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passive or active absorbtion in the bumps

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
What is the proper technique for fairly fast zipper bump skiing?

Should the skier actively pull knees up to aid absorbtion of the bump or should this be 100% passive absorbtion from the bump pushing legs up?

For the past couple of seasons, I have found that my control and number of connected bumps before getting thrown out of my line has improved by incorporating a more active absorbtion.

Which is correct?

TIA,
guy
post #2 of 23
I have just finished sking my 1st year. My last time out was specifically spent on the bumps. While I got comfortable with little Moguls, I did have an encounter with big Moguls that may relate to your question.

On the little moguls I found you could traverse across them and more or less passively let the skis ride up and down whilst keeping your body still, but on the big moguls, I found one early on that the ski did not ride up but simply plowed into causing a rather immediate face plant.

I could have avoided this two ways:

1. pick a bump without as steep a face - or -
2. actively flexed in anticipation of this steep faced bump

So I would bet the answer from the experts will be a combination of passive and active as needed to maintain upper body stillness. I would imagine the steeper the bumps the more active one would need to be.

I will be practicing this more in a week so I'll be interested in other people's ideas on this.
post #3 of 23
GuyS:

Like John Mason, I'll defer to the experts on how it should be done. To me, however, there are almost unlimited answers to the question.

My own opinion is that passive absorption, while very smooth and appealing to the eye, is somewhat *de*fensive. To a degree, you're letting the terrain and the conditions dictate your movements. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that and it can lead to a very controlled and "pretty" run through the moguls. But, you're still letting the conditions determine how you ski the line.

Active absorption, on the other hand, is more athletic and requires more anticipation and reaction. When you actively absorb, you're taking control of the run and the bumps rather than letting them control you.

Both have their place, and the truly great bump skiers (God bless 'em, I'd love to be one) can incorporate both in a single mogul run.

I think you might find that passive absorption is the earliest skill you'll likely develop on the continuum, while active absorption comes with improved abilities and experience. This is obviously a gross generalization, but the *really* good mogul skier can do either one where appropriate.

Bob
post #4 of 23
I am trying to think back to when I skied moguls with a lot of absorption. I think is was a combination of active and passive that kept my upper body more or less stable. I automatically adjusted to how active I had to get. It was more or less a feeling of equal weight on my feet all the time.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Pierre-
equal weight/pressure at all time would imply very active absorbtion to prevent any "impact".

I am in agreement that this sensation "equal weight" is giving me the next step up in endurance and control to maintain the fast speed I enjoy will keeping the zipper line.

Maybe one of the "pros" can confirm? [img]smile.gif[/img]

-guy
post #6 of 23
What about extension?

I tend to find it is extension(or lack of) that messes me up more than absorption - seems to be less intuitive... Also hard to remember to get hips really forward at top...
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by GuyS:
What is the proper technique for fairly fast zipper bump skiing?

...

For the past couple of seasons, I have found that my control and number of connected bumps before getting thrown out of my line has improved by incorporating a more active absorbtion.

Which is correct?

You answered your own question. If your performance has improved, that's the more effective technique.
However, active absorption is only half of the equation. The real issue is continuous pressure management, which requires active extension as well as active and passive flexion (absorption). Active extension maintains ski/snow contact, and increases pressure as you enter the troughs. Flexion reduces pressure as you head back up or over the bump. In easy bumps, you can maintain nearly constant pressure--that's what makes them easy. At the highest level of skill, bump skiing is all about pressure control, and maintaining balance through extreme changes in pressure.
I also think that active absorption is the most physically demanding part of mogul skiing-- maybe the most demanding part of all skiing. Drawing your knees up puts a strain on your back that can eventually cause lower back pain, especially for office work victims like me. (Maybe Lisa Marie could confirm that.) For me the worst thing is to absorb (which puts some strain on my back), get a little twisted the wrong way, then slam another mogul before I have a chance to extend again. When that happens I head back to the groomed.


Regards, John
post #8 of 23
The skis, feet and legs have to remain active. The reason is that it is equally important to extend on the back side. I've found too many people worry too much about the front side of the bump and not enough about the back side.

Take a few turns in the bumps, fairly slowly, and concentrate on extending, i.e. get tall, on the back side and see how that will set you up to absorb the following bump.

One trademark of great bump skiers is that their skis remain in contact with the snow. They don't do that by being passive and just letting things happen. They do it actively.

Question for all those going for exams: do you know the "technical" term for active and passive absorbsion?

Active absorbsion = Avalement
Passive absorbsion = Reploiment

(Thank you Bob Barnes's Encyclopedia of Skiing and Georges Joubert)

Bob
post #9 of 23
WVSkier:
Active absorbsion = Avalement
Passive absorbsion = Reploiment


Are you sure about that definition? I believe that Reploiment is absorbtion (no differentiation between passive and active) and Avalement is the extension that one has to do on the backside of a bump.

I speak French and I don't think avalement and reploiment have anything to do with active or passive movement.

I like BobPeters' answer. The active or passive part is dictated by the terrain and speed of skiing. Most of the time I use passive absorbtion since I ski bumps slowly (not to mention poorly). I imagine that zipper line skiing requires a very active absorbtion.
post #10 of 23
I don't have Bob's book in front of me, but I am 90% sure these are the proper definitions as defined by Georges Joubert.

