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"Lift line" analysis and training

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
DISCLAIMER: Intent of this post is to answer the following concern
(people criticzing her skiing based on an outside-the-lodge, in the loading-area profile picture??)
as well as to suggest how we can better utilize our time on skis and improve our technique without adding any vertical feet skied. There is no hidden agenda of bringing back the bygones.

Ok, getting to "meat and potatoes" now...

On the first day at Mt. Hood racing camp this summer we were hanging around on top of the Palmer snowfield waiting for our coach to show up. After the usual introductory speech, our coach told us: "Now I want you all to freeze and we gonna analyze how you are standing....."

The point is that when you are hanging around in lift line, near a lodge or just posing for a picture (no hidden personal references here), you assume position on your skis that you find most natural and comfortable. When you are not going down the slope you (usually) are not thinking about where you body should be, where to apply your weight, etc. Hence you involuntarily reveal what your skiing technique looks like on subconscious level, when you are not trying to do things right. Just by looking at skiers standing in a lift line one can get a very good idea what to expect when these skiers will ski down a slope.

As an illustration (who is better to pick first on, than myself) here is me posing on top of the Palmer snowfield.

One thing that catches attention is the V formed by my skis - tips are much further apart than tails. That is something reminiscent from pre-shaped ski era when we were taught to actively skate at the end of a turn. Even though I'm trying to erase this memory it still shows in most of my "action" pictures.

Now lets see if my educated guess is right.... Dchan, it is not a critique but an attempt to make an observation, are you skiing with your feet close together? Not necessarily "glued" but forming a narrow stance?

A single static shot may not be enough for correct analysis, but observing how others handle themselves on skis when they are not skiing can provide a good insight in their skiing technique and its deficiencies.
Such "lift line analysis" are even more useful when applied to ourselves. When you are just standing in your skis waiting for something (or somebody) take a moment to consciously assess your posture. That is the time when you do apply your brain (refer to my other post). Short checklist:
- Are you relaxed or you have to strain to keep your position?
- Are your skis parallel?
- Are your shins parallel (knees are the same width apart as your feet and both are hip width)? - this may also indicate alignment issues.
- Are you pressing against the back or the front of your boot? (good "Am I in a back sit" check: if you make a line from the heel of your boot perpendicular to your skis, you can use a pole for reference, no part of your body should be behind that line)
- Are your hands dangling or poles are planted?
After such brief assessment try to position everything the way it should be and memorize the feel of it. You do not need to be going down the slope to work on your muscle memory, every second spent on skis can be used for that. And certain basic things like stance and balance are much easier to work on in a lift line than on a black diamond.

Every moment you spend on skis (other than when you are actually skiing), think about it as a stance and balance drill.


lets see how long will it take before AC has to close this one...... ok ok that was just a joke

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 15, 2002 08:55 AM: Message edited 1 time, by VK ]</font>
post #2 of 21
Very Komendable, VK!
I'd never thought about that. I guess that's something else for me to consider.

post #3 of 21
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Now lets see if my educated guess is right.... Dchan, it is not a critique but an attempt to make an observation, are you skiing with your feet close together? Not necessarily "glued" but forming a narrow stance?



Is this in regards to my video clip?

Yes my skiing in that clip is a fairly narrow stance but not "locked" This was fine for groomed runs and the pitch we were skiing.


As I have been playing with stance width That day and after, I found that if I widened the stance a little more I was able to move more quickly into my next turns and create much more edge angle and thus make more fluid turns. Taking this revelation to steeper terrain and icy terrain I was able to carve better and with less effort than if I had maintained that stance. My balance has gotten more relaxed and I find using my full range of extension/retraction and long/short leg adjustments is much easier with a wider stance.

still learning!
post #4 of 21
as far as lift line observations, I am working on that part. I have talked to several instuctors (including JohnH) who have commented that they can usually tell how well a person skis just by the way they walk in their boots. (ask JohnH what he thought of me and my buddy when we met at Squaw. His assesment was right on.)

Balance, ease of movement, comfort, and body mechanics all show in all our movements.

As far as the video clip, I suspect if I got a new video of me skiing now, it would be quite different now. (ESKI, would you agree since you have seen me ski since that video was taken)

I know there are a lot of flaws in my skiing but I'm working on it. It's much easier to read and understand the mechanics than actually do it since it's hard to see what you are doing.. Ain't video great! It's also a huge shock sometimes to see what you are doing. There was a big gap between my mind's eye and the video tape. (I've got 30 + years of bad habits to erase)

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 15, 2002 09:43 AM: Message edited 2 times, by dchan ]</font>
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
That was just from looking at your profile pic (which for some reason would not download today), dchan. The way you stand among those trees is very similar to the way people ski when they use two feet as one. This could easily be due to the fact that you were skiing powder that day and it si not necessarily the way you ski the groomed now. I was just trying to illustrate my point that one's skiing can be assessed by the way that person stands on his skis (or walks in his boots as you pointed out) even if it only true for the given day and conditions....

As I said, just looking at a single pic I had more chances of being wrong than right, but decided to take a chance, hope you did not mind.

I missed you posting the video....

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 15, 2002 09:53 AM: Message edited 3 times, by VK ]</font>
post #6 of 21
oh. my profile pic... [img]tongue.gif[/img]

The download problem is not your end. My ISP's co-lo did something last night and we are still trying to figure out why there is no traffic leaving the building....

