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Here's me practicing SL on skis for the first time in ~4 years

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was at St. Moritz yesterday and I haven't been skiing in roughly four years because of five knee surgeries. I'm having another one on the 18th (hopefully the last).

You can see in my first video that I am pretty scared and not using the edge much and had trouble stopping (I got used to it quick - I didn't have my knee brace on so I was trying to be very careful).

Please tell me what you think. Obviously there were no gates on the glacier (they just took them down as the snow was getting very soft) so I did what I could. It was VERY difficult to get speed yesterday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuS4RqAS-7k (The video starts with me at the top left)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tv6zwJ-fIo8 (top left again)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SwMyz3BS2M (at 18 seconds you can see me)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocURLFaAAoQ (I start at the top left and move to the right side as they just groomed that area)


Impressions? I have a year to think about them as I can't ski again until next September.
post #2 of 20
This makes things a little easier.







post #3 of 20
mpb67, nice skiing. Wow, that much snow in st moriz! Envy you!
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
mpb67, nice skiing. Wow, that much snow in st moriz! Envy you!
Thanks. Obviously I am not what I was 4 years ago, but I think I am doing okay.

What do you think of the technique? What is good? What is bad? What are ways I can improve?

St. Moritz was okay - a lot of soft snow, and piles of soft snow were everywhere. And getting speed was difficult. Only one trail was open, but there weren't many there. It was a good experience overall. Just bittersweet since I can't ski again for another year.

At least I got those Stockli Laser SLs for 200 bux with bindings. ; -)
post #5 of 20
why cant u ski till september 2009?


things i like: your left turns - more than the right ones, you get the skis to carve, your rythm

suggestions: try to keep your upper body a bit more stable and work with your feet - you can do that by keeping your hands up and leveled - try to have the top of the poles just in the lower corners of your sight.

the thing with the hands will help you the most i think.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm having my 6th knee surgery. I think the reason my turns were bad on the right side is because I'm having my right ACL and MCL replaced (3rd time on the ACL, lost count on the MCL), so I am a bit nervous to make the turn. (I also have a stretched LCL and I forgot my knee brace)

I got over it pretty well. I was sad every time I started to get speed, a patch of flat snow hit and I lost it all. Skiing really was bittersweet - but felt good. It gave me the motivation I think I needed to get back into the old shape I was in, and try to really become a great skier again.

Where in Austria are you? I'm flying to Turkey tomorrow but in Zürich at the moment.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbp67 View Post
I got over it pretty well. I was sad every time I started to get speed, a patch of flat snow hit and I lost it all. Skiing really was bittersweet - but felt good. It gave me the motivation I think I needed to get back into the old shape I was in, and try to really become a great skier again.

Where in Austria are you? I'm flying to Turkey tomorrow but in Zürich at the moment.

good to hear u have a motivation - i'm from graz - its about 200 km south of vienna

my mom went through the same thing with her knees - but shes fine now - just u cant be all that agressive on the skis anymore - but hey the main reason should be having fun on and off the slopes
post #8 of 20
Day, I dont think I have ever been on a train in Austria or Switzerland that did not eather come from or been on its way to Graz .

mbp67, sorry to hear about your knee problems. How old are you BTW? You movements look pritty youthfull out there on the pist. Your skiing.... you want an honest evaluation or not? I will be frank with you because that will motivate you even more. You cannot wait to make come back next year and show tdk6 how wrong he was . Anyway, its not all bad. First, why more speed? You dont need more speed. You need less speed. You need to do some boring wedging drills and start building your skiing from scratch if you really want to improve. Conditions were not all bad. Just look at the guy skiing in your first clip. He makes a few turns before he is out of the pickture but check him out. Nice round controlled carved turns and no massive skidding and snow spray like you are delivering. Take lessons or get a coach. It will pay off pritty quickly.

You are sloppy and all over the place. Im not sure if your left turn is better than your right. IMO you are banking a bit to your left while you are angulating more to your right. You are creating more edge hold to your right. Problem is that you cannot really cope with it. Maybe its your knee. Your knee has something to do with it for sure. Anyway, you extend at transition and flex at apex. Thats a typial way to pivot your skis into a steer and tailskidd your turns. Try to work on riding the edges of your skis. Whatch out for hip rotation and sloppy arm movements. The reason you want to ski fast is because you need to cheat. You need to cheat because you have wrong movements. Dont worrie, get your knee fixed and start taking lessons. You are a good skier, you can learn.
post #9 of 20
mbp67,

I like your rhythm and flow in the turns. Your general technique is good. I did pick out a few things other than lack of symmetry in the turns. You appear to add a push to the outside ski around or after the fall line. That is causing some skidding toward the end of the turn which is making you brace on the inside ski (evident by the inside ski diverging).

My suggestion is keep the body more stable, and don't add anything to the outside. This will allow you to keep moving with it instead of against it. I think that the bracing against the inside ski will go away with more effective use of the outside ski.

Don't rush your transitions, this is part of keeping your body more stable (and quiet).

Hope this helps, your skiing is overall nice.

RW
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbp67 View Post
Please tell me what you think. Obviously there were no gates on the glacier (they just took them down as the snow was getting very soft) so I did what I could. It was VERY difficult to get speed yesterday.

