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More MA Video. Level 9 Adult Group. - Page 2

post #31 of 52
FYI I'm talking about how Instructor levels map to the skill set of this sport.  CSIA L2 instructor is an intermediate skier.

The public has an entirely different perception of what is an "intermediate" skier.  Basically, get on the hill for a week a year for a couple/three years and you're and intermediate.
post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

FYI - The current PSIA level breakdown is beginner, intermediate and advanced "zones".

Under the current PSIA level breakdown, would the skiers shown here be intermediate?
post #33 of 52
Not being PSIA but a good judge (in my own mind, at least), I'd say intermediate. But trying to place them from this video is like judging whether you are a good driver by observing how you drive in a white out on a strange highway.

MR
post #34 of 52
Wellllll.....using the PSIA definitions
Beginner=The skier is .... Unfamiliar with skiing, only comfortable on green terrain, mastering green terrain and venturing onto easy blue runs
Intermediate=The skier is .... Skiing parallel on most runs, able to link turns on gren or blue terrain, mastering blue terrain and venturing onto easy moguls and easy black runs
Advanced= The skier is ... Linking turns on steeper terrain, Able to handle all blue and black terrain, Venturing into big moguls and double black diamond terrain, competent in most snow conditions

Toilet bowl is a double black? Eh, let's go with linking turns on steeper terrain and leave them at the low end of advanced.
post #35 of 52
As long as their learning environment is on that terrain they'll do more damage to their skiing than good.  They need to get down on the groomers and learn some balance and edging skills. 
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

Wellllll.....using the PSIA definitions
Beginner=The skier is .... Unfamiliar with skiing, only comfortable on green terrain, mastering green terrain and venturing onto easy blue runs
Intermediate=The skier is .... Skiing parallel on most runs, able to link turns on gren or blue terrain, mastering blue terrain and venturing onto easy moguls and easy black runs
Advanced= The skier is ... Linking turns on steeper terrain, Able to handle all blue and black terrain, Venturing into big moguls and double black diamond terrain, competent in most snow conditions

Toilet bowl is a double black? Eh, let's go with linking turns on steeper terrain and leave them at the low end of advanced.

See my rant above.  Linking turns?  Since when are linked recoveries the same thing as linked turns?  The reality is that this is horrible skiing.  It is ugly, inefficient, and there is absolutely nothing that can be done with it.  It has nothing in common with what good skiing--the kind that most of us aspire to--actually looks like.  Calling these guys advanced does everyone a disservice.  By all means use the PSIA definitions, but make them mean something.  Parallel skiing is not skidded turns with gross body movements.  Aggression is not a substitute for skill.  Advanced skiers should look like experts on intermediate terrain; they have the fundamentals and are learning to apply them in more difficult terrain.  Intermediate skiers should look very good on green terrain and are completing their mastery of fundamentals on blue (and easy black) groomed terrain.
Edited by geoffda - 9/5/09 at 4:44pm
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

Wellllll.....using the PSIA definitions

It may be splitting hairs & this thread isn't really about levels, but I could easily call these guys intermediate zone skiers using the definitions above.  On the other hand I'm sure these guys would consider themselves advanced skiers.
Quote:
Advanced skiers should look like experts on intermediate terrain;

Geoffda,  I agree with a lot of what you are saying in this thread.  Many skiers on vacation at a big mountain consider skiing more of an adventure than a quest for the perfect turn.  There are many reasons people take lessons, a good instructor is one who can determine their motivation & balance a fine line of safety, learning, challenge & fun.

I would agree these guys are on the fine line of all of those things.  It is up to the instructor to reel them in & make it a better experience.  I think that is the point of this thread.  How do you do that?

JF
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post


It may be splitting hairs & this thread isn't really about levels, but I could easily call these guys intermediate zone skiers using the definitions above.  On the other hand I'm sure these guys would consider themselves advanced skiers.

Geoffda,  I agree with a lot of what you are saying in this thread.  Many skiers on vacation at a big mountain consider skiing more of an adventure than a quest for the perfect turn.  There are many reasons people take lessons, a good instructor is one who can determine their motivation & balance a fine line of safety, learning, challenge & fun.

