:

I wasn't trying to upset anyone with my comments , and if I did I'm sorry.

I felt it was important to establish fitness level and experience. As it turns out the person here is an intermediate who rented skis and does not have previous powder experience. He also likely doesn't get out much.

The point I was trying to bring up was that a persons first shot at powder can be and is hard work ... and yes I agree that it is usually a result of improper technique, gear and fear of the unknown. I also feel that fitness level and leg strength also plays a big role. If you're not used to using a specific set of muscles over a long period of time (3 days in a row), fatique usually sets in rather quickly and one gets sloppy. Quad burn is just one of the many complaints the I hear from folks so I made reference to it.

I realize that there are many on this thread that are highly skilled, expert skiers with years of experience that think skiing powder is easy. Although this may be true for most of you guys ... please don't downplay the commitment and hard work it took to get you there. I know and admire the fact that most of you guys have been at it for years and work on your fitness level year round either thru skiiing/biking/running/weights so you can excel at it.

Take care.

RMP
post #64 of 78
RMP,

No worries here. I was just disagreeing, but that definitely doesn't mean I'm right.
post #65 of 78
Me. 5'9",160lbs,56 years old, level 3 , 36 seasons teaching skiing in CO.I have taught legions of skiers to succeed in powder. I have skied a lot of powder in a lot of places. In the pre-shaped ski days a 210 GS in a softer flex was my ski of choice. Soft skis worked better then because you could bend them into deeper reverse camber to tighten the arc of the turn. In powder you don't ski the sidecut of the ski, you ski the bases of the skis bent into reverse camber to make arcs in 3D. Currently I have a 183 sugar daddy, 190 big daddy , and a 192 thug in my quiver. The SD is better on packed snow, but less effective in pow than the other two. The thug is the easiest and most fun as it can be bent into deep reverse camber for tighter turning. This makes it very quick turning in trees and tight places. The big daddy is a great ski, but less versatile than the thug. Excessive sidecut is a liability, not an asset in powder or other off-piste conditions. Ditto for stiff skis. Contemporary powder skiing is very similar to old school powder skiing . The sidecuts are similar as are the soft flexes. The only real difference is that the best powder skis are now wider. Wide,relatively long, straight, and soft skis are favored by accomplished powder skiers for the floatation and versatility that they provide. Short,medium,and long radius turns are possible as is the ability to pivot and/or skid the skis(provided they are kept relatively flat) to adjust line and/or scrub speed when the situation dictates. Could I function in soft,deep snow on a short, shaped, stiff carver? Certainly, but i can also ride my mountain bike on paved roads though a road bike would work better.

With regard to the original poster's question, learning to make rhythmic, round, turns is the key to success in powder. Be patient letting the skis seek the fall line(or better yet let your first turn be half a turn starting from the fall line) , make S shaped turns(not Z's), cultivate a functional pole swing to help keep things moving forward,and down the hill. Even a beginning powder skiing needs a modicum of speed to succeed. Don't overturn and lose your momentum.Mileage in soft snow certainly helps. To a certain extent it is the indian not the arrow, but the right tool for the job,combined with appropriate technique and tactics can only make things better. Don't accept any wooden nickels or bad advice on internet forums.
.
post #66 of 78
[quote=geoffda;906447][quote=Bazza;906299]Yes, I probably do need a lesson, but I do find it useful hearing what you've been saying. The edging thing though - Geoffda is saying you do edge, you're saying not?
Quote:

What I'm actually saying is that you use the same movements whether you are in powder or on the grooomed. In either place, you start the turn by tipping your skis on edge. Whether that motion results in your edge actually engaging is a function of what kind of snow you are on. If you are in "bottomless" powder, your skis will be floating and the edge won't engage. However, tipping the skis on edge, combined with enough pressure from the snow, will cause the ski to bend which is the best way to make the ski turn in soft conditions.

Again, the differences between making turns in soft snow an hard are not great, but you can't cheat in soft snow. Start by taking a good look at your groomed snow technique--can you make rail road track turns on the groomers? That is the starting point. Until you can do that, you will have difficulty making the transition to soft snow. Once you can do that , it is a simple matter of slowing your movements down, keeping your skis together, and keeping your speed up.
thanks geoffda, I think I have it now.
I think what affects my balance a bit is keeping my skis together. I can do nice rail road tracks on the groomers, but when I bring my skis next to each other offpiste, stuff goes wrong.

