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MA for abertsch

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Here is some video from the end of last season. I've analyzed it to death, and will try not to make any excuses until others have been able to give their comments. After all, my go-to moves are what they are. It's guided practice that will help me to change them.

First two clips are on Red Trail (a blue run) at Alpine Meadows.
Skiing is arc to arc except for dodging a snowboarder missile.

Last clip is the lower part of Red Dog Ridge at Squaw Valley. The chairlift visible at the bottom is Olympic Lady. Sadly I was holding the camera for the top part of the run, so I only have video of everyone else up there.

Nice corn snow in all 3 clips.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdvLp-igfVQ



-Adam
post #2 of 22
Not too shabby. Great slope to rip GS turns. Couple quickies.

Tuck those arms in a bit. Dropping your back hand.

Open up the stance and bend the inside leg. Watch the WC guys make GS turns - hands forward, outside leg extended, inside leg compressed (bent). Clip #2 is a little more like it.

Get more forward, You are balanced but not on the balls of your feet. Step on the bug!

More "pop" in the transition, a hard carve should pop you out of the bottom of the turn into trans. Skidding a bit.

Otherwise - comfortable - balanced. Relaxed but a bit stiff. Try to do something about those arms.
post #3 of 22
Hi Adam--

I am curious what conclusions you've drawn from your own analysis, and what you were concsiously trying to do in these clips. From your description that it is "arc to arc" in the first two clips, I assume that this is what you were trying to do.

And you succeeded, in many respects. In those two clips, you ride the sidecut of your skis throughout each turn, cleanly, from start to finish. You move very quickly from one set of edges to the other--something I suspect that you intended. But why were you trying to ride "arc to arc" in the first place? In my opinion, "early edge engagement" and "arc-to-arc carving" have become way over-emphasized these days, often to the detriment of good skiing.

What it's done to you in these clips is make you very static--what's often called "park and ride"--with little control of your turn shape. You have two positions--a "right arc position" and a "left arc position." You move very quickly from one position to the other in the transition, then stay in that position pretty much motionless throughout the turn.

The result is that your skis take you for a ride on a path that they--not you--choose, like a train on a track. And that track is not consistent--it varies in radius (tightens) from start to finish, as the forces and the hill angle (relative to your skis) build throughout the turn.

You also tend to get to your new inside edges so quickly, before you've moved sufficiently inside the new turn to balance on seriously carving skis--forcing you to actually prevent them from carving as well as they might. This latter is another reason why the beginnings of your turns tend to be rather straight, despite your skis being on edge.

My suggestion is that--other than when practicing specific drills and exercises--you stress the "early edge" and "arc-to-arc" thing a bit less. Develop patience through the transition--"float" and guide your skis to their new edges. Before you try to engage those new edges, wait for two things: forces pulling you "out" of the turn (combination of gravity and centrifugal) and sufficient inclination (leaning into the turn) to balance against those forces, as your carving skis drive you through the turn.

So...as you exit the previous turn by releasing your edges, you will become "light." Savor this "float phase"--it's one of the most important (and enjoyable) parts of turns. It's a moment when you can relax, as you literally "fall" into the new turn, a time when all that matters is that you prepare for the forces that will build quickly once your edges re-engage.

In the "old days"--pre-deep sidecut skis--I used to recommend waiting all the way until you reached the fall line (straight downhill), or nearly so, before trying to really engage, pressure your skis, and carve the finish of the turn. With today's skis that bend and carve with much less pressure and edge angle, you can often carve earlier than that, but the principle is the same. Wait. Float. Be patient. Incline into the new turn, create new edge angles, but be patient before trying to get them to really bend and carve. Guide your skis during this phase, as your body moves inside the turn--no pivoting or pushing the tails sideways. Once you "feel the force," then go with it--engage and let the g-forces build and bend your skis.

