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Level 9 Skiing Technique Analysis (Harpo's Photo Sequence) - Page 2

post #31 of 142

first(and i HATE phony back-slapping), it's
apparent you're an efficient and open-minded
instructor, without being dogmatic or, worse,
pedantic. it's refreshing.
a note about bumps and athleticism....
last year at heavenly i decided i'd take
THE FACE to EAST BOWL(?, i think that's what
the move off to skier's-right led to...)and
down to base, a steep(for me) and bumpy(for
anyone) run. it was three p.m. and all slushy, so threat of injury was minimal.
i got down fine, a few stops to take in the
lake, while much better skiers hopped on by,
graceful and knowing. i KNOW i got down on
sheer athleticism; much more power than grace; so in that sense you're right. at the
same time, anyone in the chair above could see i was "learning." so i guess, in comparison to the elegant skiers bopping by me, in a damn-near straight "zipper" line,
i guess i WAS faking it. (HA. but that was
no news to me.)
post #32 of 142
I would argue that it is very unlikely that someone who has become proficient in bump skiing is lacking in edging skills. And if a bump skiier is not turning, simply absorbing (such as after the second jump in a competition) this is as obvious to a viewer as any other lapse of technique. I personally feel that the upper body/hand/pole discipline, separation of upper and lower body, staying out of the back seat, and general precision of balance required for good bump skiing is much more important for expert skiing than advanced edging skills that don't come into play that much on black and double black terrain. I am impressed by anyone who is smooth in the moguls and makes it look easy. Most of my bump skiing is of the slower, rounded turn variety (except in spring, when you just gotta let it rip!)BTY, it was the "contentiousness" of many of the members that attracted me to this forum.
post #33 of 142
I agree totally with Bob about bump skiers. I know some slam bam bumpers who are lost when it comes to technique on groomers. It's a fact that most zipper line bumpers succeed on athleticism and balls. Most people have a fear factor in bumps that prohibit them from going all out. They constantly try to control their speed and there in lies the problem. When trying to check speed, edges are caught and falls occur, usually when they try to pull up and stop because of fatigue. I have actually skied with Glen Plake. He is a great bumper and all around skier. He has balls of titanium which makes up for any flaws in his technique. As do other great ski movie stars. But, the many out takes hide alot of the bad sequences.

B.G. I think I can safely say that yes, this man does ski better than most of the people who frequent this site. And, no, I haven't seen many of you ski. But, by the questions asked by many of you. Well, it's self explanitory. No offense to anybody please.

In my statement that I am a self taught skier, I could add that although I have never paid for a personal lesson, I ski with instructors almost every day. And yes, I do get critiqued by them and do listen to their comments. As I have stated before, although I am confident and comfortable with my abilities, I am always working to maintain my abilities as my age increases, and new techniques and equipment are discovered.

A welcome to Bob Barnes and his knowledge. It can only help everyone on this site. I hope no one is put off by his knowledge and honest approach to telling it like it is. I'm not. Welcome! I'm also jealous that his home Mtn. is Copper Mountain. One of the most gourgeous places on earth to ski. I will be there to look you up this winter and would like to make a few runs down Tucker with you. As long as we can catch the snow cat back up.

If it holds snow-It can be skied!
post #34 of 142

I completely agree with you. when i have
stopped to watch people on the moguls,
as if dancing, it was obvious to me that
these people know damn well what they're
doing, and their edge control is anything
but incidental. i can't say, and wouldn't,
that if you can ski moguls you can ski
anything - i just don't know - but i would
bet that the folks i saw and refer to can
ski just about anywhere they want. NOT
speaking in PSIA terms, i could only salivate
jealously watching these people all quiet in
upper body, all turning down below, pole
plants on time, in rhythm, everything following. THIS is the kind of skiing that
seems furthest removed from where i am now.
and it is that grace and deftness that i
would like to know myself someday.
post #35 of 142
As my post before, I am only 17 but have been skiing on a mogul team for the last 5 seasons. And to anyone who thinks that all we do is go straight your dead wrong. It may appear this way do to the speed but there is so much more to moguls then straight lining.(If straighting does occur, huge deductions from the judges they want turns across the line) I still will say that,"if you can't ski moguls you cannot ski"
I have been doing this for five seasons and in my mind, I am not that good. All I can say is that when the day is over and we head over to the back side I think I could keep up with anyone, maybe that sounds cocky but I do ski 75+ days a year.

