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My first clip for MA

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

This was taken last weekend (not the best but it is what it is until the next time). It has been almost 2 years since I've seen myself ski. Groomed spring condition with a settable firm/frozen base in the Northeast. Moderate slope. Skis were L8K at 166cm.


Before your MA, there are a couple of things readily noticible:

  • I skid out a bit at the beginning of each turn (not counting the first)
  • My butt is stuck out when I pole plant (I've been sensing my core dropping back at turns all year)
  • There is a little bit of banking on my right turns
  • Right hand dropping a bit on turns
  • Hand position maybe a bit too static


Please provide your analysis and inputs, and any comment to what I have pointed out (valid or otherwise). Thanks in advance.



post #2 of 10

Hi Chanwmr.


You touched on your issues pretty well in your bullet points above.  A good deal of banking going on,,, and yes,,, aft.  The aft is because you're letting your outside hip fall back.  Creating your counter by driving your inside hip forward will do much to help fix that.  Try to keep your shoulders level to the snow as you drive the inside hip and tip into the turn,,, that will help the banking. 


A couple drills that help shed banking is the Schlopy drill (if you don't know it, ask, and I or someone else will explain), and the reverse wings airplane drill (hold arms out as though wings, and tip wings away from turn).  Some people may suggest the touch outside knee or ski drills, but I'm not a fan,,, too easy to fudge it and get all flexed over at the waist (yuk).  Lateral balance drills are helpful to for learning to manage your point of balance via angulation. 


Also, the footage is really jerky so it's hard to see exactly what's happening, but there's some sort of weird stem/step type of thing going on during your transitions.  Sorry I can't be more specific, but something aint right.  Perhaps my younger compadres here can pick it apart. 



post #3 of 10

I'm travelling, but a quick look has me thinking that the "stepping" in the transitions is just closing the stance to help get the weight to the inside of the new turn quicker. When one is not moving their hips across the feet, the next best thing is to move the feet closer together.

post #4 of 10

Different people have different learning styles.  If the following is of interest to you, do this--look at each and every movement you make and tell yourself why you do that.  If you don't have an answer, a good answer, inquire here about what movement you should be making at that point in the turn and why.


Ski on one foot.  Drill with the tail of the inside ski an inch or two above the snow.  (Just raise the tail--that'll help you keep your weight forward.)  This will be a huge help to balance over the outside foot and reduce that banking.


Be patient at the start of each turn unless you have a good reason to hurry a turn.  At the end of a turn make a very short straight run where you lift the tail of the downhill ski (old outside ski/new inside ski) while still skiing straight, then with your weight on only the uphill ski/new outside ski smoothly start and make the new turn.


Why the big tip lead?  Tip lead is not a virtue.  Try to keep your toes even.  Pull the inside foot back strongly all the time in every turn from the very beginning of the turn.  This is a huge help to keep your weight centered, not back.


Find that magic spot where you're balanced over the center of your outside ski and your skis come alive.  Find a clue for yourself to return to this sweet spot any time you lose it.


Push your inside hip forward the same time you're pulling your inside foot back.  It sounds contradictory, but it works very well.  You want a "strong inside half;"  inside pole/hand/arm/shoulder/hip high and forward and your outside pole/hand/arm/shoulder/hip low and back.



post #5 of 10


Originally Posted by Rick View Post


 Also, the footage is really jerky so it's hard to see exactly what's happening, but there's some sort of weird stem/step type of thing going on during your transitions.  Sorry I can't be more specific, but something aint right.  Perhaps my younger compadres here can pick it apart. 


I probably don't fit the "younger compadre" category but I'll try to shed some light on the subject which will support and add to the above discussions.


In picking apart the jerky and brief footage we see that there is a lot of inefficient upper body movement going on.

In the clip above we see that there is a wide variation of hand and arm position with your hands sometimes almost together in the midline and then separated to a functional distance apart but with the inside hand held low instead of higher than the outside. This supports some of the problems with the banking and would be helped by the airplane wings drill mentioned. 


As shown above your stance varies from being way back with full ankle extension and probably rear cuff pressure to marked forward pressure on the cuffs to the point that you actually raise the tail of the outside ski off of the snow. 

This marked variation between being too far back to too far forward in your stance is requiring a lot of the arm movements and readjustments of your torso to try to remain centered over your mid foot and the sweet spot of your skis. Your skis are probably wondering what they should do next as you rock fore and aft and side to side.  Just kidding but you see my point.

So, try to quiet down your upper body by creating and maintaining an athletic and dynamic stance. This would include ankle flexion and extension only to the degree of neutral cuff pressure on the outside ankle and moderate forward cuff pressure on the inside ankle, the opening and closing of our ankles as we turn.

The ankle movement is complimented by the flexion/extension of the knees, hip and spine to keep you centered over your mid/fore foot. Lengthen your turns for a while to give yourself time to focus on keeping yourself centered. 

Hope this helps.....


post #6 of 10

Another drill in addition to the suggestions already made would be to do shuffle turns. Shuffle turns are done by continuously shuffling the feet back and forth beneath you as you make complete turns. The shuffle can be done by alternating your feet back and forth in a see saw fashion moving your feet about a boot length. A more demanding and perhaps more effective variation is to move the feet together in the shuffle so both feet are shuffling forward and back at the same time. Keep the fore/aft shuffle to about a boot length in excursion.

