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MA for ME

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hey Gang,

 

I'm an instructor at Mount Washington on Vancouver Island. I haven't had much feedback on my skiing in recent years since I moved back here and am looking for some new ideas to play with so I can continue the never ending quest...

 

I often feel like I might have some alignment issues.

 

Here's a few clips of dynamic parallel turns.

Skis are Elan Magfire 78ti in a 176cm

 

Don't be gentle.

 

post #2 of 9

Skinerd,

 

Welcome to the Shooting Gallery.

 

These are powerful dynamic carved turns. You can see a cross under move and then the legs extend out into an angulated position in the fall line. I measured some angles in the low 140's to low 150s. For reference people that "bank" (i.e. don't angulate enough) would be in the high 160s on this kind of terrain. Although the clip could be zoomed in a little more, you can still see some ski bending going on. Well done!

 

I don't see much obvious left right misalignment (again more zoom would make it easier). At 37 seconds (going away), that first left turn looks a little suspect. See how you have to move it in before you start tipping it? Based only on that turn (I'd prefer to see more close up), I'd play with duct tape starting at 1/2 degree under the inside of the left foot. I also see a lot of excess bending at the hip. At 56 seconds (side view) you can see that your nose is ahead of a vertical line drawn from your toes to your knees and upward. Look closely and you'll see a lot of places where your upper body leans forward. Some of this is no doubt related to the Canadian "hunched shoulders" style. I'm also smelling some racing influence. But I've got a gut feel that tweaking your boot+binding ramp might help. Hopefully some of our boot gurus will chime in, but you should be able to find a shop in Vancouver that has a boot fitter that will give you a good deal on an alignment analysis. That's the easiest way to find out for sure. Nonetheless, I do believe that you can improve this without changing your alignment.

 

For normal people, I'd go back and ask about goals for skiing before I'd critique this level of skiing. It's plainly good enough for a ton of fun. Some might even call this "ripping". Alas, as instructors, we can always find something to work on if we look hard enough. Let's start with your position just above the fall line. See how long your outside leg is? As you approach the fall line, the leg starts to collapse as your butt drops toward the snow. Butt low to the snow is cool, but losing that long leg this early is messing with your balance. See how your inside hands drops from above the fall line to into the fall line? If you could lift that inside hand and tilt the shoulders even more level, then the outside leg would get straighter. The other thing that inside hand is doing is stopping you from developing a countered position at the end of the turn. As you proceed from the fall line through the next 1/4 of the turn, you continue your leg collapse and your upper body gets lower as well. At the end of the turn, your upper body is facing more in the direction of the skis than to the inside of the next turn. From this position you must go up before you can move forward and inside into the next turn. This means that you don't get your new inside edges engaged until the second quarter of the next turn.

 

Where you go next is keeping the upper body more stable vertically and laterally. This will let you engage your new edges in the first quarter of the new turn and round out the upper part of the turn more.

 

Exercises I can recommend include:

-Bamboo drill - ditch your poles, carry bamboo across your shoulders, keep the boo level to the slope pitch at all times (don't do this drill if you have shoulder issues)

-Heisman drill - ditch your poles, outside hand on hip, inside hand leads, change edges, then change hands

-Linked poles - take your poles off and hook them around your waist (hook tips into the wrist loops). keep the poles aligned with the side of the trail.

-Finish your turns with an uphill component

- Javelin turns - lift the inside ski through the end of the turn, finish the turn so that the outside ski turns underneath the lifted inside ski (i.e. cross the skis at the end of the turn by turning the old outside ski instead of the turning the new outside ski to cause the skis to cross).

- Flex the new inside leg as the only conscious move to start the new turn

- Extend the new outside ankle as the only conscious extension move to start the new turn

post #3 of 9

Looks like fun.

 

Since you suspect alignment problems, I won't comment on your lateral balance issue on your turns to the right and the associated minor upper body accommodations.

 

For the degree of edging you're reaching, you could be getting a lot more turn out of the skis by getting a bit more forward.  You're more back than you want for your stated goal of "dynamic" turns.

 

Quote:

Don't be gentle.

Most instructors would be fortunate to ski this well.

post #4 of 9

Good skiing.  This could pass CSIA L1 for sure!   (kidding big guy).

 

If I was to target a goal it would be to get the pressure developing sooner in the turn, like above the fall-line. 

