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problem going blind on 360+ spins

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've been working on 360s for a season now and I can't seem to get past the going blind part. I assume it's fear related. My head just won't go around. It stops and looks back over the original shoulder and my spin stalls. I never get past about 270. Does anyone know any tricks for overcoming this? FWIW, I can ski switch decently on blue runs and can do forward and switch 180s no problem.
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by wickkidd View Post
I've been working on 360s for a season now and I can't seem to get past the going blind part. I assume it's fear related. My head just won't go around. It stops and looks back over the original shoulder and my spin stalls. I never get past about 270. Does anyone know any tricks for overcoming this? FWIW, I can ski switch decently on blue runs and can do forward and switch 180s no problem.
Are you trying to lead your spin with your head? "Go Blind" right away, turning your head the direction you want to spin as soon as you leave the lip of the jump. This should help you get around and spot your landing easier and earlier.
post #3 of 14
very common problem.

Without seeing you, it sounds as if the 360 suffering from counter-rotation possibly due to the lack of an effective pre-wind followed by a lack of locking the upper and lower bodies together, I'll explain...

If you stand up with no skis on and try to jump 360 from a neutral stance you may only be able to get 180 before your spin slows down or as you put it "stalls", then what happens is (in mid-air) you counter-rotate to try to muscle the last 180......but only end up getting another 90 (ending at 270) and end up looking over your original shoulder.

Instead pre-wind your spin with your upper body to the opposite direction of the intended spin. Then as you unwind (powerfully) and your upper body crosses neutral again, lock your upper and lower body together as you jump and feel your whole body rotate along the vertical plane. This will allow you not only to complete the rotation but also to land with upper and lower body facing the same direction.

The common misdiagnosis is to use the head, to a higher degree, to complete the spin. REMEMBER- The head and shoulders initiates the spin and the hips and legs complete the spin.

Also pay attention that your trailing hand does not cross your field of vision, this could also result in counter-rotation. Make sure your shoulders are level in the horizontal plane as well to keep your rotation from corking....unless that's what you are going for.

If the blind spot is too much just throw switch 3's. That way there is no blind period. Personally I find switch 270's to rail much more comfortable than regular 270's to rail, no blind business!

-nerd
post #4 of 14

The trampoline helps

You can try your 360 hundreds of times in a single session on a trampoline. By the ith spin, you'll have the confidence and muscle memory to 360 in the park without fear... speaking from experience.
post #5 of 14
I think the trampoline idea is a great one. You also don't even need a trampoline. Spin off everything and anything from sidewalks to benches. Once you get in the habit of FINISHING your spin you will on the snow too. My first 360 was actually on a snowboard and I landed my first on skis last season. In my opinion (including the pre-spin) its ALL about comittment and mind games. Force yourself to finish the turn and you'll be amazed how easily your legs come around. Tell yourself before the jump... NO MATTER WHAT happens I wont turn back. You'll likely get 270 around or so and slide out the final degrees on the snow. As far as the people watching are concerned you landed it. From there, the spin will get closer and closer to completion. Good luck. My goal for this year is to add both a grab and an iron cross into my 360. As well as doing it on larger kickers.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
followed by a lack of locking the upper and lower bodies together
Nerd - That seems to hit home. I can tell you with certainty that my upper/lower body has not been locked. It feels uncoordinated as a result. I notice that I have to work very hard not to flail. The arms/hands come up high (around head level) and...well, I'm sure you can picture it...not pretty.

One problem that I've faced is that I dance competitively and spins in dance are not the same as I've come to learn. In dance, typically, the body (from the neck down) turns as far as it can (leaving the head in place spotting what will be the "landing") until the neck can no longer turn without the head. Then the head is whipped around with the body until you see the "landing" you were just spotting and the head stops. The body unwinds naturally and you're done.

I have been doing a pre-wind, but perhaps not enough. I will focus on that.

