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My turns--please critique & improve me

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
nolo on wind affected Yoplait

Have some fun, people. It was the end of March, 2002 (most recent vid of my skiing). I am the lady in gray. Behind me is "The Shadow."

This link now works, but the file is probably too big for most people's patience. Sorry about that. I am at the limits of my technical ability to get it this far. Advice appreciated.

[ November 03, 2002, 02:56 PM: Message edited by: nolo ]
post #2 of 74
My oops. it's actually still there, I'm just hosting multiple sites now so the path was incorrect.

I fixed it on Nolo's post.
post #3 of 74
Dchan--I still get the "page cannot be found" error message.
post #4 of 74
Thread Starter 
The link works. As I said, it is a large file. There is audio.
post #5 of 74
Sure looks like fun to me! Nice skiing! If snow is tough, you make it look pretty easy.

Soft observation: Left & Right turns do not appear symetrical.
So only seeing one run, I'd ask: Is this unique to this one run/fall line/snow cond or have you heard this feedback before.
Do you consider one turn smoother than the other? Or Stronger?

Because you are a highly skilled skier, you may be making it look easier that it really is, so pardon if I seem too picky.

What I see in your right turns are more evenly distributed angles that progressivly develope throughout the turn, which smoothly shapes around and blends into next transition. Right turn shows a consistant even snow spray throughout turn. If I had an overhead shot of tracks, I'd suspect a very round, fairly consistant width right turn track.

In your left I see what appears as some upperbody tipping/banking. Left turn appears to start lighter, then get heavier, showing a heavier burst of snow right after the falline as the feet appear to check ever so slightly and disrupt their flow (was the snow giving way?). I'd suspect a more croissant shaped left turn track that is a little wider in the middle.

Attempting this exercise (as much for my learning as yours) makes me appreciate how much I use info from having skied a run or snow I'm watching others on and factor that info into what I see them doing. Without that "feel" for dificulty of snow cond, I may be way too picky in what I see. I'm also missing info I'd gather as to what you intended to happen, how you tried to create it and what you felt the results were. If the only purpose of this run was to yahoo down and enjoy the twinkling snow, you couldn't look better.

Would love to be there with you to "play with this" or "what if we tried to create a feeling of...". Where is it, I want to go there?

The main specific I'd ask first based on what I think I see is: Do you have alighnment issues that you have been, or should be, canted for? (Maybe you are a little over-edged on right ski?)
post #6 of 74
Is that Ricky Nelson singing? I was so surprised that I finally downloaded something that I nearly jumped out of my seat. The skiing looked great.
post #7 of 74
Thread Starter 

Look at the movement of the left hand at the start and at the end of the left turn. ("The"! I mean "my left hand.")

Do you think there's some distortion from the camera angle?

Could be something with the boots; could be the snow breaking away. The snow was like Yoplait with a half inch of skin on top. I forget what the run was called.

The song is on "Dulcinea," Toad the Wet Sprocket. Had to dub a song over the guy behind me who was shouting instructions: Slow down, speed up, are we going all the way to the valley floor?
post #8 of 74
Very nice!! Looks like fun in the sun for sure.

I don't have an angle on your left turn, but one thing showed a couple times on the right. (VERRRRY picky here. I had to use some stop-action to get a look at it.) As your turn progressed and your body became "heavier" towards the completion stage, your left ski would break away ever so slightly, leaving you just a tad more inside than necessary. (With the conditions being as you've described, it could have just been goooey snow knocking you around. I'm also assuming you've had all your alignment work done!!!)

G-forces naturally build up on us in any and every turn, but I try to think of Defying that increase in pressure by extending my legs - equally, and simultaneously - into that break-way junk so that I can be extended and ready to tip my skis when the turn is complete. The heavier I get, the more I EXTEND. I try not to absorb it, I try to make it work for me. (Absorbing is for bumps!) If everything goes well, I can try to synch the feel under both feet and prevent that little platform from building up under my down-hill ski and Smooth right through into the next turn. It will also help eliminate the dreaded "CRRRRUUUUNCH, POP!" look in the crud that so many of us are guilty of. (I'm the worst some days!)

After finishing a turn inside, and on the uphill foot, the most common way to move to the next turn is to go up and around our "neutral" Zone. And when this starts happening, one "Pop" begets another. Very hard cycle to break without coming to a full stop.