post #36 of 142
BBC...Finally I found the perfect explanation of my bumping skills. But I have perfected the technique a bit more by adding a crucial step. It's more like


Powder to the People...
post #37 of 142

I wish i'd been skiing at your age but, alas,
'twasn't to be. i'm sure you DO shred and
RIP and will be even better than the helluva
skier you already are. i'll bet you CAN keep
up with everyone on the backside when the day's over - confident? cocky? who knows?
(except you) - and 75 days a year sure doesn't hurt. more power to you, bro. i just
hope you'll always LOVE to ski.
i guess i just don't get the need to say
something like "if you can't ski moguls,
you can't ski." for one, it's arguable;
second, i'll bet you find NOT slighting
others (for the sake of a slogan, especially)
DOESN'T AT ALL affect YOUR special skills.
anyway, keep up the good work.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by ryan (edited October 05, 2000).]</FONT>
post #38 of 142

First if someone was raggin' on the type of skiing you partake in you would probably be mad as well. "Mogul skiier's, all they do is go straight." What the hell is that, and to the person who said well sorry you feel that way, cause it's to bad your missing out on all the fun stuff.

Oh and about the spelling thing, sorry I cannot be a perfect as you. Maybe if I try really hard it will happen but who knows???

And as for my skiing skill well I ski fortress, sunshine and everywhere so if you up for a run, all I can say is, anytime....

post #39 of 142

first, re-read my post. couldn't find where
i said i was perfect.
second, i AM serious in that i'm sure you
ARE, sincerely, a damn fine skier.
if i missed the part where someone said
mogul skiers only ski straight, maybe you
can point it out. maybe you can READ MY
POST regarding my opinion of moguls and
the skiers who ski them well.
STILL DON'T KNOW WHY the need for your
slogan. that's all.
no offense, pal. take a breath.
also, regarding my spelling correction; you're right; that was uncalled for. and
cheap. "my bad."
APOLOGIES to you and others also for moving off the point. NEVER AGAIN!!!<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by ryan (edited October 05, 2000).]</FONT>
post #40 of 142
Marc - with the addition of the photo from across the street do you still think it looks easy as hell?

I'll have to agree with you that any expert skier should be able to rip bumps, and that there is significant technique involved. Yes Bob it's a wap, wap, wap but unless you are consciously extending between each bump, eventually you will end up on you butt no matter how strong you are. A purely atheletic person is only going to hold it together for 10 bumps maybe 15 but probably not 20 or 30.

That said I also believe moguls make any steep run easier to ski - especially for intermediates - since the moguls give them a spot to brake and stop on.

Marc enjoy the bumps now - the older I get the more I avoid them - too much work (for lazy old guys like me) to do them right.
post #41 of 142

Sorry I suppose I should address this to Lars then and the others who said it.

Actually I don't care at all cause it's the stupid internet. The only reason I even registered was it seemed like a sincere place to post an opinion and get an honest response. Not a place to have someone trash your life interest!!! After all I don't say shit about your fat ass lazy skis, do I?? NO, well I guess I'll I should keep my opinion to myself, or maybe be like some others on this Forum that just talk shit all the time, well rename the forum to FREEZE FORUM THEN. Sorry I thought that some older wiser people would be less close minded then some 14 year old punk.
post #42 of 142

last on this. i DON'T think what you have to
say is unimportant; i'm sure i can learn
from your experience. i DO hope you'll
consider continuing to POST your thoughts
on skiing. i mean that. i STILL think you
sound more thoughtful and knowledgable
than to stop the process at a slogan. (however, i'm all for free speech.) my hope
is that we can agree to disagree on certain
points in a civil, respectful manner. (i
was, as i said, wrong in picking on your
spelling. THAT was stooooopidd.)
name-calling and getting pissed won't further
what is a great forum. but i think you know
i hope to see your continued insights.

post #43 of 142
WOW, I thought this was something about ski levels.
Just to keep it simple, I hereby renig any prior level I have claimed.
I am now a level 10.