These thoughts will require continuous, smooth, sustained motion, in contrast with the sudden stop-start moves of your video clips. It will require much practice, and a lot of "touch." Every turn is different, and the forces you deal with change constantly--due to pitch, speed, turn radius, and snow conditions. Managing these constant changes requires constant movement, but again, these movements respond to variables that you cannot always control, so they rely on "touch" at least as much as on technical understanding. Timing and intensity will vary with every turn!

Here's a very small animated clip of the movements I'm describing. (Sorry--I'm limited in the image size by my hosting service--this is as big as I can make it. Animations take space!)



Notice the transitions, which begin way back in the previous turn as the edge angles and body inclination begin to decrease, and continue seamlessly through the actual moment of edge release and through the "float phase" of the new turn. It's one unbroken movement. By the time the edges re-engage, I'm way inside the new turn, where I'll be in balance as they start to carve. In the float phase, I'm guiding my skis as I tip them and incline my body into the turn, but I'm not in a hurry to get "heavy" on them or to carve "arc-to-arc."

In spite of this patience, the tracks will look "arc-to-arc." I think that's one of the reasons why many people--including many instructors--over-emphasize (in my opinion) the "early carve" thing. Relax! Be patient! Spend less time on your edges and you'll spend a lot more quality time on them.

Your turn!

Best regards,
Bob
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post
(Sorry--I'm limited in the image size by my hosting service--this is as big as I can make it. Animations take space!)
Bob, that's what video hosting sites like youtube are for!
post #5 of 22
Yeah, I know, Max. But I'm such a fan of these little looping animations that run continuously right in the text that I tend to avoid YouTube. One of these days, though!

Besides, what else you gonna' do with that magnifying glass?



Best,
Bob
post #6 of 22
Adam, what movements are you using to release the turn?
post #7 of 22

Turns and Skiing

Abertsch. First a disclaimer - I am not an expert - not anywhere near Bob Barnes or 501. However I am about half way through The Yikes Zone, by Mermer Blakeslee - ESA Coach and noticed some things in your video that made me think of what I have just read, or vice-versa.

It looks like you are running a drill, focusing your skiing task to a performance standard in your head/ski school etc. instead of experiencing the act of skiing and turning. Maybe the better explanation would be Bob Barnes looks like he is really enjoying his turns and you look more like a stick on ski's. Bob's explanation of park and ride, static look say this more specifically (Bob hope this ok by you - for me to use this comparison).

In The Yikes Zone, Mermer (pages25,26,79) compares and relates the differences between doing a performance task and experiencing the feat. To me Feeling the act/task could have some good input into eliminating your park and ride/static skiing.

Enjoy the Experience and you will run the risk of placing yourself into the zone and think of how great that will be.

NOTE. I am not talking as an expert ski instructor because I am not that. Just some general comments regarding the book and my life's experiences.

BOB. Great turns/great input/great explanation. Came to this thread because saw Bob Barnes name and ha ve to read his stuff.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
Adam, what movements are you using to release the turn?
Max, I was focusing on a flex of the outside leg to release, but as can be seen my "go-to" move is clearly an inside leg extension/stem thing. When I have to make an evasive turn to avoid the snowboarder I do this. It's also very evident in the squaw terrain where I'm much closer to the edge of my comfort zone.

Pete, yes I was definitely focusing on skiing to a task in the first two clips. The task was specifically to ski arc to arc in order to capture video of said skiing in order to get feedback. Last season I was very focused on my PSIA Level 1 certification, and spent a large number of hours skiing to task. Finding the fun and the feeling in my skiing again is very good advice.

The task in the final clip is "one more run" at the end of the last day of Eski/Holiday camp. We took a little video just for the heck of it. It may not look it, but I _was_ having fun in that clip.

-Adam
post #9 of 22

Ma

Quote:
Originally Posted by abertsch View Post
Max, I was focusing on a flex of the outside leg to release, but as can be seen my "go-to" move is clearly an inside leg extension/stem thing. When I have to make an evasive turn to avoid the snowboarder I do this. It's also very evident in the squaw terrain where I'm much closer to the edge of my comfort zone.