By the way, how much do you crouch down in preparation for the pop? I see some people crouch a lot and others hardly at all.

So, I'm coming up to a kicker and I pre-wind before I get to the lip. At which point to I unwind, pop, lock upper/lower body together, etc... I guess what I'm asking is can you give me a "count" or "play by play" I can memorize so that when I'm going for it, I can run it through my head before I hit the jump?

Quote:
Are you trying to lead your spin with your head?
Jay - no, I think I am waiting to go blind out of fear. I try to get everything else spinning except the head. See my bit about dance spins above.

Tetra and Drew - I'll definitely try spinning off of everyday things. I had been doing a bit of that, but will try the things that everyone here has suggested while doing do. I've never felt like I've nailed spins off of everyday things with proper technique either. I like the trampoline idea. I'll have to look around for an adult gymnastics outfit here in Dallas.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_nerd13 View Post
REMEMBER- The head and shoulders initiates the spin and the hips and legs complete the spin.
Hmm - this seems to conflict with the idea of locking the upper and lower bodies together.

You may also want to try breaking the 360 into two 180s. Start your jump by turning your head to look backwards. When your lower body comes around, turn your head and shoulders again to spot the landing. This will create tension to help pull your lower body around. The play by play for this would be:
1) Compress before take off, with pre twist
2) Push off on take off with focus on turning upper body to face backwards
3) Pause the head looking backwards until the lower body catches up
4) Turn the head+shoulders to face forwards
5) Freeze the head looking forwards and unwind the lower body to face forwards.
6) Land

You can practice this on dry land in your sneakers. Do the first 180 only at first, then add step 4 without worrying about step 5. If (like some lard butts who's name we won't mention Rusty), you can't get enough air hopping to complete a 360 from flat ground in your sneakers, add some starting vertical by jumping off a box or a rock, etc. Focus only on step 4 while adding vertical in small intervals. Eventually you will have a starting height that will allow enough time to complete the full rotation. At that point, you will have the timing down to know how much air you will need on skis to do your 360s. You will also have established a reference point from which you can increase your rotational speed through more twisting power unencumbered by the mental freak out of whether you will make it or not.

A good exercise you can do in the gym is to hold a medicine ball (8-20 pounds) with both hands in front of you and turn your shoulders and hands in one unit as far as they will go (keep the ball in front of your navel and keep your knees fixed pointing forward). Hold and then return to center. Do 3 sets of 7-20 reps each in each direction. This will help increase flexibility and increase your ability to separate your upper and lower body. That will create more power to help get the lower body to complete the rotation. This will help regardless of whether you do your spins continuously or in parts.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by wickkidd View Post
By the way, how much do you crouch down in preparation for the pop? I see some people crouch a lot and others hardly at all.
There really isn't a clear answer to this one. Appropriate pop depends on speed during the approach, angle of takeoff and desired manuever.

Most tricks require some pop for initiation of spin and balance so get your speed right (by watching a snowboarder because they scrub speed in a visible way or by ghostriding a confident person into the jump and either going around or straight air right after them on the opposite side of the kicker) and play with what pop feels comfortable. I can't be too specific because, again, I can't actually see what you are doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickkidd View Post
So, I'm coming up to a kicker and I pre-wind before I get to the lip. At which point to I unwind, pop, lock upper/lower body together, etc... I guess what I'm asking is can you give me a "count" or "play by play" I can memorize so that when I'm going for it, I can run it through my head before I hit the jump?
Two things you can do to help. One is to find the song by DJ Dstar called "Pop, Lock and Drop It" it is an infectious tune that uses the music of the Modest Mouse song "Dashboard" and fuses the hip-hop lyrics of "Pop, Lock and Drop It" by Huey (not of "... Lewis and The News" fame.) Play this on Mp3 or in your head as a mantra. Unwind as you approach the lip, then pop lock and stomp it!

