or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Level 9 Skiing Technique Analysis (Harpo's Photo Sequence)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Level 9 Skiing Technique Analysis (Harpo's Photo Sequence) - Page 3

post #61 of 142
The terrian could be expert, the snow conditions are soft. I think the skier seems to be in control with good form. If you ever have watched those Wareen Miller and similiar ski movies, when the going gets very extreme, I see lots of jump/survival type turns, and some steming on the very steeps as a turn intiation technique.

Everyones form will fall apart at some moment in time, if given sufficient challenge.

The skier seems to be handling the terrain and snow conditions reasonable well. The sequence photography is outstanding, every bit as good as you see in the ski mags.

As to what ski skill level I am not overly concerned, but I see someone using both skis for edging, handling the conditions very well, while carrying a small back pack. Making good turns, and for the most part appears to be in control.

Now if there is a smile on the skiers face, which I couldn't detect, he might even be experiencing some ......

Happy Skiing.
post #62 of 142
I think that skier has enough technique to make this chute really fun. That snow looks really sweet!
post #63 of 142

this is trivial and i suppose comparing
downhillers to freestyle/mogul types IS
somewhat the apples/oranges thing, but i DID
see a photo in last year's POWDER MAG
photo issue (i THINK) of jonny m. more
or less straightlining a fairly sheer and
very steep line in, i think, alaska. which
is only to state the obvious: that ALL those
folks, the mahres, the maiers, the moseleys,
et al., are great athletes with (duh)
incredible skills ALL OVER the mountain,
in all variety of conditions.
post #64 of 142
All this discussion is great and the topics are fine and the knowledge of you guys is apreciated. For every Phil Mahre out there, there is a Jonny Mosely. Etc. You guys are starting to sound like "if you're not PSIA, you're not worthy". The confidence that people have in their abilities should not be shaken. If a level 6 skier skis a steep chute and gets down it without falling, who cares if he over rotates or is on his up hill ski too much. He surely doesn't. He's just happy he can do it and hang with the big dogs. Should he have to be looking over his shoulder to make sure no one saw him catch an edge? No! Nor should he be worrying about it.

If you want to improve your skiing or are having trouble maintaining the level of skiing you are comfortable with, take a lesson from a friendly instructor. If attaining level 9 is your realistic goal, take a lesson, or lessons.

I myself don't care who is watching me ski or what they think of my skiing. I've said this many times before on this forum. Just go out there and have fun! Rip it up, hoot and holler and if you catch an edge and fall, get up as fast as possible so your friend doesn't come and give you a face shot. Then laugh about it over an apre ski toddy. Cause people, you don't have to be a level 9 skier to have fun. Nor should you have to be. For those of you are terminal(I hate that term)intermediates, it's better than being a terminal beginner.

The season is about to start. Set your goals now and have fun.

If it holds snow-It can be skied!
post #65 of 142
///You guys are starting to sound like "if
you're not PSIA, you're not worthy".///

Oh boy! are we misunderstood... maybe we best not give advise here and just keep it a social chatter....

post #66 of 142
I don't think that that is the perception of PSIA by the majority of skiers. I think that you are just hearing from the "anti-establishment" faction. I think that the PSIA represents an idealized way of skiing that is attainable by most people. However, it is certainly not necessary to have "PSIA form" at all times to ski effectively and have fun, but the quest for that ability is definitely worthwhile.And isn't level 9 skiing but a small fraction of a PSIA instructors concern?
post #67 of 142
My bad. I should have checked Lars profile. Deepest apologies.
post #68 of 142
The chute is listed as 40 degrees in Andrew Mcleans "Chuting Gallery - a Guide to steep skiing in the Wasatch".

In frames 25 and 26 the skiers left hand is behind his hip, yet turn is halfway complete, if the turn was initiated with an upper body twist wouldn't that hand be in front of the hip? The arm movement in 27 and 28 is reaching for the next pole plant.

