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Trouble in Powder - Page 2

post #31 of 58

Catch 22

What Pierre said.

You can learn to ski in powder through mileage and negative feedback. It's just not very efficient and it's frustrating.

You can learn to ski in powder from the Internet. It's just not very efficient because we're guessing too much when we give advice and the advice you get needs some filtering and prioritizing. That said I'm going to try to help anyway.

Bad hand positions can pull the body out of position, but good body positions can encourage the hands to be in a good position. In your case, to break this catch 22 you need to learn (or relearn) body movements to the inside of the new turn. There are 1000's of ways to do this. These drill suggestions probably aren't the best ones for you, but they are presented to give you ideas. Do them on groomers, then take the movements to the powder.

Heisman - This drill involves using a position similar to the Heisman trophy (one hand on your hip carry ring the football and your inside hand leading forward to stiff arm your opponent). No poles for this drill! The key to this drill is to change edges first, then switch hands to move the new inside hand to the stiff arm position. The objective for this drill is to get you in a good countered position before you start your next turn.
(Thanks Epic for the politically correct name for this)

But this is not going to help if you don't start your turns by moving your core into the new turn.

Flamingo turn - this is where you lift the new inside ski tail and tip and pressure the ski tip into the new turn. In lots of lessons, there is a progression of steps starting from lifting the inside ski, through getting it level or tip lowered, then pressured, etc. The objective of this drill is to start drawing the core of the body into the new turn earlier in the turn.
(I made this name up to avoid using someone else's name that was slapped on to a new version of an old old exercise)

Ankle Raise - We talk about old inside leg extension occasionally, but a key component that's missing from a lot of skiers is opening the ankle joint. This exercise asks to focus on just extending the old inside ankle to drive the start of the new turn. Like the Flamingo turn, there are a host of progression lead ins to develop the ability and awareness of ankle movement (e.g. on a flat run hop the heels up 2" without changing leg or knee bend). The end objective here is to move the hips from inside the old turn to inside the new turn keeping them at the same height off the snow at all times. Some people can do this automatically just by focusing on keeping the hips level. Some people can do this by only focusing on flexing the new inside leg to start the new turn. But most skiers need to add this old inside ankle movement to put it all together.
(with thanks to Mac Jackson - we need a better name for this)

White Pass - This drill is where you finish a turn standing only on your outside ski, then start the next turn doing the edge change on that ski. After you pass the fall line, you set your new outside ski down, then continue to make the next edge change on that ski. You need to do this drill until it becomes ridiculously easy, but if you don't have the movements this drill will not teach you the movements. One key to this drill is that the raised leg has to continue flexing and extending while off the snow. The end result of this drill is that movement of the core into the new turn gets burned into the brain as something to be done no matter what. (with thanks to the Mahre brothers )

Heisman (again) - OK - now that you've got the moving inside movements locked in, putting yourself in a good position to make those movements will make a lot more sense now.

It may seem weird that I'm asking you to fix your inside hand back problem simply by moving it forward. Sorry - it's the catch 22 thing. What we're really trying to do is change the way you start turns so that you don't finish in a difficult position. Focus on moving that hand forward starting from the middle of the turn (in the fall line).

Some of the other ways mentioned in this thread could possibly work much more effectively. The "slow motion" tip often has great success. Similar tips for deeper snow (that are not necessary with fatter skis) include raising your hands higher in the air after a pole touch to induce more bounce; focusing on skiing 3 dimensionally within the snow where the low depth occurs in the fall line and high point off the bottom occurs at the transition (across the fall line); and using a slightly narrower stance to get both legs acting as one unit instead of independently. That last tip may seem contradictory to the set of drills above. Yogi Berra says you won't get it till you get it.
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
honestly a gotama is decambered 99.9 percent of the time skiing soft snow. for all intentise purposes is is reverse cambers in powder. even at super slow speeds. gotamas are not stiff at all that why I recommend them.
Strictly speaking, this is incorrect and a bit misleading. While the Gotama has a big tip and a flex pattern that makes it relatively easy to decamber in soft snow, it is most decidedly a cambered ski. And that shows at slow (=timid) speeds. Especially with lighter skiers. I'm not knocking the ski - or any recommendation of it for soft snow use - but noting that it does not magically decamber itself in soft snow. Fully rockered and reverse cambered skis exhibit a very different pattern of behavior.

