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I want to ski like Charlie!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have learned so much from Charlie MacArthur and find myself picturing his skiing when I think about how I want to ski. In looking up some video on YouTube today, I found this one that helps me understand where a lot of his skills were developed:


In the event you haven't seen him ski, you can find him in Weems' Brilliant Skiing every day video (along with other skiers definitely worth emulating!)... If you're wondering who I mean (or if you're unclear what the Sports Diamond is!), check him out in Weems' video here at 0:00, 1:51, and 2:16:

or even at 0:29 here (perhaps an even better view):

Yep... I've got some more targets for this season!
post #2 of 12
Hey Steve,
Snappy turns from Charlie. You mentioned wanting to ski like him but I am curious how you view your skiing compared to his? What do you feel you do similarly and perhaps more importantly what do you feel you do differently?

What is your plan and primary focus?
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

Hey Steve,
Snappy turns from Charlie. You mentioned wanting to ski like him but I am curious how you view your skiing compared to his? What do you feel you do similarly and perhaps more importantly what do you feel you do differently?

What is your plan and primary focus?
 I want to smell and taste the turns... 

What a great set of questions, JASP! Thanks for the focus.

I love Charlie's natural smoothness, and the apparently effortless way that he creates his exceptional angles, moving fluidly from turn to turn. I really like the extreme angles he creates when he's arcing (with his inside hand nearly brushing the snow even though it's in a perfectly balanced position).

I tend to hold me feet under me, even when I feel like I've let them get "way out there." I also tend to hang on to a position too long, I think, and I'd like to be more natural, more mobile, and more fluid.

Right now, my plan is to play with my balance and stance early in the year, learning to get more comfortable with movement during the turn and with allowing my feet more freedom. That said, although I'm scouring various materials that I have, I'm looking for ways that others have found to improve these skills...

Did I describe it well? Any thoughts as a result of this response?
post #4 of 12

I also love how Charlie moves into the turn and gets his TORSO into the turn so easily. The video doesn't show this as much as he does in the clinics he used to do for S3. I noticed you say this as getting the feet out from under the body. In comaparison to other skiers at his level (all the demo teamers in Aspen) he seems to move his body into the turn a bit more and doesn't maintain the vertical zipper as much as a consequence. To me this suggests the feet moving out to the side is only part of how he develops the inclined stances he uses. The hips also move out to the side more as he reaches out with more than just his legs. I'm not sure if the video really shows that though.

To me the key is related to thinking of the whole body participating in the balancing activities as he extends the RoM beyond what he could do with just the legs. Karen Lyons and I used to work together in clinics and I loved how she once described our searching for more RoM as doing so until you end up falling over. The idea being that the more you practice this the further you can actually move before falling over. It's still something I'm working on as well  but due to the risk of injury, you need to decide for yourself if it's worth all the falls to get so far inside.
Obviously, once expanded the idea isn't to alway get that far over but the hesitation to move into the turn certainly dissappears.

post #5 of 12
Now this some good shit Steve. I like the enthusasim and ideas that Weems is showing in this video. Good skiing, good bump skiing.

I think we need to ski some bumps together this year.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

I also love how Charlie moves into the turn and gets his TORSO into the turn so easily. The video doesn't show this as much as he does in the clinics he used to do for S3. I noticed you say this as getting the feet out from under the body. In comaparison to other skiers at his level (all the demo teamers in Aspen) he seems to move his body into the turn a bit more and doesn't maintain the vertical zipper as much as a consequence. To me this suggests the feet moving out to the side is only part of how he develops the inclined stances he uses. The hips also move out to the side more as he reaches out with more than just his legs. I'm not sure if the video really shows that though.

To me the key is related to thinking of the whole body participating in the balancing activities as he extends the RoM beyond what he could do with just the legs. Karen Lyons and I used to work together in clinics and I loved how she once described our searching for more RoM as doing so until you end up falling over. The idea being that the more you practice this the further you can actually move before falling over. It's still something I'm working on as well  but due to the risk of injury, you need to decide for yourself if it's worth all the falls to get so far inside.
Obviously, once expanded the idea isn't to alway get that far over but the hesitation to move into the turn certainly dissappears.

You're right about that with Charlie. I call it "commitment". It's committing everything to the turn. Kinda a "Will" thing. 

Tell me more about what you and Karen did to experience this? And I'm not sure I am translating RoM at the moment...?
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post

Now this some good shit Steve. I like the enthusasim and ideas that Weems is showing in this video. Good skiing, good bump skiing.