As for the hero snow, it was soft for an inch or so then hard. This type of snow is nice because it is fairly slow but also lends itself to skidding because the upper is so soft and slides over the harder layer. The softer layer also makes it difficult to get enough pressure on the edge to bite into the harder layer below.
<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by harpo (edited October 09, 2000).]</FONT>
post #69 of 142

apologies if i misunderstand BUT while i am
definitely in the same boat with you vis.
the SKIING TO HAVE FUN (jeesh, why ELSE??),
and i don't worry about periods of ugly
skiing, certainly not falling - sometimes
i think if i haven't fallen i haven't
pushed it a bit, for my betterment - i DO
like and MOSTLY enjoy the technical chatter
and now and then gain SOMEthing from it. and
like you, frankly, scarlett, i don't really
give a damn about what ANYone thinks or
says about my ability or appearance while
skiing (except, of course, an instructor),
i DO want to improve, as improving has so
far corresponded with more fun. the level
7,8,9, whatEVER stuff, i don't care. i just
want to be able to ski "better" on
increasingly "difficult" terrain; to become
a more well-rounded skier but having FUN
and not getting caught up in the AM-I-IN-
PERFECT-FORM stuff. that only applies because, as i said, the improvement in form
(efficiency, etc.) tends to equate with more
in fact, when i see people in the beginning or early intermediate stages, struggling with
parallel turns and ALL of that, i'm hoping
they're in it for themselves and the fun that
lies in wait, rather than chastizing them-
selves for skiing "poorly." just about my
only skiing poorly is skiing RECKLESSLY.
post #70 of 142
Sometimes I feel anti-establishment but as an ex Marine I'm true to heart. I just say what I think and ski the same way. I'm not anti PSIA, a woman I patrolled with for years was PSIA and a fantastic skier for 53. I guess I feel that there are enough skiers out there who won't let themselves go on the slopes and really enjoy themselves because they feel some people will be watching and talking about them and they would be embarrased. Same reason people won't ski under lifts. Almost like big brother is watching. Maybe this is why people become boarders. No one is critiqueing them.

Pierre knows me well enough to know i'm not trying to offend anyone here, especially someone with Bob's knowledge. It's a welcome addition for this site. And i'm glad there are a few people who feel the way I do, Ryan, thanks. If this whole post had been in the instruction forum I wouldn't have jumped in to begin with. haha! Sorry

If it holds snow-It can be skied!
post #71 of 142
Thanks Bob for your honesty and your knowledge. Between people like yourself, Pierre, John and Jonathan Sheft, and others, this site has definitly become the ultimate in ski discussion. I hope we can attract more people.

If it holds snow-It can be skied!
post #72 of 142
Hi Bob, you have known me and my views for a long time now. I have mostly stayed out of these threads lately because I found that I was starting to react to messages which came through to me as >anti-PSIA=anti-instructors=anti-learning<, though I now realise they have merit in that not everyone want to improve with lessons, rather do it by skiing a lot.

///" We instructors can't help but look critically at people's skiing. It's a habit! It's part of our job to understand our students' skiing with as much detail and accuracy as possible"///

This quote from your post hit home. I have been Level III for 38 years, retired from active teaching for over 10 years, but as they say >once a teacher, always a teacher<.

As an ingrained habit for all these years, I watch skiers while riding the chair and see so many who are so close to a breakthrough that 15 minutes with an instructor would get them over the hump, but they try this and they try that, and all are compensating moves to counteract the problem and all they do is mask it instead of correct it. Years ago when one of them would be on a chair with me I would give them pointers but then realised that I couldn't stick with them and that they needed a formal lesson, not to speak of me taking away monetary compensation from the ski school.

But never, never did it enter my mind to make fun of a skier or render judgement in any way except that they could profit from a lesson. It pains me to not be able to help and I understand that with the price of lessons today, many folks just plain can't afford them and also many skiers who took lessons ten years ago on their straight boards and can hack most anything are now told to unlearn some of it, get new skis and no longer go up and down just left and right.

As I read these threads it dawns on me that instructors often use terms which only other instructors comprehend. It is a special language coined so instructors all over, when talking to each other have no daubt of what is being talked about and the general public should never hear it, but I know we often use these terms subconciously, without malice, but it may come through to the reader as elitist or snobish, thus the comments about a PSIA-know-it-all.

