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MA help

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to see if anyone could give me some pointers on moving my technique forward. I was having a little trouble this day with ski chatter (the snow was actually pretty hard even though it was snowing) until later on after the video when I remember to flex my ankles a bit more to keep more forward.


My goal is to get a better form that will allow me to carve on steeper slopes. I was struggling to keep my edges engaging on steep wind swept slopes.


Obviously there is a ton wrong here so I'm happy with any advice you've got.

Oh, and of course sorry about the short video, ran out of battery.



post #2 of 9

Don't lean your shoulders, aka bank, aka inclinate into the turn.  Get foreward. 

post #3 of 9

Keep balanced over the outside ski until you change your edges.  Flex your ankles more.



post #4 of 9

Actually the upper body moving isn't a bad thing. How it is moving could be though. Try moving more in the direction of the apex of the new turn instead of just sideways to the inside of the new turn. Also allowing the inside shoulder to drop backwards is a tell tale sign of the rotary mechanism being used. Same goes for the inside hip allow both to move towards the apex of the next turn instead of allowing them to drop backwards. Did you notice all the turning happens in one phase of the turn? It produces z shaped turns with a pronounced traverse. The big rotary move makes the skis act this way. Moving more towards the apex and twisting less will help you get more balanced on the skis. As far as edge purchase you seem to be able to traverse once you establish the edge. Getting off the edge is probably the reason you throw the big upper body move though. Try releasing the edge by getting the skis flatter. Which will eliminate the need for the big rotary push off move. So IMO you are showing a lot of movement which if applied differently would produce some pretty nice turns. Where would I start? With the edge release followed by moving the inside half towards the apex of the next turn while the legs turn the skis.

Edited by justanotherskipro - 3/26/2009 at 09:47 am

Edited by justanotherskipro - 3/26/2009 at 09:57 am
post #5 of 9

Welcome to the EpicSki forums. These forums are a good place to start in your efforts to become more efficient in your skiing but please realize that the text based advice cannot replace a face to face hands on lesson from a professional ski instructor.

That said, we can certainly give you tips to get started on helping with the problems which you present. Many of our problems in skiing arise from our stance issues, that is how we stand on our skis. That is because how we stand on our skis is from where we move on our skis (stancing).  And our stancing helps to determine how we attain our desired ski/snow interaction, or not. Our stance includes the complimentary flexion of the ankles, knees, hip and spine as well as hand position and both lateral and fore/aft distance between our feet. 

In the clips below we can address some of your stance issues and suggest a simple place to start in bringing you into more of an athletic stance which will help correct some of the issues which you have stated. 

In this clip you see that your hands are held low and back causing a straightening of the spine and a static position which will not compliment a flow towards your next turn. 

These clips reveal that your pole arm reach to begin the next turn pushes your uphill (old inside) hand down and back again creating a problem of your stance with your center of mass being back and inside shoulder and arm aligned away from direction of the apex of the new turn.

The malalignment of your shoulders, arms and hands results in the compensatory move shown above where you make a strong rotary movement of your old inside shoulder with rotation and tipping of your body towards the new turn. This is in an attempt to force the skis into turning by torque from the momentum of the upper body. A proper stance with both hands aligned in front of you allowing a directional movement of your new inside hand and center of mass towards the apex of the new turn would allow you to release your edges by a movement beginning at the feet with shortening of the new inside leg by ankle, knee and hip flexion and movement and turning of that ski towards the new turn.


As a beginning drill to remedy some of the issues shown above, I would suggest removing the pole straps from your wrists so that you can hold your poles horizontally in front of you as you ski. Hold the poles with your hands near the ends of the shafts and with the poles at about the level of your lower ribs or sternum. As you ski, align the poles parallel to the level of the slope in front of you which will help to bring you into and out of an angulated position, depending on your alignment across or down the fall line. Make the leveling of the poles dependent on the angulation of the shoulders and hips and not by a movement of your hands up or down. From this position you can begin to move the old outside hand forward in the direction of the new turn which will help to move your center of mass across the skis to release the edges allowing them to create the new edge engagement which you compliment by a turning of the ski tips to create the new turn shape. 