That said... Pete, why would you be on any conventional mid-fat in powder when you have Gotamas? As Josh noted, the Gotamas will definitely make life a ton easier - regardless of technique precision. At least in my experience, that gives you the option of working on technique without feeling like a punching bag by lunch...
post #33 of 58
Fat skis are a help because they are more forgiving. Many of us gray-muzzle skiers did fine in powder on pencil skis that were long enough to provide the bottom area for float. It is not necessary (nor as much fun IMO) to get the skis to plane on top of the snow, just get them off the bottom. In trees, look through the gap in the trees to the turn beyond. Go through the gap either turning left or turning right as needed past the trees.

Pete, as the advice above says, work both skis together as one unit. Feet close together, equal weight on both skis all the time. Weight about central fore & aft, with slight modification as needed. When the snow density makes a big change, you need to feel that and very quickly push your feet forward to keep from going on your nose* or pull them back to keep from going on your butt. Take that Smith Mirror Sensor lens advice on advisement...they don't work for me; some folks love them.

You don't want your hands "forward." You want your hands and arms naturally a bit forward and out to the sides for balance. You want your inside hand/arm/shoulder high and forward. You want you outside hand/arm/shoulder low and back. You do not want your outside pole/hand/arm/shoulder to ever come forward past the fall line, and your pole plant needs to be down the fall line, not forward of your body.

You need to learn to bank both skis as a unit out to the side with your body angulated & countered and balanced inside. You want your skis to bank and turn in the snow just like an airplane banks and turns in the sky. You don't turn your skis. You put them (as a unit) on their sides and they turn you. To slow down, you put the skis more on edge for a sharper turn and allow the turn to continue more past the fall line.



Enjoy that wonderful weightless freefall in the middle of the turn and that white featherbed below to catch you and turn you into the next turn.


*And there was the time I was skiing in B.C. where we had upsidedown snow...it was snowing extremely hard and very cold to start, less cold later. The snow under the surface was lighter density than the snow on the surface. I made some face plants so deep into the snow it was dark!
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnoGuy
The snow under the surface was lighter density than the snow on the surface. I made some face plants so deep into the snow it was dark!
Isn't Speleology & Spelunking one forum over?

When this condition shows up it's a lot like hiking on Spring Snow over a still-covered trail. Every few steps you suddenly go spelunking. Can't consistently walk on top, yet it's so much work deliberately punching through only to extract that leg with each new step.

Dense or Semi-solid (refrozen wet snow) snow over dry snow presents the same duality. Hard to stay on top skiing the firmness there, but more work and painful to ski the soft snow underneath since the crusty layers higher up whack away at your shins and knees. Maybe with shin guards it might be OK. Not much fun when a frozen layer fragments at your knees only to fly up into your face at high speed.


---
I really like skiing in powder snow as much (or more) than on it and don't mind skiing with about 70mm underfoot. Sure, I sink pretty deep at times but that's never made a difference in fun factor. Of course, what we call powder around here has a bit more moisture content than in the Rockies. My preferred maximum depth to ski is about mid-thigh. Any deeper than that and it's probably easier to swim back to the lodge.

If I had to come up with a generic formula to choose a 'powder ski' for myself I think I'd do the following...

1) Take a candidate model and put both skis across 6" high wooden blocks 3" inside from both Tip & Tail.
2) Stand on them. If under my weight they (together) bend enough to to satisfy the shortest typical radius I'm likely to turn they they're 'soft enough' (for me).
3) Gage their flotation by skiing them normally in the kind of powder I'm likely to see most often. I prefer to ski *in* the snow rather than on it and I think "knee deep" is most favorable to me.
4) If the snow is a bit dense that day, I'd select the ski that keeps me from mid-boot to about knee depth. If the snow is extra light that day, I'd select the ski that permits knee to mid-thigh depth.

.ma
post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post
Isn't Speleology & Spelunking one forum over?