You and Pierre Eh! and John H have a wonderful gift of painting word-pictures in peoples mind and make them understand what it is you are trying to have them do, I admire you all and please keep it up, you are doing a lot of good around here.

Maybe after a while I will join in with views form my aging eyes (and body )...having skied for 56 seasons, gone through many, many changes in technique and having risen to high competency and now, at nearly 69, finding that my body just won't stand up to some of the punishment and my mind says "you've done it, so what are you trying to prove"...yet with subtlety of technique I hope to finess the slopes for years to come.

Sorry for rambling.... ....Ott
post #73 of 142
Bob; watch the video of the telemark skier. He does not pay for anything; he navigates through a very narrow section.

Yes I agree there is upper body rotation in the telemarker. What is it holding him back from doing?

Most skiers would not even attempt that line.

How would you do a braking turn with the technique you are championing?

I did not say that the still shots make it easier to find flaws. I agree with you that movements are easier to see in motion. I think the still shots make it easy to interpret movements based on your own personal prejudices. (IE you will find evidence of what you think the skier
is doing.)

Bob, Pierre, JohnH etc., I am not anti lesson, I enrolled my son in lessons because I believe it will help him. The post that started this discussion was Bobs response to my post:

"People can, have, and will continue to reach level 9, as defined by AC, without lessons, coaching or putting in 100 days a season.
Lessons may help you get there, but are not required. You can ski with efficiency, safety, economy of motion, and precision without ever taking a lesson."

Bobs response
"Harpo, we disagree. Show me ANY very good skier on the hill, and one of two things will be true (probably both):

1) That skier will have had some very good coaching, lessons, or other expert guidance and feedback. This does NOT imply formal lessons, but it will probably include some.

or else
2) I will be able to point out technical flaws in the skier that ARE holding him/her back in some REAL way."

In one of the other threads Bob was speaking of Lito? and the videos he has produced. From what was said on that thread I believe lito? has a similar "problem" that you see in the sequence posted in this thread. Is there only one correct way to ski?

Are lito, the telemarker, the skier in our sequence missing out on something because there may be upperbody rotation, counterrotation in thier skiing?

Also from some of the other threads I noticed a lack of respect for the skills of a bump skier. Bump skiers do have skills that have been refined with much practice, many under the guidance of coaches etc. True, those skills are not carving skills.

Well this post ended up much longer than intended - work beckons.
post #74 of 142
Bob, you are absolutely right about ski media pictures. What is really bad (bad only in this context,I love those pics!) about Powder is that there is no instruction to counter the questionable movements and differentiate between good art and good skiing.
post #75 of 142
This is a bit off the thread but i noticed a comparison a while ago between "Herman Maier" and "Johny Mosely" and I'd have to say that fame-induced 'big headed' personalities set aside, these two actually have a lot in common.

Not only did they climb to the pinnacle of the their respective specialties within the sport, but they both brought into the skiing publics consciousness new techniques and physical attributes needed now-a-days to up the level of competitiveness.

In Maiers case, he brought into the limelight the incredible importance of upper body strength (as well as lower the lower body), and how high strength actually rates against technique. With techniques getting so refined, now a race can be even won at the starting gate.

In Moseleys case, he brought into the limelight the importance of 'newschool' techniques being integrated with standard traditional competitive freestyle. I have to give him a lot of credit for being able to go against the establishment (which he was at the top of) in favor of progress in the sport. He could easily forsee the evolution of freestyle while the sanctioning body, FIS, still has yet to figure it out.

As far as which one is better -- although I can't see Moseley being much of a threat on the world cup tour, I think he'd have a better chance than Maier trying to pull of the tricks required now in these newschool competitions, let alone a "720 in the bumps". And i'd love to see Maier in the big mountains - i've seen Moseley and, as Ryan said, he's actually really good.
post #76 of 142
Harpo, (you're not Oprah in disguise, are you?)

I haven't looked at the tele sequence, but I'll just make a note about rotation to force a turn.

