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1 ski or 2

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
This for you guys/gals who practice or teach one footed skiing. That is, making a series of turns on the same foot, with the other lifted off the snow. Do you take a ski off to do it, or just lift a ski off the snow without actually removing it?

Do you have a preference, or do you do both? Can you see benefits and liabilities in each?
post #2 of 31
I prefer to use this activity in the form of "tracer" turns where the unweighted ski just skims the snow surface. My thinking is that this is closest to the real situation (general body alignment-wise) while still accomplishing what I view as the principal goal, which is moving the COM into the turn. When I remove a ski, I am less balanced, and when I hoist it, it tends to block my hip and make more difficult allowing a little hip counter to develop while on a weighted outside edge. I seek not only moving the hip into the turn, but moving it diagonally forward too.
post #3 of 31
For general training purposes, take one off. It forces a full commitment and doesn't allow for any "cheating". And inevitably as one leg gets tired, the skier(s) will switch feet and get their weaker side involved. With one ski removed there is instant self feedback. Stance and extraneous movements jump right up and front and center, so coaching is ussually very welcome at this point.

It is a level III task in our division, but the task is done with both skis on. There is a lookers advantage to having both skis on and that is that you can view the movements of the lifted ski, foot, and leg, and see if they mirror the stance ski and leg movements in all three planes. Edging, rotary, and pressure movements should mirror the stance side movements, as well as the lifted ski showing effective for aft posture or lack of effective posture.

I like to occasionally remove skis in my higher end ski PE and MSU classes for a run. Instant feedback that opens eyes very quickly. I do it on a very easy blue to green run. Sometimes on our short beginner lift where we split our PE groups we will cycle the kids for a couple of runs with one ski. Puts a smile on my face sitting here thinking about it.
post #4 of 31
I am too lazy to remove my other ski, but I think doing so might make the exercise more useful. Meh, it's useful enough the way it is and I don't have to worry about where my other ski is. Of course I'm not "in training".
post #5 of 31
Ok remember now, I'm a dumb old barbarian so feel free to egnore.
I lift one ski make a few turns then lift the other ski make a few turns and then make a few turns on just my inside edges . No goals involved just goofing around but maybe somebody who new how to ski could get some edging stuff out of it ?
post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
I prefer to use this activity in the form of "tracer" turns where the unweighted ski just skims the snow surface. My thinking is that this is closest to the real situation (general body alignment-wise) while still accomplishing what I view as the principal goal, which is moving the COM into the turn. When I remove a ski, I am less balanced, and when I hoist it, it tends to block my hip and make more difficult allowing a little hip counter to develop while on a weighted outside edge. I seek not only moving the hip into the turn, but moving it diagonally forward too.

Kneale, that makes sense. I agree that it changes the body postion picture quite a bit when you lift a ski. But I can also see it making it harder to control the fudge factor in learning students. Easy to cheat, and not as clear it's happening as when ski in the air is the objective. Do you think using both versions might carry some value? If so, in what order would you structure a progression?

Oh, and when you do your tracer turns, do you notice when you're doing the inside ski turn, it takes more strength because you have to keep your inside leg more flexed to keep the non pressured outside ski in contact with the ground? It's something that's quite noticeable to me.
post #7 of 31
Rick . What is your preferred method and what else would you use to identify and enhance preferred movement and balance ?
post #8 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB View Post
For general training purposes, take one off. It forces a full commitment and doesn't allow for any "cheating". And inevitably as one leg gets tired, the skier(s) will switch feet and get their weaker side involved. With one ski removed there is instant self feedback. Stance and extraneous movements jump right up and front and center, so coaching is ussually very welcome at this point.

It is a level III task in our division, but the task is done with both skis on. There is a lookers advantage to having both skis on and that is that you can view the movements of the lifted ski, foot, and leg, and see if they mirror the stance ski and leg movements in all three planes. Edging, rotary, and pressure movements should mirror the stance side movements, as well as the lifted ski showing effective for aft posture or lack of effective posture.

