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Referrals for skidad

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ok. I have no idea if skidad is going to participate in this, but if he does, let's try to limit the referrals...ummm... to a very high standard so he doesn't have to wade through a ton of info and such. We need more info from him than he needs from us. What he brings here is far more important that our expertise or experience. So please read the limitations and do your best to be truly helpful to this fellow skier. I would refer him to some of our 'referral lists,' but thyey are so long etc. I thought this might be more helpful.


- To where skidad lives, skis or realistic alternatives for him.
- To teachers who have actually helped (or are helping) YOU advance from adv-intermediate toward great.
- To teachers whose success you have firsthand knowledge of at this specific level of development.
- For fitters, follow the first rule.
- refer bootfitter(s) you have firsthand knowledge of or experience with.

I don't pretend to know what skidad needs (his boots may have been done, etc.) So let's wait to see if he is going to Feel free to suggest guidelines for the referrals that may be helpful in making this work better.

[ April 30, 2003, 10:02 AM: Message edited by: Roto ]
post #2 of 23
Thread Starter 
So skidad.

Where do you usually ski?
post #3 of 23
I would refer SkiDad to the EpicSki Academy, and any other person who has been disappointed before or just isn't convinced that lessons will help them improve at this sport.

Our lodging and lifts deal at the Academy would extend to nonparticipating family members...and, of course, family and friends are welcome to attend the Academy too, so long as they are old enough to sign a liability waiver (18).

I truly think that we have the best offer out there.
post #4 of 23
according to his profile, he lives in Texas and skis Taos.
For boot fitters, I would refer him to The Boot Doctors .

Bob Gleason is one of the educators for Masterfit University and a lot of fun besides. I got a chance to watch him work with many of my friends at the Telluride store. Also I got a chance to learn from him at the Masterfit University clinic in Tahoe last year.

I'm not sure which store he is normally at but I'm sure you can call ahead and find out. If he is at Telluride all the time, ask him who to ask for at Taos. Also Greg at GMOL might be able to give us a referal there as well.
post #5 of 23
My thanks for any imput that is given here. Let me first say that I have had lessons from individuals that have been reccommened by very knowledgeable people that post on this site. Those reccommended pros have been helpful, courteous, friendly, knowledgeable people that I am very sure have helped me in ways that I can not perceive. The lessons are good, I am just not any better. I am sure that it is my inability to perform what is being communicated to me that holds me back.

Having said that, every instructor I have had says, I am skiing old stlyle, and not skiing with the tips. I acknowledge that, but I don't evidently have a feel for what that is because I swear that I am. I have been able to widen my stance. I have made my shins hurt from putting pressure on the toungues. I have thought about lifters in the heels because the only time they say I am skiing right is when I stand on my toes and that can't be right.

I ski on axix x in a 167. I am 5' 6" and weight 160. I also know everyone says to go to a shorter ski 160. I have skied volkl t-50 5 stars in a 163, Nordica w65 in a 160, dynastar 10's in a 160. Atomic sx 11's in a 160 and several others but I feel best on the 167. Boots are Nordica wave 7.2.

I ski taos mainly and while I have skied the ridge and some double black, I stick to the easier blacks because I am more comfortable.

For nolo, I would love to attend the academy, but my job dictates when I can ski and when I can't. That is something,I have just gotten used to. I also know that you are very interested in why people will and will not attend. This web site will open you eyes to how much you do not know. I really thought I was a level 9 skier before I began to acquire more knowledge. To attended epic academy, while not preventing from attending would be a very humbling experience.

[ April 30, 2003, 07:45 PM: Message edited by: anotherskidad ]
post #6 of 23
Can you tell us a bit about what it is you are feeling when skiing, that you don't like?
You said you wanted to be a better skiier, and that you reckon you lean back too much.
Can you elaborate, on the effects this is having on you?
post #7 of 23
when I ski "normal" I feel confident, secure and in control. When I "try to ski from the tips", I feel a loss of edge, unbalanced and like a fall could happen any second, like there is to much forward momentum
post #8 of 23
So, if you're happy with your own skiing, what is it you're hoping for with lessons and changing your style?
post #9 of 23
Some skiers think that they need to be in an "athletic stance" while skiing. They relate to other sports with this stance of "ready", but the problem with this stance is that their center of mass is directly over the center arch of the foot.

