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Need your feedback

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I was going over some old avi's and found this one of me from last year.  It's from Big Mountain (aka Whitefish MR) on Moose's.  I remember my wife shooting this and I thought that I felt good in my turns, but after seeing this again I think it looks awful.  I look very rigid and with no fluidity at all.  What do ya'll think?  I am going to Steamboat Thursday and would love comments about what I can work on.

 

http://s24.photobucket.com/albums/c2/migibs/BigMtnVid/?action=view&current=BigMtn2008Wed123008.flv

 

 

post #2 of 15

migibs,

 

Wow,  what great looking snow!  You are lucky to ski such nice conditions.  Look where the snow is coming off your skis, behind your feet.  This is an indication that your weight is on the tails of the skis.  That is why you seem to look stiff and lack fluidity.  Your quads are working too hard to keep you from falling backward.  This stance also is causing you to have to lean heavily on the inside ski after you pass the fall line.

 

You can work on gaining a better position over the skis by flexing your ankles instead of bending the knees.  Your hips should be more over the center of the foot and center of the ski. 

 

RW

post #3 of 15

Yes, beautiful fary tail scenery. migibs, if you were to take a lesson from me I would work with you on very fundamental issues. I would first of all have you start balancing over your outside ski. In order to do that you need to close your stance. Now your stance is completely two footed with way too much weight on your inside ski. Then I would work with you on a simple wedge progression because you need to make your turns a lot rounder and then you need to start implementing upper body movements such as angulation and upper body counter. I would have you wedge straight forward and lean at the waist with your upper body to one side to increase pressure on that ski. The result will be that you turn in the opposite direction. Note, you need to keep both skis on their inside edges with unaltered edge angles. This way you will incorporate upper and lower body separation with angulation, for aft balance and counter into your skiing, something you are now lacking now.

post #4 of 15

You might want to try pushing your knees more into the direction you want to turn; getting the skis on edge.

Press forward more with your shins on the tongue of the boots, your weight is too far back.

Use counter rotation to keep your upper body facing downhill, not turning in the direction of the skis.

You'll never link your turns smoothly if you keep on pointing your upper body in the direction of the turn, across the slope; keeping your upper body facing downhill stores energy which you can use to make a stronger turn when you change direction. The further you turn while keeping your body facing downhill, the more energy you'll have stored for the quick change of edges and reverse of direction.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the wonderful feedback, certainly a lot to work on.  Several years ago I took a lesson while at Alta and the issue I have with not flexing enought was brought up.  I seem to have a hard time doing that and also wonder if the problem could also lie with not enough cantor in my boots (Tecnica Rival X8s).  I also don't have as much flex in my right ankle as I do in my left (old basketball injury from high school), but I should still be able to get the flex from the push of my shins as Phlogiston suggestted.

 

I have decided to take a couple all day group lessons my first two days to work on all the things that have been pointed out.  At only $100 a day it will be well worth the investment.

post #6 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by migibs View Post

 

I was going over some old avi's and found this one of me from last year.  It's from Big Mountain (aka Whitefish MR) on Moose's.  I remember my wife shooting this and I thought that I felt good in my turns, but after seeing this again I think it looks awful.  I look very rigid and with no fluidity at all.  What do ya'll think?  I am going to Steamboat Thursday and would love comments about what I can work on.

 

You were correct in your movement analysis in pointing out the rigidity and lack of fluidity in your turns. Fluidity comes from the movement of our body within an athletic dynamic stance (stancing .... rhymes with dancing) by flexion and extension of our ankle, knee, hip and spine joints to create fore and aft, lateral and up and down movements. These movements help us to maintain balance over the center of our feet as well as manage pressure at the ski/snow interface and to create efficient movements which create the turning mechanisms. 

