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Ma please

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

 These shots were after several really brutal bump runs , so I was pretty tired, but I'm shooting for performance in adverse situations so I think it's appropriate and easier to spot bad habits. Taking the cert2 skiing in two weeks.  I'd like to stay down a little longer at turn initiation and can probably make that change.             http://aim-1photo.smugmug.com/gallery/7824400_5Pnx7#506768582_cEXdR

post #2 of 24

pd, The middle to end of your turns look very nice, round and smooth, It looks like your transitions from one turn to the next  have a slight hitch or delay in them. Especially left hand turns you don't release the down hill ski while you are moving towards the new turn. It actually looks like a slight wedge at turn entry.


Try to visualize and feel the upper thigh on your left leg moving towards the left in the same direction and at the same time as you swing out your pole. Another way to try is to steer and/or tip  your leg with your knee leading into the turn, left knee left turn, right knee right turn. Look at the sequences of your turn initiation  lets use the left, your right leg as seen by the knee is moving to the left( you have released the edge) but your left leg again looking at knee is still moving towards the right( edge is still somewhat engaged).


One thing I try to think about is everything moves to the right until its time to move to the left, then everything moves in the left direction.On shorter fall line turns these moves happen faster, longer radius turns slower movements. Good luck in your exam

post #3 of 24

pd, too many photos for me to look at on this slow line where Im at. Anyway, lots of good stuff but lets have a look at what you could do to improve you turns. First of all, they are carved so dont try to steer or pivot at the turn entry. Try to run along your edges in pure carving arc to arc. Just like you are doing in the photos. You want to be lower down at turn initiation. Sounds like a good aim. How do you achieve that? Easier said than done and probably nothing you want to get into right before an exam but if you really want to be able to flex through your turns you need to reverse your up/down extention and flexing pattern. You need to flex at transition and extend into the turns. Now you stand on completely extended legs at the top of your turn. You put your CoM in such a high spot with fully extended legs that its impossible to move it into the arc. If your CoM was much lower you could extend your outside leg and move your CoM horisontally and into the arc. Moving it down and into the arc is a slow process and the centrifugal force builds up quicker than you have time to move your CoM so you end up with too small edge angles and not being able to arc tight carved turns. Like in the photos, you are quite upright with very little overall inclination, low edge angles and you stay very close to the fall line. However, if the slope is very flat in pitch and you are not carrying much speed its hard to work up a sweat and really put that hip 2 inches over the snow. This is partially true but if you used more angulation, bending at the hip sideways, and balanced over the outside ski more you would automatically tip your skis onto higher edge angles without altering the speed. The result would be tighter turns. Good luck with your exam.

post #4 of 24

Every photo shows uneven edging. They never seem to match.  Explore your alignment .


Flex and extend in your ankles, knees and spine. Get some more movement in each. You ski pretty well. Good skiing is not too far in your future.

post #5 of 24



Good comments by others. What I see is an ab-stem toward the end of the turns (outside ski being pushed away), and a big upward movement to flatten the skis.  From there, the initiation of the new turn is a rotary push-off movement, twisting the new old outside ski to an edge from the old outside ski.


Some suggestions:


1.  Be more patient in the transition.

2.  Flex the old outside leg to reduce your weight on it instead of extending it and pushing it away from you.

3.  Flatten both skis in the transition by rolling your ankles from one side to the other as you flex your outside leg and then extend the new outside leg.

4.  Do not follow or square up with your skis at the end of the turn, but ski into a more countered position.


Good luck with the LII exam.



post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks, all good tips. working them into my skiing as well as I can.

post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 

Made some big changes and passed the 2. Added a more pronounced softening of the downhill leg, stopped pushing the skis away early in the turn, more patience on initiation, stayed longer leg through the end of the turn and finished it more. Thanks again!

  Ps examiner comments included needing more feet steering and not letting the uphill hip drop back.

post #8 of 24



Congrats on passing the LII.  Well done!



post #9 of 24

 I see a pretty severe abstem on your turns to your right and a slight one on your left turns.  This can be remedied by not allowing pressure to shift to your inside ski so early in the turn.  Rather than rotary push-off turn mechanics you should try to replace this movement with simultaneous lower leg steering (fulcrum turning).   Your goal should be to make offensive turns where the tips goes down the hill rather than tails displaced down the hill.  