Exercises: Rail-road tracks, 1000 steps, SLOW shuffle turns in powder, and retraction turns.

once again, Very nice skiing Nolo.
Question? What size skis are you on in that stuff? Sheer curiosity here. My wife is starting to get pretty good at this skiing bit, and I'm curious as to what other women are skiing.

See you in Big Sky?
Spag :

Edit: I just looked again and have another thought. It looks like your pole plants are moving forward and touching out by the tip of your skis. Maybe if you turned your palms out just a scad and sent that touch a little more Down the hill, you wouldn't have to jump over your pole grip to get to your new turn.

Exercise: Phantom pole touches in crud or bumps. (blue terrain) You're a talented enough skier to try those out I bet!! Best of luck! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

[ November 03, 2002, 08:20 PM: Message edited by: Notorious Spag ]
post #9 of 74
Oh nolo, you're just showing off, superb skiing, you shouldn't change a thing, just hope you can keep up this quality of skiing as age creeps up on you as it does on all of us, I mean it.

post #10 of 74
Okay Nolo, so I'm on the phone with Bob, looking at your video clip and my son comes over. Without saying anything about you posting it for feedback he gives his critique: "way too many turns."

Guess you can't satisfy all the people all the time!
post #11 of 74
Thread Starter 
Am I showing off or am I showing up? Regardless of my motives, thank you for your gracious comments, Ott.


You have given me a lot to think about. The part about popping is perplexing: Pop does not go with flow. Pop goes with the weasel or snap and crackle. Not flow. Hmmm.

That week I skied the AK Launcher and the Volkl Explosiv in 165 cm. Ordinarily I ski a 160 T9 Spire or T9X. I'll get out my boots and see if the shaft cant is off. Yes, I'll be seeing you at Big Sky.

Thanks for the ideas!

[ November 03, 2002, 09:38 PM: Message edited by: nolo ]
post #12 of 74
Okay, you were skiing in front of somebody you call the Shadow. You put the music in because he was calling out to you with questions, to slow down, whatever.
So, my question is, on what level did the Shadow affect your rhthym?
Nolo, this is a question for you, and for the guys critiquing you. Assuming that you're in tandem with the Shadow, how did that affect your skiing?
post #13 of 74
Originally posted by nolo:
Look at the movement of the left hand at the start and at the end of the left turn.
I too know the feeling of a free spirited left hand. Yours does drop down and back thru left turn maybe just enough to drop left shoulder a little with it (chicken or egg?).

For you a simple focus on what that hand is doing should allow you to adjust it. An active focus to play with might be to lengthen or stretch the inside half of your body, triggered by continuing to activly tip your inside foot/ski thru turns to "bow" from the feet up. Compare the left/right feeling of stretch in the the rib cage, and see how much more is needed in left turns to match the left turn ski/snow result to your right turn ski/snow result.

I know I need to "feel" more stretch to one side than the other to have the same results at snow level because of a curve in my spine that makes one direction "feel" easier to create angles. So I try to create symetrical feedback from my foot/ski/snow interaction and allow an asymetrical internal feeling if that is what is needed to facilitate my ski/snow purpose. This is the same compensation that skiers with unbalanced alignment struggle to make, but shouldn't have to. I've found that if I ski from just a feeling of symetrical up in my body, my turns don't have the same results.

Had I never been a racer (focusing on ski/snow outcomes) or insructor/trainer (focusing on consistant demos) I might have never noticed, or cared enough to develope that awareness (just lucky I guess).

Our area started making snow this week just to stockpile whatever they can as weather allows. I might get on snow in next couple weeks (a month ahead of last season). Can't wait.

[ November 03, 2002, 11:01 PM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
post #14 of 74
Thread Starter 
An active focus to play with might be to lengthen or stretch the inside half of your body...
I like that, Roger. It's similar to what Ric said about trying to get as much distance between the inside shoulder and the outside foot. Both instructions ring a bell with me.

A couple of days before this video was shot, I tried to ski through a tree top and hyperextended my left shoulder. I couldn't play golf until August. I suppose that's partially responsible for what we're seeing on the left side.


You are astute to have picked up that synchro skiing was the task here and it dictated that I ski a shorter radius turn with a consistent rhythm without losing my shadow. (Who had been in a couple of Warren Miller movies in his day. Now 65, he contents himself with popping big air off every boulder in sight: as an aside for Ott.)