I would agree these guys are on the fine line of all of those things.  It is up to the instructor to reel them in & make it a better experience.  I think that is the point of this thread.  How do you do that?

JF

 


Absolutely.  I totally agree that there are probably clients out there that are just interested in skiing.  Like I've said though, I think in some cases there is a tendency among instructors to just make that assumption without really digging a bit to see if its true.  It is heartening to see on this thread that not everyone does that.  Personally, I think it is very difficult for anyone seriously interested in really learning how to ski to walk in off the street at your average resort and get the kind of instruction they are really looking for. 

I also think that not every instructor has high enough standards when it comes to the definitions of beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert.  As a consequence, they aren't "waiting" for the opportunity to really help the student should the opportunity arise.  I liked the story you told about your guided clients; you saw what the real deal was and were able to take advantage with the teaching opportunity when it arose.  I'm not sure that is typical (at least it hasn't been for me) my instructors have never bothered.

post #39 of 52
I don't think those skiers are as bad as some of you are saying.  I don't see them as level 9 as level 9 is defined.  We don't use the scale that way at JH.  As nerd said they were the best that showed up that day.  They are probably by definition 7 or 8.  I say that because that is a steep slope.  It is a double black and it has big bumps, sometimes with exposed rocks between them.  The visibility doesn't look that good to me.  A few inches of powder over what?  Sure these guys have plenty to work on and some skied better than others.  I would say at that moment they were "over terrain-ed"  Was it a bad terrain choice for them?  I think it depends on what run it was for them.  Was it the first or the fifth, and what warm ups/ drills/ instruction was going on previous to the shooting.  They were inside and back on TB, how did they ski on The Grand, or Amphitheater.  It depends on a lot of things.  I think these 4 guys are a pretty good fit with each other.  I would be working on turn shape like I do with every student.  These guys could learn to absorb terrain better and maybe be tricked into doing some retraction turns at the same time.  I'm always trying to get my students to project their CM laterally over the skis and down the hill.  I like long leg short leg for simplicity.  If they are nerds maybe the parallel planes of existence would be good.  Although I think that offers too much opportunity for the students to try and "look" at themselves instead of where they are going.  In that vein...  These guys are shopping their turns big time.  Try and get them to ski with some rhythm and ignore the bumps.  Ski the mountain, don't let the mountain ski you.  They would probably need to ski something easier to do this, maybe Surveyors or Grand Woods.  I've always liked pivot slips as a skill blending drill that is applicable to bumps and mixed condition skiing.  Most students have trouble with it and dislike doing it though.  I won't say that I've never had students who skied like that on that slope.  I probably wouldn't take them back there for another run with out some sort of improvement though.  Sometimes it is good to take a group of students a bit past their comfort level (if they can handle it mentally).  It really makes the blues seem easier.  It also gives the student a chance to "see" real improvement when you take them back later and they can ski it better. 
post #40 of 52
Quote:
This is what kills me about typical resort instruction.  So many instructors will never just tell it to you like it is (and I'm not trying to suggest that you are one of them Nerd, I'm just ranting )so you never end up getting the information that will really help you become a good skier.  I used to ski like those guys (well maybe number 3) and no instructor would ever level with me and let me know that I was never going to become the skier I wanted to be with the movements I had.  Finally, I started reading and asking the right questions (why are all my racer friends great and why do I suck?) and I've at least got myself on the road to being a good skier.  But I've always been ticked off that I had to do that myself (and it cost me a great many years of mediocre skiing in the process).  In truth, the frustration of not knowing how to to get better and not knowing what the best skiers were doing to ski like they do nearly drove me from the sport.

