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Skiing pics - Advice sought

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
These pictures were taken at the weekend while I was skiing at Thredbo in Australia. I have done over 30 days this season and travel overseas in our summer to ski. I feel as though I have hit a plateu in my skiing and want to break through it. I have booked a two week "Yes Improvement" course at Whistler in January as part of a six week Canadian holiday and am hoping that this will help.

Any tips etc. would be greatly appreciated.

[ September 27, 2003, 12:15 AM: Message edited by: Moose21 ]
post #2 of 13
Nice looking LEFT turn finishes, Moose. If the carving you're displaying here begins at the top of the turn and if the turn to the right matches the turn to the left, I'd say you're in pretty good shape, at least for smooth slopes. I'd like to see your elbows a little closer to your torso and your hands a bit more forward from the elbows.
post #3 of 13
I have a bad feeling about this but what the hell. Things LOOK pretty good but the thing to do now is focus on the feeling. A couple of the shots appear to be in sequence and I don't really see any change in leg length. It looks like you're positioned well but a little like you're bracing against the ski. Hard to tell what the speed is of course. You need to use active resistance to be strong but supple.
As the ski comes out of the falline focus on feeling the pressure pushing at you from the ski. (Don't try to push at it let it push to you). Give in to a bit of that pressure letting the leg flex in a controlled and gradual way. That will help the ski come across and under your body and should give you more of a flowing transition to the next turn. If your feel that fluid move into the new turn you probably have it. That might give you a feel for the break through you're looking for.

That looks like some pretty nice snow. I needs to be gettin' me some of that soon!
post #4 of 13

My first thought in looking at the pictures was that every part of your body is going left except for the left leg. This lazy inside leg results in a little a frame and the bracey look. Start your left turns by pointing your left foot left and shape them by continuing to guide left with the left foot. Be carefull not to push the foot forward as you point it, there should only be a inch or two of ski lead. For right turns point and guide with your right foot. Feel the pressure flow to the outside ski don't try to put it there. As L7 says don't fight the pressure as it builds manage it and use it to your advantage.

Very decent looking skiing, I'd love to have you as a student.

post #5 of 13
Moose- I think Ydnar said it already with getting your left leg to be more active I would only add to think more of tipping it over from the foot and up to the thigh not just pointing it.

Also tough in still pictures to know where your moving from first but my quick thought is to start at the feet and let the angles build. It appears you may be moving your hip to the inside instead of skiing it to the inside. Very common for people to do this move as it feels good, but it is limiting and will restrict further improvement and versitility. It also tends to cause the inside leg to move to far out in front of the hip and put you in the back seat. Ydnar cautioned about letting the inside foot get to far ahead and moving the hip first will promote this. Work to allow the angles to build. Overall some nice skiing I think you will have no problem improving even more, keep at it and good luck!
post #6 of 13
Hi Moose--

You have some good things going on here--very stable upper body with little or no twisting of the ski tail into a skid (at least as far as we can tell from the photos; it's possible you did a little heel thrust to get the turn started), solid outside ski edge engagement, clean tracks, and strong skeletal alignment allowing your outside leg to work efficiently. But I agree with Ydnar's and Todo's observation that you appear a little passive with the inside foot and leg. That's not to say you need to put any more pressure on it, or something like that, merely that there needs to be more activity of your whole body, initiated from the inside foot and leg, if you want to really drive the energy through the turn. Think of walking movements--while you're standing on one foot, you do have to do something with the other one! It's that other foot that drives you forward and into the turn.

The sign of the insufficient activity is the slight "a-frame" alignment of your lower legs--your knees are closer than your feet because you've tipped the outside ski more actively than the inside ski. Try this: stand up and assume a natural athletic neutral stance--a little slouched, feet separated naturally, all joints slightly flexed and ready for action, arms spread low and in front. Now--quick, like a soccer player (football, to most of the world)--make a sudden vigorous sideways leap to the left.

What happened? Try it a few times, and pay attention to the natural movements. Your weight shifted to your right foot, no doubt, as that right leg flexed a little, coiling for the spring, but your left knee and thigh led the charge to the left--didn't they? Your knees pulled apart, not together. Eventually, both feet moved left, but your left one went first.

Although often more subtle and drawn out, turns on skis are lateral movements much like this exercise. There are two parts to that lateral leap, almost contradictory: you flex that outside (right) leg slightly, even as you drive away from it to the left. On skis, of course, as you move left, the right ski carves to the left as well, so unlike the leaping exercise here, your right ski stays with you and keeps pushing. To me, it feels like I'm trying to get away from my right ski in a left turn, but it keeps chasing me!