When skiing, your weight...not just pressure...should be over the balls of the foot. I'm making this comment because you said you felt like you were falling...

Try this for feeling the "stance". Stand in street shoes in a basketball/baseball ready position. Feel your weight and pressure under the center of your foot. Step down on your toes without moving your body. Does this feel like you're skiing? Pressure under the balls of your feet? If it is, you do not have your center of mass where it should be.

Step two from the basketball ready stance...(your ankle will flex)..move only your belly button forward 1-2 inches...further...a little fell. GREAT. Try again, but this time stop just short of loosing your balance forward. Now your center of mass is where it should be, over the balls of your feet with the weight over the right spot without the pressure comming from your ankle muscles pushing down.

If you do this with skiis, does it feel like you are falling? The first (many) time(s) until you get feels like "skiing while falling down the hill".

My first exposure to this made my skiing look like ... for a day, and this was when I thought I was ready to go for Level 3!

Good luck.

(edited after morning coffee for spelling/grammar)

[ May 01, 2003, 03:10 AM: Message edited by: KeeTov ]
post #10 of 23
I still stand by recommending my instructors - seriously... if they can teach ME how to feel & locate body position YOU should be a piece of cake...

Trouble is - can you GET to where they teach or do you WANT to do so?
post #11 of 23
I have made my shins hurt from putting pressure on the toungues. [/QB]
I suggest we have identified one serious issue.
post #12 of 23

Do you think moving of the center of mass (my earlier comment)without the extra forced flexion of the ankle will correct this? Weight will still be on the tongue, but dad won't be forcing a tighter angle at the tongue.

He will still have range of motion to vary the pressure on the tongue throughout the turn.
post #13 of 23

Do you have some idea why you feel unable to perform what is being communicated to you? Do the words not make sense? the movements and associated feelings? or does the instructors demo not relate to either of the above? Take the instructors input and question it until he has communicated to you in the simplest manner understandable to you. We are all different and learn in our own ways. Without questions from students an erroneous assumption of undertanding can be made.

In line with where Rusty is going, too much pressure on the tongue results in fore-aft balance shifts, creating a range that moves from too far forward to too far back. When the turn is started with an overflexed ankle and lots of shin pressure the only way to flex thru the turn is to flex the knee and move the CM aft. Consequently the knees will be straightened, to regain balance, and the next turn repeats the cycle. This is probably why you feel less comfortable skiing from the tips. The answer is don't ski from tips, ski from the center of the ski.

Instead of concentrating on maintaining large amounts of shin pressure try to focus further down. Try to feel your weight aligned over the back half of the foot while maintaining soft shin contact. When skiing on shaped skis with the weight on the balls of the foot you end up levering off of the tip causing the tails to wash out, thus the appearance of old style wind sheild wiper turns. When balanced on the front of your foot you cannot pivot the ski from its center, the ability to tip the ski on edge is also compromised by the excessive cuff pressure further exasperating the leveraging.

To feel the difference, considering the time of year, put on your skis and boots in the living room and first move into that familiar position that is your stance. What do your shins feel like? NOw take your skis off and see if you can attain the same stance with out falling forward, I doubt that you can. Put your skiis back on and try this. Stand as tall as you can, on your toes with your hands over your head. Relax and slouch down, forget about good posture and let yourself settle on to your feet. Their should be slight tension in your abs as opposed to you lower back, you should feel pressure under your heals and some shin contact with the front of your boots. Try this a few times until it starts to feel familiar and repeatable. Now take your skis off and do it again. Once you found the spot on skis doing it with skis off is a piece of cake. You could stay there all day with out the risk of falling forward.

You mentioned that you were thinking of adding heal lifts because your heals were always floating. With out seeing your stance it is hard to make an assessment, but I feel from all that you have described the heals are up because you are too far forward.(This is common when people have been skiing for many years as it is the way turns, really braking movements use to be made.) The muscle tension this creates greatly retricts the ability to tip and twist the skis with your legs. When are toes are below our heals (i.e. pushed down) it is impossible for us to tip the foot from the ankle and leg. In the above excercise the hips and knees also flexed. From this flexed position we have unlocked the legs from the upper body making it possible to tip and turn the ski from its center using only the legs. Review some video of yourself or close your eyes and visuallize your turns. Look to see what movement actually starts the turn. I suspect that there is a very subtle upper body rotation and tipping going on.
post #14 of 23
Originally posted by anotherskidad:
...I am sure that it is my inability to perform what is being communicated to me that holds me back...
I often have felt the same way. Perhaps your problem is similar to mine.