I'm also not sure exactly how to bring them together. Using my keyboard symbols is not ideal, but is it:

like this on groomers:

/_____ /

becomes this on soft snow

--/
-/

and not this:


/ /
post #67 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazza View Post
I think what affects my balance a bit is keeping my skis together. I can do nice rail road tracks on the groomers, but when I bring my skis next to each other offpiste, stuff goes wrong.

I'm also not sure exactly how to bring them together.


/ /
you don't necessarily need to ski with your ankles glued together, you just need to make sure both skis are doing the same thing i.e. you are pressuring them more or less equally. as soon as you shift weight to one ski, it will sink and the other one will rise and then you will crash. you don't need an old school stance to ski powder though. also, you need longer boards than 150-160cm. and wide. powder skis start out at over 100mm at the waist these days, and all conditions skis in the 80-100mm range. how tall are you and how much do you weigh?
post #68 of 78
Hi EPL

I'm 5ft 8" and 185 lbs (big bones!!)

I messed up with the rental skis this year and will probably go for 160/165 at Christmas. Most of my skiing is on groomers, so I want to be able to go with skis optimised for groomers, but develop my skills to confidently take in bits of off piste and bumps.

What I was trying to get across with my (bad) graphics is that I read somewhere that in soft snow you should treat both skis as one board, so I wondered if that meant keep the bases in the same plane like this:


**\ *******

***\*******

compared to the edges in the same plane like this

****\ *** \ ****
post #69 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazza View Post
Hi EPL

I'm 5ft 8" and 185 lbs (big bones!!)

I messed up with the rental skis this year and will probably go for 160/165 at Christmas. Most of my skiing is on groomers, so I want to be able to go with skis optimised for groomers, but develop my skills to confidently take in bits of off piste and bumps.
i'm around the same size and my powder ski is a 183cm gotama. it also performs acceptably on groomers.

for an all purpose ski you should probably be looking at something over 80mm at the waist and 175-180cm. a 179cm k2 public enemy would probably work for. also rossi b2 or b3 in whichever size is closest to 180cm. all three of those are pretty easy to ski. try to demos some skis with similar dimensions to find out what you like.
the extra length really doesn't make too much of a difference on groomers but it helps out a lot in soft snow, and in bumps everything is going to be a compromise anyway.

as far as treating the skis as one and all that, the thing that worked for me is just concentrating on not pressuring the outside ski.
post #70 of 78
guys, getting into arguments about who skis what and how well isn't going to help skidevil learn to ski powder.

First the skis. Skidevil is renting 150's - 160's !
I think we could all agree that this is a little short for someone trying to learn powder technique. If you want to stay short than I would say it should be more like 170 which can make a very good "all mountain" size for small eastern resorts (you can dispute the term mountain of course) and can even be skied anywhere.

Only advice I'll give: Volkl AC40 (82mm) - too stiff for what you want.
Head SShapeMagnum 170cm. (71mm) too soft for your weight, too much sidecut,13.5m. In a 177cm this could work though as it's a bit stiffer from what others say. Not sure of sidecut there but prob. 15m.

In terms of technique, and I'm talking powder here, possibly you need to change your concept of the snow. A lot of people who have trouble in powder and are trying to learn think of the snow as some sort of light cake frosting that needs to be pushed out of the way to get through it.
Instead, think of the powder as a fluid that turns the skis for you.

In order to get the powder to act as a fluid you need some speed so it can push on the bases of your skis. What you have to do is set up a platform, tip the platform, and guide it around to turn. The platform is the bases of your two skis. The two skis need to act as one and to do this at first it's much easier to keep your legs/feet together. You do not have to jamb and lock them together in some sort of death grip. The whole key is they need to do the same thing at the same time.

Some people like to focus on their knees pointing in the direction of the turn. You can also just focus tipping your feet in the direction you want to go. Some are helped by visualizations of their skis/bottom of their boots acting like two fighter jets flying side by side and banking simultaneously through turns. Others like to think of their boots as two sailboats tacking side by side at the same time.

Probably one of the biggest mistakes is the same one beginner skiers make on groomed snow - being impatient and muscling things before the skis react. You need some speed in powder and it takes a little time for the turn to develop so be patient! Just concentrate on the platform.

So, think of powder as a fluid!

Ever seen those videos of people skydiving on a snowboard? They are using the air as a fluid in much the same way. There the force is very great so they don't have much ability to make subtle movements. You can clearly see though how they can "carve" turns by tipping the board so the air pushes on it and directs it's path.

