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a gaper's epiphany. sorta.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
as i've skied more i've come to appreciate the importance of all this fore-aft balance stuff, informed mainly by the knowledge that, especially on tougher terrain, i have generally been "back."
something happened this past weekend that really opened my eyes, and when it happened again a few times, i knew i'd had some sort of breakthrough.
skiing with and watching the skier who shall remain nameless, so as not to further embarrass him, i took note of how quickly and seemingly effortlessly he'd get those chubbs around in steep, tight spots. i have wondered "how in the hell does he do that?" i may have an idea.

it was probably an accident, or the terrain bumped me into the right spot on my skis, but what happened was that as i moved toward a turn and then into it, i was perfectly balanced, and that instant coincided with my thought to pivot slip, for lack of a better description of intent (other than GET SKIS AROUND NOW!), and to my pleasure and surprise, being balanced at that moment had the skis light under my feet and those skis came around with less effort than i've ever used. it was kinda "boom," and i'd had the tips re-directed. happened again the next turn.
And it was Good.

my body remembers that feeling and i feel confident i can repeat the movements - felt kind of like bringing the skis back under me - that have me balanced more often and with less thought (damn that lag time) than before.

it was small but i think i got a clue.
post #2 of 8
hey ryan...

this is exactly why I remain IN LOVE with skiing. year after year I discover cool little things.

rotary movements (like pivoting you skis) come from the hips. you joint has to be free to move and being bent over/in the back seat restricts the movement in the pelvis.

did you happen to notice anything different in your upper body?

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
well, i noticed that my hips were a little sore after skiing; i'd never felt that before. usually, i can feel a day of skiing more in my quads.
as for my upper body, all i recall, kieli, is that i stayed pretty much countered more than i have. and i had a few of those moments when it seems like you'll come out of the bindings FORWARD, rather than having the skis slip away out from under me. (i did not come out of the bindings, by the way.)
reminds me of the day at kirkwood when i did come out forward, landing on my chest and knocking the wind out of me.
guy skied by, handing me one of my skis, and said, "well, at least you fell the way you should have."

i'd really like to be back up there. it being the first time on that terrain, i was a little timid, not entirely "letting them run." now i see that a little more aggression wouldn't've got me in too much trouble; the powder almost called for it.

ah well.

[ December 17, 2003, 12:23 PM: Message edited by: ryan ]
post #4 of 8
Interesting comments Ryan, I can certainly relate. That state/feeling of proper balance creates opportunity for initiation at will and confident/agressive skiing with flow. It is the essence of skiing for me.

I just came back from 4 days of skiing in Whistler. There I experienced what I would consider a corollary to your observation. During this time I found myself correcting my posture (fore/aft in combination with creating a more erect posture) during long (soft) bump or powder runs to alleviate the load on the quads, instead of slowing down or pausing. On the last day, skiing in the backcountry, it really came together on a final 800 foot, 30-35 degree hero run. I think the corollary I am working on is combining fore/aft adjustments with "vertical postural" adjustments that lead to both improved control and efficiency.

I have found that I have had to first find some changes in my fore aft balancing before I could start to add in the vertical adjustments in a consistent fashion.

Besides all these words, it just feels like a higher level of skiing with even greater rewards. It's funny, the more I am able to achieve advances like these the less I think of my own skiing abilities as I better realize how much more there is to be gained.
post #5 of 8
Ryan, don't overdo it! A little bit of redirection (less than 45 degrees) goes a long way if you continue to guide the turn with edging and steering. Focus on the end of the turn and the start of the next one will take care of itself.
post #6 of 8
Originally posted by milesb:
Ryan, don't overdo it! A little bit of redirection (less than 45 degrees) goes a long way if you continue to guide the turn with edging and steering. Focus on the end of the turn and the start of the next one will take care of itself.
Miles, if I am inpterpreting Ryan's comments correctly I wouldn't be too worried. When effective fore/aft balance (together with lateral balance) is discovered it's equally easy to redirect the skis 100 degrees as it is to just tip 'em and let them ride. The cool thing is that you're in control and get to choose. Hopped over a boulder and heading for a tree - redirect them sharply. Find yourself on a steep open face in thigh deep powder - tip them through some big GS turns. When in balance it's your choice.
post #7 of 8
Originally posted by ryan:
, "well, at least you fell the way you should have."

Yep - my instructor insists that he is always happy when I fall over the FRONT of the skis.... if I fall backwards I get harassed to damn well stop sitting down!

When I fell off a 5foot drop in poor visibility while it was dumping one day I got asked "What were you doing?" & replied that "I fell the right way" got chuckles & we skied off...
post #8 of 8
I had a similar thing happen to me at Jackson Hole. I took an all day lesson that really changed how I ski. She taught me to stand more upright and use my tips more to turn in the bumps. I was always wiped out after skiing a steep mogul run, now I can go longer and stay more in control. Will be testing it out again this Monday on Clairs run at Hunter. I used to hate the moguls but now seek them out.
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