In my case, I learn either by: (a) direct imitation with little thought (which works quite well for me); or, at the opposite end of the learning spectrum, (b) having an absurdly complete understanding of what I'm supposed to do (including the terminology, alternatives, sensations, etc.) before I attempt to perform the maneuver.

Its awfully hard to do (b) when in a class on the snow, so, in the past, I used to not be able to perform what is being asked / described by an instructor because not *enough* was being communicated to satisfy my cognitive needs so that I could proceed.

Before participating in EpicSki, I suspect that this would have been true even if Bob Barnes or other top instructor was trying to teach me. Now, after having participated in EpicSki for a couple of years, I feel that I know the terminology, and have a pretty good sense of what I should be doing in a variety of terrain, drills, snow conditions, with different equipment, etc. I can directly use this knowledge myself, and, in addition, I know that I can now make on-the-snow time with instructors much more efficient.

An great example of this is the wonderful explanation Tom Burch just gave of sensations in the foot pertaining to fore-aft balance. Believe it or not, what he wrote is just the tip of the iceburg, and probably 20 times this much has been written on Epic on this topic in the past year. There is just no way this ammt of info could be communicated and digested while on the hill. Instead, many people in ski lessons get the 5-second version (eg, "press on the tongue of your boot"), are asked to do what was described, and then have problems doing it.

I know I'm an odd duck about learning, and you may not be similar to me in this respect. However, the general message is that everyone needs to discover what learning environment (eg, Epic, steep camps, formal private lessons, coaching with a personal connection, etc. ) and teaching approach (eg, cognitive, imitative, touchy-feely, etc.) works best for them, and then find an instructor that is a good enough teacher (not just skier or technician) to be able to use that approach. The amazing thing about Epic is that there actually are instructors that participate here that can actually do this.

Tom / PM

[ May 01, 2003, 09:28 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 

It's possible you are not exceedingly connected to kinesthetic feelings and can make a different sort of connection.

Tell me a few things if you would.

What do you do for a living?

What else do you do for fun besides ski?

What does skiing make you feel like when you are enjoying it(not necessarily body related)?

[ May 01, 2003, 09:04 AM: Message edited by: Roto ]
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by anotherskidad:
...I am sure that it is my inability to perform what is being communicated to me that holds me back...

A prime example that when ski teaching professionals don't do a successful job the client holds the bag/blames themselves.

You are at the prime level for being held back by equipment limitations. This is part of a skiing professional's job, to recognize when that is the case. Since I have not skied with you I cannot say this feedback is truly accurate, but I have seen instructors, clients and friends go through much frustration with hitting the equipment wall. When they got stanced, balanced, fitted with orthotics etc. they skied right off their plateaus in a few ski days. I spent nearly 4 years at an eq. related plateau. I would experience minor improvements, I would 'get' what my coaches were coaching, but none of it would stick, etc. etc. They key was being fitted properly (I had used a shop fitter). I changed to a real boot pro. It's amazing what orthotics, etc. will do for a person's 'feel' for the ski and what is going on.

This season alone I skied with two instructors in ongoing educational situations. Both had failed their skiing in the level III exam before. Both spent the season addressing eq. issues. Both passed strongly this year. Having watched them go through it I believe no coach or teacher could have helped them without the eq. issues being addressed.

But I would like to continue finding some things out about you(for the purpose of giving you feedback or referrals only, of course).
post #17 of 23
Never having seen you ski, I offer this from the standpoint that I am a recovering back seat skier who had similar problems. For me, the issue was that I was skiing in a defensive stance (read, my butt was too low). When I would lean down the hill to get out of the back seat, I would begin to lose my balance. My guess is that while I did move forward, my butt was still too low and the result was that I was basically skiing on my tip-toes. During a few lessons, I was told repeatedly to stand up more. Of course, I thought I was standing up. What finally worked is that despite the fact I thought I was standing up, I made a conscious effort to stand as tall as I possibly could at all times before I leaned down the hill. While a little awkward at first, the result was a more balanced stance than I had before and much improved skiing. This improvement came despite the fact I was in rental boots that were not the greatest fit. I'm sure better fitted boots would have helped, but there was a lot of room for improvement even in the poorly fit boots I was in.