I like how we're filling in the context...
post #15 of 74
My wife now buys some kind of organic yogurt with a thick layer of "stuff" on the top. I say it's going to give me a heart attack.

I still say nice skiing due to the conditions. Bob B gave me a great tape. It's of the Mahre brothers skiing is frozen crud. Big chunks are blasting them in each turn. They never miss a beat in the stuff, HOWEVER, there is clearly a differing technique employed. A little more up motion, a little more rotary motion. He loaned it to me (I'll give it back Bob I promise)after I complained about a tough day in the frozen wind slab at Loveland last spring. It made me feel better.

They ski the stuff and they were clearly having fun. It reminds me of this clip.

I prefer my yogurt blended and smooth!
post #16 of 74
Sorry to make it complicated. I do better when I'm around to demonstrate and "talk" with my hands and draw pictures in the snow. You're right... POP does not go with flow. My goal was to help you make the pop go away. The flex/extend movements I describe should happen (as you know) progressively so that they "match" the length of the turn. A nice, smooth complement to all the other things that are so right with your skiing.

Remember, pressure will begin to build up higher in the turn if you remain over both skis (pole plants down hill!). Respond to it by extending, not flexing, just to see what happens. I don't want to get into what parts of this are skiing, and what parts are exercises because ultimately the skiing part is up to you. Take what you like, put the rest in your back pocket for some other situation!!!!

Take care
Spag :
post #17 of 74
Nolo- Great Turns! Looked to FUN for only the 2 of you!

As a rule I refuse to slow action because there is no slow action in the real world but rules are made to be broken!

A few observations. Forgive me if someone has gone here already but I have not reviewed the other posts yet.

Do you like one of your turns better than the other?

As I looked the Left turn seems to have a more abrupt finish as the tail seems to drift further than the tip. Your body seems to sink harder. (camera angle?) I don't think so because it looks like you lose a little shape at the top of this turn, tend to drift into it more than tipping and shaping at the top as you do on the right turn. I may be off base here but my suggestion is to work on the finish of your right turn as opposed to the entry of your left turn. Here is my reasoning. You are a very talented skier and this comes easy. Your right turn you get alot of shape at the top which allows you to do what ever you want at the bottom because you already have controled your line and managed speed, I think you just get a little lazy and allow your turn to bleed off which gives you a more downhill entry into the left. On your left you finish more across the hill allowing you to get alot of shape on the right turn entry as you ski your ski's thru very well. So maybe I am crazy but I would like to see you work on the finish of your right turn. Work on really allowing the skis to pass thru as you tip them early. Think of skiing up on the side of a dinner plate, Or a turn at Daytona. Allow for softer legs at the finish as you then try to length your body away from them again.

Your hands. Once again maybe angle of camera. I see a slight blocking with the pole. I would ski a bit with just a pole swing and NO touch. It appears at times in the run the abruptness of the pole touch caused slight inbalance resulting in a shoulder twist or a settling back.

Great skiing Nolo! I looked forward to what your comments of yourself are as well as many others. Thanks for the picture, They got more pumped to get out!!!
post #18 of 74
The skiing looks great. Is there something you feel uncomfortable with?

I ask because it looks like you can ski anything, anywhere, whenever you want, with fluidity. So to zero in on anything it would help to know if there is one thing that bugs you. For example, Your form is very much like my sisters. My sister wants to be able to ski faster over variable snow conditions with more confidence. So she is working on letting the ski run more. In your video, you can see as you get closer to the camera you look to speed check a little more toward the end of each turn turn. Nothing wrong with that unless you didn't want to do it.

My advice to my sister to get her to break through her internal speed barrier was to stop thinking so much about making a "perfect" turn and just to ski. Therefore, without knowing what holds you back, all I can write is "when are you coming to Mammoth so we can make some runs together?"
post #19 of 74
Thread Starter 
As I meld the comments together, it sounds like I could use a training routine to bring my left side strength up to that on the right. I'm not sure how to do this and would appreciate any advice, but please remember that I live in the boonies and don't have any P.T. props except free weights, a unicycle, a can of B&M beans and a short board, and some monkey bars. I strongly suspect that I need both rolfing and Tai Chi, and to quit sitting at a desk and leaning on my left elbow for hours on end. I lean on my left elbow because I do 80% of my typing with my right fingers (or I do 80% of my typing with my right hand because I lean on my left elbow...).

Thanks! This is making sense to me!