Sail and Ski!
Look for crud, it makes u better.
post #44 of 142

I agree with Bob that "Some" (read my post again)I said I know some bump skiers that struggle with technique on groomers. On the other hand, I know some good skiers that can't, or won't ski bumps because they won't let themselves attempt to learn how, or fear them. It's all relevent. I've been a bump skier since I started getting serious about skiing. It's my favorite terrain. I think the fact remains though, it takes less technique to ski the zipper line than a 45 degree chute.

Secondly, No one is trashing your interests. This is an open forum and everyone has a right to post their opinions about the subject posted. You should take little if any offense from sensible posts, and much offense from nasty language.

If it holds snow-It can be skied!
post #45 of 142
By the way, does anybody here own or has read the book by Bob Barnes "The Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing"? It's in its third edition now and explains and illustrates practically everything we have been talking about. It is available from amazone.com or diretly from Bob, if you ask him nicely. <G>.

post #46 of 142
I think the mogul discussion is off the thread of the discussion of the pictures and the requirement for lessons. So a new topic should be started to cover this.
post #47 of 142
Heck yea, I want one. Bob, can I get one from you, please? Can you give us your email?
Most everyone on this forum knows I have a passion for a good book on ski technique.
post #48 of 142
Ott, and Bob, I got the book and I thinks it's great.
post #49 of 142
Bob, picked up your book from amazon.com last week. Must say that even though I haven't had time to read through it closely the few bits I have read have been illuminating. Great job. Photos would be excellent for illustrating some of your points but I guess it would drive production costs up? Anyways thanks for writing it!
post #50 of 142
I think HARPO threw in a curve here that few have picked up on.

With this picture, and Harpo's statement that it is a sustained 1000' chute averaging at least 40 degrees (the pitch seems believable) - I'm guessing from most of the comments in this topic that not all the Techy's here have actually been in terrain like this. There are probably only a few North American ski areas that have a similar slope, maybe a couple at Blackcomb and Jackson, and the rest you have to hike to. There also are perhaps only a few skiers in the world who's technique remains consistent regardless of the snow type or pitch - most 'mere mortals' have to adapt their technique as pitch varies - and yet most above comments fail to take into consideration these changes as pitch exceeds 35 degrees.

I have to give Bob B credit for giving a non-patronizingly clear and objective critique, and for understanding that a "braking" turn (as opposed to a consistently even pressured arc) comes into play on these type of pitches. I am neither qualified nor capable of putting into words the observations you've related on this skiers technique, and you have proven to me that an instructor can, in fact, pick up on subtle technical aspects of a good skiers style - however, i'd like to point out you had an advantage with this "stop action" photography sequence which doesn't usually come into play in the real teaching world.

I, and I suspect Harpo and others, didn't really mean to imply that ski instructors were incapable of giving good advice to even very good skiers. What we objected to was the POMPOUS supposition in the previous topic that in order to get good, you had to have been taught by a certified instructor, and that you probably should have been an instructor at some time as well. And I further object to the implication that without continued teaching by a "certified instructor", skiers will only be held up by their engrained imperfections because they are incapable of effective self-critisism.