I apologize for not being able to convey the above in an instructor fashion, and I hope I don't embarass my ski instructor by making it seem like all he said was stand up (as he had many tricks he tried), but next time you ski, do a forward pelvic thrust at every opportunity. (And then get the ski slope [img]smile.gif[/img] )
post #18 of 23
Skidmo, Good advice, in your words. Heed what Roto says about equipment when you go to buy.

skidad, I agree with Roto 100%, particularly about developing kinesthetic awareness. The PM I sent reinforces what both of these guys have mentioned here.
post #19 of 23
I feel that by sticking to same old style if wrong is what keeps me from breaking through to next level.
post #20 of 23
For roto, much thanks for starting this thread. I am already thinking of things I had not thought about before. For skidmo, you hit the nail on the head. Skiing on tiptoes is exact thing I felt when others thought I might be starting to do it right.
post #21 of 23
I also went through a period when I was told repeatedly to ski in a stance I could only achieve by standing on my toes. These were PSIA examiners and other technical staff trying to force me into this position. It just points out the folly of assessing a persons stance by the visual p[icture alone. You also have to watch closely what the skis are doing and inquire about other factors which could be peices of the puzzle.

As it turns out I had stance and alignment issues largely caused by my equipment and personal confirmation and I had simply adapted to these in order to be effective. There were a number of issues. I have large calves, for example, and the boots, designed for people with much thinner legs, forced my lower legs into a pronounced forward angle. In order to balance, fore and aft, I had to bend my knees and waiost and ski in a flexed position with my butt aft. There was also a problem due to the combimned ramp angle built into the boots and the bindings. Other issues, such as being out of lateral alignment contributed to the problem. My bowlegged stance was causing me to get way too much edge and so I simply adapted to this by flexing my knees in order to dissipate edge pressure. Again I had adapted in oder to maintain control and effective movement. I resisted the instruction advice I received strongly because it just didn't work, for me. Correcting these issues allowed me to ski in a much more comfortable stance and to ski in the same way as my examiners.

I would strongly urge SkiDad to consult with a top rate alignment specialist if he is serious about improving his skiing. I would also encourage him to make use of video equipment in conjunction with instruction if visual imagery is effective for him.
post #22 of 23

In response to your question I simply try to ski with a very neutral tib/fib and focus on tipping the foot.

I also ski in a very upright boot cuff with my binding toe-piece 5 mm higher than my heel piece effectively dorsiflexing/cocking my ankle.

This all serves to align my spine angle more closely to my tib/fibs.

I really have never thought about or tried to sense whether I was on the ball of my foot or center of my foot. Usually my foot is so cold I have no feeling from the knees down!
post #23 of 23
Having said that, every instructor I have had says, I am skiing old style, and not skiing with the tips.
This statement troubles me somewhat. A very negative statement for any ski instructor to present a client with.

I am absolutely positive there are very good things going on with your skiing; how else would you ski black runs confidently.

Personally I have never "skied with the tips". I prefer to use the whole ski. Simple changes in thought and execution of turns will enable the "on my toes" feeling to morph into a comfortable "this is the new balance position" feeling.

Practise lots of "playing with the mountain" on black\blue runs until your thoughts are more towards "I want to go there" instead of "correct technique" focussed. What IMHO you are looking for is a "new comfort zone" borne on the back of being more "centered" whilst sliding.

Practise lots of "projecting forward" & alternate with "leaning back". Search for the sweet spot underfoot that does not hurt your shins OR your calves. Ski a whole run totally in the front seat and then another in the back seat. Try and feel the ski as an extension of the leg and not a foreign object that needs turning.

And as Skidmo (a focussed client) says, BE PROUD stand tall and fck the mountain on every turn. Invite the mountain to a little salsa with you leading. Invoke the pelvis as a "return to neutral" movement each turn to assist with staying on top of the skis as they try to control the turning situation.

Above all relax, flow and search for the point of least resistance, for when you find this point you will never think of your feet\stance again.

Oz :

[ May 02, 2003, 01:43 AM: Message edited by: man from oz ]
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