Todo: I'm going to take your advice to pay attention to the end of my right turns to see if that's the penultimate movement that sets the stage for the weaker left turn.

Bullet: I'm afraid for this to work you're going to have to meet me halfway. I have an idea. On Jan. 30, hop on the L.V. freeway and take the spur to SLC, meet me at Alta on Jan. 31, and we will ski and see if you can make me drive real fast.

Spag: I'm not seeing the POP of which you speak. Maybe you are saying what Todo and Bullet are about letting my skis run a bit more?

All: I'm curious how people account for the context of a run in your movement analysis. How do you separate the habitual movement patterns out of the background noise?
post #20 of 74

Very nice turns! Don’t listen to the shadow!

There is comment on your left turn. If you watch when making the left turn, your left hand comes back. What does that do? In your case it slightly pulls your left shoulder back with it causing a bit of upper body rotation. Every slight though. There is some A frame in there also. With the right foot, it might be explained away because of the slight upper body rotation to the left and the hand moving back. But there’s also some of the same thing going on with the left foot too. Could be a boot alignment issue? I say this because I suffer from the same problem, and it has been determined by my favorite trainer that it’s the boot and my foot alignment in the boot. God forbid that it’s my skiing ability! : But I must say, Nolo, NICE TURNS!!! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] --------------Wigs
post #21 of 74
Oh to be 65 again : ... as for the critiques: you are critiquing a skiing style, nolo's skiing style. All skiers I've ever seen make asymatrical turns most of the time.

I have even put a photo of the tracks shot at the powder-8, which was shot head on, in Photoshop, duplicated them and flipped them. The overlay distinctly shows that turns are not symetrical.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that since practically all of us have a strong and a weak side we tend to compensate for the weak side which manifests itself either by different edge angles, more or less angulation, shorter or longer pole swing, etc.

Why do both turns have to be the same? Sure, when we concentrate on making both turns the same, all of us can, but in a freeskiing STYLE, a skiers personal style, which allows us to recognize someone way up the slope, against the light and before we can see their faces or see the colors of their clothes, it's minute personal differences from other skiers that does that.

Trying to pound style out of a skier to make them look like any other skier who skis "correctly" by someone's standard is doing that skier no favor. You will see good skiers on the slopes skiing very efficiently and with great precision using totally different styles, some with opposite movements of what is considered mainstream.

nolo's skiing has my admiration because she uses sparse movements, no more than needed, and it makes for a great style.

Critiquing a fault, something that makes that skiers turns inefficient, is greatly helpful, crtiquing a style is not.

And now to the lighter side, apropo to this:

What do golf carts and ski instructors have in common? They all look alike and don't go over fifteen miles an hour [img]smile.gif[/img]

post #22 of 74
Just some comments from a skiing nobody as I read this thread.

I really like Ott's comments.

The critiquing approach in this thread seems somewhat contrary to the recent threads on "YES" approach and "follow a line".

Nolo skis so smooth and efficiently; what I would really like to see is her skiing at speeds or in terrain that truly shows some functional limitations of her technique/style and then some comments on how she move forward from there.

I think that some people would retort that the critiques given are just that, pointers that would help her overcome barriers she would face in tougher conditions.

I'm going to keep the video on my desktop today and watch it whenever I need a diversion or spiritual uplift.

Thanks for putting the video up Nolo!
post #23 of 74
Well, Nolo, you get no critique from me.

Looks like great skiing and I wish I'd been there. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Just out of curiousity, is there a slight double fall line on that slope? From the video, it looks like it could fall off just a bit to skier's left. If so, that's one possible explanation for the slightly different turns.

I do think your left turn (right leg) is a tad stronger, but perhaps the slope is contributing a little.

Just a thought.

post #24 of 74
Thread Starter 
I'll let you folks in on a secret. I'm happy with my skiing as it is in this video but I appreciate the input because even though I haven't seen most of you ski (hint, hint), I can tell mojo from mumbo most of the days of the week, and I feel I've gotten about $1,500 worth of value here so far. I'll go out this season with some great hypotheses to test. What fun!

I want to single Bullet out for penetrating to the heart of my aspirations in skiing:

My sister wants to be able to ski faster over variable snow conditions with more confidence.
Are you sure you're not a ski instructor, Bullet? I think you would be an asset to the profession.

