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MA powder turns

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Am I to tall, overextending over my skis?
I tend to go over the bars in deep uneven snow.
I use relatively narrow skis (w:76), but I think I could ski powder better on slalom skis, when i was younger - more fit.
My impression is that I need a more flexed down position.
Any suggestions?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsPQJEHMLg8
post #2 of 24
Here is the embedded video.  Nice skiing and it make me look forward t some fresh snow.  Nice to see you back at EpicSki.  Any idea what became of the video links in you 2004 thread?

post #3 of 24
Why do you feel you need a lower stance?
In what part of the turn do you go over the handlebars?
Do you always pop up through the transition from one turn to the next?
Inquiring minds want to know...
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Why do you feel you need a lower stance?
In what part of the turn do you go over the handlebars?
Do you always pop up through the transition from one turn to the next?
Inquiring minds want to know...

......yeah.....what he said.

If those snippets were all I had to go on, I'd say that flexing any lower is going to inhibit your ability to steer your feet and inhibit more effective lateral balance.  You seem to get caught leaning inside on your 3rd turn to skier's left (very visible change of turn shape in the tracks) and that would probably be more of the issue than flexion/extension (although I will hold that opinion until you answer JASP's question about "pop.")


As for "Am I too tall?".....well.....do you hit your head on doorways a lot?

-nerd
post #5 of 24

Here are a couple of snaps of your skiing. Notice your inside arm.

A ski track of yours. Clean Arc on the outside and a slight skid on the inside ski.

 

 

post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 

@ Cirquerider
 the videos were stored in my former isp's server. Now that we have youtube i could upload them there, if i find them in the mess of my drives


@ justanotherskipro
I feel more balanced and "prepared" when I am lower but I get tired quickly
I might go over the hb during the 2nd - 3rd part of my turns (if we divide in quarters)
I used to pop up through transitions a lot, now I don't (now is that good or bad?)

older video:
(less powder but I think more agressive skiing)


post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ski_nerd13 View Post

As for "Am I too tall?".....well.....do you hit your head on doorways a lot?

-nerd


lol in that terms not at all - tall
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
@slider
thanks for the snaps.
My left arm has always been lazy
I am a bit A framed but I am working on it. I think that if I solve this I will carve my inside ski better
post #9 of 24
was that Greek?
post #10 of 24
Right you are TiLT. Think about moving your whole body through the turn and into to the next one. Focus in that inside hand. It pulls you out of balance.

 I like your style of skiing. Adjust/change some of your movements, stay balanced and relaxed. Remember it's fun. Welcome back.
Edited by slider - 9/1/09 at 5:44pm
post #11 of 24
The inside hand!  Pulls you to the back a bit, and inside.  Just keep them in your field of vision and it is a more beautiful world. 

It still looks good now.
post #12 of 24
Tilt,

The second part of the video on the packed powder is very revealing.  I suspect what is going on there is also happening to some extent in the powder which is why you feel you are being hurled forward.

On the packed powder portion of the clip, watch the second half of the turn.  You are flexing forward into the tongue of the boots which causes the fronts of the skis to overload (sink in pow), and the tails of the skis to break loose and skid away.  This also causes a breaking action of the skis which causes the body to be levered forward (over the handle bars).

There is a big difference between maintaining contact with the boot tongues by flexing only the ankle and pressing forward on the boot tongue by bending the knee forward and downward.  Both close the ankle joint, but what you are doing is levering forward and increasing the pressure applied to the tips of the skis.

What I would like to see you working on is a more neutral stance over the middle of the skis throughout the entire turn.  This involves flexing the ankle progressively through the turn independent of knee and hip flex.  Once that is mastered, you can start playing around with applying leverage in a subtle way by opening or closing the ankle (slightly) in different parts of the turn.

Once you are better balanced for/aft, the lateral balance issues (dropping the inside hand) brought up in above posts should diminish.  Find a qualified instructor to help you isolate the difference between ankle flex and pressing the tongue of your boots and also help you integrate it into your skiing.  You are a good skier, what I am telling you will make you a much better skier.  :-)

RW
post #13 of 24
You ski very well. However, I think your main problem is that you are not flexing and extending your legs in combination with angulation and upper body counter enough. You keep your hips square and you extend into transition followed by banking. Your carving revels a lot. Even though it looks very good by some standards it gives away that you dont really know what to do with your up-extention. You look like you are confused. In your case less would be more. Insted of using that outside leg so aggressively early in the turn, use body movements to indirectly tip your skis on edge and turn according to side cut. Could the up-extention have something to do with you flying over the handle bars? Also consider that you say that it was easier to ski powder on your old skinny SL skis compared to your new wider skis. Talking from own experiance the shift to shorter skis in combination with wider platform had me flying over the HB in powder. Remember that old SL skis were 205 long compared with todays 175 all mountain skis.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquawBrat View Post

was that Greek?
the resort you mean?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post


On the packed powder portion of the clip, watch the second half of the turn.  You are flexing forward into the tongue of the boots which causes the fronts of the skis to overload (sink in pow), and the tails of the skis to break loose and skid away.  This also causes a breaking action of the skis which causes the body to be levered forward (over the handle bars).