That's even a worse example. I was standing on my uphill ski relaxing my down hill leg because it was a little sore (old knees) so I doubt there was any space between my feet [img]tongue.gif[/img]

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 15, 2002 09:48 AM: Message edited 1 time, by dchan ]</font>
post #7 of 21
VK... This isnt entirely pertinent to the original topic, but...

I have noticed in my skiing that since I moved to stiffer skis and boots, I haven't had problems with my skis v-ing out. I was wondering, exactly, why that is. Clearly if you get in the backseat on your outside ski, your skis will v-out, so maybe my strength and technique improved and allowed me to control my ski and power it more, but I'm wondering if there is any effect the new equipment could have had.
I'm also just saying hi... was wondering if/where you're racing this year. I'm having a good start to the season in training, but I fell my first race. oh well. what kind of slalom's are you on? my new K2's are the sickest skis... they totally rip. so powerful. oh well. I'm late for class, but I'll catch up with you later.
post #8 of 21
I think that there are too many variables to be able to tell anything. I think that the instructor was showing off his amazing powers of observation.

Damn. That sounded alot like Gonzo. Sorry.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

the point is that in a "lift line" there are actually less variables than on a slope and it makes it easier to analyze the basics.

post #10 of 21
I'm just not a fan of snapshot analysis. I'm sure that had you found a picture of you standing with skis parallel, you could find a corresponding picture of you skiing with your skis parallel. There are probably pictures of Stien standing in a liftline with his feet far apart. It's like Dr. Phil on Oprah finding a cure in 5 minutes. Or judging a woman's personality by looking at her : : 's.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
DISCLAIMER: This post is a joke!!!
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Or judging a woman's personality by looking at her : : 's. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

C'mon milesb, that one is a slam dunk: women with smaller : :'s (just like men with smaller : ) have nastier personalities, because of their feeling of inadequacy

post #12 of 21
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by milesb:
I'm just not a fan of snapshot analysis. ... Or judging a woman's personality by looking at her : : 's.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

OK, you may not judge her personality, but you might decide whether you are more or less likely to talk to her if shes alone at the bar.
It is the first impression that counts (initially), so, back to the original post, there must be some merit in looking at a photo and arriving at some conclusions which may be correct.

If VK thinks it might be an issue, then whether real or perceived, it is an issue to him.

(Hey, I'm starting to post stuff that isn't just flippant & sarcastic. Need to drink more, this doesn't seem normal)

post #13 of 21
Ok, I'm hooked.
VK, check my profile pic, and tell us, please.
Just...forget about the colours [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #14 of 21
VK, that was a bit of bait. My wife tells me that is completely true!
post #15 of 21
Oopps Milesb, don't tell me I slipped
with an ill-timed reply... [img]smile.gif[/img]
Writing about being hooked I was referring to VK initial post, not asking him to tell me werther, ehm, :
post #16 of 21
I've certainly found that the more I ski, the more comfortable I am walking around in ski boots carrying skis. Watching people walk in ski boots seems to give a good indication of their experience although possibly not their technique. I wonder if this is true of the lift line - if you get a feel for how long people have been skiing i.e. how comfortable they are on skis rather than other bits of technique?
post #17 of 21
Lift Line analysis eh?

Pushing and shoving = German

Wearing Jeans, carrying ski's horizontally = Gaper

Waving arms and shouting to friends further back in the line =Italien

Fighting with a German or falling over = British.

post #18 of 21
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Let me first reiterate a couple of things, since it seems like most are focusing only on the first part of my original post.
By no means I advocate the ability of instructor or coach to meet the group at the lodge, look at them hanging around there, give advice and declare lesson over without boarding a lift. However by paying attention to students in a lift line, one would know what to expect on the slope.
The point of my original post was that the moment you click in your bindings your skiing reflexes kick in. And you do not have to wait till you are taking to the top of the mountain to start working on your skiing. If waiting in a lift line you rely on the back of your boots to support your weight, your muscle memory is programmed for the back sit skiing. At the same time there is no better place than the lift line to start the reprogramming. On the same token, if you work hard on staying forward when you ski, but once you reach the bottom you do not pay attention to it any more, your muscle memory gets a "General Protection Fault" since you are trying to write conflicting information into the same cell.

That said lets see if I can pull a psychic with M@tteo, (why do I have this feeling that I'm being set up)..
Anyway, the presence of the backpack makes it hard to judge the fore-aft balance. Also it seems like in this picture you are not standing still but starting to push forward with your poles. I would say that you are a skier with a solid technique, maybe a bit old style with too much counter and inside leg lead. However you are just reaching the point when your technical ability comes natural to you and you start feeling relaxed on your skis.... and as far as personality goes... those pink pants sure show that you are a very confident person who is also in touch with his feminine side ..... just kidding, could not help it....


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 17, 2002 06:56 AM: Message edited 1 time, by VK ]</font>
post #20 of 21
VK, no I wasn't setting you up, I was merely
courious. Thanks for the "analisys", good
eye, you have.
Yes, I think I am a bit of an old style kind of skier (those P40F1 are 198 cm long...I should have looked for a 193 or a 187, but it was end of the season sale, and with my limited budget, take it or...ski another year with 205 P9 RS super, 10 yrs old) still working on improvements after
30 years skiing...
As far as my pink pants, I lilke colours. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #21 of 21
Not trying to be mean or anything but i dont think your theory holds true. Looking at your first photo, you look way way back on your skis. But then, in the second one, you are doing your herminator number and you look okay. Have you always been so sway backed?
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