This was the same for me.   I'm not an instructor like most of you but I AM a skier who realized about 5 years ago (after a long absence from the sport) that I sucked.  I was fine by gaper standards but I knew something was fundamentally wrong with my skiing and I simply had no clue how to fix it.  It took going to a number of ski camps where--with great coaching--I completely broke down and rebuilt my technique.  I did spent a lot of time on groomers really learning how to carve and have a strong ski neutral position with my hips forward and my weight really balanced over my skis.  I'm still working hard to become a good skier but it took someone finally showing me how limited I would be by my old habits and helping me break through.  I took many lessons prior and I felt like I never got anything from them other than "keep your weight forward".  The skiers in this video used to be me...they are surviving.  I'm still only a decent skier but it is a nice reminder to me of the difference between skiing and surviving.  
 
post #41 of 52
I'm a student, not an instructor.  A couple of things stand out to me.  First, show them the video right away.  I was shocked and motivated the first time I saw video of myself.

Second, you don't have to take them "back" to an easier slope to work on basics.  They are one pretty much once after they get to the camera.  (Not a green, but a reasonable blue or very easy black if my memory serves.)  Treat it as a learning venue, rather than as a runout to get past as soon as possible.

I think you've got to let them ski what they came to JH for.  But its not an either/or.  Plus,  I think a variety of challenge levels is good for learning -- a little bit of too hard is a good thing. 
post #42 of 52
 I never tell anyone to "keep their weight forward".  That was a problem I had with my own skiing.  I figured out to keep my weight forward and got very static.  The deal is to move your mass forward through the initiation of the turn.  At some point it becomes obvious that to move forward you have to start from neutral and return to neutral.  Notice I avoided saying move backwards?  Balance first.  On steep terrian like TB if you make the lateral move cross the ski, you will change edge and the ski will turn by design.  I think it starts with the feet and the CM.  The upper body stays pretty quiet and provides a foundation to turn against.  Keep your body facing towards the apex of the next turn and your doing it.  I like to keep it simple.  I can go into "The Swamp" with the best of them, but simple works better for most students.  I also try and discourage that critical voice that a lot of people seem to talk to themselves with when they ski.  I can't think fast enough to run a diolouge and ski.  I learn movements and use my insect brain to respond to stimulus.  I like to ski steep tight trees.  Sorry for the hijack.  I really think a lot people, students, and instructors overthink/complicate skiing.
post #43 of 52
I hear you TetonPowjunkie.  Like you said, its about keeping COM of mass evenly balanced over your skis.  For me, the lightbulb went off when the discuss turned to hips and hip position over the skis.  I began to understand how keeping the tips forward, squared down the fall line, and slightly up as well as shoulders square to the fall line would help to really drive the skis through the turn.  Getting out over my downhill ski was also important.  Finally looking DOWN the mountain rather than at my feet....it seems so simple but it really improved my posture and kept me in a strong neutral position to react to anything I might encounter.  I agree with you that the elegance is in the simplicity...a few simple principles applied consistently is what led to my breakthrough on skis.  
post #44 of 52
Interesting read, I agree with Teton that the camera work doesn't convey the true steepness of Toilet Bowl. It's a function of the point and shoot style chosen by the cameraman. Nerd, try filling the frame with the skiers a lot more. At present they don't fill more than a slight amount of the frame. Go for at least twenty percent of the total frame. That will eliminate a lot of the perspective problems we see here. It also would convey the size of the moguls to shoot from a lower camera angle (don't shoot from eye level) and a camera placement directly below the skiers. So while composition issues certainly are not the main focus here, it should be pointed out that how we choose to shoot a scene has a profound effect on what the audience sees. In effect, the camera is the first editting tool because it cannot capture everything a person sees with their eyes. Nor can it capture things in three dimensions and the depth of a shot is implied rather than actual. One of the first rules of cinematography is that we choose what to show the audience and what we choose greatly influences their opinions. This can be seen in all the comments about Toilet Bowl being an easy run and the skiers being intermediates at best. But enough about the camera work...