In the clips below your image on the left shows the rigid stance of your body tipping to the inside of the turn to edge the skis for your turn. A more efficient stance would move your center of mass at the pelvis to the inside of the turn by shortening your inside leg and angulating at the hip joint keeping your pelvis and shoulders aligned more parallel to the snow surface in front of you. This allows the centrifugal force of the turn to move primarily to your outside leg. By then relaxing and shortening this extended outside leg you will move your center of mass to the inside of the new turn instead of having to tip your entire body to create the new edges. 

 

The clip below on the left shows that you now move to the new turn by spreading your feet/skis apart before tipping to the new inside of the turn. If you keep your feet at a functional distance apart (hip joint width) as show on the right you can then move your new inside knee in the direction of the turn while shortening that leg which moves your center of mass to the inside and creates your new edging of the skis against the snow.

 

Much more can be said about improving your dynamic movements such as using a pole reach to compliment your flexion/extension movements. However, a focus on the primary movements discussed above will give you a start to becoming more fluid in your skiing. 

 

Hope this helps...

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Holy Cow!  Thank you so much for those freeze frames and the corrective action to make it better, that is amazing what I am doing when initiating and moving into a turn.  When making a left turn my outside leg just seems be along for the ride, almost skidding and then picking up to complete the turn.  Then my right turns the feet come apart, but appear to be a tad better than the left turns.

 

 

post #8 of 15

Phloiston,

 

Quote:

Press forward more with your shins on the tongue of the boots, your weight is too far back.

 

Although pressing into the tongue of the boots closes the ankle joint, it is different than a balanced stance by flexing the ankle.  Pressing is leaning forward (not balanced), where flexing the ankles allows both fore/aft pressure control of the skis.  When you press forward, you only feel the balls of the feet, instead of the whole foot, or more specifically the arch area.

 

The tails of the skis wash out when the tongue is excessively pressed, causing a braking action,  Flexing the ankle causes the skis to move forward along their edges with no braking.

 

RW

post #9 of 15

Two drills for you--

 

1--Tap your inside ski on the snow as you turn.  Start by tapping the inside ski on traverses between turns.  Just raise the tail, not the tip, off the snow an inch or two.  Then, make smooth round turns while tapping the inside ski the whole way around the turn.  Switch feet just before you begin the next turn and start tapping the new inside ski (the downhill ski at this moment) as you make the next turn.  When you get better, hold the tail of the inside ski off the snow the whole way around the turn.  Even better, tip the inside ski to its outside edge so only the outside curve of the shovel is on the snow.  Continue to tip the inside ski this way even after you end this drill.  This drill will cause you to balance over your outside ski and greatly help your fore & aft balance.

 

2--Drag both pole tips hard down on the snow alongside your body all the time for the whole length of the run--maybe more than one run.  Be sure the outside pole tip drags; that's the important one for this drill.  This will cause you to tilt your body to the outside of the turn as described in a posting above.

 

Yes, feet walking-width apart, with your balance over the inside edge of your outside ski.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

SSG:

 

Thank you for tips.   It's ironic that it comes back to the basics.  That first one I remember doing during one of my first ever lessons 8 or 9 years ago.  I will go back to that.

post #11 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post

Use counter rotation to keep your upper body facing downhill, not turning in the direction of the skis. You'll never link your turns smoothly if you keep on pointing your upper body in the direction of the turn, across the slope; keeping your upper body facing downhill stores energy which you can use to make a stronger turn when you change direction. The further you turn while keeping your body facing downhill, the more energy you'll have stored for the quick change of edges and reverse of direction.

We should be very careful in making blanket statements about aligning our bodies down the hill with counter rotation and not turning in the direction of the skis. The skier (migibs) in the video is making medium radius turns in which following the direction of the skis with the upper body is appropriate. The amount of counter rotation would be only enough to slightly face the outside of the turn, not to face down the hill as advised. Facing downhill and storing energy would be appropriate for quick short radius turns where the independent leg action under a stable upper body is advised to prevent rotational momentum problems with the torso. Longer radius turns are better served by aligning our bodies to the direction of intended travel which is not straight down the fall line. 

