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Strong right ski, weak left...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
first turns last night in the land the snowboarders own. expected rustiness - i was right.
how common is this:
move much easier to right ski (for turn left) but occassional laziness on the other side. oftentimes the left ski just doesn't wanna catch, so it's just kind of an innocent bystander until i finally apply the necessary pressure.
post #2 of 20
Sounds like you are right on track ryan. I guess you just have to practice more.
post #3 of 20
Sometimes a differance in ease of turning one way vs the other can be due to "alignment" issues. Alignment refers to the way your feet, legs and boots fit together and sometimes one ski will have a different edge angle result that the other from the same movement or input.

A skilled instructor can ski with you and assess the likelyhood of alignment issues.
A good hi-tech shop can also do static assesment of possible need for:

Footbeds (to stablize the foot in the boot),

Boot cuff adjustment (to allign boot to leg)

Or even cants(wedges) under the bindings to achieve symetrical edging from your body's unique alignment issues.

If we are inefficiently aligned with our gear, we use up some of our abilities to compensate and simply reduce our potential to get the performance we want. [img]tongue.gif[/img]

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 06, 2001 09:23 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Arcmeister ]</font>
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
THANK you kind Arc. I suspect you might be onto something. Also, late/lazy "release" of DH (right) ski.
i have a lesson in a couple weeks. i'll make a point to have the instructor check the alignment issues. (i assume he/she will as a matter of course, but i hate to assume too much.)

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 06, 2001 09:30 AM: Message edited 1 time, by ryan ]</font>
post #5 of 20
Have you ever had ANY kind of injury on your left side, especially repeated injury? Check out this thread: http://www.epicski.com/cgi-bin/ultim...&f=11&t=000031

Much of this is based on newer research, so it may or may not be applicable. I also think arcmeister is on to something. I just had my boots fitted, and they needed to do some extra work on my right boot. I'd be curious to see what happens after your lesson.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

i've had injuries everywhere. some slight nerve damage in the right leg makes for interesting compensation sometimes. the list is extensive. luckily, skiing is pain-free, 'specially after a handful of Vike and two pints of Guiness. also, a slightly longer right leg. (or is the left leg shorter?) i hope to be able to pick the skibrain of whatever instructor i get in utah. kinda get it all up-to-date and "set right."
post #7 of 20
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ryan:

'specially after a handful of Vike and two pints of Guiness.

I know what your problem is...you're not drinking enough Guinness. Up it to 3-4 pints and I think you'll observe immediate and substantial improvement.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
well, what to do but follow dr. blo's advice.
post #9 of 20
Ryan, keep in mind that the terrain we were skiing is all part of a large bowl, and that ALL the trails have a double fall line, even if it's very slight. This will make one side feel different than the other.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
cool. in that case, i freakin' RIP.

(MB, you are to refrain from commenting on the above statement.)

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 06, 2001 12:48 PM: Message edited 1 time, by ryan ]</font>
post #11 of 20

Assuming that you have no serious injuries or serious alignment issues, I would say that you are normal. In fact most people have one side weaker than the other. By weaker I don't mean strength only. I mean skill, balance, agility, strength, endurance, etc.

If alignment or injury is not a factor, only time (especially snow time) will take care of this weakness. Never favor your strong side or it will become a habit. Work on balance drills by standing/skiing on one foot (even use dry land balance drills). At the beginning you will probably find that your right foot is better at it than your left foot. With time you will become more comfortable releasing your right ski and moving on the left foot.
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

actually, i did try a bit of that last night. and yes, have to really THINK to not finish everything with the turn to the left. tried to...well, tried a few things, but you're right; it's a matter of mileage and repetition.
watched a young lady at a-basin last year skiing with one ski. she struggled, would fall, but get back up, do it again. THAT's the spirit!
post #13 of 20
Excellent advice, TomB.! If you are doing drills on snow, you may find it close to impossible to ski with the right ski completely lifted. Try it at first by lifting the tail, only {learned that one from Todd} Far less frustrating!
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
i can lift either ski fine. "problem" highlighted by the fact that, when balancing on the left ski, it's hard to access the outside edge (to turn left) and much easier of course to "fall inside" onto the toe and turn right. i am able to play more with both edges when balancing on the right ski.

