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PSIA bump clinic at Mount Snow

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Just got back from a 2 day bump clinic at Mount Snow.  It was fantastic.

 

After spending all season on the cuffs of my skis and trying to "shed" the pivot in my skiing - all we did was work on pivoting and on shifting pressure to the back of my feet to free the tips up to pivot.  It made bumps much easier (I didn't say easy) then before. The examiner (Joe Wood) did some of the best slo-mo demos I've ever seen, and pivot slips that rivaled the epic animation of VSP doing them.

 

Getting "back" works.  Weird after all the years of trying to stay forward.  This was a "senior bumps" clinic and the focus was on slow bump skiing, not zipper line.

 

The dynamic move from the heel to the ball of the foot also worked on groomers as well.  Kind of mind blowing for me.

 

Thoughts?


Edited by SkiMangoJazz - Sat, 07 Feb 09 01:04:58 GMT
post #2 of 14

Interesting.

 

I just got done with a two day WC (read:  zipper line) bump clinic.  Uh.... not having heavy shin pressure was mosdef frowned upon there.

 

My feeling:  whatever puts a smile on your face!Thumbs Up

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

I think I misstated things in my first post.  Keeping shin/cuff contact didn't go away, just using heel and shin or back of the arch and shin, was the focus.

 

Spent some time in Colorado with Tom Burch and a couple of hours with Ric Reiter this month and they said the same thing.  Skiing on the balls of the feet is bad.  It actually opens the ankle and puts you back.  The center of the foot and the "home base" is towards the back of the arch, front of the heel.

 

But not losing shin/tongue contact. mostdef!

 

My analogy is that of a crowbar, the higher up the handle you hold it the better leverage you get.  So pressing on the tongue of the boot gives better pressure to the tip of the ski then pressing on the front of your foot.  This focus and the focus on the back of my arches and/or heel has really helped me feel more centered in all terrain. 

post #4 of 14


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

 

Spent some time in Colorado with Tom Burch and a couple of hours with Ric Reiter this month and they said the same thing.  Skiing on the balls of the feet is bad.  It actually opens the ankle and puts you back.  The center of the foot and the "home base" is towards the back of the arch, front of the heel.

 

To be put more accurately, it  CAN "open the ankles and put you back",,, if done incorrectly.  If you shift pressure to the ball of the foot, rather than balance.  Just press down on the ball of the foot and the ankle opens, and the calf levers into the back of the boot, and balance remains centered, or even as Ric and Tom told you, can move aft. 

 

Fore balance is actually achieved with by closing (dorsi flexing) the ankle, or extending the knee.  You can only achieve significant loading of the front of the ski from a fore balance state.  From an aft state, any attempts to lever into the front of the boot cuff with the shin only results in getting pushed back further on the heels.  The more you pressure the heel, the more you limit your ability to balance fore, and the more you restrict your ability to load the front of the ski. 

 

This is easy to demonstrate to yourself standing in your skis at home.  By simply standing with extended knees, then flexing the ankles and doing nothing else, you easily load the front of the skis so heavily the tails lift right up off the floor.  Notice how pressure is distributed along the base of your foot?  Yep, right up front.  Now try to do the same thing with strong pressure on your heels and little on the front of your foot.  Good luck getting that tail to lift,,, ain't gunna happen.  And notice how squatty your stance gets in your attempt to do it.  Think that's a strong skiing stance?  No way Jose! 

 

My analogy is that of a crowbar, the higher up the handle you hold it the better leverage you get.  So pressing on the tongue of the boot gives better pressure to the tip of the ski then pressing on the front of your foot.  

 

Yep, that's true.  It's a matter of degree, and how much front loading you desire to apply.  Remember though, when you're horsing against the front of the boot cuff it directs more load to the front of the ski, but is also degrading the efficiency of your balance platform.  Even more than the degredation that comes from concentrating all pressure on the ball of the foot with limited cuff pressure.  Which you decide to do depends on what you're trying to achieve.  Each has its time and place.  But when energy efficiency and an optimal balance platform are of primary interest, fore/aft centered with limited cuff pressure is the gold standard. 