There is a big difference between maintaining contact with the boot tongues by flexing only the ankle and pressing forward on the boot tongue by bending the knee forward and downward.  Both close the ankle joint, but what you are doing is levering forward and increasing the pressure applied to the tips of the skis.

What I would like to see you working on is a more neutral stance over the middle of the skis throughout the entire turn.  This involves flexing the ankle progressively through the turn independent of knee and hip flex.  Once that is mastered, you can start playing around with applying leverage in a subtle way by opening or closing the ankle (slightly) in different parts of the turn.

 


this is also what a ski buddy tells me that happens to be a ENSA trained instructor (from the only 4 greeks that ever finished ENSA)
but when I try, I feel my skis are not so stable. Maybe it is that that I am used to pressing hard forward from older days of skiing or that I have problems with my angles, not edging enough my skis?

@tdk
so I am more pressing than edging?  that could be one of the problems. I think ron agrees
Edited by TiLT - 9/2/09 at 6:25am
post #15 of 24
my .02. I think there is a little too much weight on the down hill ski. I also see the new downhill foot sliding forward to much, pull it back to and keep it centered under the hips (see Ron's comments above). It will allow the skis to come around more smoothly and help make it easier to keep the hands and upper body square. But I think you ski very well.
post #16 of 24
Ron White has a lot of good ideas in his advice TILT. Taking that a step further, I would say you are muscling a floating ski then working it when your body weight drives the skis into the snow. As you flex to absorb the excessive forces you drive the shin into the tongue of the boot during this maneuver. These videos are a great example of old school "rebound powder turns". Honestly, they are a lot of fun so hang onto them for those times you want to bounce and porpoise through the snow.  
That being said, I would try to move that strong edge and pressure management focus up into the middle of the turn. The turns can be just as short and even more dynamic but they won't have the big edge set at the end. BTW that big edge set used to be called a "check" and it is how you control your speed. It's an all or nothing type of maneuver and when you don't "land" exactly right, the body gets pitched forward.

So instead of floating through the first two thirds of a turn and then using the strong braking movement through the last third of the turn, move that strong edge /pressure work to the middle of the turn. Then during the last part of the turn work on getting the skis ten or fifteen degrees further across the hill.

Ron White suggested being less levered through the end of the turn and what I'm suggesting next is just one way to accomplish that goal. Try  opening the ankle through the first half of the new turn and reaching out to the side with your feet. This should help you load the skis at the apex. The skis will still load up and rebound but instead of thrusting you up (vertically) like is happening at the end of your present turns, they will thrust you across the hill and into the new turn.

So as crazy as it might sound, instead of hunkering down for stability and reducing your range of motion, I am actually suggest you do the opposite. Try expanding your range of movements so the skis stay in contact with the snow more. Ron LeMaster calls this moving along your "balance axis" and like a pony on a carousel, you move up and down relative to the top of the ski, (vertical to the ski tops not vertical to the Earth). This allows you to work the skis just as hard but doing so much earlier allows you to directs the rebound energy towards the new turn, not towards the sky. You might still do an occasional endo due to the inconsistencies in the snow but you'll be doing it less frequently since you aren't trying to re-establish balance halfway through every turn.
Edited by justanotherskipro - 9/2/09 at 8:25am
post #17 of 24
This may lead to analysis paralisys but here goes...

In the first part of your initial video, you appear to balk at the terrain change near the top of the pitch. Take charge of the hill and ski like it wasn't powder; ski the firm snow beneath the powder.
  • lower neutral position - don't let the hips rise in the transition, let the legs flex as you finish your turn and extend as you start your new turn; imagine your hips staying the same height above the snow at all times.
  • angulate - you are leaning into your turns (inclination); you need to let your shoulders move to the outside of the turn rather than the inside
  • face your body (visualize the shoulders) more square to the hill; in conjuction with angulation, this will give you a more powerful and balanced posistion, both laterally as well as fore and aft.

The less your upper body is going up and down and twisting left to right in relation to the fall line, the more control you will have over what your skis are doing.

The second video 'less powder but I think more agressive skiing' shows good turns at the top that illustrate that you know how to do the bulleted items above, but then you are leaning in further into the video. You swing your outside arm in front of you when you pole plant. Just take it down the hill instead of across your body. That will help with maintaining your down the hill focus.

I wish I had been there with you. Where were you skiing?

Nice snow. Nice turns, too.