When this condition shows up it's a lot like hiking on Spring Snow over a still-covered trail. Every few steps you suddenly go spelunking. Can't consistently walk on top, yet it's so much work deliberately punching through only to extract that leg with each new step.

Dense or Semi-solid (refrozen wet snow) snow over dry snow presents the same duality. Hard to stay on top skiing the firmness there, but more work and painful to ski the soft snow underneath since the crusty layers higher up whack away at your shins and knees. Maybe with shin guards it might be OK. Not much fun when a frozen layer fragments at your knees only to fly up into your face at high speed.


---
I really like skiing in powder snow as much (or more) than on it and don't mind skiing with about 70mm underfoot. Sure, I sink pretty deep at times but that's never made a difference in fun factor. Of course, what we call powder around here has a bit more moisture content than in the Rockies. My preferred maximum depth to ski is about mid-thigh. Any deeper than that and it's probably easier to swim back to the lodge.

If I had to come up with a generic formula to choose a 'powder ski' for myself I think I'd do the following...

1) Take a candidate model and put both skis across 6" high wooden blocks 3" inside from both Tip & Tail.
2) Stand on them. If under my weight they (together) bend enough to to satisfy the shortest typical radius I'm likely to turn they they're 'soft enough' (for me).
3) Gage their flotation by skiing them normally in the kind of powder I'm likely to see most often. I prefer to ski *in* the snow rather than on it and I think "knee deep" is most favorable to me.
4) If the snow is a bit dense that day, I'd select the ski that keeps me from mid-boot to about knee depth. If the snow is extra light that day, I'd select the ski that permits knee to mid-thigh depth.

.ma
why are instructors so slow to grasp the concept of powder skis especially progressive shaped powder skis? in soft snow they let you stop worrying aboutt density, wind crust, deepness, run steepness and just make it easier to ski though all of it.

for instance if pete was on hid gotamas this thread porbalby would have never started...
post #36 of 58
Thread Starter 

Trouble in Pow

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post
Pete,
This statement combined with your recognition with Ron White's description suggest what might be happening under the snow.


On firm terrain we have a solid surface to work with under both feet. If something (anything) causes us to lose balance to the inside we sense falling toward that side which immediately triggers a compensatory response from our inside-leg which then extends unconsciously to reinforce support on that side. Since it's a firm surface we get immediate support and continue on.

Also on firm surfaces we can initiate new turns by extending the old inside-leg (ILE) to forcefully push our body across our skis into the new turn resulting in a quick direction change. Essentially, that old inside-leg becomes our new support-leg instantly and our focus of balance gets directed to it the moment we initiate the transfer of pressure this way.

Both these mechanisms work on firm surfaces even when they're covered by a few inches of light fluffy snow because we're really skiing the submerged surface more than the fluid snow above it. While both work on firm surfaces these mechanisms become problematic in bottomless snow.


---
Powder snow (bottomless, or nearly so) generally has a density gradient where the snow deeper down is more densely packed than the snow near the surface. The deeper you go; the more resistance there is passing through it and this is in addition to the higher level of resistance we get just from increased snow depth against our legs.

The faster we travel; the higher we'll 'surf' in the powder because we'll be able to ride continuously upon the higher, less-dense layers. As we slow down we penetrate further into deeper layers and incur more friction - not only from the snow higher up our legs but again from the higher density of the deeper snow we dip into.


With these things in mind consider the powder skier who skis with somewhat-flexed legs (especially in the final third of a turn). What happens when this skier briefly loses balance to the inside?

As on firm snow, this skier instinctively extends the inside-leg to regain support on that side ... but this time having no firm surface to provide immediate support that ski just sinks further down to a greater depth and into the more-dense layers below.

This creates a sudden increase in drag on that inside-leg, boot and ski so the skier's whole body is twisted toward the hill. Also, feeling the sudden deceleration of lower-body elements (or perhaps sensing the toppling forward result of same) the typical person instinctively leans back or sits back to compensate for the now too-far forward situation. Result: Back and inside soon after the described sequence starts. (Visible symptom: extra bending at the waist late in the turn.) There isn't much to be done about this if we ski with very flexed legs in powder except to know how it works and to compensate for it in your deliberate movement patterns. A taller stance helps reduce most of this problem (described further below).