edit: this exercise also served to illuminate how i have mis-used my hands as balancing tools. had a bit of a realization last night watching milesb. will play with this more next time out.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ December 06, 2001 01:41 PM: Message edited 1 time, by ryan ]</font>
post #15 of 20

One more point. Besides alignment and injury issues there is one other thing that is in play here. Everyone has a "dominate foot", in otherwords we all have a foot that we perfer to stand on. This affects many of the activities that we engage in. For boarders and surfers it determines whether they are "goofy foot" or normal, for bowlers it determines whether natural approach consists of an odd or even number of steps, b-ball players naturally plant and leap off that foot, etc. For skiers it means that we are naturally comfortable riding on the dominate foot not as comfortable and committed to the non-dominate foot. Most people will also do hockey stops on that foot. The solution is milage. Always try to remember to stop on the weak foot and make sure that you ride that ski through the turn even if it means that you have to slightly lift the dominate foot off the snow.

By the way if anyone is interested most people are left foot dominate but its not nearly as common as right handedness is.

post #16 of 20
As an instructor sadly pointed out to me, it's very hard to practise more turns on the weaker foot than the dominant foot without going off the edge...
post #17 of 20
For her own reasons, wifey has taken a number of photos of me in a bathing suit at the beach. I look at them, and after saying, "Not too shabby, NOT too shabby" a few times trying to convince myself, I look at symmetry - NAWT! Although you may not notice it as I walk by, if you took a look at me diretly from in front, you would see an asymmetrical body. Considering I have a very dominant right side and an asymmetrical body to boot, no WONDER it's easier to turn left than right! All the alignment in the world won't fix it. So I do the next best thing: I adjust my technique and take into account the lateral disparity. Experts, whaduyuh say?
post #18 of 20

Not that I consider myself an expert skier, but your are sooooo right. Long before I was a skier, I competed in bodybuilding, so body shape and symetry was my focus. If you think skiers are frustrated with dominant sides, you should see bodybuilders. Absolutely nothing is exactly symetrical.

Back to skiers. Observe that in many ski movies truly expert skiers always favor one turn over another. Look at the snow track left behind them and you will see, that in critical terrain they always prefer one side over the other. In other words, they often complete a left turn way better than a right turn.
post #19 of 20
While we're all somewhat asymmetric physically and athletically, it is possible to "practice" some aspect of one turn more than the other.

Want to "practice" right turn entries? Start by going left from the right side of a slope, make a right turn entry BUT not the finish. Instead, once pointed down the fall line, turn back to the left. Now you're part way across and part way down your slope, and you can "practice" another right turn entry with a left turn finish, and another and another until you're at the left side of the slope. A traverse back to the right side of the slope will put you in position to start out practicing right turn entries again.
post #20 of 20
Tom, you are so right about symmetry, and the lack thereof. I just finished a lesson with a girl who will be skiing in France in January {poor girl}. She has had numerous injuries on her right side, and thus has poor balance. Too complicate matters, she has trained her left side to overcompensate, sometimes to the point of exerting so much force that she throws herself even more off balance.
We spent the entire hour doing exercises that incorporated strength and balance simultaneously. At the end, I repeated the first exercise we did. In the course of just one hour, her right side balance had improved, somewhat.
My point is that discrepancies can be worked on, to a degree.
But here's something interesting to think about. My current Sportsmedicne mentor often speaks about asymetry in athletes. His theory is that nobody has equal strength, balance and coordination on both sides. But what separates the pro from the receational athlete, is the mechanism they use to compensate.
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