I think we need to ski some bumps together this year.
I really love Charlie's playfulness. These clips don't do him or his approach justice. Or his skiing for that matter (as JASP notes). I really appreciate Charlie and his skiing as a whole, and that's why I included that C4 clip. If you watch that you'll really learn a bit about him...

Yes, let's find some fun bumps to ski this year... 

I picked up my employee pass at Copper today... snow on the slopes and more on the peaks. It was beautiful up there today, and I even got to grab a coffee with cgeib... while I saw both mikem and Bruce at Copper...
post #8 of 12
Snow on the ground here too Steve. I'm jonesing for some big mountain skiing though. I'll be in Colorado the first week of december. Will hit a few areas but only have a couple days.

I really like the concept of Weems Diamond theory. These clips show enthuasim and fun and in my way of thinking, that's what this whole ball of wax should be. Since i've quit patrolling my skiing has always been about fun.

Josh put some video and pics of me skiing the woods at Holimont last January. Watch them for content and look for mistakes in my positioning. There are also some pics I put up from Crystal this April. Look at those, see what you see. Ya, there's faults and excuses, sloppy conditions, too warm, etc. Maybe i ski with the Diamond concept, maybe parts of it, all of the time, some of the time. after 54 years on skis, some things are hard to change. But what works for me, works for me. And I'll never compromise the one thing consistant in every picture of me posted here of me skiing.

The smile on my face.
post #9 of 12
Steve, The Range of Motion (RoM) needed to drag the inside hand without dropping the hand down towards the snow, or bending at the waist, is one of the drills we did. If I had to describe it in instructor speak I'd call it extreme Inclination with as little angulation possible. (Some occurs as you keep the inside leg /hip out of the way but one of the keys is to avoid hip angulation as much as possible).  It's actually easy late in the turn but trying to get there at the apex makes the activity a lot more challenging.

I found the challenge at first tends to be allowing your body to get that inclined and this is usually when I would end up laying down on the snow. Mostly because when I moved there too quickly, the only option at that point was to lay it out and take the fall. Although with experience and practice I found myself getting so much further inclined than I thought possible. An image that I used was actually of a snowboarder arcing at high speed with their body parallel to the ground. We obviously can't get that far inclined since the inside half of our body is in the way but that image works well as a reminder that I'm trying to get horizontal, or said another way, as far from vertical as possible.

Another image and idea I got from Tony Sears was when we were running stubbies (SL) last spring. He suggested instead of shinning the little stubby gates we try to let our feet move so far away from our body that we end up shouldering them. In his case he tries to get so far over that the gates actually hit him in the chest. As Tony and Bob can tell you I have a very long way to go before I can do that in the gates. So while I mention the idea I also want to point out that I cannot do this yet. It's one of my areas of focus though.  

What I've found is the result of all of these ultra-inclined turns is there simply isn't room for any hesitation when moving the body into a turn as much as needed. It also eliminates the undisciplined and unrefined movemetn of the whole body into the new turn that causes the falling to the inside and laying out. The one bit of advice I would strongly suggest is that this really isn't an early season drill since our balancing skills are not what they will be later in the season.
Edited by justanotherskipro - 10/17/09 at 7:40am
post #10 of 12
 Charlie you are unbelievable!!

Anyone who has SUPed in the ocean can relate to just how much balance and skill it would take to get through the white water you navigate!  UNREAL skill!

I hate that guy!

Can't wait to play with him again...
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks, JASP... I get it. And it's into my plan for the year... perhaps you can show me yourself...
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post

Snow on the ground here too Steve. I'm jonesing for some big mountain skiing though. I'll be in Colorado the first week of december. Will hit a few areas but only have a couple days.

I really like the concept of Weems Diamond theory. These clips show enthuasim and fun and in my way of thinking, that's what this whole ball of wax should be. Since i've quit patrolling my skiing has always been about fun.

Josh put some video and pics of me skiing the woods at Holimont last January. Watch them for content and look for mistakes in my positioning. There are also some pics I put up from Crystal this April. Look at those, see what you see. Ya, there's faults and excuses, sloppy conditions, too warm, etc. Maybe i ski with the Diamond concept, maybe parts of it, all of the time, some of the time. after 54 years on skis, some things are hard to change. But what works for me, works for me. And I'll never compromise the one thing consistant in every picture of me posted here of me skiing.

The smile on my face.
The Diamond is a really cool concept, and the pros in Weems' video personify what you're talking about. Charlie's Charlie Chaplin move punctuates each section, and so much of the discussion is multilayered with a nice mix of tongue-in-cheek. The smile. It's one of the reasons I count myself blessed to have met so many of you...
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