---
For the skier who initiates turns by extending the old inside-leg (ILE) we have a similar sinking/twisting sequence, just one less unexpected.

When this ILE skier extends that old inside-leg the same sequence as described above begins but generally this skier is accustomed to it and has developed compensatory movement patterns to avoid the outcome described. Even so, the ILE skier is starting each turn at a slight disadvantage - namely by creating an unnecessary increase in drag on the old inside-leg which is the result of pressing it deeper into the snow. For this skier I'd recommend they try initiating turns by flexing the old outside-leg and patiently allowing the upper-body to migrate across the skis into the new turn. If they need to rush their turn entry (say, in trees) I'd suggest aggressively retracting the old outside-leg with a little ILE.

Another way to avoid the problems cited above is to ski powder with a much taller stance and straighter legs (meaning both legs).

On a firm surface we need the inside-leg to be shorter than the outside-leg when tipping very far over due to the geometry of tipping against a solid surface. In powder this is no longer true! In powder we can allow that inside-leg to remain mostly 'long' and just let it ride on deeper layers. While this increases the forward resistance on that leg we adapt to this easily since it's continuous. This method provides greater support under that leg should we briefly lose balance to the inside because that ski is already on more-dense layers and we're already (continuously) compensating for the higher resistance. Keeping both legs straighter in powder also allows us to manage the relative depth of each ski with more precision.

Next time in deep snow give this a try. Yes, it will feel very different and you'll need to modify some movement patterns to make it work but I think you'll like the idea.

.ma
Thanks Mike that gives me a good picture of what is going on and why I am constantly doing what I do. thankyou

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
this thread shows how much someone of you dont ski powder snow...

the fatter the skis the faster you can slow down or the faster you speed up. More control is a great thing.

Pete why the hell were you on the afterburners? quite honestly those skis SUCK in powder the tip just submarines. this fact alone kinda of make this thread useless. you have skis that will basically cheat for you use them.

althought I learned to ski powder on 162cm metrons you will never see me with 4 inches or more of snow on anything less than thugs. You may ask why for so little snow? simple the fatter the ski the faster you get off the bottom. There have been 4-6inches days I havent hit bottom all day. Its make dust crust days really a thing of the past. IMO if someone was slightly less advance skiing the fattest ski all the time when ever its snows at least a couple inches. this will get people use the bottomless snow feeling.
Yep, pretty stupid I know, I really do have my moments. Tip dive describes a couple launch out of my bindings falls I took. You can bet I will be on my Goats next time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre View Post
Pete some good advice here on tactics but what you really described is the classic human default response to a fearful situation. Sometimes we don't recognize fear as its not of the horror kind.

Technique combined with experience will overcome fear but not in an afternoon. The best thing you can do in those situations is back off, ski something easier and gradually ramp things up again until you are at your peak.

If you truely want to skis stuff like that put yourself on a serious path to learning more efficient skiing and the next time you encouter snow conditions like that the tables will be turned.
Thanks Pierre, yes I am not scared but just really hesitant. Bob Barnes wrote me a great post on this last year and I read it all the time. I am not giving up, maybe someday I can post a real positive on my powder skiing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
TOG,



You need to re read my post, this time with some comprehension of what is written.

RW
You're right Ron, I did reread twice and see the line reference and importance. Thanks for spending your time I appreciate.


Thankyou everyone, hope I get a chance someday to buy you all a beer someday.
post #37 of 58
BushwhackerInPA,

Back at ya:

Why are people so slow to grasp the concept of Chauffeur Driven Limousines, especially long comfortable Chauffeured Limousines? In difficult driving conditions these let you stop worrying about driving in wind, snow, slush, and on steepness of roads and just make it easier to get around...

Perhaps some of us 'grasp the concept of powder skis' just fine but are able to ski quite well in powder on regular skis such that we don't need Specialized Gear however high its 'Ascended Being' image allure may be.