In a Google search, "avalement" is the French term to "swallow". Joubert wanted you to actively swallow the bump.

By the way, if you speak French you might be interested in this French publication where Joubert speaks of the evolution of ski technique. L'Entraineur

Anyone out there have Bob's book handy?
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Avalement In French, avalement literally means "to swallow." Georges Joubert introduced the term in skiing to describe active absorption of terrain (i.e. moguls) and pressure through muscular retraction and extension of the legs and body. Compare with Reploiment (passive absorption).

---Bob Barnes, The Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing, 3rd Edition (electronic version), 1999 (page 39)
post #12 of 23
extension is definately important. focus on pushing DOWN hard as you pass over each trough.then a quick active absorbtion, then another downward tip drive. this will keep your ski/snow contact, and prevent you from getting tossed.
post #13 of 23
Does anyone try to lift there tails towards their butt which is essentially pushing your tips down?

My last instructor told me to do that but I would rather focus on pushing my tips down.

If I focus on bringing my tails up I have a tendency to hop into my next turn which totally screws me up.
post #14 of 23
Guy S said:
Quote:
Pierre-
equal weight/pressure at all time would imply very active absorbtion to prevent any "impact".
I guess I will go along with that. I ski a modified zipper line now with my feet shoulder width apart. My absorption is very active but each leg is very independent of the other. I am not doing near as much absorption as I use to as I mostly ski a round line near the bottom of the troughs.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by Scalce:
Does anyone try to lift there tails towards their butt which is essentially pushing your tips down?

My last instructor told me to do that but I would rather focus on pushing my tips down.

If I focus on bringing my tails up I have a tendency to hop into my next turn which totally screws me up.
I tell people to push their toes down, or lift their tails or extend their legs. The answer is it's all the same movement, but no description is perfect, or perfectly understood by the student.
I also tell people that, if a description or direction helps them understand and perform better, remember it go back to it from time to time when they need to re-focus. Conversely, if a direction makes no sense, or results in poor performance, forget about it.

Regards, John
post #16 of 23
Oh, so now you have to know French to ski bumps!
post #17 of 23
I was told to "lift the tails" as well. IMHO it works with me because I tend to keep my hips centered better and the action of lifting my tails keeps my feet from going forward (and thus ahead of my hips)
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Does anyone try to lift there tails towards their butt which is essentially pushing your tips down?
While this may work for some, my guess is that it will put a number of folks in the back seat. If you gave the instruction to lift the tails by moving your core forward and pressing the fronts of the skis down, then it might work.

Bob
post #19 of 23
I think it's better to teach people to push their tips down which is why I don't do the lift tails thing. My instructor had some good tips but some were skethcy. Like him telling me that poles are useless. I was like what about bumps and steeps? He was like o yeah it's OK for that.

Hello

The thing that really helped me was the flowing water analogy and travering over the bumps to get comfortable with the feeling. I know I had read it somewhere but never forced myself to do it.
post #20 of 23
Only actively absorb when you need to (you get the feel of this), otherwise you will wear yourself out early. I like to start the absorption a split second before I need it so that the legs are already moving in the right direction. Also, pulling the new inside foot back when you start a turn will keep you balanced in most situations, but sometimes you need to pull both feet back. And make sure you don't lose your functional tension.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by cgeib:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />
Avalement In French, avalement literally means "to swallow." Georges Joubert introduced the term in skiing to describe active absorption of terrain (i.e. moguls) and pressure through muscular retraction and extension of the legs and body. Compare with Reploiment (passive absorption).

---Bob Barnes, The Complete Encyclopedia of Skiing, 3rd Edition (electronic version), 1999 (page 39)
</font>[/quote]Interesting. I thought that avalement means "lowering". I guess that still means I was wrong in my post. It seems that avalement indeed is the absorbtion part.

As for reploiment, I don't know. Some French sites call it "absorbtion" and some call it the "extension". :
post #22 of 23
I might suggest that the movement of the feet up towards the body when in bumps is akin to lowering the weights towards the chest when on the bench press. The travel (feet toward body as in absorbtion/retraction) is undeniable, but the rate of said travel is controlled by you. That is, you decide when, how fast, and how much your legs yield to the forces created by the skis going up the bump.

Generally, the higher the speed, the faster the feet and body move together. In the case of the zippper line and very athletic skiing, that "yielding" to the push from the bump may be replaced by an active retraction of the legs.

The movement remains more or less the same, but the application is adjusted perceptually to the situation.

Now don't forget about the subsequent extension that will make the next absorption move possible...

Take Care,

r
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great dialog....
I didn't want anyone to think that I neglected the active extension! I learned very early that without enough aborbtion, you'll typically run out of extention in the next down side - meaning that you've gotten 'tall' but you wish you had more extention

I have found that active absorbtion including the previous said 'anticipation' component, really helps with the active extention because you'll typically match and have enough leg left to keep the 'equal pressure' on your feet as you ski your line.

thanks for the confirmation and sanity.

-guy
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