 

This focus and the focus on the back of my arches and/or heel has really helped me feel more centered in all terrain. 

 

Sounds like you were focusing too heavy on fore as the default, and laying on the front of the boot to get there.  If that was the case, the moving back was a step in the right direction. 


 www.YourSkiCoach.com


 


 


Edited by Rick - 3/8/2009 at 05:31 am
post #5 of 14


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

 

Just got back from a 2 day bump clinic at Mount Snow.  It was fantastic.

 

After spending all season on the cuffs of my skis and trying to "shed" the pivot in my skiing - all we did was work on pivoting and on shifting pressure to the back of my feet to free the tips up to pivot.  It made bumps much easier (I didn't say easy) then before. The examiner (Joe Wood) did some of the best slo-mo demos I've ever seen, and pivot slips that rivaled the epic animation of VSP doing them.

 

Getting "back" works.  Weird after all the years of trying to stay forward.  This was a "senior bumps" clinic and the focus was on slow bump skiing, not zipper line.

 

The dynamic move from the heel to the ball of the foot also worked on groomers as well.  Kind of mind blowing for me.

 

Thoughts?


Edited by SkiMangoJazz - Sat, 07 Feb 09 01:04:58 GMT


 

Pivoting definately has it's place, and bumps is a good example.  The problem is most recreational skiers don't have the ability to "shed" the pivot, as you were working to do all season, so they are stuck skiing at a low level, and working much harder than they need to while doing it.  As instuctors we need to be cognisant of that reality, and try to help them conquer this pervasive obstacle.  Good skiing means being able to do it all, and being able to shift from one to the other on the fly, as need or desire calls.  It's not one or the other,,, good vs bad,,, right vs wrong.  Non pivoted clean entries can also be fun and effective in bumps.  Pivoting can also be a hoot on groomers.  How did the "shedding" come along? 

 

www.YourSkiCoach.com

post #6 of 14

This is mindful of BB's "press your toes up into the tongue" mantra for creating "FAT" (functional ankle tension), yes?  Until your post I kept asking myself "isn't that going to put you on the back of your foot?"  Sounds like it's not a bad idea. (Wow, my first post - I'm pretty impressed with myself....)

post #7 of 14

The ability to flex and extend in the boots is so very important in variable terrain like moguls. There really can't be one place in the boot that we can "stay" as the skis pass over different parts of the bumps though. Pressing the forebody of the skis into the trough requires the ankles to open, absorbing the top of the next bump requires them to close. The amount this happens has been debated many times here but in the end the one thing that I think we can all agree upon is that the ankle cannot become static. Same can be said of the knees, hips and spine. It's all gotta work together to produce the outcome we want.

post #8 of 14


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

 

The ability to flex and extend in the boots is so very important in variable terrain like moguls. There really can't be one place in the boot that we can "stay" as the skis pass over different parts of the bumps though. Pressing the forebody of the skis into the trough requires the ankles to open, absorbing the top of the next bump requires them to close. The amount this happens has been debated many times here but in the end the one thing that I think we can all agree upon is that the ankle cannot become static. Same can be said of the knees, hips and spine. It's all gotta work together to produce the outcome we want.

 

 

This is one of the main reasons that I ski with my boots buckled very loosely. Usually on the last catch. But, I also ski groomers loosely buckled also. It gives me more ankle flex and more bite with the edge. Especially when I'm cranking big arcs.

 

I'm not suggesting everyone do this because some people can have fore aft problems if you don't have strong ankles or are aligned correctly. Try it sometime though.

post #9 of 14

Sounds like a great opportunity for you, SMJ.  I like centered.  If you pressure the front of the ski the back will wash out.  I like to gas pedal, too, but that's just an action.

 

On pressuring the boot, I think you need to be careful with this.  Bob's comments here on Epic along with many others about cuff neutral are valid.  For me cuff neutral along with quick and precise "taps" to the boot, pressure that helps with steering, is something that I like and find dynamic.You might find over time that parking your weight forward on the foot to be not the best.