.ma
post #38 of 58
Quote:
Perhaps some of us 'grasp the concept of powder skis' just fine but are able to ski quite well in powder on regular skis such that we don't need Specialized Gear however high its 'Ascended Being' image allure may be.
I first learned to ski pow on primitive wooden skis as a boy, advanced to straight skis, then shapes and now pow skis. The pow skis definitely are an advantage over other skis, but I am glad that I learned in the progression I did.

RW

PS: Pete, the re read wasn't directed at you
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post
BushwhackerInPA,

Back at ya:

Why are people so slow to grasp the concept of Chauffeur Driven Limousines, especially long comfortable Chauffeured Limousines? In difficult driving conditions these let you stop worrying about driving in wind, snow, slush, and on steepness of roads and just make it easier to get around...

Perhaps some of us 'grasp the concept of powder skis' just fine but are able to ski quite well in powder on regular skis such that we don't need Specialized Gear however high its 'Ascended Being' image allure may be.

.ma
you cant though....

the perception that your a skinny ski and skiing powder quite well is brought on because you are probably always ski with others less skilled than yourself. Even if they are on a bigger ski it doesnt matter because they suck enough that you can keep up fine. You ski powder just fine inspite of and not because of your skinny and probably short skis

take the snowbird gathering last year.... many people started that day and lasted till about lunch, very few were able to keep doing sustained tram laps till the last tram. Even great skiers like Uncle Louis would of benefited from not being on short k2 crossfires. the guys that finished almost all had 100mm plus boards on their feet.

to be fair they were really great skiers but the last 5 were this

Si 88mm snoop didnt go as long as the other from what I remember but great skier and really killed it that day. he was keeping up with guys on much longer and burlier boards. I still think his son should send him some skis

Bob Peters(mister I never ski on fat skis) 193cm Mojo 105

Harkinbanks 190cm Katanas

Garrert 193cm Noridca Blowers who if he skied these ski like he skied SL skis might be a semi pro freerider.

Me 189cm K2 seths

there were skiers there I could wish to dream like but they got tired due to working to hard even those that ski nearly everyday.

FYI this day was never a contest, unless it was a contest to ski the most powder. I am just stating those that were able to keep going were generally on long fatter skis.

I skied alot of powder days last year with alot of bears some who i consider mucho better than myself. many of those guy those insisted on stupid small skis and by the end of the day ....well most dont make it to the end of the day.

the same hold true looking the other way...I can gold sometimes playnuim metal nastar while skiing on Public Enemies. Just because I can ski a nastar course just fine on them and IMO they are great for freeskiing soft groomers. doesnt mean its the right choice. Its just the standard is low, and I am skilled enough to make it work. I can ski good on groomesr inspite of and not because of those skis.

so to all of you backwards masochistic instructors remember its inspite of and not because of your skis that you can ski powder well.

on a sidenote

Pa sucks, and I cant wait to ski powder again.
post #40 of 58
Thread Starter 

Trouble in Pow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
I first learned to ski pow on primitive wooden skis as a boy, advanced to straight skis, then shapes and now pow skis. The pow skis definitely are an advantage over other skis, but I am glad that I learned in the progression I did.

RW

PS: Pete, the re read wasn't directed at you
Gotcha Ron just being a little subconsciously humble.
post #41 of 58
Thread Starter 

Trouble in Pow

WOW, had no idea I would get this much information. Now I have some things to work with and goals. Thanks everyone. I definitely know I can't learn how to ski on the internet but am sure taking in some things I can work with next time up.