As Ott (or was it Pierre?) said, rotation uses brute force and while it will work most of the time, it is very imprecise. In a chute like the one in your sequence, it will mean there is a greater chance for error. My other dig on over rotation, is that it is a giant waste of energy because you are using the largest muscle groups in your body to force every turn. We talked earlier, in a thread about fitness, about how a skier with great technique can be a lot less fit because of economy of motion. Imagine making 100 short turns down that chute and becoming so tired that you had to stop for 10 minutes, or fell because of fatigue. Now imagine being in the same phyical condition, but being able to make 100 turns down the chute, and still have energy to climb back up and do it again, or at least being able to walk away without having kissed a rock. When we get into the highest levels of skiing, you can't necessarily say why some move would be better than another if the turn were made more correctly or efficiently (your argument of what is he lacking because of rotating), but if you go on a week long heli skiing trip, wouldn't it be better if, on the last day of skiing, you had just as much energy as the first day? or that you didn't hug a tree because of a missed turn? In the fitness thread, I mentioned that I can ski a lot further down a bump run than one of my friends, and he is in much better shape than me. The reason I can do that, is because of technique only. If I were using inefficient movements and wasting a lot of energy, I would get to the point where I'd be fatigued enough that I'd have to stop, or I'd fall and hurt myself.
post #77 of 142
Bob I did not say that good technique as you see it is based on personal prejudice I said “I think the still shots make it easy to interpret movements based on your own personal prejudices. (IE you will find evidence of what you think the skier is doing.)” Prejudice was probably not the right word to use since it carries such a stigma. Bias would have been a more appropriate word but sometimes I am “a bear of very little brain” and cannot always find the most appropriate word. We need a thesaurus and a spellchecker. (By the way when you quote me please do not put a misspelling in the quote, when it wasn’t there originally, then spell the word correctly later in your section of the post. Not that I think it was intentional, but it is misleading.)

Bob your statement
“I hate to be contentious (it's so time-consuming ), but I would argue that moguls are one condition where athletic ability can definitely compensate for poor technique.”
seemed disrespectful to competitive bump skiers, because it implies they are using poor technique, when for that particular area of skiing the current accepted technique is to absorb extend twist absorb extend twist or something to that nature. It is not poor bump-skiing technique it’s poor carving technique. I too no longer ski bumps like that (unless they are nicely spaced and the snow is quite soft) because it is athletically demanding. But because it is athletically demanding does not mean it is not technically demanding.

John, in that sequence, I think if you watched the video you would be surprised at how little rotation there is. The video (that our sequence is from) is much smoother than the tele video. Whether that is because of effective counterrotation as Bob as suggested or for some other reason - I do not know.

I do plan on pursuing the carving and less up-unwieghting techniques discussed here (there is definite up-unwieghting in every turn in the video that the shots posted are from).
post #78 of 142
Maybe we can get AC to close and lock this one down - its done. But I can't help but try to breath life back into it. We need that guiding hand to help pull the plug.
post #79 of 142
I've been away for awhile and it looks like I missed a very important thread. I just read through it and, wow, did I learn a lot. I did my own movement analysis before reading the thread which coincidently was very similar to JohnH's.

It's unfortunate that the PSIA Forum page isn't as good as this. I'd like to see this sequence analyzed in one of the PSIA publications.

Good job everyone.


Ski fast and laugh often.
post #80 of 142
You guys are going to have to open your mind on this one and follow this step by step.

After looking at the tele sequence photos, the tele sequence videos and my video I can tell you the upper body rotation that is so obvious in the tele video is not present in my video. (Although I do think the tele skier did just fine).

Before we start let’s state what we agree on – the turns are skidded, there is up-unwieghting on every turn.

Lets state what can not be (or lest should not be) disputed. Some have suggested the skier is back in his stance and is pressuring the back of the boots in frames 35 through 38. In those frames the tail of the skis are off the snow. If the tails are not on the snow there can be no pressure on them.