It is not that you need to "stay down longer at turn initiation" it is that you need to begin your edge change before you begin your extension.  This mindset will aid in creating an extension that is more perpendicular to the slope rather than up and away from the turn apex.


Congrats on your Level II!   These turns you posted would probably not have passed in PSIA W   because of the disfunctional movement patterns and undesirable turning powers.



Originally Posted by pdxammo View Post

 These shots were after several really brutal bump runs , so I was pretty tired, but I'm shooting for performance in adverse situations so I think it's appropriate and easier to spot bad habits. Taking the cert2 skiing in two weeks.  I'd like to stay down a little longer at turn initiation and can probably make that change.             http://aim-1photo.smugmug.com/gallery/7824400_5Pnx7#506768582_cEXdR

post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 

They wouldn't have passed here either, but I was able to make some big movement changes, some of which you pointed out. Thanks for your take on the MA, and I agree with your assesment.

post #11 of 24


post #12 of 24

I'm looking at the pictures and trying to do so fast enough to connect them into a stop action video. I am wondering if it's the camera angle or if the skiing is showing an equipment asymmetry like GZ suggests. I tend to think it is a function of movement mechanics like Bud suggests. In any case I see a totally different skier turning left and right.

What jumps out at me is during the turns to the left there is a more countered and angulated stance. While during the turns to the right there is a more inclinated and squarer to the skis stance. I also noticed the right shoulder dropping back and down on your right turns but the left shoulder doesn't do this during your left turns. The pole use is different as well but IMO all of these things are symptoms and not the root cause.


I suspect you are very right foot dominant. Balancing on the right ski during a left turn and using a more countered and angulated stance verses balancing on the right ski during the right turn and using a more inclinated stance. It certainly would explain the stance differences I see. Although without confirming this on the snow by doing some outside ski dominant drills I would be the first to say I can only suggest this is the root cause of the two different stances. I would love to hear Bud and Ron's take on what I am saying.


Edited by justanotherskipro - 4/25/2009 at 01:54 pm GMT

Edited by justanotherskipro - 4/25/2009 at 02:04 pm GMT

Edited by justanotherskipro - 4/25/2009 at 02:27 pm GMT

Edited by justanotherskipro - 4/25/2009 at 02:28 pm GMT

Edited by justanotherskipro - 4/25/2009 at 02:32 pm GMT
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 

Maybe part of it is its not straight down the fall line, but I did do some alighnment stuff recently(not in the photos). I have six pieces of tape on the inside side of the binding now and it makes my ski hang flat. Naturally my feet point out at the toe and if I straighten them the little toe side pushes down strongly. My shoes wear out on that side faster too.

post #14 of 24

You hold your right shoulder lower all the time. You use inclination for your right turns and angulation for your left turns. The alignment issue certainly could be part of the root cause, especially if all the adjustments are on one boot. It would explain why your turns are so different. Along with an alignment issue there are also habitual  compensatory movements we develop over time. In extreme cases re-balancing the muscles of the body is needed but often it just involves a stronger focus on more symmetrical movements.

Try doing turns with the inside ski completely off the snow. Is it easier to one side? Now try doing turns with the outside ski off the snow. Is it easier to one side? By exploring balance while doing these simple drills you will gain awareness about your strong and weak sides.


post #15 of 24




I would love to hear Bud and Ron's take on what I am saying.

 I agree with your assessment and alignment could be part of the issue.



post #16 of 24

I agree as well with your assessment!


I just returned from our Spring convention and certs and saw so many candidates with obvious alignment issues that needed resolved before they will pass their skiing.


Get it looked at and remedied before you even consider Level III. 

post #17 of 24


I was hoping you would discuss the asymmetry issues a bit more. Any physical reasons for them? Perhaps if it's not a physical condition, it has to do with what you do for a living, or what else you do for fun. In any case if it's not something you have considered in the past I have a suggestion or two about breaking old habits.


  • Take an everyday task like writing. Explore using your other hand and notice just how much mental focus it takes just to do this simple task.
  • The awkward feelings are similar to what we need to experience when we are working on new ski movements. In other words, to develop and refine these new moves, we need to pass through this awkward stage.
  • Visual feedback is common during the learning process. Especially as you try new moves for the first few times. Seeing the body part move doesn't really help but don't be surprised if you find yourself staring at that part of your body. Just remember to look away as soon as you feel comfortable performing the new move without watching it so intently.