I like to occasionally remove skis in my higher end ski PE and MSU classes for a run. Instant feedback that opens eyes very quickly. I do it on a very easy blue to green run. Sometimes on our short beginner lift where we split our PE groups we will cycle the kids for a couple of runs with one ski. Puts a smile on my face sitting here thinking about it.
Yes, sure is an eye opener, isn't it, Ric? Humbles the student who might not have a realistic sense of where their skill level resides. Coaches who work with teenage boys may recognize what I'm talking about. Ears open quickly if you do it tactfully, and the lesson suddenly gets more productive.

I used to do a lot of work with the kids on one foot skiing with the other ski off. Use to set dual slalom courses and have the kids compete each other to encourage commitment to the task and to push boundaries. I've gravitated more lately to leaving the ski on because I feel it more simulates the balance situation that will be encountered in actual skiing outside the drill.

I still feel they both have a place, though, because as you say, there's no room for cheating with the ski off. It really forces commitment, both physically and mentally.
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
Garry, I'll be back with you in a sec. Gotta shut computer down. Tornados coming though town.
post #10 of 31
The instructor that showed me this drill did it with both skis on. So that's how I do it
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Garry, I'll be back with you in a sec. Gotta shut computer down. Tornados coming though town.
Take care, take cover. We'll be here and I hope the same for you
post #12 of 31
I think both approaches have their ups and downs. With the ski off, there's a temptation to use the free foot for balance in a way that you definitely wouldn't be able to normally. On the other hand it's definitely more challenging.

I usually prefer keeping both skis on and doing just outside- or inside-ski turns (i.e. switching each turn). Better to get a rythym going.

There are good uses for any one-ski exercise, I'm a fan of any of them, it's good to have options and mix them up when possible.
post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarryZ View Post
Take care, take cover. We'll be here and I hope the same for you
Thanks,,, one touched down, but a bit West of here. All clear now.


Quote:
Rick . What is your preferred method and what else would you use to identify and enhance preferred movement and balance ?
As I said, I tend to go first with both skis on. It offers more direct carryover to actual skiing. When you take a ski off, the whole balance equation changes. And both skis on provides for a less intimidating challenge. The training wheel is still on the bike, and available in case things don't go well. Students are more willing to take risk when failure carries less scary consequences.

I may take off the ski when confidence and competence is developed. But that is after a wide range of one foot skiing balance skill has been developed, in the fore aft plane, as well as the lateral.

As far as what else I use to enhance movement/balance,,, a wide range of lateral and fore/aft balance skill development, that includes a broad spectrum of various blends of the two. The better the student gets at these, the more readily they can move from one to another at will, and the more easily new skill development in all other areas of the sport comes. I believe balance to be a primary foundation skill area upon which all other skill area development is dependant.
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Kneale, that makes sense. I agree that it changes the body postion picture quite a bit when you lift a ski. But I can also see it making it harder to control the fudge factor in learning students. Easy to cheat, and not as clear it's happening as when ski in the air is the objective. Do you think using both versions might carry some value? If so, in what order would you structure a progression?

Oh, and when you do your tracer turns, do you notice when you're doing the inside ski turn, it takes more strength because you have to keep your inside leg more flexed to keep the non pressured outside ski in contact with the ground? It's something that's quite noticeable to me.
I personally do not like to use the ski off or ski hoisted because of the things I mentioned before. Taking the ski off or lifting the foot off the snow becomes more of an agility drill than something to help develop a feel for moving the COM into the turn, which is my reason for using this exercise.

While it's true you need some flex in the weighted leg when on the outside edge to keep the unweighted ski in contact with the snow, that again more closely emulates the normal flexing of the inside leg. I don't really care if someone "cheats" by keeping five, ten or even 20 percent pressure on the unweighted ski as long as I can see them getting the hip where we want it.

The way I usually use this exercise is to develop appropriate COM movement forward and laterally, gradually even out the pressure on the "normal" outside ski until the COM movement is there with equal weighting of the skis and then let outside ski dominance return while maintaining the goal movements.
post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
[quote=CanuckInstructor;942252] I think both approaches have their ups and downs. With the ski off, there's a temptation to use the free foot for balance in a way that you definitely wouldn't be able to normally. quote]

Absolutely true.