Now for the point that has been bothering me (keeping me up in at night, making me watch the video over and over trying to find a way to explain it without making video tapes and sending them to each of you) and probably the only point which I do not agree with you on – is the turn initiated by the shoulders? After watching this video and one other video in slow motion – the first part to move into the turn is the hips.

When the turn is initiated with the shoulders (see the teleturn photo 3) the first thing that happens is that the shoulders rotate and the teleskier almost looks like he is throwing a punch, then the hips follow the rotation (teleturn photo 4), as the hips catch up the punching hand moves slightly back (teleturn photo 5).

In our sequence in frame 24 the uphill hand is in front of the hips, in frame 25 the hand has moved back to even or behind the hips (exactly opposite of the teleskier). As the turn was initiated at the hips the shoulders are lagging behind. As the shoulders catch up (frames 25 and 26) the skiers left hand is moving forward in relation to the hips (again exactly opposite of the teleskier). Frames 27 and 28 show the hand and arm reaching for the next pole plant.

In frame 34 the edge is set and the skier pops out and begins rotating at the hips. Although the photos from 33 to 35 looks like the left hand has moved forward – it is in almost the exact same position (relative to the hips and thighs) and remains there through frame 37. In those same frames the tails of the skis come off the ground and are rotating toward the camera. There is no shoulder twist hip lag that you would expect if shoulder rotation were the primary turn mechanism. By the time the hand really starts moving forward, frame 39, the turn is essentially complete. The forward hand movement is associated with the pole plant.

As far as the CM holding back in 41 42, in frame 42 the skier has lost all edge hold, the weight has moved to the uphill leg and the CM has already crossed over to the downhill side.

I also compared the arm movements from frames 20 to 24 to the PSIA site photos of the reaching turn (photos 20 to 24 show a similar angle and cover about the same amount of turn as the PSIA photos) and find the arm movements (and leg for that matter) very similar.

Before you jump into responding, reread this, look at the tele photos and try to follow my thought process. I have given you the same courtesy and can see why you would think the turn is initiated at the shoulder (especially from 42 to 43). It wasn’t until I watched the tele video and looked at the photos that I thought I could explain what I was thinking. Bob – I did stand on the papers and rotate – it was that exercise that really convinced me the turns are initiated with hip movement.

PS The turns are probably muscled from the hips and the skis probably require it (very old skis – have the groove down the base, dimensions 84 tip, 66 mid, 76 tail).
<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by harpo (edited October 11, 2000).]</FONT>
post #81 of 142
Thought I'd throw you a curve ball.. First of all nice run. Great skiing..
bet it was a blast!! Second I have to disagree with my fellow ski
instructors and agree with you. The movements they describe are
symptoms of the true problems you had on that run. Part snow
conditions or technique (inability to get a solid platform at the end of
turns) the double fall line and the photographer changing your line
definitely all have an effect. Can't help you with the last two but I have
some thoughts about the first. Now you're going to have to open your

The skier is so flexed on his down hill boot that the back of the ski
skids out. His weight is on the shovel instead of the middle. When this
happens the hips rotate then the upper body follows. Also the uphill
ski is forced to far forward instead of apart to accommodate the
slope. This puts pressure on the tail of that ski When the skier starts
his next turn he has to turn his hip and upper body to get back to
facing the fall line.. ( symptom ) This puts the skier back because he is
not in a position to direct his center of mass. The fix is easy.. stiffen
them dam boots up for one. Also pull that lead foot back a little until you feel
the pressure under feet in the middle not on your toes and heel. Hope I'm not butting in where I'm not wanted. Definitly you shouldn't loose any sleep over it.

Jeff W.
post #82 of 142

My reference to shoulders vs hips, is not in the rotational force used to start the turn, but in the movement of the CM down the hill. Notice frames 19, 29-31 and 42/43. The shoulders are further inside the new turn than the hips (CM). This lack of committment to the new turn is what causes the "check" in frame 42, since yuo have not moved the pressure to the new turning ski yet.