Have fun with this stuff and soon you will begin to feel when one side of your body moves differently than the other...

post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 

Well, I've gotten used to the tape on the bindings and its very difficult to ski well without it now and I am going to revisit the canting on my boots since the change in the plane of the boot. I am going to have my boots planed as soon as I can give them up for a week or can schedule an appointment to have them done whilst I wait. My trusted bootfitter is not conveniantly located.

   I don't really have much to report on the asymetry, I just don't feel it when I ski. I am going to try to get some updated stills or video as the current stuff is quite different from how I am skiing now. I'll ask my trainers to look at it too. We have an alignment camp coming up so I'll really zero-in on these issues then as well. I am pretty satisfied with the fore/aft relationship and want now to dial in the lateral and body-specific and injury related issues. I was run-over by a truck a few years back and have some back problems with it occasionaly. Betsy Baker, PT US SkiTeam looked at me at the last alignment clinic and said I was kinda tight through my hips and that the injury(or something else) made my movements somewhat erratic.

   I am actually a very strong skier(not neccesarily good, like pretty) but maintain balance and power through a lot of stuff others cannot, but during the physical assesment with Betsy I got the impression that I was a Rouges' Gallery of quirky physical traits, they used me as an example to point out stuff(not good). In the past I wrestled freesyle and Greco at a high level, did some Jiu-jitsu and downhill mountain bike, which have all taken their toll, I also do construction when I don't to photography.

  I'll try to gather some objective info for you to work with soon, thanks for taking the time to comment and work on these issues, I appreciate it.

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
We did find some asymetry and I now have about a 3deg plane on my left boot and a 2deg on the right with slightly more boot cuff cant on the right. It feels pretty good and I feel more stable. Here is some video from earlier today. http://aim-1photo.smugmug.com/Skiing/ma-clips/9333987_imZ9i#628599762_ecYHT
post #20 of 24
Nice turns Pdxammo, You're making good progress. I still see some hangovers from before but overall you have made some very positive changes. To take that to the next step you need to think about a couple things that will make you even smoother and more dynamic at the same time. Betsy's comments about being erratic has led you to trying to eliminate that quality but as a result your torso and CoM are getting too static and a bit rigid. Considering your back problems this isn't a surprise. It's a phase that you need to pass through so in a way it's not a bad thing as long as you understand that it is just a phase and a foundation for learning how to move in a more disciplined way. Which I will discuss in depth a bit later.

Before suggesting any more changes I want you to go back and do some MA work using your latest video. I'll give you my impressions to start the process but by all means this should be an interactive experience. The mechanics of what your doing should be the main focus and hopefully we can work together on identifying what's happening. In other words, if you have questions or disagree with my opinion by all means let's discuss them and use this as an opportunity to explore why you move the way you move and how that affects what your skis are doing.

In the latest video, watch your hands and pole movements at full speed. Watch your arms extend as you reach out for the next pole plant and how that moves that shoulder forward towards the next pole plant. Watch the video again but stop it as you reach out with the hand and extend the arm. Do you see how the hands do not stay level with the snow? Do you see the right hand drops aft and down after the pole plant? Do you see how the shoulders turn across the hill as you reach out with the arm? All of these are hangovers from before and on your new set up they are pretty much unnecessary. This raises the following questions, why do you extend the arms and how does that affect what the skis are doing?

My opinion is the reaching movement draws the arm and shoulder towards the next turn but the chest, hips and lower body do not follow that arm towards the next turn. It also introduces a upper body rotation mid turn but that is another symptom and will go away as we correct the root cause of the arm extension. The arm extending is a tell tale sign of only the arm and the shoulder moving into the new turn. The rest of the body gets there later (lags behind the arm and shoulder) but this is where being too static come into play. The idea I'm trying to convey here is to be more disciplined about how we move the upper torso, arms, and hands. This should not be confused with keeping any one of these body parts frozen in a static "pose" while the arm extends. (Something I mentioned in the first paragraph as the result of trying to be more disciplined BTW).
The shorter version is that your whole body needs to actively participate in balancing and controlling how the skis act. Stop action movements that results in things like an arm extending while the torso lags behind are by their very nature more erratic and difficult to time well Pdxammo.  This is why I strongly suggest they have little place in skiing at the next level.