Quote:
On the other hand it's definitely more challenging.

Yep.



Quote:
I usually prefer keeping both skis on and doing just outside- or inside-ski turns (i.e. switching each turn). Better to get a rythym going.
A definite prerequisite skill to one foot skiing. One foot comes late in my balance development progression.



Quote:
There are good uses for any one-ski exercise, I'm a fan of any of them, it's good to have options and mix them up when possible.[/
Absolutely. It's not a drill, it's a catagory of drills.

Good balance is so much more than just remaining upright as we ski, isn't it?
post #16 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
I personally do not like to use the ski off or ski hoisted because of the things I mentioned before. Taking the ski off or lifting the foot off the snow becomes more of an agility drill than something to help develop a feel for moving the COM into the turn, which is my reason for using this exercise.

While it's true you need some flex in the weighted leg when on the outside edge to keep the unweighted ski in contact with the snow, that again more closely emulates the normal flexing of the inside leg. I don't really care if someone "cheats" by keeping five, ten or even 20 percent pressure on the unweighted ski as long as I can see them getting the hip where we want it.

The way I usually use this exercise is to develop appropriate COM movement forward and laterally, gradually even out the pressure on the "normal" outside ski until the COM movement is there with equal weighting of the skis and then let outside ski dominance return while maintaining the goal movements.
So you generally place more importance/priority on the movement patterns than specific balance states.

I tend to separate skill areas and work on each as the priority forcus while I'm working with it, building a basket of skills and choices in each,,, then blend it all back together later on. In other words, develop many options in each skill area, then build a turn by combining a specific option from each skill area. Planting the notion in the student that which ever turn we're doing is not necessarily "THE way to turn",,, but "A way to turn".

Thanks, Kneale, for providing an alternative view. There's more than one way to build a house, isn't there?
post #17 of 31
Yes, and I teach in a different environment than one where you see the same client(s) repeatedly and frequently.
post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
Yes, and I teach in a different environment than one where you see the same client(s) repeatedly and frequently.
Excellent Point.
post #19 of 31
When I learned to three track, I started out with both skis. I spent the morning learning how to do it with the comfort of being able to "bail out" when needed. In the afternoon, I committed to it. I took off one ski and just used one ski and outriggers. I soon learned, you never, ever, put down your foot while moving!

So, I'm a believer in doing it both ways. And with and without using outriggers. You learn a lot from the experience.
post #20 of 31
Just throwing in another approach an Examiner had us do in a clinic is what he called 90/10 turns where you'd have 10% weight on one ski. It was not a high level clinic (Level II preparedness clinic) however, so this might have been an early stage progression.

I find it a useful thing to have intermediate skiers do. Is this what you call a tracer turn?

Personally when I take one ski off I get very tense and nervous that I'll fall and that hesitance makes it difficult for me to perform the task. Since falling once doing it (on my hip) I don't take a ski off anymore!
post #21 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post
Personally when I take one ski off I get very tense and nervous that I'll fall and that hesitance makes it difficult for me to perform the task. Since falling once doing it (on my hip) I don't take a ski off anymore!

Yes, that's the problem. The intimidation factor makes it not only scary to practice the things a student CAN'T yet do,,, it makes it harder to commit to doing the things they CAN do.

There are an assortment of one foot drills that can be done to develop the skills and expand the confidence prior to the later step of taking off the ski.
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Yes, that's the problem. The intimidation factor makes it not only scary to practice the things a student CAN'T yet do,,, it makes it harder to commit to doing the things they CAN do.

