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MA Request

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Ok, I'm submitting myself to the meat grinder...

I'm 5'11'', 225 lbs on Monster 82s.  Today was not one of my better days, but its the first time my buddy and I pulled out the camera.  I think that I'm hopping too much to release the edges and I feel like my hands are way too high.  I was dropping my hands too far back early in the season, so I may be overcompensating.  I also think I'm not giving the turn enough time before I transition back into the fall line.  Conditions were standard PA hardpack with light crud piles.


Thanks for the "constructive" criticism.

post #2 of 10

There is nothing really wrong with where your hands are, but they aren't doing much for you.  Relax a bit and let them find balance for you all the time, rather than only at the moment you make a pole plant.


Be patient, and allow your skis to turn.  You don't need to pivot them through the transition or let them skid after the transition in terrain like this.  On flatter terrain you may be more comfortable learning to control turn shape dynamically via edge angle rather than via the pivoting and skidding shown here.  Not that there is anything wrong with those latter skills, but you should be stomping terrain like the video shows without them.

post #3 of 10

This is what we call "Z" turning. Sometimes you get on the new edges in the fall line, but you are basically releasing the old edges, pivoting the skis, then setting the new edges and skidding. Garret has your number, but you called it on yourself first. Yes your hands should come down to belly button height, but don't worry about them for now. Yes you should finish your turns more. This will start you on the road to making C shaped turns instead of Z shaped turns.


Try a drill called carved traverses.From a position standing on one side of a wide trail pointed to the other side, but slightly downhill, check for traffic then traverse across the slope tipping your skis onto their uphill edges. As you build up speed, you should start turning uphill. Go uphill until you stop. If you don't turn your feet to make the skis turn uphill, then you will leave thin tracks in the snow. If you do, you will leave washed out tracks. Don't do that. If you do, then take a shallower line to go slower across the slope. Once you can leave thin tracks, increase your starting angle to go faster and have more of an uphill angle to your finish to a stop. Do this until you can feel the G forces build up. The next step will be to start a new turn before you come to a complete stop. Try it. Then you will be ready for other drills.





post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

So I went out again this weekend to Elk.  This video might be the same slope IIRC.  I'm on slightly different skis, but I think I've made some improvements.  The up-unweighting seems reduced and I feel like I'm not skidding the Z turn as much.  I'm still not finishing the turn enough, but I think that was more a result of being new to the ski (Blizzard 8.7, 174cm, someone is trying to turn me into a gear junkie) and the wider turn radius.  I figured out the edge angles needed for the tighter turns later in the day.  Pole plants are still lazy, but I was trying to focus on the lower body motions more and using the hands in a relaxed manner for balance. 


The recent thread on using ankle flexion instead of knee driving to load the boot tongue struck home with me.  I was carrying most of my weight on the ball of my foot.  I made a conscious effort this week to flex the ankle and load the entire arch.  I feel like this removed a lot of the skidding.  So what do you think?  Am I completely off base?  I'm in red once again.

Edited by cbire880 - 2/10/2009 at 03:12 am
post #5 of 10

:10 seconds--note how much you lean into the turn.  Learn angulation & counter.  You want your hips to the inside of the turn and your head and shoulders to the outside of the turn.  Position your jacket zipper pull tab over your outside toe (or out beyond the outside toe) very early in the turn.  Be flexible and increase angulation as you increase the edge angle through the turn.  Try it standing still and note how much that increases the ski edge angle on the snow while keeping you in balance.


:15 seconds--are your feet in front of your hips?  Naughty boy.  You need that center of mass over the middle of your feet (or your feet under your CoM--which ever concept resonates with you).  When you have it right it may feel like your feet are behind you, and that's OK.


Your arm position still looks contrived.  You want your hands and arms in the same position you'd have them when walking on an icy surface...or when walking a railroad track...or when the officer says, "Walk that straight line, boy."  You want them normally out to the sides and a bit in front where your body automatically puts them to help with balance.  They need to be flexible and moving a bit to assist in balance.

post #6 of 10


Trust me, it becomes compulsive and expensive to ski on Phil's skis.


Think of skiing from the ground up, putting the ski on edge and letting it turn. There is a major improvement in the second video in that you are letting the skis do the work by standing on a tipped, edged ski. For me, a bedrock foundation principle of eastern skiers is to stand on one ski and keep the other ski light. I think you have too much weight on your inside foot and would encourage you to commit to a clean total weight transfer and then edge the ski. When you next ski with Phil, look at his tracks and you'll see a great clean edge in the weighed ski.


I hope to be able to ski again in about 10 days so keep me in mind when you head to Elk.



post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

My left turns were sloppy yesterday as well.  My right knee is the repaired one to begin with.  I was also experimenting with a slightly wider stance and went overboard loading up the inside ski.  We all agreed that our videod runs didn't seem to feel like our best runs.  I like the critiquing though because it gets me to thinking about what little things I'm doing wrong here and there.  I've learned this year that I had a much different view of how I was skiing than I what I was really doing.  Its been a great year so far for improvement and the first year I've skiied more than 10 days since my ACL tear.


As far as gear junkie goes, unfortunately, its in my genes.  First it was computers, then airplanes, now back to skiing.  I anticipate more of a gear "churn" then stockpiling.  I'm alright with doing that with slightly used skis.  I have no intention of regularly buying brand new gear.  Besides, with how easily that topsheet chips on the Monsters, they will be rock skis by the end of the year anyway.


Looks like we'll be at Elk March 7/8.  I'm not sure if I'll make it both days, but come on up.  My bump skillz are still lame, but I'm improving on Tunk.



Edited by cbire880 - 2/10/2009 at 03:15 am
post #8 of 10

Lol - chris, when I get to ski with you guys - you see some really LAME bump skillz.... At least you let yourself get going fast enough to have some good fun :) I'm the chronic over thinker. They told me to go play in the bumps this month and come back and redo the bump group with more than one turn at a time :) Sorry I didnt get to ski with you guys ... looking forward to Friday though!

Edited by lovebug - 2/10/2009 at 12:53 pm
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

That's pretty much what I did on Sunday.  I spent enough time in the bumps to be comfortable going over and around them.  It was a lot of wide traverses.  I may take a lesson in Winter Park now that I'm not fighting the apprehension at the top of the next bump and can focus more on technique instead of just getting down the hill.

post #10 of 10

I think Rusty hit it the first time, suggesting the traverse on the carved edge drill.  This video was posted on another thread but will give you an idea of a good exercise to get the carves started and then completed with a rounder arc.  In your second video you get more on edge but the edge is still lacking the bite it needs; some angulation (bend at the hips, both sideways and forward as pressuring needs) hopefully will put more pressure on the outside edge allowing it to bite and complete the turn.  This video drill may help you get a feel for angulation along with the completion of the carved turn.


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