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pivot slip - Page 4

post #91 of 101
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

Although Pivot Slips should, ideally, involve parallel skis, the difference I'm describing becomes dead obvious when the two skis don't pivot at the same time. If there is a "stem," with the outside ski pivoting "tail out" first (quite obvious in most of the skiers in the Snowstars clip), it is a pushoff. If it shows any sort of divergence ("V") at the initiation of the pivot, where the inside (downhill) ski pivots first, with its tip moving downhill and away from the other tip, it is the "release and guide" activity I'm looking for.

Best regards,
I haven't seen this comment yet; if it has appeared, I apologize in advance.

The release of the downhill ski, which might possibly create the "V" as Bob describes, but which ideally will not, does not require any unweighting of that downhill ski. This goes hand-in-hand with the other requirements: no stem, no up move, etc. If your balance and edge control are accurate, the weighted ski will release and you will be able to allow the tip to drop downhill with minimal twisting effort. You'll have to add some twist, but if you find that you really have to muscle the skis around, some refinement might be in order.

Here's another mantra for the pivot slip: Do less.

Find the balance and subtle edge control that let the pivot slip happen with minimal action and muscle on your part. No platform. No stepping to the uphill foot. No up move, no down move. No upper body twist. No shoulder action. Do less.

You can start with a pure pivot slip, and, by modifying the skill blend (and/or DIRT, if you prefer), you can move through short and medium radius turns and on to a pure arc-to-arc carve, all with the same fundamentals. You can execute the key release move and, with the right timing, get the terrain to help you "schmear" through the bumps. You can release with the skis underneath three feet of powder and achieve a low-effort arc and a face shot at the same time. No need to bring them to the surface and strongly steer them. (But you can if you want to - that's fun, too!)

The "equal and opposite" force comes from the other foot, but I contend that accurate balance and edge control allow gravity to contribute some (or even most) of the force required to get the movement going. We are trying to let the tips go downhill, after all! Gravity helps.
post #92 of 101
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

Here's an animation of Pivot Slips that I put together after Weems stated something to the effect that he'd rather listen to Neil Diamond than do Pivot Slips. I think you can torture yourself with both at the same time!

"Pivot Slips" are a useful and versatile exercise on skis that develops several important skills and sensations. First and most obvious, perhaps, is the rotation of the legs (femurs) in the hip sockets that is critically important in virtually all skiing maneuvers, from pure-carved arcs to hockey stops. Without this skill, skiers invariably rely on upper body exertions ("rotation" or "counter-rotation") and/or powerful blocking pole plants whenever they need to twist their skis. Upper body movements can twist or pivot skis only, causing skidding, and cannot be used to guide the skis or shape turns precisely. Without femur rotation (as with a fused hip), skiing as we know it is not possible at all. Beyond the obvious rotary effects, femur rotation is involved in edging movements as well.

Perhaps even more importantly, Pivot Slips help develop the feel for the edge release that marks the transition in offensive turns--again, whether pure-carved or brushed and guided. Such turns begin (and, if linked, end) in what I call "neutral," which is an attitude that is well-defined by Pivot Slips. The entire maneuver takes place in "neutral," on slipping skis with edges released. There should be no edge set, and no attempt to slow the slip at any point in the maneuver.

It's not the easiest of exercises, by any means. It is commonly used as one of several skill and discipline tasks for Full Certified instructor exams. Many people who "think" they're doing Pivot Slips are not!

Pivot Slips highlight the "release and guide the tips downhill, into the turn" initiation of modern, offensive turns. Perhaps the most common error when attempting them is the tendency to set the edge of the downhill ski, slowing or even stopping the slip, and then "pushing off" from the platform of that ski--pushing and twisting the uphill ski tail uphill, rather than guiding the downhill tip down the hill.

Fore-aft balance is critical in Pivot Slips. If it isn't just right, the skis will not slip directly down the fall line, and the pivot point will not fall directly under the foot, as in the animation above. It's a great way, therefore, to find a modern, neutral stance.

It's also effective at finding your optimal "ready" athletic stance for skiing--both vertically and stance-width-wise. Too narrow a stance compromises the power of the leg rotation involved (a locked-together stance makes it impossible). Too wide a stance, while powerful, creates problems with fore-aft balance, as one foot will be weighted forward and the other aft. A stance either too tall (femurs extended) or too short (femurs flexed) reduces the range of rotation available in the hip sockets.

Finally, while it hardly looks like an "edging drill," Pivot Slips develop the highly-refined sense of subtle edge control involved in the edge release and transition between turns. Learning to let go ("release") and maintain balance on released edges is critical in modern turns.

That should get you started! I have posted video clips and video animations of Pivot Slips here previously, but the server that hosted them is no longer in operation, so I'll need to find them and link to them again, when I can find the time.

Best regards,

FWIW, these marginal snow conditions have been great for practicing pivot slips!


post #93 of 101

When faced with ice, I practice my pivot slips.  They are harder on soft snow. That said, they can be difficult on ice if you have a nice new race tune. eek.gif

post #94 of 101

trekchick, did the paper trick work at all? and still u see no one posted video, ill be practicing this monday night and will get some video of my attempted slips, ive struggled on the few occassions ive tried in the past

post #95 of 101
Originally Posted by rossymcg View Post

trekchick, did the paper trick work at all? and still u see no one posted video, ill be practicing this monday night and will get some video of my attempted slips, ive struggled on the few occassions ive tried in the past

It does work when you are looking for a dry land exercise to get that sensation. 

Whether or not you can translate it to snow is another story. 


post #96 of 101

has anyone got any good footage of pivot slips? and then maybe some slow mo footage of someone skiing, being able to point out the move in a real turn?

post #97 of 101


A lot harder than this guy makes it look like though!

post #98 of 101

Yes, difficult to do.  I believe that's Ric Reiter.  Can anyone confirm?

post #99 of 101
Yes, LF, that is Ric aka Vail Snopro on EpicSki. The footage was taken by Bob Barnes at Brighton during the first ESA.
post #100 of 101

1,000 posts.  Just sayin.

post #101 of 101
1,000 posts.  Just sayin.

Nice : )  Congrat's!

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