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Any chances I can beat Jessica Sobolowski in the upcoming decades? hehe

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
This was in the very beginning of a four week ski trip, on a blue/ black in Breckenridge. How bad am I? How much better can I get? Perhaps carving, less sitting, any input? After the first 30s its easier to watch. Thanks, anything you say will be helpful next winter.


post #2 of 7
Yo Rocky! Most of the sitting is a result of what happens after you turn your body to turn your skis. The next step for you is/was to tip your skis on edge before you want to turn so that they turn you instead of you turning them. Did you take any lessons after this video was made? My bet is that you've already made a lot of progress since this video. Get us a new clip early this season and you'll get a lot better advice.
post #3 of 7
Watch out Jessica! 
Along with what Rusty said, my first impression is to watch out what your inside arm/hand is doing (right arm-right turn, left arm-left turn).  Try to keep both arms in front of you where you can see both hands at all times & it will help you balance your upper body.  As your upper body gets steadier, it will allow you to take it out of the equation & ski more easily with your feet & legs.

post #4 of 7
Hi Rocky. 

Don't worry about carving quite yet.  It's an advanced edging technique that requires a broad basket of foundation skills to do safely and well.  Very few actually know how to do it,,, even of those who say they do, For the time being, your focus should be on refining your balance and edging skills.

Rusty is on target with the "turning with the body" observation.  Watch in your video how after your pole plant you drop the hand you planted with back behind you, then swing forward your other hand (the one you dropped behind you after the prior pole plant), as you go around the turn, preparing to make the next pole plant. With that swinging hand swings your shoulder, creating the body powered turn Rusty is commenting on.  

That body powered turning method is called rotation, and It's a labor intensive method of making the skis turn, that results in something called a pivot, where at the start of the turn the tails fly out to the side as the skis twist violently in the direction of the new turn.  The big start of the turn pivot is then followed by a big sideways slide of the skis through the bottom half of the turn. 

Your first step is eliminating that rotation and pivot, and learning a more refined method of turning your skis.  That method is called steering.  In high level steering, the skis are turned with a gentle manual turning of the feet, there is no pivot, there is very little skidding of the skis sideways, the track you leave in your wake is very narrow, and the shape of the turn from start to finish is very consistent (in other words, no rushing at the start). 

Begin by assuming a good athletic stance. Hips over your feet, not behind them, and shoulders over your hips, not in front of them.  Once in that stance, focus on the bottom of your feet, and try to feel equal pressure on the balls and heels all the way through your turns.  It's called being center balanced.

Then get on a very gentle slope (actually, do all of this there) and work on making long, gradual turns, being very patient to let the first half of your turn happen very slowly.  Think of it this way;  if your total turn is going to change your direction of travel 140 degrees, let the first 70 degrees happen slower than the second 70. 

No shoulder twisting or arm swinging as you make these turns, and try to keep your hips and torso at all times facing generally in the direction your skis are pointing.  If you you do that, and your skis pivot the start of your turns, you'll know it and feel it, because your hips and torso will twist downhill quickly too. 

A good drill to be sure you have the rotation issue under control is called the HANDS ON HIPS DRILL.  Leave your poles at the bottom of the lift, and ski with your hands always on your hips.  Keeping your hands there controls the arm swing, which helps control the shoulder twist, which helps eliminate the pivot.  It also lets you feel the rotational state of your hips with your hands, to be sure they're following the skis. 

A way to make sure you are, and to begin to develop a movement pattern that will lead you into higher forms of skiing later,  is to use your hands to gently drive your new inside hip forward as you begin each new turn.  By that I mean, if turning left, push your left hip slightly forward at the same time you begin the turn.  It will produce something we call counter, where your hips face slightly away from the direction you're turning, and will auto roll your skis onto their edges, so the skis can help do the bulk of the turning for you.

There are a lot more skills to learn to master this marvelous sport, but hopefully this will give you a means to jump start the process.  

post #5 of 7

There is some very positive things I see in your skiing.  The ability to move from turn to turn, overall not a bad balance point on the skis, and nice control.  The previous comments included rotating the body to turn the skis and some edging issues.  I feel your transition is some of the root of these problems.  When shifting from reverse to drive in a car, you shift through "neutral" in the process.  When transitioning from one turn to another, you are bypassing neutral instead of passing through it.  What neutral is on skis is equal weight on both skis, both skis flat on the snow, body over both skis, and both skis running straight.  This is something that releases the old turn and sets you up for the next turn.

Work on one of the neutral elements at a time between turns.  Pass through equal weight on both skis, work on getting both skis flat in the snow between turns, let your body pass over the skis between turns, and work on letting both skis run straight across the hill between turns until you can put it together as a all in one movement.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you!
Definitely when I reach significant speed I become so self-conscious that something inevitably goes wrong, hehe.. but keeping in mind, whilst not really keeping anything in mind, right - neutral, balance and ;etting the skis turn, will help so much.

I am only going to ski again in February and will print these out for the plane ride! Or I could pull my skis out of the closet and practice in the living room! 
But I definitely see it all, thanks!


post #7 of 7

Depending on where you will be skiing next February, you may want to schedule a lesson with on the the Epic instructors listed in the "ski instruction" forum.  Most work for a ski resort and can schedule through the ski school.  On snow instruction will help cement the advice given here as well as provide feed back and give a good visual image of the drills listed above.

Good Luck,

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