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Best approach for improving my skiing - Page 3

post #61 of 73
 And sticking with the "infinite" concept, one of my favorite philosophical things....

You may be at one level of skiing.
I may be at another level of skiing.
crudmeister may be at yet another level.
Bode Miller is even at a higher level of skiing.

We're all the same distance from infinity.
post #62 of 73
As long as we are getting philosophical about skiing, I have always liked the Buddhist analogy.  The 'dharma" (teachings) are like a raft, and can only take you so far.  When you get to the other side of the river you do not continue and carry the raft on your back, or you will never reach enlightenment.  I have always viewed technique the same way.  It is a necessary tool to get you to a certain point, but then you need to abandon it and shift your focus to the feel of your skis, boots and the snow, or you will never become a crudmeister.
post #63 of 73
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

 Bode Miller is even at a higher level of skiing.

We're all the same distance from infinity.

Nov 2, 2009


It may be true about "equal distance" from infinity, but the discouraging thing is that Bode is much closer to the limiting asymptote of the human skier than any of us.

Think snow,

post #64 of 73
 Good stuff mudfoot - and in a similar vein, here's a quote from another CharlieP - Charlie Parker 

"First, master your instrument.
Then forget all that &%$#$ and play!"

(I find nothing discouraging btw about Bode's skill though!)
post #65 of 73
SMJ: That Charle Parker quote reminds me of my favorite Zen koan, "If you see Buddah on the road, kill him."  The final breakthrough to really masterful skiing is not going to come from an instructor, it has to come from within.  As you are obviously aware, once you have the basics, the snow can teach you everything you need to know, if you just shut up and listen.
post #66 of 73
I am sure you are all correct in your assessment and hopefully this week long instruction will be beneficial.  I think most of the problem with my lesson at Steamboat was that I was limited on time....then again the other 3 skiers I was with had my same opinion as far as how the lesson was limited to just technique.  Had the instructor explained why we were not branching out to varied terrain I am sure our opinions would have been different.

Expectation management was the likely problem.
post #67 of 73
 mudfoot, we think somewhat alike, someday I hope to make some turns with you!

I will say though that an instructor (or coach) can help with attaining mastery.  One with great MA skills - a great eye.

I know I have benefited from this and will again.  

For example last year Tom Burch explained being centered on my foot to me in a way I'd never considered, and which allowed me to find that center.  He stressed not being levered on the ball of the foot, that having pressure on the heel was fine as long as there was also pressure on the shin/cuff.  The back of the arch is the center of the leg.

Tongue/Heel contact.  Pressing down on your toes is bad.  Heel?!

For years I was trying to "stay forward" and was on my toes, thus being stuck out of balance.  Tom's coaching helped me to find my balance.  Allowed me to find my balance by telling me it was OK to even feel heel pressure.

So I say don't underestimate the value of coaching.


post #68 of 73
SMJ:  I don't dispute the value of good instruction to lead you to the cliff, but you are the one who has to jump off, and the better skier you become the fewer instructors that are who seem to know where the right cliff is.  I have been skiing a lifetime, have had very little instruction of any kind, and have seen the blind leading the blind a little to often, so my natural inclination is not towards more instruction.  A truly good instructor is a marvel to be cherished, because they are few and far between from my experience, but then I haven't really been looking.

I always harp on staying forward because that is the most common mistake I see, but your comment about simultaneous heel/tongue pressure was a good one.  When things are going well I feel like I am simply "standing" flat footed on the ski, and I enjoy using the entire ski and tend to rock back on my heels to finish a turn when the situation allows, which is why I hate skis with stiff tails, and set my boots up with a lot of forward lean.  I think a lot of good skiers ski forward on their skis too much of the time, but they have no choice because stiff tails don't let them do much else.  I have always said that a long soft tail ski gives you two chances at every turn, if you miss the one on the front, you can rear back and turn off the tail.  Probably not a PSIA approved technique, but I like to keep my options open.

