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down unweighting

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
While working in a "bump clinic", I was encouraged to use down unweighting as part of the active leg retraction that is absorbing in the bumps.
We did a set of simple turns starting from a low crouch, ending the turn tall and extended. This drill went well. However, when I tried to put such a turn into the mix of my normal up unweighted turns I had lots of "problems".

In a series of turns, I was able to "switch hands", to pull from the equestrians, but it wasn't easy and took all my concentration. I reverted back to up unweighting in spite of myself all to soon.

In the bumps, the motion is much more readily adopted due to the "suggestion" of the arriving mogul. It was interesting to me how smooth the bumps were with this method. I am sure there is a history with many terms and applications, but it was foreign to me due to lack of practice I guess.

Would any care to make comments about the application of this technique in general and "bump specific"?

post #2 of 4
What you described...

We did a set of simple turns starting from a low crouch, ending the turn tall and extended
is not down unweighting. It is up unweighting.

Think of down unweighting as doing a simple stomache curl or crunch to get the body moving downward, hence unweighting the skis.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

My description is perhaps too brief.

If up unweighting, the turn would start as I reached max extension. Then the legs would with draw slightly and allow the skies to disengage.

The exercise is only the later half of the turn. That is we didn't actually perform the down unweighting, but just tried to play with the motions that would follow the turn initation. If we continued the sequence,( we didn't in this drill) the next movement would be a strong retraction to relieve pressure on the skies and allow a new turn initiation.
Starting from a straight run and already compressed doesn't give one many options of what to do next. I thought is was good a drill, but as my post indicates, not sufficient to learn the whole pattern.

What I wanted to do was wait till the end of my extension, and then do what I always do, an up unweighted turn.

New trick, Old dog slow learner.

post #4 of 4
I think your description was fine.

This terrain absorption movement achieved max popularity in the 70's as people started to ski right at the bumps instead of around them. George Joubert, the famous French technician, desribed the movement at "avalement" from the French, "avaler", "to swallow". The idea was to swallow the bumps by retracting at the major joints. He even differentiated an active swallow, avalement--from a passive swallow, "reploiement". Very fancy stuff! We used to call it knee-sucking.

In it, you control speed by impact with the bump, and keep from getting airborne by absorbing some of the shock. If done well, you can ski bumps into an ancient age without trashing your knees. If done too aggressively, your knees will die at a young age.

When we used to examine it, we would say that the down unweight is the quickest unweight, while the up unweight was the longer duration. The purpose of unweight was to relieve pressure from the edges so you could pivot.

The ultimate expression of avalement was the "slow dog noodle" invented by Robert "Boogie" Mann in a freestyle contest on the Ridge of Bell in Aspen. He knew he wasn't the skier to really rip it, so he invented the slow and elegant version of avalement.

Racers used it extensively in slalom, and although it's a little different than the old days, the retraction turns of today use the same principle: retract to eat excessive pressure. These days, though the racers don't use it to allow pivoting. They just use it to manage the pressure. (I think.)

[ April 22, 2002, 04:04 PM: Message edited by: weems ]
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