Thanks everyone. Pete
post #42 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

so to all of you backwards masochistic instructors remember its inspite of and not because of your skis that you can ski powder well.
The reality of the skiing world is that we "backwards masochistic instructors" are faced with instructing and advising students who can't afford more than one ski and are perhaps on skis which they acquired at a ski swap. They ask our advice on which ski is the best for all conditions. They can barely afford the lift tickets and transportation costs so they certainly can't afford a quiver of skis suitable for all conditions which they may encounter.
Fat skis certainly make it easier on those epic days of face shots but they aren't much fun on the typical groomer day with their large turn radius and difficulty to carve.
When a student does request a powder lesson and shows up on their normal all mountain gear, it isn't fair for us as instructors to be on fat gear which doesn't match their experience in the snow.
So masochism aside, the norm is that the majority of skiers want to learn technique which will serve them well in most conditions, including the rare powder days, and they are forced to learn to use the gear which they can afford to use.
post #43 of 58
I would like to change the word "aggressive" with "determination" and "commintment". You should never bee aggressive when you ski, you should be determined and committed. When you plant a pole you turn. Never hesitate. Dont fight the pich of the slope or the snow or your equipment. Become one with all of it.

On the never ending debate of phat vs thin I can only say what has been stated here before: using only one ski has its advantages and some are forced due to cost to only own one pair. My family of 4 already have 12 pairs that we use. Non of them are powder skis due to where we live and what kind of skiing we do. Buying phat skis would mean buying 4 pairs not one. I too started on wooden planks back in the 60s. Kind of cool in a way and offcourse if I attended a powder camp I would also get myself phat skis. BTW, SL skis in powder is not optimal. I can do it but Im a great skier! Would not have it any other way !
post #44 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post
Dear Pete,
It sounds like the problem is in your head. I suggest carring a small flask of medicine. Stop at the top and have a few pulls off that container then ski. If that does not cure your mental block repeat again. 30" pfff, that's just a dusting for Idaho skiers.;-) Good to hear your in the $.
Go herbal become one with the powder
post #45 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
Pete,

I'm saying to first get more comfortable going faster, first on a little less steep terrain. It's the braking movements that get skiers into trouble in both pow, and bumps. That doesn't mean you can't use turn shape or size to control speed, shaping and varying the size is how you should be controlling speed rather than trying to skid or rush the skis past the fall line.

Other ways to control speed in pow is to close your stance enough for snow to pile-up in front of your legs slowing you down, or flex your ankles enough at the fall line it pushes the tails down creating a platform under the skis that is more level than the slope (much different than leaning back). To get off the platform, simply tip the skis to one side and they slide sideways off and into the new turn (I guess I have spent way too much time playing in pow and have experimented with different methods).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
Interesting with the ankles Ron - flexing forward - that doesn't push the tails down?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
TOG,
You need to re read my post, this time with some comprehension of what is written.

RW
Yeah boneheaded post - I typed what you wrote instead of the question I wanted to ask: Wouldn't flexing the ankles forward push the tips down? This is what I find interesting here. Are you closing the ankle by lifting the toes and pushing the heel or are you pulling the feet back?
post #46 of 58
I'm here to say, we should all have Pete's problem.

30 inches of powder. Just rinse and repeat. YOu'll be fine.
post #47 of 58
Tog,

You can close your ankle joint by bringing your toes closer to your knees. That will raise the ski tips in powder without shifting your weight back.

or

You can try to close your ankle joint by pushing the knees forward and down. In powder that will most likely cause the toes and the ski tips to drop.
post #48 of 58
I struggled with deep fresh for years. And here's the thing. It's the most un-technical snow to ski. Ice is the most technical, deep fresh is all feel and instinct, it's dancing.

Losing control in fresh is usually about things like not keeping up some sort of rythem, as you must have this to get control. You can't make a sudden hard move to put the brakes on, it has to be a steady build and maintenance of control, in slow-mo.

The rythem is vital, crucial, to control in powder. If you have it, then it takes a few turns to increase the turns to feel more in control. If you don't have a rythem going, when you try a turn or two to get control, you'll go flying into the snow.
post #49 of 58
weill, i'm no expert (but i did stay at the holiday inn SLC last week)

somethings that help me:
feet really close at the straightline start, forcing the snow outside the legs. this helps me realize how much resistance is there for me.
less finish to the turn / less edge to the turns
more unweighting

make the first (unfinished) turn when you want to, not when you "have to", avoidiing OMG perceived speed

finding the combination of snow depth and hill angle is where you can really practice, but not always easy.

mileage, mileage, mileage
post #50 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Tog,

You can close your ankle joint by bringing your toes closer to your knees. That will raise the ski tips in powder without shifting your weight back.

