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First is Better!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I took a 3 day ski workshop at Okemo last week. On the first day, I found out that a woman in my group was "lift line challenged." Instead of skiing up to the red line, she hopped on the chair early, and plopped down where I was supposed to sit. BANG!! OUCH!!

It has been my experience, that people who have "chair lift disorders" are often the same people who turn into human avalanches on the mountain. So I decided to steer clear of her, but not in my usual way, which is to hang at the back of the group, and go as slowly as possible. Instead, I allowed my skis to spend a few more moments making friends with the fall line. And I RIPPED, and discovered all the fun I was missing out on! WOW!!

Now here's the interesting part: After coming down way ahead of the rest of the group, I discovered that I was totally unwilling to give up "first place" for the next 3 days. I totally forgot that I'm terrified of speed, and on narrow trails, not really good at short radius turns. Getting there first became important. But rather than getting sloppy, the faster I tried to go, the BETTER my form got.

This is so different. Although I've always been reasonably fit, the only sport I ever participated in is marathon running, where I just wanted to finish. In junior high school, I was a cheerleader {Embarassing!} not an athlete. In high school and college, well, it was the 70s, if you get my drift. Now all of a sudden, I'm competitive. You boys are a bad {or should I say good} influence on me.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #2 of 11
Glad to hear you're enjoying your skiing. Believe it or not, the cause of your epiphany may be your skis (they are a touch stiff). If so, then you need speed to gain enough momentum to bend the skis effectively. -just a thought.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
EUREKA!! I'm in Volkl Carver Escapes. Pretty stiff. Never thought of that. Thanks.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #4 of 11
great job LisaMarie,
Keep it up. each Epiphany will lead to more fun and varied skiing.
I should have brought my boots with me to Boston over the Holidays. I could have tried to get some turns in out there
post #5 of 11
"But rather than getting sloppy, the faster I tried to go, the BETTER my form got."

Sorry Lisamarie but according to the "professionals" on this forum, that is impossible.

...Nice try though
post #6 of 11

i still, sad to say, am much more comfortable at speed, and know i "look" much better, than when slow on the greens, where my own green-ness is sometimes way too evident. as has been pointed out many times here, poor technique will invariably show at slower speeds. when going fast, my strength and athleticism are right there for me. when i'm slow, my sometimes un-refined technique fairly calls attention to itself; thus the invaluable help earlier postings re: this topic have provided.
congrats on your own breakthrough, lisamarie! we take them where we find them.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by ryan (edited January 09, 2001).]</FONT>
post #7 of 11
Skiing (like other sports, such as in-line skating, biking, etc), requires a significant amount of balance, which is easier attained at speed than while moving very slowly (try it and you will see). That is why a certain amount of speed, and we are not talking about high speed here, helps maintain form and feels good.

As your skill shall improve, balance also improves (although you can work on both areas independently of each other) and you will be able to ski slowly, in control and "looking good".

Keep up the good work Lisa, Ryan.
post #8 of 11

I am glad to see you're fit because this is what you are in for. You'll be on a run and see a group of slower, oblivious skiers so you'll speed past them and want to put some distance between them and yourself. By the time you get sufficient distance you are overtaking the next group you'll want to pass, then the next and so on. The next thing you'll know is you're skiing runs not only fast but non-stop.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Rio (edited January 09, 2001).]</FONT>
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Phil, the Okemo Women's spree is definitely a worthwhile experience. First, logistically, you are well taken care of. Lift, breakfast, lunch, overnight ski and basket check are included, as well as afternoon hot cocoa. I'm not implying that women need to be pampered, but ,for me, I'm very focused on technique this year, so it was nice to be able to learn, without having to worry about petty details.

On the first afternoon of the workshop, you have the opportunity to try alternative gear or terrain {snowboards, ski blades, moguls}. But in the morning I had made a breakthrough {in understanding, at least} about my problems with short radius turns, and I wanted to just stay with that.

For the record, in case anyone is wondering, I do not have any Feminazi beliefs that only women can teach women. But sometimes, its nice to take workshops from someone who understands the whole Q angle thing, first hand. Feel free to have your mom or wife email me with questions.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Phil, I forgot to mention the most important part. On the last day, you get videoed! Enlightening, if not frightening!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #11 of 11

We need to seperate the two types of "speed" we are discussing here. There is ground speed, and there is speed of body movement.

in order to work on technique, you need to slow down body movements making them smoother and more gradual. To do this, you make longer turns which generally increase your ground speed. Conversely, when you are making short radius turns, the ground speed is reduced, but your body movements are far more frequent and quicker. Because of the quick changes in body position, poor form really gets displayed when linking short radius turns down the fall line.

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