 What follows is an exercise that will help you become more aware of just what each part of your upper torso is doing as you reach out for that pole plant. You will need a six or eight foot piece of rope, or a sports cord to do the following drill.

Wrap the middle of the rope once around your chest and holding the two ends of the rope in each hand. Extend both arms until your elbows are at about a twenty degree bend. Now holding the rope go do some turns as you normally would. Does the tension in the rope change as you reach out for the next pole plant? Does it go slack after the pole plant?  Does the rope pull your shoulder forward with the arm extension? How about the sternum, does it move forward with the hand, or does it turn away from where the hand is going? (turning the chest across the hill instead of keeping it facing the middle of the next turn)?
Now repeat the drill with the rope around your waist and focus on what your hips are doing as you reach out for that pole plant. What do you feel happening with the rope and the body? Feel the twist from extending just the arm and the rope turning the torso?

Eventually you should feel the reaching out of the arm and planting of the pole morph into just touching the snow with the tip of pole but the arm doesn't extend or move very much as that happens. The whole body is now participating in the act of balancing and moving from one turn to the next. As I mentioned earlier this is how we can create smoother, yet more dynamic, skiing movements. Disciplined (not counter productive or extraneous), directionally relevant (moving where you want to go), and deliberate (with a specific pre-planned purpose) movements don't happen by chance. You need to make them happen. 
Edited by justanotherskipro - 8/26/09 at 5:37pm
post #21 of 24
BTW,as a side note; fore aft balancing is very much a part of what I've suggested you explore as you develop a much greater range of motion in all aspects of your skiing. Level three and beyond is very much about exploring a wider range of motion in all of our movements and connecting them into seemless motion. Enjoy...
Edited by justanotherskipro - 8/26/09 at 5:22pm
post #22 of 24
Wow, maybe I need to read my posts before submitting them. So many spelling errors...
I have another exercise for you Pdxammo. Stand in a narrow hall where you can assume a ski stance and reach out with one hand and touch the wall on that side of your body. Now return to the original position and move your whole body towards that wall until the hand touches. Notice a difference in the two movements?
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Wow , thanks for such a concise and detailed analysis. We are going up to Tline and train on Sunday, I am going to bring a length of cord for sure. I think you are really onto something. I have been trying to bring my feet back under me in transition, but I guess thats not quite the same as propeling the core in the direction of the turn. I am a little confused, one of the catch-phrases this summer has been over-countered and i have been told that in medium/long turns I need to face the direction of the turn, ie across the hill a little more as the over-counter is stopping me from being able to finish the turn. Perhaps it will make more sense on-snow this weekend. In any case I feel that hard work this summer will definatly benifit come this winter. We close for a few weeks on 9/7 but it shouln't be too long before there is real snow to ski. Thanks again and thanks to all my local trainers too.
post #24 of 24
Go back to the last video and doing some stop action work, identify where you show the most countered stance. Also notice where the hands are when you are in that stance. From what I see the hand moving forward occurs through the last half of the turn. So I would seek some clarification from your coaches about this. As I said before you need to face where you are going. Which involves a lot more thought about the two trajectories involved in the dual paths model. The Feet and CoM are following different paths but if you focus on where you want the feet to go and where you want the core to go this all becomes much easier to understand. In a longish turn a drawing of the two paths would resemble a slivered moon, while in shorter turns a drawing of the two paths would resemble a quarter moon. The countering movements need to facilite this seperation but this doesn't mean turning the body away from where it's path and where it will be at the apex of the next turn. Draw out the two paths in your head while doing longer turns. Notice where the location of the apex of the next turn is, it's more across the hill for both the body and the feet. So even though it's still two different spots in the snow, those spots aren't very far apart.) Which is why keeping both the feet and the body facing the middle of the next turn produces a squarer to the skis stance. They are both still facing where you want them to go.
So even though everyone says "alway face the bottom of the hill", you need to modify that to "alway face where you're going". If that's a place across the hill don't be afraid to face there...
Edited by justanotherskipro - 8/29/09 at 6:23am
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