or

You can try to close your ankle joint by pushing the knees forward and down. In powder that will most likely cause the toes and the ski tips to drop.
Im out of my league here.... this does not make any sence to me!!!
post #51 of 58
TOG,

Quote:
Wouldn't flexing the ankles forward push the tips down? This is what I find interesting here. Are you closing the ankle by lifting the toes and pushing the heel or are you pulling the feet back?
Therusty answers your question really well. Many people confuse ankle dorsi flection (closing the ankle joint by bringing the top of the foot upward) with bending the knees forward and pressing into the boot tongue. Dorsi flection causes a light contact with the tongue of the boot and to stand in a neutral position, we equally distribute our weight along the ball of the foot, the arch and the heel. It should be a neutral stance. From there, to apply more weight distribution to the front of the ski, you slightly open the ankle joint while the body stays neutral. To apply more weight distribution to the tail of the ski, you flex more, which presses the heel down, while the body stays neutral. This is useful in sticky spring snow, or while skiing deep pow to gain a platform that is not tilted as steep as the slope. Hope this explains it further.


TDK6

Quote:
Im out of my league here.... this does not make any sence to me!!!
Dorsi flection is what you would do to walk only on your heels, the opposite is planter flection, which is walking on your tippy toes. In skiing, we need to use dorsi flection, but with our weight distributed evenly along the boot.

This is much different then flexing the knees, which presses against the boot tongue, causing an unequal weighting of the skis (leaning on the boot tongue), or bending at the knees which causes an unequal weighting of the skis toward the tail (sitting back).

RW
post #52 of 58
Thread Starter 

Trouble in Pow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
TOG,



Therusty answers your question really well. Many people confuse ankle dorsi flection (closing the ankle joint by bringing the top of the foot upward) with bending the knees forward and pressing into the boot tongue. Dorsi flection causes a light contact with the tongue of the boot and to stand in a neutral position, we equally distribute our weight along the ball of the foot, the arch and the heel. It should be a neutral stance. From there, to apply more weight distribution to the front of the ski, you slightly open the ankle joint while the body stays neutral. To apply more weight distribution to the tail of the ski, you flex more, which presses the heel down, while the body stays neutral. This is useful in sticky spring snow, or while skiing deep pow to gain a platform that is not tilted as steep as the slope. Hope this explains it further.


TDK6



Dorsi flection is what you would do to walk only on your heels, the opposite is planter flection, which is walking on your tippy toes. In skiing, we need to use dorsi flection, but with our weight distributed evenly along the boot.

This is much different then flexing the knees, which presses against the boot tongue, causing an unequal weighting of the skis (leaning on the boot tongue), or bending at the knees which causes an unequal weighting of the skis toward the tail (sitting back).

RW
Ron, correct me if I am wrong. Up with the toes will give you ankle flex without over pressing into your boots? I use toes down when skiing moguls to keep my ski's on the snow etc. this is sort of the opposite? Same intensity level, I would describe as firm but not over done. Am I making sense of your descriptions?
post #53 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Tog,

You can close your ankle joint by bringing your toes closer to your knees. That will raise the ski tips in powder without shifting your weight back.
or
You can try to close your ankle joint by pushing the knees forward and down. In powder that will most likely cause the toes and the ski tips to drop.
Thanks Rusty and Ron, I get that.
Quote:
so to all of you backwards masochistic instructors remember its inspite of and not because of your skis that you can ski powder well.
Bush, I think except for the backwards part, many would agree with you! You make good points about advanced skiers and wide skis in pow, but does this apply to Pete's situation? Yeah, we might not be having this conversation if he had been on the goats, but then he might be doing the same things on the goats and getting away with it.
post #54 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
but then he might be doing the same things on the goats and getting away with it.
yep, and there is nothing wrong with that. his issues are balance and confidence skiing on ski that makes it any harder doesnt help either of those 2 things.


plus most skier I taught stopper upper body rotations on wider skiers

most skiers I taught skied more forward on wider skis.

most skiers I taught could control speed better on wider skis
post #55 of 58
I think Pierre has given the best advice here Pete. If you try to ingest all these fine bits of advice, you'll whig out. Specifically, trying to do too much in a situation that requires nothing but a little more powder experience and a bit more good technique.