Do the above drill until you feel comfortable with the new stance which keeps the shoulders rounded forward, the arms comfortably forward at the level of the sternum and the hands always visible in your peripheral vision. This will hopefully help you to address some of the problems which you stated by creating a more athletic stance which leads to a more efficient pathway to a desired ski/snow interface. Remember though that a face to face ski  lesson will be a good investment. 

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 


Thanks so much for such an in depth analysis, especially from my short little video.
You guys have given me some solid advice that I am excited about trying out.
Just have to temper down any thoughts about rock climbing season starting up and keep skiing.

I definitely didn't feel like I was skiing at my best this day, but I wasn't exactly sure why. I saw the awful throwing of the shoulder to compensate thing in the video but didn't really focus on the fact that my hands and therefore my overall stance had gotten so lazy.


I did take an actual ski lesson recently, just that it was a group lesson and the rest of the group wanted to work on double black diamond moguls, not fundamentals.

The pole drill sounds like it will certainly help focus on keeping my upper body and stance doing what it should.

Is there a drill or two that would help me on releasing my edges more cleanly after I work on improving my stance?

Once again, thanks a ton!

post #7 of 9


Originally Posted by acincali View Post


Is there a drill or two that would help me on releasing my edges more cleanly after I work on improving my stance?

Once again, thanks a ton!

I think that you will find that as you adjust your stance so that you are leading with the new inside arm, hand and pole that your center of mass at the pelvis will follow towards the new turn which will release your edges. Relaxation or softening of the new inside leg will help in this release. But work on the basics until they become your normal stancing. 

post #8 of 9

To add to what gcarlson is saying--


Learn to ski with your feet.  Stash your poles in a tree and ski with your hands on your hips.  Your arm & shoulder action is one factor hurting your skiing so neutralize them.  Hunt for the balance point over the balls of your feet, especially over the ball of your outside foot where you're in balance and your skis just come alive.  You need a more upright stance over your outside ski, never back on your heels and never heavy on the inside foot, and not inclined to the inside of the turn.  Learn to make smooth, rounded turns by foot action alone, always balanced over the ball of your outside foot.  Ankle flex is important, but you've got to be over the center of that outside foot first.  Your skis will be released by your action of transferring to your new outside ski, staying balanced over the center of your feet, and not up-extending.


After you learn to balance over the outside foot and turn with your feet, add some upper body movement to your skiing.  Bend just a bit sideways at the waist and twist a bit from your hips (without much ski tip lead) so your zipper pull is now over your outside toe.  Still ski with your feet, but your upper body is adding to what the feet are doing.


Careful.  Don't try to do too much at one time.  Learn one thing well before you add the next thing.


When you pick up your poles again, forget everything you think you know about pole plants.  On packed snow you want a pole touch as a timing aid.  You want a very compact pole movement with just a flick (or twitch) of the wrist.  The pole should be touched to the snow directly downhill of your feet*, not way ahead by your ski tips.  Again just a compact tap, not a big arm swing that pulls your upper body around into rotation.  Your other arm must not swing back as it is doing in your videos.  You always want the inside pole/hand/arm/shoulder/hip to be high & forward.  You always want your outside pole/hand/arm/shoulder/hip to be low and back--this is called the strong inside half--and more so the steeper the pitch.  These must be stable and quiet, not swinging.


*Skeptics, try it.  This results in a pole touch that is in the direction of travel of the hips diagonally across the skis and does not pull the body out of position.

post #9 of 9

The advice about the arm / hand / pole dropping and getting balanced is great. So is the advice about getting more disciplined in how you use your torso. I would add,

An often overlooked drill for edge releases is simply to do sideslips. It's surprising how many skiers cannot do them because they never focus on getting their edges to release that smoothly. It also will point out how effective using the legs to control the skis can be. I've never seen anyone do a side slip well using their shoulders and upper torso to get the skis to release.

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