Everyone has addressed the movement errors in detail but I want to add another set of ideas here. The similar tactical choice to do "hop and land short radius turns" is the first thing I noticed. Was that one of the tasks Nerd, or did the first skier choose that and the rest just follow suit? The next thing I noticed is everyone having trouble with the landings and establishing a good platform. Some of this can be attributed to the variable snow and uneven terrain but mechanically they seem to lack flexion as they land. So they're getting bounced around instead of landing softly enough to facilitate re-establishing a centered stance and good balance. This further complicates things because they can never create rhythmic turns and linkage as long as they are searching for balance. Geoffda describes this as linked recoveries. I agree with the recoveries part but I'm still looking for the linkage between turns. Too much traversing and shopping to call these linked turns IMO. Why? Well IMO it goes right back to their tactical choice to do hop turns and their inability to understand how important it is to land softly when doing this maneuver. Should they switch maneuvers and go for a rounder, more "on the snow" turn type? Perhaps. I know I probably would, considering the variable conditions. Like others have mentioned Retraction / reaching short radius turns would be my alternate tactical choice. That being said, it would be interesting to read how others would help them refine and improve their hop turns if they insist on using that tactic. The idea of moving into the new turn is one that has been mentioned. How about addressing offensive / defensive intent? Would they actually allow their body to leap downhill more? Would they allow it to move with the skis more? How much does their fear inhibit either of these outcomes? IMO (again just my opinion) until they commit mentally to moving their body towards the new turn (not uphill or vertically) not much will change.  
Edited by justanotherskipro - 9/9/09 at 8:23am
post #45 of 52
 I liked what locknload said...  I would mildly disagree with keeping the shoulders squared to the fall line.  I think that this can lead to excessive counter and excessive counter locks you into a position.  Some people aren't even flexible enough to assume this position.  Shoulder square to the fall line is great for short turns or zipper line skiing as it helps bring the skis around under the body faster.  I like shoulders square to the apex of the next turn.  I like the mid radios "worker turn" as I ski all day long on a big mountain and am always looking to be more efficient so I don't get completely tired.  This is really true over Christmas rush where I have to ski all day long every day for 14-18 days.  Most of the students that come through my classes are middle aged like me and are grateful for help with being able to ski longer.  I couldn't ski a top to bottom Hoback run if I made every turn short and aggressive like I might on a slalom race course.

When I was younger I skied stuff like TB with a really aggressive Hop & Chop technique on big skis.  As I got into my 40s I found I couldn't do it like that all day any more.  I agree with justanotherskipro that this group would immediately ski better if they absorbed the terrain better.  Absorption and retraction go hand in hand in mind.  Usually I will trick students into turning on retraction during absorption excesses.  
post #46 of 52

Hop and chop, hard edge sets and big rebound. Alta chutes and the tower three chutes come to mind as past experiences where that move worked extremely well. Especialy in the narrows. Then again I was on AA race stock slalom skis and loading them that strongly left few other options. I noticed Nerd didn't share what those guys were riding. That could be another factor in their choice of turn types.

In many ways it appears the guys are trying to do a zipper line style turn but all the balancing adjustments delay their ability to get on and off the edges crisply. I see the use of the big whole body rotary push off move (RPM) adding to their problems because they have to arrest that rotory momentum while simultaneously trying to land and re-establish balance and edge purchase. If you could get them to throttle back on the DIRT of the RPM and keep their chest facing where the body wants to go (no whole body rotary), their hop turns would improve. It would also facilitate a more usable range of motion in their flexion / extension movements. I suspect on lesser terrain they can stay balanced fairly well but when faced with challenging terrain they over do everything except the absorbing more as they land idea. It's the old "if some is good, more has to be better" approach. Toning down the big rotary moves and working on softer landings would bring discipline to their movements and open up the opportunity to discuss retraction turns and flexing a lot more through the last half of the turn. Both are perfect examples of refinement leading to a different tactical approaches like Teton and others have suggested. It also opens up the opportunity to discuss allowing the skis to turn instead of forcing them to turn (muscling their turns).

post #47 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

In terms of what you would do from there, I think I'd look at med. radius turns ion the bumps. I'd be starting with trying to get them absorbing and anticipating the bumps in a traverse while standing strong on the outside ski.
 