A few thoughts, one of the biggest problems inexperienced powder skiers have is getting their tips too far out of the fall line.

Speed is your friend. That doesn't mean you have too be a runnaway truck but keeping your speed up and your skis from getting sideways to the falline will make you more consistant.

Stick to steeper terrain, the depth of the snow will help control your speed.

I don't know if I'd recommend this for everyone but when the snow is really heavy or deep, I tend to ski it like I'm skiing bumps.
post #56 of 58
Thread Starter 

Trouble in Pow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post
I think Pierre has given the best advice here Pete. If you try to ingest all these fine bits of advice, you'll whig out. Specifically, trying to do too much in a situation that requires nothing but a little more powder experience and a bit more good technique.

A few thoughts, one of the biggest problems inexperienced powder skiers have is getting their tips too far out of the fall line.

Speed is your friend. That doesn't mean you have too be a runnaway truck but keeping your speed up and your skis from getting sideways to the falline will make you more consistant.

Stick to steeper terrain, the depth of the snow will help control your speed.

I don't know if I'd recommend this for everyone but when the snow is really heavy or deep, I tend to ski it like I'm skiing bumps.

I just finished rereading all the posts and feel real honored to be a BEAR. Some great information and some that describe me very well. I picked some tips that I am sure will help and am looking forward to trying them.

Now the real problem. It rained Sat night and the 30 inches of fluff is now 15 in of goop. Reminds me of Lake Tahoe cement.

Look down the hill.
Ski on my Goats.
Patience
Pole ready, see them, a little high
Face down the hill.
Ski the fall line, don't let tips get too far out of fall line
Stand taller
Slow down by using terrain not turning too much across hill
Toes Up
Ski them as one

Obviously I won't be able to think of all this at once b ut can use a few at a time until the rythmn is there. Got a 3x5 with all my tips on it and will look at on chair.

Thanks Everyone. See ya at JH or Big Sky. Maybe I will go to Stowe next year - hell I'll be retired in 2 weeks.
post #57 of 58
Pete,

Quote:
Ron, correct me if I am wrong. Up with the toes will give you ankle flex without over pressing into your boots? I use toes down when skiing moguls to keep my ski's on the snow etc. this is sort of the opposite? Same intensity level, I would describe as firm but not over done. Am I making sense of your descriptions?
__________________
Yes, while skiing bumps, shin contact is still key. A balanced stance (middle of the foot and ski), is important in both cases, pow and bumps. From the balanced stance using ankle flex, the ankle can be opened or closed more to control pressure to the tip, middle, and tail of the ski.

RW
post #58 of 58

I am in agreement with gcarlson (post #42) & tdk6 (post #43) that some of us want to ski with a one ski quiver, or what-ever we are wearing that trip or day..

 

I wish to contribute something about Gear.

  Old now, I bought Dynastar 4800's at 172cm as an all around ski; skinny today at 75mm.  I am 5'9" 145#, add gear and thats in the 175-180# zone; hydration back-pack..  The 4800's I demo'd were great: super turners and stable.  Purchased the next season they were fair;  And in powder they submarined.  ?What was different? 

 

I started pondering the binding; demo versus purchased (Rossignol Scratch).  I measured various mfg'r binding toe-heal heights and figured differntials.  The demo bindings were near flat. The purchased binding had a decidedly lower toe height.  I removed the toes; made my own risers.  (You can purchase a 6mm (1/4") riser.  Its is  -much- easier to spend the money.)  I bought longer binding screws,  and  whal-la; life got better on the groomed and they no longer submarine in powder. 

 

If I could have procured propper binding screws for 8mm (5/16") of riser I'd have done that. , but to my knowledge "proper" screws at that length aren't available.   I put effort in lQQking for them.  If someone knows where to get some, I am interested.  Please Personal mail me.  There are other ways to get the rise I wish, but I won't likely give these skis that time.

 

Nice, informative read; this thread.  thanks.  noah 

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