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teaching weighting/unweighting

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
As long as we are examining that bag of tricks and techniques on how to get around the hill, the wedge vs HH debate got me thinking about ..... WHY we may use varied abstract/techniques. Perhaps some of these are old and outdated but are still worthy of passing along at some point.

On narrow eastern trails the wedge may be a viable survival manuver to get you around (be where you need to be/miss an obstacle), when conditions are less than ideal ...... you are tired ....... you were distracted, etc.

Similarly, the old weight and unweight (hop like a bunny), is quite effective when you need to go in the other direction NOW, and, the snow conditions are heavy slop.

After an excursion that took me very rapidly towards the hardwoods when I almost missed a gate and ran into the slop, that goofy old turn saved me from a lot of splinters ....... Attempting a "carve" would have been suicide in that stuff.

I have still actually taught that to some who ski a bit on the fast side .... like my son, simply as a bail out technique.

Truth be told, I almost blew the gate cause my ball cap came off and my new pants snap popped at about the same time. [img]redface.gif[/img]

Do any of you teach or have been (recently taught) to weight and unweight?
post #2 of 22
My athletes do 200 hop turns every slalom training day

[ July 25, 2002, 07:35 AM: Message edited by: SLATZ ]
post #3 of 22
what's a hop turn?
post #4 of 22
Painful in large doses
Hopping up in the air and changing directions. They can be simutanious or sequential. They can also be outside edge to outside edge sequential. They require good balance and solid pole work to do repeatedly.

[ July 24, 2002, 09:33 PM: Message edited by: SLATZ ]
post #5 of 22
SLATZ-
You can't mean that you have them do hop turns on a slalom race day. That would be suicide.

I just couldn't get them down at camp. I tend to use too much upper body when attempting them, and my stiff old white guy body just doesn't want to move like that. Any tips? I hated them at camp, and our group revolted when it came to them. Would like to get better at them though. What's the application in modern slalom technique?
post #6 of 22
Yep - I get to do hop turns regularly too.

The guys keep telling me that they are useful in really cruddy snow.(Then slowly turn into regular turn as break free) & They want me to practice them for the technical practice anyway.
I get told to do them on a VERY gentle slope - & to go back & check the pattern my skis made - want nice crosses in the snow. Only my legs should rotate - body still. They tell me to think doing all the move with the lower legs.

I do them badly & tire fast - they do them better & don't!

Is this what your guys do SLATZ?
post #7 of 22
Pole work and a stable upper body are key in "modern" slalom. Most kids nowdays never learn proper pole use.(they're too busy clearing gates) I use an edge-set corridor and a progression of pivot slips into hop turns to establish this. Sometimes I use old bike tires on leashes as pole plant targets to keep them focused beyond the gate. Proper pole plants block the upper body rotation that you're having trouble with. We turn our skis with ankles, knees and hips. The upper body is the platform we work from. A lot of kids learn to generate turning forces with upper body moves. Those need to come from the legs.
Don't worry, I don't make them do them on race days.(I'll edit that post)
Ron LeMaster http://www.ronlemaster.com had some good pics of Mario Matt free skiing where he did perfect pole plants on each turn.
I want to throw up everytime I see a kid sitting on the toilet with a basketball between his legs, rolling his edges as fast as he can, dragging his poles and thinking he's Mario Matt.(know what I mean? )

[ July 25, 2002, 07:51 AM: Message edited by: SLATZ ]
post #8 of 22
Hop turns for the athelete is akin to running through tires for the football player, torture.
post #9 of 22
Here is a non-pro contribution, treat it as such.

I like to play with those (in limited quantities) to get warmed up. It feels like they help me to get centered on the skis and get rythm going. If you are too far back, upper body is all over the place and/or doing anything else that you should not be doing, you can't link hops together effortlessly. Good quick self evaluation. Don't need another pair of eye - you either can do them or not, there is not a grey area.

[ July 25, 2002, 08:29 AM: Message edited by: eug ]
post #10 of 22
Good point. :
post #11 of 22
Hop turns are still useful, and a modified hop called the pedal turn (ala Scott Schmidt) is still a valuable tool in my bag of tricks. When I got the groove on with pedal turns (early 80's) it opened up a lot of crazier terrain for me.

But I try to use them only when I need to, and keep aspiring to carve even in steep cruddy nasty snow.

This thread is about weighting/unweighting. I learned to "down unweight" in powder and crud in those days too, very effective. But I always thought that was a silly "back-asswards (Snowbird ) name, because the down or "sink" into the snow was really an extension into the power phase of the turn to bend the crap out of the skis.

Still using that extension, more than ever...