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

I know where I need to concentrate on my rotation and ensuring I face downhill is on the steeper stuff and off piste.  So many times I find my torso actually pointing uphill in those situations that I become slow and always off balance.

post #13 of 15

You need to concentrate on the basics:

 

Centered balance, Flexing/extending and tipping the skis, NOT the body.

 

Forget anything else.

 

SSG had some good drills for you to address step one.

 

Flex and extend is clear - flex between turns, allowing the body to cross over the skis (you can't do that and look like a statue) and extend to keep the skis biting the snow -- not forcing them to bite, just reaching with the legs to allow them to bite in the top of the turn.  Then, keep them long until you've turned enough.

 

Definately, the stance is too wide. Close it as much as you can -- its going to make tipping easier.

 

Tipping is what the skis do to get on edge.  It's a LOWER body movement.  Ankles, knees, then hips.  The zipper on your jacket should be straight up and down all the time.....

 

I hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

post #14 of 15


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcarlson View Post

 

 

We should be very careful in making blanket statements about aligning our bodies down the hill with counter rotation and not turning in the direction of the skis. The skier (migibs) in the video is making medium radius turns in which following the direction of the skis with the upper body is appropriate. The amount of counter rotation would be only enough to slightly face the outside of the turn, not to face down the hill as advised. Facing downhill and storing energy would be appropriate for quick short radius turns where the independent leg action under a stable upper body is advised to prevent rotational momentum problems with the torso. Longer radius turns are better served by aligning our bodies to the direction of intended travel which is not straight down the fall line. 

I keep my body facing downhill in every kind of turn, from short ones on crud and ice, to long sweeping GS turns at speed, on groomers.
 

In my experience, it's the best way to make every kind of turn, without exception.

 

If I'm traversing, or at the end of a turn when I'm cruising over stop and look at something or take pictures, I face in the direction my skis are going. Otherwise I face downhill.

post #15 of 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlogiston View Post

 

I keep my body facing downhill in every kind of turn, from short ones on crud and ice, to long sweeping GS turns at speed, on groomers.
 

In my experience, it's the best way to make every kind of turn, without exception.

 

If I'm traversing, or at the end of a turn when I'm cruising over stop and look at something or take pictures, I face in the direction my skis are going. Otherwise I face downhill.

Please don't take my post as a criticism of your technique. Whatever works for us and gives us enjoyment on the slopes can't be bad. 

My concern is with making a recommendation to others that can be misinterpreted or applied incorrectly and lead to inefficiencies in their skiing. We get students who have been told that they should always face down the hill in their skiing. This may arise from skiing techniques applied to older technology. Current ski technique and teaching has changed as the technology of skis and boots has evolved. The students who come to a lesson thinking that they should always face down the hill usually do this by rotary movements of the shoulders into the turn resulting in skidding of the tails of the skis.

 

Current recommendations for efficiency in skiing generally advocate skiing with a strong inside half. This means that the inside ankle, knee, hip and torso lead through the turn. This results in the body moving into and out of a countered position in relationship to the skis. This countered position means that the body is turned to varying degrees to the outside of the turn depending on the radius of the turn and the forces developed as well as snow and terrain variables. In long radius turns there may be only a very slight countered position with the body more directly aligned to the direction of the turn and the alignment of the skis. In short radius turns which are directed down the fall line there would be a greater degree of counter rotation to allow the legs to quickly turn under a stable upper body which is facing down the hill. Assuming a countered position of this degree with the body facing down the hill while making long radius turns leads to problems with stance and turn initiation and finish. 

 

Contrast the FIS or World Cup slalom skier with the Super G or downhill skier. The alignment of the body with the skis varies considerably in response to the types of turns required. 

 

So again my concern is with making blanket statements regarding our stance when we are considering the full spectrum of turn shapes and turn requirements. Those following these forums can take our statements as gospel without considering the nuances of application according to the wide variety of conditions. 

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