I will address the rotational thing really quickly (I don't have a lot of time today). In frame 29, your skis are flat and pinted directly down the fall line. However, your upper body (shoulders) are ahead of your feet and already through the fall line. This IS upper body rotation being used to turn the skis. However, I don't think that this move is necessarily the way you always ski because because frame 36 doesn't show it. It should be noted however, as you said, that in frame 36 your skis are off the ground, and without the snow's resistance, it's hard to tell what your body position would be if there was resistance. Gotta go.

BTW, maybe we should start a new topic on this. Not only is this horse dying a slow painful death, but we are now 3 pages and over 100 messages into it, and it takes forever to navigate through it now.
post #83 of 142
is this what happens on the PSIA site?
y'all're inTENSE!!!
post #84 of 142
Wow, been away a little while and it's hard to get around to posting because you folks have become prolific writers. I hardly have the time to read, least of all time to respond. Great discussions and looks like we've gained some sharp new people. Bob Barnes, I assume you're the encyclodia guy. Enjoying it but having a hard time keeping up. Thanks guys
post #85 of 142
I'm saying that if the skier had a solid platform at the end of his turn the other errors might vanish. Cause and effect! I think the rotation and slightly back is just a symptom. The movements were athletic recoveries. Could be technique or conditions. Thats my storie and I'm sticking to it.

Jeff W.
post #86 of 142
Well I'll be damned, Gonzo! It's so nice to read someone who recognizes that teachers are here to teach

As for Bob Barnes, I first read his stuff when he roped me into becoming a contributor to his book and was, and still am, amazed as to his uncanny ability to break down the most complex maneuver into word that most anybody can understand. When he speaks, all of us should listen.

I hope this is still true after he returns from his honeymoon

As to technique vs. fun, The most fun a skier can have skiing is when the technique is so ingrained there is no need to think about it.
Like not having to think about when driving:
"Now I must take my foot off the gas pedal and put it on the brake pedal, now lest's see, is it a better and more efficient technique to lift the foot of the pedal or to slide it off?"

Learn a technique, practice it and forget it.>G<
post #87 of 142
Hey Bob Barns,

It turns out that we may have a mutual friend in Marsh Brugge. He tells me that you guys used to teach together and that you used to ski the "Legend" being a little resort by Sinclairville N,Y. called Cockaigne. Marsh and I used to race together some years ago. We were talking about coming out for Spring break and he happened to mention getting together with you. Small world huh? He thought you were at Winter Park still but I told him I thought you were at Copper.

If it holds snow-It can be skied!
post #88 of 142

The Bob Barnes in Winter Park is not the same Bob Barnes of Copper Mountain, previously of Keystone and author of "The Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing".

Two different guys with the same name,....

post #89 of 142
I have read only, because at my level I can offer nothing of value except this much: This thread is simply amazing. I will print it out to read again - and probably, again. I am heartened by the ability of some of you to communicate so well - I only wish you would be my own instructors. Pierre, eh! I do not know if I adequately can to convey to you how you have affected by life as a skier. Not only the shorter skis - Gott Sie Dankte! - but also the bulldozer turn, the inside foot - lots of stuff! If this level of communication and effectiveness can be brought to the general public, the "flat" growth of the sport and industry may change for the better. And while we're at it: Where else on the World Wide Web can you find such decent, intelligent and downright just plain USEFUL discourse?! Thank you AC and all who have posted for a "Class A" experience.
post #90 of 142
I have read only, because at my level I can offer nothing of value except this much: This thread is simply amazing. I will print it out to read again - and probably, again. I am heartened by the ability of some of you to communicate so well - I only wish you would be my own instructors. Pierre, eh! I do not know if I adequately can to convey to you how you have affected by life as a skier. Not only the shorter skis - Gott Sie Dankte! - but also the bulldozer turn, the inside foot - lots of stuff! If this level of communication and effectiveness can be brought to the general public, the "flat" growth of the sport and industry may change for the better. And while we're at it: Where else on the World Wide Web can you find such decent, intelligent and downright just plain USEFUL discourse?! Thank you AC and all who have posted for a "Class A" experience.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Level 9 Skiing Technique Analysis (Harpo's Photo Sequence)