I think donnyb sums up the whole ski issue very well. I suppose we could get into a lengthy discussion of how sidecut affects reverse camber and reactions of the skis but that's a different thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donnyb View Post
Me. 5'9",160lbs,56 years old, level 3 , 36 seasons teaching skiing in CO. I have taught legions of skiers to succeed in powder.

I have skied a lot of powder in a lot of places. In the pre-shaped ski days a 210 GS in a softer flex was my ski of choice. Soft skis worked better then because you could bend them into deeper reverse camber to tighten the arc of the turn. In powder you don't ski the sidecut of the ski, you ski the bases of the skis bent into reverse camber to make arcs in 3D.

Currently I have a 183 sugar daddy, 190 big daddy , and a 192 thug in my quiver. The SD is better on packed snow, but less effective in pow than the other two. The thug is the easiest and most fun as it can be bent into deep reverse camber for tighter turning. This makes it very quick turning in trees and tight places. The big daddy is a great ski, but less versatile than the thug. Excessive sidecut is a liability, not an asset in powder or other off-piste conditions. Ditto for stiff skis.

Contemporary powder skiing is very similar to old school powder skiing . The sidecuts are similar as are the soft flexes. The only real difference is that the best powder skis are now wider. Wide,relatively long, straight, and soft skis are favored by accomplished powder skiers for the floatation and versatility that they provide.
Short,medium,and long radius turns are possible as is the ability to pivot and/or skid the skis(provided they are kept relatively flat) to adjust line and/or scrub speed when the situation dictates. Could I function in soft,deep snow on a short, shaped, stiff carver? Certainly, but i can also ride my mountain bike on paved roads though a road bike would work better.
post #71 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
To sum it up I never suggested a stiff ski to the OP. I said a shorter wider ski with a bit more sidecut would be helpful!
You are correct. I apologize for misquoting you.
post #72 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acrophobia View Post
You are correct. I apologize for misquoting you.
Accepted without prejudice!
post #73 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

Do you think it may have anything to do with you fellers groomer technique???? (back seat maybe??? (narrow stance?
I'm the last person to make the claim I have especially great technique - in powder or on groomers. I only claim I have fun...

But try doing a simple thought experiment. If you are doing high speed carves on groomers, you are going to work up some pretty beefy g-forces. Get fast enough and high angle enough & those will take their toll. The better your technique, the more force you can produce. Your legs need to deal with that. OTOH, hop on a Praxis or similar ski in powder & you have a much easier time controlling how much force your body has to absorb by controlling the nature of your turns in 3-D. And with a modern fun-shape ski, there is little or no need for that relatively tiring bobbing up and down thing to decamber your ski.
post #74 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
...if you take your Praxis out on the groomed, yes i agree you will get the SH_T beat out of you!
I do not believe I said that. However, I acknowledge that a Praxis on hardpack is usually not a pretty picture. In much the same way that a typical groomer ski - or even a so-called "all mountain" ski - is usually not a pretty picture in deep soft snow - as demonstrated by the requirement that one use some pretty advanced techniques to defeat the core design elements of a conventional ski when it can not be skied on a firm surface.

When a Praxis or other Spat derivative is in its element, it is not even a contest. No conventional groomer ski - or even conventional all around ski - comes close in terms of ease of skiing and forgiveness. And I do not believe that is a particularly subjective statement. Reference, yet again, the discussion in the McConkey piece and related patent application.

Admittedly this does not address feel or personal preference or using a ski that responds to technique ingrained over many years of practice or the optionality allowed by a relatively middle of the road ski design. There are many reasons to choose one ski or another. But skiing soft snow all day on a Praxis - or roughly similar ski - is about as easy as it gets. So if the discussion is about "easy" or about skis that facilitate skiing in powder or soft snow for new arrivals - it should be a short discussion...
post #75 of 78
Fun Works!
post #76 of 78
Tog
That's really helpful thanks.
And thanks to everyone who contributed.
I just wish I didn't have to wait till Christmas to try it all out!
Bazza
post #77 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazza View Post
I just wish I didn't have to wait till Christmas to try it all out!
Bazza
http://www.skiportillo.com/
post #78 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by epl View Post
if only it were just a matter of finding somewhere!

Recently set up my own business and with wife and 3 kids in tow, can only afford 1 or 2 weeks a year, and the nearest ski areas to here (Manchester, UK) are a good 1,200 miles away.

I suppose I could sneak off on my own, but wouldn't value my life when I got back!!
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