or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › help with pointing the shoulders down slope on the steep
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

help with pointing the shoulders down slope on the steep

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

so after reading much of the forum, i feel like my skiing is getting better. I'm trying to continue contact on the snow through the bumps as well as finishing the turn. however the trouble comes with letting the knees go for separation of upper/lower body on the steeps. I also catch myself not pointing shoulders square downhill during the same steeps that results in me getting tossed around. help?? i have 3 days to go.. :)



post #2 of 6

Hi Sapient007--


I don't suppose you have any video, or even still photographs, of your skiing? We'll really need a little more information before we can give you any specific suggestions.


In general, though, I'd suggest that it's not really about keeping your upper body facing down the hill. It's not about the upper body at all! It's about developing accurate movements of your legs and feet, from the hip sockets down, below a stable pelvis and upper body.


Many skiers habitually use their upper bodies to force their skis around, which causes all sorts of problems. One of the outcomes is that the shoulders will rarely face down the hill. But that's really just a symptom of the problem. If that's you, it's unlikely you'll solve the problem by just focusing on keeping your shoulders down the hill. You'll need to develop an alternative movement pattern, using your legs themselves, not your upper body, to turn your skis.


When you activate your legs, the need the throw your upper body around will diminish, and you won't have to worry about keeping it facing downhill. Accomplishing this change will be difficult without a good lesson, or several. But again, if you could start by providing some video, we might be able to zero on a solution for you to play with.


Best regards,


post #3 of 6

To reinforce Bob's post, this is a very common problem as it is a movment that we don't use in everyday life unless you frequently dance to Chubby Checkers on bar stools or in your socks on slippery floors.  I would encourage you to use the search feature here to read about "pivot slips" as a good starting point in understanding lower leg steering and the mechanics involved.  Though pivot slips are difficult to do well, practicing and improving your skill at performing them will focus on the movements you seek and improve your free skiing immensly.  You will learn to ski into counter rather than trying assume a position of counter.  Enlisting a ski pro to help you with this task will expedite your success!


Note that taking these lower leg steering skills into the moguls brings to front a few more challenges to your balance as in terrain absorption, fore/aft pressure control, and timing of these movements.  Now, in the moguls we need to steer the feet underneath a stable upper body while simultaneously absorbing and decellerating and then extending and maintaining contact with the moguls.  This requires some skill in balancing into the future, anticipating the decelerations and accelerations and placing the feet where they need to be in order to maintain our dynamic balance.


The truth is developing and owning these skills will take longer than one ski vacation!


good luck and go with a pro!


post #4 of 6

" I also catch myself not pointing shoulders square downhill"


Can I offer a different view of the concept here?  You want your hips (and body parts above) turned toward the outside of the turn very early in the turn.  The book says to "ski into counter."  This means that the skis turn under the hips, and I feel that it should be done before the skis reach the fall line.  I prefer to actively turn the hips to the outside to cause counter.  The book does not say why one should ski into counter, and if counter is good in the latter half of the turn, why isn't it good in the first half of the turn?


When skiing very tight turns there isn't time to do anything except to keep the body straight down the fall line, but that isn't the main concept.


As you've found out, rotating the body toward the hill is one certain killer in bumps.  It locks out any good movements.  (Getting back on the heels and wide stance are other killers in bumps.)


Try this.  Concentrate on keeping your inside pole/hand/arm/shoulder very high and forward, almost over your inside ski tip very promptly after each turn transition.  Keep your outside pole reaching far down the hill, never forward of your boots, with that hand/arm/shoulder very low and back.  Have the pole ready to plant before your skis reach the fall line.  Try to keep your toes about across from each other, no excessive tip lead, while the body is twisted toward the outside of the turn.  (Tip lead is not a virtue; it is an artifact of how we bend when wearing stiff ski boots.)

post #5 of 6

Just a thought... How comfortable are you in the steeps? The basic issue could be about nerve/fear (I have that as well). If you are much more comfortable with the more moderate slopes, then start back from there. Then step it up gradually (and apply what are also being said here).

post #6 of 6

OK so I grabbed some random image off google.

Take a look how his body is twisted, his skis and knees are pointed at us, but his chest and head is looking down the slope. It is clear that he is at the end of one turn and will enter the next right away.



New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › help with pointing the shoulders down slope on the steep