Anyway, it looks in your pictures like you are doing only one of the two parts--you're settling down on that right leg, but not extending/driving into the turn. Your left (inside) leg is passive. By the second frame, the lack of driving forward into the turn has put you into the back seat, and you're being taken for a ride. By the third frame, your skis have left you behind, and you've fallen to the tail of the inside ski.

So, here's what you might do. Try starting a left turn from a straight run down a gentle slope, very much like the leaping exercise above. Make the same movements, but perhaps in somewhat slower motion. As Ydnar described, you can focus on moving the tip of your left ski to the left, as the movement that intiates the whole sequence. Make sure your intent is offensive and aggressive--as in the leaping exercise, you are trying to GO left--not trying to slow down or get your skis into a braking skid. Keep that "left tip left" activity going--sustain it throughout the turn from start to finish. Drive your whole body into and through the turn, as if you're tring to push your inside (left) thigh in the direction you're trying to go.

As the turn nears completion, stop driving to the left and allow everything to return to neutral. If you're linking turns, the new turn begins before the old turn ends, as you start driving the new inside ski, foot, and leg in the new direction. At first, this reduces the edge angles and inclination (leaning into the turn) of the old turn, crossing your body over your feet and flattening your skis at the transition, and continuing to roll the skis onto their new edges for the new turn.

To see this activity of the inside leg, and this "drive" into and through the turn, check out this sequence of the great Hermann Maier:

Note the aggressiveness of every part of Hermann's body driving in the direction he's trying to go. Kneale suggested that your hands could be a little more forward--note the contrast between your arms and Hermann's (in the same part of the turn)!

Also check out the sequence of Bode Miller on Ron LeMaster's Home Page (click here), as well as any of the other great Giant Slalom sequences on Ron's site.

That should give you a little to think about, in preparation for your northern season. On the other hand, recognize that these comments stem from just the few still shots of one turn that you posted. Take them for what they're worth! It would be revealing if you had a sequence of photos that shows the transition from one turn to another.

Have a great time in Whistler, and if you want more, come join us at the EpicSki Academy in Snowbird, Utah, at the end of January or early February. (Check in to the Academy Planning Room for more information.)

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ September 15, 2003, 01:40 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #7 of 13
A few comments Moose:

* Leading nicely with the inside hip

* Seems like there may be some carving going on, though I suspect edge control may need some refinement.

* I see some knee angulation being utilized, though this is not always a bad thing, good supplimentation technique at times. Tough to tell with a couple frames if it is chronic. Could be technical, could be an alignment issue.

* I'd like to see you drive the outside hand and shoulder forward more through the bottom of the turn to help maintain outside ski pressure and prep for the start of the transition to the next turn (notice Herman photo sequence). Allowing it to drag behind can result in pressure being transfered inside and back, turn completion suffers.

* Also, I'd like to see some more foot seperation. In a couple of the frames your pretty tight together which makes application of higher edge angles very difficult. One of the keys to developing advanced skill levels is aquiring the ability to adjust edge angles as needed, to create any carved turn shape desired within the capabilities of the ski. A narrow stance will make that an unachievable goal and leave one a terminal low edge angle skier dependant on steering to reduce turn radius.

Work on moving the CM further inside the feet to create edge angle, not through the use of knee angulation which affords only limited edge angle range. Note: to create the turn forces necessary to foster balance during hip anglulated (CM inside of feet) positions carving ability must be upper level, so edge control skills come first.

[ September 16, 2003, 06:55 AM: Message edited by: FastMan ]
post #8 of 13
Bob, I wish you had posted this Herman montage during my "Inside Leg Extension" thread. For those interested in a good visual of what I was talking about take a close look at Herman's first turn completion. Sorry for the interuption Moose.
post #9 of 13
[ September 19, 2003, 02:38 PM: Message edited by: milesb ]
post #10 of 13
Hey Moose--what happened to the pictures?

Since some of our new juvenile members only look at pictures, I'd hate to think we're cutting their growth potential short!

Best regards,
post #11 of 13
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
pics have been reloaded.
post #13 of 13

Obviously, it's really hard to tell from these pictures, but I get the impression that you might be flexing at the knee and hip, versus the ankle and knee. This has a tendency to push your weight back. The other thing I seemed to notice is that you might have too much lead with the inside foot. This will make you start the next turn from a bit too far back, then have to catch up as you make your way through the turn, which is pretty difficult to do. Try to keep the ankle joint of the inside foot closed, and the shin up against the front of the boot as you come through the middle and bottom of the turn. This will make turn entry a lot more smooth and effortless. Looking at the nice tracks you left in the second shot, do your feet have a tendency to run apart during the turn? If so, the stuff I said might help.
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