I agree (presumptious of me to agree with one of the most skilled instructors here - I like to think I can at least pick good ones to agree with). Since they're shopping for turns anyway, use what they're doing and build on it to make the turns smoother and easier. This strategy would also give them a chance to work on balance issues without attempting to ski close to the fall line. If they actually stand better on easier terrain, the improved stance might have a chance to reappear. If it doesn't appear spontaneously, exaggerated absorption/retraction and working on different methods of catching up to the skis over the tops of bumps (and keeping up with them on the way down the other side) may result in improved stance while increasing flexibility and "softness."

This, with medium radius rather than short turns, also allows them to move forward rather than laterally into the new turn, when they make one, again helping their stance through the turn, avoiding gross upper body rotation, and allowing the turn to happen more easily because of the improved stance. Moving forward to initiate a turn after a traverse may also be less intimidating than attempting a lateral move straight down the hill. A less intimating tactic may help the stance.

With proper terrain selection, even if it's lumpy, we should be able to make some progress in moderating the attempts to turn as quickly as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

In many ways it appears the guys are trying to do a zipper line style turn but all the balancing adjustments delay their ability to get on and off the edges crisply. I see the use of the big whole body rotary push off move (RPM) adding to their problems because they have to arrest that rotory momentum while simultaneously trying to land and re-establish balance and edge purchase. If you could get them to throttle back on the DIRT of the RPM and keep their chest facing where the body wants to go (no whole body rotary), their hop turns would improve. It would also facilitate a more usable range of motion in their flexion / extension movements. I suspect on lesser terrain they can stay balanced fairly well but when faced with challenging terrain they over do everything except the absorbing more as they land idea. It's the old "if some is good, more has to be better" approach. Toning down the big rotary moves and working on softer landings would bring discipline to their movements and open up the opportunity to discuss retraction turns and flexing a lot more through the last half of the turn. Both are perfect examples of refinement leading to a different tactical approaches like Teton and others have suggested. It also opens up the opportunity to discuss allowing the skis to turn instead of forcing them to turn (muscling their turns).


If they insist on doing hop turns, I might suggest a hop edge change, with the direction change happening after the skis are back on the snow on their new edges. Again, stance and balance become a big issue. Gross rotary moves are verboten. Although groomed terrain is recommended for this, at least initially, most skiers will find effective performance of the move more challenging than they might expect. Furthermore, getting the skis off the snow can be done with a strong up move, as the skiers in the video are doing, or with a strong retraction, which is often more effective in crud or deep, soft snow. They could spend some time trying both, exploring the differences, and attempting to remove the rotary from the aerial portion of either one. Landing accurately will result in a nearly automatic turn without muscling once the skis are re-engaged with the snow. They can experience the strengths and weaknesses of both extension and retraction.

As others have mentioned, we could also investigate the application of the pivot slip in the bumps, even with considerable soft snow present, as shown in the video. Of course, this requires that the snow actually be soft and moveable, rather than heavy, wet crud. (But then, JH never gets heavy, wet crud, right? ) Explore the spectrum of edging, particularly the end of the spectrum that allows the pivot slip to occur. Apply it on a blue groomer. Apply it over and around bumps. Realize that accurate control of edging and balance make it so that a pivot slip can be executed with no unweighting at all. Some active twist is required, but less than might be expected. And twisting the shoulders doesn't help. No hop turns. No gasping middle-aged students (or gasping, middle-aged instructors...). No unweighting or very disciplined unweighting also yields much greater control of both speed and direction from the very top of the turn.

We explore spectrums of movements, as in all skiing. Up-unweighting, down-unweighting, no unweighting. Medium radius, short radius. Some places the feet might lead, some places they don't. A lot of edging, very little edging. Long duration, short duration, high intensity, low intensity. You get the idea.

Now, many thousands of bumps later, our feet are under us more of the time, we can allow a bit longer turn radius if we want, we absorb the bumps so we don't get bounced around, and if we really want to do very short radius turns, we can do it straight down the fall line without popping up on every turn...but if we want to, we can pop off a bump, stick the landing, and smear or arc the next one, as we wish. (Yeah, right. I wish. I've been doing this a  while, and I'm still not satisfied.)