 

You seem to manage the ankle flexion/extension well....but the knee and hip, dont seem to move enough.  With more flexion (knee, hip) at the end of the turn, you can stay lower and just let the mass move across, then use that flexion to facilitate a strong extension into the fallline of the next turn.   I think this will up the performance.

 

To practice: high speed GS in bumps, keep the skis on the snow.

 

As for alignment, I dont see anything obvious.  I notice too, that as the skis get wider, my alignement feels worse.  Just play with stuff I think is best.  You wont be able to measure it, trial and error.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the great feedback guys. It's very refreshing to get some other peoples perspectives on my skiing.  
 

 

I have played around a fair bit with alignment but can't seem to get it to feel quite right... will continue on with the obsessive duct tape experiments.
 
Rusty, that's an interesting idea about the ramp angle. Your right that us Canucks tend to emphasize a little more bend in the waist/curve in the spine and a slightly straighter ankle in a neutral stance. I can see how the ramp angle might eliminate the need to reach forward so much in an attempt to maintain  balance. I have experimented with forward lean but never really with ramp angle, so perhaps I should.
 
Interesting that you mention more counter at the end of the turn. There has been a lot of talk around here about squaring up to the skis a little more then before at the end of the turn, and incidentally that was the last feedback I was given. I certainly agree that counter is crucial for adequate angulation and to be in a good position to move into the new turn, so I'll have to play with both extremes here until I figure out the middle ground. Lots of stuff to play with and I will try out those drills.
 

 Sharpedges, I definitely see the lateral balance issue on the turns to the right... that should be an easy fix. Thanks  By "getting a bit more forward" do you mean I should have more flex in my ankles or less flex in my knees? Is this at the start of the turn?

 

Skidude72, I will keep searching for an earlier edge. High speed GS in the bumps are my fave so I'm happy to practise your suggestion... thanks.
 
 

post #6 of 9

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skinerd View Post

 
Interesting that you mention more counter at the end of the turn. There has been a lot of talk around here about squaring up to the skis a little more then before at the end of the turn, and incidentally that was the last feedback I was given. I certainly agree that counter is crucial for adequate angulation and to be in a good position to move into the new turn, so I'll have to play with both extremes here until I figure out the middle ground. Lots of stuff to play with and I will try out those drills. 


 

Nerd,

 

You followed your feedback very well. We went through that "less counter" phase a while back too. The message also got corrupted to "square up". The main concept here is that we want to move pressure to the inside edges of the new turn and to the tips of the skis. If we're squared up, we can only get new inside pressure by lateral body movement. If we have some counter then we can get some inside edge pressure by moving the hips forward. So with one move we get more forward pressure and lateral weight shift. As a side benefit, the countered turn initiation is more stable than the lateral turn initiation. Try it at home, just standing up. If the upper body rotates slightly less than the lower body, counter results at the end of the turn. The shorter the turn radius, the more pronounced the difference in rotation is. When you've got this concept implemented, you will feel a flow of the core of the body that "pulls" the skis into the new turn and a flow of the skis that pulls you out of them.

post #7 of 9

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skinerd View Post

 Sharpedges, I definitely see the lateral balance issue on the turns to the right... that should be an easy fix. Thanks  By "getting a bit more forward" do you mean I should have more flex in my ankles or less flex in my knees? Is this at the start of the turn?


 


More flex in the ankles to get your hips/center of mass a bit more forward of your ankles early in the turn.  This will help the skis start slicing in a tightly arced groove by engaging the shovels more in the early turn. 

 

(re: flex in knees.  I happen to be a big fan of retraction turns.  I think many of your turns could benefit from more knee flexing at transition, but that's my personal bias and is not a very CSIA view.)

post #8 of 9

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedges View Post

 


More flex in the ankles to get your hips/center of mass a bit more forward of your ankles early in the turn.  This will help the skis start slicing in a tightly arced groove by engaging the shovels more in the early turn. 

 

(re: flex in knees.  I happen to be a big fan of retraction turns.  I think many of your turns could benefit from more knee flexing at transition, but that's my personal bias and is not a very CSIA view.)

Do you also suggest flexing of ancles when retracting your legs at transition?

post #9 of 9

Sharpedges,

 

I agree with your ma and your fix.

 

RW

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