My question to you Techy's is: Who teaches you... and teaches them... and who teaches them? Are these people open to technical input from outside your circle of "PSIA" instructors like racers, freestylers, or big mountain competitors? Do you really think that significant innovations in technique developed by people like (Stenmark) were a result of good teaching, or is current teaching a result of these significant innovations?
post #51 of 142
/// Do you really think that significant innovations in technique developed by people like (Stenmark) were a result of good teaching, or is current teaching a result of
these significant innovations? ///

Both. All world cup skiers, no matter how talented, including Stenmark, have coaches, as have all competitors in other sports, like tennis, swimming, gymnastics, etc.

Talented skiers sometimes are able to do things that are adopted to ski teaching, as are developments in equipment. BUT, in order to be taught by instructors to the walk-in public, these new techniques have to be watered down to fit both the non-talented and non-athletic students which make up the bulk of ski school groups.

Nothing prevents an instructor from teaching high grade technique if he finds students who actually can advance with that. Matter of fact, when being assigned students I always silently prayed that he/she would be a super skier, it is much more fun teaching that class.

The term "certified" you emphasised refers to teaching methodology, understanding anatomy since no two skiers a built alike, ability to explain and demonstrate and correct competently, etc....in certification this counts for two thirds of the score with skiing ability counting for one third, unless that has changed lately. So a "teacher" is certified, not a skier, although skiing proficiency is part of it.

And there is nothing that says Stenmark's coach had to be better than he is or that a ski instructor has to be a better skier than the student, he just has to be an excellent teacher. Though it helps if you can ski at least the same level as the student, which certified instructors usually can until they get into race coaching, then some 15-year-old beats you every time through the gates<G>..

But please let's not get into adversary positions here, I know many top skiers who have never taken a lesson, though they usually seem to become friends with instructors, ski with them and end up in the ski school if for no other reason then to ski for free, though once they are a part of the school and have attendet a few clinics they tend to become dedicated teachers.

post #52 of 142

re your most recent post, one of the most
important components i discovered, more
or less incidentally, involves your POINT
#2, re: the Active Inside Foot. i had gotten
into the bad habit of sort of just dragging
it along like a bystander, until it was "its
turn" to direct the next change of direction.
(wouldn't say "carve.") when i finally became
more active - when i finally began to go down
the mountain rather than reacting to what came up at me - EVERYTHING fell much more
into "synch." I think that's the revelation
that probably hits most intermediates that
allows them/us to get to some intangible
next step; that is, finding out that the
lean forward, weight ahead, skiing dynamically, actually HELPS to "control"
everything. and the fear of speed is subse-
quently diminished.
post #53 of 142
Pierre eh, excellent 3 points. I couldn't agree more. Number 2 was a huge breakthrough for me a couple years ago. What a big difference that understanding makes! I'll have to study 1 and 3 some more to really understand the concept.

You're right about a lot of movements don't feel natural or "right" at first, but the dedicated student who wants improvement will eventually understand why they're necessary.

post #54 of 142

Yeah, I guess I sort of take offense at the "Pompous" comment. I don't think we are saying that it's impossible to achieve that highest level of skiing without being, or taking lessons from, a certified instructor. I have said, in previous posts, that I think it is possible, just difficult and very time consuming. It would become easier if you came from a high level of participation in another sport, in which you were coached, such as golf or tennis, because it would give you an understanding for experimentation and learning. As Pierre_Eh said, it's a matter of being shown what is going on in very high level skiing, and how to do those things. I think it would be easier for a non student to get there if he was able to understand how to teach himself new things, experiment, and knows how to learn from experimentation.

Ski instructors learn from other instructors and from themselves. The highest level instructors learn from having an incredible understanding of relationships of movement, body and spacial awareness, physics and kinesthetics. They watch videos of other skiers, races and themselves, and are able to analyze what is going on, and are willing to go out and experiment with new things to see if something they saw on 1 frame of Herman Maier during a race might be something valuable and worth sharing with the rest of the world. It becomes very difficult to get noticeably better once you reach a certain level. And 99.999% of the people wouldn't be able to pick up on some improvements, but the skier can feel the differences that subtile changes make.