The skill learned by this drill is to keep yourself centered over the mid foot which would help you to eliminate the excesses of fore/aft movement which you now demonstrate. By using the second shuffle method described it will also help to eliminate the excessive tip lead which you sometimes have. 

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've been sitting back here trying to absorb and digest what's been said. Thanks so much for your inputs thus far.


Actually, these comments have put quite a few things together for me that I have been wondering about and have been trying to work on for a long time. Being one to whom sports don't come naturally, learning one trick in attempt to fix something often leads on to another issue (and occasionally some regression). Nonetheless, these newer issues have progressively been getting more technical and harder to work on. I suppose that is progress (in a part of a even lasting journey in this wonderful sport) and that is a good thing.


Now, I'm eager to try out what has been mentioned (and a bit of it to be rediscovered).  Unfortunately, all may have to wait until the next season as the season is slowly shutting down. There still may be a chance for me to do something before the close of the season.


Again, I want to thank everyone for helping me with the MA. I'll post another clip when I feel there is progress and I feel like embarrassing myself again. And, hopefully the quality of the footage will also be better.

post #8 of 10

Hey Rick, Do you see this as a version of diagonal stride skating?

post #9 of 10

JASP, trying to watch this video closely to see what was going on the the funky transition thing was making me feel like Mr. Magoo,,, but at your question I've gone back and tried again.  I think with my second effort I have it figured out now. 


Yes, a form of diagonal stride skating, but not out of desire,intent or preferential habit.  More a byproduct of an end of the turn balance issue.  I mentioned to chanwmr in my first about the leaning in problem, and offered some drills to help fix it.  If I'd made the effort then to look closer at the transition glitch instead of schluffing it off to younger eyes I would have made the connection between the transition problem and the leaning.  They're completely related. 


Because of the lean chanwmr is loosing his balance on the outside ski in the bottom of the turn.  The outside ski thus tracks away from him and he falls on the inside ski which is a bit diverged to finish the turn.  He follows that fall on his diverged inside ski,  with a quick pull back of his departing outside ski,,, thus completing the perceived skate step. 


chanwmr, have another look at your video and look for what I've explained above.  There are a couple other drills you can do that can help this issue by forcing you to maintain your outside ski balance all the way through the turn.  The Schlopy and the airplane wings drills will do much to resolve this, but you can also do "Inside/Insides" and "White Pass Leans". 


The inside/inside drill has you balance exclusively on your outside ski, with your inside ski lifted, all the way through the turn, then when you touch that lifted ski back onto the snow during the transition between turns you step down onto it's inside edge and immediately begin the new turn.  You can't fall off the outside ski prematurely and do this drill properly.  If you've become accomplished with the airplane drill you shouldn't have much problem.  The biggest challenge will be holding the inside ski consistently off the snow,,, but that's a good skill to have under your belt too.  If you have a lot of trouble with that I have a full progression of drills that will get you there, but it's too detailed and comprehensive to explain in this format.  Have a look at the link below this post.


The other drill, the White Pass Lean, is a step above inside/inside in difficulty,,, but it too guarantees you wont loose your outside ski.  That's because the drill requires you to remain on your old outside ski all the way through the transition, then roll it over onto its outside edge of that same ski to begin the new turn.  The other ski should be continuously held up off the snow as you do it.  This forces you to begin the new turn on your inside ski, followed by a change to the outside ski when you reach the falline (put down the outside ski and lift the inside ski).  This drill is very good because it actually requires you to actively untip your shoulders when you reach the falline and angulate over your outside foot/ski.  It's a move you can really feel, and so makes you quite aware of your state of angulation at all times.  Without the move, you can't make the switch from inside to outside foot. 


I've put a video together in which I demo some of this balance stuff.  Look for the White Pass lean at 4:36.  You can see me make the lean to angulated change at the falline. 



As I said, the White Pass Lean is a difficult drill because it requires you to start the turn on your inside ski.  Inside ski skiing is a high level skill, but it's a valuable one worth working on.  The link below provides a resource for doing that too. 



post #10 of 10


Really interesting skiing and a lot going on. Mostly I come back to the skating for balance.  It looks like you step off the outside ski and onto the little toe edge of the inside ski. You also settle into the turn by dropping the hips back and inside the turn as the outside foot is swinging forward to facilitate the next step. As the hips settle they are moving away from the outside ski instead of moving forward with the skis. This explains why the hips never quite move forward enough to get yoy into a more centered stance. I suspect it's because the knees and ankles aren't very active. Yes there is the one frame of you on the tips but we don't see how that happened. My guess is that there was a terrain variation, or you had a hiccup because it doesn't happen in the rest of the turns which are quite similar to all but that one turn.


A lot of drills previously suggested would help you balance on the inside edge of the outside ski but you also need to keep both feet under the body a little more in the fore /aft plane. Not to mention you also need to add a lot of Range of Motion from the knees and ankles. Maybe thousand step drills, thumper turns, leapers, and any activity that forces you to flex and extend the legs more actively. To move through that bigger Range of Motion you would also need to be in a more centered stance. So the hips would need to stop settling down and back and as mentioned by just about everyone.

The good news is that you seem capable of moving your body so asking you to move differently is possible. Rick's drill cover most of this and if you play with them you will soon discover better balancing skills. Remember most of the drills are intended to help you find a balanced stance on the inside edge of the outside ski.



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