Ott, as ever, you are the soul of wisdom and the model of grace. I can't express my deep appreciation for your contributions to my understanding of this game.
post #25 of 74
Bullet originally noted:
... In your video, you can see as you get closer to the camera you look to speed check a little more toward the end of each turn turn. Nothing wrong with that unless you didn't want to do it...
This is something that I noticed as well in your skiing, and I am quite curious about it from the point of view of strategy. IMHO (and my opinion is indeed extremely humble in this matter) isn't this a bit of "skiing the fast line slow" that is creeping in?

At your level of skill, to control speed, you could obviously have carved more and gone a bit further from the fall line in each turn before you head back downhill, but instead, it looks like you decided to stay in a narrower corridor and introduce a tiny bit of a check - almost a microscopic heel push.

As Bullet said, there is nothing wrong with this, but with all this wide open terrain and your extensive experience, I'm really curious what was behind your decision to do it this way? Was it the influence of the "synchro" goal? Was it the wide skis which make it much easier to skarve a bit? On the other hand, in marginal conditions, I would have thought that one should try to avoid any hint of sideways motion of the skis over the snow.

Anyway, I've got BobB's "ski the slow line fast" so imbedded in my brain, that it would really be good to hear the caveats and conditions that an expert skier like you places on his maxim.

Now, if I could only ski half that good, I'd be a happy camper ...


Tom / PM
post #26 of 74
Thread Starter 
This is sastrugi. Is has a soft inner layer and a stiff outer layer of variable depth. I'll put your question back to the group: Does "ski the slow line fast" apply to skiing in snow as it does to skiing on snow?

I chose the line I did because it was a fantastic run, I was in the first group, and heli-manners dictate that you don't ski more than your share--leave some tracks for the next three groups.

There was a bit of a double fall line, as Bob Peters noted. Our path was dictated by wanting to get some good video footage and so was dictated by the cameraman. Sorry I didn't reinforce that earlier, Bob.

[ November 04, 2002, 11:39 AM: Message edited by: nolo ]
post #27 of 74
Nolo, you really ski well! Awesome! Those looked like some excelent turns. I'm so jealous!
post #28 of 74
PhysicsMan, since nolo didn't address your comment about a check, I tell you my side of it.

Whenever I finish a turn I want to have the energy in my skis loaded to a certain point. When skiing a turn as you describe, more across the fall line while hanging onto the edges, that will load the skis good, but should I ski a turn that is short of that, because I'm aborting the turn or because I want to ski a narrower corridor, I will throw in a check with the appropriate force to load the skis to the point I like.

Because I'm old and out of shape I try to make the skis do all the work, it saves my muscles and my energy, so almost all my turns come off a rebound of loaded skis, I just use different methods to load them, as described above.

It is easy to make fine adjustments to the rebound, should the skis be overloaded and may want to bounce me up, by absorbing the extra energy via retraction.

Checking is very valuable tool in skiing and is not a braking maneuver when used as I desribed but certainly can be used to control speed when needed, as in a chute where rounded turns would be a disaster.

post #29 of 74
Thread Starter 

I was hoping my comment about the snow composition would explain the picture. I weigh 110 pounds. I was on the top layer of snow in the fall-line, but I break through to the bottom layer of snow at the transition. I'm using that for speed control.
post #30 of 74
Nolo- One of your questions was how do you block out the noise? I took this to mean account for conditions. This question had me really thinking!!! (scary) I hope YOU and more will answer that because as I kicked it around, I don't. I am looking for the skis to tip and tail follow tip, I am looking for the body to flex smoothly and evenly, I am looking for the turns to show shape that is consitant thru out. To me the conditions do not matter. I may make different inputs to my ski's to account for the given conditions but the overall picture I show should be very close to the same on ice, powder, bumps. Regardless of the condition I don't want abruptness. This question is really tough. I think a make an observation of the condition and given some credit for it but overall don't have it influence my thoughts on what a skier should be doing. All this in a general sense. If I were having the good fortune to work with you then we may very well address the conditions. In order for us to do it in the forum we would need a shot of you all on the same day skiing the groomed to the bumps to the windpack to compare any tendancy you may have that limit your ability to work the ski in any one of those conditions. My guess is NOT!

As for your hint to post footage. Maybe this year as I have no idea how to do this. I only have VHS footage how do you post that? I would love too. As you said you have got value out of your post. (of course you paid $0) Anyway thanks for the footage it really was great!
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