The other is to pay attention to your breathing. Inhale as you approach the lip and exhale as you take off. This is great for relaxing your takeoff and clearing your mind of fear. I use that little beauty all the time taking off switch.

-nerd
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Hmm - this seems to conflict with the idea of locking the upper and lower bodies together.
Not in my mind Rusty. What I mean is that the pre-wind and subsequent unwind of the upper body is what initiates or sets the spin and then the follow through of the lower body (the locking idea) is what completes the spin.

Locking is an idea that I was introduced to to combat the counter-rotation problem that I explained in my first post. That problem is largely due to the trailing hand in the unwind crossing the field of vision preventing a smooth follow through of the lower body. The locking keeps the body at neutral to allow for grabs and a smoother style.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
You may also want to try breaking the 360 into two 180s. Start your jump by turning your head to look backwards. When your lower body comes around, turn your head and shoulders again to spot the landing. This will create tension to help pull your lower body around. The play by play for this would be:
1) Compress before take off, with pre twist
2) Push off on take off with focus on turning upper body to face backwards
3) Pause the head looking backwards until the lower body catches up
4) Turn the head+shoulders to face forwards
5) Freeze the head looking forwards and unwind the lower body to face forwards.
6) Land
I disagree with the overall product that this will create. I believe that it will work in getting the spin around to completion, but the style will suffer.

Most smooth 3's that I have done and seen have been with a compact body in a neutral relationship. Teaching that one is to stop rotating the head, mid-spin, to allow the lower body to catch up and then resume the spin, will create a disjointed rotation and a lack of fluid style. Not to metion that a complimentay grab (mute) would seem increasingly hard with that amount of separation.

Again, I am not saying that your method will not work. Only that the style and overall effectiveness will suffer.

I do like the medicine ball training....may have to steal that one....muhahahahaha!

-nerd
post #10 of 14
Ski_nerd,

Ah - ok semantics - you're locking = my tension. OK - no worries.

I agree that a "dual 180" 360 is less stylish than a smooth spin. However, this is a proven technique for solving the op's problem. Once dual 180s are successfully performed, it's much easier to step up to performing smooth spins. One does not need to learn this way. It's only an option.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
::Rusty::
If I can't seem to get the 3 all the way through with the advice given here, I'll try to the dual 180 approach. Pragmatically, it doesn't matter what gets me all the way around as once I get there, I'm sure the confidence I gain will help me to get it styled right (and work on technique).

I will try the medicine ball exercise next time I go to the gym. It would probably help me when I don't want to turn skiing switch.

::Nerd::

I think I get what you mean about head/shoulders initiate - lower body completes. The upper body pre-winds so it also has to turn first without the lower body as the lower body is still attached to the snow. Once the pop happens and the entire body is in the air, the lower body "locks" with the upper body (both turning together) until the landing is spotted. The heads stops, then the rest of the body unwinds facing the same direction as the head. Correct?

Oh, the trailing hand thing...trying to visualize this...are you saying that often times the trailing hand gets brought too far across the body once the spin starts? I.E. if spinning left, my right hand gets brought too far across my body to the left? (stalling is definitely my problem)


BTW, thanks to all for being so helpful. This is great stuff. I am planning on going to Crested Butte Thanksgiving weekend, so I'll be sure to report my successes. I'll spend most of my practice time in the parks, but ultimately, I'd like to take this stuff to the steeps and small cliffs.
post #12 of 14
If you want to try 180 in, 180 out some say it's easier to bronc it with a spread in the middle. That worked for me on a tramp when I had problems over rotating-I guess cause on a tramp it's a different feel since you're not moving forward at the same time... Spreading the legs apart stops your spin at 180 then pulling it in helps spin you the rest of the way around.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
In a way that makes sense. Centrifugal force could work if a skier took off with legs spread a bit and then pulled them together to help with rotation. For me though, this is speculation until I actually start nailing them.
post #14 of 14

sorry couldn't resist

How about if you just do it 'till you need glasses.
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