Impressions? I have a year to think about them as I can't ski again until next September.
Before we can tell you what we think, it would be helpful to know what you think, that is what is your desired outcome in your skiing. If your desired outcome is to be able to ski on the terrain in the video with similar snow conditions at the speed which you skied, then most of us would say that you skied OK. However, if your desired outcome is to be able to take your turns into knee deep crud or into the trees or down twice the steepness or at half the speed in the video, then we certainly can give you some things to consider during your convalescence. It is only after you have set the goals of your desired outcome that you can focus on the movements which will create the ski/snow interaction which will result in your desired outcome.
Some things that you could think about before you're on the snow again would be quieting down your upper body to give you more stability in your turns. Think about your pole usage which will help in creating stability in your upper body as well as help move your COM into your turns. Think about how you can manage your ankles, knees and hip joints to create early edging so that you are carving well before the fall line. This will help to manage your speed via turn shape which will decrease the fear of further injury.
These are just some of the things which you can consider. But first of all, set some goals for yourself and then seek help from a coach on your return to help you realize the movements which will create the ski/snow interaction to achieve those goals.
post #11 of 20
If we were talking about this in person, I'd take more time and work into the discussion. However, here time and space are limited, so hang on.

Compare each of your movements to those of a very good skier. Your basic movements are not conducive to good skiing, and you need to shed yourself of some harmful movements in order to add good movements.

--Look at yourself at 19 seconds in video #5. Your center of mass, likely somewhere in the upper abdomen, is behind your feet and your arms are stretched ahead. This isn't an arm problem, it is a stance problem and maybe a related boot or binding alignment problem. Your center of mass needs to be above your feet, and usually above your outside toe.

You are using some rotation--pulling yourself around with arm motion. Stop that.

Your basic tendency is to jump up high, then thrust your heels sideways and ride the skis around a turn. As you learn better form, you'll learn to start the turns smoothly and make even, round turns with continual movement through the turn, not holding a position as you do now.

What to work on first?...Always stance and balance. If one is back on their heels or heavy on the inside ski, nothing can work right. When you get that fixed, learn to ski with your feet using upper body movements to improve the foot action, and learn to make smooth, round turns.

You can do it. You'll need to identify all your present movements and pressure patterns and be ready to replace them with better movements and weight/pressure distribution.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
Compare each of your movements to those of a very good skier. Your basic movements are not conducive to good skiing, and you need to shed yourself of some harmful movements in order to add good movements.
mbp67, Here's an clip of a World Cup racer, freeskiing, that does an excellent job of showing the movements required to 'up your game'. I find the fifth full turn particularly useful to watch, because the camera is zoomed in and lower and upper body motions are clear.

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post
What to work on first?...Always stance and balance.
I am not an instructor, but...

Pick a stance and stick with it. Your feet are moving out and in constantly, almost in perpetual motion. Decide how wide or narrow you want to stand and adhere strictly.

Your upper body has too much activity. If you address the stance issue, you will create a base which will help calm this inefficient motion. Quiet upper body is a must and stance will offer you a place to start. A simple place to start.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. I'm not able to ski any more until next year, but I know I have some work to do. Too much upper body movement, and not a smooth edge transition. I am hoping some of that is due to not wearing my brace and the general scary nature I felt when skiing without the brace and an unstable knee.
post #15 of 20
Actually start to incorporate the pole plant first. At this point you cannot progress much further without that. That should immediately help to improve your balance and stance and also your quickness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbp67 View Post
Thanks for the input. I'm not able to ski any more until next year, but I know I have some work to do. Too much upper body movement, and not a smooth edge transition. I am hoping some of that is due to not wearing my brace and the general scary nature I felt when skiing without the brace and an unstable knee.
post #16 of 20
A couple of thoughts - probably covered by others better than me in this post.

Your COM is too far back - unfortunately this can help contribute to knee injuries.

Your hands are not correctly positioned and stable.

Check this out from Weems Westfeldt (respected ski pro and head coach for epic)



These are just two aspects of correct 'stance', and a good starting place.

Good luck with your knee surgery.
post #17 of 20
"Halfway between everywhere". I like that!
JF
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post
"Halfway between everywhere". I like that!
JF
Technically, that'd be shoulder level. That's half way up/down.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
I decided not to have knee surgery (long story), but short question: can you recommend exercises I can do for the next 8 months to get back into healthy shape and be able to ski again?

Thanks.
post #20 of 20
mbp,

The best place to get recommendations is from a physical therapist who can measure your strength and range of motion and customize a selection of not only the best exercises, but the best way to do them. A PT also has immediate access to heat, ice, electric stim and ultrasound and can apply them in the right order around your exercises so you can get the most out of them. When I had my knee surgery, my PT had a computerized torture device that was far beyond would could be done with normal exercise gear.

In lieu of that, the general idea is to start with no or light weights/impact; comfortable range of motion; and low reps; and then work your way up. Depending on where you're starting from, swimming could be a good place to start. After that, there are tons of exercises you can do with stretch bands and balance boards/Bosu and exercise balls. Bikes are a part of a lot of rehab programs. Walking backwards on a treadmill or sideways is not too bad. Wall sits are pretty brutal (stand 18" or so away from a wall with your back flat against the wall and your knees at a 90 degree angle - simply hold for 10-120 seconds or slide your back up and down the wall). From there you can typically start thinking about working with weights. Machines make it easier to do exercises correctly. Free weights (e.g. squats) do a better job because they challenge your balance better. Take your pick. Roller blades have less impact than running and are good cross training for skiing. There are some ladder and box drills described in one of the current ski magazines that involve more impact. To the extent that you can do those, you're ready for skiing.

I'll end this with a reminder about the old adage about those who act as their own lawyer have a fool for a client. Always consult a doctor before you start an exercise program. I can't say that you haven't, but since I can't see that you have either, I'm obligated to make the comment even if only for those omnipresent lurkers.
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