 

Also, I am a believer in slow bump skiing when it comes to learning.  The pivot slips or flat ski turns around the bumps at slow speed are good skills to learn.  I would much rather see this approach than, say, skiing in and out of the groomed to the bumps.  Good bump skiing IMHO means staying in the line, one turn leads to the next, at a controlled speed.

 

I love to see zipper line bumpers, but precise, controlled bump skiing (Like I have see from Pierre) is fun, rewarding and beautiful to watch.  Furthermore, I do not believe that skiing slowly in order to develop the skill will limit future aspirations to ski WC style.  In fact, many of the skiers who learn to zipper line without the basic are...hackers.

post #10 of 14

That's a good post Paul. And, I think the key is something that has been posted here many times. "There is no one way to ski moguls" Certainly, conditions and lines dictate to approach we will take to ski any given bump run. Zipperline might be the most impressive and efficient way if the conditions allow, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with skiing them another way, such as the" Pierre method". Some mogul runs you come to won't have any lines at all. Just uneven, gnarly spaced mounds with ice inbetween. Attack them using a multitude of methods and technique. The key is attack them. Don't let them win. Don't avoid them. It's a challenge. Seek and destroy. It's such a good feeling when you can look back at the hill you just beat up. The more experience you have, the more tricks in your bag you have, will certainly help.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Yesterday at Mount Snow playing in the bumps using a more aggressive (for me) approach I found that using Joe's palms forward pole plant technique was very effective.  I'd be interested in any opinions on this.

 

What it is is a blocking pole plant where the palm is facing forward, thus the hand is out from the side and the elbow against the side.  I found this helped me greatly in staying square to the fall line.

 

As I played with it I realized the mechanics were that by having that position the hand and thus shoulder couldn't go back that easily (try this right now wherever you are and you'll see what I mean.)

 

Is this a common practice?  Any thoughts on it? 

post #12 of 14

I just want to say that the tip about dorsiflexing the ankle has helped my bump skiing tremendously.  Thanks for that one!

post #13 of 14

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

 

Yesterday at Mount Snow playing in the bumps using a more aggressive (for me) approach I found that using Joe's palms forward pole plant technique was very effective.  I'd be interested in any opinions on this.

 

What it is is a blocking pole plant where the palm is facing forward, thus the hand is out from the side and the elbow against the side.  I found this helped me greatly in staying square to the fall line.

 

As I played with it I realized the mechanics were that by having that position the hand and thus shoulder couldn't go back that easily (try this right now wherever you are and you'll see what I mean.)

 

Is this a common practice?  Any thoughts on it? 

 

Check this out: http://www.mogullogic.com/movies/sammiabsorption.wmv

 

The pole plants in the video are late--the pole contacts the snow after the knees have already started absorbing.  The plant is also very close to the body, so that the hand position is basically at the side, during most of the plant.

 

Something I try to focus on is keeping my elbows as far back as possible.  I find that with my elbows back, it is impossible for my upper body to hunch over.

post #14 of 14

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

 

Just got back from a 2 day bump clinic at Mount Snow.  It was fantastic.

 

After spending all season on the cuffs of my skis and trying to "shed" the pivot in my skiing - all we did was work on pivoting and on shifting pressure to the back of my feet to free the tips up to pivot.  It made bumps much easier (I didn't say easy) then before. The examiner (Joe Wood) did some of the best slo-mo demos I've ever seen, and pivot slips that rivaled the epic animation of VSP doing them.

 

Getting "back" works.  Weird after all the years of trying to stay forward.  This was a "senior bumps" clinic and the focus was on slow bump skiing, not zipper line.

 

The dynamic move from the heel to the ball of the foot also worked on groomers as well.  Kind of mind blowing for me.

 

Thoughts?


Edited by SkiMangoJazz - Sat, 07 Feb 09 01:04:58 GMT

!!

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