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back seat in the bumps

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I know what i have to do to get in the correct bump position but just can't seem to do it. Problem is I'm planting my poles to hard on each bump which is forcing them into the mogul too far and eventually this is causing my arms to get behind correct position and puts me right in the back seat. I ski bumps as often as I can so I do have a very good idea of how to ski them but this damn pole thing is ending up being a major restictor in my skiing ability any suggestions out there on fixing this? Shorter poles help? Oh yeah I'm 6.5 and ski w/ a 52 inch pole (i think) Thanks [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #2 of 15
Can't hurt to try. Find someone with some shorter poles laying around the garage and test it out. Or cut down an old longer pair. (I don't know about everyone else, but I probably have 5 pairs of old poles laying around that are missing baskets, missing their match, bent, cheapest junk I could find when I went on a trip and forgot my poles or whatever...)

Other than that I guess you just need to figure out a way to have a lighter touch. Maybe try to not let your pole actually hit the ground at all - just do the motion?
post #3 of 15

Don't let your pole plant stop the forward motion of your hands. Try to keep your hands moving forward down the slope at the same rate as your body. Instead of allowing the pole to push back against your arm, release your wrist and let it rotate over the arc of the pole as you ski past where the tip is planted. (This wrist motion would be like if you were going to snap someone on the forehead with a stick...but I don't advise practicing in that fashion!)

Your hands stayed in position forward, so for the next pole plant you rotate the wrist to bring the pole into position instead of a big arm movement (probably accompanied by a rotation that then has to be countered somehow).

Bob Barnes recently posted an animated sequence and photo sequence on another topic, but both show hand movements well in this regard and much better than I could ever explain it:

post #4 of 15
Focus on reaching your pole plant just past the crest of the bump. This will time your turn better to start on the down side of the bump where your skis are light. It also helps keep your momentum flowing over the top of the bump instead of tending to be slowed or stopped abruptly. Also helps keeps you more centred over the ski which will allow you to extend the legs down into the next trough. I've had a lot of luck with a lot of students with simple tip. Bumps are tactics and technique.
post #5 of 15
MRGfan, if you think the pole thing is your problem then think of the pole as a lever. After you plant the pole, lever it forward down the hill.

Them bumps at our area have been fantastic for two days. The bumps here refroze after three days for rain. They are solid coral heads that go clickety clack. I was in there for several runs today on telemark skis.
post #6 of 15
Hi MRGfan--

Good advice above--to keep your hands moving downhill as you plant your poles, and to try planting them farther down the hill, on the downhill sides of the bumps. These thoughts might solve your problem.

Have you tried skiing a few mogul runs WITHOUT poles? Leave them at the top, or at the bottom of the lift--commit yourself! This can be a great exercise for those who overuse poles and for whom pole plants have become a crutch.

Remember, though, that those solid pole plants you describe are probably an important part of your turns. They probably have a lot to do with how you're getting your skis to turn. Without them, you will need to find another way. That's a good thing--you'll learn to turn with your feet and legs--but it may not come easily at first. Give it time.

Good luck! And welcome to EpicSki!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #7 of 15
Interesting idea about skiing the bumps without poles. I'll have to try it sometime, but the very thought frightens me. Also, Ive never tried this, but has anyone else ever had the thought that skiing bumps on snowblades might be the perfect way to perfect fore/aft balance? Has anyone ever tried it?
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great advise everyone. I have thought to ski a few bump runs w/out poles but unfortunatly the Vt weather hasn't even allowed me one good bump run yet. (it's dumping big time today). Getting the poles on the back side of the bump makes sense dunno why I've never thought of that before.

As for learning bumps on blades. In my opinion blades are a worthless investment. Your weight has to be TOTALLY differnt w/ Blades then regular skis that all I can invision is bad habits when you throw the skis back on. I've never tried them nor do I intend to but just watch the kids loose their balance all the time and you'll see what I mean. I think they are a fun fad that is dieing out after a few short yrs...
post #9 of 15
MRGfan, one word of caution, watch planting your poles on the backsides of bumps that are rock hard. The pole may skip instead of plant setting you up for a nasty forward fall.
Each bump is like getting off the chair lift. It has a flatter spot followed by a quick tip down. Just tilt forward like you do to get off the chair lift on every bump, then let your feet catch up for the next bump.

[ January 04, 2003, 05:47 AM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #10 of 15
L7, the advice to plant the pole beyond the crest of the bump is excellent (as is Pierre's last post). Also, skiing bumps without poles is a great exercise. Much of successful mogul skiing is a head game. It's important to not think of the bumps as solid barriers that you use to control your speed (unless you're into competitive mogul bashing, which isn't what this thread is about) but rather as markers on the slope that help determine your line and rhythm.

When someone says, as hot sauce did, that skiing without poles frightens them, it suggests that they might see the pole as something that will help control their speed. It's crucial in bumps and on steep slopes to know that it's the shape of your turns that will control your speed rather than the force of your pole plant.

[ January 04, 2003, 05:47 AM: Message edited by: David7 ]
post #11 of 15
Over relance on pole plants indicates upper body rotation necessitating a blocking move or blocking plus rotation around the pole. Working on the groomed in a tight corridor to improve steering the feet in a short turns would help a lot in the bumps. If you don't have a quick short turn on groomed you don't have one in the bumps. [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ January 04, 2003, 05:57 AM: Message edited by: Pierre ]
post #12 of 15
Spending time on snow blades is a good eye opener period. some time spent in bumps is really an eye opener. Leave the poles behind.

You've gotten some good advice above. I would add that pole planting and the movements asociated with the plant can really enhance our timing and flow down the hill. Keep your hands wider than your elbows, open your wrists and show them down the hill somewhat, and think about keeping your hands always moving forward, one should always be slowly reaching for the next turn. This helps keep them from retreating backwards, and gives me the follow through that helps keep everything going forward. The hand and everything behind the hands need to keep moving forward. If the hands retreat other things do also.

Good luck. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #13 of 15

Snowblades require a centered stance, in fact they demand it or you will end up on your face or tail. This is just the same stance that is required for skiing modern shaped skis. Blades require positive edge engagement with a minimizing of "foot twisting" rotary movements. Just as we are encouraging for modern shaped skis. Blades require that both skis have their edges engaged through the turn. Again just like modern shaped skis. Blades require that you ski arc to arc. Just like we want to ski with shaped skis.
With the possible exception of the last point these are all very positive movements for skiing the bumps. Further if you spend enough time on them then you will be able to anything on them as far as blending in skidding into the mix as you can on skis.

In short, blades are a fantastic teaching tool for almost all forms of skiing (competitive bump bashing might be the exception to this, don't know because i don't ski bumps that way). They are also just a lot of fun. Seems that I heard similar comments about snowboards being a fad at one time. I see more blades every year and think they are here to stay even though they may never be as common as skis or snowboards.

post #14 of 15
Five things in my bumpin checklist:

5) feet relaxed and happy, pressure tongue of boot with shin
4) pelvis tilted forward. Wayne & Garth... Schwing!
3) elbows up keep hands forward keeping me over my skis
2) chin up looking ahead
1) think of some good tunes... like Beastie Boys. Bring MP3 player
post #15 of 15
Back when I was teaching, we had an instructor who always ran bump clinics. She was awesome in the bumps. The biggest thing she preached for pole action was to use a punching motion with the hands. Her poles barely planted, but her hands were always punching forward. Maybe that punching motion will help you out. I think it's essentially what others are saying with the wrist rolling/forward action.
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