MR
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Ron White has a lot of good ideas in his advice TILT. Taking that a step further, I would say you are muscling a floating ski then working it when your body weight drives the skis into the snow. As you flex to absorb the excessive forces you drive the shin into the tongue of the boot during this maneuver. These videos are a great example of old school "rebound powder turns". Honestly, they are a lot of fun so hang onto them for those times you want to bounce and porpoise through the snow.  
That being said, I would try to move that strong edge and pressure management focus up into the middle of the turn. The turns can be just as short and even more dynamic but they won't have the big edge set at the end. BTW that big edge set used to be called a "check" and it is how you control your speed. It's an all or nothing type of maneuver and when you don't "land" exactly right, the body gets pitched forward.

So instead of floating through the first two thirds of a turn and then using the strong braking movement through the last third of the turn, move that strong edge /pressure work to the middle of the turn. Then during the last part of the turn work on getting the skis ten or fifteen degrees further across the hill.

Ron White suggested being less levered through the end of the turn and what I'm suggesting next is just one way to accomplish that goal. Try  opening the ankle through the first half of the new turn and reaching out to the side with your feet. This should help you load the skis at the apex. The skis will still load up and rebound but instead of thrusting you up (vertically) like is happening at the end of your present turns, they will thrust you across the hill and into the new turn.

So as crazy as it might sound, instead of hunkering down for stability and reducing your range of motion, I am actually suggest you do the opposite. Try expanding your range of movements so the skis stay in contact with the snow more. Ron LeMaster calls this moving along your "balance axis" and like a pony on a carousel, you move up and down relative to the top of the ski, (vertical to the ski tops not vertical to the Earth). This allows you to work the skis just as hard but doing so much earlier allows you to directs the rebound energy towards the new turn, not towards the sky. You might still do an occasional endo due to the inconsistencies in the snow but you'll be doing it less frequently since you aren't trying to re-establish balance halfway through every turn.


thanks a lot jasp! I have tried a few times what you suggest and sometimes it seemed to work. Then again at times it felt awkward and I abandoned the effort, and forgot it. I should get back to it. it seems I skied so many years with bad habits so they became very natural to me

Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

This may lead to analysis paralisys but here goes...

In the first part of your initial video, you appear to balk at the terrain change near the top of the pitch. Take charge of the hill and ski like it wasn't powder; ski the firm snow beneath the powder.
  • lower neutral position - don't let the hips rise in the transition, let the legs flex as you finish your turn and extend as you start your new turn; imagine your hips staying the same height above the snow at all times.
  • angulate - you are leaning into your turns (inclination); you need to let your shoulders move to the outside of the turn rather than the inside
  • face your body (visualize the shoulders) more square to the hill; in conjuction with angulation, this will give you a more powerful and balanced posistion, both laterally as well as fore and aft.

The less your upper body is going up and down and twisting left to right in relation to the fall line, the more control you will have over what your skis are doing.

The second video 'less powder but I think more agressive skiing' shows good turns at the top that illustrate that you know how to do the bulleted items above, but then you are leaning in further into the video. You swing your outside arm in front of you when you pole plant. Just take it down the hill instead of across your body. That will help with maintaining your down the hill focus.

I wish I had been there with you. Where were you skiing?

Nice snow. Nice turns, too.

MR

 


Thanks MR for your input
First video is in monterossa italy. I really suggest this place to anyone wanting to ski in the alps. Huge off piste and sparse traffic.
Second video is in parnassos greece. I don't really suggest resort skiing in greece but the back-country is very friendly for AT
post #19 of 24
I spent a week in Cervinia a decade ago and we hired a guide for a tour. We started on the MR Glacier, then skied down to St. Jacques, took a cab to an area further down the valley, took a lift, toured up and out of the area, skied into Chamois (I believe) up another lift and one more descent. We would have skied one more lift and back to our hotel, but one of our party was pooped.

My brother and I stayed for another week with a quick trip to the Dolomites and back when we ended up staying in Gressonay. Skied MonteRossa with a sweet couple of days at Alagna.

It is an awesome place to go. It is incredible how the off-piste can be untracked for a week after a storm.

MR

Telemarking in Cervinia (this is between pistes and was untracked for a week until I arrived with my 'gang')


Hiking on the second 'up'


To ski down this:
post #20 of 24
Nice pictures MR!
Tilt,
The fact that you felt the change is good, abanding it because it felt weird wasn't as good. It should feel different! The old skis required the type of turns you did in those videos so don't think of them as "BAD". The changes in technique should be viewed as adapting our technique to the equipment of today. This new equipment doesn't require the big up and down movements to release the skis and in many cases the landing and reconnecting with the snow is more difficult because they turn so easily. Not to mention hop and pop turns put a lot of stress on the snowpack. If the snow shears, or settles underneath the ski, guess what happens? Your turn is either interrupted (like I saw in a few of the turns in the first video), or worse you do an endo because they stall. Evening out the pressure through more of the turn avoids this completely.
As far as the hand, you're using it to create more turning force whether you mean to, or not. Get rounder and hop less and I suspect it will self correct. Same goes for the shoulders. Here's why, if your shoulder or hand drops inside and back you're creating an upper body rotary momentum. Why? Could be habit but I suspect it's a function of wanting to add some additional turning force to the skis. (Muscling the turn verses letting the ski do the turn). Reining in the huge rotary is another way to think of this BTW. If you face your body where it is heading, the big angular momentum never happens and as an added benefit, you don't need the big edge set to arrest this angular momentum.  