Pete, yes I was definitely focusing on skiing to a task in the first two clips. The task was specifically to ski arc to arc in order to capture video of said skiing in order to get feedback. Last season I was very focused on my PSIA Level 1 certification, and spent a large number of hours skiing to task. Finding the fun and the feeling in my skiing again is very good advice.

The task in the final clip is "one more run" at the end of the last day of Eski/Holiday camp. We took a little video just for the heck of it. It may not look it, but I _was_ having fun in that clip.

-Adam
Adam, I was not trying to critisize you, quite the contrary. I was just trying to bring up the Ride instead of the Turn. Sometimes we, especially when in Ski School environment (been there) forget about the experience and get to strung out on the HOWS. Break away sometimes and run Sherwood once at super G speed and then again just cruise and enjoy the FEEL of skiing. To accomplish this sometimes I would reawaken my feel for the snow by skiing a gentle run with a good friend and have him or her direct me while I am blindfolded. I guarantee your feel receptors will be on alert.
post #10 of 22
Hi Adam,

Learning to ski as in any skill based activity is a process where you pass through different stages along the way. Hopefully by seeking feedback & investigating different schools of thought, you will make more forward steps than backward ones. Sometimes it is hit & miss till you find something that really clicks & leaves a lasting impression, so in that sense you are on the right track.

I think you are on a good path in your skiing, you are discovering ski design & turn shape to name a couple. To put it really simply I think the thing we see lacking in your skiing is movement. I think BB has already said it a lot better than most of the rest of us could, so I'll try to hit on some fun things that you can play with on the hill next season to help get some new feelings in your skiing.

- Skating, on the flats, uphill, downhill & into your turns.

- Terrain, bumps, rollers in the park, runs like Hot Wheels (if it still exists), or just skiing back & forth in the half pipe. Let your legs flex, extend, relax, retract, absorb, bend & unbend. All this while keeping your CM & upper body in balance.

- Jumping, bunny hops around the turn, leapers, airplane turns in the bumps, small or large jumps in the park or natural ones off piste.

- Extremes in stance & posture, ski really tall, ski really low, lean waaay forward, lean way back, well not waaaay back, lock your legs together, spread them far apart. Ski on your outside ski only, ski on your inside ski only.

Remember, when you try any of these, to make sure you stay at speeds & terrain that are well within your comfort zone. We are trying to develop dynamic skiing, not defensive skiing. Turn up the volume when you feel it is appropriate.

Okay, that's all for now it is summer. Once you try some of these, use your imagination & you'll come up with some variations. Also ask some of the experienced folks around the School or Ski teams about what they do with the kids for fun.

Try it, it's fun!

JF
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Bob, responding to your comments deserves its own post!

So, an area that is severely lacking in my personal skiing AND instructing is finding the root cause of issues. I can see a number of movement related issues I would like to improve in the arc to arc clips.

A frame with slightly inconsistent edge angles during turn.
Stance excessively wide, especially at transition.
Stance down/back, especially at transition.
Rigid, park and ride through 70% of the arc.
Superman arms, with inside arm dropping slightly back.
Go-to turn to avoid snowboarder shows the "true" underlying technique of stem and throw skis sideways before getting it back together.

In the off piste turns I also see:

Extending inside leg to release.
Stem.
Rushing through the fall line.
Not finishing turn full up hill, yet holding skis across hill for too long.
Too much inside ski tip lead.
A frame.
Sitting back, afraid of the slope.

As a hypothesis for the root cause of this, I really like what you're saying, Bob. When I tip the new inside ski, it's not taking me in to the turn as quickly as I "want" it to. I then push with the new outside ski (creating the A frame) to try to crank up the edges. This still does not take me where I want to go. I look and feel out of sorts as I try to force myself in to the turn more with lower body strength than with center of mass position. Eventually I get myself contorted in to an almost passable position, so I park there for a while, and then start the whole mess over again when it's time to get in to the next turn.