"It's a magical world, Hobbes ol' buddy...let's go exploring." - Calvin (Bill Watterson)
post #48 of 52
 jhcooley....  I really like that.  Lots of good lesson ideas working with what they have going for them.  I think if I was up your way, I would like to ski with you.
post #49 of 52
Thread Starter 
I've caught a couple direct questions to address.  JASP, no, there was no task. What I told them was to ski the way they ski and let's get it on video.  Good ideas about improving my video skills, as well.  As far as what they were skiing on.....they were one group, one day, during a busy season and I really can't remember, sorry.

-nerd
post #50 of 52
Nerd,
So here's a thought, If they came to me wanting to improve their hop turns, I would help them clean up those turns before suggesting a different approach. I would set up the following tasks to accomplish both.
  • On a smooth black run, I would perform fifty hop turns making sure all of my turns are of the same size, shape and do not involve the whole body rotary (Use counter rotary instead). This establishes the maximum length for the exercise. At that point I'd stop and have them do the same. If they rely on the big whole body rotary they're probably not going to be able to fit fifty turns in that distance. If they lean into the hill their momentum will stall.  If they speed up with every turn (due to the lack of absorbtion and turn finish) their turn size will get bigger as they speed up and again they won't get fifty turns done in the prescribed length of the exercise.
  • Do an additional fifty turns with much the same tactical maneuver but without actually allowing the skis to leave the snow. I would also ask them to concentrate on what they need to change to accomplish this. (Requires much more flexing / and extending of the lower body, active leg steering / more upper body discipline, and a commitment to move the body into the new turn through the transition).
  • Then I'd move to some bumps using both tactics. In the maintain more ski / snow contact part of this activity, I would probably also add the idea of skiing in a tunnel and not hitting my head. Mostly to help them discover where to extend and where to flex. (I'd show and tell them but IMO nothing cements this idea like having to actually do the move)

So even though I started out cleaning up the mechanics of their hop turns, I introduced another tactical option in the process (more ski snow contact to promote greater RoM). Then by applying both in some real world situations where they can compare the two tactics, I'm confident their hop and chop style will become a distant second choice but even if it doesn't at least they will have it as a second choice.
post #51 of 52
3 of these skiers are afraid of this terrain, and probably for good reason since they all looked lucky to escape the header the last guy took. How steep is that run (in guesstimates)?

Just showing them this video probably did wonders for their skiing.
post #52 of 52
I think everyone agrees that fear is a factor in their tactical choices. Which brings up the idea of matching our turns to the line we want to ski. This might be a little off subject but Nerd I hope it's relative enough to be part of this discussion.
I mentioned earlier their tactical (line) choice suggests they are seeking a more direct "down the hill" line. Which suggests an offensive line choice that I see as offensive intent. However, their turn choice (braking hop turns), and the mechanics they use (no movement of the body downhill, or towards the new turn), seem to suggest a defensive intent in their turn choice. It's this incongruency that I would like to discuss if that o.k. Nerd.
Slow line fast has been offered as an alternate line choice along with a more offensive turn choice like retraction turns. Which makes a lot of sense but a less aggressive line choice isn't going to be easy to sell to these guys right away. They demonstrstrate a pre-conceived idea about line and turn types. This should explain why I suggested maintaining their basic line choice and developing more offensive movements in their hop turns. IMO the limitations of the incongruent line and turn choices mean they are working at crossed purposes. By making better conscious choices about both line and turn type they will see their skiing improve dramatically.
As a side note I would like to share the idea that I am seeing this through the filter of Weem's sports diamond and the polarity of offensive and defensive intent. The tension between these two poles being the basis for seeking more congruent tactical choices. The reality of the situation is that for most skiers this offensive/ defensive intent issue isn't an all of nothing choice. Maybe a slightly less agressive line and a more aggressive turn choice produces a more offensive outcome and more closely matches a slighly different overall objective. Maybe a more aggressive turn is more congruent with their current line choice .This obviously would produce a much more aggressive outcome. By understanding how intent influences both our short term and long term goals we can match our tactics better to produce a much higher level of performance.     
Edited by justanotherskipro - 9/16/09 at 7:10am
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