I actually learned to do reaching turns on an alpine (race) snowboard, about a year before they even came out with the term "reaching turns". I converted what I learned on the board, to my skis. I learned it on my own, not by being taught by someone else. But I would not have learned it if I didn't have the understanding that I have from so many years of teaching and taking lessons. I bet you'd be hard pressed to find anyone that has learned to make short, reaching turns, who has never been told they exist or taken a lesson. I'd also bet that you will find a few instructors who learned them, as I did, on their own, and many, many more who can do them because they have been taught them.
post #55 of 142
Cheap seats,
FYI: This chute is not part of a ski resort, it is across the road from Snowbird. You have to hike to ski it.
Alta has something similar (Baldy chutes) but not too many people ski it either.

I have a hard time with "levels". I think describing how you ski by giving examples (pictures or movies such as on this topic) is more accurate. The ultimate is skiing together. May be we should all meet up there (let's say Jan. 27, 2001 at 8AM) and try it with the guy on the picture. He may (or may not) teach us something about ourselves.
post #56 of 142
Sorry I got things off track in this thread.I guess my real point was that most casual observers would be focusing on the "radness" of the chute and would be missing what the skier is actually doing.
post #57 of 142
I see that I am late in catching up with this discussion - but I would like to chime in. I know the chute and skier in the photo's well - in fact I am the photographer. I'd like to take credit for the pictures - but I have to give a big nod to digital video technology and some good weather. As some of you have noted, the skier was wearing a backpack but you problably can't see his circa 1976 neon orange John Denver "hot dogger" skiis. I wonder how some of you techno geeks would react to standing at the top of that chute in that type of gear. I can only say that I was a little aprehensive about his equipment - especially when he jumped off the cornice at the top. As for the Level 7-9 business, the skier and I have skiid many types of terrain together and are both veterans of East Coast, West coast and rocky Mt. conditions. He's a "this hurts the snow more than it hurts me" fast twitch power skier. He looks the same as he does in the photos skiing in moderate ungroomed "blue" terrain, ice, bumps or groomers. There are plenty of skiers who look better on easier stuff, but there are few who ski as aggressively, or with more control in ungroomed, steep chutes and trees. In my opinion, to rate top level skiers as an 8 or 9 is a bit antiquated in these days of the "Trois Phillipes." How many "9" level or skiers that ski off piste in 40 degree chutes can do a 1260 and land backwards? What does Herman Meier rate compared to Johnny Mosley?
post #58 of 142
Well, Herman Maier didn't come through the conventional Austrian racing ranks. He was a ski instructor who was asked to forerun the courses in his home area for the BIG GUYS but he kept posting the best time, time after time, so they asked him onto the team...that is what I heard from my family in Austria...

I truly couldn't compare Mosely to Maier since one is a skier and the other is an acrobat. The two types of skiig have about as much in common as swimming the butterfly and high platform diving.

post #59 of 142
To those who say this isn't "level 9" terrain, what is?

The comments about how if the snow quality were different his technique wouldn't work, duh!! I know I ski Ice different from Powder, differnt from corn. You must be able to adapt to the snow you're attempting to ski.


I come from your school of skiing and that guy can flat out ski on "level 9" terrrain.

I would hate to ski that chute while worrying about my efficiency. My only concern would be to insure that my adrenaline was flowing and that my smile was ear to ear.

I agree that almost all skiers could use some pointers but some of you instructors seem to be a lttle nit-picky about semantics. Consider the terrain and the constant need to adapt on every turn.

As some others have said, it would be great to ski with the "untrained" and the trained in a friendly setting so I could bop some of you on the head when you say that isn't level 9 terrain. What is the PSIA defenition of Level 9 terrian ?

PS How do you get those yellow smiley faces?
post #60 of 142
desertdawg, level 9 is a PSIA gradation of technical skiing proficiency only. Slopes and terrain is graded from green to double black.

...Ott<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Ott Gangl (edited October 07, 2000).]</FONT>
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