I don't want to lose the lead with the tipping of the inside ski as part of my technique, but I do want to become more patient and let my center of mass move in to the turn before trying to rush anything else.

On the subject of feeling the float, I certainly experience a feeling like that in some turns (although I don't remember if I was doing that on these particular ones). When I do that, I release the outside leg when turns forces are near maximum. This launches me across my skis and in to the new turn extremely quickly. I wouldn't describe the feeling I've had as floating though. The word launch is more appropriate. It doesn't feel as elegant and controlled as the skiing in your animation appears, which leads me to believe I don't have it right.

Bob, in your animation I see a turn initiation and control and shaping phase that is incredibly smooth and _progressive_ which I would like to emulate. I really like your functional stance as well. The inside leg retracts way up, but never in, so there is no A frame as can be seen in my video. I am not sure if it is entirely efficient to come up as high as you are during the transition, though. What do you think on that?

-Adam
post #12 of 22
I'm not a ski instructor, but since you asked...

It's not bad, but there is room for improvement.

What I would like to see more of is PLAY, more like Gung fu, less like beginner karate classes.

Play with your turns. Start tipping and when you are in the turn tip more, and more. Keeping tipping more until you reach the apex and then allow the tipping angles to decrease as you come out of the turn. Play with the rates, start with decreasing radius turns that become increasing radius turns smoothly and evenly and then put kinks in.

In the last clip, for some reason you seem to be throwing your skis around. Maybe you want to go slowly on this stretch of hill because you want to stay within your limits and need to get them across the fall line for braking. Looked like you had a clear enough shot to straight-line that section with no worries. In any event, you need to play at getting the most response from the ski with the least movement from you. A ski is like a well reign-trained horse. You do not force the horse to go where you want by reefing on the bit; you just need to let the horse know what you want him to do and he does it. You shouldn't need to throw your skis around, merely making the right pressure and tipping moves will get them around likity split. Major pressure on the front of the outside ski and lots of tipping will get even a stiff race ski to snap around. Play at bending your skis into shapes and be dynamic and see what happens. More playtime with your skis following the orders via tipping and fore-aft pressure management will end up making the go-to move of throwing the skis around less frequent.

There will always be times however when you gotta do what you gotta do. Better to use a stem when you only have enough force to get one ski into position than end up in squashed on the rocks.


Oh, and what they ^^^ said too.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post
My suggestion is that--other than when practicing specific drills and exercises--you stress the "early edge" and "arc-to-arc" thing a bit less. Develop patience through the transition--"float" and guide your skis to their new edges. Before you try to engage those new edges, wait for two things: forces pulling you "out" of the turn (combination of gravity and centrifugal) and sufficient inclination (leaning into the turn) to balance against those forces, as your carving skis drive you through the turn.

So...as you exit the previous turn by releasing your edges, you will become "light." Savor this "float phase"--it's one of the most important (and enjoyable) parts of turns. It's a moment when you can relax, as you literally "fall" into the new turn, a time when all that matters is that you prepare for the forces that will build quickly once your edges re-engage.

In the "old days"--pre-deep sidecut skis--I used to recommend waiting all the way until you reached the fall line (straight downhill), or nearly so, before trying to really engage, pressure your skis, and carve the finish of the turn. With today's skis that bend and carve with much less pressure and edge angle, you can often carve earlier than that, but the principle is the same. Wait. Float. Be patient. Incline into the new turn, create new edge angles, but be patient before trying to get them to really bend and carve. Guide your skis during this phase, as your body moves inside the turn--no pivoting or pushing the tails sideways. Once you "feel the force," then go with it--engage and let the g-forces build and bend your skis.