I too hope our skis cross paths some day.  I'm sure you could teach me a thing or two.  When you stop leaning new tricks, you're nothing but an old dog.
post #69 of 73


Dynamic skiing means balance points change depending upon where you are in the turn, right?  Mudfoot is right about almost everyone skking too far back, particularly when it gets slippery.  I also think most skiers haver never been in balance, either because of lack of knowledge or poor fitting boots (too little or too much heel lift, etc.).  And let's not even get into canting. 

My wife had problems with fore/aft balance years ago when she skied steeper slopes.  I asked her to start her turns with her big toe, a suggestion a racing coach gave me in the 60's when I was a little kid.  It worked.  Immediately she started to turn with her shins pressuring the front of the boot.  Another suggestion is putting on your skis in the house and placing a pillow beneath the ski tips.  You should be able "feel" a balanced and unbalanced position by pressuring the pillow.  And that is cheaper than a $400 lesson.

post #70 of 73

I agree with all you say except the stiff tail stuff, but maybe we are talking about the same thing in a dfferent way.  The relatively softer tip and stiffer tail came about with the Dynamic VR17 and Rossi Stratos back in the lacte 1960's.  The idea was (and is) that you can end a carved turn without washing out the tails (you can slide anything).  Then guys like Patrick Russel and Killy took it to a new level.  It amazes me how much the modern SL skiers pressure the tails at the end of their turns, but I guess that is a natural function of using the shorter modern SL ski (165cm or whatever).  Bode must have a few extra layers of titinal in his SL skis to keep them from washing out.  I believe relatively stiffer tails don't suck, unless you ski moguls every day.
post #71 of 73

I think we are talking apples and oranges. Killy and the VR17 ushered in the era of Jetsticks, which IMO was not a high point of recreational skiing.  Racers want to accelerate out of every turn, which is exactly the opposite of what a recreational ski wants to do 90% of the time. Unfortunately, up until not too long ago recreational skis were all based on the racing model. Take a stiff tail ski in the bumps and see what happens, you can't use the back half for carving, and it's the same in powder when your carve turns into a rudder for the end of the turn. I paid for the entire ski, and I'll be damned if I'm not going to use it to carve if I want.

I am speaking totally from personal experience and have no instructor education, but unless you are on a fairly even tip to tail flexing ski you are seriously complicating your ability to use the entire ski to carve a turn.  Sure, sometimes you only use the front or the back for a turn, but skis with stiff tails will cause you to accelerate if you pressure them. Yeah, they're fun to pop around on once in a while, but they turn a carve into a skid (or straight acceleration)  if you initiate off the tips and rock your weight back through the turn.  Skis with "snap" or "pop" simply snap you out of the middle of a carved (i.e. controlled) turn.

I realize I am in the minority, but I fell in love with the old Atomic "Dead Sleds," progressed to Volants, then foam core Atomics, and have been on Wateas lately because they are smooth from start to finish on every turn.  I believe that a ski that changes its personality (i.e. flex) in the middle of a turn is an unnecessary hindrance to easy skiing.  IMO one of the best feelings in skiing is to be doing bumps or very steep hard snow and being completely relaxed, which is impossible (for me) on anything but a very predictable ski, and the more even flexing the more predicable it is.  The softer the ski, the easier it is to keep on the snow, and you don't get control carving air.

Killy carved off his tails by putting all his weight on them, which finished the turn with him coming out faster than anyone else.  Great for the gates, but in the bumps and crud I'm looking for a whole different turn.
Edited by mudfoot - 11/3/09 at 10:27am
post #72 of 73
Why don't you come on a trip to Austria and find out what it is all about? We even teach you skiing in a way you wont forget for a long time.
post #73 of 73
Isn't that the truth!

Originally Posted by CharlieP View Post

Nov 2, 2009


It may be true about "equal distance" from infinity, but the discouraging thing is that Bode is much closer to the limiting asymptote of the human skier than any of us.

Think snow,


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