MR is spot on about flexing as you approach the transition. If you think about it for a minute, you can't extend into the new turn like I suggested without first flexing through the finish of the last turn. Which might seem silly but so many people get hung up on extending without ever considering that you can only do that until you reach maximum extension. Same goes for flexing, at some point you run out of range of motion and you bottom out. One facilitates the other and we do both as we ski. This should also help you understand why I suggested expanding your range of motion, not adopting a lower stance and limiting your range of motion. It is important to understand that I am talking about expanding your range of motion along an axis vertical to the topskin of the ski, not vertical to the Earth, or the ski slope. Something I mentioned earlier but IMO this cannot be stressed enough. Especially when you consider the following example, My hips can get very close to the ground during a turn even though my legs are fully extended. Then as I move my hips over the skis and flex my legs my hips are actually closer to the skis but much further from the ground
 
In your case TILT, your hips are getting further away from your skis and the ground. This launches you into the air instead of into the new turn. Make sense? It's all about the timing and location of your extending and flexing movements. Extend the legs while the skis are flat to the snow and your hips will pop up vertically, extend them while still finishing a turn and your hips will pop back uphill, extend them after you establish the new edge and your hips will move inside the new turn, and finally extend the legs in the control phase (middle of the turn) and your hips move across the hill and towards the next turn. Eventually you will learn which of these moves is most appropriate for what you are trying to accomplish. USSA has a lot of coaching tips available on their Alpine Tactics CD about this very subject. Borrow a copy if you want more information, or need something that will help you fall asleep thinking about skiing...
Edited by justanotherskipro - 9/2/09 at 3:37pm
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiLT View Post

Am I to tall, overextending over my skis?
I tend to go over the bars in deep uneven snow.
I use relatively narrow skis (w:76), but I think I could ski powder better on slalom skis, when i was younger - more fit.
My impression is that I need a more flexed down position.
Any suggestions?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsPQJEHMLg8
Did not read all the posts here but I don't see you over extending but would suggest relaxing the ankles a bit at the turn completions allowing the feet to move forward a bit more so you don't get jammed and pitch forward.

These are pretty nice turns but I noticed as you get on packed snow it is more apparent you have a bit of a lateral heel push which coincidently causes you to end up with too much weight on your inside ski during the last half of your turns.  Focus on remaining balanced with the predominance of your weight over the outside ski by counterbalancing the torso over your feet as your hips move to the inside of the turn.  As you enter the turn completion and transition, relax the ankles and allow your feet to slide forward a bit as your hips crossover into the new turn.  This will eliminate getting pitch over the bars and the pop.

Good luck!

ps: I too prefer a 76mm waist in the powder!  call me silly..
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
Nice pictures MR!!!
when are you going back to Italy???

@jasp and bh
wow! lots of input!
I need some time to read and think of them (there is a language barrier also)
 
The amazing thing is that your comments are to the point and only from a few video frames. I will be coming for ski lessons at the US

Jasp, I ll try to find the CD you mention from the net. Otherwise I wont have any chance finding it here in greece

bh, I think a lateral heel push in my skiing is caused by too much weight on the inside leg (trying to establish an outside ski edge). I didn't t think you could see that in this videos though.
I prefer narrower skis because of all-round ability, but last season I skied a 100+ waist armada in the pow and it had a beautiful surfing feeling that I want to experience again.

thanks again for the responses guys
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiLT View Post

  
bh, I think a lateral heel push in my skiing is caused by too much weight on the inside leg (trying to establish an outside ski edge). I didn't t think you could see that in this videos though. 
Exactly!  you are supporting yourself on the inside leg to push the outside ski to an edge.  Instead, establish your edge grip on the outside ski by balancing on the inside edge of your outside ski and create the edge angle by moving your hips to the inside and counterbalancing with the head and torso over the outside ski.   It is good practice to lift the inside ski just slightly all the way around the turn.  The only way to accomplish this is to balance appropriately over the outside ski.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiLT View Post

Nice pictures MR!!!
when are you going back to Italy???

 

Thanks. Unfortunately no plans to be traveling anywhere for snow. I have a trip to go to New England in a couple weeks. I visit family for a few days, then go to Moosehead Lake for two weeks of sailing, sailboat camping and hiking.

MR
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