These thoughts will require continuous, smooth, sustained motion, in contrast with the sudden stop-start moves of your video clips. It will require much practice, and a lot of "touch." Every turn is different, and the forces you deal with change constantly--due to pitch, speed, turn radius, and snow conditions. Managing these constant changes requires constant movement, but again, these movements respond to variables that you cannot always control, so they rely on "touch" at least as much as on technical understanding. Timing and intensity will vary with every turn!

Here's a very small animated clip of the movements I'm describing. (Sorry--I'm limited in the image size by my hosting service--this is as big as I can make it. Animations take space!)



Notice the transitions, which begin way back in the previous turn as the edge angles and body inclination begin to decrease, and continue seamlessly through the actual moment of edge release and through the "float phase" of the new turn. It's one unbroken movement. By the time the edges re-engage, I'm way inside the new turn, where I'll be in balance as they start to carve. In the float phase, I'm guiding my skis as I tip them and incline my body into the turn, but I'm not in a hurry to get "heavy" on them or to carve "arc-to-arc."

In spite of this patience, the tracks will look "arc-to-arc." I think that's one of the reasons why many people--including many instructors--over-emphasize (in my opinion) the "early carve" thing. Relax! Be patient! Spend less time on your edges and you'll spend a lot more quality time on them.

Your turn!

Best regards,
Bob
Wow! Smooooth! And your explanation is, too, Bob. Looking at the angles you're making and the speed that you've got developed in this section of that terrain gives many of us something worth emulating. And your explanation helps me get a sense of explaining it to others as well as feeling it for myself.

Thanks.
post #14 of 22

Turns

Bob Barnes, the more I watch the loop video the more impressed I am. thanks for the input. Now I have to take that onto the hill next Fall.
post #15 of 22
You're not kiddin', Pete! Doesn't that just make you want to get out and rip it up, learning the subtleties that Bob demonstrates so amazingly well? It does for me!
post #16 of 22

Turns

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
You're not kiddin', Pete! Doesn't that just make you want to get out and rip it up, learning the subtleties that Bob demonstrates so amazingly well? It does for me!

No kidding, I went downstairs into my SKI ROOM and looked around at everything. Skis, all 5 pair still there. I'm going to write this thread down so I can find it in November before I venture out again. Bob has set a pretty high standard but be fun to try anyway.
post #17 of 22
adam, I'm really pleased to take on board the tips I gave you in Squaw. Now, where's the pink ribbon?
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat View Post
adam, I'm really pleased to take on board the tips I gave you in Squaw. Now, where's the pink ribbon?
That sophisticated continental humor you've picked up in France seems to completely elude me. What are you going on about?

-Adam
post #19 of 22
Take the pink ribbon and hold it betwwen your hands...
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wear The Fox Hat View Post
Take the pink ribbon and hold it betwwen your hands...
Oh man, I think I had blocked that out. Now everyone tells me that my hands are way too far apart and it indicates that I must have bad balance and am compensating by holding my hands too far out.

-Adam
post #21 of 22
Just like to say I really enjoyed BB's analysis and the video loop.

For what it's worth, abertsch, for me you have identified yourself one of the key points and it comes out most in the last clip; your key movement is up and back, washing out the skis and forfeiting control over the turn shape and your path down the slope.

It's obviously less apparent in the first two clips which are too controlled - possibly a drill, but with the focus on the feet and switching from edge to edge the upper body again is either static or slightly back. If it were me I'd recommend looking into the belly of the next turn and consciously moving towards it (going over the front corner of the diving board, if you like) in each turn.

Actually, that's not entirely correct. If it were me I'd probably go and visit BB ...

PS: and the hands/poles. They're not helping. Use them consistently as a trigger ...
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by abertsch View Post
The task in the final clip is "one more run" at the end of the last day of Eski/Holiday camp. We took a little video just for the heck of it. It may not look it, but I _was_ having fun in that clip.

-Adam
That was pretty fun spot.

"Everyone else" would like to get a copy of the video that didn't make youtube.
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