[ July 25, 2002, 11:36 PM: Message edited by: SnoKarver ]
post #12 of 22
SLATZ-
With your rather vivid imagery, I think you're dead on. With the wider stance a lot of people seem to sit back a lot- almost like the want to see their knees turning at the same time. If my hands dropped back or I stopped countering effectively it was really easy to fall back onto the tails, but the shorter skis told me really quickly what I was doing. My pole plan technique in slalom gates is lacking unless I really concentrate on it. However, something else usually goes wrong and I end up dropping back into my hands up/downhill mantra.

We did a few edge-set drills and a ton of one-ski balance drills at camp, but I guess I'll have to work on the hop turns this season during my training days. Old-school and new-school coaches alike keep telling me they're invaluable, and not just as a form of punishment.
post #13 of 22
About hop turns: forty years ago, in December 1962 when our local area first opened and the first ski school was of a dozen and a half was established, all but one were imigrants and the director was a Hungarian who raced slalom in the 1956 Olympics.

After checking us out on a fairly steep slope he brought up hop turns and proceeded to demonstrate.

He hopped his ski tail around from hard edge to hard edge, his pole plants and upper body very stable and no forward movement of the skis, they just grabbed and were hopped again. He went down at a slow pace, losing about a foot or less of vertical with each hop, the tracks looked like herringbone.

And then the most amazing thing happened. After about ten feet vertical loss he slowed and came to a stop, still hopping rythimcally, and with the same hop started to go backward up the hill, gaining about six inches with each hop until he was back where he started.

And as we stood there with our mouth gaping he hollered NEXT. [img]redface.gif[/img]

I learned to do the hop turn down the hill but never back up :

...Ott
post #14 of 22
An athlete that I coached twenty years ago who went on a serious weight program in college, then did the "endless winter" thing at Beaver Creek/Las Lenas could do them backwards I was told.(I never saw it) I don't think he could do that though. That is very impressive.
Mike
I've said it before here. "When you think about clearing the gate you freeze yourself in the past for an instant". You have to focus beyond the gate. World Cup skiers usually clear the gate in preparation for the pole plant.(look at their eye pattern in freeze frame) The pole target is one way to take your focus downhill and into the future.
post #15 of 22
Hop turns really are a great exercise, although they can be torture, aerobically. I've always admired those skiers with great big spring-loaded legs who could do them seemingly without effort--that's not me! I hate them. But when I can't find a rhythm in my short turns, a good dose of hop turns often works miracles!

Some sadistic examiner used to make us do combination hop turns at high-level exams--a few simultaneous (both feet) hops, followed by one-footed hops from inside edge to inside edge ("wedge hops"), transitioning to one-footed hops from the OUTSIDE edge of the inside ski to the outside edge of the other inside ski, then repeating the cycle a few times. Even if you have the skills, if you haven't practiced this one, it's an exercise in MENTAL torture as well as athleticism!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #16 of 22
Ott,

Yes, I've seen (and been very impressed by) this
same maneuver (hop turns up hill) done by a
Northern-Intermountain Examiner. It really takes
a lot of athletic precision.
post #17 of 22
Bob, I keep following you around the website and agreeing with you...what a suck-up!
I love hop turns (speiss??)!! The 2foot, outside only, inside only is like rubbing yer stomach and tapping yer head!
Hint: if you try this, when going from outside only to inside only (kinda like a charleston) you take off and land on the same foot to change the sequence.
Hop turns force coordination of all the moving parts especially upper body and pole discipline. Great for getting into the groove...powder, bumps and steeps.
post #18 of 22
>>>(hop turns up hill)<<<

Of course it's just a parlor trick, like the tip roll, royal christy and the split, among other impressive but useless maneuvers. [img]smile.gif[/img]

If I want to go ten feet uphill I just sidestep

...Ott
post #19 of 22
I ride the lift!
post #20 of 22
Sitzmark, I've seen this many times when skiers slide down after a fall and lose their glasses and their hat. Instead of sidestepping to retrieve them they go down and ride the lift, hoping that the stuff will still be there on their way back down :

...Ott
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally posted by Alaska Mike:
SLATZ-
You can't mean that you have them do hop turns on a slalom race day. That would be suicide.

I just couldn't get them down at camp. I tend to use too much upper body when attempting them, and my stiff old white guy body just doesn't want to move like that. Any tips? I hated them at camp, and our group revolted when it came to them. Would like to get better at them though. What's the application in modern slalom technique?
Alaska Mike: This is not in reference to your question. I just wondered if you have ever met Emily Morrison at Alyeska. She ran their Adaptive Program over the last few years. She is an old friend and my personal mentor for the 1st eight years of my adaptive teaching career. If you do know her please say hi for me.

PS: If you want to learn more about hop-turns, she's an expert. She's an X-Examiner from the East. Thanks ---- Whtmt
post #22 of 22
Whtmt-
I'm just getting into the skiing "culture" at Alyeska, after spending a few years just skiing there. I haven't met her yet, but I'm sure in time I will. Looking forward to it.
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