There are an assortment of one foot drills that can be done to develop the skills and expand the confidence prior to the later step of taking off the ski.
On a coaching camp 10y ago we had to ski with only one ski. No poles. The good looking 22y old female coach had made a course out of ski poles not only including turning left and right but allso including jumping over osticles. I could not do any of it. She could do it all. That gave me a kick in the butt. Taking one ski off is the real thing though. And leaving out the ski poles makes it 10 times more difficult.
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
And leaving out the ski poles makes it 10 times more difficult.
Not really. Leaving out the poles makes it harder to cheat. This is a big danger of one ski exercises. If the fundamental movements have not been developed, the temptation is to cheat instead. A lot of people doing one ski exercises are just reinforcing cheating movements.

My preference is dependent on the needs of the student. As noted, taking the ski off is humbling and eye opening. Leaving the ski on works best when there is no need for humility and the movement skills need to be gradually developed. Using 90/10 or 100/0 (tracer) turns prevent the cold turkey effect. For logistical and safety reasons, I don't use taking the ski off a lot.
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square View Post
I soon learned, you never, ever, put down your foot while moving!
One of my ski buddies is a racer. During a competition years ago he lost the right ski in the middle of a left turn and figured he could ride it out if he stayed balanced. He got back under control, got into a right turn and thought he could put the right foot down for a quicker stop. Cost him months in a cast and continual issues with his right ski boot ever since.
post #25 of 31
As Rusty points out there are liabilities that come with taking a ski off. I still like it for those that are capable though. For those that are not, there are many ways to decrease the difficulty of one ski exercises or increase the difficulty of them. Everything from thumpers, outside ski turns, inside ski turns, charelstons, hop charelstons, white pass turns, no poles, ect. ect. For my own learning I like arc to arc skiing on one ski. The terrain we choose to do it on is huge as well.

Can we cheat with only one ski on? Certainly, but not nearly as much as we can with both on. Like any exercise we need to accompany it with effective analysis, feedback, and prescriptions for change.
post #26 of 31
Is there more liability risk taking a student's ski off or placing a small shim between the binding and boot? or a couple layers of duct tape on the binding? or a trail map in the boot?

Though I agree whole heartedly the value of skiing one footed and on one ski, I am shocked at how some instructors will do this without a second thought, and this same instructor will fear for his job and financial well being placing a small shim between the boot and binding? Go figure?
post #27 of 31
Well,,,,according to our risk manager and our mountain management there is way more risk touching a binding than in one ski skiing. One ski skiing has a history of being a credible acceptable learning task, where there is no acceptance to placing shims in a students bindings by the binding industry. Two totally different subjects Bud.

We are very carefull in our training on subjects such as these. Most mountains have official policies that instructors have to follow in regards to safety issues. Violation of these policies is grounds for a reprimand or worse. We don't make the rules we just live within them.

Why make it sound like instructors are out there doing unsafe things all the while failling to do "correct" things like place shims in bindings. Which is absolutely not allowed at our mountain, and will get an instructor in trouble, or possibly risk their job. Touching any students bindings is absolutely off limits at Bridger Bowl, and as far as I know not allowed in any PSIA functions either. If you want "instructors" to be able to play with shims in students boots I suggest that you get the binding companies on board first.

This disscussion belongs in another thread.
post #28 of 31
It's not always the instructor who's resistant to messing with the interface between boot and ski, Bud. Many a resort administration has ruled that spot is for the shop folks because of liability issues.

We all know there are many instructors out there uncaring enough to even work on updating their skiing (let alone their teaching) skills. Would you want them adding tape to your bindings?

Ric was posting while I was typing (and got a phone call).
post #29 of 31
The question of liability was raised about taking away one ski. I was simply drawing the silly contrast between the real dangers of each. I am well aware of resort's policies and risk management thinking. The comparison between the two strikes me funny just like years ago when resorts were knocking down any little jump built or used by skiers and now we have super parks? What is going on here?

Sorry, don't want to hijack your thread RicB! Some resorts out west here will not permit instructors to remove a student's ski though it seems acceptable for the race coaches to remove athlete's skis?
post #30 of 31
Given the fundamental risk and liability involved with the act of skiing itself, it would probably be better to put a diaper on, cuddle oneself in bubble wrap, and play Wii (in a room with no sharp edges or objects).
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